Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

A Walk, Make That Slide Down Memory Lane

August 17, 2012

timelineThere are certain experiences in life that come with bragging rights. Like landing the big promotion. Purchasing the Porsche of your dreams. Completing a marathon. And vacationing in Wisconsin Dells. That’s right, a trip to the Dells comes with bragging rights. Why? Because it means you can finally tell all your friends you visited the place where the indoor waterpark was invented, where the world’s largest looping slide stands tall and proud, and where the country’s biggest indoor/outdoor waterpark combo beckons visitors from coast to coast. The waterpark accomplishments in this central Wisconsin burg - it measures a mere 19.5 square miles - are gargantuan. Adding to the enormity of those accomplishments is the fact that nearly all the businesses in town are locally owned, some with three generations on staff. 

Take a look at what is arguably a highly abbreviated timeline of milestones and you’ll understand why you can’t fault anyone for doing a little bragging when they get home from the Dells.


1978   Family Land, now Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, opens

1979   Noah’s Ark Waterpark opens with bumper boats and a go-kart track

1980   The first waterslide attraction is added at Noah’s Ark Waterpark - it’s the three-slide 
          “Jungle Rapids” ride

1982   The Dells’ first wave pool is built at Family Land

1985   The area’s first lazy river is completed at Noah’s Ark Waterpark

1989   The Polynesian Resort Hotel & Suites opens the country’s first indoor waterpark

1993   Chula Vista Resort opens its outdoor waterpark

1995   Treasure Island, now part of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, opens its
          indoor wave pool, and the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort opens with both 
          indoor and outdoor waterparks

1997   Great Wolf Lodge waterpark resort opens

2000   Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center opens

2001   Noah’s Ark Waterpark's thrilling plunge slide “Point of No Return” opens

2004   The first-ever indoor surfing ride, the “FlowRider” opens at the Kalahari Waterpark
          Resort Convention Center

2005   America’s longest water roller coaster, “Black Anaconda,” opens at Noah’s Ark

2006   The nation’s largest indoor wave pool is built under a high-tech dome at the
          Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort and Chula Vista opens its indoor waterpark

2007   Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park debuts its massive outdoor surf pool,
          “Poseidon’s Rage”

2010   “Scorpion’s Tail,” America’s first and the world’s tallest looping waterslide,
          opens at Noah’s Ark Waterpark and at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park
          adds a sand beach

2011   Chula Vista Resort adds a sand beach to its outdoor waterpark

2012   Noah’s Ark Waterpark adds a $1 million waterslide called The Quadzilla, 
          Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center adds looping water tube
          slide to its indoor waterpark and Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort adds tube
          slides outdoors



Our monthly e-newsletter gives you the scoop on things to do in Wisconsin Dells, so sign up today!

Privacy Policy

Wisconsin Dells respects your privacy. Your information will not be shared, sold, or used for any other purpose.

Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

701 Superior Street, PO Box 390
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-0390
(800) 223-3557
(608) 254-4293 (Fax)

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System