Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine in the Dallas, Texas, area with my family of 5 for 2 nights in May 2023. We visited with another family and packed a lot of fun into 3 short days at this water park resort. It was excellent for a group stay, and we were entertained from morning to night.
I enjoyed the convenience of sleeping at an indoor water park and the huge variety of activities available all in the same place. Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine can be pricey if you want to do it all, but we got what I consider to be a good deal.
Our stay was short and sweet, and my family would be happy to go back again for more.
Read on to see what we experienced at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine.
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is in Grapevine, Texas, minutes from historic downtown Grapevine and the Grapevine Mills, a major shopping center with extensive shops, entertainment, and dining. It’s just 5 miles from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), though we drove in from the Houston area. Grapevine is a suburb of Dallas, about 30 minutes from the city proper and about the same distance from Fort Worth.
The resort is just across the street from Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, another water park resort in Grapevine. The Gaylord Texan is more upscale than Great Wolf Lodge.Hot Tip:
We maximized our time at the resort, but Great Wolf Lodge is convenient to many restaurants and local attractions such as Legoland Discovery Center.
I booked a KidKamp suite for $359.32 total for 2 nights, including taxes and fees. It was an early May weekday deal that saved us hundreds, as this exact room goes for about $625 per night on summer weekends.
We could have booked a standard room for about $100 per night, but I went for the KidKamp suite because I knew my kids (ages 12, 8, and 6) would love the themed room.
I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve® to book the room and paid 50% at booking. The 50% balance was on my final bill at checkout.
I charged everything we bought at the resort to my room using my wristband key. I’m not sure whether add-on purchases such as the gift shop or the interactive resort game MagiQuest — retail and not technically travel — would have earned me the 3x travel earning rate I get with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but by charging those purchases to the room, they coded as travel.
While I considered our room rate a steal, we had many opportunities to spend a lot more money at the resort. As soon as we booked, the upsell emails began pouring in, encouraging us to book a cabana, buy an activities pass, add a breakfast package, and more. We spent about the same amount as our room rate on all the extras.
Our out-the-door total for our Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine stay was about $750. That included the room rate and associated taxes and fees, resort fees, and everything we charged to the room. That’s about $250 per day, and I’m guessing we land pretty low on the scale of spending at Great Wolf Lodge for 5 people. Although we splurged at the gift shop and took some upsells, we only bought 1 Wolf Pass, 1 meal, and some treats.Hot Tip:
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine frequently runs promotions directly on its website and Groupon. Since our stay, I’ve received multiple emails about 40% to 50% off promotions. But if you want to stay on busy weekends, plan to pay full price.
The water park is the main attraction at Great Wolf Lodge, and guests are welcome to arrive as early as 1 p.m. to enjoy the attractions. Check-in is at 4 p.m., but our room was ready when we got there at 2 p.m. We were settled and were in the water around 3 p.m.!
We were allowed to stay until 8 p.m. the day of check out to visit the water park and other attractions. The resort has lockers and showers available if you need to change after checking out your room. We only stayed until about 3 p.m. to get home before dark and beat rush hour in Dallas.
We walked right up to the check-in desk and quickly got our room number and wristbands, which functioned as a room key and payment system. With our wristbands, we didn’t need to bring our wallets anywhere in the resort.
While the wristband was convenient, I didn’t like the hospital bracelet material and found it less than ideal for an active vacation. I wore mine loose enough, but it still irritated my skin a bit, and I got scratched a couple of times when my kids climbed on me with their bands on.
The check-in agent asked if we were celebrating anything, like a birthday, anniversary, or graduation. We weren’t visiting for my birthday, but I joked that I had one coming up in a couple of weeks. Apparently, those were magic words, and she quickly got me a birthday pin and a box of treats before sending us on our way. That was a nice touch!
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine isn’t part of a major loyalty program, so we didn’t have the opportunity to book with points or get any elevated benefits like an upgraded room. The resort has a loyalty program, the Great Wolf Lodge Voyagers Club. I signed up, and it mainly offers deals and the opportunity to earn points redeemable for future stays.
