We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

3rd Chaise to the...
Level Contributor
1,490 posts
38 reviews
Save Topic
A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

Just wanted to share some thoughts with folks planning to visit Wisconsin Dells in the fall, winter or spring...

After Labor Day, the major properties close their outdoor waterparks for the season. Sometimes they keep a couple slides open on the weekends, but by mid-September -- regardless of the run of warm weather -- you are not going to use an outdoor waterpark. In the spring, they slowly open outdoor areas, but most are not fully ready to go until Memorial Day weekend. (It's just too darn cold anyway...)

Mt. Olympus, Kalahari, Great Wolf, Wilderness and Chula Vista have major indoor waterparks that are open year round. Polynesian has an indoor good for smaller kids. Beware of some resorts claiming indoor waterparks that are really nothing more than a pool and a couple of slides. Mt. Olympus, Knuckleheads and -- in December -- the Kalahari have what I'd call indoor amusement parks.

The jetboats, Ducks and boat tours run thru the fall color season usually, but that's weather dependent. Make sure you have a jacket. (They sometimes open as early as March if we have an early spring.)

Go-Karts, mini-golf and other outdoor attractions are usually open into October on warm days and weekends, and reopen in March or April.

Performance attractions -- Rick Wilcox Magic Show, Broadway Dinner Theater, Comedy Club, etc have fewer shows. Shops are hit and miss in the winter. Most restaurants and bars are open.

Keep in mind that the Dells employs a lot of college and high school kids. They just are not available to lifeguard, wait tables, etc. during the week during the school year.

There is plenty to do in the Dells year round, but it takes a bit more planning in the off season than in the summer.

My best advice is to check on-line first about what you want to do, then call and confirm.

chicago, il
Level Contributor
196 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

Good post, Elveric!

Just wanted to add that if you go on an "off" off time (like during the week when there is not a school break) some of the indoor waterparks don't have all the attractions open the full day. We went to Great Wolf last year the Sunday after Thanksgiving (kids were off on Monday) and the section of the waterpark that has the Howling Tornado was only open from 5pm to 9pm Sundays-Thursdays. It was pretty disappointing to my kids, as the Howling Tornado was one of their favorite things to do.

I would definately double-check with any indoor resorts as to these types of restrictions before booking.

Kelly

Twin Cities
Level Contributor
43 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

For the first summer in almost 20 years, I did not make it down to the Dells and it makes me sad to admit this. It was mostly not having the time. Overall, how did the Dells do this past summer compared to others? Was the fact that the water ski show was "dry" have a positive or negative effect? Maybe it caused people to explore other entertainment options? Perhaps we should ask the casino for "numbers". That might be a true indicator of how the Dells did.

I have friends who live and work in Branson and they reported that overall business was down as much as 25% this past summer, but thought that was due to economy, not weather. Branson is stuck in a tough spot. So much of what they are selling is old music and the audience is either dying off or getting tired of "The Orange Blossom Special". Shows that have an overall biblical theme seem to do well but country and hillbilly music is slowly dying out. At least the kind that has been the basis of Branson for so long, now has trouble selling tickets. There are exceptions, but overall, it has slowed down significantly. Condo sales and retirement communities still are growing, but the core theatre business is in big trouble.

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
947 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

Here are two articles from the local Dells newspaper, the first talks mainly about the effects of the draining of Lake Delton and the second more about the general season in the entire Dells.

www.wiscnews.com/wde/archives/index.php…

www.wiscnews.com/wde/archives/index.php…

3rd Chaise to the...
Level Contributor
1,490 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

From Dells business owners and visitors I've talked with, this was an OK summer for the "big" properties. Numbers and dollars were about the same as last year.

The smaller "mom and pop" businesses did not fare nearly as well -- I've heard some were as much as 40-50% down from previous years. Also, Rocky Rococco (pizza chain) closed it's doors a couple weeks ago -- saying they had a really bad year.

Part of the blame goes to the economy, but a bigger part to the misconception early in the year that the draining of Lake Delton "closed" the Dells.

As far as the Ski Show goes... I give kudos to owner Tom Diehl for keeping it going, even while playing to diminished crowds. A mututal friend told me that Diehl made his decision based on the fact that 150 high school and college kids were counting on those summer jobs.

I know lots of Dells area businesses count on their summer revenue to get them thru the winter -- we'll see how that plays out...

5. Re: A Few Words About "Off Season" visits to the Dells

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 October 2009, 19:20