How to save money at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls: Tips and Tricks based on our Experiences

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls

Great Wolf Lodge is a one of a kind hotel in the Niagara Region Area as it is much more than just a hotel but is known as a Family Vacation Destination or Family Resort as your hotel stay comes with access to a huge waterpark, wave pool, waterslides, lazy river and much more without even leaving the hotel. Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark in Niagara Falls offers families access to one of the best Indoor Waterparks in Canada.

Families can enjoy over 100,000 square foot waterpark and family fun attractions all for one price. Niagara Falls Great Wolf Lodge offers not just an accommodation but a family vacation experience as over our two night stay we didn’t even leave the hotel… we parked the car during our arrival and it never left until our departure as GWL offers a variety of activities and experiences thus leaving no need to go elsewhere. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls is open year round and is the Best Place for Families looking for a resort of waterpark vacation in the Greater Niagara Area.

We have decided to create a series of blogs to share both Kate and Erin’s experiences at Great Wolf Lodge. We are aiming to provide families with Tips and Tricks for Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls including How to Save Money at GWL and much more as well as answering the Frequent Questions about Niagara Falls Great Wolf Lodge as its a little different than the Great Wolf Lodges in the United States.

If you are planning a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls, we hope that this guide will provide you answers to all of your questions as well as provide tips and tricks to make the most out of your stay!

Great Wolf Lodge Locations:

There are a limited number of Great Wolf Lodge locations in North America, however they are always adding more. Great Wolf Lodge currently has 19 locations as of 2021. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls is the only location on the Canadian side, however there are many other locations located throughout the United States as GWL is known as North America’s largest family indoor waterparks. A full list of locations can be found here. Great Wolf Resorts is always expanding with new locations including Great Wolf Lodge Maryland will be a 126,000-square feet indoor waterpark with plans to open in mid-late 2023. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara is the second largest of the Great Wolf Lodge Chain.

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls

Reasons to visit Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls:

For Erin, it was her first family vacation as a family of 4 and due to current world health issues she wanted to go on vacation but still stay local within Ontario. Niagara Falls Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect family friendly destination within Ontario and a short drive for most of the Greater Toronto Area as it was less than 2 hours drive.

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls is the only Great Wolf Lodge in Canada, and is known as the premier Indoor Waterpark in Niagara Falls and also has an outdoor water park area in the summer. Great Wolf Lodge offered the perfect family destination for myself and two other families with very young children to meet up and go on vacation together and feel a retreat from regular day to day life even though we were only away 2 days. Great Wolf Lodge is a family-friendly resort built with families in mind from the entertainment to themed rooms, the kids are the target market when creating this Family Vacation Spot. The resort has hot tubs, coffee shops, and poolside bars to keep parents happy while they visit.

Kate loves Great Wolf Lodge as a family destination which is why she returns almost yearly since 2016 with her 3 kids, as its an affordable option for families of five which can be hard to find in terms of vacations. It is the perfect place to enjoy spacious rooms, and a complimentary water park with your hotel stay.

Related: 10 Things to do in Niagara Falls on a Rainy Day, 10 Reasons to Visit Great Wolf Lodge for Christmas, 5 Reasons to Visit Great Wolf Lodge for Halloween

Our Pack of Wolf Cubs:

Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls

We visited with 6 kids between 3 families – the babies aged 7-9 months and the big kids were 3 and 4. We visited in Oct of 2021 for Halloween
The Big Kids
Great Wolf Lodge Niagara

Great Wolf Lodge Lobby and Check In –

The main lobby is the hub of Great Wolf Lodge and offers guests a themed experience with animated characters in the forest show at the back of the lobby, wolves on the fireplace, and Monty the Moose above the main wall who often can be found talking. The Grand lobby is also decorated seasonally for Halloween and Christmas, especially the large fireplace and the front desk is located nearby.

The Grand Lobby use to be the first place families would see as they checked into Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls however they have changed this procedure since the Pandemic. The Lobby is the activity hub as the Forest Friends Show, Bedtime Storytime, Character Visits and Yoga all take place in the lobby area at different times throughout the day. Thumper loved learning the names of all the different animal characters located throughout the lobby.

