As long as I have been hanging around TPR, I have waited for the day that someone reviewed America's largest waterpark, Noah's Ark. This year, I accepted the challenge by buying a waterproof camera and setting out to do the first photo trip report at the park. I came back cold, tired, and half-drowned, but I believe that I accomplished what I set out to do. [WARNING - READING AHEAD]
So now I proudly present, LoneRider's Guide to Noah's Ark! (for you out-of-towners) Normally priced at $14.99
Alright, Noah's Ark started in 1979 with just the bumper boats and a go-kart track. Today it has 49 waterslides, 2 wave pools, mini golf and much more. True to it's claim, the park is giant, with a seemingly endless amount to do. Personally, Noah's Ark is my number one waterpark (higher than Splashin' Safari or any of the Hurricane Harbors I have been to) for several reasons. One is free parking; in a time where things are getting pricey and other places like Mt. Olympus are charging $10 to park, it's nice to pull into Noah's Ark and not have to fork over money before you even get in the park. Even then, the admission price seems very fair for the amount to do in the park. Another reason is the selection of rides; Noah's Ark has been adding steadily to the park, but it has also retained some original slides. It's gives the park a nice mix of old and new slides. While some of the slides are a little lackluster (Bermuda Triangle, Congo Bongo), others still deliver a fun ride (Jungle Rapids) and others still are completely nuts (The Plunge).
The new slides are all pretty good, but some definitely stand out. Dark Voyage is an awesome family raft ride (I like it more than Zoombabwe, which was a little disappointing), Flash Flood, for a simple concept, is totally awesome, and Black Anaconda is kinda like Balder on water. Anything else? Oh yeah, Scorpion's Tail TOTALLY ROCKS. I can safely say this is the most intense water slide I have ever ridden. I know Bert the Conqueror is not viewed very highly on here, but he did get one thing right; Scorpion's Tail is the best water slide I have ever ridden, and thanks to today's weather I was able to clock 10 rides waiting less than 8 minutes total, whereas last year I waited 70 minutes for one ride.
Oh yes, the weather. That was an interesting one. I can say that the lines, even on really nice days, never get too crazy, thanks to the massive amount of stuff too do. The longest waits are normally Scorpion's Tail, Black Anaconda, and Time Warp (Stingray's line can get a little lengthy). On this day, however, the longest I think I waited was five. People, not minutes. It was almost the perfect day, if the sun had come out earlier than 4 in the afternoon. My God was it frigid. It was SUPPOSED to get sunny and a little warmer earlier, but it never did. My suggestion; for the shortest waits and most rides, go on a day that it's cold or not the perfect weather. You might be cold, but the waits will be non-existent (as shown below). I know it's Wisconsin, and it's ALWAYS cold up here, but going to a waterpark in 60* weather, at times, seemed like an awful idea.
Alright, if you were interested in visiting the Ark, I threw the rides into categories to give you an idea of how the rides shape up:
=> Category 1 - Must rides (try to do at least once) - Scorpion's Tail, Black Anaconda, Flash Flood, The Plunge, Point of No Return => Category 2 - Solid rides (best to at least try, but won't ruin your visit if you miss them) - Kowabunga, Dark Voyage, Black Thunder, Jungle Rapids, Time Warp, Noah's 4D Dive-In Theater => Category 3 - Up to you (rides that might not be very exciting. Your choice on hitting these if time is short) - Congo Bongo, Bermuda Triangle, Curse of the Crypt
I am still waiting for the day that TPR graces (plagues?) the park with it's presence. I would love to hear what Robb, Elissa, and the others have to say about our little waterpark here in Dairyland. It would be even better if I could be there with them, but we'll see what's on their agenda. For the rest of you, if you take a trip to the Dells, I encourage you to take a day to visit the park. You will not be disappointed.
(Sorry if some pictures are a little blurry. It's a new camera and I'm still getting used to it)
Ah, we're here!
Hmm, 2012 additions perhaps?
Today's hours. Plenty of time to get everything in.
One-day price. You get MUCH more bang for your buck compared to Mt. Olympus.
The big wave pool at Noah's Ark. Time to have some fun!
"Gourmet" and "Twinkies" - not usually seen in the same sentence (deep fried for extra nutrition too!).
Spongebob was sure excited to see me today. What was he doing here anyway?
What an awesome way to start the day!
