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Kalahari Wisconsin Dells Indoor Water Park Hotel

It's a Jungle in There

By

Kalahari Indoor Waterpark Dells Picture

The Kalahari Wisconsin Dells' main entrance.

© Arthur Levine. Licensed to About.com.
Updated November 22, 2013

Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Phone

877-253-5466

Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Tickets and Admission Policy

Admission to water park is included in room rates for hotel guests. Day passes available for non-hotel guests.

Compare Rates for the Kalahari

Search for Kalahari Wisconsin Dells rates at TripAdvisor.

Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Directions

The actual address is 1305 Kalahari Dr. in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

From Chicago and Madison: I-90 W to Exit 92, Hwy 12. Right onto Hwy 12, right to Kalahari Drive.

From Milwaukee: I-94 W to exit 92, Hwy 12. Right onto Hwy 12, right to Kalahari Drive.

Indoor Water Park Square Footage

125,000

Indoor Water Park Features

Massive facility includes Botswana Blast, a "Master Blaster" uphill water coaster, Pro Bowl, a "spin and flush" funnel ride, a FlowRider surfing attraction, wave pool, family raft ride, body slides, tube slides, lazy river, whirlpools, huge interactive play and spray structure, lap pool, walking channel, water basketball, and play area for small children.

Outdoor Water Park Features

75,000 square feet of activities, including a "spin and flush" funnel ride, lazy river, speed slides, half-pipe flume ride, tube slides, and a huge whirlpool.

Indoor Theme Park

The "theme park" designation may be a bit misleading. Really more of a family entertainment center, the 110,000-square-foot facility offers diversions such as mini-golf, arcade games, laser tag, bowling, go-karts, party rooms, and a sports bar. There are also a few rides, including a Ferris wheel, and a carousel. The Kalahari Indoor Theme Park offers a la carte and pay-one-price options.

New for 2011/2012


Super Loop Sahara Sidewinder
Three ultra-thrilling AquaLoop slides with trap doors and almost-vertical loops opened late in 2011.

More Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Info

Official Web Site

Wisconsin Dells Kalahari

Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Overview

As you head west along Interstate 90/94 from Madison, the first evidence that you've arrived at the water park oasis known as Wisconsin Dells is the Kalahari's massive indoor water park building. Like a mirage in the parched desert (er, better make that the frozen tundra), the improbable edifice stretches at least a couple of football fields in length along the highway and sprouts a few enclosed water slide tubes at one end. The smoke billowing from the roof offers further testament to the climate-controlled wave pool, lazy river, and hot tubs beckoning inside. Even when it's 32-below with the wind-chill factor outside, there are bathing suit-clad folks shedding their clothes and their cabin fever to soak up the Kalahari's African-themed water park fun within. Welcome to indoor water park Shangri-la.

Perched on the outskirts of Wisconsin Dells, the Kalahari lays claim as "America's largest indoor waterpark." That's saying a lot in a town where you can't move 100 feet in any direction without bumping into a water slide. While the "largest waterpark" title is a matter of some dispute (see A Lotta Water: Who Has the Biggest Water Park?), there's no denying that the indoor water park is the centerpiece of the huge resort.

Vaguely reminiscent of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World, the lovely resort looks fairly conventional from the outside. Once you step through the main entrance, however, it's immediately obvious that this isn't a conventional hotel. The giant elephant statue above the fireplace, the live baby tigers and lions on display, and the enormous map of Africa that hangs above the lobby help set the tone. But the unmistakable smell of chlorinated water wafting in the air firmly establishes the Kalahari as a wholly unique getaway.

Slip Sliding Away at the Kalahari Waterpark

The chlorine scent leads the way through the lobby and towards the rear of the property to the indoor water park. After flashing their hotel guest wristbands (or purchasing a day pass wristband for those not staying at the Kalahari) at the park's front desk, guests receive a towel, make their way through the well-appointed locker rooms, and enter the water park.

Once inside, the sheer size and audacity of the park makes an indelible first impression. Reaching some 60 feet high and extending hundreds of yards, the place is alive with hoots and hollers from water slide daredevils, reverberating percussions from water cannons, and squeals from tykes as they soak each other silly. A "mountain" houses some of the slides and serves as a backdrop for the crashing waves in the wave pool (the first indoor wave pool ever built). A towering totem pole erupts with bursts of water every few minutes.

The Kalahari's indoor water park boasts virtually every attraction found at a large outdoor water park. And we're not talking scaled-down facsimiles. The Tanzanian Twister is a full-sized Pro Bowl "spin-and-flush" ride. The Animal Kingdom children's play structure is loaded with mini-slides, water guns, and a host of other interactive gizmos to get yourself and others wet. The Rippling Rhino is a two-person raft ride with plenty of twists and turns. Victoria Falls allows up to four passengers for an even taller, longer, and more thrill-packed family raft ride. The signature attraction at the Kalahari, the Botswana Blast water coaster, is quite a sight as it snakes around the rafters and shoots riders uphill. Another standout is the FlowRider. The ingenious attraction creates a continuous wave, and riders can either grab a boogie board or a mini-surfboard to body surf or surf in the standing position, respectively.

The Kalahari also offers attractions not typically found at outdoor water parks. Its five hot tubs, for example, are wonderful places to, er, chill out. In the Current Channel, users can get quite a workout walking against the considerable resistance of the water jets. An adjacent lap pool offers more exercise opportunities.

Next page: Man (and Woman and Boy and Girl) Does not Live by Water Alone

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