Travel Tips

Is Great Wolf Lodge Worth It?

DSC00314Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel that is found in quite a few cities and is an incredibly popular family destination trip.  Why you ask?  Because it has a massive indoor water park that you can play in, all for the cost of the room.  Sounds awesome right?  Well it is, till you see the price tag.  One night here can run you between $200 -$450 a night depending on your family size and day of the week.  Two hundred a night?  That doesn’t seem too bad right?  I am going to give you some of the facts, although some will seem a little wishy washy.  The reason for this is each one of these hotels are different.  Quick example:  The Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte does not have an adults only hot tub, the one in Williamsburg does.

Starting with the room.  They have various rooms from standard to not so standard.  The photo on the right is a standard room for six people.  Two queen beds, and a couch that folds out.  They also have rooms we have previously stayed in that have cabins in them as shown on the left.   I really suggest these as it gives parents some sort of separation from their children while in the room.


The water park.  Now I have mixed feelings about the water park as I have been taking my family there since my daughters (who are now 9) were 4.  The water park has something for everyone.  Steep water slides, a baby area, a bigger kid splash zone, some of the water parks have lazy rivers, some have hot tubs for adults and families, most have a pool for playing games or just swimming, and all have the huge wave pool.  Now the reason I say I have mixed feelings about the water park is this, it depends on the age of your children.  When my children were younger they loved the water park and spent all day in it till we left.  It held their attention and they were more than happy swimming all day.  As they have gotten older (my eldest child is 13) they need a little more to keep their attention.  The water park is AWESOME….for four or five hours, then it’s on to something else.

The water park, the room and the clock tower bedtime show are the only things included, all other activities found in the hotel cost additional money.  So when the kids are younger, or if your children really love playing in the water, this is definitely worth it.  You can stay one night at the hotel and start playing in the water park the day you check in at 1 pm and then the day you check out you can play at the water park till it closes.  They do provide lockers, showers and changing rooms in the water park for this reason.

Now as my children get older they tend to spend more time in the arcade, or playing magic quest.  Another favorite activity for the girls is getting their nails done at Scoops children’s spa.  The spa is very pricey, but caters towards making little ladies feel like princesses, complete with a crown.  You guys know I was right there with my daughters, crown and all!

Magic quest is actually a really good deal if your kids are interested.  It’s $14.99 per game and it’s for your whole stay.  There isn’t a time limit like there is at other Magic Quest places.  The halls of the hotel are decorated for the quest and its 3 stories with the kids running up and down the stairs.  Don’t worry the game isn’t turned on till 9am so you will get a chance to sleep!  But this is definitely good for the older kids, and for you too if you want to walk over 26k in a day (that’s what my Fitbit told me at least).

There is also a 4D theater and a mini bowling alley that to be honest we never do because it’s too expensive.  Needless to say your children will not get bored there, it’s just a matter if they will want to do the activities that cost more or not.

So a few quick tips for your stay at Great Wolf Lodge if you decide to go.

  1. Bring food.  Their is a restaurant, pizza place and ice cream place in the hotel however you will be paying A LOT for this food.  There is a mini fridge in your room, use it.  When we go we pack lunch meat and cheese for lunches, and granola bars or protein bars for breakfast along with juices and bottle water.  This will save you a ton right here.  Pack food and drinks!
  2. Bring a book.  Your children will be off playing and having a good time, now is the time to relax.  There are plenty of tables and chairs for you to sit and enjoy.
  3. When you are packing make swim attire easily accessible in the bags.  You will get to the hotel around 1 pm but your room won’t be ready till 4 pm.  You don’t want to have to rustle through your whole bag looking for the swimsuits while your kids are bouncing foot to foot.
  4. Pack sunscreen in the summer.  There is a whole outdoor area as well that is only open in summer months.  So pack the sunscreen!  Now in the winter only the indoor waterpark is open so this doesn’t apply.
  5. Enjoy!  You are never too old to go down water slides!

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