This past weekend my family and I took a trip to Wisconsin Dells; better known as “The Dells” in my neighborhood. For those that are not familiar with the area, or what it is, Wisconsin Dells, WI is a little town of just over 2,000 people and is known as “The Waterpark Capitol of the World.” This is not just a fancy name, there really is a lot of fun stuff to do and tons of attractions to visit. If you are looking for a fun summer escape, this is probably a good choice. Everyone I know loves to pay a visit at least once a year!
2020 UPDATE! While the information below is still mostly relevant and our trip was amazing, a lot has changed since then. To see all the newest attractions and offerings at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, head to this blog post: Wilderness Resort Wisconsin Dells
My day in The Dells started out meeting some girlfriends at about 10:00 am to go to a theme-park for a bachelorette party. It was a great idea, not your normal bachelorette party and the perfect way to beat the heat on a hot summer day. After we spent most of our day hanging out in a wave pool, I called it a day and headed over to The Wilderness Resort where I would be meeting my family. The Wilderness is America’s Largest Waterpark resort and I just knew the kids would love staying there! The kids didn’t know they were going to be going there, I just told them that they would be meeting me later for a surprise. They were thrilled when we got there and couldn’t wait to dive right into the waterpark fun. I even tried to get them to eat a little before we went and played, but they just couldn’t wait that long.
The Wilderness Resort has so much to offer it is hard to put everything into one post, but just to sum it up, they have four indoor waterparks and four outdoor waterparks. Each has something unique to offer; some have lazy rivers, body slides, family slides, swimming pools; really there is something for everyone! In addition to the waterparks there are many more attractions, including: arcades, mirror mazes, laser tag, a sky ropes course, bumper boats, mini-golf, go-karts, and so much more!
When we first got to the resort, I took everyone up to our room, and the kids weren’t quite sure what we were doing yet. So I took them over to the balcony and opened the curtains. This is the view they got to see:
Now in retrospect I probably should have had them eat their food first, because once they saw this they wanted to get their suits on and go play! I can’t say that I blame them, if you saw that out your window wouldn’t you want to go play too?!! This particular outdoor waterpark is called Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark. This is where we spent a good portion of our evening. It was right next to our room, and has some great features for kids. It includes the following:
- Island Pool: a 13,000 sq. ft. lazy lake complete with sideline play activities and built-in lounging ridge
- Rafter’s Rage Tube Slide: a 300-foot tube slide complete with twists & turns
- Rafter’s Rage Body Slide: a 220-foot body slide built for speed (Must be 48”)
- Lil’ Chutes: Two 100-foot body slides with plunge pool
- Lap pool & water basketball
- Hot spa pool
- A children’s wading pool with hands-on water activities & spray features
- 9 private poolside cabanas available for rent.
- “Wild West Bumper Boats:” The area’s only indoor Bumper Boat battle zone! Crash into your family & friends and have a splashing good time getting wet.
- “The Black Hole,” Water Thrill Ride is an outrageously fun tube slide that will make your adrenaline soar as you drop through twisting turns and spin around before dropping into the unknown!
- The “Fantastic Voyage,” a 4-person raging raft ride that takes guests on an exciting journey through a twisting and turning tunnel. When the ride is completed, a conveyor belt system returns the huge raft to the top of the ride so all you need to do is walk back to the beginning for more fun!
- Ransack Ridge, a four-story interactive play feature that is the largest in the U.S., complete with body slides, cannons, turrets, water blasters, animated targets all in a Wild West theme, add to the excitement of this intensely fun new waterpark. A 750-gallon tipping bucket, the largest ever created, that spills water every 3 minutes.
- The area also has four speed slides and indoor/outdoor hot spas.
We absolutely loved the Fantastic Voyage, which is a family raft ride that everyone can enjoy. Unfortunately my two, almost three year old daughter does not like dark places, so going into a tube was not appealing to her, however, my five year old son absolutely loved it! He went on at least three times with my husband and two times with me. That kid would turn into a fish if I left him in the water long enough.
