Carpe Diem OUR Way Travel

Ultimate List of Great Wolf Lodge Tips and Secrets

The Ultimate List of Great Wolf Lodge Tips and Packing Lists


Are you looking for a comprehensive Great Wolf Lodge Packing List? This list of Great Wolf Lodge tips will help you prepare for your first or your next visit! It includes an extensive Great Wolf Lodge packing list so you know what to bring (including food ideas to bring), what to leave at home and what to expect on your visit!

the Ultimate list of Great Wolf Lodge Tips for Families


Great Wolf Lodge Tips

1. Grab a Luggage Cart from the Lobby

Great Wolf Lodge has airport style luggage carts in the main entrance. Take advantage of them on arrival, especially if you have packed in your own food! I have seen these carts loaded up with coolers, flats of water and a Costco bag of snacks, on top of luggage! Save a few trips to the car and grab one of these before your unload!

2. Bring Extra Coffee

if your mornings tend to start with more than one cup of coffee, consider bringing your own coffee and a small basket filter.  The line ups for Starbucks in the lobby was always lengthy in the am.  And besides, I am a Mama that needs coffee before even finding my glasses in the morning.  There is a small 4 cup coffee maker in the room and you can brew in your room (they do supply the prepackaged in a filter coffee).

Great Wolf Lodge Tips - Paw Pass Review

3. Consider the Great Wolf Lodge Paw Pass

Great Wolf Lodge Pup Passes, Wolf Passes and Paw Passes are available to purchase. they offer up to 30% savings compared to purchasing activities by themselves. The MagiQuest Game is very popular (as is the ShadowQuest game for those who have already completed the MagiQuest) but it des require you purchase a wand and the game itself. the PAW PASS and the WOLF PASS offer the wand and a game in addition to arcade credits, a Great Wolf Kid at the Creation Station and more!

If the passes are not in your budget, discuss the options with your kids ahead of time and plan where you will and will not be spending your money. When expectations are clear, meltdowns can be much easily avoided!


Read Great Wolf Lodge Reviews on Trip Advisor


4. Pack in your own snacks, food and beverages

At the Grand Mound WA location, there is not a lot around the facility itself within walking distance: A gas station and a burger restaurant. There are lots of on-site restaurant options for meal times, but we have a pack of grazers in our group.

Food to Bring to Great Wolf Lodge:

  • veggie tray
  • watermelon (a cut up watermelon will fit in the fridge)
  • crackers and cheese
  • strawberries
  • juice boxes
  • cookies
  • chips and dip
  • water bottles
  • cereal and milk
  • bagels and cream cheese
  • extra coffee and a filter (or instant coffee, sugar and coffee mate)

Great Wolf Lodge Tips Secrets

5. Pack your SHARPIE!

On my list of what to pack for Great Wolf Lodge I have a sharpie. I always do”¦the kids have all sorts of goodies from wands, to arcade cards. Know who is whose and avoid the argument. Bring your sharpie. Trust me on this.  I wrote our kids room number on their waterpark wrist band, so we could easily be located if our child could not find us for some reason. In crowded places we opt for these wristbands.


There is a LOT to do in a Great Wolf Lodge Weekend, and if it is your first trip, do not feel pressured to do EVERYTHING the resort has to offer! It is a waterpark after all, focus on the water park on your first trip and perhaps skip the arcade, or the spa, or MagiQuest (if you can convince your kids that is!).

What to Bring to Great Wolf Lodge

The themed rooms at Great Wolf Lodge haveenough room to have a meal at the table, or room for the kids to play

7. MagiQuest is BUSY in the EVENINGS

As you would imagine, after swimming all day and having dinner, most of the kids in the resort are now out of the water park and in the hotel. We found them mostly between the arcade and the MagiQuest game. expect to line up to check your missions or to defect your foes. if you do your MagiQuest activities in the mornings, they are much less busy.

8. Check the GUIDE for FREE activities

Included in your stay is your waterpark pass and various other activities that go on throughout the day. Pop online before you visit and print out the timetable of what is happening while you are there,  so you are a bit prepared.  There is a lot going on from story time, to dance parties, to kid’s yoga! When you decide what is important to you, schedule your time around these activities. The pool is going to be less busy at dinnertime and story time and after dinner everyone is roaring around in the hallways playing MagiQuest. If you want to get the most out of your stay, try and get into the pool for the non-peak times if you have avid swimmers!

Great Wolf Kid Options at the Creation Station at Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Kid Options at the Creation Station at Great Wolf Lodge. My boys picked the dragon and had a great time stuffing him (although the machine is very loud).

9. Bring your own Towel or Two

Pool towels are to remain at the pool. Our littles were chilly when they left the pool, and now I know why parents brought their own pool towels. So you can wrap up the kids, and head back to your room, warmly.  I would bring one next time for sure. Some people say not to bother, but for our family, it was nice to have one. Kids Towel Robes are also a great alternative to a towel.