Normally this line is full of people. Today, not so much. =D
One of many airtime spots. Seriously, this is one of my favorite water rides! It has a TON of airtime and drops and, being one of the longest water coasters, is pretty long. Definitely make sure to hit this ride at least once!
The ride broke down for a few minutes, so I snapped a few pics while waiting. Jungle Rapids.
Hades and Zeus off in the distance. Don't worry guys, your trip report is coming...
Hmm, there is something special about this ride...
Awesome. Just awesome.
It being Wisconsin, there has to be a cow somewhere (this actually marks the line for Kowabunga. Get it? Cow = Kowabunga? Hehe...).
Noah's Ark has a pretty freakin' sweet collection of slides in this area.
Okay, it's not REALLY a *true* loop, it's just an inclined loop, but is about as close as you're gonna get.
Yow, that's a bummer.
However, today's line looks like this.
*starts singing "BEST DAY EV-ERRRRR...*
Important information, especially for all you lightweights out there.
Mr. Coon is shocked that people are actually in the park today. "Do you know how cold it is?!"
The launching tube. Pretty simple concept; you step in, they close the door...
Floor drops out, people freak out.
The new Pirates movie at the 4D Theater. We'll hit that later.
Me catching Kowabunga riders catching air.
Speaking of Kowabunga, it composes of an original slide and a newer one. The older one on the right has less speed but steeper drops and more air, while the newer slide on the left is faster with slightly less air. Both sides are still awesome.
If anyone watches Sand Masters, they were in the park working on a weekend project. I'll check back later in the day to see their progress.
I at least hope you guys appreciated what I went through to do this report. The temperature for a majority of the day was in the mid-60's, *just* higher than my IQ level. "Cold" is a gross understatement.
Follow this sign to have an awesome day!
One of the shops. There are an abundace of stores around the park, and they all seem pretty nice.
Yep, gotta have at least one "THROUGH THE TREES!!!1!!" shot. It is TPR after all.
With no wait, I decided to get in a quick ride on Stingray.
A half-pipe style ride like this was actually my first thrill ride EVER. Thank you Rainbow Falls. RIP.
Enough freezing to death. Time for lunch at a Wisconsin institution!
If you ever drive through Wisconsin, you will notice Culver's EVERYWHERE. They are our gift to the rest of the world. For awesome Dairyland eats, go here.
ButterBurger and cheese curds. It doesn't get any better (or more Wisconsin) than this (unless you eat it wearing a cheesehead).
"What exactly IS a cheese curd?"
When making cheese, the mix developes a top surface which is scraped off. That top surface is cheese curd. It is seriously delicious. Go ahead and try one from Wisconsin, you won't regret it. They are a awesome diet food. Try deep frying it for a healthier option.
One of the several park entrances (OMG. Sun. Better late than never).
Totally excited to see Spongebob.
Back for another ride on Black Anaconda. Only 600 lbs? Not very ACEr friendly...
Point of No Return and Scorpion's Tail. PONR was actually 2 slides when it opened, but one was transformed into Scorpion's Tail. If you're looking for a really big, fast, and steep slide, Point of No Return is it. Watching people disappear over a 100 ft drop at the top never gets old.
Time Warp - the world's largest bowl ride. The ride is fun, but not as thrilling as Scorpion's Tail or Black Anaconda.
Somewhere, buried under all that water, is me.
Some hairtime on Kowabunga.
Noah's 4D Dive-In Theater (clever name). The new Pirates movie, starring Leslie Nielsen in his last role, is not quite as good as the Spongebob one was, but it's still a nice break from water slides. Don't be fooled, though. It's not a dry ride. ;)
Curse of the Crypt, a dry walk-through. I haven't been on this since it was Noah's Incredible Adventure. It was alright for younger children, but nothing thrilling.
There actually is a credit here! Well, not really...
Next up, a simple ride that totally rocks, Flash Flood!
Gray and gloomy lift hill shot.
NOTED AND DULY NOTED!
These people have NO idea what they're in for (including spidey girl in the middle)...
Now that's a BIG splash. O.o Can you even tell where the splash ends and the sky begins?
Our boat awaits. It's nothing special, just a standard splash boat model, but I thought putting it in a water park was a GREAT idea.
Cresting the lift hill. I should be able to get a good shot here!
Hmmm, I actually having some second thoughts about this...
That is a LOT of unacceptable amount of wetness coming at me in a hurry!
