Seeking advice on first Wisconsin Dells trip.

Sunday, July 3, 2005 11:48 AM
Usually, when I am unfamiliar with an area I have this reluctance in making a reservation fearing that it may not be in an area I like, or too far from the parks, dirty, dumpy, etc., you get the picture.

Is the Dells a kind of place where one could easily get a hotel/motel on a walk up basis in late July (22-24)?

I realize the hotel rates are pretty high in July and since I am on a budget, I prefer not to stay in the resort type hotels.

Can anyone recommend places to stay and areas NOT to stay?


Sunday, July 3, 2005 12:13 PM
I went to the Dell's for the first time on Memorial Day weekend. I can't give you as much information as people who frequent the Dells often but here's my advice.

The Dells is chocked full of old school motels. I didn't have a reservation and had no problem finding a place to stay. I ended up staying just a little way down the street from Mt. Olympus for $65. The place was old, but was adequate for a place to put one's head. I really don't know if there is a 'bad' area of the Dells, although there didn't appear to be one.

The Dells isn't a huge area, so any place that you stay won't be too far from the parks.

Timber Falls offers a discounted wristband in the evening and I would recommend doing that. You can get in plenty of rides from 7 until closing, if you're up to it you could most likely manage 40-50 rides in that amount of time. There is also a nice casino in a nearby town that if that is your kind of thing.

Enjoy all the great Wisconsin wood.

Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:03 PM
I'm going to be their the same days you are. Maybe I'll see ya in the park. I'm just going to bring a camper and stay at some campground. I have a question also. I could go to Mt. Olympus 2 days in a row but that means no Timberfalls. And I would want to go there for Avalanche. Is there anything else to do. Because I will probably go to both parks then I'll ride Avalanche all day. Is it worth it to stay their the whole day?
Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:07 PM
It would seem impossible that every room at every motel in the Dells could *ever* fill up! If that were the case you wouldn't want be there anyway.

I did some checking around and found the Best Western, Comfort Inn and AmericInn all offer discount Mt. Olympus packages. They were around $140/night including two tickets to MO, that brings the motel charges to $80/night.

So you will almost certainly find a place, the only issue is price. Without a reservation you might end up paying more if it's a busy weekend or less if it's a slow one.


Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:11 PM

It would be pretty difficult to spend an entire day at Timber falls. They have a fun log flume, Avalanche and some bumper boats. I didn't play miniature golf, so I'm not sure if that was included in the all day pass. They really don't have much to do other than power ride Avalanche and take a few spins on the flume. You could easily hit Timber Falls for a few hours on the same day you visit Mt. Olympus, they're not that far apart.

Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:12 PM
Screwy - Why would two days at Mt.O preclude you from going to Timber Falls?

First, Mt. O is not a full-fledged theme park yet. The Disc-o is the only adult flat ride they have, leaving the woodies, the "water coaster," and the cart tracks. You won't want more than one ride on Pegasus, 1 or 2 on Zeus [running rough this year], a half-dozen or so on Cyclops, and of course the most on Hades. The "water coaster?" With a capacity of about 100 people per hour its a friggin joke but if you need the credit do it right as the park opens.

Timber Falls has a twilight [after 5pm] all-you-can-ride special. 60-90 mins at Timber Falls is *plenty* for a ride on the flume and multiple re-rides on Avalanche.

TRUST ME - you can easily do both parks in two days. Heck, I did both parks in *one* day!

There are also three credits at Riverview Park, across the street from Mt. O. A Galaxi and two kiddie coasters. That shouldn't take you more than an hour tops.

There are lots of mini-golf courses and haunted houses in the Dells but I've not done any and can't comment.

Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:21 PM
Having just done the Dells last week I'd say you'll get a room but your choices will be limited and the price will be high. That's in the dead middle of 'season' for the area and on a weekend. Expect to overpay for a marginal room and expect to find a lot of "No Vacancy" signs lit along the way.

Corkscrewy - I don't think Mt. Olympus is a two-day park. Not for me at least. If you really like water parks you could probably spend a day there and another day riding coasters and go-karts. Don't be mistaken in thinking Mt. Olympus is a full park experience quite yet. Excluding the 4 kiddie rides and the kiddie coaster, there really is just 5 coasters, the newly installed Robocoaster, the Disk-O and a bunch of go-kart tracks (that are very unique). Beyond power riding the coaster or go-kart line-up, there isn't much to do.

Also, Timber Falls isn't exactly a 'park' in the sense you may be thinking. They have 5 attractions - period. There's no park to explore, no walking around, nothing but those 5 attractions sitting there waiting to be ridden. Even if you did the mini-golf, took a ride on the flume, skyscraper & bumper boats, then got 30 laps on Avalanche - I can't see spending an entire day there.

EDIT - those guys kinda said the same thing while I was typing. :)

*** Edited 7/3/2005 5:22:14 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Sunday, July 3, 2005 1:40 PM
Thanks guys.. I'll probably do Olympus one day then Timberfalls the next. Its alright if I don't get the whole amusement park feeling at these. I'm also going to SFGA on that trip so it'll be cool. I'll be their from the 17-31 so, I'll do both parks on seperate days. Otherwise I'll probably get bored. I'm not that big on waterparks. I'd rather ride a coaster anyday.
Sunday, July 3, 2005 2:15 PM
Screwy - A full day for Timber Falls is just WAY TOO MUCH. Two hours AT THE MOST is all you need.