10. Choose your Vantage Point

Depending on the age of your children, it may also depend on where you choose to sit, or set up your home base.  I am a bit of a helicopter Mom, and I like my 5 year old to be able to see me, and be easy to find, not that I let wander too far. We spent 98% of our time in the little people area. With 3 kids 5 and under, this was the perfect little spot for us.  If you are arriving at night, pop into the area and figure out where is best.

11. Get to the pool at opening if you want a table

If you are planning on spending the day in the waterpark or at least want a table to enjoy some snacks, Send ONE parent in the am, to grab a spot.  People DO line up before the doors open.  So if you want a table, and they are limited, best to jump on the band wagon. You can also rent a cabana if you want to be guaranteed a good spot, but the vantage point may not be ideal for your family.

Great Wolf Lodge Tips and What to Bring To Great Wolf Lodge | #greatwolflodge #waterpark #familytravel | Great Wolf Lodge Packing list

12. Stay in the WaterPark for Dinner

Dinnertime and later seems to be when the waterpark is the least busy. With parents who have had their children there since 9am, many have packed up so consider a pizza at the Hungry as a Wolf Pizza shop. Starting at just $14.99 for a large pizza, it is a great way to have a snack at the Waterpark and continue to enjoy the less busy part of the day.

13. Pack your swimming bag separate from your suitcase.

On the day you check in, you are able to access the facilities at 1pm. But your room may not be ready until 4pm. If your swimming bag is handy, you can change and enjoy the pool before your room is ready! On the day you leave, do the same thing. Checkout is at 11, but you can use the pool and facilities until the end of the day! They also offer an option to purchase late checkout.

14. Check for Deals at Great Wolf Lodge

If you are a military family or a first responder, Great Wolf Lodge offers discounts. Check their website for details! Groupon and Living social also often have deals. If you are not getting the Great Wolf Lodge emails, sign up to hear about promotions and save money on your stay.

15. Great Wolf Lodge Prices Vary

If you are trying to save money on your family’s visit consider booking in shoulder season. Stay away from school holidays and try and go midweek. That will give you the best deal.

What to Take to Great Wolf Lodge

List of what to bring to Great Wolf Lodge

Here is a packing list for Great Wolf Lodge with everything from clothes, food and of course bathing suits

Leave at Home:

  • Life Jackets – they have the puddle jumper style and life jackets for all ages
  • sunglasses
  • nice clothes (GWL is a very casual place. You will be dining in a bathing suit cover up and kids will have having breakfast in Pjs)


Food to Bring To Great Wolf Lodge

  • fresh fruit (watermelon, strawberries, other munch type food)
  • veggie tray
  • chips and dip
  • crackers and cheese
  • cereal and milk
  • bagels and cream cheese (note that there is NOT a toaster in the room)
  • juice boxes
  • water bottles
  • Adult beverages
  • extra coffee or instant coffee (don’t forget sugar and coffee mate), there is a starbucks (but the lineup is HUGE)

We opted have Pizza one night for dinner and the buffet the second night. The pizza’s are similarly priced to a pizza at a pizza joint and will not break the bank. If you pack in your own dinner, I would love to hear your ideas!

Also research nearby restaurants and you can always pop out of the lodge for dinner or lunch. We opted to stay on site and enjoy the experience without having to go anywhere.



Have you Booked your trip yet?

I suggest you read these Trip Advisor Reviews


Click on the location below for current rates for the resort in your area

Western Great Wolf Lodge Locations:

Grand Mound WA

Garden Grove / Anaheim CA

Midwest Great Wolf Lodge Locations:

Wisconsin Dells, WI… 

Kansas City KS

Sandusky OH

Traverse City MI

Cincinnati OH

North East Great Wolf Lodge Locations

Scotrun PA

Boston / Fitchburg MA

South Great Wolf Lodge Locations

Grapevine TX

Williamsburg VA

Concord / Charlotte NC

Canada Great Wolf Lodge Locations:

Niagra Falls ON


Northern Lights Arcade at Great Wolf Lodge Carpe Diem OUR Way

You can get more info and read more about our experience at Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, Here.

If you found this page helpful, i would love it if you would pin, share or tweet it on whatever social media platforms you use! Every little bit will help us fund our travels and continue to bring great content to our site!

You can hover over these pinnable images of Great Wolf Lodge Packing List (or any image on my site) to quickly pin it !

the Ultimate List of Great Wolf Lodge Tips for Families… Our Ultimate List of Great Wolf Lodge Tips and Tricks for Families on your next Family Vacation

Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.

7 thoughts on “Ultimate List of Great Wolf Lodge Tips and Secrets

  1. Bryanna

    Great tips for visiting a waterpark! I loved the idea of bringing snacks (kids get hungry playing in the water!), the sharpie (brilliant!), and not trying to do everything but instead just enjoying your time.

  2. Francesca

    We haven’t done Great Wolf Lodge yet. Honestly, those giant water parks/resorts stress me out. Perhaps your extensive list will help eliminate some of that stress!

    1. Lindsay Post author

      Francesca – Great Wolf Lodge is actually very manageable. if you check out our tip on “pick your vantage point” you can see wherever your kids are!

  3. Pingback: 5 Reasons to have a Great Wolf Lodge Birthday Party

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *