Kalahari Indoor Theme Park Sneak Peek

Dells Advice on December 10th

This past weekend was another Kalahari Family Nights special weekend, and my family found ourselves at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells again.  With the grand opening of the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park just around the corner, I inquired to see if I could get a sneak peek tour of the new theme park before it opens on December 19th.  The folks at the Kalahari graciously agreed to my request. 

I met with Rob White, the General Manager of the new theme park.  Rob previously managed a couple of other similar theme parks in Florida before being hired and moving to Wisconsin in September.  If I had to use one word to describe the new indoor theme park, it would be incredible.  Although Wisconsin Dells has a couple of other indoor amusement parks (Knuckleheads & Mt. Olympus Indoor Theme Park), the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park will be bringing several new attractions not seen anywhere else in the Dells. 

The centerpiece of the $20 million, 110,000 square foot complex is the 6 story Ferris wheel.  The Ferris wheel is situated so that it faces I-90/94.  As we arrived in the Dells, we saw the Ferris wheel beautifully lit up from the highway.  Next to the Ferris wheel is the 2 story go kart track.  The go karts will have cars for single and double riders, so parents can ride with their children if they would like.  Underneath the elevated go kart track is the 18 hole Madagascar Mini-Golf course.  During my tour it was a little hard to tell that it was going to be a mini golf course since the green turf hadn’t been installed yet.  In fact, it was apparent during my tour that a lot of work still needed to be done in the next two weeks before the park could open.  Rob assured me that they were on schedule, and there was no doubt in his mind that they would be fully operational on December 19th. 

In the vicinity of the go karts and mini golf course are the rock climbing walls, and the ropes course, which is located high above the main floor.  The ropes course wasn’t something that initially appealed to me, but after seeing it high above the floor, I think I’ll give it a try on a future visit.  Participants on the ropes course are fastened into a safety harness and then are allowed to climb on 22 different climbing activities.

Throughout the main level of the theme park will be many different video games and redemption games.  For younger children there is an African themed merry-go-round with several unique animals not typically seen on a carousel – giraffes, lions, gorillas, tigers, zebras, birds, and cheetahs.  There is also an indoor play area called Kenya’s Jungle for the little ones to play in.  The lower level of the complex houses the laser tag arena.  During our visit, the artists were putting the finishing touches on the outer space themed murals on the walls and the neon obstacles throughout the laser tag area.

The second level of the complex is the more “adult” area.  This is where the 24 bowling lanes are located.  There is a large bar and dance floor.  The back of the bar area opens up and offers patrons an incredible view of the main floor of the theme park below.   There are also two high definition golf simulators in the bar area.  I have seen golf simulators before, but have never had the chance to actually use one.  Rob let me take a few swings on the virtual driving range.  It was really cool, and very realistic.

There are a couple of different dining options to visitors of the facility.  Damon’s Grill is located right at the entrance to the theme park from the hotel.  The restaurant has been closed since the beginning of December as they remodel and renovate the restaurant to incorporate it into the theme park.  One of the changes to Damon’s will be the addition of “outdoor” seating that will be outside the walls of Damon’s, and inside the theme park.  There is also a dining area on the main level of the theme park that will offer pizza, burgers, sandwiches, etc.  Food service will also be available in the bar on the upper level.

During my tour I took several pictures of the theme park and all of the attractions.  I will be posting those in the next couple of days.  I will also discuss the pricing of the rides, and offer a few more observations about this incredible addition to the Kalahari and the Wisconsin Dells.

Part 2 of this post can be found here.

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