Great Wolf Lodge: Tips and Tricks


Great Wolf Lodge in Phoenix is now open!

With both of our children being born in October we decided to forgo the birthday party this year and take them to Great Wolf Lodge for a night. Before going, I did some research on do’s and don’ts of the park. With those in mind along with our own personal experience, I am going to pass them onto you!

  • Book when there’s a deal- We booked our room when they were offering up to 30% off for the grand opening. They tend to run specials throughout the year and on Groupon.  “Heroes” get a discount throughout the year (heroes includes: active and retired military, fire, emergency medical service personnel, 911 dispatchers, police and correctional offers with valid ID).
  • Leave the towels at home- Originally, I packed towels for us but after researching online I came across a website that said to leave them at home. They offer a towel person with your room information. Make sure you return your towel at the end of each day or you will get charged.
  • Leave everything in your room- With your wristband, you will be able to purchase and access anything in the hotel. Ordering food or a drink is easy- they will scan your wristband and charge it to your room. Your wristband will also open your door, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your room key. If you lose your wristband, they will charge you $50 for a replacement. They also add $100 to your room to use during your stay and charge it to the credit card you have on file. If you don’t use all $100, they will put the remaining ing amount back on your card.
  • Bring food or pick something up- Food is a bit pricy in the park. We decided to purchase a large pizza and wings for dinner from the pizza place at the hotel which was about $40. We were entirely impressed with the pizza considering the price. However, next year we will pick up food and bring it back to the hotel for dinner. Less than half a mile from the hotel are multiple restaurants and even a Target if you forget something. We also took a few swim breaks to head up to the room for snack time. I came prepared with about every kind of snack my children have eaten within the last year- you never know what snack a toddler might want. We did enjoy breakfast at the Dunkin’ Donuts inside the hotel in the morning. We felt this was very comparable to our visits to other Dunkin’ Donuts. The hotel does offer a Farm to Table restaurant located in the lobby.
  • Bring your own drinks- We brought a cooler with water, juice, and adult beverages. During snack time and after the park closed, we were able to enjoy drinks in our room cost free. They do offer a wine down service after the kids go to bed for $35.  You pick an app or a dessert plus a bottle of wine. If you choose the wine down service, they will text you instead of knocking on the door to ensure your little ones don’t wake up.
  • Not everything is included in the room- The hotel has A LOT to offer outside of the water park; however, it’s extra. If your kids are planning on doing multiple attractions, consider purchasing the attraction package. Attractions include- ropes course, bowling, putt putt, arcade, Build-A-Bear Workshop, MagiQuest, climbing wall, and mining.
  • Go to the activities- There is an activity starting every hour in the lobby. They also offer seasonal activities. Our kids were able to “trick-or-treat” during the evening- they offer this during the month of October. If you plan to visit during the winter months, they offer a “Snowland” adventure. All of these activities are free.
  • Maximize your time at the waterpark- Check-in isn’t until 4:00pm but you can use the park starting at 1:00pm. Check out is at 11:00am, but you can stay in the park until close (9:00pm). Showers and lockers are available in the water park area for you to use until your room is ready or on the day of check out.
  • You can leave the sunscreen at home- There is an outdoor pool available if you want to catch some sun, but the water park is all enclosed.
  • Bring your own life jackets- If your child cannot swim on their own, bring life jackets. The water park offers them for free, but they tend to run out.  We decided to bring our own and didn’t regret it. Our kids are used to their life jackets, so they felt comfortable swimming in them- we also didn’t have to worry about not getting one.


All in all, our kids had a great weekend! They were exhausted after the trip- they even asked to leave at check out.  If you are planning on taking toddlers, like we did, plan to skip the naps!

To book your stay, click here.

After our fun family weekend, we got the opportunity to attend the Great Wolf Lodge Media Day and Grand Opening Celebrations. During the event, Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas cut the Grand Opening ribbon and fulfilled a Make Wish child’s wish.  Great Wolf even continued the child’s wish and donated money throughout the weekend to Make a Wish.  Her wish was to go down the brand-new water slide with Gabby Douglas.  Every time someone went down the slide, Great Wolf donated $20 to Make a Wish.

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Amanda Filippi
Hi everyone- I’m Amanda! Being a Midwest Nebraska girl at heart, my husband and I planted our roots in Flagstaff in August of 2016. Life has not stopped since our move to Arizona with welcoming two kids within a year! When I’m not directing chaos and watching endless amounts of Paw Patrol I put on my “owner hat” running a Marketing and Graphic design company (Flip Marketing). Balancing the work and mom life has been a struggle but I thrive on chaos!