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Wisconsin Dells is getting the highest waterslide in America

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells is no stranger to spectacle, with such attractions as a replica of the Roman Colosseum, a go-kart track modeled after a giant Trojan Horse, and Medusa’s Slidewheel, aka “America’s first rotating waterslide.” Now the family resort is planning to open the highest waterslide in the United States.

The 145-foot-high outdoor attraction — forebodingly named the Rise of Icarus, after the mythical Greek who flew too close to the sun — is part of an $8 million expansion at Mt. Olympus including an outdoor kids’ water play area with 10 new slides and water features. Construction begins after Labor Day, according to Mt. Olympus, and the slide will open next summer.

New renderings of the Rise of Icarus — and video on the Mt. Olympus website — depict a slender, multicolored tower that rises over the theme park. Designers are using Icarus’ height to create a long, fast, gradually sloping ride that won’t be over in a few seconds. Director of marketing Fotini Laskaris Backhaus confirmed that the longest of five slides on the Rise of Icarus will stretch out to a projected 782 feet.

At least in terms of height, though, Icarus would edge out the current U.S. record holder, the 142-foot, indoor Thrillagascar & Jungle Jammer at DreamWorks Water Park in New Jersey.

The highest existing waterslides in Wisconsin Dells — the reputed “Waterpark Capital of the World” — are a pair at the nearby Noah’s Ark Waterpark: the terrifying-enough, vertical free-falling Point of No Return; and its looping, trap door-activated sibling, the Scorpion’s Tail. Both are listed at “10 stories,” or roughly 100 feet.

According to the Waterslide Database, the highest waterslide in the world remains Brazil’s 164-foot Kilimanjaro outside Rio de Janeiro, which also “holds the record for the highest drop height on a body slide.” At No. 2, Waterslide Database lists the 148-foot Hurricane Tower at 88°C Hot Spring Park in Xianyang, China.

When completed, the Rise of Icarus would take its place as third-highest in the world.

Mt. Olympus park tickets are $33 this summer, but $25 specials abound. Admission is free with an overnight stay in a resort room or the Mt. Olympus Camp Resort.


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