Monday, February 2, 2015

The Wisconsin Dells is the Zombie Apocalypse of Vacation Destinations

I have never personally lived through a zombie apocalypse.  I can’t say with absolute certainty how the zombie attack will unfold, or who they will target first.   I have my own picks for favorites.  But scientifically speaking, I’m pretty sure that one of the first places will be the Wisconsin Dells.   

I know.  That sounds harsh.    The kiddies love the water parks.   It’s perfect for birthdays, gymnastic team retreats, and couples who want their kids entertained while they drink 80 ounce margaritas made of rail tequila and corn syrup.  The Dells has everything!  Long hallways.   Wild unsupervised running.  Tats on tats.  Air hockey.  No pants.  If only there was a hotel with hair weaves and a live baby tiger, it would be perfect!

But the facts are unavoidable.   According to zombie apocalexperts, human civilization will eventually be destabilized by its basest elements, and taken over by the undead.  The VERY first to go will probably be lazy professors, and then people who drink broth for every meal, because "the cavemen did."  Eventually, the zombies will also take more important people, like trust funders, people with lip implants, and anyone who paid to see Katy Perry film that live halftime episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.  That super bowl show reminded me of the Dells.  Wild running. Concussions. Tats on tats.  Big sharks.  No pants.

Nobody will be spared in the zombie apocalypse.  Except Giselle.  She’s the goodwill ambassador to the UN Environmental Program.   With that kind of indispensable job, she and her little Bundchens will probably be given a private, zombie-free island, where she will grow vegan chia seeds, and Tom will blast coconuts at any zombie who tries to swim in and eat her.  Other than Giselle, though, the only ones left to resurrect humanity will be people with guns, paranoid traits, and weird loner personalities.  So, basically, humanity will be saved by Alaska.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Because my point is that shortly after the zombies get the professors and the broth drinkers, they will take the Dells.   How do I know this?   Well.  Just think about it.  It makes perfect sense. 

First of all, if zombies know what’s good for them -- and I think they do -- they will attack highly populated areas first.  To get early recruits.   Any single waterpark in the Dells, in the off season, probably holds 10 thousand people, not counting the people snuck in to save money.   You know you’re jam packed into a building when you leave your hotel room at 9 o’clock in the morning and find a stream of humans in the hallway so long, vast, and already smelly, that you are almost impelled to call the International Committee of the Red Cross. Wailing children in swim diapers.  Shoeless masses, eating Pringles while they walk, for breakfast.  The scene is like a war zone, where the refugees have nobody to blame but themselves.

Once inside the waterpark compound, the zombies could easily mount a sneak attack.   In fact, they could easily mount any kind of attack.  Between the air guns, the rushing water, the industrial fans, and all the inappropriately-loud people screaming over all of these noises, you can’t hear a fucking thing in there.  After about 2 hours in the waterpark, our voices were hoarse from yelling short, pointless conversational phrases at each other’s faces.   I’d say to my sister: “I’M GOING TO THE BATHROOM!”  Then she’d say, “WHAT?!”  Then I’d say, “YOU TAKE THE KIDS DOWN THE SLIDE AGAIN!”  Then she’d say, “WHAT?!!”   Although we cherished this time together and will never forget it, we usually just yelled until one of us gave up, and sought out the rest of humanity in the hot tub.  Or maybe it was a large outdoor toilet.  I guess we’ll never know.  

The most compelling advantage for the zombies, though, is that once they start chasing people, the place will descend into complete chaos.  Because other than the lifeguards, who were hired to save people from water and not zombies, nobody who works at the Dells will tell you anything you need to know.  It’s almost like they don’t care.  Which -- and I hate to say “I told you so” -- is exactly the kind of uncooperative attitude that will cause the zombie apocalypse in the first place.

Before driving down, my sister called the condo, to ask what kind of coffee machines were in the hotel rooms.  She wanted to bring coffee, so we didn’t have to drink the bagged kind that tastes like dirty window washer fluid from a gas station.  They couldn’t tell her.  She brought fancy Sumatra coffee anyway, which we attempted to place inside the bag.   Survivalist fail.   Mike got us Starbucks.

But the coffee was just the beginning.  When I checked in, I asked the woman handing me a ream of maps and coupons if the condos had knives, so we could slice my daughter’s birthday cake.  “I couldn’t tell you that,” she said.   When she handed me the key card, she pointed out that we would need them to to turn on the lights and heat.  “But isn’t the heat already on?” I asked.  “It’s 18 degrees outside.”  To which she replied: “I couldn’t tell you that either.”  Can you imagine how helpful this woman would be in a zombie emergency?

Ultimately, the zombies will have the upper hand.  Because if they haven’t rounded you up by then, you will voluntarily surrender to them at the end of the day.  After several water slides, a go-cart ride, a game of laser tag, a few rounds of lazer maze, and a husband-wife skee ball match, we sat down with the kids to have a late afternoon snack.   During that 45 minute rest period, my daughter asked me 8 times if we could do the ropes course.  Since it was her birthday party, and I was tired of saying no, I said yes.  We fit the ropes course in before going out to dinner.  But we were so exhausted after that, we didn’t even want to go out to dinner.  We just slogged back to the room – us, and five thousand of our best friends --  to order pizza.  My sister was sick with a cold, and felt faint.  Or so she said.  For all I knew, she was a zombie.     I’m not a zombie apocalypse expert.  But these are the facts.

My advice to anyone thinking about a weekend in the Dells?  Go there!  Have fun!  The kids will love it!  The rooms are pre-heated.  Even in the winter.  My sister says the coffee filter size is probably 2 or 4 (basket style, not cone).   She could tell by just looking at it with minimal time and effort.    Also, there are plenty of sharp knives there for cutting birthday cake.  

The only down side to that whole scenario is that when you go there, you might be turned into a zombie.   So hopefully, you’ll pick the right weekend. 


Elana Matthews said...

Long hallways and unsupervised running. And the yelling. Oh, the yelling. But I'll take those hot tubs, damn it. Next time I'll just bring a bottle of bleach. And since I'm far, far away from the subway, I'll enjoy the people watching. It's pretty much only that and Vilas Zoo in the summer that keeps me from getting another tattoo.

Erin Elizabeth Clune said...

here is definitely not as much people watching here. I'm sort of curious how Vilas Zoo fits that bill, though. And...Another tattoo? I may need more information on this.

Jennifer Beyler Horejsi said...

The watermarks are not my favorite destination, but we haven't been there when it's been a total pandemonium. We've been to the Wilderness twice and Chula Vista once, always in the Winter. Generally, I think the Wilderness is a better deal, and Chula Vista has some terrible reviews on Tripadvisor, but our experience was fine. That said, we have never stayed more than one night, and that is a-ok with me!
I think the worst experience at a Waterpark goes to my poor sister, who took her 3 kids and another kid, and ended up with a stomach bug, barfing in the bathroom all night. Now that's apocalyptic!