TR - Wisconsin Dells 7/1/13

Monday, July 8, 2013 7:39 PM

This will cover Mt Olympus, Timber Falls, and Knuckleheads. All in one day.

My son, Boogie (10), and I (with my wife tagging along but not riding anything) set out to hit all the coasters and possibly the M.O. waterpark as well. Found a deal online where you can reserve yourself free, yes free, tickets to M.O. waterpark and upgrade to the full park for only $15.00. So the 3 of us paid a grand total of $45 to get in. (this fact helped to ease the pain after we discovered how much we hated M.O.) M.O. was only new to our son but Hades 360 was new to me too, having only ridden the old one.

At the front of the park is H360, but the sign said 40 minutes so we decided to skip it for now. We started off with the little yellow kiddie. I was hoping to get a credit myself, but no such luck. Next, Pegasus, the Jr Woodie, and it was ok, nothing too special. Then we hit up the go-kart track closest to that, I forget what it was called. Since our son is as car obsessed as I am, gk's are a huge draw for him. He wants to drive so bad we still ride the antique cars everywhere we go. And don't even get me started on bumper cars... Anyways, this was perhaps the most boring track in the park, as there were no ramps, bridges or structures to drive up. But they have better tracks.

At this point we became all too aware of just how crowded the park was getting. The only bathroom in the area was pulling what looked like a 10 minute line on the women's side. Because of this we only took 1 ride on each of the coasters at M.O.

Next up was Cyclops. The infamous "must be 18 or older to ride in the last car" coaster. When I explained to Boogie what that was about, he immediately wanted to ride in the back of the 2nd to last car. Since there was a couple in front of us, and only 1 train, he told me to take a ride in the back while he waited. So I did. And yeah, it was pretty intense. The air was indeed crazy, but about the same as the last row in Raven, which has no such rules other than wear your seat belt. I then joined him in the 2nd to last car and rode again. The air was only very slightly less, but the ride in this spot was noticeably worse. It shuffled so bad that and Boogie did not enjoy it at all. Neither did I.

Next up we hit Zues. Easily the best of the "non-Hades" coasters at M.O. but for some reason Boogie was getting impatient and decided to go for first available instead of wait 1 extra train for the front. SO we sat about 3/4 back and got a shuffle filled rough ride with decent air. I'm sure the front would have been an awesome ride, as it is an airtime out n back.

After putting it off long enough and hoping the line would shorten, (it didn't) we entered the queue for Hades 360. The sign said 70 minutes, but it ended up being more like 90. So Hades 360, in addition to an inversion, also gained Timberliner trains. Neat, I was curious to try them out. We decided after such a long wait to take the extra time for the front. In fact, the lady in front of us was a single rider and she allowed Boogie to ride with her first so he could then ride again with me when she left and I boarded. Lucky he's so cute, huh? What can I say about H360? I loved it before and I loved it even more now. The tunnel is insane and wonderfully cold, a welcome blast of AC in the July heat. (Now that I think about it, there's nothing "Hades" about that, shouldn't they have heaters down there?) And the roll was equally awesome. This would be my first of the barrel roll woodies and it was all I hoped it would be. As for the TL trains, while slightly comfortable I guess, you are really snug and tucked in. More like you'd be on a steel coaster than a woodie. And I am not sure they were any more comfortable. We rode in the front row, usually the smoothest, but it still had a decent amount of roughness. I'm guessing further back was a lot more rough. So maybe they provide relief to the track and train, but I doubt it makes a difference to the rider. I think this will do nothing to smooth out the Voyage. Tell me I'm wrong, I dunno...

We were getting very fed up with the crowdedness at this point and were ready to leave for lunch, but while waiting in line for H360, I discovered (thanks, RCDB!) that there was another new coaster at M.O. that I didn't even know about

OPA! Twister Style... er... Coaster... was hiding out in a building down by the waterpark. So we went down there and rode it. Spinning Mouse, whatever.

Lunch at Culver's, probably the 2nd best fast food joint after In N Out Burger.

After lunch we decided we needed a break from the chaos of M.O. and went to Timber Falls to ride Avalanche. RCDB says it's now called Hellcat, but I saw nothing saying that at the park. I rode this when it first opened and thought it was absolutely amazing. It flies through the course and when new was incredibly smooth. For only $4.00 more than 2 ride tix each, we got 2 unlimited after 5PM wristbands. This gives unlimited minigolf, logflume, and 5 coaster rides. First ride we took in the front and it was quite fun. Still flies through the course, but has aged a bit. The second ride we took in the back and the airtime on the first drop and 2nd hill was awesome! However, it was a very rough ride, and the remaining 3 rides we took in the front. We saw another couple, who were ACE members and very friendly, and only 2 other people, so we pretty much had the coaster to ourselves. We also took 3 rides on the log flume, which was pretty fun. It runs through the trenches very fast and didn't get us wet, which is log flume perfection in my mind.

After this, we headed back to M.O. for a couple more go kart rides and perhaps another H360. We rode the Poseidon go karts, which had the spiral structures to drive up and down. Very fun. Then we headed over to the Trojan Horse. Upon driving the TH course, we discovered that you no longer drive up the ramps and through the horse. instead you just drive under it's legs. I'm only guessing the ramps provide too many wipeouts, as we did see a few on the Poseidon track. But still... LAME!

