Hi folks, I’m looking for advice from anyone that has vacationed at a waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells recently, or who is familiar with the area. I’m asking you instead of relying on comments in tourism websites, because to be honest, I value your opinions more than those of other people, even on stuff that has nothing to do with WoW.
Here’s the deal. We’re trying to plan a quick weekend get-away, heading out right after our son’s school lets out in June.
We haven’t been to the Wisconsin Dells in almost 2 years, but Alex keeps asking when we’re going back. He loves the waterparks there. Specifically, he loves the wave pool and the toddler/under 48″ mini-slides at Great Wolf Lodge.
The last few times we’ve visited, we’ve stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, so that is what he is most familiar with.
Here’s where asking for your advice comes in.
Alex is 8-years-old now, but he is very anxious about trying new things. He is not very adventurous, and he doesn’t like ‘scary’ rides or attractions. Dark tubes or tunnels, super high slides, and loud noises are all out. He also doesn’t like the big 750 gallon dumping buckets most resorts have over their play areas. I’m hoping that he’s grown out of that fear in the last two years.
He does like big wave pools he can float on a tube in, and he likes small castle or climbing structures that have smallish slides into shallow water.
What we’re concerned about is if we go to Great Wolf Lodge again, now that he’s 51″ tall he might be ordered to stay out of the toddler area that has a 48″ height restriction. The lifeguards at Great Wolf are good, but they are also literal.
If that happens, and if he also still won’t go in the climbing area because of the big bucket o’ dumpin’ doom overhead, then the only thing he will be willing to do for three days will be float on a tube in the wave pool.
Now, we could do something else for a vacation for three days. Sure. But we are both very conscious of how precious these early years of his life are. He’s going to be a jaded teenager in no time at all, so we want him to have as much chance to enjoy the things he loves most now while he still can.
Call it my desire that he doesn’t have a childhood that sucks as much as mine did, if you’d like.
What we’re doing is looking at other waterparks, trying to find one that will have a very warm (read – indoor) area that will be intended for kids bigger than 48″ max toddlers, but is not intended to scare the shit out of teenagers. We’re looking for that middle ground.
We’ve checked out one waterpark, The Wilderness Resort, and it looks like they might have more “little” kid areas and don’t seem to have as strict a height maximum set for those play areas. However, Cassie has done a ton of research and the Wilderness gets slammed pretty hard in consumer reviews for having incredibly lousy customer service, rooms badly in need of repair, very loud hall noise all night, having way too many people in a waterpark to even make it fun, having way too much walking from one park to another for adults, let alone smaller children, etc, etc.
Does that bother us? In answer I shall refer you to my above statement about wanting him to have fun NOW, and learn how much life sucks LATER.
So, we’re stuck in this weird stage between him being too big for the areas he likes, but not interested yet in going on the wilder stuff that he is height appropriate for.
We’re hoping some of you out there may have hands-on experience with the Wilderness Resort, and could let us know if you think it might work for what we’re looking for, or clue us in if the reviews we’ve read really are accurate about the state of the place.
If not the Wilderness, maybe you have stayed at a different waterpark that aimed at satisfying the very picky interests of a bigger-than-a-toddler but not yet a crazy teen like Alex and could give us an idea how your stay went.
Thanks in advance!