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Great Wolf Lodge: How to get the best price!

I wrote almost 18 months ago about our trip to The Great Wolf Lodge. It was life changing for me, because I am so cheap, I mean frugal, it was not the vacation we are used to. We go camping. Because we have a lot of kids and it is cheap.

Great Wolf for me was amazing because I did NOT have to do anything. I am not used to that, I was actually able to enjoy myself and play with my kids. I was not cleaning up a campsite, packing and unpacking, loading and unloading a car and cooking over a fire.

Great Wolf costs more. A lot more, especially if you have a lot of kids. When you go it is basically per person. So if you think you are going to be getting one room and cramming a bunch of people in it for the same price it does not work that way. Because the water park price is included, and you get the number of wrist bands that you reserve the room for you have to be exact in hoe many you need or you will be paying an additional $40 a person to get them in the water park. Just FYI. Don’t ask me how I know this :)

This is the thing though. It is AWESOME when you are there. Everything is taken care of, you are in a resort. They wait on you, your kids play all day, the older ones take off and say “see ya!” and you don’t see them again until 11:00pm when they shut everything down. It is safe. They LOVE it.

After going once, we made it a family goal to try and go every 1 1/2 years. We start saving up for it the day we get back. At our house any extra change goes into a container, this is our vacation fund. They can vote and choose where to use it at, they have unanimously chosen Great Wolf the last 2 times. We also drop $10 a week in there from Paul and I, plus, I use my haircutting money and cash back checks from Ebates etc. to add in.

When I was there this time I harassed the general manager into chatting with me for a few minutes and begged him to tell me where you could find the best prices. I had already come to my conclusion but wanted to confirm it with him. The best prices ARE ON THE WEBSITE. Weird I know, but they really are. That is where I got mine and believe me, if it is cheaper anywhere I would have found it.

Here are a few tips to get the best deal:

  • Sign up for their newsletter. They don’t spam you. This will give you the best prices and dates to go.
  • The further out you reserve the cheaper it is.
  • Go during the week and during the school year.
  • When you are a return customer, you actually get a better deal!
  • If you are a police man, fire fighter, EMT, military active and retired you get a discount!

If you are a homeschooler, they have a HUGE homeschool week coming up that is AMAZING!! It starts September 12th, email them for info. Big discounts and amazing people coming to do shows and lessons.

If you do spend a little more and go over a holiday, they make it worth it. The Christmas and New years celebration is stunning, it snows in the lobby! Halloween is cool, it is all decorated and you go trick or treating.

When we go we do NOT eat there. I am sure they don’t like that but it is too expensive for a big family to do it.

Here are some tips:

  • Bring a case of WATER! They have mini fridges in the rooms, we load it full and drink those all day.
  • We also bring a cooler. I tried to hide it until I realized other people do it to. We packed lunch meat, fruit, milk etc. and ate breakfast in our room and lunch.
  • For dinner we did go out locally to a restaurant but it was cheaper then in the lodge.

If we had only 2 kids we would probably eat there, but we have a bunch more so I guess I am cheap and do it that way!

This is my wrap up, it is more expensive then say getting a hotel and getting tickets to Splash Town. BUT it is so much nicer and easier for me it is worth it. If my baby is tired, I lay her down in the room. The kids don’t have to leave, she doesn’t have to sleep in the heat in a stroller, and everyone is happy. The kids WILL NOT be bored! It is a blast. Bring your own food and have a great time!

** If I was in a funnier mood I would tell you about the 4 year old from HELL who harassed me in the baby pool until I kicked him. Just kidding. He kicked me first, so it was justified. LOL!

The fine print: Great Wolf is not a sponsor and did not pay me for this post. I just love the place and wanted to give you a review and tell you how we make it work. They did upgrade my room, however, I think it is because the one we had was originally not available when we got there!

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Comments

    • Tiffany says

      If you had older kids NO they would be just fine. My older ones took the younger ones with them everywhere and played with them. They are used to tagging along so they go with it. If I look back when our 2 oldest were 2 and 4 I would say wait until they are 6 and 4 for sure. Just my opinion…. :) You will have to do a lot more carrying around, still would be fun, but for the money I say wait.

  1. Amy says

    Just an FYI . If you go to the conceirge desk at the Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, Texas and ask them for a card for PF Changs. They give out kids eat free coupons for PF Changs. You can use as many coupons as kids you have ( Not one per adult ) . I know this because I work at PF Changs. Just make sure to take care of your server, and tip on the total bill not the bill after the coupons! :-)

  2. Amanda says

    Thanks so much!!! I have been wanting to take our four kids but wondered if it was worth the expense. How many days did you stay? I have teenagers to preschoolers so I wasn’t sure how long the teenagers would like it. Thanks!

    • Tiffany says

      My 14 year old loves it, there was also a cheerleading convention there at the same time so that might have something to do with it :) hHe had fun helping the little kids with the magic quest game all night every night! We stayed 2 nights both times and that was perfect.

      • Amanda says

        Thanks so much for the info! My 14 yr old would have loved the cheerleading convention too! So the splurge on the wand quest game is worth it too. Good to know. Thanks for all that you post and do! It has helped me so much from groceries to retail! I really appreciate it!

