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Wisconsin Dells: Waterpark Capital

Courtesy Wisconsin Dells VCB

Water is still central to the appeal of Wisconsin Dells — the city has been known for its wealth of recreational water parks, and bills itself as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.”

Visitors who enjoy wet and wild rides will have a field day in Wisconsin Dells, where 20 water parks, more than 200 waterslides and 16 million gallons of water can keep riders busy for days on end. A number of the water parks are indoors and connected to resorts, which makes the aquatic fun a year-round attraction for the city.

Here are some of Wisconsin Dells’ water park highlights:
The Polynesian Resort Hotel launched the city’s first water park, the Water Factory, in 1994, putting a roof over what had previously always been an outdoor attraction.

Kalahari Waterpark Resort and Convention Center has the state’s largest indoor water park, with 125,000 square feet of amusement space.

Noah’s Ark Waterpark, an outdoor venue, is the largest park of its kind in the country, boasting 70 acres, 5 million gallons of water and three miles of waterslides.

Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort has a combined indoor and outdoor water park space that occupies the footprint of six football fields, making it the largest indoor/outdoor water park in the country.

The popularity of indoor water parks helped to increase visitor spending in off-peak months by 267 percent between 1997 and 2006.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.