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 2023 to reflect all the changes to the resort with renovations in the indoor waterpark areas, attractions, and hotel rooms.
Follow along and get our top 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.
This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.
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 the newly renovated Mini Golf, Laser Tag, Go-Karts, an Indoor Ropes Course, arcades, climbing wall, and the cool 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.
Check into Wilderness Hotel
The resort has a brand-new check-in desk for guests. Here you can get your room key and purchase a fun pass to games & activities. 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.
You can pay extra for early room check-in at 2 pm or late check-out which is 2 hours longer to have your room. The price depends on the type of room you have.
Tip: 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.
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 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.
Here are a few guests’ favorite Dry Activities. Find all of them at Wilderness Indoor Attractions.
Feel like you’re flying with this new aerial adventure ride located by the Frontier Lobby. Your 4D seat will have your feet dangling in the air as you feel the rolls and dips while watching the Huge 65′ wide x 48′ ft tall screen.
Guests will feel like they’re soaring like a bird over the American Wilderness taking in the spectacular views in Flying Wild. Or take a trip around the world in World of Flight.
It’s a pretty cool experience and a must-do on your next visit.
Northern Lights Sky Lights Ropes Course
Get your heart pumping with a walk on tight ropes, blocks, 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.
You can spend as little or as much time on the course as you want. My kids probably spent an hour exploring all over the course. Parents can easily watch from the raised walkway around the course. Or participate and do the course along with your kids.
Lost Cabin Laser Tag
The Wilderness has updated their laser tag arena and it’s really cool. There are 3 levels and over 3,000 square feet of fun. It’s huge!
Our kids loved all the fake buildings and obstacles to hide around while trying to find the other team. Plus they’ve updated their laser guns to the newest technology.
Make sure before you return your gear to check the name on the chest piece. That name will be listed on the scoreboard outside the Laser Tag game when you’re done. My kids loved adding the competition level to see who had the highest score on the board.
This area is sure to be a family favorite! It’s one of the main reasons we get the Fun pass so they can do it over and over again.
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. Drivers must be at least 56” tall and 10 years old to drive a single or double kart alone.
However, kids 4 and older can ride with their parents so they don’t miss out on the fun.
If you have a child who is 46″ tall and between the ages of 6-9 they can now drive the Go-Karts too. The Wilderness has added a special time just for these kids every day from 8 am-9 am to let them drive their own cart at a reduced speed.
Wild Abyss Indoor Mini Golf
We loved the newly remodeled Wild Abyss mini golf course found in Dodge ‘Em City. The black-light mini golf course has a fun ocean theme.
The coolest part is the aquariums to look at throughout the course with tropical fish. All ages were checking out the fish and it was the perfect thing to do while waiting for the group ahead of you to finish.
Timberland Playhouse is a huge indoor climber located in the Wild West Region and it’s FREE! Yep its the best free activity other than the waterpark areas.
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 (ages 6-9) loved climbing around this huge space and spent tons of time here. If you’re looking to save some money and are mostly at the Wilderness for the pools you’ll love this free activity.
There are tables and chairs by the entrance to the climber for parents to hang out and wait.
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.
- Kids must wear socks in this area so don’t forget to bring socks with you.
Clip & Climb Challenge Walls
There is a really fun new climbing wall for kids & adults. Located in Dodge ‘Em City right next to the entrance to Timberland Playland. You’ll find three unique climbing walls that are 2 1/2 stories tall.
The wall has a high-tech feel with areas that light up as you go by. The speed climb area encourages competition to see who can race to the top the fastest.
Our only issue for this area was the long waits to climb. Try to head there early in the morning before it gets crowded.
You will find 3 different arcade areas inside the Wilderness Resort. There is the Northern Lights Arcade, Wilderwoods Arcade, and X-Tream Adventure Arcade. Kids can win prizes with the points they earn on the arcade games. There is a pretty big variety so everyone can find something to play.
I would suggest setting expectations on what you will spend on the Arcade before you go to the Wilderness to cut down on any complaining while you’re there. The arcades are by all the indoor attractions and on your way to the pools so they are difficult to avoid.
Tip: If you get a Fun Pass you’ll get 36 arcade credits to use.
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. Guests will travel between 6 towers on this thrilling ride with speeds up to 25 MPH.
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 indoor activities. These are not included in your stay, only the pool access and Timberland Playland are 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 Unlimited Fun Pass gives you unlimited admission to Lazer Tag, Ropes Course, Mini Golf & Go-Karts plus 3 Clip ‘N Climb admissions.
Fun Pass is $34.95 at the time of writing this article. The unlimited fun pass is an additional $17.
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.
Find more Fun Pass Information.
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.
Wilderness Hotel Rooms
The rooms in the Wilderness Hotel have been newly renovated in 2022 and are so much nicer. We stayed in the Double Suite which had two queen beds and a divider wall with a couch and tv on the other side.
We like the convenience of the hotel and being able to walk to all the waterparks.
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 Waterpark, 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 there are two adult-only swim-up bars. You’ll find one in Wild Waterdome Waterpark and the newest one in the Wild West Waterpark. There is seating in and out of the pools in this area. The Wild West Waterpark has Cabanas around this area and TVs to watch games.
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 armband.
On check-out day, you can stay and use the resort the whole day.
We took advantage of this by starting the day by doing 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.
The Wild Waterdome has America’s largest indoor wave pool with a beach entrance. There is a glass ceiling which let’s the sun in and warms up this area. Make sure to try the dueling family raft ride while your there.
This pool area also hosts the adults only Margarita’s Swim Up bar.
Next to the wave pool is a younger kids play area. This is great if you have kids who are different ages so both have a place to swim.
The Wild West Indoor Watepark is newly renovated and is so much nicer. They have redone the Spray & play to be the new Ransack Ridge with more areas for kids to run around, climb and swim. The new racing slides are tons of fun for families to compete. If you want more thrills ride down the Black Hole Extreme tub ride.
There is also a little kids are with cute swings and a small slide for the younger kids to enjoy.
Adults will also find the Yehaw’s Watering Hole swim up bar here.
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 goggles 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 kid’s goggles, 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 Options 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 a 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!
To get more great family travel destinations become part of the Happy Mom Hacks Community with our weekly newsletter. I will share with you cool travel destinations, easy family meals, kids activities & clever household hacks.
Bonus you’ll get our Ultimate Family Travel Packing List.