By Jeniece Smith
More than 16 million surging gallons of water and 200 slides comprise Wisconsin's "Waterpark Capital of the World," and Wisconsin Dells boasts America's largest indoor, outdoor and indoor/outdoor combination waterparks. If you're looking for thrilling drops, spins and spills, you've come to the right place.
Check out our top picks and other can't-miss experiences below for a baker's dozen of our favorite water park rides in the Dells.
A scream-inducing trap door drop onto this 10-story body slide, Scorpion's Tail will send you plummeting 400 feet at more than 50 feet per second. We'd say hold on tight if you weren't freefalling with nothing to cling to down the nation's first near-vertical looping water slide!
You can also get a white-knuckle grip with a couple of friends on the Black Anaconda, one of the longest water coasters in America at more than a quarter-mile of slithering twists and tunnels reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour. Noah's Ark also offers the Time Warp, the world's largest bowl ride, which may just spin you into tomorrow.
You'll plunge a precipitous 85 feet before the water catches up with you on Demon's Drop, one of the world's steepest and fastest water slides, which ranks a five out of five on the Mt. Olympus "thrill meter." Try the seven-story Dragon's Tail speed slide next; just be ready for the second heart-jolting bump on the way down.
If a little friendly competition is your thing, you can race your friends in a head-first plunge down the 350-foot, six-lane Triton's Challenge slide. Take the whole family down the five-story Triton's Fury raft ride for breathtaking drops and turns.
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Kalahari's fastest and longest twin slides, the Extreme Rush Slalom Racers, are the only type of their kind in the whole Dells. You'll zigzag head-first on your mat down 400 feet. The attached safety rules and procedures warn that "riders will encounter strong acceleration and deceleration forces from the front, rear and all sides." Sounds like our kind of ride!
A lot of the fun at the Kalahari happens at the 125,000-square-foot water park inside the resort, where you'll find America's only indoor looping waterslides, the Sahara Sidewinders. The Tanzanian Twister, perhaps the trippiest ride of them all, will send you through its striped spiral at speeds up to 40 mph.
You can take a speedy ride on the Flyan Myan, one of the fastest and longest uphill indoor water coasters just about any day of the year. Along with an accelerated heart rate, you'll get a birds-eye view of the 80,000-square-foot park inside the resort. We hope you're not afraid of heights.
Make sure you go outside and try the 350-foot-long Rattlesnake Run or extreme eight-story Durango Drop speed slides at Adventure Lagoon.