Located in south central Wisconsin, the small town of Wisconsin Dells has always featured stunning water attractions. In fact, the town draws its name from the dells of the Wisconsin River, a stunning glacial gorge that has attracted visitors for more than 100 years. Today, however, the rushing rivers that are part of the town's numerous indoor and outdoor water parks are the biggest attraction, earning Wisconsin Dells the distinction of being the Water Park Capital of the World.
Outdoor Park: Noah's Ark
With 70 acres of exclusive water attractions, Noah's Ark Water Park is the largest outdoor water park in the United States and the only exclusively outdoor water park left in Wisconsin Dells. Some of the features of this enormous water park include:
- Dozens of slides
- Two wave pools
- Two endless rivers
- Four nautical-theme children's areas
- An innovative "dive-in" theater
A single day pass runs around $40, but if you plan on visiting multiple times, you may want to consider a season pass for around $70. The park is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Three Fully Indoor Water Parks
Indoor water parks are open year-round, available in all weather and typically are included with reservations at the hotel or resort surrounding the water park. While they have a limited range of extreme thrill attractions compared to the Noah's Ark outdoor parks, they can be enjoy year-round, even during the cold Wisconsin winters.
1. Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge, a rustic retreat, offers guests three indoor water park areas. It home to multiple attractions, including:
- The Howlin' Tornado, a six story tube slide
- Four-story interactive tree house with 12 levels
- Lazy river
- Jumbo whirlpool
- Mat racing slides
- Wave pool
- Multiple toddler play areas
Rooms start at just over $100 a night and you must reserve a room in order to access the water park.
2. Kalahari Resort Water Park
A safari themed resort, Kalahari Resort Water Park is America's largest indoor water park. The park offers not only familiar water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, and spas, but also several innovative attractions:
- FlowRider surfing simulator
- Master Blaster uphill water roller coaster
- Swahili Swirl vortex slide.
The resort is also home to an indoor amusement park with attractions such as a Ferris wheel, elevated go karts, laser tag, miniature golf, and a themed carousel.
You may choose to stay at the attached resort or purchase water park passes separately. Passes may be purchased for the water park only for around $40 or for both the water park and indoor theme park for around $50. Spectators must also buy a $10 pass.
3. Grand Marquis Water Park Hotel
The indoor water park at the Grand Marquis Water Park Hotel is designed for kids 11 and under. Features include:
- An under-the-sea theme
- Multiple indoor pools for both kids and adults
- Smaller water slides for young kids
- Sea creatures spraying water
Rooms at the hotel start at $64 a night and reservations are required for access to the water park.
Four Indoor/Outdoor Water Parks
Some resorts offer both indoor and outdoor water parks for tourists to enjoy. The indoor water parks are open year-round, but from Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor water fun at these parks. During the warmer months, you can play outside all day in the sun and still enjoy water park activities at night or on a rainy day. In most cases, facilities with indoor and outdoor water parks also offer lodging on-site so you can enjoy the water park the moment you step out of your hotel room or cabin.
1. Wilderness Territory
Wilderness Territory is one of the premier water park resorts in Wisconsin Dells. Some of the features that make it stand out include:
- Four indoor and four outdoor water park areas
- Indoor arcades
- Multiple indoor and outdoor miniature golf courses
- A ropes course
- A zip line tour
All water park activities are reserved for guests of the resort. Multiple lodging options are available, from rooms in the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Wilderness on the Lake or Glacier Canyon Lodge to renting villas, condos, and cabins within the Territory.
2. Chula Vista Resort
Chula Vista Resort Lost Rios Water Park combines indoor and outdoor attraction areas in a multi-level complex. In both areas guests will find:
- Tropical rainforest theme, complete with a stunning Mayan temple to explore
- Lazy river
- Multiple watersides
- Poolside cabanas
- Several kiddie pools
- The Flyan Myan, the country's fastest indoor water coaster
- A half-pipe slide
Book a guest room or suite or rent a condo or villa so you can enjoy the water parks during your stay. The resort also allows guests to purchase day passes for around $30 a person without reserving a room.
3. Polynesian Water Park Resort
Polynesian Resort Hotel and Suites brings the tropics to Wisconsin with more than 80 interactive water activities, including:
- Multiple hot tubs and saunas
- A lazy river
- Two-story water slides
- Interactive kiddie water play area
- Outdoor interactive pirate ship
- Water basketball and volleyball
A basic double queen room starts at around $80 a night and reservations are required for accessing the hotel's water parks.
4. Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park
The mythological theme of the 156 acre, four park Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park Complex unites wet and dry rides. Wet rides and attractions include:
- More than three dozen water slides
- Two lazy rivers
- Bumper boats
- Water basketball
- Poseidon's Rage Surf Pool featuring nine foot waves
Dry rides and attractions include:
- Go karts
- Six roller coasters
- Batting cages
- Spinning tea cups
- Multiple rides for kids
A ticket for Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park will set you back about $40. You do not have to be a resort guest to visit the park. Tickets are not included with resort reservations, but resort guests do receive a discount on their tickets.
Get Ready to Get Wet
Put together, there are hundreds of miles of water slides, rivers, and other wet attractions at the Wisconsin Dells water parks. Guests may at first have a hard time choosing which park to visit or which attraction to brave, but the best advice of all for a fun, wet vacation is to just dive right in!