Did you know the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells is America’s Largest Waterpark Resort? If you’re looking for a fun family getaway you’ll love Wisconsin Dells the “The Waterpark Capital of the World”. Here you’ll find not only amazing waterparks but also rides, attractions, and family fun.
The Wilderness Resort is one of the best resorts in Wisconsin Dells with the Wilderness Territory spreading over 600 acres. The resort boasts both indoor and outdoor waterparks plus attractions that can keep your family busy for days.
We have updated this Wilderness Resort Review for 2021 to add in all the new special attractions, safety precautions, and updates to the resort.
Follow along and get our tops tips for your visit, the best things to do, what to pack, and where to eat. Everything you need to know before you go to the Wilderness Resort.
Plus what you can’t miss seeing while in the Wisconsin Dells Area. Use this guide to plan your next family vacation.
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Wilderness Resorts -Top Tips & Things to Do
The Wilderness Resort has so many fun activities perfect for all ages.
They do a great job of having a mix of older kid areas and younger kid areas located next to each other. This makes it a lot easier for families with kids of different ages to play near each other.
When the kids have had enough of the pools and slides, head to all the great indoor activities like 3D Mini Golf, Laser Tag, Laser Maze, Go-Karts, an Indoor Ropes Course, arcades, and the brand new Take Flight ride.
The combination of indoor attraction and waterparks are what puts this Wisconsin Dells resort over the top to make it such a fun weekend getaway any time of year.
Are you excited about going now? Your family is gonna love it! Follow along below as I give you my top Wilderness Resort tips for families.
Safety Updates as of 6/21
Guests who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks when indoors or in enclosed areas such as shuttle buses and elevators.
Visitors do not need to wear a mask while eating in a restaurant or when swimming in the pools. You are also not required to wear a mask at the outdoor attractions but are encouraged to social distance.
All guest rooms are being cleaned with disinfected utilizing hospital-grade cleaning products with special attention paid to high touchpoints. As an extra precaution, BIOPROTECT is being applied to rooms and general areas as an extra level of protection.
Read more about BIOPROTECT and the latest safety updates at Wilderness Resort Covid-19 before you go.
Check into Wilderness Hotel
The resort has now opened its brand New Frontier Lobby which is where you can check-in. Starting at noon on your arrival day you can begin using all the resort amenities. However, your room may not be ready till 4:00 pm.
If you cannot get into your room right away, start with the dry indoor activities like Laser Tag and Mini Golf first. That way you are not all wet when you have to go back to your car for your luggage and change in the bathrooms into your bathing suits.
There will be plenty of pool time after you get into your room.
Shorter Check-in Lines
Check-in lines can be long, so if you are staying in the condos, cabins or villas bypass the first check-in area you drive up to and follow the parking lot around to the Wild West Lobby entrance.
Most people stop at the New Frontier Lobby at the front of the hotel so the lines there are longer. Either way, you are getting back in your car after check in to park so it really doesn’t matter that it’s further away especially if it saves you time.
Wisconsin Dells Deals
Check Groupon for rate deals or other promotional sites like Travel Zoo. We found a great deal on Groupon that included unlimited Fun Passes for the indoor activities. This made a big difference in the price of our trip.
You will also find better rates if you can go during the week. Weekend prices tend to be higher.
Related Article – Best Downtown Wisconsin Dells Attractions
Room Location in The Wilderness Lodge
When booking your room, ask to not be on the second floor if you are in the main lodge.
The second floor is the hallway that connects all of the buildings and everyone takes it to get around the resort so it is loud and crowded all the time. We were on the third floor and it was quiet.
If you want to get out of the large hotel building try the condos or cabin options. It will give you more room to spread out as a family and you can take a shuttle to the resort when you want to go to the waterparks.
Wilderness Resort Dry Activities
There are tons of great indoor and outdoor activities for your family to do out of the water. Indoors families can explore 10 different activities and find 6 great outdoor attractions.
Update – With the health restrictions some indoor attractions may be closed such as the climbing wall. Make sure to check before you purchase a Fun Pass.
Here are a few guest favorite Dry Activities. Find all of them at Wilderness Indoor Attractions.
Feel like your flying with this new aerial adventure ride located by the Frontier Lobby. Take Flight has 60 motion seats spread over 3 tiers. Guests will feel like their soaring like a bird over the American Wilderness taking in the spectacular views. This is a must-do on your next visit.
Northern Lights Sky Lights Ropes Course
Walk on a tight rope and over bridges 30ft above the arcade on this thrilling challenge. Everyone is harnessed in for safety so you can enjoy climbing all over while feeling safe.
Lost Cabin Laser Tag
The Wilderness has updated their laser tag arena and it’s really cool. The new area has 3 levels and over 3,000 square feet of fun. It’s huge! Plus they’ve updated their laser guns to the newest technology.
This area is sure to be a family favorite!
