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“Indoor waterpark is BORING and small”

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Ranked #6 of 75 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2012

(The only reason I gave a rating of 3 instead of 2 was because we did enjoy the Theme Park.)

My family and I (which consists of myself, my husband and our 16 year old son), stayed here on a Sunday at the end of September. The Kalahari is rather expensive for such a basic room. The room just had 2 queen beds, nothing spectacular but at least it was clean. We checked in at 11:00 a.m. and figured we would have to wait for our room since check-in time wasn't until 4:00 p.m., but we were pleasantly surprised to find that our room was ready to check into. Although when I made the reservation I asked for a room that did not have an adjoining door to it but was given one anyway. Plus, the balcony was so tiny and cramped, why bother having one at all?!

Our room included the indoor waterpark as well as theme park wristbands. I know a lot of reservations only include the waterpark so we were happy with the deal we booked.

Let me start by saying that the indoor waterpark is very boring. There really isn't much to do there. The 2 new slides that they boast about cutting a hole in the roof are nothing to brag about. (The ones at The Wilderness are actually more fun!). The lines for the Master Blaster and Victoria Falls took forever even though there were not many people in line. There was only 1 operator for both rides and they were going back and forth which took way too long. They definitely need to have an operator for each ride so the line would move quicker. I have to plug The Wilderness again because their lines are much more organized and don't share operators. Even though The Wilderness does not have The Mater Blaster, the other rides they do have are way more fun. As far as The Tanzanian Twister (or the toilet bowl flush as some like to refer to it), that ride is a joke. They need to change it so you ride down on a tube instead.

Ok, as you can see, we did not like the Indoor waterpark but now onto the Theme Park......

We really enjoyed this much more and ended up staying here all day on the day of check-out. The go-carts are the best and the climbing wall and ropes course were fun also.

What we would really like to see done is have the Kalahari offer a choice of Indoor Waterpark Wristbands or Theme Park Wristbands. Like I said, a lot of the deals don't include the Theme Park and you have to pay extra. We would much rather spend all our time at the Theme Park and skip the Waterpark.

This is our second time staying here and both times we have not enjoyed the Indoor Waterpark but rather enjoyed the Theme Park. If you want just waterparks, go to The Wilderness otherwise if you stay here, just go to the Theme Park. Or better yet, just buy wristbands for the Theme Park and stay elsewhere!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank kathmrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2012

Thank you for visiting us. I am sorry to hear that your stay was not everything you hoped for. Our Wisconsin location is the second largest Indoor Waterpark in America, only second to our OH location. I apologize you found this boring. We will be adding new rides every year, so hopefully when you return you will find a thrilling ride you enjoy more. I am very glad to hear you enjoyed the team park. I will be sure to pass along your comments about our specials. In the Indoor Theme Park, we have committed to adding additional rides there too, so hopefully that will be fun as well! Hopefully we will be able to see you again soon. Take care and thank you!

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

Stayed Sept 28-30 for the weekend. Our 1st trip to Wisconsin Dells and the Kalahari. We booked the family package with unlimited wristbands to the waterpark & themepark. Also included free Buffet Breakfast for 4 both mornings, a free pizza with sodas, and a $50 dining credit which we used at Damions. So we felt this was a pretty good value. We stayed in a Hut room. Rooms are nothing fancy, the room was fine and appeared clean- but we weren't in the room much anyway so it was fine for our needs.

Nothing was crowded the whole weekend we were there - which was so nice. Our boys liked the theme park- older son liked the ropes course, climbing wall & laser tag. Younger son loved all the different games, go-carts and the jungle gym near the back. We played mini golf a few times which was fun too.

We enjoyed the waterpark, also because it wasn't busy. The only rides that had lines were the large blue tube ride (can't remember the name of it) and the Flowrider. We liked the variety of things to do for all ages of kids. Lots of slides and play areas for my younger son, and still plenty of larger slides for the older son. Wave pool was fun. Lazy river was really, really slow (yeah I get it's a "lazy" river) but honestly your tube hardly moves in it it's so slow- both kids who like lazy rivers thought it was pretty boring. No big deal though, enough other things to keep us busy. Also liked that there was plenty of seating up above and also in & around the waterpark.