Magiquest Niagara Falls Lobby Tip: There is also a great big bear rug that interacts with the Magiquest wand as the eyes will light up if you point the wand at it. Thumper loved anything that would interact with the wand.

Types of Themed Rooms at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls:

Themed Room – The Wolf Den Suite

Our friends stayed in the spacious Wolf Den Suite, which was a clear highlight for their girls.

The room theme is Wolf Den and features a caved-theme sleeping area that is seperate from the main room. Inside the Wolf Den area is two bunk beds and a TV for the kids to watch TV. The bottom bunk is sunken in so the high sides act as rail so toddlers or preschoolers won’t roll out so you can leave the bed rails at home. If your child is under 2 I would suggest you still bring a pack and play like we did. This suite sleeps up to 6 people and includes a full bath and private balcony.

The main area of the room features a queen sized bed, sofa sleeper couch and table that acts as a in room dining area for the kids if you bring in food. It was a large room that also had a kitchen table with two chairs and a 37 inch television for parents to enjoy separate from the one in the Wolf Den. The room has a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee pot which allows you to do some basic cooking in the room – makes it easy to have breakfast in the room before you head out for the day. Checkout our Guide to Meals you can Pack and Bring to Great Wolf Lodge or Restaurants near Great Wolf Lodge.

Themed Room – Kid Kamp Suite

We stayed in the spacious Kid Kamp Suite, which was a clear highlight for our kids.

The room theme is Kid Kamp and features a kids kamp-theme sleeping area that is seperate from the main room. Inside the Kid Kamp area is two bunk beds and a TV for the kids to watch TV. The bottom bunk is sunken in so the high sides act as rail so toddlers or preschoolers won’t roll out so you can leave the bed rails at home. If your child is under 2 I would suggest you still bring a pack and play like we did. This suite sleeps up to 6 people and includes a full bath and private balcony.

The main area of the room features a queen sized bed, sofa sleeper couch and table that acts as a in room dining area for the kids if you bring in food. It was a large room that also had a kitchen table with two chairs and a 37 inch television for parents to enjoy seperate from the one in the Kid Kamp that always had cartoons on. The room has a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee pot which worked perfectly for keeping leftovers for the next day as a snack.

Themed Room – Kid Cabin Suite

There is also a third theme room called Kid Cabin Suite.

The room theme is Kid Cabin and features a log cabin-theme sleeping area that is seperate from the main room and has a bunkbed and daybed and a TV for the kids to watch TV. The bottom bunk is sunken in so the high sides act as rail so toddlers or preschoolers won’t roll out so you can leave the bed rails at home. If your child is under 2 I would suggest you still bring a pack and play like we did. This suite sleeps up to 7 people and includes a full bath and private balcony.

The main area of the room features a queen sized bed, sofa sleeper couch and table that acts as a in room dining area for the kids if you bring in food. It was a large room that also had a kitchen table with two chairs and a 32 inch television for everyone to enjoy. The room has a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee pot which worked perfectly for keeping leftovers for the next day as a snack.

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Guide:

This 100,000 sq ft waterpark is the entire reason you have come to visit. The waterpark features something for everyone, from the sprayers for babies, toddler slides in chipmunk cove, Fort Mackenzie for kids, the obstacle course over water for tweens, and the Wolf Tail Slide for the teens and adventures, and parents may enjoy the relaxation of whirlpools and the lazy river.

The indoor waterpark has a variety of slides and attractions to meet the interests of all members of the families. Great Wolf Lodge also has an outdoor pool called Loon Lagoon that operates seasonally.

Check out a full list of attractions.

Great Wolf Lodge Canada Height Rules

When you enter the waterpark area, your first stop should be to have your kids measured as they use wristbands of different colours based on height to determine which rides you can ride, and which ones kids need to have a parent accompany them. The wristbands help the life guards quickly identify who can and cannot ride the slides.

Our daughter was given a orange band as she was 36inches tall which allowed her on any slide in Chipmunk Cove, access to Fort Mackenzie, and to ride Wolly Mammoth as long as she had an adult with her… this gave us plenty of options for our 3.5 year old.

At 42 inches, kids have a couple more options of riding slides alone such as slides attached to Fort Mackenzie (Beaver and Squirrel Falls), and Canada Vortex. At 48 inches kids can ride anything in the waterpark and have full access.

