In the News: Dells Staycation at the Wilderness Resort


Wisconsin Dells Staycation for All Seasons

Wilderness Resort's Newest Attractions Include Virtual Reality

by: Holly Murphy, Age 15

When you think of the Wisconsin Dells, you probably think of waterparks. Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” the Dells has plenty of options when it comes to waterpark resorts.

The Best of Lake Geneva has visited many of the resorts and The Wilderness is at the top of our list.  It’s an incredible resort because of its wide range of attractions, both indoors and outdoors. When planning your trip, you don’t have to worry about the weather, because if the weather is good, you can take advantage of the waterslides and activities outdoors but when the weather is bad or during the colder months, there’s even more fun in store for you indoors!

We recently visited the Wilderness resort on a cold, rainy summer weekend and had an amazing visit. The Wilderness Resort is made up of three waterpark resorts: Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Wilderness on the Lake, and Glacier Canyon Lodge. Together, these properties make up America’s largest waterpark resort.  You'll find 4 indoor and 4 outdoor waterparks totaling more than 500,000 square feet and all are reserved exclusively for Wilderness Resort guests. 

We stayed at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort and found it perfect for our needs. With four kids, our room had two queen size beds and a pull-out sleeper sofa, so there was plenty of room for all of us. 

We first made our way into the indoor water parks where we rode on the Black Hole which begins as a traditional water slide as you head down the slide on a tube, but you find yourself a large circular area with an intense current that forced you into a “black hole.” It’s one of our personal favorites!

Our trip continued to Klondike Kavern, another indoor waterpark where Slideboards were available for riding down the slides. These boards resemble surfboards with handles, and provide a high tech sliding experience. Riders use controllers on the board to push colored buttons that match flashing lights they are passing under them. If it is done correctly, the rider gets the maximum amount of points and the handles of their Slideboard will vibrate to alert the rider of their bullseye. Scores are displayed on monitors at the base of the slide. There's even an app for your phone. This was a fun ride and was included at no extra charge. 

While the Wilderness has 58 slides in total, (33 Indoor & 25 Outdoor), which include 2 Extreme Slides,  2 Thrill Slides, 10 Kiddie Slides, 14 Banana Slides, 3 Raft Slides, 4 Racer Slides, 7 Tube Slides and 16 Body Slides, there’s so much more to do, as well. They also have 4 lazy rivers, 2 lazy lakes, 1 wave pool, 5 kiddie pools with play structures, 5 toddler pools, 3 lily pad walks, 9 hot tubs, and 8 activity pools within all of these waterparks!  There's even a swim up bar near the wave pool, where parents can relax and have a cocktail!

The indoor activities, however, take the fun to a whole other level! The Wilderness offers indoor and outdoor go carts, glow in the dark and outdoor miniature golf, high ropes course, laser tag, a laser maze, bumper boats and more. These require separate fees but you can purchase an Extreme Fun Pass for $29.95 and it includes an experience on each of these. 

Their newest attraction is the CyVRspace virtual reality arena that creates an intense fight against hordes of robots that surround you in all directions. It’s a fun game to play or watch others play, as there is a glass room where people can play while others watch what happens both in real life and in the game on screens. It's incredibly realitic!  I felt like I was in the middle of a battle, and I won!  The excitement and difficulty of it make it a must-see attraction for people young and old. The recommended age is 8 and up and the cost is $20. We suggest making a reservation, as it’s one of the more popular attractions.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Room Escape experience at the Wilderness on the Lake. Up to 12 people are locked into a room and given 60 minutes to discover clues and solve riddles to make your way out. Our theme was the “Basement,” which was based upon a true story about a serial killer during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. You have to make your way through the rooms in the killer’s torture chambers in the time limit to escape. It is a scary experience with dim lighting and jarring noises, but enjoyable nonetheless. We came up short and didn't escape the room, but still had a great time, working together. The cost is $24.50 for Wilderness Resort guests and $29.50 for the public.

Wilderness resort delivered yet another incredible family getaway. With it being just a two hour drive from Lake Geneva, it is a quick and easy getaway that provides all the adrenaline and excitement a kid can handle.   

For more information on the resort or for reservations, visit their web site at or call 1-800-867-WILD (9453).