Considering a trip to Great Wolf Lodge? Wondering how to go there on the cheap? Now that we’ve been there, I can give you some pointers. First, read THIS post with everything you need to know to prep for your trip there.
We booked the trip for our family of four (two kids, two adults) and ended up bringing an extra child along. Adding the extra person wasn’t a problem, but it was an additional $50 per day to cover the waterpark and room fee. Our room had two queen beds and a pullout couch, so plenty of room to house another 1-2 kids. We stayed two nights at Great Wolf Lodge thanks to Expedia.ca, and it cost $881 for the initial booking. With the extra kid, that put us at about $1000CDN for two nights away.
Oooof, that’s expensive. And that was just the basic cost. But there are plenty of ways to save as much as you can when visiting Great Wolf Lodge.
Here are some tips to help you save:
Choose a Basic Room
We were rarely in our room, because there’s just so much to do around the hotel. I was disappointed at first that I hadn’t sprung for a themed room, but once we got there, I was happier having the extra few hundred in my pocket. We were only in our room to eat pizza and sleep. Go as basic with your room as possible and save your money.
Stay One Night
You’re allowed to enter the waterpark at any time on your check-in day, and stay as late as you want on your check-out day, so our whole family felt one night would’ve been plenty to stay. Show up at opening and leave at closing to get your money’s worth! Two solid days of being sopping wet is enough. Trust.
These are fantastic, and well worth the price. They’re $65 per kid, so that added $195 to our bill, but they are a huge savings over paying individually for all the things the Pass includes (it’s a savings of more than $40, I believe). It made the trip super special for the kids because they got to play the MagiQuest game, get free fudge, a stuffed toy, play in the arcade, go bowling, etc. And we didn’t have to deal with them asking for stuff constantly, so bonus. In future, now that we own wands and the kids have a stuffed toy already, I think we’d pass on the Paw Pass, but it’s a great deal, especially for first-timers, or for special occasions.
We chose not to eat at the restaurant in the hotel, ever. So I can’t speak to the buffet quality, but I know that our two kids (ages almost-7 and 10) never eat much at a meal, so buffets are generally overpriced for us. We ordered pizza into the hotel for dinner one night, and left the premises to eat at Swiss Chalet on our second night. For lunches, we grabbed food at the cafe in the waterpark — it’s decently priced, and tasted fine. You can save A LOT by bringing snacks along, using your in-room microwave, and leaving the hotel to eat bigger meals.
Book on Weekdays
We stayed Saturday and Sunday nights, which were cheaper than a Friday-Sunday stay. But booking mid-week would be absolutely ideal, if you can swing it. The hotel was booked solid when we stayed, but we didn’t find it very crowded anywhere, which was amazing. I’m willing to bet that mid-week would be amazing, and there’d be no lines at all for the waterslides.
Our whole family had such a great time at Great Wolf Lodge that we’re already planning the next trip. So this one’s definitely a fantastic trip, if you watch your money.