The resort fee at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine was just $9.99 per night. It included:
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine had a massive lobby that delivered on the lodge theme.
In the lobby, we posed for photos with the Great Wolf Lodge characters, did arts and crafts, and danced at the clock tower for the bedtime glow party. We also did a quick run up to the lookout tower just for fun.
The main gift shop and Loose Moose were also in the lobby, and Starbucks was just down the hall next to the shop.
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is a water park resort with extensive amenities. I booked it assuming the water park was the main attraction — and it was — but there were many other activities. There were so many activities that we didn’t get to them all in our short visit, though I’ve already promised my kids we will be back again for another round sometime.
Before I get into everything the lodge offered, I should point out that most activities had an additional cost. With the room, we paid for water park access and lobby activities. Everything else was extra.
I could have reminded my kids that they were sleeping at a water park and got to do a glow dance party before bed, and that should be enough. But as we walked to the water park, we passed the arcade, dessert shop, MagiQuest interactive adventure game, gem mining, Build-A-Bear, and the smell of delicious pizza. We ended up hitting all of those.
Most guests opted for a pass, which covers many major activities at a discount. There were 3 levels of passes:
You can buy a pass for each family member — most people we saw with passes were kids — or you can split the activities among multiple people, as the front desk suggested I do with the Wolf Pass.
It made more sense for us to get 1 Wolf Pass than 3 Pup or Paw Passes because we weren’t staying long. Only the Wolf Pass included everything my kids wanted to do, mainly MagiQuest, the ropes course, gemstone mining, and Build-A-Bear.
We’d probably get a pass for each kid if we stayed for more than a couple of nights. But on this short, 2-night trip, we probably would’ve struggled to find time to use everything if we got a pass for all 3 kids.
Had we purchased everything separately, it would have cost about $130 rather than the $89.99 we paid.
Even with the pass, we paid about $20 extra to upgrade our MagiQuest wand. Then we paid $3 to upgrade our small candy bucket to a large one. Our bear was covered at Build-A-Bear, but picking out clothes was about another $30. The $5 arcade card covered just a few games, and we spent about another $75 there over 2 days.
There’s a lot of value in the activities, and I feel we got our money’s worth. We used everything on the pass!Hot Tip:
Everything on the passes is available à la carte, but if you want to do it all, you’ll save with the pass.
The water park is what drew us to Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine in the first place, and my kids were pumped to get in the water every day for at least 1 swim session with their friends.
The water park area we could access was 100% indoors because the outdoor water park was closed for the season during our visit. That’s probably part of why we were able to snag a low-cost room rate. The outdoor water park opened Memorial Day weekend. It was on-and-off rainy most of the time we were there, anyway, so I’m glad we didn’t visit with the expectation of outdoor fun!
While the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine doesn’t quite compare to larger outdoor water parks, we had a great time, and it was an excellent amenity. I loved being able to roll the kids out of bed and into swimsuits with no sunscreen, then shuffle them back to the room for showers, all under the same roof. It would be especially nice in the winter when outdoor swimming is much less attractive.
There was something for everyone in our group at the water park. The older kids hit the big slides while the smaller ones played at the wave pool and shallow toddler pool. They all enjoyed the water treehouse with slides and a dump bucket.
I was disappointed by the tiny lazy river that hardly went anywhere — usually my favorite water park attraction — but it wasn’t a deal breaker. I also didn’t enjoy how loud it got, but I think that’s just how it is at indoor water parks where all the splashing and noises echo off the walls.
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine’s water park was open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with several areas open during our visit:
Admission to the water park included towel service. We used our wristbands to check out and return towels. We were careful to bring them back, as we were warned it’s a $15 charge for each towel you don’t return.
There were lockers available, 2 locations for bathrooms and showers, and swimsuit dryers — great if you’re staying at the water park past checkout time.
