Wisconsin Dells proclaims itself to be the Water Park Capital of the World. There are not known to be any serious competitors for the title and it’s not difficult to find reasons why. The Dells boast, among other things, the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks in the world, the country’s largest outdoor waterpark (Noah’s Ark) and the country’s largest waterpark resort (the Wilderness). If you are looking for a great family-friendly location, it is hard to beat the Dells.
Noah’s Ark, the oldest of the major waterparks, offers 51 different waterslides, including the new Quadzilla, a mat ride which allows four people to ride simultaneously and race each other to the bottom. The park also has four kids’ play areas, two wave pools, two endless rivers, an 18-hole miniature golf course and a “dive-in” theater.
Mount Olympus Water & Theme Park is known for its giant replicas of classical icons such as the Parthenon and the Coliseum. Actually four parks in one, there are 37 water slides and seven roller coasters, including Hades, which boasts the longest underground roller coaster tunnel in the world. Another unique offering is Poseidon’s Rage, a surf pool that generates waves up to nine feet tall. The park recently debuted the Lost City of Atlantis, a six-story-tall “water fortress” that has slides, a giant dump bucket and a geyser that shoots water 120 feet into the air.
Many of the resorts at the Dells have their own extensive waterparks to ensure that you never have to leave the property. The largest is the Kalahari, with 125,000 square feet devoted to its indoor waterpark. Ride highlights include the Master Blaster, an uphill water coaster, and the Tanzanian Twister, which dumps riders into a giant funnel after they come out of the slide. The Kalahari also has an outdoor waterpark that opens seasonally. If any members of your group are feeling a bit waterlogged, there is also a theme park with a Ferris wheel, a bowling alley and a rock climbing wall, an 18-hole golf course and a variety of dining options. Those staying on the premises receive free admission to the waterparks.
Other great aquatic options include Chula Vista and its Fly’n Mayan, the word’s fastest indoor water coaster; Great Wolf Lodge, another all-inclusive that breaks its park into three sections for a smaller feel while maintaining the advantages of a large park; and Wilderness Resort, with the country’s largest wave pool.
Though much of the Dells’ appeal clearly stems from the parks, there is more to this destination that visitors will want to check out.
In the Dells’ early days as a tourist mecca, there were no waterparks. It was the natural beauty that first drew visitors, specifically the beautiful sandstone formations eroded by the Wisconsin River thousands of years ago. Visitors have two main options to experience these natural wonders today. Those looking for a tranquil experience can board the riverboat Mark Twain and enjoy a guided tour of the river. Those who would prefer a faster-paced experience would be better off with the Original Wisconsin Ducks or the Dells Army Ducks, rollicking land-and-water adventures in converted WWII amphibious assault vehicles.
The Tommy Bartlett Show is a water skiing and stunt extravaganza that was first performed in 1952. The exact line-up of the show changes every summer, but may include comedians, juggling or all sorts of acts, as well as the famous water stunts.
Vegas-style entertainment came to the Dells in the form of Rick Wilcox’s magic show. Rick and his wife Suzan put together a show that combines cutting-edge tricks with comedy and showmanship. Although his specialty is sleight-of-hand and card tricks, the one that really leaves the audience amazed is when he makes an entire helicopter appear onto the stage.
In and out of the water, your group will find plenty to do in Wisconsin Dells.