Before I launch into what I didn’t like about our first water park trip, let me start off by saying that, overall, I really enjoyed myself. We went to the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells and I found it very well organized and not as insanely crowded as I expected it to be.
The best part was staying in a condo on the shore of Lake Delton, rather than in the main hotel, because after splitting the cost with two other families, it was very affordable. Plus, it had a kitchen, two fireplaces and a hot tub overlooking the lake. Despite the fanciness of the condo, it still had a rustic feel, so when we weren’t splashing or sliding in one of the massive water park areas, it felt like we were camping. We even saw a bald eagle flying across the lake.
However, there were a few things that miffed me. For one, the condo had four televisions, but nothing that played music. Because we forgot our iPod and docking station, my husband rigged the DVD player so it played out of one of the television’s speakers, but the sound wasn’t very good.
But lack of music wasn’t as much of a buzz kill as the “floater” phenomenon. On our second day, we spent about three hours in the medium-sized water park area called Klondike Kavern, and twice during our visit we had to evacuate because someone pooped in the pool.
Both times, it took about 45 minutes to locate all of the “scraps” (this is the word I overheard the lifeguards using) and then sanitize. As the mother of two young kids, I know poop happens, but I was not prepared to spend so much time watching an 18-year-old lifeguard fish for feces with a big net.
Also, although they have tons of towels, I will bring my own next time. The towels they provide are small and scratchy. I did, however, appreciate the number of small lifejackets available. We never had a problem finding the right size for our boys, who are still learning to swim.
Aside from these few issues, I really did like the Wilderness Resort. I’m a total thrill seeker, so I especially appreciated breaking away from the fam with my friend Beth to slide down The Hurricane, which is the most intense tube slide and “funnel ride” at the park. It wasn’t as scary as a rollercoaster, but it was definitely a rush.
I had not been to The Dells in years, and I really enjoyed just driving around and taking it all in. It’s kitsch heaven, with cool, old motel signs and lots of wonderfully cheesy souvenir shops packed with stuff like snow globes and Native American beaded schlock.
I hope to return this summer to take the boys for classic Dells' experiences like the duck boats and maybe a visit to Storybook Gardens or that upside-down White House, even though they'll probably just beg to return to a water park.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.