The best time to visit the water park was right at the 9 a.m. opening before the slide lines got long. The morning we checked out, we had part of the wave pool to ourselves for a solid half hour while part of our group got their fill of riding the slides without waiting.
The lobby featured activities throughout the day. We didn’t have time to hit them all, but we did arts and crafts, a character photo, and the glow party. We really should have hit one of the clocktower shows and story time, but we didn’t find the time!
We caught arts and crafts at checkout time on our last day. It was just coloring pages, but my daughter was into it.
The glow party was our favorite lobby activity. Held at the clock tower at 9:15 p.m. for 15 minutes, it was pretty packed with kids in pajamas. A couple of staff members danced to the music, sang, and encouraged everyone to join in.
The party was perfect timing for letting the kids stay up a little late, getting them in PJs before they boogied, and then booking it to bed after a last bit of fun for the night. Thank you, Great Wolf, for the perfectly-executed bedtime after a long day at the water park!
A unique amenity at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is MagiQuest.
MagiQuest is an interactive adventure you can play inside the lodge — if you buy a wand and the game. We got the game and a wand with our Wolf Pass and upgraded it for about $20. It was worth the expense as my family and friends enjoyed this game nearly as much as the water park.
With our wand and activated game, we went up and down the stairs casting magic at various stations to complete quests. This entertained the kids for hours and got them a lot of exercise on the stairs.
This was a fun activity to do as a group with our friends, and everyone took turns casting their wands.
The MagiQuest shop was full of accessories and game-related gifts. This was where we got our wand.
My husband snuck out after the kids went to bed to complete a few quests alone. There’s also a ShadowQuest game that works similarly, but we didn’t try it on this visit.
One of the best parts of the game was that it made so much of the resort interactive. Whether we were on a quest or not, we could point our wand at objects throughout the resort, and they’d come alive.
The arcade was just outside the water park in the main corridor, and we visited it a couple of times. It was a great arcade with many games we’d never seen before, and all were in great working condition. It was huge for a hotel arcade, too, and had a good selection of prizes.
The ropes course was one of the attractions we bought the Wolf Pass for — my oldest was excited to do it. This was a great course with many features he enjoyed and was challenged by. He felt very safe, and there was always a lifeguard nearby.
The only downside? You only get to go once with a Wolf Pass or single-climb admission. Once you get off the course, there’s no going back unless you buy another round or a full-day climbing pass.
I was most impressed by the mini ropes course below the main course. Designed for little kids, parents could walk around and support climbers the whole way. There were sections on the ramp that lifted up for walkways so parents could easily get in and out of the course as kids moved through it. If my younger 2 had known about this, they might have wanted to join us!
Another Wolf Pass activity, we got a bag of gems to mine in the indoor sluice.
The kids were thrilled to discover what was in their bag and also enjoyed looking at the gem specimens on the wall in the shop.
We didn’t get a chance to hit the on-site Topgolf, but it looked fun!
This indoor virtual driving range adds unique games like firing dodgeballs at zombies. You can reserve a swing suite for 2 to 8 people on a per-hour basis. Expect to pay about $30 to $70 for an hour.
Self-parking is complimentary. Premium parking close to the front entrance is available for $22 per night.
Pets are not allowed in the lodge, water park, or attractions. Service animals are allowed in the resort area but not in the water park.
There isn’t a fitness center at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine. I saw a sign in a hallway for a spa, but couldn’t find it on foot, on the map, or online, so I’m assuming it’s gone. There’s a spa across the street at the Gaylord Texan, though.Hot Tip:
Want to enjoy the amenities, but can’t stay the night? You can get a Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine day pass. You can choose a full or half-day pass — prices depend on the day you book.
Our room was comfortable and had enough room for all 5 of us and our stuff. The kids loved the “tent,” and the entire room was perfectly functional for sleeping and eating. We liked the view, though our room was pretty far from the water park and activities, so we got our steps in on this trip!
