Wisconsin Dells???

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Lovedisney77, May 22, 2010.

  1. Lovedisney77

    Lovedisney77 Mouseketeer

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    Thinking of going to the Wisconsin Dells this summer. Any suggestions on where to stay or where to avoid.
     
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  3. kjs1976

    kjs1976 Thanks for the magic, Walt!

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    Wilderness is a great place! Go to Tripadvisor.com and do a search for resorts and see what the reviews are.
     
  4. jgates

    jgates <font color=teal>Must vow NEVER to toggle the tags

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    If you are looking for waterpark hotels, Wilderness, Kalahari & Great Wolf are all nice resorts. Watch for early week cheaper rates & specials. The weekends can be PRICEY. Kalahari has an indoor theme park also that you can purchase separately. Wilderness I believe only allows guests (no outside passes sold) to use their waterpark, however, also includes the time-share section - so still busy.

    These all have indoor waterparks - the outdoor are normally only open Mem Day to Labor Day.

    If you want something a little more combo, Mt. Olympus has Big Chief go-cart world with it. We used to love a day at the go-carts.

    Plan for food $$$, LOL. Nothing seems to be cheap in the Dells. If waterparks are not your style, and you are looking for mini-golf & ducks & boats, then I would suggest the Holiday Inn Express - you get breakfast included and they have a small indoor pool.

    Food - tons of standard choices around. Culvers, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, McD's, Pizzaria Uno, Ponderosa, etc. We love to eat at Monks for AWESOME burgers. We prefer the downtown original bar/grill location for atmosphere but food is good at Wilderness location too. But the original downtown where the burger smell hits you as soon as you step in the door......I've been eating there for 45+ years lol........My mom & dad used to drive down there on a Sunday night just to get a burger when gas was cheap.

    There are several chain hotels also such as Hilton Garden, Best Western, etc.

    Outlet mall also at same exit #92. Coach, Disney, GAP, Coach, Nike, Coach.....Did I mention Coach, LOL??????
     
  5. Disfan3

    Disfan3 Viking Blood

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    What exactly are you looking for?? If I know more, I have better info for you!!
     
  6. DisneyFan32WI

    DisneyFan32WI <font color=blue>Sometimes I just like to be plain

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    Ditto.

    Our fave resort is Kalahari followed by Wilderness. The Great Wolf is for younger kids. We always go to Canyon Creek riding stables for a one hour trail ride. This summer we are going to try zip lining at the Wilderness. I've always wanted to try that!!
     
  7. Lovedisney77

    Lovedisney77 Mouseketeer

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    Well we have never been to the area so I am completely in the dark. I have had a couple of people give us suggestions (Wilderness and Great Wolf Lodge) , but reviews on travel sites seemed mixed soooo I wasn't sure. Looking to go during the week in early July.

    Husband will be fishing in the mornings and early afternoons ,so it will be me and my two girls 8 and 4. Looking for stuff to keep them entertained so water parks and shopping would be great.:banana:
     
  8. Disfan3

    Disfan3 Viking Blood

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    We have also stayed at the Kalahari...we stayed at the Polynesian Resort the first time we went...

    different experience both times but FUN both times!! It is really our 2nd fav place to visit!! (After WDW of course!!)


    The Kalahari was great. We were there for Spring Break so the outdoor waterpark was closed...the indoor waterpark was fine...we are really not indoor waterpark people (plus I was 7 mos preggo at the time!! So that was not all that fun...flopping around with swollen ankles!! haha)
    however...it was very nice inside! The rooms were great and we never left the hotel. They had lots of indoor things to do...including an indoor waterpark. The kids got tatoos, we played video games and rented in-room movies...that type of thing.

    The summer trip was to the Polynesian (I think it was the name and price that did it for me!)
    It was just a moderate resort but it DOES have a nice outdoor waterpark area...not too big, not too small. Our kids are a bit old enough to kinda go out on their own but I did not want a HUGE area where I could never find them (like the Wilderness) and this place was the perfect size for, IMO, younger kids...it was large enough for the pre-teen girls but not too large for the 8 and 9yo that was with us. We got a waterpark level room and that was great!! Our room walked right out to the waterpark!

    On that trip, we went to Noah's Waterpark. That was great!! LOTS to do if you love waterparks...it is a must do!
    We had some coupons and did Wizards Quest (fun for older kids) and the Ducks and the Jetboats (that was insane!!!)