Access to Life Jackets at Great Wolf Lodge Canada

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls offers free life jacket rentals to all entrants. They are located nearby Chipmunk Cove and are sorted by weight to ensure you are choosing the right size for your child. They offered lifejackets from 20 pounds to 90 pounds and Im sure if asked they even had adult lifejackets.

Waterparks for Toddlers and Preschoolers at Great Wolf Lodge

Finding a waterpark that is suited to young children under the age of 5 years old can be tough especially if they are super short like our daughter who is 3.5 and only 36 inches, our 9 month old is quickly catching up at 29 inches. We found Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls was great for younger kids, as we visited with two other families and had three kids under the age of four with us and we had a blast the entire time. We lasted about 4-5 hours in the waterpark each day.

Fort Mackenzie at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

Fort Mackenzie is a waterpark treehouse with waterguns and sprayers, as well as the dumping bucket… lots of fun interactive splast toys for kids to engage with. Bridges connect the treehouse to the Beaver and Squirrel waterslides which you must be 42 inches to ride so our daughter didnt experience these on this trip, however one of the 4 year olds in the group was on the taller side and able to ride these. You are guaranteed to get WET on this playground and while walking by if you get to close to the playground as kids are always waiting to get parents wet.

Chipmunk Cove – Toddler Indoor Waterpark Area

This unique section of the indoor waterpark is especially geared for little kids as it offer four different kiddie slides for anyone at least 31.5 inches tall. Chipmunk cove has four different colored slides for little ones, but they must be brave as they cannot ride on parents laps… they must ride on their own. It took our daughter a few attempts of us going down first to show her and then she was an expert and riding continually while we waited at the bottom.

My favourite park was the lifeguards used a gate system that stopped kids and allowed them to line up before they could access any slide. The gate was then opened and they had access to the first two slides (blue and orange) or could go wait at the next gate for access to the two bigger slides (green and yellow). This system ensured there was a lifeguard at both top and bottom watching only two slides at a time and did a great job of controlling the very excited little ones. The Green Slide was my daughters favourite and she liked when we would come ride the yellow slide and race her on the green slide.

Wave Pool

The babies loved the sit and crawl by the sprayer in the wavepool area and the toddlers loved running under the big mushroom that overflows with water in addition to swimming in the wave pool. Unfortunately they are not currently running waves due to pandemic protocols. Though we still loved swimming the pool and the wave pool was our main hub as we had a table nearby and this allowed us to have a meeting spot as we were a group of 12 in total with 3 families of four.

Crystal River

We did spend time at the lazy river which was fun and care free.

Wrist Band System:

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls uses a wrist band system which we loved as we never needed to carry cash or a room key with us, as your wrist band does it all. Upon arrival you give check in a credit card that they hook to your wristbands so that you can make purchases and open your door all by using the wrist band. The wristband is also entriely waterproof so safe to wear on all the rides and is your entry into the waterpark and can be used to take out towels as well.

Don’t worry tho parents, any child under 18 years old requires a parent with them to make a purchase using the wrist band.

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls  FREE Activities:

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

-> Great Wolf Kids Character Meets: Come visit The Great Wolf Kids in Grand Living Room daily, and don’t forget your camera! Check out our event listing for Meet & Greet times. Meet Wiley the Wolf, Violet, Oliver, Rachel, Brinley, Sammy, and the other Great Wolf Kids can be found during daily Character Meet Ups.

-> Yoga Tails: Every morning start your day with stretches during Morning Yoga. Each child has their own yoga mat and their own space and follows along with the Yoga instructor as they show different poster cards of Yoga positions including: Tree, Tabletop, Eagle, Happy Baby, and more.

-> Story Time: Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls offers a 7 and 8pm storytime, so grab your pyjamas and join the Northwoods characters for a bedtime story. Come early to grab a mat to ensure physical distancing, each family will have their own designated space.

-> Wolf Walk: Become an expert on the Lodge’s animals during Wolf Walk.

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

-> Cub Club: Get messy and allow the kids to enjoy creative activities including painting piggy banks, colour a pillow case, magnets or t-shirt, to create their own souvenirs.

