Valleyfair

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Valleyfair
Valleyfair logo.svg Valleyfair aerial view.jpg
Aerial view of Valleyfair
Slogan Thrills Connect
Location Shakopee, Minnesota, United States
Coordinates 44°47′55.47″N 93°27′12.13″W / 44.7987417°N 93.4533694°W / 44.7987417; -93.4533694Coordinates: 44°47′55.47″N 93°27′12.13″W / 44.7987417°N 93.4533694°W / 44.7987417; -93.4533694
Owner Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
General Manager Dave Frazier
Opened May 25, 1976 (1976-05-25)
Operating season May through Late October/Early November
Area 125 acres (0.51 km2)
(0.5 km²)
Rides
Total 48
Roller coasters 8
Water rides 3
Website http://www.valleyfair.com/

Valleyfair (formerly stylized as Valleyfair!) is a 125-acre (51 ha) amusement park located in Shakopee, Minnesota, USA and is currently the largest amusement park in the Upper Midwest United States. Owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, the park features over 75 attractions, 48 of which are rides that include eight roller coasters. Valleyfair also has a water park called Soak City which is included with the price of admission. Valleyfair and Cedar Point are the two original Cedar Fair parks, and the Fair in the Cedar Fair name comes from Valleyfair.

Valleyfair opened in 1976 and was originally themed as a Coney Island-styled early 20th century amusement park, which leads to some jarring contrasts with modern-style rides like the steel roller coasters Corkscrew and Wild Thing.

Valleyfair’s normal operating season runs daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and some weekends in May, September and October. There is also a "ValleyScare" event near Halloween.

History[edit]

Former logo used until 2007

Valleyfair opened in 1976 featuring 20 rides and attractions[1] on 26 acres (110,000 m2), with the roller coaster High Roller being the main attraction. The carousel in the park came from Excelsior Amusement Park which was closed in 1973. It is the oldest ride in the park. In 1978 in an effort to increase investment capital for continued park expansion, Valleyfair was acquired by Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio and placed under the management of Cedar Fair Limited Partnership. The park continues to grow every year with new rides and attractions. Since 1976, Valleyfair has invested over $96 million into the park, and today the park has over 75 attractions on 125 acres (51 ha) of land.[2] A height restriction was imposed in the year 2000 with the building of Power Tower. After negotiations with the FAA and the nearby Flying Cloud Airport, the FAA restricted the building height of Power Tower at 275 feet (84 m) due to its proximity to the airport. Power Tower's original plan was to be a height of 300 feet (91 m) and to take riders to 275 feet (84 m).[3]

As the park is located on the banks of the Minnesota River, flooding can become an issue during the springtime months before the park usually opens (or when the park is open for the season), notably in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2014. Excalibur and Thunder Canyon are built outside of a pre-existing river dike, and were built with this flooding potential in mind.[4]

Attraction timeline[edit]

Current attractions[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Although not as well-known a "coaster park" as some other parks like Cedar Point, Valleyfair does have many popular coasters and is known widely for them.

Coaster Picture Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill Rating[5]
Corkscrew Corkscrew (Valleyfair).jpg 1980 Arrow Dynamics A steel Looping roller coaster 5
Cosmic Coaster Cosmic Coaster - logo.jpg 2011 Zamperla A kiddie roller coaster. Previously located at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom as Dragon Coaster 3
Excalibur Excalibur backside.jpg 1989 Arrow Dynamics A steel roller coaster with a wooden structure 4
High Roller High Roller backside.jpg 1976 Rauerhorst Corporation A wooden roller coaster. It is currently the oldest coaster at Valleyfair. 4
Mad Mouse Mad Mouse entrance.jpg 1999 Arrow Dynamics A steel wild mouse roller coaster 4
Renegade Renegade 1st Drop.jpg 2007 Great Coasters International A Wooden roller coaster 4
Steel Venom Steel Venom VF Sign.jpg 2003 Intamin A steel Inverted Impulse roller coaster 5
Wild Thing Wild Thing Treetop View.jpg 1996 Chance Morgan A steel hyper coaster. It is currently the tallest roller coaster at Valleyfair. 5

Thrill rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill Rating[5]
Enterprise 1979 HUSS An Enterprise type ride. 4
Looping Starship 1985 Intamin A pirate themed Looping Starship ride. 4
Northern Lights 2014 Zamperla A Disk'O ride where a single car travels along a 302-foot (92 m) long, U-shaped track, reaching a height of 43 feet (13 m). 4
Power Tower 2000 S&S Worldwide A combo Space Shot and Turbo Drop tower 5
RipCord 1996 Sky Fun 1 Built in 1996.

