Award Winner - May 2009
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A Wild Ride

Kalahari Indoor Theme Park
Lake Delton, Wis.

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Arcitectural Design Consultants Inc.
in Lake Delton, Wis.

Size: 110,000 square feet

Project Cost: $20 million

Quick Tour:

  • 6-story Ferris wheel
  • 24-foot-high ropes course
  • Elevated go-kart track
  • 28-foot-wide carousel
  • Kiddies play structure
  • 18-hole miniature golf course
  • 35-foot waterfall
  • 24 lanes of bowling
  • Laser tag
  • Golf simulators
  • Arcade
  • Snack bar
  • Private party rooms
  • Night club


hen it comes to amusement parks, few make as big of a splash as the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park.

With a six-story Ferris wheel, three-story ropes course, elevated go-kart track, carousel, laser tag, kiddie play structure, 24 bowling lanes, golf simulators and more, the 110,000-square-foot facility meets the recreation needs of patrons of all ages and abilities. Though the Wisconsin Dells are famed for their extravagant recreational facilities, none have the offerings or spirit exhibited at the Kalahari park.

Located between the Kalahari Resort, Damon's Restaurant and the Desert Star Cinema, the African-themed indoor park is seamlessly accessed through an indoor walkway. As patrons first enter the park, they are welcomed by an African mud hole with life-sized elephants, zebras and alligators.

Visitors have the option of following a footbridge to the Ferris wheel or forging ahead on a winding path, lit overhead by stringed festoon lights and surrounded by games, an elevated go-kart track, a three-story climbing wall, 18-hole miniature golf and 35-foot waterfall. Each amenity aims to entice patrons off the path.

As they move past these attractions, patrons have the choice to go to the Moroccan-themed second floor via the grand stair or escalator. Once there, they can use the bowling lanes or enjoy a night club complete with a bar and dance floor. If they stay downstairs, the trail leads them to a snack bar or African-themed carousel and dry play structure.

Architectural Design Consultants Inc. (ADCI) designed the exterior to provide the interior attraction a stage on which to be showcased, as well as to complement the resort's existing architecture. The indoor park's front is highlighted by large areas of glass to highlight the ropes course and arcade games, as well as offer a glimpse of the six-story Ferris wheel. In between the massive glass expanses, there are hand-painted murals complete with backlit silhouettes of native African animals. The rear elevation is dominated by a spectacular glass enclosure that parades the Ferris wheel, a sight that looks especially impressive at night.

"Indoor parks have become a trend, and they took it to the next step by installing an indoor Ferris wheel, which is very rare, and even a large elevated go-kart track," said project architect Paul Newman of ADCI. "That was a great use of space because they placed a golf course under the elevated track."

The theme park also embraced sustainable practices and materials throughout construction with a recycling program to reduce waste sent to the landfill. Energy recovery wheels were added to the rooftop mechanical units to capture the exhausted waste heat and condition it before it enters the building. Natural daylight also was incorporated throughout the facility, allowing less electricity to be used during the daytime and reducing the heat produced.

"From a design standpoint, it was a lot of fun," Newman said. "It's amazing the impact it's making on the Dells area itself. It's one of the major attractions that opened last year."


W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Great place for kids. The African theme flows throughout the building—both indoors and outdoors.

Colleen McKenna

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Interior Design:

ADCI Interiors

General Contractor:

Kraemer Bros. LLC

Design/Build Theming Contractor:

National Rock & Sculpture Inc.

Design/Build Food Service Contractor:

Breckenridge Kitchen Equipment & Design

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