"DON'T F*** WITH ME. IMMA RHINO!"
Yeah, I have the feeling Dan would stand WAAAAY away from here.
Wow, this pic turned out pretty nice. Smile people, you're on Theme Park Review!
We decided to visit Mr. Walrus on Jungle Rapids, an oldie but goodie.
This would be the "backside" of Jungle Rapids. These tube slides are fun, but if you want a speedy ride, try the body slides, blue mat required to prevent friction burns!
Crappy picture, awesome ride! This is THE place for ejector waterslide airtime.
Gettin' a little artsy. See that second drop? Seriously scary stuff happens there.
What is it with the Dells and extreme airtime? Cyclops has THE drop, Avalanche is an airtime monster, and The Plunge has the single most rediculous moment of airtime on a waterslide EVER. Getting a full foot of seperation between you and the slide is not uncommon. I'm surprised NO ONE has ever flown off.
Plenty of stylish mats to almost die on.
"Choose thy fate."
Yes sir, that is Millenium Force steep right there. No joke.
Scorpion's Tail. At least, that's what the sign says.
If you get hungry waiting in line, this tree branch has plenty of options to choose from!
The two tallest rides in the park. Awesome.
For great group fun, look for this guy! He will not disappoint.
Like I said, stuff to do everywhere. Paradise Lagoon has a nice selection of small slides and other things. Watching kids fall from the pulley is far too entertaining.
This mess of slides is Black Thunder, nestled deep in the back corner of the park.. Nothing stunning, but still a lot of fun. For more awesome slide airtime, try the middle two.
Each of the rides have these nice little tubes to drop your stuff in while you ride.
Once again, ACErs might have a problem here...
Apparently, everyone today was using those "Invisible Cloaks" like all those people do in Japan. It made for a pretty great (albeit cold) day.
"Grrr! I'm a BLUUURY Black Anaconda! Give me some TPR members!"
Eh, it's not Poseidon's Rage, but it is still fun!
As you can see, the park has a nice setting and offers lots of shade options.
Have to give Congo Bongo a little love. Not a bad family ride, but it can be pretty slow in spots.
For a better option, give Dark Voyage a try. It's faster than Zoombabwe and tons of fun!
Just look for this. Kinda hard to miss with the HUGE black tube hovering over the path.
Checkin' out the bowl on Time Warp.
I figured I should also get a shot of Bermuda Triangle. Good for a family with less-experienced riders perhaps, but not the most exciting.
The nice kiddie tower complex. I kind of wish they would add a really big one for guys like me. Those things rock!
Boy, monster amounts of water and sugar everywhere you turn. Dan would LOVE it here.
Blurry backside of Stingray.
This was the only noticeable change to the Sand Masters sculpture.
Hmm, quite a bit of work left to do. Come on guys! Sunday isn't that far away!
If you want to have an awesome time, you'll probably hang out in this area for most of the day.
Stingray cradling Jungle Rapids.
Getting awesome parts of two of my favorite slides.
For all you equipment fans out there.
Hey, cool! I might end up on TV! =D More pics coming up.
Last edited by LoneRider92 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:19 pm.
I smell like fresh cut spring flowers spewn across a babbling brook with a hint of lemon. |:D
Damn. Now THAT is a TR! I really liked all of Wisconsin Dells when I was there. Mt. Olympus was good for the coasters and Noah's Ark is definitely still one of the best traditional waterparks, but it was just as fun to see all the tackiness of the surroundings. On a separate note, the pizza at the Moose Lodge (or something along those lines) was fantastic. And they give you a paper moose hat. Worth it.
"There''s a Lieutenant Crunch here to see you."
"Actually, I've been promoted. It''s Captain Crunch now."
Thanks for that awesome TR! The Scorpions Tail looks really scary. I could just imagine myself in that compartment where the floor drops.. sheesh I get nervous just thinking about one of those things. How were the forces on that slide? Where there a lot or was it too short to feel anything. Thanks for the TR
1pizza14 - Oh yeah, there are some pretty strong forces for a waterslide. The turn at the bottom of the drop pulls some pretty strong positive g's and, depending on how much you weigh, the loop can pull some good g's as well (I swear I almost hit Schwartzkopf forces a couple of times). You'll definitely feel them.
I smell like fresh cut spring flowers spewn across a babbling brook with a hint of lemon. |:D
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