    They have great places to eat and really, if you plan and budget you can spend less! We were thinking next time, we would not go to Noah's and just spend a couple days at the hotel waterpark. (Oh Polynesian has an indoor park as well but it is smaller...)

    What, in particular, would you like to do there? What are you looking for?
     
  9. Lovedisney77

    Lovedisney77 Mouseketeer

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    Disfan3 :The girls want to do water parks and I like to shop:woohoo: No disney trip this year :guilty: so this will be the girls only trip this summer and I want to make sure they have fun
     
  10. Disfan3

    Disfan3 Viking Blood

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    LoveDisney!!

    We have a lot in common it seems!!!

    :teacher: girls, midwesterners and I assume born in '77!! :rolleyes1:rolleyes1

    There are a lot of outlets there too we just never went to them...for some reason.

    I am interested in looking at Mt. Olympus and Hotel Rome the next time we are there.
     
  11. SnowWhite2

    SnowWhite2 DIS Veteran

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    Looks like we'll be spending our vacation in WI at the in-laws. Which means a mid-week trip to the Dells. Is there anything exciting to do in Madison? I thought maybe we could drive down there one day.

    My favorite thing to do at the Dells is go to the Magic show. Pretty expensive but absolutely wonderful. They also have a meet an greet after the show. My kids talk about that all the time. Even my in-laws, who like nothing that costs money :rolleyes1, really liked the show.
     
  12. Lovedisney77

    Lovedisney77 Mouseketeer

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    Wow we do have a lot in common and yes born in 77:rotfl:
    Thanks for the info.. We are definitely going to check out the shopping

    At least the drive to the dells is not as long as the drive to disney:) I will miss disney but we'll hit the world again in 2011:thumbsup2
     
  13. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    We have a lake house just north of the Dells so I can't help you with hotels.

    Our favorite place for pizza is Moosejaw. You can find coupons in the local phone book. The root beer is very good. ;)

    We purchase a lot of vouchers through a local radio shopping show out of the Chicago suburbs. The deals are pretty good. For example, right now they are offering tickets to the water park at Mt Olympus for $8.00 each. It's probably not the best water park but for the price, you really can't beat it. The radio show other offers as well. They also have Noah's Ark for $18.00 Most are at least 50% off. If you don't live in the area (Aurora and Schaumburg) you can still order with a credit card and they will mail them to you . I think that it's an extra $1.00 for the whole order. They membership card/key tag to order from them is free.
    Here's a link to the websites if you'd like .http://www.wbig1280.com/catalog/index.asp
    http://www.wrmn1410.com/catalog/index.asp

    Click on Wisconsin Dells in the drop-down category menu.

    Several years ago my DH and the girls went to Tommy Bartlett's Exploratory. I thought that it was just going to be a quick walk through so I waited in the van with my youngest DD. They were in there for hours and had a blast.

    There is an outlet mall right behind Great Wolf. If you look through the promotion booklets that you can find all over the state, you will find an ad for the mall. If you bring the ad to guest service there, they will give you a coupon book. If you can't find the book, right next to the guest service office at the mall is a hallway with bathrooms. They have a lot of brochures in there and always have a huge stack of the booklets.

    We're going up to the lake next weekend so I'll try and pick up the booklet and let you know what page it's on if you'd like.

    We like Culvers in town for a quick bit to eat and Monks on the strip is pretty good for a burger.

    We always stop by at HoChunk Casino as well but after being used to smoke-free casinos here in IL, it can be a shock to the system when you first walk in. :scared1:

    Be prepared to spend more money. Everything on the $1.00 menu at McDonald's here is at least $2.00 at the McDonald's right off of Hwy13.

    Paul Bunyan's has a pretty good breakfast.

    Sorry, just some random thoughts.

    Keep in mind that it can cost as much as a trip to Disney.

    Have a great time!
     
  14. quirkymom

    quirkymom Mouseketeer

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    We recently moved to WI and have heard that the Dells are a must do...haven't ventured yet. Let us know how it turns out for you
     
  15. ekatiel

    ekatiel DIS Veteran

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    LOL-- Do we have the same in-laws??!! Last summer I got us rooms at the Kalahari that held up to six people and included free passes to the indoor theme park (you usually have to pay for those) for $150/night. MIL still complains how expensive it was!! She SWEARS you can get the Kalahari for $99/night :eek:-- maybe in the middle of the school year, but not at the beginning of August!!! Anyhow, we REALLY enjoyed the Kalahari. I've now told DH that whever we visit the in-laws in Wisconsin, we are required to have a few days at the Dells to recouperate :thumbsup2. --Katie
     