The buffet breakfast both mornings we thought was really good. Quite a large selection of many different hot/cold items. Damions was good as well, no complaints. Yes the resort food was expensive, but you'll find that at any resort when you travel. With our resort dining credits (that came with our room) and free breakfast buffet we only had to pay for 1 meal the whole time we were there. Fun weekend- we'll be back.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank sd2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Went on a Thursday with 4 pre-teen boys. 2nd time there. Great room for the price - 1br w/king, 1br w/2 queens, livingroom with fireplace, double length balcony, leather furniture with granite type table tops, 2 bathrooms for $250.

As always, love the water park. I use a scooter and can get just about everywhere thanks to their thinking ahead and accomodations. The surfing area people were especially nice and professional, and in face everyone was very nice and helped us with everything we needed.

Expect to spend money...its not cheap...but then nothing in the Dells is.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

On Labor day weekend we came in for the outdoor water parks. We typically leave on Monday morning to beat traffic. However, on Sunday night we went to Damon's (which we ALWAYS make a stop at) and were entering the building. There were a group of (what I came to find out) were local teens blocking the entire stair way and refused to move for my wife, 2 year old, and myself. I was unhappy about this and realize that Damon's is not Kalahari so I walked over to the amusement area. I ran into Ben, Ben quickly worked to resolve the situation. We were eating dinner and Damon's and Ben came back in and said how sorry he was for the problem and offered us a playing card preloaded with $10 for the issue. I accepted. We ran into SO many nice people in the amusement area:
Ben - (Of Course, very polite and professional)

Stephen - At the Ferris Wheel was friendly, fun, and just generally nice.

Jasmine (Kiddie Rides) - Very soft spoken but still very nice and very diligent with watching out for the safety of the children

Justin - We ran into Justin and asked him to take a picture of all 3 of us, he did, and then chatted with us about the amusement area sharing all sorts of fun information. Professional but GREAT and fun! Excellent!

I wanted to give kudos, so I found Rich, (I think he was a manager) and I also wanted to give some gratuity for the good service, I was told that I was unable to do that due to a policy. It was very good that he was following direction, but as a customer that would have loved to still been able to do that!!

Continuing, Monday morning came around and we had such a fun time we decided that we were going to try and stay the night Monday night at Kalahari.

We went to the front desk, where I spoke with a supervisor about rates, and rooms. I feel very badly, but I do not remember his name, please forgive me as he provided EXCELLENT service as well. It was right around 12:00 pm and as you look at the front desk he was at the position to the far left of the desk. (Maybe you can figure it out from that?) He got us a great room and a decent price. The only thing with the room that we did not like was it was very dark. There is not a lot of light that is available in the room.

Unfortunately, here is where the story changes.


We checked in with Kevin. Kevin must have been having a bad day because he just did not seem very friendly and was very abrupt with the customers before me (who just were asking what time the waterpark was open until) and myself. I asked a couple of questions about the waterpark and the amusement area and got the same kind of attitude.
We checked in and went to the "big game room" located next to the waterpark. I loaded more money on the card and tried to play some more of the games with my little guy. A good portion of the games did not accept the card and wanted tokens, (Well, at least the ones that he wanted to play). I looked for an attendant to find out where I could get tokens. When I did find her, she did not understand my question, nor could answer in a manner that I could understand.

I let it go, we went into the water park for a little while it was OK. Some of the guards did not seem to know what the rules pertaining to 2 year olds were and it caused a little bit of distress with myself and my wife. One guard said I could go down a slide with him, another said no, and this same activity continued with other water activities.

We left at closing time and went back to the big amusement area. Justin was there again and still made sure that we had a fantastic time again!!!!

In the morning we were disappointed to find out there was no buffet as previously told there was, we went to The Ivory Coast.

