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question about planning trip to water parks

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Chicago, IL
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question about planning trip to water parks

hello, my wife and i are thinking about getting away from the chicago winter but have never been to the dells before. if anyone can help with these questions we'd greatly appreciate it!

we are planning on arriving saturday 1/24 and leaving either mon 1/26 or tues 1/27.

1) to save on room fare, is it feasible to stay at a place like the wisc. dells days inn (~ $34-42/night), and just get day passes to the better water parks? seems like kalahari, wilderness, chula vista, and great wolf lodge are popular ones, but their room rates are quite steep.

2) roughly how much do the day passes run? and do those 3 water parks allow non-overnight guests to use their facilities, like if we stay at the days inn?

3) do these parks tend to give discounts to nurses? or AAA members?

4) finally, what do you guys recommend for food/dining -- eat at the resorts? or are there good restaurants separate from the resorts to eat at?

i know -- lots of qusetions! we'd appreciate any help!

West Salem, WI
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1. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

We have stayed at the Wilderness a couple of times and it is well worth the money. they have 3 indoor waterparks. You cannot use there waterparks unless you are a guest there. If you check there website they have been running specials for rooms for only $99.00. A friend of mine has stayed at the Kalahari and said it is not worth the money and they only have 1 indoor waterpark. I have never gone to the Chula Vista or the Great Wolf. I would not eat at any of the resorts, food can be really pricey and not very good. I would recommend trying Moosejaw which is just down the road from The Wilderness. They have really good pizza! Another good place to try is the River Walk Pub. It is located right by the river and has great food. They also have bands sometimes on the weekends. Please let me know if I can help you with anything else!

Chicago, IL
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2. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

thanks for the information! the more i think about it, if i'm planning a weekend getaway for my wife, maybe i'll pony up and stay at the nice resort. somehow, visions of a bottom dollar motel don't seem to equate to a relaxing vacation!

WI
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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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3. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

you can find the great deals on room rates in the winter, that's when I would try and stay at a resort.

Food: Moosejaw, Paul Bunyan's Restaurant, Mr. Pancake if you like pancakes for breakfast!

West Salem, WI
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87 posts
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4. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

I actually got some coupons in the mail a few weeks ago for the Wilderness Resort for a double queen room for $99.00. It's valid through March 19th. If you call to make a reservation tell them you have a coupon for $99 a night and the code for the coupon is H99. Hope this helps you make a great getaway vacation for you and your wife!

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

We found Great Wolf to be perfect, water-park wise, to be great for ages 10 and under, but offering not many thrills for those older. Still, lots of water-park things (wave pool and matt-slide were my faves, the Tornado is the best/only big thrill).

We realized the benefit of the big, self-contained Great Wolf facility when we went because it snowed all weekend. Two meals at the grill were enough, but it was pleasant to have a decent variety of Madison-area microbrew options. And it wasn't a far trudge across parking lots for those who wanted other restaurants or shopping. If you want the Pizza Hut pizza at Great Wolf, it's better to bring it to your room, as it's the food stop as part of the indoor play area, which is 85% Nerfball shooting gallery and as relaxing as a Chuck E Cheese.

Now's a decent time to comparison-shop facilities for packages. Also check TA reviews for opinions on adult-level friendliness.

Wisconsin
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6. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

Definetly Wilderness! Pay the extra money and stay at the hotel. You have to remember that when you leave and your hair is wet you have to go outside and get in your cold car!

The buffet in Wilderness is good but pricey. Famous Dave's is great, Moosejaw, Uno's.

Stay away from Ponderosa there. Not very good!

3rd Chaise to the...
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7. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

The only resorts with waterparks that sell day passes now are Kalahari, Chula Vista and Mt. Olympus, as far as I know. Look to pay $30 plus per person for a day pass, which gets pricey real fast. You are much better off to pay and stay at the resort -- you'll probably end up spending the same $$ in the end, and not be as comfortable.

One advtange of staying at the Kalahari is that it is all connected, so no going outside in the weather. Granted, if you are at the Sands part of the complex, it's a long haul, but at least your hair won't freeze. You'll have lots of time to experience the weather at the Wilderness and Chula Vista.

Check their websites for deals, and other discounts.

As far as food -- I like Damon's (part of the Kalahari), Pizza Pub and Pedro's. I try to avoid the food at the waterparks -- too expensive. Most of the resorts have fridges in the room, so if you stay there, you can always slip back to the room for lunch / snacks / cocktails.

8. Re: question about planning trip to water parks

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