Wilderwoods Indoor Go-Karts
Need an adrenalin rush? Race the indoor Go-Karts around the 525 ft. long course. There is a height restriction to drive the karts. But kids 4 and older can ride with their parents so they don’t miss out on the fun.
Wild Abyss Indoor Mini Golf
Recently updated this indoor mini-golf is a black-light course with cool features to look at as you play a round of golf.
Wild West Bumper Boats
Compete against family on indoor water bumper boats. Bump your boat into fellow riders and spray water as they pass by you. Although this ride is not technically dry it is included in the fun pass so I added it in.
**This area is currently closed due to health restrictions.
Timberland Playhouse is a huge indoor climber located in the Wild West Region and it’s FREE!
The playhouse has four stories of fun from slides to swings, tunnels, and bridges. They have designated this area for kids 12 and under. There is also a separate gated area for kids four and under.
My kids (age 6-9) loved climbing around this huge space and spent tons of time here. If your looking to save some money and are mostly at the Wilderness for the pools you’ll love this free activity.
Tips for Timberland Playland
- One issue is it is hard for parents to fit in if they are chasing younger ones around the older area. So, most kids run around by themselves and the parents watch from the seats below.
- The other issue is it is right by the arcade so if you don’t want to pay for arcade games, make sure to warn the kids ahead of time.
- You can order food to be delivered to this area.
Outdoor Dry Activities
There are a few outdoor dry activities your family can enjoy in the summer months too.
Wilderness Canyon Zipline
Fly through the treetops over the lost canyon 60 ft. above the ground on a zipline. Guest will travel between 6 towers on this thrilling ride.
Lost World Jurassic Mini Golf
A fun 18 hole mini golf course with a dinosaur theme the kids will enjoy.
Go-Karts & Kiddy Karts
Race around an outdoor track on Go-Karts. This is a larger track than the indoor Go-Karts. Here you’ll also find Kiddy Karts the younger kids can ride too.
Get out into nature by wandering the outdoor nature paths or along the water at Wilderland Park. In the summer months, you can even ride a horse-drawn wagon through the Wisconsin woods on the property.
When checking in, they will ask you if you want to purchase the Fun Pass for the indoor activities. These are not included in your stay, only the pool access is included.
Wilderness offers two different levels of the fun pass. The regular Fun Pass includes one-time admission to several of their rides & activities. The Ultimate Fun Pass gives you unlimited admission.
The Unlimited Pass costs $45.00 a day and the Fun Pass is $29.95 at the time of writing this article. Our kids did laser tag three times in a row all three days plus all the other activities so it was worth it for us to upgrade.
TIP: There are height restrictions on many of the activities so keep that in mind before you buy the pass. If you have younger kids who are too short, this might not be worth the money.
Towels for the Pool
Towels are provided at the pool area. When you check-in they will give you a towel card for each person. Every pool area has a towel desk to get towels and replace them when they are wet.
Tip: The towels are small so we replaced them after every use so we had dry towels after we got out of the pool. You could also bring your own towel if you prefer but then you have wet towels in your room at night.
Related Article: 30 Fun Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells All Year Long
Temperature Inside the Hotel
When using the indoor pools bring a light sweatshirt or robe to wear when you leave the pool and head back to your room. The hallways tend to be cool especially in the winter.
The Wilderness Resort has 15 different places to eat. There is a mix of types of restaurants from ice cream parlors, lunch spots and sit down restaurants. Whichever area of the resort you are in you should be able to find somewhere to eat.
Camp Social is the newest dining area in the Wilderness. It’s an updated food court area with a Burger Bar, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Candy Bar, Coffee Canteen, and Breakfast Bar. This is a great choice when you want to grab something quick.
Klondike Pizza will deliver pizza to you poolside or to your room.
If your looking for a sit-down experience there is a sports bar, Steakhouse, and an Italian restaurant.
Find out more about each restaurant at Wilderness Resort.
Tips for Saving Money on Food
You will find food and drinks can get expensive. To help bring down the cost of food take advantage of the mini-fridges and microwaves in your room.
**Consider bringing breakfast food to have in the room.
**Bring snacks for the pool -They do have signs saying no food at the pool area but no one seems to check and everyone had tons of outside food at their tables.
**Save on dinner by ordering a pizza. There is a Domino’s across the street or order through the Resorts Klondike Pizza Kitchen and have it delivered to your room.
**Bring drinks for your room water, juice maybe even wine for adults.
**Bring refillable water bottles so you don’t spend money buying water at the pool.
Refillable water station
In the Wild WaterDome Water Park, there are refillable water bottle stations so bring your water bottles from home with you.
Adults only Swim up Bar
When you need a break from the kiddos, the indoor wave pool area has an adults-only swim-up pool bar and hot tub. There is a security guard there to make sure no kids get into this pool area.
If you have kids that are good on their own in the wave pool, head over there for a break.
Mark your Territory
Go down early in the morning to save seats as it gets pretty crowded and hard to find seats anywhere to put your stuff down later in the day.