-> Magiquest Knighting Ceremony: Kids meet in the Grand Lobby with their wands to be knighted.

-> Forest Friends Show: Welcome to the Northwoods Forest, come and meet Mo the Moose, Mama Bear, and all the other Northwood animals as they sing, chat and tell their adventures. Don’t forget to wear your wolf ears!

-> Special Events: This are seasonal, while I was there they offered Trick or Treat trail which consisted of 3 stops to collect treats and a short walk through the Spa which was decorated as a haunted house. They also had a costume parade, learn more about Howl-o-ween at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls. At Christmas they have Snowland that features a gingerbread house, falling snow in the lobby and much more.

Attractions that Cost Extra at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls:

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Mini Golf:

While we did not play the mini golf as the day we planned to play it was pouring rain, we walked the course the first day and it looked like a super fun themed course featuring lots of woodland forest creatures to fit the Great Wolf Lodge theme. A tip to know is that you purchase the mini golf game at the Northern Lights Arcade and they load the credit onto a game card which you swipe once you are outside at mini golf. If you walk straight to the course there is unfortunately no way to pay for the game without walking back to the arcade.

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Bowling:

Ten Paw Bowling was the perfect way to expose Thumper to Bowling for the first time, her attention span lasted about 7 frames. She love bowling tho and was super excited to give it a try. It is a small bowling alley with four lanes and they are half the length of traditional lanes. It is 5 pin bowling balls but 10 pins and you do not require bowling shoes which is a plus! We also used bowling rails to avoid any gutter balls which is great for little kids like Thumper who is 3.

You can pay for your bowling at the Northern Lights arcade, which is right beside the bowling alley and when we went in Oct 2021 the cost was $7.99 a game, however we used our 2 FREE games from the Paw Pass.

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Arcade

Northern Lights Arcade:

Kids love arcades and the Northern Lights Arcade has a variety of fun games from skeeball, basketball, connect four and many more. The arcade offers games for all interests, ages and skill levels. I would stick with the two or three rides for kids under age four as while we tried a few games with our preschooler she wasnt quite big enough for many of them and got

Credits are loaded onto a card and then you swipe to play, I found them to be very expensive so we only played with the credits from our Paw Pass and that lasted us maybe 30 minutes. Some games give tickets for winning – however they got smart and dont give physical tickets but load the ticket amount onto your card so your not carrying a bucket of tickets around. Thumper did like redeeming her tickets for a bouncy ball, parachute man and some other trinkets.

Magiquest Fantasy Game:

From the moment we arrived my daughter wanted a wand to open the magic treasure chests that were on the way to our room… I thought shes only 3 lets save it until a future trip. However since it was included with our paw pass we decided to do the Magiquest and I think it may have been her favourite part of the trip. She loved following the clues and using the wand with a little parental help.

Magiquest is a feature attraction at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara and is spread throughout 4 floors on both sides of the hotel. Magiquest allows young kids (magi) and teens to engage in a quest scavengar hunt type adventure as they solve clues and search for treasures scrattered throughout the resort, the key element is the whole adventure is interactive using a magic wand, interactive screens and some artifacts throughout the hotel. Magi will explore Enchanted Woods, Whispering Woods, Piney Path, Tangled Woods, Dragon’s Lair, Pixie’s Perch, Forgotten Hallway through their adventures.

The quest begins at the Magiquest store located inside the trading post as young magi select their magic wand and upgrade toppers as well as many other accessories to help in their adventures. We just did the classic wand that came with the paw pass – it was pink and sparkly and a fan favourite of any three year old 🙂

Some of the quests require you to find objects in order but most allowed you to find the objects in any order as long as you found all the needed items in the quest you would complete them. For our daughter we told her exactly what to find as we solved the clues but with bigger kids you can allow them to solve the clues on their own which is half of the fun.

Northern Lights Laser Tag

Kids of all ages will enjoy a Northern Lights themed laser tag game. Blast your friends or work as a team to gain the biggest points score in this fun new adventure that took over the old Spa area.

