A June 1987 trip
to Wisconsin Dells by MCJ graduate
Quote: The Dells is not just a water park destination. In fact, what we did was take a Lower Dells boat excursion; toured the Royal Wax Museum, fun house, and haunted house; and shopped.
We stayed a little outside of the Dells in a ma-and-pa type of an establishment. It was approximately 10 miles from it. It was cheaper than staying in the Dells. I think back then that we paid less than a night. We stayed there for 4 days. It was convenient since it was only 10 miles away from all the Dells attractions and cost-effective.
The Dells is dubbed as The National Water Park Place in America. But it has more than that to offer. My partner and I, neither one water park fans, decided to engage ourselves with other experiences. We took the Lower Dells excursion; toured the Royal Wax Museum, fun house, and a haunted house; and shopped. We had a nice time at the Dells, despite the fact that it is a touristy town. The only annoying thing I can say about this locale is that if you go during the high season (the summer months), you are going to stand in line for a considerably long time to purchase tickets for the attractions. Otherwise, it is a family-fun location.
Being the natural enthusiast I am, I think my favorite activity we did was seeing the Lower Dells on the boat excursion. It was not only reasonably price (around a piece then), but we saw exquisite rock formations on this tour. We took some great pictures of these. Some even had names, such as the "cream and sugar bowl" formations. The guide did a narration as well about the formations.
When you visit Wisconsin Dells, enjoy yourself; in fact, be a kid again. For instance, you can slide on the enormous waterslides, putt a few holes in the amazing miniature golf courses, be frightened in a haunted house… whatever you select, the Dells is the place to be.
Two, if you don’t like crowds, don’t go in the summer. This locale is very busy then, especially with school being out. Lastly, if you have children, take them to other attractions besides the man-made ones. An example of this is taking your kids on a boat tour excursion of the Dells. Not only will they learn about nature, but also about history. If you take them on the Lower Dells excursion, they will learn how the formations were created, about the Native American history and folklore and pioneers of that area, etc.
Hotel | "Motel Outside the Dells"
Our room was a small room with the basics: a double bed, writing desk, chair, shower, toilet, and phone. It was very clean. However, the room was pretty dreary because the walls were paneled (dark paneling). And the furniture looked as if it should have been replaced (it was scratched in some places). The carpet appeared to be clean but worn. But in spite of this, our 4 days there were sufficient and economical. I think, in 1987, we paid under $30 a night. In addition, the elderly couple that managed it was very personable. In fact, the man offered to take us out fishing in a nearby lake, but we kindly told him that this trip was not the one that was going to include fishing. We told him we wanted to just concentrate on all the attractions that the downtown Dells had to offer.
Although I can’t remember the name of this motel, I can still give you a recommendation to stay at an accommodation that is a little outside of the Dells. It is not only cost effective, but it is just nice to slumber in a more peaceful place than the downtown Dells.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2005
Off Highway 12
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Attraction | "Royal Wax Museum"
The Royal Wax Museum was an intriguing experience. It had a lot of movie or book characters that were the wax exhibits. These included Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Frankenstein and the doctor/scientist who made him, the Tom Sawyer character, and Dorothy and her friends from the Wizard of Oz. It was fascinating to see how these wax exhibits looked so much like the screen characters. I thought it was a wonderful attraction to see. If I had children, I would have brought them here and explained the significance of all the exhibits the museum had on display.
Unfortunately, this museum is no longer open, at least not under that name anymore. But on a brighter note, there is at least one wax museum in the Dells. It is called the Wax World of Stars. Here you will find many celebrity wax exhibits. Some of these include Elvis, Marilyn, Dolly, Sly, Bogie, The Duke, Lucy, Dorothy and her friends, etc. This place has over 100 personalities on display.
This museum is open from 10am to 6pm during March, September, and October and from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9am to 10pm, and it is closed during the winter. An adult ticket is $6.95, and a child’s ticket (age 5 to 12) is $4.95. You must call for group prices of 12 or more people. The location of this place is 105 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, 53965. And the phone of this museum is 608/254-2184.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 23, 2005
Wax World of the Stars
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
Attraction | "Haunted House"
Although I can’t remember the name of the haunted house we attended and I am not sure if it is still open, there are various haunted houses at The Dells. In fact, there are six of them. Some of these are the Haunted Mansion, Ghost Out-Post Haunted House, and Dungeon of Horrors.