The server was OK, she brought our food out to us but there were some quality issues, (my pancakes were cold and we asked for sausage for my 2 year old) but she could not be found after delivering the food. When the check came, I was disappointed to see it was $45.00+ for 2 adults and a 2 year old. That is obtusely expensive for breakfast. (Quantity/quality)

I actually sent this exact letter to the customer service team in hopes that I could discuss these situations.. They completely ignored me. No email, no snail mail, no phone call... Nice to see that we were not valued guests.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2012

Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for reaching out to us on TripAdvisor after your visit with us at our resort. It was certainly our pleasure to have you and very much appreciate hearing your thoughts. I wanted to be sure to thank you for your input. While we love all positive feedback, we appreciate the opportunity to pinpoint the areas we need to improve upon so we can go beyond all of your expectations in the future. I have already forwarded your review on to the appropriate department heads, including our guest services department reiterating communication. I apologize that you had not previously heard back from us. I also wanted to apologize for your experience with Kevin, some of our lifeguards and within the Ivory Coast. I do hope you will give Kalahari another shot to show you the level of customer service you would not only expect, but deserve. Thank you again for your time and hope to see you soon.

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Reviewed October 4, 2012

In addition to the musty smell, there were spiderwebs and a fly smashed on the wall. When I asked the person at the front desk if they could do something about the smell, I was told someone would take care of the odor right away. An hour later I was told that someone was in my room taking care of it - also not true.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Corpandfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review our resort. I am very sorry to hear about your experience with your room and the miscommunication for correcting the concerns. I will be sure to connect with our housekeeping department as well as our front desk team. I do hope you will give us another chance to show you just how great Kalahari can be. Please don't hesitate to let any of our management team, that your expectations are not being met. We will do our best to correct any concerns. Take care and I hope to see you in the future.

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Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin for one night on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Our group included myself, my wife, our son, and two of his friends. We were celebrating our son's 9th, 10th, and 11th birthdays. (Yes, we were behind a bit so decided to splurge on an overnight party.)

We rented a Royal Two-Room Family Suite ($345/night inc. tax) which has a separate master bedroom with king bed a full bath, and separate bedroom with two queen beds and a full-size sofa-sleeper. This worked well for our group and the boys enjoyed the room. Note: the Royal Two-Room Family Suites are located down a non-public hallway which can only be accessed by having a room key. This is nice as many of the other rooms are adjacent to public hallways and can be quite noisy.

The bed was comfortable, there was a 42" flat screen in the room, a microwave, mini-fridge, and the Wi-Fi connection was free and strong.

My wife noticed that there was a hairbrush left on one of the queen beds, and when we were packing to leave, my wife found two pair of shorts and a shirt in one of the dressers. These did not belong to any of the boys, so it left us a bit concerned about how well the rooms were cleaned between visits. (The first negative.)

The indoor waterpark is big, and offers much to do for kids (and adults) of every age. I was looking forward to the lazy river, but was annoyed to learn that only half of the lazy river was open due to a lack of lifeguards. (The second negative.) However, the boys really liked the FlowRider surf ride. Get there early though, because this is a very popular ride and can have well over an hour wait to ride. There is also a wave pool at the center of the park that the boys enjoyed Saturday evening. But when we were in the waterpark Sunday morning, the wave pool was not waving. Disappointing. (Third negative.)

While letting the boys run Saturday night, my wife and I enjoyed a HUGE cocktail from the Cracked Coconut bar located in the waterpark. It was good, and served up nicely by the bartender, whose name was Britta, I believe.

We had pizza and wings Saturday night from the buffet next to the entrance to the water park. The wings were about average, and the pizza above average, while the pricing is about what you'd expect from food service inside the resort. (A little pricey.) The gentlemen working the joint were quite nice and helpful.

The boys also spent time in the Indoor Theme Park which has go-karts, a rope course, a climbing wall, mini golf, and laser tag, all with unlimited play during your stay for one price. (The arcade games where you win tickets which can be turned in for trinkets are a separate cost.) The lines were pretty non-existent during our stay, but I know that during peak holiday times, the lines can be worse than Disney.