An 18-story Skycoaster© ride that takes riders to a height of 180 feet. With a pull of the "rip cord" riders will free-fall for an experience similar to skydiving and hang-gliding. Riders will fly at almost 65 mph. RipCord can accommodate up to three flyers per FLIGHT.

5
RipTide 2005 HUSS A Suspended Top Spin ride. Riders get sprayed by a fountain during the ride. 5
Xtreme Swing 2006 S&S Worldwide A Screamin' Swing ride. It is currently the second tallest of its kind. 5

Family rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill Rating[5]
Antique Autos 2014 Gould Manufacturing Guests operated Antique Autos are powered by a gas-powered engive and travel around 1,500 feet of track with a center guide rail to keep the the auto on track. 3
Bumper Cars 1976 Rauenhorst Corporation A Bumper cars attraction 4
Carousel 1976 Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters An antique 48-horse Carousel 1
Dinosaurs Alive! 2013 Dinosaurs Unearthed A walk through animatronic dinosaur exhibit with an upcharge of $5 or free for gold or platinum season pass holders starting in 2014
Ferris Wheel 1975[6] Chance Rides A classic Ferris wheel ride 2
Minnesota River Valley Railroad 1990 Crown Metal Products A 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge[7] train ride around the park. 1
Monster 1977 Everly Manufacturing A classic Monster ride 3
Scrambler 1976 Eli Bridge Company A classic Scrambler ride 3
SuperCat 1976 Ramagosa 2
Tilter 1976 Sellner Manufacturing A classic Tilt-A-Whirl ride 3
Wheel of Fortune 1976 Chance Rides A circular ride that holds 40 riders and raises to a tilted position while rotating backwards. 3

Water rides[edit]

These are the water rides besides those in the Soak City.

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill Rating[5]
The Wave 1992 Hopkins Rides A Shoot-the-Chutes water ride. There is a bridge at the bottom where visitors can get soaked. 4
Thunder Canyon 1987 Barr Engineering A six person River rafting ride 4

Planet Snoopy[edit]

Planet Snoopy is a kids area designed for children. On August 6, 2010, it was announced that the entire children's section of the park would be transformed into Planet Snoopy for the 2011 season as part of a $9 million expansion.

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Description Thrill Rating[5]
Charlie Brown's Wind Up 1976 Chance Rides Yo-Yo The ride consists of 32 swings lift off the ground while travel in a circular motion and tilting at the top. It was originally called the Flying Trapeze, but received a facelift and renamed for Planet Snoopy. 3
Flying Ace Balloon Ride 1988 Zamperla Samba Balloon Eight balloons that can accommodate up to 4 riders. It was originally called Hot Air Balloons. 3
Kite Eating Tree 2000 S&S Worldwide Frog Hopper A kiddie version of Power Tower. It was originally called the Frog Hopper. 2
Linus' Beetle Bugs 1976 Ramagosa A little spinning ride. It was originally called Bumble Bees. 1
Linus Launcher 2011 Zamperla Kite Flyer 3
Lucy's Tugboat 2004 Zamperla Rockin' Tug 2
PEANUTS 500 1976 Zamperla Speedway A kiddie Whip ride 2
PEANUTS Road Rally 2000 Zamperla Convoy 1
Sally's Swing Set 1977 Zamperla Happy Swing A kiddie swing. 2
Snoopy vs. Red Baron 1988 Chance Rides It was originally named Sea Planes. 2
Snoopy's Deep Sea Divers Zamperla Crazy Bus 3
Snoopy's Junction D&P A mini train 1
Snoopy's Rocket Express 2011 Zamperla Aerial Ride A kiddie monorail around Planet Snoopy 2
Woodstock Whirlybirds 2011 Zamperla Mini Tea Cup A kiddie spinning ride 2

Route 76[edit]


"The new Route 76 area will take guests back into amusement park Americana" with the reopening of three classic rides that made their debut in the opening of Valleyfair in 1976. These rides include the Antique Autos, which was formerly deconstructed to make room for the construction of Dinosaurs Alive!, the Tilt-a-Whirl, and the Scrambler. A new ride titled 'Northern Lights' will be the main attraction of the area, featuring a roller coaster track over 300 feet in length and 42 feet in height. This family-oriented coaster will reach speeds upwards of 43 miles per hour, and will resemble the Aurora Borealis at night with colored lights in shades of greens, blues, and purples. The Route 76 area will also have a full service catering and picnic area, titled Picnic Point. Route 76 will be located in the front of the park near Steel Venom, and is set to open on May 16, 2014.[8]

Soak City[edit]

Soak City is a water park located within Valleyfair. It is a no-additional-charge attraction open to all Valleyfair visitors. It includes five high speed, single-person water slides, a lazy river, a fast single person rapids ride, a large family raft ride,a wave pool, and a children's area.

