As I mentioned yesterday, we did our very first overnight to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend. I’m not going to do a super big post about it because it’s out of normal SFM territory and price range. Plus, I think we were practically the last people to go. In case any of you do want a few tips, I’ve got the Cliff Notes version below (Remember Cliff Notes? It was how slackers read books before the internet).
1. Great Wolf deals don’t come up often, but they do come up. Sign up for their emails to get first dibs. Don’t want an inbox full of Wolf Pack news? I have one email I use just for coupons, contests, etc. I highly recommend this approach. You might also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, if you tweet (I don’t yet).
2. Check-in time is at 4:00 but you can get a wristband and start swimming as early as 1:00 (lockers are available but cost ten bucks). Check-out time is 11:00, but you can stay at the waterpark until closing time at 9:00 PM!! Because of this, a lot of folks think it’s madness to pay for more than one night. On the other hand, it’s nice to have a room to retreat to when you’re feeling tired and chlorinated. We just went home around 1:00 and nursed headaches the rest of the afternoon.
3. Every room has its own fridge and microwave, so bring plenty of snacks and eats to save a little money. We got a pizza delivered to the lobby for dinner. There is food at GWL but it’s a bit on the pricey side, and the general consensus is, it’s not great.
4. Approximately every six inches, you will have the opportunity to buy something. This is After you have spent a fairly breathtaking amount of money on your room. Decide before you go which of these things you are going to buck up for. Then adopt a cheery mantra to use as you navigate the halls. Ours was, “I see that. We’re here to use the waterpark.” The Magiquest wand and game are super popular, and I suppose in a couple of years we’ll have to buck up for that. If you have friends who have gone recently, you might ask to borrow their wand (I know this sounds crazy) and just pay for the game and wand reactivation.
5. Consider going on a weekday or get ready for a crowd. I ran into my bargain loving friend Kathy while we there (she had gotten in on the same deal,naturally). She shared that they had been twice before on Fridays and thought it was much less busy.
All in all, we had a wonderful time. The place was packed with preschoolers having a ball, but I’m looking forward to going when ours are old (and brave) enough to do the bigger slides.
The rate we got was part of a special organized by some of my favorite NW deal bloggers, and I was thrilled to meet Jen from Thrifty NW Mom, Heather from QueenBee Coupons, and Angela from The Coupon Project, although it was a little embarassing to be meeting and talking to people in my bathing suit.
For more howling good tips, I highly recommend this post from bargain blogger Abby of Steals and Deals.
For an overview with a bit of a humorous slant, I enjoyed this interview at NW travel site, Cascadia Kids.