In the beginning, there was Noah’s Ark Water Park. Opened 30 years ago in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Noah’s Ark has been providing aquatic entertainment for families for 30 years — long before the Dells became the home of many of the leading U.S. indoor waterpark resorts.

Since those early days, Noah’s Ark has become one of the nation’s largest waterparks, drawing sizable crowds, which lands it at No. 8 on our list. With attractions ranging from wave pools and high-intensity water slides to minigolf and children’s pools, there’s something for every type of guest.

New for 2008 is Tadpole Bay, a 4,000-square-foot, interactive play area designed for the 8-years-old-and-under set. Tadpole Bay includes 51 waterfeatures, including 10 climbing decks, water blasters, an 800-gallon dump bucket, waterfalls and slides. It can accommodate up to 600 guests and maintains the Noah’s Ark theming with colorful giraffes, lions, parrots and other animals surrounding an 8-foot-tall ark.

Other attractions: the 4D Dive-In Theater, featuring Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants; 45 water slides, including speed slides, family raft rides and enclosed tube slides; lazy and adventure rivers; and two wave pools.

OWNER: Tim and Dan Gantz


SIZE: 70 acres


SIGNATURE ATTRACTIONS: Black Anaconda and the 4-D theater

FUN FACT:It takes 5 million gallons of water to fill all the pools and operate the 3 miles of water slides at Noah’s Ark Water Park.