Wisconsin Dells
Tribute by Jeffrey Sward
 
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The Wisconsin Dells is a portentous conglobation of a roadside attractions located in and around the city of Wisconsin Dells in central Wisconsin.

The explosion in roadside creativity in the Wisconsin Dells apparently started with the introduction of army surplus land-and-water vehicles, known as ducks, by Mel Flath in 1946. Soon there was a population explosion of ducks whisking tourists through the winding waterways surrounding the Dells. Another major tourist escalation was caused by the Tommy Bartlett water ski show in the 1950s. Attraction after attraction followed, making the Wisconsin Dells a Mecca of Yankee ingenuity, gaudy display, and crass commercialism. The Wisconsin Dells thusly became the epitome of resplendence in roadside attractions.

The corpus of attractions is so vast that dueling web sites compete trying to list them all. Here are some of the Wisconsin Dells web sites:

The Wisconsin Dells has won the coveted golden flamingo award for attractions of exceptional concept and scope.

A partial list of attractions in the Wisconsin Dells area:

  • Adare Go Carts
  • Adventure Lagoon Water Park
  • Al Ringling Theatre
  • Alien Planet
  • Alligator Alley
  • Aqua Adventures
  • B and H Trout Fishing and Bait Shop
  • Bay of Dreams
  • Big Chief Mt. Olympus Theme Park
  • Bill Nehring's Dungeon of Horrors
  • Black Bart's Old #9
  • Boo Canoe and Raft
  • Canyon Creek Riding Stable
  • Captain C.R. Soma's Dells Cruises
  • Cascade Mountain Ski and Snowboard
  • Castle of Terror
  • Chalet Lanes and Lounge
  • Christmas Mountain Village Golf Course
  • Christmas Mountain Village Skiing
  • Chula Vista Water Park and Mini-Golf
  • Circus Royale
  • Coldwater Canyon Golf Course
  • Corny Maze, Go-Karts and Bankshot Basketball
  • Crystal Grand Music Theatre
  • Dells Adventure Jet Boats
  • Dells Army Ducks
  • Dells Auto Museum
  • Dells Boat Tours
  • Dells Mining Company
  • Dick Clark's Ultimate Rush
  • Extreme World
  • E-Z Roll Riding Stables
  • Fab 50's Live
  • Fairfield Hills Golf Course
  • Family Land Water Park
  • Fast Track Go Carts
  • German Glockenspiel
  • Ghost-Out-Post
  • H.H. Bennett Studio and History Center
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Historic Indian Agency House
  • Holiday Shores Water Sports Center
  • Hwy. 12 Internet C@fe
  • International Crane Foundation
  • Lake Delton Water Sports at Highway 12
  • Lake Delton Water Sports at Port Vista
  • Laser Storm
  • Little Links Family Golf
  • Looney Bin
  • Lost Canyon Tours
  • Mark Twain Upper Dells Tours
  • Mid-Continent Railway Museum
  • Mirror Lake Rentals
  • Mirror Lake State Park
  • Monster Truck World
  • Noah's Ark Water Park
  • Noah's Incredible Adventure
  • OK Corral Horseback Riding
  • Old River and Totem Pole Mini Golf
  • Olde Kilbourn Amusements
  • Original Dells Experience Jet Boats
  • Original Wisconsin Ducks
  • Pinecrest Par 3 Golf Course
  • Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf
  • Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable
  • Rick Wilcox Theater...It's Magic!
  • Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum!
  • River's Edge Boats and Canoes
  • Riverside and Great Northern Railway
  • Riverview Park and Waterworld
  • Robo Coaster
  • Shipwreck Lagoon Adventure Golf
  • Storybook Gardens
  • Sunset Cruises
  • Superstition Springs Mini-Golf
  • The Wilderness Resort
  • Thunder Valley Inn - Dinner Shows
  • Timbavati Wildlife Park
  • Timber Falls Adventure Golf
  • Timberland Playhouse
  • Tommy Bartlett Exploratory
  • Tommy Bartlett Show
  • Top Secret
  • Trappers Turn Golf Club
  • UFO Museum
  • Uncle Gene's World of Wheels
  • Wilderness Woods Golf Club
  • WildThing Jet Boats
  • Wiley's Woods
  • Wisconsin Deer Park
  • Wisconsin Opry Dinner and Show
  • Wizard Quest
  • Wollersheim Winery
  • Wonder Spot
 

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