Challenge Park[edit]

The Challenge Park is located on the southeast corner of Valleyfair. It is a separate charge area, and requires an additional fee to participate in activities. Challenge Park originally featured four different attractions: RipCord, Bumper Boats, Adventure Golf and Go-Karts.


Ripcord: A Skycoaster where 1-3 individuals are harnessed, raised to a height of 161 feet, and one of the riders must pull his or her own cord to release them to a swinging freefall.


Bumper Boats: On this attraction, riders are put into powered boats on a pool of water, and encouraged to bump into each other. The Bumper Boats at Valleyfair were removed at the end of the 2009 season and sent to Michigan's Adventure.


Adventure Golf: Two 18 Hole Mini-Golf courses that winded their way through a mountain like structure. Adventure Golf was removed in 2012 to make way for the Valleyfair Picnic Point, a pavilion that is used for catering services.


Go-Karts: One winding track that riders drive around using go-karts. The Go-Karts were removed in 2013 for the addition of the new Route 76 area.

Fast Lane[edit]

Fast Lane is Valleyfair's virtual queue system. For $50, visitors get a wrist band that enables them to get to the front of the line on the most popular attractions without queueing.

Shows[edit]

Power Tower, Xtreme Swing, and Corkscrew from Wild Thing

Valleyfair hosts several performance venues with a wide variety of live entertainment at no additional charge.

  • The Amphitheater is a large outdoor venue that has hosted country music tribute shows, battle of the bands competitions, acrobats, and even a dog show. The venue is not currently being used.
  • The Galaxy Theater is an indoor, air-conditioned theater, fully equipped with professional lighting and sound. Originally, it was used to stage musical revues, but in recent years, The Galaxy has played host to various comedy and magic acts, such as Ed Alonzo and Chipper Lowell. This year's performance is a musical show called "Rockin' the Galaxy". During the Halloween Haunt at Valleyscare, The Galaxy usually presents a kid's magic show Frogwarts: Wizard's Academy. This year Eternal Jamnation is also showing.
  • The Gazebo Stage is an outdoor stage with a covered bandstand which presents a musical revue of classic and contemporary hits. The Gazebo always features a 7-piece live band (keyboard, bass, guitar, drums, trombone, sax, and trumpet), setting it apart for most other "tracked" theme park shows. The venue features numerous covered picnic tables and is close to many food service locations, so park guests can enjoy their lunch or dinner while catching the show. This year's production, entitled "Shout!", features sequences paying tribute to contemporary, reggae, and Motown styles, with a special tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder.
  • Street Beat is a roaming band that strolls throughout the park and plays many classic songs as well as some more contemporary music. Some songs from previous years have been, "Thriller", "Sexyback", and "Sweet Caroline".[9]
  • PEANUTS Showplace is an outdoor venue that is next to the PEANUTS Playhouse in Planet Snoopy. It features stadium bench seating, with awnings to provide shade, and a lot of room for the interactive entertainment. The PEANUTS Showplace is the current home of Charlie Brown’s HOEDOWN, where the PEANUTS characters dance, sing, and interact with the audience.

At the Halloween Haunt, The Boogie Monsters take over the PEANUTS Showplace, performing Halloween and spooky-themed songs for the trick-or-treaters on the nearby Trick-or-Treat Trail

Former rides and attractions[edit]