Great Wolf Lodge PJ Party:

When Kate went pre-pandemic to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Monkey had the opportunity to take part in the Great Wolf Lodge PJ Party.  It was the perfect way to end off a fantastic day playing in the waterpark and at the lodge.  He had a blast and I was able to get a little kids free time to take a breather after playing in the water park all day with the kids.  The Great Wolf Lodge PJ Party is available for children between the ages of 4-12 years old.  Here are the perks of the PJ party and why we would take part again next time we go to Great Wolf Lodge.


Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Frequent Questions

Do I need to bring towels?

No, towels are provided using your wristband to borrow towels from the towel hut located in the far corner near the Frog Pond. Don’t forget to return them or you will be charged $10 a towel.

Travel and Money Saving Tips for Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls:

How to save money at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

Well we are back from a mini vacation to Great Wolf Lodge!  We had a fantastic time with the kids and I can’t wait to tell you all about it and share some of my travel tips with you for when you take a trip to Great Wolf Lodge.  We had the pleasure of staying at the Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls, the only Canadian location they have.  If you have not heard of Great Wolf Lodge before it is a family vacation like nothing else.  A resort with with a huge indoor water park to offer buckets of fun all year long.

Since returning and raving our about our fun adventures a few people have commented that they have not been to Great Wolf Lodge because “it is too expensive”.  I have challenged them to really take a look at the cost of the vacation, and remind them that the price of the hotel includes access to the water park as well.

  I think Great Wolf Lodge offers great value for your money as you get a kid friendly spacious accommodations, fun activities and access to a HUGE indoor/outdoor water park.  Of course there are always ways to save a little more when going on vacation.   Checkout our Guide to Saving Money at Great Wolf Lodge, as we wanted to pass along for getting the very best deals and the most out of your money while you’re there.

So if you are wondering if the Paw Pass at Great Wolf Lodge is worth it you are not the only one as it is a common question I see in Facebook groups and the top question I had when we arrived as my daughter wanted the wand for Magiquest and I knew it was part of the Great Wolf Paw Pass.


Great Wolf Lodge Passes:

In my opinion, the Paw Passes at Great Wolf Lodge are a great addition to your waterpark stay and offer lots of entertainment options when the kids are tired of the waterpark, especially little ones under 6 who get tired of the waterpark – my daughter who is 3.5 lasted about 3-4 hours in the Waterpark each day and then was EXHAUSTED!

Types of passes:

Pup Pass, includes: 1 game of Ten Paw Bowling or Wacky Wilderness Mini Golf

  • 60 Northern Lights Arcade Paw Points
  • 1000 tickets for use at the Northern Lights Arcade
  • 1 digital waterslide photo
  • 1 game of Hologate Virtual Reality
  • 1 game of Northern Lights Laser Tag
  • $54.99

Paw Pass includes:

  • One MagiQuest game and choice of classic wand or topper
  • One Animal at Great Wolf Stuffing Station
  • 30 Paw Points at Northern Lights Arcade
  • Your choice of one game of bowling or one game of mini golf (in season)
  • One digital Paw Prints water slide photo
  • 1/4 lb. Fudge from Bear Claw Cafe
  • One Colour-Your-Own item in Cub Club
  • One pair of Wolf Ears from Trading Post Gift Shop
  • $74.99

Wolf Pass includes:

  • 4 games of Ten Paw Bowling or Wacky Wilderness Mini Golf
  • 400 Northern Lights Arcade Paw Points
  • 4000 Tickets for use at the Northern Lights Arcade
  • 1 Paw Prints Photo Pass
  • 4 games of Hologate Virtual Reality
  • 4 games of Northern Lights Laser Tag
  • $179.99


Cubs Bowling Combo: Purchase a Large 3 Topping Pizza, 4 Fountain Pop and 4 Games of Bowling in Ten Paw Alley all for $30.99. This deal is available in the App, and is a great deal as 4 games of bowling costs $36.00 so your pizza is FREE and you even save a bit on bowling.

Great Wolf Lodge Restaurants:

Great Wolf Lodge Meals:

There are multiple restaurants in Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls ensuring that your family will never go hungry!

Is the All Inclusive Meal Deal at Great Wolf Lodge Worth the Money?

The All Inclusive Package costs $64.99 for adults (taxes included) and $32.99 for children. I am not sure on the value for children as my daughter is under 3 so she was Free to eat with a paying adult. Wake up wolf breakfast $19.11.

