How many indoor water parks are in Wisconsin Dells?

Wisconsin Dells is known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World” for good reason. This popular Midwest vacation destination is home to more water parks per capita than anywhere else in the nation. While outdoor water parks can only operate during the summer months, indoor water parks allow visitors to enjoy the slides and attractions year-round. With so many options, you may be wondering exactly how many indoor waterparks there are in the Wisconsin Dells area.

Overview of Indoor Water Parks in Wisconsin Dells

The Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton region currently boasts 23 indoor waterpark resorts that are open to the public. Additionally, there are a few smaller indoor waterparks that are only accessible to guests staying on-site. The largest concentration of indoor waterparks is found within the city limits of Wisconsin Dells. However, there are also several options located throughout the surrounding towns and villages including Lake Delton, Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Delton, Baraboo, Lyndon Station, and Wisconsin Dells.

Major Indoor Water Park Resorts

While there are over 20 indoor waterparks to choose from, some of the largest and most popular options include:

Noah’s Ark Waterpark

Located in the heart of Wisconsin Dells, Noah’s Ark is one of the largest indoor waterparks in the country. It covers over 70,000 square feet and features 51 waterslides, two wave pools, two endless rivers, four children’s water play areas, and much more.

Kalahari Resort

Kalahari Resort is home to America’s largest indoor waterpark measuring 125,000 square feet. The African-themed park contains a wide range of slides, a surfing simulator, the longest indoor zip line in the country, and a variety of other wet and dry attractions.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge offers 80,000 square feet of indoor waterpark fun. Highlights include body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools, and a four-story interactive treehouse.

Wilderness Resort

At Wilderness Resort, visitors can enjoy over 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Popular features include a huge wave pool, winding rivers, splash areas for kids, and thrill rides like Pipeline Plunge.

Chula Vista Resort

The Lost Rios Indoor Waterpark at Chula Vista Resort contains 50,000 square feet of rides and attractions. Guest favorites include Jambo Jungle and Maddy’s Madcap Adventure River.

Mt. Olympus

The Mt. Olympus indoor waterpark includes multiple tube and body slides, a lazy river, wave pool, and tot areas. A large outdoor park is also accessible in summer.

Smaller & Budget Indoor Water Park Options

While the mega-resorts offer amazing amenities, families can also find smaller and more affordable indoor waterparks in the Dells area including:

  • Polynesian Resort
  • Glacier Canyon Lodge
  • Wintergreen Resort & Conference Center
  • Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort
  • Hotel Rome
  • Black Hawk Motel
  • AmericInn Hotel & Suites

Most of these hotels have modest indoor parks under 15,000 square feet. However, they provide wallet-friendly rates along with year-round water fun.

Indoor Water Parks Available Only to Overnight Guests

In addition to the indoor waterparks open to the public, there are a few located at lodging facilities that can only be used by overnight guests. These include:

  • Bigfoot Resort
  • Delton Grand Resort
  • Treasure Island Resort
  • Cedar Lodge Hotel

The indoor parks are more intimate and geared toward hotel guests. But they offer additional waterpark options for visitors planning a Dells vacation.

Total Number of Indoor Water Parks in Wisconsin Dells

After reviewing all of the indoor waterpark resorts and hotels in the Wisconsin Dells region, the total number comes to 23 that are open to the public plus 4 that are restricted to overnight guests. So in summary:

  • Major public indoor water park resorts: 7
  • Smaller public indoor water parks: 8
  • Private indoor water parks for overnight guests: 4

That brings the grand total number of indoor water parks found in and around Wisconsin Dells to 27. With nearly 30 indoor parks to choose from, it’s clear why this area of Wisconsin is known as the waterpark capital of the world!

