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Valleyfair is a 125-acre (51 ha) amusement park in Shakopee, Minnesota, United States. Owned by Cedar Fair, the park opened in 1976 and now features over 75 rides and attractions including eight roller coasters. Valleyfair also has a water park called Soak City which is included with the price of admission. Cedar Point and Valleyfair were the first two parks in the Cedar Fair chain (although Cedar Point Amusement Park originally opened in 1870) and a combination of the park names – "cedar" and "fair" – were used to name the company.
Aerial view of Valleyfair
|Slogan||Where Awesome Happens|
|Location||One Valleyfair Drive Shakopee 55379, Minnesota, U.S.|
|General Manager||Raul Rehnborg|
|Opened||May 25, 1976|
|Operating season||early/mid-May through October|
|Area||125 acres (0.51 km2)|
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, 2014, 2018, and 2019. Excalibur and Thunder Canyon are built outside of a pre-existing river dike, and were built with this flooding potential in mind.
|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||D. H. Morgan Manufacturing||A steel hyper coaster. It is currently the tallest roller coaster at Valleyfair.||5|
|Ride||Year Opened||Manufacturer||Description||Thrill Rating|
|Delirious||2018||Larson International||A Larson 22M Giant Loop Ride opening in the 2018 season.||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|
|North Star||2017||Funtime||A Star Flyer, in which riders, seated in two-person chair-linked swings, will reach a height of 230 feet (70 m), reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h).||4|
|Power Tower||2000||S&S Worldwide||A combo Space Shot and Turbo Drop tower||5|
|RipCord||1996||Sky Fun 1||An additional charge attraction known as a Skycoaster that drops riders in a swinging, pendulum-like motion sending them 18 stories into the air at speeds up to 65 mph (105 km/h)||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||1925 (at Excelsior Park)
1976 (at Valleyfair)
|Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters||An antique 48-horse Carousel. This ride previously was installed at Excelsior Park until its closing in 1973. An Artizan Band Organ provides the carousel's music, but the rolls have been converted to Wurlitzer 150 rolls. The carousel model number is PTC #76.||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||N/A|
|Ferris Wheel||1975||Chance Rides||A classic Ferris wheel ride||2|
|Flying Eagles||2016||Larson International||A flying eagles ride with eight carriages that each have a paddle, enabling guests to change the movement of their carriage.||3|
|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 within the park created 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||2011||Zamperla||Speedway||A kiddie Whip ride||2|
|PEANUTS Road Rally||2000||Zamperla||Convoy||1|
|Sally's Swing Set||2011||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 Route 76 area takes 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 ride track over 300 feet in length and 42 feet in height. This family-oriented ride reaches speeds upwards of 43 miles per hour and resembles the Aurora Borealis at night with colored lights in shades of greens, blues, and purples. The Route 76 area features a full service catering and picnic area, titled Picnic Point. Route 76 is located in the front of the park near Steel Venom, and opened on May 16, 2014.
Soak City is a water park included with the price of admission to Valleyfair. Rides include a lazy river, a wave pool, and water slides. Newly added slides such as "Breakers Plunge" were added as part of the 2015 Waterpark expansion.
Fast Lane is Valleyfair's virtual queue system. For an additional charge, visitors get a wrist band that enables them to get to the front of the line on the most popular attractions without queuing including attractions like Wild Thing, Renegade, Steel Venom and Xtreme Swing.
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. In 2016, the Amphitheater was remodeled and began hosting a new show, All Wheel's Extreme.
- 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, Chipper Lowell, and All-Star Stunt Dogs.
- The Gazebo Stage is an outdoor stage with a covered bandstand which presents a musical revue of classic and contemporary hits. The Gazebo features a 7-piece live band (keyboard, bass, guitar, drums, and vocals), 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 watching the show.
- Benchwarmers is a roaming brass 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", "Brooklyn", and "Sweet Caroline".
- 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 Vocal Coasters are a 6 piece vocal group that performs mainly acapella with a beat-boxing background.
At the Halloween Haunt, there are special themed shows at PEANUTS Showplace, performing Halloween and spooky-themed songs for the trick-or-treaters on the nearby Trick-or-Treat Trail. Recent past years on the Gazebo there has been a show called Haunted Homecoming. On the walkways, there has been a roaming a cappella group (much like The Acafellas), called The Skele-Tones. At night, there is also Haunt Entertainment. Gazebo Stage and PEANUTS Showplace change every season or two, but as of 2018, Sinister Circus, an acrobat circus show, has been located in the Galaxy Theater.
Former rides and attractionsEdit
- Northern Lights (19XX-2005) – Chance Falling Star with a space theme, removed in 2006 to make room for Xtreme Swing.
- Bayern Curve (1985-1997) – Schwarzkopf Bayern Curve, located next to Northwoods Grill, replaced with numerous attractions over the years, with the Wheel of Fortune currently residing on its former site.