Is the Great Wolf Lodge Meal Plan Worthwhile?

UPDATE 2023 Thanks to Danielle Guzi

First, what are they and how to they work? The meal plan is given to you when you arrive in the form of meal vouchers (see picture but FYI, this pic is from 2021. Bear Claw Cafe has been replaced with the Watering Hole and it was a GREAT replacement). These vouchers include the breakfast and dinner buffets as well as lunch at one of the “fast food” style locations. The lunch ones don’t need to be used all at once and 1 parent can take 4 vouchers up and order for everyone. They also don’t need to be used all in the same day. ANYTIME during your stay, they can be used (actually, on one of our visits, my youngest wasn’t feeling well so me and him split my lunch one day and we used his lunch voucher as a snack for the way home) As for dinner and breaky, they are good for one person so you’d bring all your voucher with you, hand them to the hostess, be seated and the GO NUTS on the wonderful buffet.

Is it worth it? Honestly, in my opinion, There is no wrong answer here. I feel that it all depends on your family, the age range of the kiddos, how much they eat and what style of vacationer you are. If you’re the prepare in advance vacationer and likes to buy food in advance, brings breakfast food to GWL like cereal, milk, muffins, fruit and eat in the room, pack sandwiches, meat, cracker, or lunchables for lunch (or you may order from a fast food location), and then order a pizza in the room for dinner, than a meal plan may not be beneficial.

If you are the convenient vacationer (that’s who I am) then a meal plan maybe for you. Meal plans are easy and convenient and offer many options. No need to pack extra food, try to fit it all in the mini fridge or think about what to order. There are many options in the buffets and lunches are fast food style. I’m also personally not a fan of eating in my room. My kids are also messy eaters and I don’t want food all over our room, bags of chips opened that I have to put away or clean up after, half drank water bottles or eating on the bed. If you have a family room, there isn’t a lot of room to eat either. Our room is our relaxing area. I also want to experience the lodge, not stay in the room. If you’re the convenient vacationer, meal plans are for you.


Meal plan adult: $64.99. Child $32.99

Keep in mind, tip IS included with meal plans! That can make a big difference if you plan on going to Antler Shanty for Breaky or Lunch

Now, if I break down a “typical” adult meals for the day (I’m using my hubby as example). Breaky buffet = $19.99. Dinner buffet = $29.99 TOTAL: $48.98. For lunch, my hubby gets the lumberjack burger, fried and a drink. If we paid a la cart for that, it would be $16.47. So a day of food that the meal plan coveres for my hubby would cost $65.45 so YES, the meal plan is cheaper but only by $5.46 but remember I have not added the tip for breaky and lunch.

Here is the breakdown for my 12 year old: Breaky buffet = $12.99. Dinner buffet = $12.99 TOTAL: $25.98. My son ordered chicken fingers, fries + drink = $10.52. So a day of food for a 12 year old that is covered by the meal plan = $36.45. The meal plan is cheaper by $6.49. Once again, won’t make or break you but you’re also not getting “screwed”

GWL recently added the waterhole to the meal plan and if you order tacos or nachos from the watering hole, it’s TOTALLY worth it as well. I didn’t do a break down when ordereing from the watering hole but I remember thinking “GEEZ, this is amazing!”

I would like to pass along another thing we did as a family. For lunch, we created our own “buffet”. We ordered 4 different meals. A burger/fries, chicken fingers/fries, hotdog/fries and a nacho plate (came with 4 drinks). We cut everything up into bite size peices, put it in the middle of the table and went to town. It was SO MUCH FUN!!

For our trips, I usually order one meal plan per person and an extra Wolf Wake up Breakfast (they actually just give you another breakfast voucher). This is how I break is all down. Day 1, we eat breakfast at home and grab lunch in the car on the way up. We used the dinner meal plan voucher for that night. Day 2, Breaky meal voucher, lunch meal voucher and for dinner, we ordered 1 large pizza, breadsticks and a large caesar salad for dinner (about $45 with tax) (oh, I lied, I pack 2 things, a case of water for kiddos, hubby and I pack a 12 of beer so there are our beverages for dinner). Day 3, Wolf Wake Up breakfast voucher, check out, hang in the waterpark then around lunch, my kids are ready to go so we head home and pick up lunch on the way (I’m never hungry lol). I find that this was the most affordable and convenient way for us when it comes to eating at GWL.

