Great Wolf Lodge: Day Pass Guide
INSIDE: Learn about Great Wolf Lodge’s new Day Passes—what they cost, when to go, what to expect, what to bring, what to do, and why we loved them.
Have you heard? Great Wolf Lodge now offers long-anticipated Day Passes. to select parks, including their LaGrange location (right down the road from us.) Great Wolf Lodge generously provided day passes to our families so that we could check it out, and we’ve gathered all our best tips and takeaways in this post.*Note: this post contains affiliate links. Great Wolf Lodge provided day passes to us free of charge, but all opinions herein are our own!
WHY WE LOVED IT:
We live 30 minutes away. Sometimes, spending the night doesn’t make sense. The Day Pass was an offering we’d been waiting for.
It’s much more than just a water park – it has an incredible arcade, a ropes course, several restaurants, and tons of family-friendly activities (everything from yoga to panning for gold!)
It’s little kid AND big kid friendly. Our toddlers were just as entertained as our ten-year-olds, and the water park has designated areas for kids of all ages.
t’s food allergy friendly. Our kids with dairy and soy allergies had no problems finding several options to eat, with the help of a very friendly and accommodating chef who took our needs seriously.
It has adaptive offerings. The lazy river has a special lift for patrons who use wheelchairs, the wave pool is zero-entry, and much of the splash pad area is also accessible.
It’s perfect for a special occasion. Three of our kiddos had upcoming birthdays, so we took the opportunity to celebrate by bringing a birthday cake (which the staff happily offered to store for us) – the birthday crew even got special wolf ears!
The restrooms are clean and there are plenty of them. Parents – you know what a big deal this is!
The lifeguards are vigilant. No one was playing on their phone or goofing off. Each guard that we saw had their eyes on the water constantly, and lifeguards are frequently recycled so that they get the breaks that they need.
WHEN TO GO:
Weekdays (non-holiday) are your best bet for booking, in that tickets are less expensive and parks are less crowded. If weekends are a better fit for your family, we recommend going on a Sunday, as more families are checking out and leaving from their weekend stay.
We recommend arriving as early as possible (a few minutes before the park opens) to maximize your value.
$65 per person per day pass (Weekdays)
$85 per person per day pass (Weekends)
Children under age 2 are free.
BEFORE YOU BOOK:
Check for seasonal specials and deals, including military and first responder discounts.
WHEN YOU GET THERE:
We’d recommend doing any dry activities first, so that you’re not fighting with wet swimsuits and towels. BUT, we chose to go ahead and secure a table and chairs at the waterpark as soon as we arrived, which was a wise choice. It served as our central meeting area throughout the day.
WHAT TO DO:
ARCADE – This was our first stop. Plenty of options for kids of all ages (and adults!)
MAGIQUEST – Our 7 and 8-year-old boys (and 35-year-old husband) were obsessed with this interactive game that uses wands and clues to help solve puzzles at activity points.
ROPES COURSE – We didn’t do this one, but it looked awesome.
MINE FOR “GOLD” – Perfect for little kids.
WATER PARK – The main event!
WHAT TO BRING:
Wagon – to haul everything on this list
Towels – though they’re provided for overnight guests, they aren’t included for Day Pass patrons
Tennis Shoes for ropes course and rock wall
Waterproof phone case or pouch
Toiletries for after park shower
Extra change of dry clothes
Sunscreen for outside pool areas
Life vest if your child prefers their own
Snacks and reusable water bottles– you can of course buy these at the park, but we opted to bring our own
WHAT TO EXPECT (at the water park):
The park itself is almost entirely indoors and kept at a balmy 84 degrees. We chose to stay inside the whole time so that we didn’t have to fight our kids to put on sunscreen, which is a GIGANTIC perk in our eyes.
Upon entering the park, your child will be measured and given a corresponding color wrist band based on their height. These wristbands let lifeguards and water slide operators know which attractions and water slides the child is allowed to ride.
Green- Access to all water slides - 48 inches or taller
Yellow- Access to most water slides - 42 - 47 inches
Red- Access to limited water slides, must be accompanied by an adult at all times - under 42 inches
*Life jackets are strongly recommended for little ones, but not required. The resort provides them free of charge, but if you have your own, you may prefer to bring it to ensure a snug fit.
You’ll find that there are plenty of options for kids with red bands – including 6 water slides, a giant splash pad, an impressive water playground, and lazy river.
For kids with green wristbands, the water park is their oyster. We were amazed at how much energy our kids had and how the phrase, “I’m bored!” never once crossed their lips.
For parents, daiquiris and margaritas are available, and there are plenty of chairs right next to the preschool areas so that you can enjoy yourself while keeping a direct sight line on your child.
WHAT TO EAT:
Within the water park itself, there were two restaurant options: a barbecue spot (try the BBQ nachos!) and one with more traditional park food (burgers, hotdogs, fries, etc.) Though it was a bit pricey, it was delicious and the portions were generous.
As mentioned above, several of our kiddos have food allergies. We’d heard that GWL was one of the most accommodating resorts for food allergies, and we weren’t let down. We let the staff know about our needs, and a chef quickly came out to discuss our options and even prepare a few special items for us.
One of us is a vegetarian, and one of the first things we noticed was that there weren’t any “filling” entrees on either menu (a few salads and some mac n’ cheese). However, we asked about a veggie burger, and to our surprise, they had one! It did take 30 minutes to prepare, but it was pretty darn good.
All combo meals come with a drink, but refills weren’t included. Pro-tip: they have sensors on the bottoms of the cups to alert the machine if you try to refill them. You can get a $10 souvenir cup that includes refills for the duration of your stay, but that also has a sensor that only lets you get refills every 8 minutes to deter families from buying one cup and sharing. I can’t imagine who would try that (we would), but it won’t work here.
So, there you have it! Our guide to day passes at Great Wolf Lodge. So— when will you visit!?