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Aerial view of Valleyfair
|Location||Shakopee, Minnesota, United States|
|Owner||Cedar Fair Entertainment Company|
|General Manager||Dave Frazier|
|Opened||May 25, 1976|
|Operating season||May through Late October/Early November|
|Area||125 acres (0.51 km2)
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Attractions
- 3 Challenge Park
- 4 Fast Lane
- 5 Shows
- 6 Former rides and attractions
- 7 Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE
- 8 Incidents
- 9 Popular culture
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Valleyfair opened in 1976 featuring 20 rides and attractions 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. 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).
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.
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|
|Corkscrew||1980||Arrow Dynamics||A steel Looping roller coaster||5|
|Cosmic Coaster||2011||Zamperla||A kiddie roller coaster. Previously located at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom as Dragon Coaster||3|
|Excalibur||1989||Arrow Dynamics||A steel roller coaster with a wooden structure||4|
|High Roller||1976||Rauerhorst Corporation||A wooden roller coaster. It is currently the oldest coaster at Valleyfair.||4|
|Mad Mouse||1999||Arrow Dynamics||A steel wild mouse roller coaster||4|
|Renegade||2007||Great Coasters International||A Wooden roller coaster||4|
|Steel Venom||2003||Intamin||A steel Inverted Impulse roller coaster||5|
|Wild Thing||1996||Chance Morgan||A steel hyper coaster. It is currently the tallest roller coaster at Valleyfair.||5|
|Ride||Year Opened||Manufacturer||Description||Thrill Rating|
|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.
|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|
|Ride||Year Opened||Manufacturer||Description||Thrill Rating|
|Antique Autos||2014||Gould Manufacturing||Guests operated Antique Autos are powered by a gas-powered engine and travel around 1,500 feet of track with a center guide rail to keep 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||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 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|
|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|
These are the water rides besides those in the Soak City.
|Ride||Year Opened||Manufacturer||Description||Thrill Rating|
|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 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|
|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|
"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.
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.
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.
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 Stageis 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 Beatis 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".
- PEANUTS Showplaceis 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
- 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. Soak City waterpark (previously Whitewater Country waterpark) was extended in place of the Flume to accommodate the installation of Breakers Bay, 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
Halloween Haunt is a Halloween event at Valleyfair that was originally known as HalloWeekends, which operated from 1998 to 2000 on weekends in September. The name was changed to Halloween Haunt when the event was brought back six years later in 2006. Planet Spooky is a family-friendly Halloween event open during the day, while the park is under normal operation. After the sun sets, Halloween Haunt takes over and features haunted houses, outdoor mazes, scare zones, and live entertainment. Many rides remain in operation during the event, though some are closed to accommodate the transition.
|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||Site formerly known as Picnic Cove|
|Mangler Asylum||Maze||2006||Bumper Cars|
|Mr. Cleavers Bloodshed||Maze||2008||Near Mad Mouse|
|Zombie High||Maze||2013||Near Depot Refreshments|
Former haunted attractions
|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 Abnormal Alley in 2012)||Scare Zone||2011-2011||Planet Snoopy|
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.
|Boogie Monsters||Entertainment||2006||Gazebo Stage|
|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|
- 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.
- On August 5, 2010, a chlorine leak from the Soak City Waterpark sent 26 people to the hospital.
- 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.
- 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. An investigation later determined that a mounting bracket in the brake system failed, and the ride resumed operation on June 1, 2006.
- Valleyfair appeared in a scene in the film Little Big League, with rides such as Corkscrew, Enterprise, High Roller, and The Wave being visible in the scene.
- 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.
- "Timeline | Valleyfair, Minneapolis MN". Valleyfair.com. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- "Valleyfair park history". Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- ValleyFair Park Information
- "Valleyfair!". CoasterGallery.com. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- Ratings assigned per Valleyfair's own system, where "1" is the least intense and "5" is the most. See their "Guest Assistance Guide" (PDF). Valleyfair. for more specific details.
- Chance, Harold (2004). The Book of Chance. Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-9649065-0-3.
- Crown Metal Products Locomotive Roster
- Valleyfair. "Route 76 – New area to include classic rides & all-new family coaster". Valleyfair. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- "Live Entertainment at Valleyfair". Valleyfair. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Eric. "Valleyfair Flume Headed Out". Theme Park Village. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- Valleyfair. "New Wave Pool to Debut at Valleyfair in 2009". Valleyfair. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- "Halloween Haunt at Valleyfair". Cedar Fair. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- "Amusement Park Goers Exposed to Chemicals in Minnesota". Fox News. August 6, 2010.
- wcco.com - Ride At Valleyfair Closed After Fire
- Xiong, Chan (May 22, 2006). "Valleyfair's Wild Thing car derails, injures riders". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Louwagie, Pam (June 1, 2006). "Hoots, hollers make untamed return on Wild Thing". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
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