- Wild Rails (1979-1998) – Schwarzkopf Wild Mouse coaster, replaced in 1999 with "Mad Mouse". Moved to Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Maryland under the name Wildcat.
- Skyscraper (2005-2007) – 160 ft tall rotating arm ride located near the front of the park within Wild Thing's figure-eight turnaround (originally operated at Dorney Park from 2000–2004, and eventually relocated to Cedar Point where it operated from 2008–2015).
- Tot Town (1981-2000) – 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 (1993 - closed 2009, demolished in 2010) – motorized bumper boats in a pool of water, a part of the Challenge Park located near the front of Valleyfair. This ride was relocated to Michigan's Adventure.
- Mild Thing (1976 - 2009) – A children's roller coaster, originally called Mine Train and Kiddie Coaster prior to the park's addition of Wild Thing, 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.
- 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 Valleyfair's catered event area, named Picnic Point.
- 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 Barefoot Beach in 2015.
- Hydroblaster (1995-2013) Two dark slides near Planet Snoopy. The area was replaced with the addition of Breakers Plunge and Breakers Pipeline in 2015.
- Enterprise (1979-2016) A HUSS Enterprise type ride. Closed in 2016 to make room for North Star.
- RipTide (2005-2017) A Suspended Top Spin ride where Riders get sprayed by a fountain during the ride. Closed prior to the 2018 season.
Halloween Haunt at ValleySCAREEdit
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. The Great Pumpkin Fest 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.
|Berserkers Unleashed||Maze||2017||Near Dinosaurs Alive!|
|Blood Creek Cemetery||Scare Zone||2006||Walkway between The Wave & Monster|
|CarnEvil: Ringmaster's Revenge (Maze until replaced by Zombie High in 2013)||Scare Zone||2013||Planet Snoopy|
|The Chateau (Formerly Chateau du Damné)||Maze||2006||Behind Mad Mouse|
|Dark Harvest (Formerly Hellside Farm)||Maze||2007||Site formerly known as Picnic Cove|
|Human(e) Habitat||Maze||2015||Site formerly known as Picnic Cove|
|Mr. Cleavers Bloodshed||Maze||2008||Near Mad Mouse in games warehouse|
|Trails End||Scare Zone||2015||Near Renegade|
|Zombie High||Maze||2013||Near Depot Refreshments|
Former haunted attractionsEdit
|Camp Wekilou||Maze||2011-2014||Site formerly known as Picnic Cove|
|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|
|Dinoslaughter||Scare Zone||2015-2015||Dinosaurs Alive!|
|Festival of Freaks (Re-themed to Abnormal Alley in 2012)||Scare Zone||2011-2011||Planet Snoopy|
|London Terror||Maze||2013-2015||Soak City Waterpark|
|Mangler Asylum||Maze||2006-2015||Bumper Cars|
The Great Pumpkin FestEdit
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. In 2015 it was renamed to The Great Pumpkin Fest. It includes trick-or-treating, storytelling, live entertainment, petting zoo, corn maze, and a preview of Halloween Haunt.
- On the evening of September 22, 2018 Police were forced to close the “ValleySCARE” event early after a large number of fights broke out. At least three people were cited for offences. Multiple police departments along with a police helicopter assisted with evacuating the park along with Valleyfair security personnel. 
- On May 25, 2017 Numerous fights broke out during Valleyfair’s first ever “Adult Night”. An event for adults to enjoy rides and craft beers kid free. Fights took place mostly in the parking lot but some fights did occur in the park. Nobody was injured. One person was cited for disorderly conduct.
- On November 21, 2015, a fire was started at a storage building (haunt attraction London Terror). 25% of the structure was damaged, the cause of the fire is unknown. Fabric Ceiling needed replacing. No injuries reported.
- On September 20, 2012, an employee became trapped under a carriage from Power Tower after it fell while he was performing maintenance on the ride. The 41-year-old operator sued the manufacturer, S&S - Sansei Technologies.
- 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.
- 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". Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "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.
- "Valleyfair Family Amusement Park, Shakopee, MN". National Carousel Association. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- 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.
- "Rails - Valleyfair! (Shakopee, Minnesota, USA)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
- "Wildcat - Jolly Roger Amusement Park (Ocean City, Maryland, USA)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
- 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.
- "Valleyfair closes early; Shakopee police respond to park after large number of fights". Star Tribune. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- Winter, Deena; Schuster, Christine. "ValleySCARE evacuated after fights break out". Shakopee Valley News. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Valleyfair Ride Operator Sues Manufacturer of Power Tower after Injuries". ABC News. July 21, 2017.
- "Amusement Park Goers Exposed to Chemicals in Minnesota". Fox News. August 6, 2010.
- "wcco.com - Ride At Valleyfair Closed After Fire". Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
- 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.