Factors Behind the Rise of Indoor Water Parks in Wisconsin Dells

Several factors have contributed to Wisconsin Dells becoming home to such a high concentration of indoor waterparks:

  • Abundant groundwater resources provide the enormous amount of water needed to supply dozens of waterparks. The area sits atop an ancient glacial lake bed with ample groundwater.
  • Long, cold winters with an average high temperature of only 26°F in January motivate developing enclosed parks. They allow recreation despite frigid weather.
  • A vibrant tourism industry focused on outdoor recreation like boating and camping paved the way for hospitality businesses like waterparks.
  • Proximity to large metropolitan areas like Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago provides a steady stream of year-round visitors.
  • Strong Dells brand recognition as a family vacation destination makes it an ideal spot for waterpark resorts to develop and thrive.

The combination of these advantageous factors has facilitated the Dells area becoming home to nearly 30 indoor water parks, from mega resorts to more intimate hotel facilities. With new parks still being constructed annually, Wisconsin Dells shows no signs of relinquishing its title as the indoor waterpark capital anytime soon!

Benefits of Indoor Water Parks for Wisconsin Dells

This abundance of indoor waterparks provides a range of benefits for Wisconsin Dells and the surrounding communities:

  • Provides year-round visitor attractions and helps offset the drop in summer tourists during cold weather months
  • Bolsters local economy with thousands of direct and indirect jobs in hospitality and recreation
  • Increases area lodging capacity to serve peak travel seasons and large events
  • Generates tax revenue from sales, lodging, dining, and entertainment spending
  • Supports local businesses like restaurants, shops, gas stations, and entertainment venues
  • Promotes development of complementary infrastructure like restaurants and retail
  • Enhances brand identity and awareness of Wisconsin Dells for leisure travel

Beyond just providing water-based fun, the abundance of indoor waterparks attracts visitors year-round, creates jobs, generates taxes, and boosts the greater Wisconsin Dells economy.

Comparison to Other Popular Indoor Water Park Destinations

Wisconsin Dells stands head and shoulders above other popular indoor waterpark destinations in the United States. For comparison:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, located next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, comes in second with around 10 indoor waterparks. Popular options include Wild Bear Falls at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Avalanche at Red Wolf Lodge.

Sandusky, Ohio

Home to famous Cedar Point amusement park, Sandusky features 5 major indoor waterparks including Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Castaway Bay, Maui Sands, and Rain Indoor Waterpark.

Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

The Pocono Mountains boast 8-10 indoor waterparks clustered in resort towns like Tannersville, Scotrun, and White Haven. Top picks are Camelback Lodge, Great Wolf Lodge, and Split Rock Resort.

Southern California

In Southern California, popular indoor waterparks include Knott’s Soak City in Palm Springs, Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad, and Splash La Mirada.


Although better known for skiing, Colorado is home to a handful of indoor water parks such as Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, La Quinta Inn & Suites Denver Gateway Park, and Grand Junction Hotel & Conference Center.

With nearly triple the number of facilities, Wisconsin Dells is unmatched when it comes to offering indoor waterpark fun and family entertainment.

Advice for Planning an Indoor Water Park Vacation in the Dells

If you’re considering a trip to America’s waterpark capital, keep these tips in mind:

  • Book early – Popular resorts sell out months in advance during peak seasons.
  • Seek package deals – Many properties offer discounted vacation packages including lodging, park passes, and meals.
  • Browse high and low seasons – Room rates are most affordable in fall and spring.
  • Research park size – Make sure the park matches the size of your group.
  • Read up on amenities – Pick a resort meeting your accommodation preferences.
  • Consider location – Parks in the heart of the Dells offer more dining & entertainment options.
  • Download apps – For navigating parks, viewing wait times, and mobile food ordering.
  • Allow travel time – It takes 2+ hours to reach the Dells from Madison or Milwaukee.

With nearly 30 indoor waterparks to serve up year-round aquatic fun, there’s no better place than Wisconsin Dells if you’re seeking the ultimate family vacation filled with waterslides, pools, and splashing around!


Wisconsin Dells has cemented itself as America’s undisputed indoor waterpark capital with nearly 30 sprawling indoor parks open to the public or restricted to hotel guests. With additional new waterparks still being built annually, this thriving vacation region shows no signs of giving up its title anytime soon. For families and thrill-seekers seeking year-round water fun, Wisconsin Dells can’t be beat when it comes to the number, variety, and quality of indoor waterparks.

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