Our family absolutely loves getting away together, and as is the case with most families, the smaller getaways are a LOT easier. This is why we love going to Great Wolf Lodge so much!
Great Wolf Lodge is one of our favorite places to go and we’re so lucky that we have two Great Wolf Lodge locations near us, within a three hour drive. When kiddos are young, or you’re traveling in a group, Great Wolf Lodge is a great place to be. You’ll find the resort feel without the resort prices, and you’ll likely be able to drive since there are several locations.
Plus, there are always tons of great ways to save on Great Wolf Lodge (especially with Groupon – where you can save up to $100! There are several keys to saving on your Great Wolf Lodge stay, so be sure to read all the way through this post).
If you’ve never planned a trip to Great Wolf Lodge before, you probably have a lot of questions on how to make the most of (and save the most on) your vacation! I’ve put together this massive Great Wolf Lodge FAQ post to help answer all your questions on things like Great Wolf Lodge pricing, admission, and even the free wifi situation!
Read on to learn EVERYTHING you need to know before planning your family’s trip to Great Wolf Lodge.
When is the best time to stay at a Great Wolf Lodge location?
This might seem obvious, but I would say that the best time to stay at Great Wolf Lodge is when you can get a stay on sale. I don’t think paying full price is ever necessary. Although, it’s more likely that you’d have a less crowded hotel, right?
Since the waterpark is indoors, you can really plan a trip to Great Wolf Lodge at any time of year – even (and especially) in winter when everyone is getting a little stir-crazy from being inside all the time!
What are the must-have items to pack and bring to Great Wolf Lodge?
We have been to Great Wolf Lodge hotels enough that I’m kind of a self proclaimed pro when it comes to what to pack to go to Great Wolf Lodge. Here are the items that we always bring with us.
(Note: You do NOT need to bring a life jacket to Great Wolf Lodge hotels as they’re all provided and on handy racks right when you walk into the water park area.)
Another important note about Great Wolf Lodge hotels is that there is a refrigerator and microwave in every room, making bring snacks and storing leftovers really easy! The restaurants and grab-and-gos in the hotel are great, but bringing some of your own snacks will help you save some money.
Here is a list of must-have items to bring to Great Wolf Lodge hotels:
- 2-3 bathing suits (to make sure your child always has a dry one to put on!)
- Plastic Bags for semi-wet clothing
- Gallon Ziploc baggies for leftovers
- Juice boxes/Water (your kids will be VERY active so it’s important to help them stay hydrated!)
- Easy snacks for afternoon – microwave popcorn is one of our favorites!
- Noise machine/small fan (hallways can get loud at naptime if you take naps)
That’s my must-have list – do you have anything to add? Leave your additions in the comments!
Can you purchase Great Wolf Lodge waterpark tickets separately?
You cannot purchase Great Wolf Lodge waterpark tickets separately. So, this means that if the hotel isn’t at capacity, the waterpark won’t be either. Which is so, so nice. It might seem like this is kind of annoying, but it’s really nice that if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can’t take advantage of the waterpark. That way it won’t become overcrowded and the hotel has a good pulse
What are the rules on Great Wolf Lodge waterpark without staying?
Like I mentioned above, it’s not permitted to swim at the Great Wolf Lodge waterparks if you’re not an overnight guest at the Great Wolf Lodge hotels. Which, I absolutely LOVE!
This means that Great Wolf Lodge can ensure that the lines stay manageable and the pools aren’t over crowded. Although, there are certain times of the year where they get more crowded than others.
Does Great Wolf Lodge have wifi?
Yes! I love that about this hotel that after the kids are wiped out and asleep I can still get a little work done and there are no additional wi-fi charges!
Is Great Wolf Lodge just for kids?
While yes, the majority of the activities at the Great Wolf Lodge are for kids, there are plenty of opportunities for adults to have fun too!
Great Wolf Lodge has an excellent dining situation, with plenty of buffets, bars and delicious food that visitors of all ages can enjoy. Plus, almost all Great Wolf Lodge locations have fitness facilities and spas. Some locations even have a “Scooops Kid Spa” where you and your child can have a fun pamper-session together!
What is the Great Wolf Lodge admission price?
This is a loaded question, because technically, the Great Wolf Lodge waterpark passes are free. But, you have to pay for a one night stay at the hotel in order to get your waterpark passes, so in reality they waterpark passes are the cost of the room minus the overnight amenities.
Your Great Wolf Lodge price for overnight stay will depend on the time of year you go, the size and style of room you have and the number of patrons for the waterpark you have.
(As of my last check you can add up to two wristbands for the waterpark with your stay for an extra charge, but you cannot purchase the waterpark bracelets alone.)
