Earlier this week, our family traveled up to Traverse City, Michigan to stay at the Great Wolf Lodge there. We’d never been there before and the purpose was for a long weekend get-away and some indoor water park fun. What we didn’t expect was for Baby Hobbit to become completely fascinated with an activity at the hotel called MagiQuest.
Baby Hobbit wanted a break from swimming early in the day on Monday. I was a bit upset since the water park is the primary reason we came and at 10:30 in the morning she said she wanted to leave. What were we going to do? Merric suggested we go try out the MagiQuest we had read about on the hotel’s web site. He figured it’d be good for an hour or so break and then we could head back down to the water park after lunch.
It didn’t quite happen that way…
Brief Description of MagiQuest
Neither of us had ever heard of MagiQuest before. We saw all the chests and paintings in the hallways and saw kids running around with wands so we got the gist of it. Basically it is live action questing and you’re given a wand that unlocks things and helps you defeat foes etc.
There are chests that will open and give you quest items or gold with the wave of your wand. There are snarky paintings and talking suits of armor. There are some items in the lodge that just cracked jokes or said silly things.
At the end of your quest, there’s a huge screen where you hand in your items to a pixie or a princess and possibly other options I never saw. They talk to you and help you complete your quest. After you have learned enough spells through questing you can do adventures and fight dragons and goblin kings.
I’m seriously simplifying things here but I think you get it. You should check out their web site if you have interest in learning more.
In the Great Wolf Lodge we were at, the MagiQuest items were spread out over three floors. Two hallways on the third floor, two hallways on the fourth floor, and a hallway off the main lobby. Quest trees that you would get your quests or adventures from were on the third floor, ending screens were on the fourth floor. To complete the quests you were seriously crawling all over the hotel.
The only thing that gave us slight pause is that buying the wand (without any extras) plus a day of gaming cost us around $32. Since we were thinking this was about an hour of entertainment that had us cringing a bit but we paid it. The good news is that we keep the wand and can bring it back on future visits for reuse and it remembers what she has already accomplished.
Baby Hobbit’s Questing
The clerk in the shop informed us that because Baby Hobbit is so young (she’s 3-years old) she’d likely just enjoy running through the hallways and making the objects light up and talk.
Boy was he wrong.
After the first quest where we handed in our runes to the huge fairy on the screen and were told she now has the power to talk to animals; you could just see it in her eyes. She was hooked and she wanted more.
She quested all morning until lunch time. After lunch she did another quest. After that she had a nail appointment (which she loved) and immediately went back to questing – now equipped with a princess crown and sparkly pink and purple nails.
After lunch, I left Merric and Baby Hobbit to it being followed a lot of the way by Opa Hobbit, too. Baby Hobbit was the Magi and wielder of the wand and Merric and Opa were her helpers reading the “Ancient Book of Wisdom” for quest clues since she can’t read, yet. For the most part though all the quests and such were spoken to you by an actor and given enough time, the book wasn’t needed but it certainly would help if they knew the rune they were searching for was in the Enchanted Forest hallway and could lead her to the right location to start her search.
What we thought would kill an hour became a day long excursion. At around 4:30, I checked on Merric and Baby Hobbit inquiring about dinner plans when I was told most seriously “We can’t right now she’s about to become a Master Magi”.
Yup. My 3-year old was a Master Magi (that means she had done all the quests and learned all available magic spells) and when we left the next day you could see her name in tenth place on the leader boards.
We did end up going back into the water park after dinner and she had a blast on the slides. How she had the energy to go up those stairs to the slide repeatedly after a full day of multi-floor questing, I don’t know but she did.
After the water park closed, we returned to our room and in our pajamas she asked permission to go back to being a master magi. The game didn’t shut down for a couple more hours and Merric, the super-dad, was willing so I gave them my blessing. The two of them went off trying adventures with Baby Hobbit’s master magi skills.
She understood it all, too. She would recite with detail to Oma Hobbit and myself exactly what she was doing. Fighting the Goblin King and rescuing the Princess’ jewels was a huge deal. She desperately wanted to help the princess and she wanted the dragon to be her friend.
This was seriously all Baby Hobbit wanted to talk about and is still talking about. The water park was cool and she really enjoyed it. However, the MagiQuest was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced in her three years of life. She is still daily asking to return to Great Wolf Lodge and even giving reasons why she has to go such as “I will lose all my powers” or “the princess still needs my help”.
We will definitely go back and MagiQuest gets our seal of approval. So long as Great Wolf Lodge remains open and carries MagiQuest, they will be one our top choices for family vacation.