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Great Wolf Lodge has thrills, entertainment and fun for everyone

The Concord-Charlotte resort is a family-pleasing destination with thrilling rides, kid-friendly fun

CONCORD — We were standing in our swimsuits, surrounded by strangers.

The boy beside me, I’m guessing he was around 8 nine years old, was definitely nervous.

“Is it safe?” he asked his dad.

I didn’t hear his dad answer, so I said, “Of course it’s safe. All these people wouldn’t be in line to ride if it wasn’t safe. Right?”

He showed a little relief, smiling and giving a slight nod.

Then I thought to myself, “Is it safe?”

This is the hallmark of a great thrill ride.

If you have a “this is how I die” moment of reckoning as you’re clutching the handles of an inflatable raft, but then you survive: mission accomplished.

Great Wolf Lodge is known for its bucket splashes, wave pools, arcade games, character singalongs, and kid-friendly entertainment. But there’s plenty for the big kids, too.

The Concord-Charlotte resort — one of 19 in the U.S. and Canada — has 400 guest suites in its northwoods-themed design, along with dining and shopping options as well as a spa, fitness center and meeting spaces in addition to other attractions like miniature golf, bowling, rope courses and Build-A-Bear.

But you’re going for the 80,000 square-foot indoor water park.

That’s where you’ll find the River Canyon Run raft ride, Mountain Edge Raceway mat slides, Alberta Falls tandem tubes, the Fort Mackenzie four-story water fort tree house, and several pools with accessories geared toward specific age groups.

The climate-controlled, indoor water park is also home to the Howlin’ Tornado.

A solo rider with the rest of my family relaxing in the wave pool, I boarded the Tornado’s clover-shaped raft for four with the nervous boy and his dad who, I need to tell you, was a portly man.

All of his momentum was staring me in the face as

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