I’d like to compare my convenient family to my best friends prepared family but also has 2 kids that eat like birds. This is what she did for her family. Day 1, they also ate breakfast at home and packed snacks and sandwiches for the car ride on the way up. They paid a la cart for the dinner buffet. Day 2, pre pack breaky ion the room (muffins, cereal and fruit), ordered lunch in the waterpark (kids split chicken fingers and fries, parents split nachos), and ordered pizza for dinner with us. Day 3, breaky in the room again, then lunch on the way home. They are AOK eating in the room and pre-packing. For her family, meal plan was not beneficial.

Leaving the resort to eat or ordering take out/Skip the Dishes is also an options as well. Not for us though, when my kids want to eat, they want to eat, no waiting for food to arrive and me sitting in the lobby waiting for the Skip guy to arrive. Also, once we’re at GWL we don’t want to leave!

In a nutshell, as I mentioned earlier, I feel that there is NO WRONG ANSWER whether or not the meal plans are worth is. For us, YES, they are worth it, for my BFF, NOPE, not for her. I don’t want to pre-shop for food, pack coolers and bags of snacks, lug them into the room on arrival and then pack it all back when leaving (and then unpack when we get home lol). I don’t want to feed my kids food we eat on a regular basis. We have cereal and muffins during the school week and I make my kids food every day. When I go on vacation, I want to vacation, try different food than what I make at home, I don’t want to cook or clean while on vacation either.

Now, on the flip side, my best friend is a prepare in advance vacationer with a 6 and 12 year old who both eat like birds. They love cereal, muffins and fruit for breaky and are ok to eat in the room. Her kiddos can easily split chicken fingers and fries for lunch. She packed a few lunchables for the 6 year old, and made fruit and veggie baggies, brought along the 18 pack of fun size chips, a sleeve of juice boxes and case of water. One year, she snuck in a crock pot and made a quick pasta meal for dinner (but you need to be sneaky lol). I will say though, she was still unpacking in her room while we were getting bathing suits on and heading for the pool hehehe.

So, all in all, if you want easy, convenient, lot’s of food selections, is someone who likes to budget money ahead of time (pre-pay for meals) don’t want to leave GWL or order skip the dishes, meal plan is the way to go. If you are aok with packing food ahead of time, have kids that won’t eat too much and can split meals, understands a la cart prices, ok with breaky in the room, bringing snacks into the water park, splitting lunches and pizza for dinner (or Skip the Dishes or sneaking in a crock pot but don’t forget plates and cutlery), than meals plans may not be for you.

Lastly, on the GWL website, all the menus and prices are there (expect the Antler Shanty buffet, but I listed those prices above). As parents, we all know how much our kids will eat so you can also pull up the menus, jot down the prices and do the math and see how much you’d spend on food a la cart vs meal plan.

I hope this helps so families decide if the meal plan is for them or not. Please feel free to ask any questions, there good chance I’ll have an answer

You may also be interested in: Restaurants Near Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

Restaurants near Great Wolf Lodge
Restaurants Near GWL Niagara Falls

Bring Your Own Meal Ideas

It is safe to say that Kate’s family love Great Wolf Lodge!  From her first trip in 2016 to her most recent (8th!!!) stay at the lodge each trip has offered a fun and interactive family vacation with the kids.  However when travelling as a family of 5 meals can get expensive.  Luckily Great Wolf Lodge makes it easy to bring your own food, and save money along the way.  When we go for a one night stay we normally bring dinner and breakfast to enjoy in our room and then buy lunch at one of the restaurants at the lodge.  Need some inspiration we have a huge list of Great Wolf Lodge bring your own meal ideas below.


Don’t Miss out on our Great Wolf Lodge Surprise Ticket Printable

We have multiple different surprise ticket printables for Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Summer break and much more!

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The Exploring Family Newsletter

Want to be in know for all of the local events and activities in the Greater Toronto Area for families? Join the FREE information packed The Exploring Family Monthly Newsletter. Every month we will send you a roundup of great things to do with your family, easy recipes and giveaways!

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