This past weekend, we took my son, his friend, and my daughter to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas for a weekend getaway. Normally, I would pass up the chance to go to an indoor waterpark on the weekend because the prices can be a little steep. However, we got an amazing deal on this stay, so we decided to go for it which leads me to this blog post!
I’m hoping to make your life easier by giving you a few tips on booking your stay at the Great Wolf Lodge.
1. Search for Discounts
When you book a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, you are not only paying for your nightly stay, but you are also getting two days worth of water park access for the rate. If you are looking for a bargain though, then I suggest looking for discounts through Groupon or similar sites during the off-season.
It seems that the best rates are going to come through Great Wolf emails though. They will offer some pretty hefty discounts through their email promotions. They have amazing deals during the off-season.
Great Wolf Lodge also offers discounts to military, fire, police, and more through their Howling Heroes program.
Packing can seem overwhelming sometimes, but if you are just staying in the park and not leaving, then you really don’t need that much. Most people want to pack towels, life jackets, and more when going to a waterpark, but Great Wolf Lodge supplies all of the necessities for a day of fun!
Life Jackets– The park provides life jackets for every size.
Towels- The park has an abundance of towels that are easy to grab, so don’t worry about bringing any extra ones.
Sunscreen or Hats- You really don’t need to pack sunscreen or a hat unless you are going to be outside in the outdoor pools all day.
Pack-N-Plays- The Lodge has Pack-N-Plays, but they are on a first come, first serve basis, so I recommend reserving one when you book your stay.
Swimsuit Coverups- Swimsuit cover-ups are needed to walk to and from the park.
Goggles, earplugs, water shoes, and warm PJ’s for storytime. This isn’t a must, but my son and his friend wanted earplugs the whole time we were there.
Plastic Bag- They have dryers to dry your swimsuits, but if you are in a hurry, then bring a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
Snacks- These were a must for my family, and I recommend them; otherwise, you will be spending a lot of money at every snack stand your kid sees on the way to the room.
Waterproof Phone Case- I take a lot of pictures so a waterproof phone case would have been nice because water is literally squirting and falling on you everywhere!
Tennis Shoes- The rope course was closed when we were there due to rain, but bring some close-toed shoes so you can check out the rope course!
Headphones- If you want to find a quiet place to read, good luck. Take some headphones to drown out some of the noise. It can get pretty noisy.
A tank and shorts- The waterpark can get really humid and hot, so if you are not swimming, I recommend bringing shorts and a tank top.
Swim Diapers– Make sure you pack swim diapers for your little one because they are required inside the park.
3. Access Waterpark Early
Room check-in normally starts at 4 pm, or as your room becomes available, however, you can access the waterpark as early as 1 pm. Upon arrival, you can choose to self-park or use their valet services. When you get inside, make sure you get your waterpark wristbands. The wristbands will be your room key once that is assigned, and you can even add money to it. The wristbands are very helpful because you don’t have to keep up with card keys or any cash. The waterpark has changing rooms, lockers, and showers available to you. There are small lockers available for some of your belongings, but all large luggage items need to be stored with the Guest Services Team or in your car until you have access to your room. Once you get access to your room, you will be given wolf ear headbands! Don’t be ashamed to wear them because EVERYONE is wearing them!
4. Check Out ALL That Great Wolf Offers
When you get done with the waterpark, go check out all the other fun games and attractions that Great Wolf offers. The Grapevine, Texas location offers a kid-friendly spa where you can get a mommy and me pedi. They have a Creation Station where you can build your own Great Wolf Lodge character from scratch. (Think Build-A-Bear). They have a large arcade, an XD movie theater, dance parties, nightly storytime, and more. Oh, and I can’t forget about MagiQuest. This is a live-action role game where you go to different video portals throughout the lodge and solve clues. Kids of all sizes were playing it, and they were having so much fun!
5. Free Activities
There are a ton of free activities on site such as dance parties, storytime, lobby crafts, character meet and greets, parent and me yoga, and more. You will get a schedule that has a list of all the free activities during your check-in process. Take advantage of it because those arcade games will literally take all your money!
Even though Great Wolf Lodge has many great restaurants on site, I recommend packing some food if you want to save some money because the restaurants can get a little pricey. The breakfast buffet at The Loose Moose Cottage with a meet and greet of the Great Wolf characters is about $18 per adult and $10 per kid, and honestly, I think it’s worth it. My kids loved the characters, the show, and all of the food, however, if you don’t want to spend that kind of money, then bring a cooler with some food in it and just have breakfast in your room. Your room will have a coffee maker, refrigerator, and microwave in it.
The dinner buffet at The Loose Moose Cottage is about $20 per adult and $13 per kid ages 4-12. Even though the buffet is really good and has a lot of choices, I recommend just getting a pizza or two from Hungry as a Wolf if you want to save money. One large pizza and a 2 liter cost $20, whereas the buffet for all of my crew cost close to $80.
If you are looking for a peaceful trip, please be advised that this is not going to be a quiet and serene trip. I would compare the Great Wolf Lodge to a Mini Las Vegas. Kids are running around everywhere from sun up to sun down and everywhere in between. Great Wolf Lodge has hyped up candy-crazed kids gambling their luck away at the arcade, running to get prizes and candy while splashing the day away.