  • Northern Lights (Chance Falling Star)
  • Bayern Curve (Schwarzkopf Bayern Curve)
  • Wild Rails (Schwarzkopf Wild Mouse), replaced with "Mad Mouse"
  • Skyscraper (2005-2007, relocated to Cedar Point (2008–present), previously at Dorney Park from 2000 until 2004)
  • Tot Town: In the space now occupied by the Power Tower was once a small area of rides, a jungle gym and ball pool designed for small children.
  • The Flume (1979–2008) – Known as Ye Olde Log Flume until the early 1990s, the Flume was a log flume ride. The Flume was permanently closed and dismantled at the end of the 2008 season.[10] Soak City waterpark (previously Whitewater Country waterpark) was extended in place of the Flume to accommodate the installation of Breakers Bay,[11] a wave pool attraction.
  • Bumper Boats (closed 2009, demolished in 2010) was a part of the Challenge Park located near the front of Valleyfair. This ride was relocated to Michigan's Adventure.
  • Mild Thing was closed in 2010 as part of Valleyfair's revamping of the children's area, and was replaced by Cosmic Coaster.
  • Chaos (1999–2011) is a spinning ride which starts spinning in a horizontal position and gradually lifts into a vertical position. Each individual ride unit flips 360 degrees on its own axis. Chaos was removed prior to the 2011 season. There are currently no known plans for the empty area.
  • Skipper and Dolly Dolphin Show (1977? – late 1980s) was a dolphin show featuring two Bottlenose dolphins named Skipper and Dolly. Given that the dolphins could not be properly housed there during the frigid Minnesota winter months and that various other amusement parks had their own "Skipper and Dolly" dolphin shows (such as Pontchartrain Beach and Six Flags AstroWorld, it can be assumed the two animals were transferred from location to location, depending on whichever parks wanted to incorporate the dolphins into their summertime show schedules.
  • Adventure Golf (1992–2012) was two 18-hole golf courses,a part of the Challenge Park located near the front of Valleyfair. Its last operating season was 2011, and it was closed to the public during the 2012 season. It was removed and replaced with the Valleyfair Catering Services.
  • Antique Autos (1976-2012) was a 1148 ft track featuring self-controlled, gas-powered replicas of 1910 Cadillac Touring Cars. It was removed to build Dinosaurs Alive! It has returned in a different format in the new Route 76 area.
  • Go-Karts (1991-2013) was a quarter mile race track located in the Challenge Park. It was removed to make way for Route 76.
  • Pepsi IMAX theater (1982-2013) was demolished to make way for the sand volleyball courts.
  • Hydroblaster (1995-2013) Two dark slides near Planet Snoopy. There are no current plans for its former location.

Halloween Haunt at ValleyScare[edit]

ValleyScare logo.jpg

Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE!, is a Halloween event put on by Valleyfair that started in 2006. Originally, Valleyfair operated HalloWeekends from 1998 to 2000 on weekends in September with a single haunted house, the Haunted Opera House. The name was changed after it reinstated the event six years later with an expanded schedule, and more theming and haunted areas. Planet Spooky is open during the day time and features a number of activities and rides that are family-friendly. After the sun sets, The Haunt takes over the park with haunted houses, outdoor mazes, scare zones, and entertainment.

History[edit]

Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE first opened in 2006 with five different attractions: CarnEVIL in 3D, Manglers Asylum, Chateau Du Damné, Carnage at Crimson Isle, and Bloodcreek Cemetery. The Haunt was expanded in 2007 with one more scare zone named Hellside Farm, and Carnage at Crimson Isle was upgraded from a scare zone to the first outdoor maze. In 2008, Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE expanded again with the addition of the maze Mr. Cleaver's Bloodshed, a slaughterhouse themed attraction located in the 2nd games warehouse behind Cool & Creamy. Along with Mr. Cleaver's Bloodshed, Hellside Farm received a major upgrade to a maze, and Chateau Du Damne received a new ending. For the 2009 Haunt, Hellside Farm was moved to the Amphitheater Backlot, CarnEVIL received a slight upgrade which consisted of 3 new rooms, Chateau Du Damné added a new torture room scene, Mr. Cleaver's Bloodshed added a number of new rooms and hallways, and Carnage at Crimson Isle received a whole new layout and maze design. All mazes received upgrades in 2010. CarnEVIL's ending was re-themed, Chateau Du Damné received many new rooms and changes, Hellside's layout was redesigned lengthened a bit for a more claustrophobic feeling, and Mr. Cleaver's Bloodshed layout was switched up and included a brand new scare never before seen at ValleySCARE. With the addition of Planet Snoopy in 2011, Blood Creek Cemetery was moved closer to the Front Gate with a very different layout, Festival of Freaks took over the nightlife of Planet Spooky, and Camp Wekilou was added in the picnic cove as an outdoor maze. In 2012, Festival of Freaks was re-themed as Abnormal Alley and given a more claustrophobic feeling, and Camp Wekilou was upgraded and given a new layout to shorten the maze a bit. For the 2013 season, CarnEVIL's location was replaced with the new Zombie High maze, and CarnEVIL was re-themed into a Scare Zone with the subtitle "Ringmaster's Challenge". The Carnage at Crimson Isle maze was completely scrapped and the new outdoor maze, London Terror, was added near its former location. Along with mazes and scare zones, Valleyfair's most popular rides are open, along with food vendors and live entertainment.

