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Trip Report: Valleyfair

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When I was in Minneapolis earlier this year I checked out Valleyfair. My time in the park was cut short, because picking up my car rental turned out to be a 2 hour ordeal because my emergency replacement credit card was not processing correctly (wallet stolen earlier in trip!)

See all photos here

or scroll through the whole gallery using your arrows




Nethertheless, the park wasn't too busy, so it didn't take that long to see what i wanted to see.

The park is nice enough, it sits in the average tier of Cedar Fair parks with the likes of Worlds of Fun and Dorney Park...In other words, the rides are alright, the park is clean and the operations are good, it's just a bit pedestrian feeling.

I recall a comment in my trip previous trip report about the condition of La Ronde being excused because its under snow for half the year...But wouldn't that apply here too? Granted they rely on a lot of flat concrete, but the park still looked very presentable.








I started off with Steel Venom, an impulse coaster, which is a lot of fun with the alternation between briskly launching and floater airtime as you spiral upwards. This was my first time riding one with the holding brake still installed. Basically, on one of the launches up the straight spire, there is a set of vertical lims that work in reverse to stop the train right at the top. Its a bit sudden, so you go from floating out of your seat to suddenly dropping downwards into your restraint, a bit of a fright.






Next was Corkscrew , so it's sort of like the next model up from what Sea Viper was...For your money you get an extra hill and a helix. Nice.




I took a spin on the Ferris Wheel given it was midday, which is the best time for elevated rides because the sun doesn't get in the way of your photos. Not particularly tall but some great pics of Corkscrew can be had.



Continuing my loop around the park I stopped in at Snoopys Rocket Express, for even more elevated pics.



Right next to this, with its entrance in the middle of Planet Snoopy was High Roller, an ageing wooden coaster with a fairly simple out and back layout, decent enough though perhaps a bit unmemorable....just straight drops and hills, and flat turns...Very Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 style.




The longest wait was for Mad Mouse, a wild mouse built by arrow. They had heaps of cars on, but only 1 or 2 out on the layout, so there was like 7 cars permanently stacked in the brake run and station....Most of your ride was spent waiting to leave the station, and waiting to get off. Also, screw you for not having shade. It was interesting for having banked turns and way more dips than usually seen.

Green Lantern called, it wants its supports back.




Pushing to the back of the park was the other woodie, Renegade, which is much more interesting, it has all the GCI trademarks, big fan turns, quick transitions, loud and fast paced, just a bugger to get pics of because most of the ride goes out past the back of house area, so the only bit you can see is the last part that comes around the station and queue.




Also at the back of the park is Excalibur, which was one of my favourites and a sleeper hit. It was like if Arrow designed a mega lite, it has quite decently steep hills interspersed with ground hugging turns, that all interlocked and passed over and under each other in an interesting manner. All done with arrow track of course, so it did have bumps, but was quite exciting. One of arrows best rides IMO.




The final coaster was Wild Thing, a hypercoaster which seems like a cross between the other morgans at Dorney and Worlds of fun, but with a turnaround sequence that Steel Dragon 2000 seems to borrow from. Yeah pretty good, again, with DC rivals down the road, you see how much better hypercoasters have become, this seemed to have quite shallow hills and the turnaround sequence was fairly drawn out. What did impress me was the way the final hills were enclosed by a huge tunnel that went all the way to the ground...kudos to them for building that!







I got plenty of photos, the park is well and truly sorted for flat rides, and they had a decent sized water park included in admission, though it seemed quite heavily body slide focused.










I was still a bit frazzled by my experience with the car rental that morning, since my whole itinerary was hinging on it and had been stressing , so i called it a day for some zen time cruising on the interstate down to Iowa.

As for the park? I don't think id go to Minneapolis just for it, but if you are in the city, check it out. It's respectable, but well and truly overdue for a new signature coaster, since their family offerings and flat rides well established.



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