It won’t be exactly wrong to call Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts ‘an expensive and kids-oriented version of Disneyland’. It is a chain of rustic resorts and indoor water parks headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The huge, 84-degree indoor water park features thrill rides, water activities, slides, gaming zones and a lot more. The resort is not limited to aquatic adventures. There are numerous more attractions, dining and shopping areas, board games and activities to look forward to. Besides the water parks, the resorts boast restaurants, spas, fitness centers, kids’ play areas, mini golf, a 24-hour gym, a business center and arcades.
All Great Wolf Lodge Destinations
No matter where you live in America, you are bound to come across Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts near you city. The company has several indoor water parks and resorts in America and Canada. In the Northeast, the resort is located at Boston and Pocono Mountains. On the southern side, the park is at Charlotte, Grapevine and Williamsburg. In the Midwest, the resort can be found at Cincinnati, Kansas City, Sandusky, and Traverse City, Wisconsin Dells. In the West, Great Wolf Lodge is at Grand Mound, Garden Grove, and Colorado Springs. The lodge has also opened up in Canada near Niagara Falls, Ontario.
History – A Little Backstory
Jack and Andrew Turk Waterman, two brothers who also happened to be the original owners of Noah’s Ark Water Park, founded the park in 1997 and named it the Black Wolf Lodge. Two years later, in 1999, the lodge was bought out by the Great Lakes Company. Its chairman, Bruce Neviaser, changed the name to Great Wolf Lodge. The park was headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. In March, 2015, Centerbridge Partner acquired the Great Wolf chain for $1.35 billion. Over the years, the company opened parks in more locations. Currently, 13 parks are fully operational.
Here is How You Can Save Money During Your Stay at Great Wolf Lodge
Coming to the point, it is actually possible to have an awesome time at Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts without having to put a huge dent in your wallet. Let us share some not-so-secret, cost-effective tips with you!
Great Wolf Lodge Promo Codes
Promo codes are used to activate special offers and discounts. The people at Great Wolf Lodge are kind enough to offer promo codes which you can use to save some money. Before you book your stay, check out their website to look for the current codes. If you are lucky, you can easily save up to 50% on accommodations!
Share Your Information
Are you planning a summer vacation in a few months? Sign up for their newsletter and text service. Whenever there is a great promotion coming up, they will email and text you. According to reviews, visitors have even received coupons through the service well-ahead of time!
Make Sure You Upgrade!
Once the booking is done, Great Wolf Lodge will send you a welcome email. Instead of skimming and then deleting it, take your time and go through it. You will find some ‘upgrade options’ via which you can choose to book a more affordable room.
Keep an Eye Out for the Freebies
Guests will find a number of freebies and mementos in their hotel room. For instead, if you are diligent, you might stumble upon free wolf ears for your kids and a free Shutterfly Photobook with a promo code inside.
Bring Your Own Snacks, Beverages and Water Bottles
This tip is true for almost every amusement park! Try to pack your own basket of snacks and drinks. Not only it will be more fulfilling, it will also save you quite a lot of money.
Order Family Deals
Whether it is a pizza, salads or burgers, order a family deal and save money by not having to pay individually for each dish.
Think About Splitting a Room
If you are travelling with another family, consider booking a bigger room and divide the cost between the two of you.
Are You Eligible for the Discounts?
Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts offer special discounts to home-school families, military personnel, emergency responders such as firefighters, PTSA member and conference attendees. If you are one of them, get your discount!
Daily Deal Sites
Look out for the daily deal sites that frequently feature Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts such as Groupon.
Other Pieces of Advice
Book the Spot During the Weekdays
As compared to weekends, the resort is less crowded and noisy during the weekdays. You won’t have to wait in long queues to get on the rides, you can have the best experience in the water park and you can enjoy special activities at the lodge in peace. In order to know the schedule for special events, call in advance.
Avoid the Tourist Season
If you want to avoid the tourist rush, don’t visit during holidays such as Christmas and Halloween season.
Let Your Toddlers Join the Cub Club
Toddlers tend to get super grumpy and possess the power to make their parents miserable. The Cub Club is an excellent activity area for toddlers and preschoolers. From arts and crafts to balloon animals, the kids will be delighted, busy and most importantly, happy.
Borrow the Board Games from the Front Desk
Want to spend some quality time with your family and relax? Board games are the best. You can either play in the lobby or take them back to your room!
Want to sleep soundly? Book a room far away from the stairs and live in tranquility.
Things You Must Never Leave at Home
Make sure you pack swimsuits, goggles, flips-flops and a change of clothes. If you forget your towel, that’s alright. Great Wolf Lodge provides the towels themselves.
A Fun Spot for Teenagers
Teenagers, do you want to get away from your parents? Check out gr8_space. Yes, that’s what it’s called. It has Wi-Fi, karaoke machine, Nintendo Wii, Xbox360 and plenty of other teens to socialize with. For $10 per day, your teen can enjoy hanging out with new friends and indulge in fun activities.
Say Goodbye to Long Checkout Lines
If you wish to avoid long checkout lines, use the express checkout through the room phone.
Resort Activities at Great Wolf Lodge
Besides the indoor water park, there are plenty of dry-land activities as well. Have an aerial adventure with your family by joining Howlers Peak Ropes Course, participate in MagiQuest and explore the lodge in a fun way for up to three hours, visit the Northern Lights Arcadeair and play hockey, basketball and even ride a motorcycle and indulge in car racing and if you enjoy the MagiQuest, don’t miss the chance to battle the ShadowLord!
Each location has a different set of activities and attractions that you can check out on their official website.
Here is a great video that highlights the best activities at Great Wolf Lodge.
Where to Sleep at Great Wolf Lodge?
There are three kinds of rooms at the resort; themed, standard and premium. Depending upon your budget, needs and duration of stay, you can book the room through their site.
Traveling with Kids? Little Things to Keep in Mind
Before you pack your bags and leave for Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts, read the following insider tips shared by the visitors. These will come real handy for parents!
- You may want your kids to skip the Whirling Tornado because they are definitely going to cry on it. Don’t get us wrong, it is a wonderful ride, but it might induce a panic attack.
- If you wish to avoid the hassle of running around for the MagiQuest, let your kids know in advance. In this way, you get to spend more quality time together in the water park and the arcade.
- Make sure your children get a good night’s sleep. After a day filled with fun-filled activities, they may feel hyper and wide awake, but you need to lie them down.
- The water park has plenty of lifeguards who are well-versed in CPR and first-aid.
- Dress casually and comfortably! It is completely okay to walk around in your PJs.
- Two days are more than enough to explore the park and enjoy the best activities!
Great Wolf Lodge and Resorts have some of the best indoor water parks and attractions. Despite being costly, it is certain a fun package for kids and parents. If you wish to go to Great Wolf Lodge but hesitating because of the budget, we say follow some of our tips and have a blast!