The themed room was what really sold me on booking Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine. My kids love hotel stays, and they also love camping, so I knew they’d go wild over the KidKamp suite that featured a camp-themed bunk bed enclosure.
It was so nice to have a kid-only space where they kept their toys and books and played like they were in their own private clubhouse. I thought the excitement of sleeping in a “tent” might wind them up and keep us up all night, but in reality, all the day’s activity plus a dark and quiet enclosed space got them quickly to sleep. The wolf-themed Stories Podcast episodes I put on helped, too: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
Our KidKamp room accommodated up to 6 people: 2 in the Queen bed, another 2 in the sofa bed, and 2 in the tent-themed bunk beds. We just needed room for 5 and didn’t want any of our kids to miss out on sleeping in the “tent,” so we brought an inflatable bed to put in the “tent” to expand that space to 3. We didn’t need the sofa bed.
The main bedroom area continued the rustic lodge theme and had everything we needed. We liked the queen bed and found it comfortable.
The pull-out couch was a convenient seating area where the kids usually sat to eat and watch TV.
I used the dining table for a little work, and we ate there, too. The finish on the table was kind of sticky, but the surface was clean. It would have been nice to have a table for 4 to 6.
The entertainment center had a flat-screen TV. The Great Wolf Lodge channel featured a cartoon with the lodge’s characters. The entertainment center’s drawers made it double as a dresser with plenty of room to unpack for a couple of nights.
The nightstands featured USB and regular outlets. One of the nightstands had an alarm clock and phone.
The closet cubby was at the room entrance with an iron and ironing board along with a spot to drop bags and hang clothes. We also found extra bedding in this spot, which we used to make up our inflatable bed.
There was a wall safe in the main bedroom area. We used it, and it was easy to program, though you probably couldn’t fit a laptop in here — I didn’t try.
The bathroom was a pretty standard hotel bathroom. A little dated and small, but clean with hot water. It had a shower-tub combo and toilet in the same room with extra towels. The vanity was in the main room.
I liked the idea of this clothesline in the shower for hanging wet clothes. But it wasn’t tight enough to work well. In practice, all of our wet swimsuits combined were too heavy for this line, and we had to hang some on the shower curtain rod and in the front closet cubby.
The bathroom vanity was separate, which I appreciated with 5 people to get in and out of the shower quickly.
Bathroom amenities included Eco Botanics soap, private-branded Great Wolf Lodge shampoo/conditioner, and lotion.
Right next to the bathroom sink was the kitchen area, which featured a large countertop, microwave, minifridge with a freezer, coffee maker, and ice bucket. We had enough space on the counter and in the minifridge to accommodate the food we brought for breakfasts and lunches, and it was easy to zap food in the microwave.
We were on the seventh floor. I liked being on a high level because we had a nice view of the undeveloped part of the property and Grapevine. However, that view came at a price, as we were nearly as far as possible from the lobby, water park, and all the activities except MagiQuest.
We typically used the “secret elevators” near the conference center because it was less of a walk to get to those, and they were usually less busy than the main elevators. It was probably a 10-minute walk from our room to get to the main attractions, so we really got our steps in, and we had to carry a worn-out kid once or twice.
I didn’t mind the activity, but I could see the journey to our room being tough for anyone that needs accessibility or is traveling with little ones overtired from the water park. That might complicate returning to your room for meals or breaks during the day. If you can’t make the trek, mention it at the front desk when you check in to see if they can accommodate you in a closer room.
We brought in most of our meals or grabbed food from our room, and I saw many other families doing that, too. I didn’t notice any food delivery services, but plenty of people were walking in with pizza boxes and fast food bags.
There were several dining options available at the resort:
Our friends went to the breakfast buffet at Loose Moose and enjoyed it. Kids 7 and under were free, and they loaded up plates of bacon and hard-boiled eggs.
We ate at Hungry Like a Wolf for pizzas on the last day for lunch. I could order online, but one of my kids had a particular order. There wasn’t an option for it in the system, so I went to the counter, where we were easily accommodated. It took less than 10 minutes before we had hot and delicious pizzas, and it totally hit the spot.
