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trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

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chicago
posts: 6,638
reviews: 18
trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

i wanted a non water park hotel for $100 or less, i had already been to wilderness and kalahari and wanted to go to noahs arc so i didnt think i needed to pay for a water park hotel, i hadnt been to the dells in the summer since i was about 12 years old

but, i waited until the last minute and the polynesian came up for $113 a night so i figured we would try it out, we also bought the wisconsin dells passport to savings, which i think is a fantastic deal

my daughter LOVED the polynesian, she has been to many waterparks and really liked it, our room was on the third floor and overlooked the water park, two double beds, the outlets between the beds didnt work so the alarm clock and lights didnt work and i couldnt charge my phone there, our sliding glass door also didnt lock propelry, nothing serious enough to ask for a new room

my daughter wasnt 48 inches to ride the body slides but she convinced the life guards she was ready so they gave her a swim test and she "passed" so she got a wrist band that allowed her to ride

day one- enjoyed the polynesian

day two- planned to spend the entire day at noahs arc, arrived by 930, payed $5 to park, got the first spot by door, picnic area right there, it was totally dead, got on just about every ride by 11am, i have to say it was a bit of a disappointment compared to the wilderness and kalhari in the dells and raging waves and magic waters in illinois, i remembered noahs arc as a kid to be the best but it isnt anymore, the price is high and its just not fabulous : (

left after lunch and went to wizard quest, a place i had no interest in and still dont but my daughter LOVED it, then we did ripleys, she had a lot of laughs, i dont need to do it again, then off to the ducks, another fond memory as a child, nice ride but i didnt appreciate the stop in the woods with the driver asking us to buy the book and give him a tip

after that we grabbed an ice cream at dairy cream and went back to the hotel for water park fun

the next day we went to adare go carts which was super fun, first ride i drove me and my daughter, next ride she drove in the kids park, then off to the 4d movie, wizard of oz was great, yogi bear sucked just like the movie and the other 4 short movies were not great, then off to pirates cove mini golf, lets just say AMAZING, they have 5 courses, the first is perfect for a 4 year old, she hot a hole in one on the first course, then you get a free ice cream at the end, then we went t tommy bartelett, funny to watch as an adult LOL, she was not so interested in the water show but LOVED the rest, then back to the hotel for more water park fun

oh and i forgot tommy bartlett exploratory, this was definitely her favorite place of the entire trip. all science, all day, first time for me, we spent many hours and could have really spent more, just fabulous if you like science : )

9 attractions for $117 for both of us, that pass is the bomb, noahs ark would have been $75 for both of us so i TOTALLY recommend it

last day- water park and then off to madison to celebrate the 4th with friends

every day we were there the hotels had openings, the polynesian had rooms for the 4th but said they were sold out on the 5th

happy to answer any questions

3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
1. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for the report.

WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,877
reviews: 100
2. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

What about Noah's Ark is a "disappointment"? I find the lure of big resorts can be overrated beyond the convenience of having it right out your door. We have gone to one of the bigger ones (not in the Dells) and enjoyed it but I prefer Noah's, it has everything and then some. It sounds like it was "slow" which is another great plus. The Wilderness and Kalahari are better, how so? I'm very curious to hear more having been to neither but knowing they're not as big and varied as Noah's and what they can offer. Glad you had a good trip!

chicago
posts: 6,638
reviews: 18
3. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

$40 a person plus $5 to park isn't worth it imo, for a family of three that's $115 compared to getting a room for $200 at the wilderness with all day access to the waterparks and the other hotel amenities

I didn't dislike noahs ark I just didn't think it was as good as the other waterparks, I remember noahs as being the best when I was younger but I think they lost that title

The bumper boats are very old and not good, the 4d movie was the worst I ever saw, those are my only complaints

WI
Destination Expert
for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
posts: 4,877
reviews: 100
4. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

just curious thanks for sharing. I agree I would find a deal and pay less, it's a hard pill to swallow paying that kind of money. I think the variety of offerings wins out in so many ways. The newer rollerwatercoaster is not too shabby. It's still my favorite but I see where you're coming from. I'm not happy about the parking cost now. I would consider group rate or special deals/coupons since the Culver's deal (that saved our family $40 in the past--cost $80 for 4 when we went) is no more and the kids are too old now besides.

chicago
posts: 6,638
reviews: 18
5. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

We paid $50 for both of us with the passport to savings

I like the roller coaster too but most parks have it now, Kalahari even has an indoor one

Iowa
posts: 1,320
reviews: 328
6. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

We're going to Noah's Ark for the first time next month; fortunately we found a deal where we're staying at Indian Trail motel for around $175/night and then getting "free" tickets to Noah's. Otherwise, it would cost our family of five $200 for the day!

chicago
posts: 6,638
reviews: 18
7. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

nice! and see at that price id rather pay $200 a night at wilderness and have all day access to the waterpark with hotel room and indoor waterparks in case of bad weather and all of the other hotel amenities

Iowa
posts: 1,320
reviews: 328
8. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

We did Wilderness last summer; it was fun! We like to try a new waterpark each time we go though, hence trying Noah's Ark this year.....

Iowa
posts: 1,320
reviews: 328
9. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

Wilderness would run us $269/night for the same time, so definitely quite a bit cheaper for us to do Indian Trail/Noah's Ark.

chicago
posts: 6,638
reviews: 18
10. Re: trip report july 1-4 with a 4 year old

Wow! They had rooms for $200 around the 4th

Next year try Kalahari if you can find a deal, we really enjoyed it