Haunted Attractions[edit]

Attraction Type Opened Location
Abnormal Alley (Formerly Festival of Freaks) Scare Zone 2012 Corkscrew Alley
Blood Creek Cemetery Scare Zone 2006 Walkway between The Wave & Monster
Camp Wekilou Maze 2011 Site formerly known as Picnic Cove
CarnEVIL: Ringmaster's Revenge Scare Zone 2013 Planet Snoopy
Chateau du Damné Maze 2006 The Arcade
Hellside Farm Maze (Scare Zone in 2007) 2007 Train Station South
London Terror Maze 2013 Soak City
Mangler Asylum Maze 2006 Bumper Cars
Mr. Cleavers Bloodshed Maze 2008 Near Mad Mouse
Zombie High Maze Near Depot Refreshments Stadium Pizza and Grill

Former Haunted Attractions[edit]

Attraction Type Opened Location
Carnage at Crimson Isle Maze (Scare Zone in 2006) 2006-2012 Plaza Patio near Pepsi IMAX Theatre
CarnEVIL in 3D (Re-themed to Carnevil: Ringmaster's Revenge Scare Zone in 2013) Maze 2006-2012 Midway Games
Festival of Freaks (Re-themed to Abmnormal Alley in 2012) Scare Zone 2011-2011 Planet Snoopy

Planet Spooky[edit]

History[edit]

Planet Spooky was added to the Valleyscare lineup in 2011 with the parks addition of Planet Snoopy. However daytime family-friendly activities were present prior to the Planet Spooky name.

Attraction Type Opened Location
Boogie Monsters Entertainment 2006 Gazebo Stage
Frogwarts Entertainment 2006 Galaxy Theater
Hay Bale Maze Trick or Treat Maze 2011 Planet Snoopy Grill
Linus' Pumpkin Patch Trick or Treat Maze 2011 Near Snoopy vs Red Baron
Story Telling Witch Activity 2006 Near Cosmic Coaster

Accidents[edit]

  • On June 16, 2011, the ride Minnesota River Valley Railroad derailed near the amphitheater at the front of the park and careened into the south train station platform. Two passenger cars left the tracks and were later placed back on the tracks by park maintenance. No injuries were reported.[citation needed]
  • On August 5, 2010, a chlorine leak from the Soak City Waterpark sent 26 people to the hospital.[12]
  • On September 3, 2007, the ride Xtreme Swing experienced a fire in an electrical junction box. There were no injuries, and the ride reopened several days later after the problem was fixed and the ride successfully tested.[13]
  • On May 21, 2006, the rear car of a roller coaster train on Wild Thing detached from the middle car during the final brake run. 18 people were injured and 14 were taken to a local hospital, though most injuries were considered minor.[14] An investigation later determined that a mounting bracket in the brake system failed, and the ride resumed operation on June 1, 2006.[15]

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Excelsior Amusement Park – a park that operated in the region from 1925 to 1973. The carousel that stands inside the entrance came from Excelsior Amusement Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Timeline | Valleyfair, Minneapolis MN". Valleyfair.com. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  2. ^ "Valleyfair park history". Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ ValleyFair Park Information
  4. ^ "Valleyfair!". CoasterGallery.com. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Ratings assigned per Valleyfair's own system, where "1" is the least intense and "5" is the most. See their "Guest Assistance Guide". Valleyfair.  for more specific details.
  6. ^ Chance, Harold (2004). The Book of Chance. Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-9649065-0-3. 
  7. ^ Crown Metal Products Locomotive Roster
  8. ^ Valleyfair. "Route 76 – New area to include classic rides & all-new family coaster". Valleyfair. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Live Entertainment at Valleyfair". Valleyfair. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ Eric. "Valleyfair Flume Headed Out". Theme Park Village. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  11. ^ Valleyfair. "New Wave Pool to Debut at Valleyfair in 2009". Valleyfair. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  12. ^ "Amusement Park Goers Exposed to Chemicals in Minnesota". Fox News. August 6, 2010. 
  13. ^ wcco.com - Ride At Valleyfair Closed After Fire
  14. ^ Xiong, Chan (May 22, 2006). "Valleyfair's Wild Thing car derails, injures riders". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ Louwagie, Pam (June 1, 2006). "Hoots, hollers make untamed return on Wild Thing". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]