I think 1.5 days at Mt. O and a 1/2 day exploring Timber Falls and Riverview is a good plan. You're going to want to spend at least a 1/2 day re-riding Hades ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2005 2:20 PM

You're going to want to spend at least a 1/2 day re-riding Hades

And on the weekend that should get you 3 or 4 laps even! ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2005 2:25 PM
Haha.. yea well. What else is their to do in the Dells. I know they have alot of other things like with nature and stuff but where I live we don't see to much coaster action. ;) I like thrills and don't get to see them very much. I'm not sure what we'll do yet. All I know is it'll be fun. Also.. if we do do Mt. O. and Timberfalls in one day would it be wise to do SFGA in 2. Can you get everything done at least a couple times in 1 day??
Sunday, July 3, 2005 2:34 PM
I'm making my first trip this coming Friday. I'll have additional comments to make after that, but I'd take the guys' advice. Even I, with no Dells experience, know that Timber Falls will take me 2 hours, tops.

If anyone wants to join in, hit up the calendar. Next Friday. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2005 3:07 PM

Mamoosh said:

The "water coaster?" With a capacity of about 100 people per hour its a friggin joke but if you need the credit do it right as the park opens.

We timed a complete cycle at 7 minutes. With three tubs and two people per it's more like 50 PPH! I've yet to read a review of Dive to Atlantis, has anyone not skipped it? :)


*** Edited 7/3/2005 7:08:32 PM UTC by Marko***

Sunday, July 3, 2005 3:49 PM
Mark, a 7 minute cycle seems really short - I timed our ride in at 12 minutes and we were helping our log/car move a little faster.

As for the ride itself:

First be prepared for an exceptionally long wait (even if there's only 15 people in front of you). Essentially you VERY slowly move your way through the winding trough to the lift hill. It felt like forever, but it's probably about 8-10 minutes of drifting. There is no shade on the entire course or in the que so if it's a nice day make sure to wear sun protection.

The coaster section is short and wrong. There's a quick swooping drop into an absolutely insane right turn straight down the chute into the splashdown. The laterals that the right turn produces has to be one of the more intense and jarring lateral moments I've experienced on a coaster - it will leave you with your mouth on the floor just long enough to get a face and mouthful of water at the splashdown. According to RCDB the coaster section was too fast when it initially opened and had to be altered to slow it down - I can't even fathom that.

After the splashdown it takes another couple of minutes to get back to the station.

If Mount O can find a way to speed up the flume portion of the ride or if they could put more boats on the ride and do some theming for the long meandering drifting this ride could be a winner. As it is right now, it's a dud with a freskishly insane lateral.

Hope that helps.

Long live the Saturn 6 & B&B Carousell!

Jim 'jimvid' McDonnell

Sunday, July 3, 2005 4:20 PM
Hello! Don't forget Noahs Ark! sure its not a theme park, but its a water park of course. Same thrills, just water. The Flamingo Motel has discount tickets to it, and its practacly on the Noahs Ark lot. But yeah, don't forget Hades.


*** Edited 7/3/2005 8:21:14 PM UTC by Colin Fisher***

Sunday, July 3, 2005 4:21 PM

I stayed at the Super 8 the weekend before Memorial Day at a fair price. It actually is a fairly nice hotel and there is a Perkins right in front of it that offers a 10% discount on meals when you show your hotel key. Taffic is always jammed so I walked to Mt. O and Timberfalls. Mt. O is a little bit of a trek from the Super 8, but not that bad and Timberfalls is even closer. It was actually more fun cause you get to see more of the Dells flavor by walking. Oh, and you can hit Riverview on the way to Mt. O's. As others have said all three parks can be done in one day. Hope this helps and have fun.


Sunday, July 3, 2005 5:42 PM
Thanks Jim - The next time I'm at the park and it's 80+ degrees at 10:00 in the morning I'll be sure to give DtA a whirl. ;) Every aspect of it looks excruciating, the unshaded queue, the hopeless drifting/meandering to the lift hill, just praying for it all to end. Actually now I'm intrigued, something so hopelessly wrong has got to be worth a laugh or two.

Mark *** Edited 7/3/2005 9:42:57 PM UTC by Marko***

Sunday, July 3, 2005 7:15 PM
Actually, Dive to Atlantis has a capacity of 120 to 140 riders per hour. I had plenty of time to compute it and average it while I stood in line for 40 minutes waiting to get the credit. Higher than what some people have said, but still pretty pathetic.

I stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn for $79 per night when I was there in June. Close to the parks, brand new and very nice.

Sunday, July 3, 2005 8:01 PM
We stayed at the HGI as well. It's very new and way nicer than anything else looked in the area. Staff seemed a bit "meh" - but what can you do?

And just to show how rates in the area change depending on time of week/year - The above post mentions $79. Our stay last week was $94 and for the weekend of July 22-24 you're looking at $139 to $179 depending on room type. (that kind of goes back to the "expect to pay" comment I made earlier)

Monday, July 4, 2005 12:15 AM
You guys have been a great help. I'll probably play it safe and make a reservation instead of a walk up.

Marko, thanks for the package deal info! That sounds like it's worth checking into. Hilton Garden Inn sounds nice but I may have to find something a bit cheaper. If it comes down to it, I will pay it, but I would prefer to get something cheaper than $179 a night.

Unfortunately, the way my flight is set up I will not get to the Dells until late Friday night after the parks have closed. So basically, I really only have Saturday to do both parks. I feel sure that won't be a problem now.

Then on Sunday, on my way to my 8:45pm flight from O'Hare, I plan to stop at Great America in the a.m. for some rides on Viper & Raging Bull and whatever else I have time for.


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