    • Miranda says

      My high school travels every year for nationals, and last year we went to GWL. Definitely my favorite of the three I’d been on, and from what I can tell, a favorite of everyone’s. so yeah, teenagers love it,too.

  3. Katie says

    Tiffany,
    I have been wanting to go here for years but haven’t. I have 7 kids too, but I noticed the maximum in the rooms is 8. Which room did you have? Thanks for the info!!

        • Tiffany says

          It would, we talked about that to them, if you are thinking of going email me and I can give you the name of the lady to talk to about a bigger family, you should not have to get 2 rooms because of a little one!

  4. VERONICA says

    We just went in June for the 1st time and loved it. We stayed 3 nights, but I think next time we’ll stay 2, since you have a right to the waterpark all day on your arrival and departure days. So you can get there early and play before check-in and leave late after your check-out.

  5. Lisa Bender says

    We went for the first time last year and we had a BLAST! I couldn’t stop talking about how fun it was. Honestly, we didn’t see daylight for 4 days because we never left the building! We did the Adventure Quest until we could barely move. Can’t wait to go back!!!

  6. Michele Hernandez says

    My family & I went last week for the first time and we are definitely going back! I could have swore I saw you & your family but my neices wanted to go to the gameroom. That was one of the best vacations I had with all the kids. My younger sister and her kids (16, 12 & 3) came along with my older sister and me. Great Wolf had something for everyone and the Grapevine outlet mall was really nice too! I totally recommend it!

  7. Lynne says

    They actually have a 30% off sale in May. This year they had buy 2 nights and get 1 free. I always wait until these sales in May to book our summer vacation. We too bring in all our food and eat breakfast and lunch and snacks in the room and eat out in the evening. I also read where someone brought in a crock pot and put their dinner on in the am and had dinner there also.

  8. Charlotte Rodriguez says

    Headed there tomorrow. We have 6 kids as well and it is way too expensive to eat there. We have everything packed up including, stuff for breakfast, lunch, drinks and plenty of snacks!! One last trip before school starts!

    • Jessica says

      Just another tip. Check with where you work to see if they offer discounts. I work at a hospital in southeast Kansas and they offers several discounts to employees to places like Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun, Great Wolf Lodge, Schlitterbahn, and even Silver Dollar City.

  9. says

    Everytime the ad comes on, I turn to my husband and tell him that we have to take our son there. He is only 2 1/2 now so we are going to wait until probably 8 years old with a friend (since he is an only child). I am going to have to make the list of all the places we want to take him but this tops the list because it looks great for the kids and not too hard on the adults. I would like a vacation where I get a break and I send my husband and kid to play in the water :)

  10. taz says

    If you are near a Kalihari resort. They are wonderful. A bit pricey but check the website because they have really cheap last minute packages. I went midweek in the winter to the one in Sandusky Ohio for 100 dollars a night for the 4 of us. That included our water park passes. It also included discounts on food at Kalihari. Each room has a mini fridge with freezer and a microwave. We went to a grocery store and picked up frozen pizzas for lunch and I packed refried beans, cheese, taco meat and tortilla chips to make loaded nachos. My extravagance while I was there was hopping in the car and heading to my favorite ice cream place for a ice cream cone. I didn’t care if its was 20 degrees outside I wanted ice cream and I didn’t want to pay 5 dollars for it at Kalihari so I went to Toft’s to get my kiddie cone. I paid less than 1/2 the price and recieved more ice cream. You get almost a pint of ice cream on a kiddie cone. Hmmm may have to stop Tuesday on my way home from Cleveland for my fix!

  11. Mary says

    Can you only get prices buy calling. I didn’t find prices. Also is all the activists extra? I saw some you have to make reservations

  12. mm says

    I’m a single parent and two kids over 9 and 11. I want to go, but they seem so darn expensive, how is one ever to afford it. I can’t pay$300 for a one night stay. Are there any promotions or deals online???

    • says

      For deal s and discounts check out website like Groupon.com, Sweetjack.com or Livingsocial.com..you can set those sites to alert you for such places a GWL to send you an email when they are offering such coupons as 40-60% off..they happen about 3 times a year on those sites and I also heard GWL does 30% off in May every year

  13. Shannon says

    They also offer late checkout online for a fee but if you wait until the morning you are leaving, call the front desk for complementary late checkout. I havd gotten this for free the ladt could of stays in Grapevine. I have six children ages 17 to 1 month old and they all love iy.

  14. Tammy says

    I have gone to greatwolf lodge for the last 5 years every December 2 weeks before Christmas we Love it there is 18 of us ( the entire family ages range from 1 to 62 ) there isn’t nothing like looking out the window watching the snow fall while your in your bathing suit Also we go out to dinner cause it’s too expensive there and bring lots of other food to fill all 4 rooms but while going out eat dinner we got lost and that was the best thing we could have done cause we ended up on Main Street while the snow is falling a lady walking down the side walk in a wedding gown Santa and his reindeer in the park area oh so much more we would never go during the summer cause you have do many water parks and winter is so different it’s absolutely Beautiful then!!!!!

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