Entertaining Kids at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

 

Even in a place like Wisconsin that has indoor water parks in abundance, the Kalahari Resort stands out.
The property features an indoor water park 125k square foot in size, an outdoor smaller sister property, and a small indoor theme park.
All three offer rides and attractions are catering to visitors of all ages.

Entertaining the Kids at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells inside

The Indoor Theme Park

The indoor water park has six thrill rides and five family ones.

The thrill rides are

  • Master Blaster is a 570 foot long, fast, two person, uphill water coaster.Expect to be splashed with water and it has a sharp drop at the end that may scare the young ones.
  • Tanzanian Twister is a one or two-person a pipe style spiral 40 mph ride that isn’t recommended for claustrophobic guests or those with noise sensitivities (the tube creates an echo effect and amplifies screams) or motion sensitivities.
  • Zigzag Zebra is a fast-paced tunnel ride, that like the Tanzanian Twister isn’t suitable for those who are noise sensitive.
  • Elephant trunk at the 270-foot tube isn’t as bad as the Master Blaster, so if your kid wants to try one, this is the one to try.
  • Rippling Rhino at nearly 400 ft long is a milder version of its faster counterparts.
  • The Flow Rider is an attraction that simulates surfing on top of a five-foot wave and is a balancing ride that has gained popularity in the last few years. It has been installed in multiple parks, even on cruise ships. Be advised that  you are only permitted to body surf. at this park.

The Family rides are:

  • Victoria Falls – a 504-foot long raft ride that resembles a theme park ride only with no real scenery,
  • Zambezi River – the park’s lazy river that is great for everyone especially since parents can ride with their kids.
  • Safari Kids Splash area is the two-story wooden house submerged in 12 inches of water for the young kids, with crawl spaces, tunnels, and slides,
  • Leopard’s Lair created for the school aged kids with 3000 feet of play area includes slides and nets,
  • Crocodile Cove is geared towards the older crowd with activities like a water walk and basketball.

Entertaining the Kids at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells outside

The Outdoor Waterpark

The outdoor water park at 77,000 square feet, mirrors the indoor park, offering thrill and family rides but on a smaller scale.

The four thrill rides are:

  • Extreme Rush is a two lane fast paced racing-style slide, which can accommodate siblings or kids with parents.
  • Swahili Swirl is a slide that shoots riders from a vortex into the water, and not recommended for children with motion sickness or any fear of heights.
  • Anaconda slide has sharp turns and deep plunges, so it is only recommended for those that have tried some of the milder rides.
  • Wild Wildebeest is a smooth ride in which guests floating rafts pass through caverns and waterfalls.
  • Splashdown Safari is a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse with geysers, spinning trays, hose jets, water cannons, curtains and wheels that can be hand-operated by kids.
  • Luapula Lazy River is a family favorite, boasting loops around the outdoor water park, pools and waterslide tower.

Autism Travel Tips

  • Be advised that the park offers no front of the line pass or accommodations for autism!
  • Talk to your kid ahead of time about water safety, the fact they may have to wear a life jacket (if they are under a certain height) and reiterate the fact he/she should never run on park grounds.
  • Have your kid start with the milder rides and work their way (at their pace) to the thrill rides.park’s indoor and outdoor thrill rides are not recommended for people with claustrophobia, anxiety or those suffering from any motion sensitivity, since on most rides, especially those comprising enclosed tubes, guests can’t see anything and can experience sudden almost violent drops.
  • Bring water shoes to prevent your child from slipping
  • Schedule your visit on a weekday- we visited in the middle of summer and encountered incredibly short lines
  • Both parks have a shortage of signage and staff so expect to be confused as to which entrance leads to which slide.
  • You can get free towels at the entrance, and there are lounge and upright chairs throughout the park. If you wish to enhance your experience, you can rent a private cabana for the day with LCD televisions and even your private hot tub.

Entertaining the Kids at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells theme park

The indoor Theme Park

The indoor “theme park” is an 110,000 square foot entertainment center offers a day all inclusive pass or pay as you go option.Be aware that not all attractions in the park are free, so for the Bowling, Nascar Simulator, and Golf simulator, as well as all the arcade games you need to pay extra.