We ended up staying at this park until it closed, which was about 7:00 pm. After that we headed back to our room to eat a little food and then headed over to the other side of the resort where there were some water-parks that were open for another few hours.
The next park we visited was the Klondike Kavern. Complete with an indoor lazy river, children’s play area, and tube slides, this park was a hit with both kids. My daughter, still leery about any tube rides, was only willing to go in the lazy river (it takes this girl a while to do anything, and once she does she usually realizes she likes it). This park was quite busy, probably because some of the other parks were closed at this point, so it took us a while to get a tube for the lazy river. While we were waiting my daughter and I just hung out in the water which was very warm. I have been to other water-parks where the water felt so cold you didn’t even want to go in, so having a nice warm water environment was truly a great thing!
Here are a few pics of everyone enjoying Klondike Kavern:
Above you can see the kids getting soaked in the spray from the tipping bucket (my daughter would not go near this, lol), my husband getting dumped on, and my son coming out one of the kids slides in the Bonanza Bluff play area.
Here is my son floating on a tube down the lazy river, somehow my husband and son got a tube before we did so my daughter and I just hung out in the water waiting for someone to give one up.
After Klondike Kavern, we visited one more waterpark, The Wild WaterDome! This was where my daughter really started to come alive. She finally came out of her shell and actually enjoyed riding the waves in the wave pool, The Great Wave. Of course when we first got there the waves were not going so I got her into the pool and then when they started she had no choice. She was a little nervous at first, but after a couple of seconds she really enjoyed bouncing up and down on the waves! My son also loved it, and here you can see some pictures of the family enjoying riding the waves (somebody had to take the pictures so you won’t see me)!
We even managed to get a short clip of all the wave fun before our camera battery pooped out on us for the night. Take a look:
After the Wild WaterDome we headed back to our room for the night. It was about 9:00pm and we closed down the parks! Everyone was really tired from all the fun and fell asleep pretty much right away. My kids, who never seem to sleep in anymore, even slept until almost 10:00 the next morning! I had to wake them up so we could go play some more before having to check out.
Overall this was a great trip. The staff was friendly, and check-in and out was simple. Our room was great, complete with two queen beds, a sofa with a sleeper bed, two TVs, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a wet-bar. We really just used the room to sleep in since we were having so much fun, but if you were there for a longer stay, I imagine some of those amenities would come in handy. The only thing I didn’t care for was that our shower didn’t seem to get very warm. The water actually seemed quite cool. The other thing we were not thrilled about was the towel policy. You get a card for pool towels (one for each person) and you are responsible to make sure your towels make it back to your room with you, or get your cards back. If you are missing anything, you get charged $25 per towel. This created a problem for us twice because we would check out our towels, leave them at our table, and when we came back to get them someone had taken one of our towels. Now we were either faced with paying $25 for that towel, or finding one somewhere else. We were lucky enough to get one from the towel station to replace our missing towel, but I think this towel policy really creates an unneeded burden on the guests. People are running around taking each other’s towels because they lost theirs, or someone else took their towel. It really is more annoying than anything. Even with the cool shower, and the towel policy, we really enjoyed our time here. If you are planning a trip to a waterpark, my suggestion is do a resort like this one. You get all the fun of some amazing water rides, plus you have a place to stay when you are done without jumping in your car and driving to a separate hotel somewhere.
Have you been to The Wilderness Resort? If so we’d love to hear your thoughts and see your pictures. Feel free to share them with us!
If you want to learn more about The Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, including several of the other waterparks we didn’t get a chance to visit, such as The Lost World, which includes two new extreme thrill slides, or Cubby’s Cove which features an infinity pool overlooking Lake Delton; or if you just want to book a vacation for yourself, visit the main site here: http://www.wildernessresort.com/
Written by Jesica.
Disclosure: The Mommy Bunch was provided a room and waterpark passes at a reduced media rate in order to facilitate this review, however, all opinions are strictly our own!