At Bear Paw right next door to Hungry Like a Wolf, my husband stumbled upon the best deal in the house, a $4.99 giant cookie ice cream sandwich that featured a couple of scoops of ice cream and 2 huge cookies that would have cost about $8 or $9 to assemble separately.
Each of the kids got a scoop — 1 of them included with our Wolf Pass — and I helped with my husband’s massive cookie sandwich (which we failed to finish even working as a team).
The employee helping us brought me a treat bag and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. That was a very kind gesture, and the cake balls were sweet!
The only problem we had with dining was a major lack of seating. This was the only dining area near Hungry Like A Wolf, and it was half full when we got there. With 10 people in our group, there just wasn’t enough room on the small tables and limited chairs for pizzas, arcade prizes, drinks, and people, so we were pretty cramped.
There are many food options onsite and places to eat near Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine. You can hit historic downtown Grapevine or Grapevine Mills mall for an abundance of dining options.
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine had excellent service, and we were happy with all our staff interactions, from check-in to towel service. Housekeeping was unavailable, but we didn’t need it for a 2-night stay.
The staff members that interacted with the kids were especially engaging as they helped them pick a MagiQuest wand, dress a Build-A-Bear, mine for gems, or engrave a leather bracelet.
When we got our MagiQuest wand, the ladies at the counter were excited to help us find a wand and topper we liked while explaining the game to us — all on theme.
All the lifeguards were attentive, and the employee who helped my son get set up with his harness on the ropes course put us both at ease.
The employee in the gem-mining area juggled getting multiple kids set up with gem bags and engraving leather bracelets. One of our bracelets came out wrong, and he immediately made it right.
The arcade prize attendant was so patient with our kids as they picked out prizes, and the Hungry Like A Wolf employees quickly got us a couple of custom pizzas with friendly service.
This resort definitely caters to kids, but I was spoiled with extra treats, too.
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is its own attraction, and you may decide not to leave the property much, if ever — we only left once for dinner out.
But if you want to venture out, attractions near Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine include:
Although we didn’t make it on this trip, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is one of our favorite things to do near Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine.
Our friends visited Medieval Times Dallas and loved their dinner and show! They said even the vegetarian option was delicious.
Though we spent most of our time at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, we couldn’t pass up a chance to visit Nerdvana, a gaming bar in downtown Frisco about 20 minutes from the resort.
Nerdvana was an excellent spot to visit with our friends and unleash our pack of children on the gaming consoles while we enjoyed great food.
My kids have already begged to go back and we are looking forward to the new Great Wolf Lodge under construction in the Houston area. We don’t often stay in resorts — usually, we use our hotel rooms as a jumping-off point to explore — but my family liked the resort life at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine!
We got a good deal this time. I’m not sure I’d book for much more than we did, knowing we have plenty of other expenses waiting when we arrive, but I felt we got a good value from what we spent.
Yes, construction for a Great Wolf Lodge Houston is underway in Webster, a bay area suburb of Houston. The location is very close to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It will be the second Texas Great Wolf Lodge and is slated to open in mid-to-late 2024.
You won’t find live wolves at Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, but there’s a lot of wolf theming and wolf-costumed characters you can interact with. You might be able to convince your kids the realistic-looking wolves on the fireplace are real, though!
You should wear comfortable clothing to Great Wolf Lodge. Bring a swimsuit or 2 and casual clothing for exploring other activities. Good walking sandals or water shoes are helpful. If you plan to dine at The Lodge, you may prefer a dressier outfit.
Preschoolers and school-age kids will enjoy Great Wolf Lodge the most, but there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The youngest may enjoy the water park splash area and Build-A-Bear, while the oldest may hit thrill rides and the arcade.
Great Wolf Lodge is owned by Apollo Global Management, Centerbridge Partners, and Blackstone Group.
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