Hades was still showing 40 minutes on it's sign and we were about to get in line when our friend texted and told us that she and her daughter, Ava, were already at Knuckleheads, the bowling/FEC complex that also has a kiddie coaster. So we left M.O. and spent the last 2 hours at KH. Boogie, 10, and Ava, 6, had a blast running around KH riding the rides, go karts, and jumping on the inflatables. There's even a large jumper outside that adults are allowed on. I had a blast jumping on this with the kids. And the kiddie coaster lets adults on. It was pretty fun for a kiddie credit, but once was enough for me. This was apparently Ava's first coaster ever and she didn't like it at all.

So overall a very busy day. Probably about 11 hours worth of park going, which is far more than standard for us. But an incredibly fun day as well.

And now for the rant/bitch about Mt. Olympus. I mentioned earlier about how crowded it was, and how we intended to go to the waterpark as well? Well, the WP idea went right out the window when we saw the crowds. The WP is actually very small, so everyone is crammed into some very long lines. It's really not so much that the coaster park is overcrowded, but in fact, there is only 1 major path through the park, and it is not even that wide. So therefore what would be a perfectly manageable crowd anywhere else is a huge traffic jam at M.O.

Couple that with the fact that the coasters are only one train and you have long waits everywhere. Now let me say right off the bat that I am fine with the 1 train coasters. I am perfectly aware that they were built that way and therefore it's the only option. All coasters except Hades360 were only 15-20 minute waits, certainly acceptable. I do not want to sound like your stereotypical whiny enthusiast, but the operations at H360 were completely inexcusable in my book. Dispatches routinely took 5 minutes. And while we were in the station we saw one that went like this... They started checking restraints from the rear of the train forward. Towards the back was a person too large to ride. After trying for a while to lock her in, she eventually had to leave. The ops then asked for a single rider. When no one answered, they walked the entire gate queue, asking "single rider?" When no one still answered, they leaned out of the station and yelled down the stairs for a single rider. This took seemingly forever. When no one answered, they started over at the rear of the train checking restraints, until closer to the front they found yet another guest too large to fit. After many tries, he got booted as well. This was absolutely painful to endure, and Boogie and I, as coastertools, were certainly not the only people waiting in line to have noticed this.

So, since we only paid $15 each, I suppose you could say we got our monies worth. Full price is $40, but you should never pay full price in the Dells since there are so many coupons available. But when you consider that the Dells are far for us, and we will probably never make it there again since we're moving to CO later this year, I'm very disappointed in the experience. They need more paths to spread the walkers (and the idiots who just stand there mouthbreathing,) more waterslides to thin the lines, and better ride ops on the coasters. In fact, on the way out I tried to find a guest relations to complain, (yeah, I know... whining enthusiast) but was told that there was none. But somehow, all I could think was "figures."

I hope this did not come off as a mega-long gripe-fest. M.O. is a great destination. Just not during the peak season. I mean, go karts and coasters, it's a 10 yr old kids dream. I would definitely come back if able but only during the non-peak season. H360 is worth the price of admission alone. (especially $15.00 heh heh.)

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Monday, July 8, 2013 9:11 PM

My friends Dave and Tim went there, and they reported the same thing about Mt. Olympus. They paid full price to go there, and were greatly disappointed, as they said it was packed as well, and they hardly went on any of the rides. Though my friend Dave will not wait in a line that is over 30 minutes, and would rather eat and shop. (BORING!!)

They said the only rides they went on were the log flume, and the disk ride. And some of the flats, and the only coaster they went on was Opa, as it was the only one that didn't have a huge line. They said they also did the water park, but didn't like it as much as Michigan's adventure, as it was too crowded.

They mentioned going to some of the other smaller parks that had rides, and said that they had some crazy rides at one park, like the free fall tower ride, where they drop you into the net. They said they also had a slingshot ride, and a rip cord ride there. Plus one of those propeller rides.

They said there were quite a few parks, there, and they also did one of the indoor water parks, which they liked better than mount Olympus. They also did the Trojan Horse go karts, and they really liked that. But, other wise, Tim said, they spent most of the time walking and looking.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:07 AM

Mmmmm... Culvers. A double butter burger, crinkle cut fries, root beer, and a scoop of chocolate custard with marshmallow, please!

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:13 AM

My preference is a Double Bacon Cheese Butterburger Deluxe with fries, Dr. Pepper, and a concrete mixer with the two toppings being cherries and extra cherries.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 7:51 AM

Double Cheeseburger and a Strawberry Shake for me, or occasionally a small sundae. One of my favorite parts about living in Wisconsin is how there is at least one Culvers in every town. Always my first meal upon getting back to the midwest and the last before I leave.

If you want to do a waterpark at the dells, next time either go to Noah's Ark or spring for Kalahari, my one and only time I have visited MO since it went to POP admission was when I received a coupon for a free admission.

Last edited by Touchdown, Tuesday, July 9, 2013 7:53 AM
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 9:09 AM

Wilderness and Kalahari both have great water parks that compliment each other. Wilderness has an aqua loop, Proslide Tornado and a great wave pool, Kalahari has a Master Blaster, Proslide Sky box slides and a flow rider, not to mention a swim up bar. We always stay at one of the Wilderness properties, and occasionally get a day pass for Kalahari (cheaper after 5pm).

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 4:10 PM

We generally do not like chintzy tourist traps like the Dells, which is why we were only in it to hit the coasters and then GTFO. Not a place where we would vacation, but rather we happened to be in NW IL visiting family and just sort of tacked this on to the end. I mean come on... Hades 360 people!!!

My complaints about the waterpark were really just to emphasize that MO has a serious crowd control problem. We would have spent some time at the WP had we not had so much of our time wasted at H360 and the lines were shorter, but aren't concerned about missing out.

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