The other alternative is to rent a cabaña for the day. If you plan to stay in one area of the waterpark this will give you some extra space and a spot for your kids to find you.
Keeping Your Phone Dry
Most likely you will be leaving your stuff at your table while you go in the pools. I was worried about leaving my phone plus I wanted to take pictures of the kids in the pool so I brought a waterproof phone case.
It held my room key, credit card and phone. That way when we are away from the table for a while I didn’t have to worry.
Above find a picture of the Moto Case I used and really liked. You can hang it around your neck or use the Velcro arm band.
On check out day, you can stay and use the resort the whole day.
We took advantage of this by starting the day doing the indoor activities while we were dry. Then we went back to our room to change into our suits, checked out, and spent the rest of the day at the pool.
I will say the changing rooms are not great at the waterpark. They are located in the bathrooms and are just an open space at the end.
It is fine for kids but maybe awkward for adults. However, don’t let this keep you from staying after checkout.
They do have lockers you can use on the day you arrive or the day you check out to store some of your items. You may want to throw your purse or other valuable items in one to keep safe while you swim.
Wilderness Indoor & Outdoor Waterpark
There are 4 indoor and 4 outdoor pool areas to explore at Wilderness Resort. Each has a different attraction from slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, bumper boats, and little kids’ areas.
For the indoor waterparks you do have to walk between buildings to get to them all. However each one is connected by indoor hallways.
I would suggest you choose a different time of day for each pool area rather than running back and forth.
To learn more about each pool area visit the Wilderness Waterpark Page.
Waterpark and Resort Map
Looking for a map to get a better idea of how big this resort is? Click on this link Wilderness Resort Map
What to Pack for the Waterpark
Wondering what to bring with you on your trip to a water park? Here are a few things I would suggest. You can click the link to see the item I use for each category.
Make sure to grab your FREE Family Travel Packing List too so you don’t forget anything.
Goggles – Your kids will want googles for the pool. We love the speedo goggles as they are very durable with my rough boys.
Water Toys – Kids can use small water toys in the wave pool or swimming pool. Mine had a great time with these Toypedoes while waiting for the wave pool to start.
Dive rings are easy to pack and will give the kids another reason to jump into the water.
Beach Bag – You’ll want a beach bag to carry all your stuff down to the pool. Find one with lot of pockets to hold all your kids googles, toys, books, towels and everything else you need at the pool.
Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells
There are tons of entertaining things to do in Wisconsin Dells with kids outside the waterparks.
The Dells is located on the Wisconsin River and offers fun Duck boat adventure rides and scenic boat rides. Enjoy water shows on the lake in the summer and skiing in the winter.
You’ll find tons of Wisconsin Dells attractions from amusement parks, mini-golf, and arcades both inside and outside.
Get our top 30 Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells All Year Long and find out everything there is to do.
Hiking State Parks
Visitors will see beautiful views on family hikes. Plus you can go kayaking, fishing, play at the beach, and more. This is a great break from the touristy areas of Wisconsin Dells.
Downtown Wisconsin Dells
When you want a break from the resort head to Downtown Wisconsin Dells. A touristy stip that has tons of fun things to do for families.
It’s a cute street to stroll down and window shop or to pick up a few souvenirs. While you’re there you can visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not, go bowling, head to an arcade, ice-skate year-round, play laser tag or fight a dragon.
Located along the Wisconsin River you’ll find beautiful views walking along the Riverwalk. Or enjoy a boat ride to see the famous sandstone bluffs. Get more information about Downtown Wisconsin Dells Attractions and be ready to explore.
More Resort & Camping Option in Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Lodge – What stands out at Great Wolf Lodge is their MagiQuest Game. It’s a really cool indoor quest the kids go on to find clues and complete different levels to slay the dragon. Plus they have a really fun water park and great indoor wave pool.
Chula Vista Resort – Has a more relaxed family setting located along the Wisconsin river it has beautiful views and paths to walk. The indoor waterpark is not as big as the others but it’s all in one room which makes it easier with kids.
Outdoors you will find a kiddie pool, wave pool, different levels of slides, and sports pool. One unique aspect is the Beach area where kids can dig in the sand while you have a drink at their outdoor tiki bar.
KOA Wisconsin Dells – This is another option if you like to camp, have an RV or want to rent a small cabin. It has an awesome location right by downtown Wisconsin Dells and tons of amenities like a pool area.
I hope these Wilderness resort tips will help you be prepared for a fun weekend getaway to the Wilderness Resort Wisconsin Dells. Once you visit a Wisconsin Dells resort your kids will want to come back over and over again.
Get ready to create great family memories at this fun family friendly hotel!
Let me know any great tips you picked up on your family trip or any questions you may have in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.
Midwest Family Getaway Ideas
There are so many fun family vacation ideas in the Midwest. Get inspired for more family vacations in 10 Family Friendly Weekend Getaways from Chicago. Your whole family will have a blast!
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