Overall, a mostly positive, enjoyable experience. But, as mentioned in the title of this review, a few negatives dropped this trip down to "Very Good" from "Excellent".

Room Tip: Try to get a room away from the main halls - they can be extremely noisy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MPSilbernagel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our resort and choosing to spend your son's last couple birthday's with us! Our pleasure to have you and can't thank you enough for taking the time to review us! I will be sure to pass along the constructive suggestions and team member shout outs to the appropriate department leaders. This allows us to pinpoint the areas we need to improve on giving us the opportunity for the feature to go beyond all of your expectations. I would like to specifically apologize about the state of your room. This has been brought up to our housekeeping team. As well as your second and third negative points, thank you for reaching out to us and giving us the opportunity to improve. Take care and hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed October 1, 2012

3 adult friends and I enjoyed the Groupon opportunity of a Friday night stay in a Desert room, with 4 waterpark passes. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean and themed the lobby was upon walking in...couldn't entirely rival Disney, but for Wisconsin, it's as close as we get!

The room was spacious, tidy and simple - had all the amenities needed, with 2 queens, a sofa-sleeper, and small table and chairs. The shower had great water pressure, but the beds were AWFUL - sagging in the middle like a hammock. Guaranteed, you will end up suction-cupping yourself away from your bedmate in the morning, after the two of your bodies give into gravity's pull during the night. An experience, to say the least!

The waterpark was fun, but I would not recommend for teens - I think they would get bored too easily. Wilderness has a much more expansive indoor water park; and unfortunately the outdoor parks were already closed when we visited Kalahari, so we were resigned to the indoor park only. There were some hair-raising tube slides that the more adventurous of the group tried out; the lazy river was pretty shallow and not a long "ride" but still fun to try to avoid all the drippy waterfalls throughout the river. The best part of all: there were no lines! Only one ride had a constant line due to the "one at a time" nature of that ride, but if I were to return with kiddos, I would definitely come in September (on a Friday) - you can go on as many rides as you like, as many times as you like without wait. Pretty great! Swim towels were plentiful on the day we visited, but not all of the concessions/snack bars were open...again, prob due to off-season.

Check in and check out are a bit of a time-suck, but they give you a LOT of information, coupons, and tips for the property - which was greatly appreciated. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and polite, aside from the odd little woman working in the ceramic paint shop on the lobby level. She was an odd little bird, and not customer-service oriented, so we decided not to pursue this particular activity.

The BEST PART of this resort is the insanely fun amusement park. It's very easy to drop a lotta cash in here, but oh my goodness: ferris wheel, mini golf, ropes course, laser tag, bowling! And some of the neatest arcade games I have EVER seen. Bonus was that the amusement park was well-staffed, laid out nicely, and extremely clean. Our $60 in "prize tickets" won us a ceramic chicken bank...but I carried that chicken bank with pride, because the best prize of all were the hilarious memories made of my girlfriends and I reliving our childhood in this safe, and charming environment.

Recommended for kids of all ages, but bring your big-kid wallets for the amusement park!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MilwaukeeGrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kassie R, Social Media Coordinator at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

I feel compelled to tell you that I honestly laughed out loud when I read that you carried your ceramic chicken bank with pride. Made my day. Thank you for that! So glad to hear that you were able to take advantage of Groupon offer and visit. I will be sure to pass along your thoughts on the beds. We are in the process of upgrading many of our rooms, so hopefully when you return, you will be delightfully surprised. Of course, if this remains not up to your expectations, don't hesitate to let us know while on property and we will do our best to accommodate you. I also wanted to let you know that we are adding new rides into our waterpark and theme park this year and the every year from here on, so when you return, I hope there is something bigger and better than you remember. Thank you again for your review and time. Hope to see you soon!

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Additional Information about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Address: 1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#4 Business Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#12 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: $145 - $262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 750
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Also Known As:
Kalahari Waterpark Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells
Kalahari Hotel Wi Dells
Kalahari Wi Dells
Kalahari Waterpark Resort

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