In terms of average Great Wolf Lodge pricing: On average, you can expect to spend at least $200 per night for Great Wolf Lodge hotel rooms. Without a deal on your stay you might end up paying $199-$329 per night.
HOWEVER (and this is a big one!): If you get a deal on Great Wolf Lodge through Groupon or Living Social you’ll pay $99-$149 per night usually.
Is there a Great Wolf Lodge rate calendar?
Yes – you can check the current rate calendar for Great Wolf Lodge here.
However, I find that using the Groupon deals Great Wolf Lodge calendar is the best way to see what rates are for the hotel. Although, this is only available when there is a deal available.
How to Get the Best Deals from Great Wolf Lodge
Getting a deal is never a bad idea, so knowing the ebb and flow of the Great Wolf Lodge hotels and their pricing is a good thing. Plus, more often than not, you’ll be able to find a significant discount on prices for Great Wolf Lodge!
Let me tell you all about getting Great Wolf Lodge coupons and how to get Great Wolf Lodge discounts.
For a complete run-down of the best Great Wolf Lodge coupons, check out this blog post.
What are the best places to find Great Wolf Lodge specials?
There are three top places that I always look for Great Wolf Lodge specials: Groupon, Living Social and the Great Wolf Lodge website.
When there is a Great Wolf Lodge Groupon deal, there are always TONS of dates to choose from and, in my experience, they have always been very kind when rescheduling was necessary. And, no worries about communication issues, you’ll work directly with the Great Wolf Lodge staff when you need to communicate. You’re simply making your resort plans on the Groupon site, but your stay is booked with the folks at Great Wolf Lodge (and their staff is awesome!)
To make the most of Great Wolf Lodge on Groupon, use the strategy of checking early and often for deals – the sooner your can decide on your vacation dates and plan ahead, the more likely you’ll be able to get the best deal possible with the help of Groupon!
LivingSocial: LivingSocial is also a great place to look for a Great Wolf Lodge deal. I will say that Groupon has these deals more often than Living Social, but it’s definitely worth a look – see all of the Living Social Great Wolf Lodge deals here.
The Great Wolf Lodge website: If there are no Great Wolf Lodge Groupon deals, and if Living Social is a bust, your next best bet is the actual Great Wolf Lodge website. Every once in awhile they’ll have a really great promotion running, but most often i find that you’ll get the best offers once you’ve stayed at least once at one of the resorts previously.
Does Great Wolf Lodge offer printable coupons?
As far as wondering if Great Wolf Lodge ever offers printable coupons, the answer is: unfortunately, not really. (Another reason why looking out for a Great Wolf Lodge coupon or deal is so important!)
That is, there aren’t really ever printable coupons for overnight stays at Great Wolf Lodge. However, you will sometimes find coupons for things like free perks while you’re staying at the resorts, for example, you might find a coupon good for a free cup of candy, or a free soda at the Buckhorn Exchange which is Great Wolf Lodge’s General Store.
Does Great Wolf Lodge offer Military discounts?
Great Wolf Lodge does offer military discounts (woohoo!) The Program is called HEROES and is a special rate that Great Wolf Lodge offers for armed forces, law enforcement & EMS. There are some rules that apply as far as black out dates and holiday availability but this is a great way to get a discount. You will be required to show an ID, and always check Groupon and LivingSocial as well as sometimes these daily deals sites offer better pricing.
Find the official Great Wolf Lodge Military and Armed Forces discount link here.
Are there ever company discounts for Great Wolf Lodge?
If you are with a big enough company, you might find that there are some additional discounts available to you as an employee, especially if you live near one of the Great Wolf Lodge locations.
It’s best to check with the Human Resources at your company to see if they have a special relationship with Great Wolf Lodge offering you additional savings.
Do the Great Wolf Lodge deals ever include the Paw Pass, Pup Pass or Wolf Pass?
Yes! And, sometimes Great Wolf Lodge Groupons even included a resort credit. If you are going to a Great Wolf Lodge with lots of activities (rock walls, ropes courses, etc.) I highly recommend getting the Wolf Passes as those are the passes with the highest amount of things to do on them and some activities are even unlimited. Be sure to check out the activity passes when you book as they’re less money than buying them outright when you check into the hotel.
For a full breakdown of the different types of Great Wolf Lodge passes, check out this blog post!
Phew! Hopefully this post helped to answer some of the biggest questions around planning your first trip to Great Wolf Lodge! Have any other questions that you don’t see answered here? Leave them in the comments, or send me an email at Kate@couponcravings.com. I’d love to help if I can!