Wisconsin Dells - anyone been there?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jon_Are, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Next month I'm taking the family to the Dells for a week; we have rented a house on a lake.

    I'd appreciate suggestions or tips from anyone who is familiar with the area. Anything I shouldn't miss??

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  2. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    I love the Dells... I grew up in Chicago, so our family used to alternate our yearly vacations between the Dells, and some other location (one year Dells, one year Orlando, one year Dells, one year Washington DC, etc...)

    We used to stay at a campground called Dell-boo (it was in Baraboo which is right outside of the Dells). We went with several other families. It was a blast! There is so much to do in the Dells - it's perfect for kids. At the time (> 10 years ago) there were 2 large, competing waterparks: Family Land, and Noah's Ark. Family Land was a combination Water ParkAmusement park, and Noah's Ark was primarily a water park... we'd usually end up going to both [​IMG]

    I haven't been back to the Dells in probably almost 15 years, but I'd like to head back... it's really a great place.
     
  3. Bill Wise

    Bill Wise Agent

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    Jon,

    We live about 45 min. from the Dells and I can say that it all depends on what you and your family are into. I can pretty safely say that the only "don't miss" is the scenery. Take a ride on the Ducks and find out how the Dells got their name.

    Other than that, there are some nice golf courses (Wilderness Woods and Trappers Turn being my favorites), great water parks (Noah's Ark and Family Land), Tommy Bartlett's ski show, live music and comedy (everything from Olivia Newton John to the Moody Blues) at the Crystal Grand Theater, and generally just hangin' out in the tourist traps. ;-)

    If you're up for a day-trip or two, within an hour there's the Circus World Museum and Devil's Lake state park in Baraboo, American Players Theater in Spring Green, and House on the Rock in Dodgeville.

    All in all, you shouldn't have any trouble filling a week with activities. Have fun!

    Bill
     
  4. Eric Mitchell

    Eric Mitchell Stunt Coordinator

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    Send the kids to Noah's Ark and hit up Ho-Chunk casino...[​IMG]

    But seriously, ride the Ducks, visit Devil's lake. Your in for a wonderful time.
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    A word about the ducks... they can be a little long especially if you have little ones who might not be patient. We took our 3 yr old on the Jet Boat tour... you see the same scenery only at higher speeds with doughnuts.. he loved it! He was talking about it for months after.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Better even than the Ducks (you'll be there a week so you can do both) is the boat ride; I forget whether it's the Upper Dells or Lower Dells (separate ticket for each), but you want the one where you get off the boat and walk through the canyons. Some beautiful terrain there that you can't see any other way, and THE best part of the Wisconsin Dells, hands down, and not so damnably commercial as the rest of it. Plus, it's nice and cool on a hot day. [​IMG]

    I used to date a woman whose grandfather was part of the team that invented the Ducks for the military; she had a pile of fascinating material from him regarding the development process that really should end up in a museum somewhere.

    Oh, and don't forget the fudge. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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  8. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    The Ducks are amphibious vehicles, made to travel both by land and by water. The Duck tour goes through forest and water...I can't recall the ratio but I think you spend more time on land than in water.

    The boat tours are on the big cruising boats that tour the Dells and I second taking the tour that lets you off to walk through the canyons. I can't recall if it's the upper or lower tour, but I'm sure it'll be easy to find that out once you're there.

    Bruce
     
  9. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    And the Big Chief Go-Kart Track is a lot of fun too; quite the elaborate setup. Can't miss the water parks of course, but there are so many it's hard to tell which one to recommend any more. Noah's Ark used to be the bestest & biggest but I'm not sure that's still the case.

    I think that the local Indians (who now go by the name Ho-Chunk) still have ceremonials at Stand Rock, though I don't think they have the dog jumping back and forth from the rock to the nearby cliff any more due to PETA or someone complaining. Anyway, the ceremonials are colorful and worth a visit too; expose the kids to something a little multicultural. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark Fontana

    Mark Fontana Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark
    I would pass on The House on the Rock. (For anyone unfamiliar with this attraction, it is a house perched on a rocky cliff with a sprawling complex of warehouse-style buildings attached, containing an eccentric collection of mechanical music machines, knickknacks, dollhouses, cars, the world's largest carousel, etc. For about $20, you can take a self-guided walking tour, depositing tokens (sold separately) to activate various machines along the route.)

    I was there last spring and it was really run-down. Most of the music machines were near death (a few pieces would still move, but most of their sound now comes from hidden tape recordings). The collection is still impressive in sheer scale, but wandering through the dark corridors and wheezy machines mostly left me wondering "Man, who's gonna clean all this up when this place closes?")

    If you go, consider bringing some allergy medication to counter the mildew and moldy carpeting...

    Frank Lloyd Wright's "Taliesin" house is not far from the House on the Rock, and a tour there might be a better way to spend $20.
     
  12. millercv

    millercv Second Unit

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    Strangely enough I'm going camping there next week [​IMG]

    We are staying at Kilby Lake but are planning on heading to the Dells, HotR, and probably Circus World.

    I used to vacation there back when we lived up near there but it has been probably 20 years since I was there.

    H
     
  13. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info, all.

    The Frank Lloyd Wright house sounds cool to me (have been to his Falling Waters home in the past). I'll just have to talk the others into checking it out.

    Jon
     
  14. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    Wi dells is fun. Circus World just isnt as good as it was 10 years ago, but Ripleys beleive it or not is always fun. The Duck tours are lots of fun to. Yeah the Ducks Tour isnt a "ride" ride. You go on old WW2 Normandy Invasion Boat/Vehicles.
    Noahs Ark is far by the best Water Place.

    oh and if you like ethnic food...... go to Marleys.
    Jamaaican Reggae themed restraunt. Excellant food and great Music[​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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