Haunted Mansion is located at 112 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells. Its phone number is 608/254-7513. This place has nine dungeons filled with moving monsters and creepy items. It has a count who welcomes you to a frightening experience of your life.
The cost for an adult ticket is $4.95, and a child’s ticket (12 and under) is $3.95. The opening date for this year was April 1.
Ghost Out-Post Haunted House has various attractions. These attractions include Willard the Rat, Hallway of the Dead, Vortex Room, Death Support, Hellhound, and 13 other scary and animated scenes to freak you out.
Ghost Out-Post Haunted House is located at 633 Wisconsin Dells Parkway. The phone number is 608/254-2127. An adult ticket is $6.95, a child’s ticket is $4.95, and the admission is free for children 3 and under. It is open only on the weekends from November to April.
The Dungeon of Horrors is located on 325 Broadway. The admission prices are the following: Adults’ tickets are $5, children’s tickets (5 to 12) are $4, and children under 5 go in free. It is open May 1. The hours are 10am to 11pm 7 days a week in season.
On the Strip
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Attraction | "Fun House"
I can’t remember the name of this fun house, but I do remember that it was on the strip in the Dells. I am also not sure if it is still in business either. Anyway, The Dells have seven fun houses currently. One is called Wonder Spot, which is located at 100 Scott Dr., WI Dells, 53965. Its phone number is 608/254-4224. According to what I read about this place, no one can stand straight here, see right, or walk a straight line. This place claims that you will be bewildered with the laws of nature, which have gone out of whack here.
Admission prices are the following: An adult ticket is $6, a child’s ticket (6 to 11) is $3, and children 5 and under get in free. It is open Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
Wonder Spot Fun House
100 Scott Drive
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
My partner and I, back in 1987, had the choice of taking the Upper Dells tour, the Lower Dells tour, or both. After the guides told us we had to disembark the boat and walk around to sightsee on the Upper Dells tour, we decided to take the Lower Dells tour only (it was a very hot June day). In addition, I didn’t want to be on a boat excursion more than an hour anyway. Hence, we bought our tickets (back then, it was around $10 per adult ticket, I think). Then, after we purchased our tickets, we boarded our boat. It had two decks. We sat on top in uncomfortable lawn chairs. In spite of the seating, we enjoyed the tour. All the topics of the tour were discussed in an enthusiastic manner by the guide, and the scenery was remarkable. We took a few pictures of the sandstone rock formations and river.
The main theme on this 1-hour tour is to see how the glacial age created this area of Wisconsin and its influence on it. This encompasses stories about the ghost town named Newport and the once-rich logging era. The tour also has famous locations below the river’s dam, and the guide will discuss Native American history and folklore. You will be exposed to the sandstone rock formations, some with names such as "the creamer and sugar bowls." And you will see what is called the Rocky Islands, which is a group of sandstone formations protruding out of the water.
As I have already mentioned, you have a choice of what kind of tour you want to take. Basically, on the Lower Dells, you will see the sandstone formations from the boat. If you take the Upper Dells tour, it is a 2-hour excursion. It stops at two historic shore landings that only the Dells Boat Tours has access to. These are called Witches Gulch and Stand Rock. At Witches Gulch passengers can look at the unique passageways as they walk through a brisk canyon that is supposed to be gorgeous. Concerning Stand Rock, this is the Dell’s word-famous trademark. This is where the infamous Dells photographer H.H. Bennett took a picture of his son jumping the 5-foot chasm from the cliff to the rock ledge in 1888. As a commemoration of this, (the world’s first stop-action photo), this tour company has trained dogs do the same thing.
If you desire to have your heart pound faster, then I suggest you take this company’s other tour called Jet Boat.
Tours are offered daily from mid-March to October. In the summer, they go from 9am to 7pm every 20 to 30 minutes, and in the spring/fall, from 9am to 4pm. Call for tour times. The phone number for this place is 608/254-8555. The main ticket booth locations are at the Upper Dells dock (107 Broadway) in downtown Wisconsin Dells and the Lower Dells dock (junction of highway 12, 13, and 16, Wisconsin Dells Parkway), but there are other booths located throughout this area. An adult fare for Upper Dells is $19.75, and a half fare (ages 6 to 11) is $9.75. An adult fare for the Lower Dells is $15.75, and the half fare is $8.25. And the Jet Boat full fare is $17.75, and the half fare (ages 6to 11) is $10. There are also group rates available.
German Valley, Illinois