This Midwestern City Is the 'Waterpark Capital of the World' — and It's Going to Debut America's Tallest Waterslide Next Summer

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is taking its waterpark status to new heights ... literally.

About an hour outside of Madison, Wisconsin, is a city that is often considered to be the "waterpark capital of the world" for having the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks: Wisconsin Dells. The city is home to more than 20 waterparks and over 200 waterslides, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. Now, it's slated to take its iconic status to new heights — literally.

A new waterslide in the area — The Rise of Icarus at Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park Resort — will be the tallest in the U.S., towering at 145 feet, when it makes its debut next year. "As the Greek myth goes, Icarus soared too close to the sun on wings fastened to his body with wax, with the heat of the sun melting the wax and Icarus falling to the sea," the 156-acre Greece-themed resort said in a Facebook post. "Here at Mt. Olympus, you'll experience a much happier ending at the bottom of the slides!"

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park Resort is not new to setting records: it welcomed the U.S.’s first and only rotating waterslide, the Medusa’s Slidewheel, in 2021.

<p>Courtesy of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park</p>

Courtesy of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park

<p>Courtesy of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park</p>

Courtesy of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park

Currently, the tallest waterslides in the U.S. are just outside of New York City in East Rutherford, New Jersey. "From our understanding, the current tallest waterslide in America is 142 feet tall and at American Dream within DreamWorks Water Park at the New Jersey entertainment complex," said Fotini Laskaris Backhaus, Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park Resort’s director of marketing, in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. The twin set of slides — Thrillagascar and Jungle Jammer — span 14 stories high and are three feet shorter than the one coming to Wisconsin Dells.

As for the world’s tallest waterslide, it sits a continent away in Barra Do Pirai, Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro at the Aldeia das Aguas Park Resort. Named Kilimanjaro, after the world’s largest free-standing mountain, the waterslide is 164 feet tall, according to the Water Slide Database.

The record-setting waterslide coming to Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park Resort is part of its $8 million expansion, which will also include five new waterslides and a children’s play area with 10 new slides, ensuring fun for all ages.

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