  16. B714210

    B714210 Mouseketeer

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    I have lived in Madison all my life. In terms of the Dells, you might want to check out vacation rentals on Craigslist-Madison, there always seems to be lots of Dells Condos listed.:surfweb:

    In Madison, we have wonderful parks with hiking trails, UW-Madison has the Geology Museum and Babcock Hall, there's the capitol, Historical Museum, Veteran's museum, farmer's market, Children's Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Convention Center and State Street all downtown.:thumbsup2

    My kids loved feeding the ducks at Tenney Park, going to Olbrich Botanical Gardens and rainforest exhibit, Ella's Deli and ice cream parlor, all on the East Side of town.:hippie:

    On the West side is the Arboretum and Vilas Park Zoo. Most of these things are free or really cheap. If you know what day you might visit, you could do a search as there are always a ton of kid-friendly things going on here.:cloud9:

    Hope this helps!
     
  17. bjscheel

    bjscheel (Avatar art by my daughter)

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    We have never been but are doing Wilderness in July. Lots of activities in one place. Also have been told to do the Original Wisconsin Ducks. Want to do the zip line at Wilderness, I need to find out how soon we need to reserve for that (July 4th weekend).

    The reviews on tripadvisor have some pretty negative ones on Wilderness, but a lot of great ones too. You have to be positive. Some recent ones complain about the waitress not offering to escort their 6 year old daughter to the restroom :confused3 and being spied on because of being of "ethic background". I tend not to put much stock in them.

    I am excited to stay in a 3 bedroom condo in Glacier Canyon Lodge...it will be great for SIL's family and us. Just praying that BIL's being in the hospital right now doesn't have any lasting health or financial effect such that they won't be able to join us. :worried:

    I just went to culvers.com and in the Contact Us, just send a general comment and ask for a Wisconsin Dells discount card. It gives free admission for kids 11 and under for a pretty big list of attractions. They emailed back the same day and said they would mail one.
     
  18. rmom50

    rmom50 DIS Veteran

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    We love Pizza Pub at the Dells - it's has a salad buffet daily and on weekends has a pizza buffet that my kids thought was fun. It's right across the street from Noah's Ark. Not too much $$$. Since your kids are so young (looking at your signature), I would suggest staying some place less expensive than Kalahari. We moved on up to the Kalahari when the kids became teenagers. Before that we tried Polynesian (ok), Wilderness (nice) and Great Wolf (a little larger). The Kalahari is right across the street from the Great Wolf, so you could go check it out - it is awesome! Have fun! If you take the Dells boat tour (ducks), go north - it's a prettier trip than south imho. If you like antiques, they have a very nice mall on the south side of town. Baraboo has a circus museum too and the International Crane Foundation (might be too educational for your kids' ages). Have fun! :)
     
  19. DisneyFan32WI

    DisneyFan32WI <font color=blue>Sometimes I just like to be plain

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    Going on the Original Ducks tour is a MUST-DO. It is do much fun going from land to water on those things!
     
  20. tinkmom2

    tinkmom2 DIS Veteran

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    We will probably be having a staycation this year because we are going on the Dream and to WDW in 2011.
    We have stayed at the Polynesian. If you sign up for their newsletter you get deals. The rooms are a bit outdated but we had a good time there. There are things to do indoor and outdoors there.
    The Hojo has 3 pools but not much else to do there. It's more for younger kids.
    We thought the Kalahari was overpriced. The indoor waterpark is much smaller than it appears on tv. The outside area was very crowded. Also we got a "Sand" room which is the farthest building away from the pools.
    Best Western has good rates but only a single pool. Some of the places like HoJo offer passes to Noah's Ark for staying there.
    Paul Bunyans is a MUST when staying in the Dells. The hibachi restaurant was also very good. We have eaten at the sea food buffet and thought that was good as well. I also love to go and look at the shops at downtown Dells.
    There is a outlet mall that has a Disney outlet in it. I think the mall is called Tangier Outlet. And there was a pizza place right in the parking lot that has a big gaming complex in it with rides. (sorry the name escapes me)
    I agree with the PP's that Mc Donald's is overpriced. You will find the same thing at all the chain restaurants.
     
  21. SaraJayne

    SaraJayne <font color=red>Stop moving those smilies! <img sr

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    I agree!

    I've gone to the Dells almost every summer since I was a little girl and we do the Ducks every single summer. :upsidedow
     

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