Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wisconsin Dells: Water Park Capital of the World

July 9, 2011
The Wisconsin Dells is verifiably the Water Park Capital of the World—no less authority than the TV game show Jeopardy corroborates the claim.  When in Rome . . . we spend the day at Mount Olympus, a massive theme park with both water and amusement park attractions.  By day’s end, Andrew has ridden four roller coasters—Hades, consistently rated in the top five wooden roller coasters in the U.S, featuring a steep 140 foot drop, two very long underground tunnels, and speeds up to 70 m.p.h.; Zeus, reaching soaring heights; Pegasus--the only coaster wild enough for him and mild enough for me; and Cyclops. 

We expect the coasters to be his favorite attraction, but it turns out that Mount Olympus has other treats in store for him—and us. 

Mount Olympus offers Go Karts we drive on courses that look a lot like roller coasters.  One track climbs the heights of the Trojan Horse, passes through its belly, and spirals back down again.  Another course, Poseidon, twists and turns above ground, and sends us below ground in long dark tunnels.  On our last Trojan Horse ride of the day, Andrew flies past both of us in his Go-Kart, firmly hitting the back of our cars as he passes.  This is exactly how he drove his virtual car in the Arcade last night, so why are we surprised?

One of our favorite spots is Poseidon’s Rage, a huge wave pool that creates a six or seven foot tsunami every four minutes or so.  When we hang out in the deep water, the crest of the wave sweeps us (and a thousand other people) up and leaves us gently behind, but in the shallows where the wave breaks, it throws everyone about in a wild frothy melee.  There are thousands of people in the pool, and we can’t believe that no one is hurt or drowned while we are there being manhandled by Poseidon.

There are lots of different slides combined with tubes and mats, and we sample most of them.  A lot of the time, Dick and I alternate shifts on the rides or in the water with Andrew, and even so, he wears us out. We arrived at 9:20, shortly after the park opened, and we leave at 7:20, shortly after the water park closes (although the amusement park was still open—if he hadn’t been so hungry, Andrew might have been tempted to stay until it shut down, too).

Amazingly, Andrew shows no signs of sunburn, which I take full credit for, since I purchased, applied and reapplied the sun screen on both Andrew and myself, while Dick, who is the only one among us who has had skin cancer cells removed, just put a little sun screen on his face and head.

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