For the younger kids

  • an African themed Merry-Go-Round,
  • a 1,000 square foot jungle gym,
  • and a kiddie swing.

For older kids

  • the ‘Big Wheel’ Ferris Wheel,
  •  the 360 coaster
  • the Sky Trail® Ropes Course —20 feet above the ground,
  • rock climbing wall
  • drive a go cart
  •  Laser tag combat.
  •  Free mini course as well as a golf simulator you can pay extra for.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Visit the theme park in the early afternoon or the morning when everyone is busy at the water parks so you don’t have to wait in any lines.
  • Ask the staff at check in whether they have any discount deals for the park.
  • Ask to see the park before you decide whether you will pay for the ride or get an all inclusive day ticket.

 

 

Princess Tiana’s Magical Autism Awareness Moment

Ever experienced a ‘down’ day when you’ve felt your work is unnoticed and under appreciated?
Well, I had one of those days, yesterday, while stressing over the writing of an article titled, “The benefits of Autistic Travel.”

And then the incredible happened. One of my website readers, Denise Klipsic, unknowingly inspired me!

So, I had to share her uplifting letter and adorable photograph with everyone to remind them that magical moments do happen if you wait patiently and never give up.

“As a mother of two Autistic Children, our vacations can be pretty challenging. But that hasn’t stopped us, however, from seeing the sights and doing some ‘globetrotting’ ourselves.Our kids love the change and novelty of travel. As long as we are aware of what they are feeling and what they like to do versus things that may scare them, we do alright and have a lot of fun.

During a recent trip to Disneyworld, we had a beautiful experience that was the highlight of my visit.It was one of those moments that made my daughter, and I feel good inside because of the effort that one beautiful person made to understand our world.My little girl, Abella (5), is non-verbal and likes Disney World on her terms.

Her favorite ride is the Disney Buses that take us to and from the parks and the carousel. Otherwise, she loves to see the sights in the park and enjoy it from the comfort of our rented stroller (which we named Happy Chappy).
She doesn’t like the parks at night for fear of the fireworks and the loud noises that come with them, so we visit the parks during the day and try to see as much as we can in the daylight hours.

One afternoon, when we were visiting my daughter, took a curious interest in Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog, who was meeting other park guests.
She smiled when she looked at her and indicated to me; she wanted to see her.Safe in her stroller, we waited patiently in line to visit with the princess.The castle, which was not far from where we were, had a show going on. As it ended, fireworks went off, scaring my daughter.

Immediately, she put her hands to her ears in panic mode and indicated to me that it was time to go. I pointed to the princess and asked if she wanted to see the princess still. She only retreated into the safety of Stroller.
Safe in her stroller, we waited patiently in line to visit with the princess Near the front of the line then, our turn came to see the princess and her prince.
As my son interacted with them, she watched curiously with her hands still pressed against her ears. After my son had got his picture, both Tiana and her prince approached the stroller to say hi.
Sensing her fear, the prince backed off and let Tiana talk to her a little. She held out her hands to my daughter, reluctantly Abella reached out one hand to touch Tiana as if to say thanks, and then quickly put it back to her ear.
Tiana tried to calm Abella down by talking for a little while and then attempted to coax my daughter out of the stroller for a picture.
With no luck after a few tries, Tiana came up with a better idea.
Instead of asking my daughter to come to her, she came to her. With no regard for her dress, Tiana fell to the ground and got as close to the stroller as she could.

Princess Tiana put her hands to her ears too, and they smiled together!
.It was adorable to see them interact and the patience she had with my daughter and what she was feeling. God bless that moment and the wonderful experience she gave us!”

The beauty of the moment caused me to tear up. Even as her parent, I sometimes forget that her perspective on the world is different than ours, and often we try to bring her from her world back into ours. However, in this one moment, Tiana’s actions made it clear that it doesn’t have always to be that way, by making herself the outsider and entering my daughter’s Autistic world.

 

 

Princess Tiana's Magical Autism Awareness Moment

photo credit Denise Klipsic

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