Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas {review and photos}

Two weeks ago, my husband, 3 year-old, and myself picked up my oldest son from school and headed straight for Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas.  My son had NO IDEA that we were going to Great Wolf and surprisingly didn’t say a word until 45 minutes into our drive.

Son: “WHERE are we going?  You’ve been driving forever.”

Us: “Oh, we’re going to IKEA, a furniture store.  It’s a long drive, but they have great furniture so it’s worth it. Plus, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, so it’s special.”

I could not believe the patience in this kid.  We drove right into Texas and he didn’t have a clue (we live in OKC, OK).  Three and a half hours later (seriously, he barely complained and the little one watched a couple movies, completely oblivious) we pulled into the Great Wolf Lodge entrance. My oldest had this expression on his face like, “Huh?”  He said, “Is the furniture store next to Great Wolf Lodge?”  We kept quiet and found a parking space.  He began to connect the dots.  The look on his face was priceless.  Needless to say, he was completely shocked, but ready for a weekend of fun!

ACCOMMODATIONS

When we first walked up to Great Wolf Lodge it was MUCH bigger than I imagined.  With 52 acres and 450,000 square feet of construction, it’s massive.  It was a little intimidating at first, but once we had our bearings, we were able to get around with no problems.  

When you check into the Great Wolf Lodge, each family member receives a bracelet.  This bracelet is extremely important as it gives you access to the waterpark AND serves as your room key.  I would recommend that you carefully judge how snug you adjust your bracelet, because once it’s on, it’s on and you have to pay a hefty fee to replace it.  You are to wear the bracelet your entire stay, but you really do get used to it. Our bracelets were pretty comfortable, although I made my youngest son’s bracelet a little too loose. I kept my eye on it throughout our stay and it was just fine.  Overall, I really liked the bracelet system because it made it extremely easy to get into our room and we were even able to give our oldest room access as well. (in case we were separated)

All of the guest rooms at the Great Wolf are suites, which is perfect for families of all sizes.  The image above shows the higher-end suites that include a separate children’s room complete with bunk beds.  We stayed in the Family Suite, which is the base suite, but still had plenty of room for the four of us. The suite included two full size beds, a sleeper sofa, refrigerator, and a flat panel television.  The beds were firm, which was a little bit of an issue for me as I’m used to a soft bed, but I was still able to get quality sleep.

INDOOR WATER PARK

Let’s face it-Great Wolf Lodge is all about the indoor water park!  I was amazed at the sheer size of the water park, just as I was the lodge itself.  I was concerned that my 3 year-old wouldn’t have a place suitable for him, but I was mistaken!  There was an entire section just for young children that was so perfect, my little one didn’t want to leave.  He even built up the courage to go down little water slides all by himself and was in complete heaven.  There were life jackets of all sizes readily available, as well as a plethora of lifeguards so I felt completely safe and relaxed.

For adults and older kids, there are 9 water slides, 6 pools (including a wave pool), giant waterfort (see the giant bucket being dumped above), a lazy river, basketball hoops, obstacle courses, and more.  Although the lodge seemed somewhat crowded, the waterpark didn’t feel so at all.  The waterpark is so large that the lines were not long and the pools were not overcrowded.  There was a pool and a couple of slides outside the lodge as well, but we preferred to stay inside where the water was a perfect 84 degrees and no risk of sunburns.  The indoor waterpark was definitely the highlight of the lodge.

FOOD

There were plenty of eating options at Great Wolf Lodge, including two table dining restaurants, Camp Critter Bar & Grille and The Loose Moose Cottage, and quick service dining with Pizza Hut Express, Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, and Starbucks Coffee.  We had a yummy breakfast buffet at the Loose Moose Cottage Saturday and Sunday morning.  The buffet was clean and had a wide assortment of options, but the food wasn’t always hot.  Despite the temperature of the food, we still enjoyed it and I MAY have had a few extra helpings of the biscuits and gravy. (which was nice and warm, btw)  Service at the The Loose Moose was disappointing Saturday morning, as we waited a very long time for our check (had to get a manager), but Sunday morning was very pleasant and uneventful.

For lunches, we hit up the Camp Critter Bar & Grille.  This restaurant can be best compared to Chili’s or Applebee’s, with a little bit of everything on the menu.  Service was fabulous both times and the food was delicious.  In addition to our table dining meals, we also had Pizza Hut Express and Bear Paw Sweets & Eats.  At Bear Paw Sweets, I picked out a red velvet cupcake that was TO DIE FOR.  Seriously, SO good.  They also had a ton of yummy pastries, cookies and desserts that I wish I had the time to taste test!

Eating at the Great Wolf Lodge did get pricey, so be prepared.  Some families chose to eat off location or even store food in their rooms to save money.  For my family, we wanted the full experience so we chose to eat everything within the lodge.

MORE FUN & COMFORTS

The indoor waterpark isn’t the only entertainment the Great Wolf has to offer.  MagiQuest is a neat scavenger-type game that takes you on an interactive adventure throughout the lodge.  Basically, you purchase a wand (around $50 when it’s all said and done) and begin a quest by visiting any tree within the lodge.  There are several different quests to complete that take you from floor to floor using clues.  In fact, there are so many quests that my oldest son was only able to complete two during our stay.  The great thing is, the next time we visit Great Wolf Lodge he can pick up where he left off.  Pretty cool!

We also spent some time in the Northern Lights Arcade, which had several games to choose from and even included a ticket-redemption area.  The lodge also has Cub Club (activities for little ones), Compass Quest (similar to MagiQuest, but more advanced), gr8_space (a hangout for teens), Scoops Kid Spa (pampering for girls), Elements Spa Salon, and the Iron Horse Fitness Room.  There is also a story time show at the clock tower are certain times of day and night.  My little guy really liked this!  Great Wolf Lodge had plenty of options for all ages, which I appreciated.  Even though the waterpark is amazing, it is nice to have a few other options for a change of pace.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We really loved our stay at Great Wolf Lodge and I can see us visiting again in the near future.  It was the perfect mini-vacation for our family, and my kids are still talking about the wave pool and water slides two weeks later! I would like to thank Great Wolf Lodge for making us feel at home and one of the pack. “Ahh-wooooooo!”

Oh, and we DID go to IKEA on our way home, so we didn’t totally fib.


MORE INFORMATION

LOCATIONS – open year round:

  • Charlotte/Concord, NC
  • Grand Mound, WA
  • Grapevine, TX
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Mason, OH
  • Niagara Falls, ON, CANADA
  • Pocono Mountains, PA
  • Sandusky, OH
  • Traverse City, MI
  • Williamsburg, VA
  • Wisconsin Dells, WI

PROJECT GREEN WOLF:

  • learn more about how Great Wolf Lodge is environmentally friendly at www.projectgreenwolf.com

EVENTS:

  • see yearly events by visiting greatwolf.com

CONTACT:

  • 1.866.760.9652
  • greatwolf.com

DISCLOSURE – My family received a special room rate in return for this review.  My reviews and recommendations are always true and honest. Read Mom Spark’s full disclosure here.