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Everything posted by budtbum

  1. No one's posted much about the haunt this year. I was there last night, and they did quite well. The rides were open, the haunted houses were staffed. Mabey less than other years for the number of wandering actors in costume for the scare zones, but not bad. I definitely did miss the live music, though I think I heard some of their music from previous years piped in over the speakers. They had some excellent side shows. They brought in a few outside acts that certainly enhanced the haunt experience! The masque show was good and well attended. Freak Show Florida was worth a watch over at the Gazebo stage. Authentically Ashleigh brought grace and beauty to the overall spooky feel. Too bad the "Celebration Stage" doesn't show up on the app map, or there might have been better attended too. Short, but good show. She managed to stop passer byers. But otherwise being there, it was easy to see why they are selling out the weekends. The lines were longer early on, but the limit they placed on the crowd size kept things manageable. If you could stand the cooler weather as the evening went on, and you could get through lines much more quickly, as the under dressed left. I did see a couple individual "trouble makers" but their security was on top of that almost immediately, so nothing I saw made it above the "look at that idiot" level. Overall it was very well done. Low winds made for lots of fog and the actors, light and sound created great atmosphere. Good food too! I've been there at various times during the summer when they were really short staffed, but for the Haunt it was great to see them really up and running again. I'm hoping the crowd size helps make up for lost revenue. Maybe a new ride announcement at the end of next year? But either way, the management has at least recognized putting in some money toward the Haunt, even in a troubled year, is a good return on the investment!
  2. As much as I want a new ride, and as much as I hate to say it, swishtime101 and valleyfairfanatic are right. Covid lockdown was a complete loss of 2020 plus all the basic expenses of taxes, some upkeep, full time employees, and Cedar Fair debt to boot.... 2021 helped, but VF had major staffing issues and only open a fraction of their normal schedule. Realistically I didn't expect too much for new rides this year. Part of me was thinking, yeah, buy a big coaster now before inflation hits (or prices are already up). But really, if there was ever a time I didn't expect anything, this year is it. Honestly, I'm hoping for their normal operating hours next year!
  3. In case anyone hasn't seen it- the height restriction over Valleyfair really is 310 to 320 feet now, depending on what side of the park it is. Reference the Metropolitan Airport Commission - See pages 22, 26, 61 and 131 (of the PDF file itself, that's pages 26, 30, 65 and 135) Flying Cloud Zoning map- Maximum Construction Heights Without Permit Within Zoning Limits https://metroairports.org/sites/default/files/ordinances/Final-FCM-Zoning-Ordinance-04-10-19_w-attachments_signed_reduced.pdf One can dream... even if a giga is only a dream
  4. Since Flying Cloud airport raised the height limits to 320', now is the time to build a Giga Coaster at Valleyfair! Lock in and grandfather the height while they can- Protect it for future investments before the airport can restrict VF future rides again. It's a totally sound investment to make! Keep the grand plan (and my dream) alive!
  5. Wouldn't the opposite be true? The bigger the crowd, the better case you can make, for investing in a major ride; Small crowd is risky, asking the question- will bigger crowds come with a new major ride? Bigger crowds on the other hand can make a board say "I should keep going with what's drawing them in", that is true. But it also says, I have a crowd to safely support the new rides investment too, as evidenced by lines of people on the existing rides.
  6. Um, big park or little park, that's basic business- they HAVE to care about the bottom line if they want to stay in business. Which incidentally requires them to also care about customer satisfaction, to keep customers coming back. I go to small independent parks too because some things they have are different, but find your term interesting - "Learn to love" the other (better?) smaller parks that has apparently taken your business. Out of curiosity, what specific care did they show you that Valleyfair/Cedar Fair didn't?
  7. I was at Valleyfair on Thursday, and the Grand Carnivale wasn't bad. Actually some of the acts at the Superior stage (3-4pm) were quite good. I think the Superior stage is a difficult location in general. It depends on people walking by and stopping, which few do for any length of time, at any given time. With people walking by on the trail and few seats, it almost induces people to "move along". Unless you sit up real close to get your ears blasted out next to the speakers... Some more benches or something would help get people in to stay for a show in my opinion. Like the Ren Fest- have a seating area with the walking trail behind. I've always liked breaking up the day a bit with a show - especially if you can time it out with some food- Having different food then the normal burger and fries was great! You go to Valleyfair and want to get rides in too, and the shortened days this year really makes you think about how long you want to do any given thing. On a side note, whoever was playing live music at soak city was excellent! Minne & St Paul? Not on the schedule that I saw, just happened to be in the background when we were there. There was a decent crowd overall for the day, especially for a weekday. The idea of the GC dance party was to get the audience involved, learn it, and then I think follow the parade later in the evening and join in. That part is not my thing, and apparently not too many others either- at least on a Thursday. A good number of people lined up to watch the parade though, as most will watch a show before participating in it. It a tough thing to do, especially with mostly teenagers around, to try and get people out to dance...I would have to give the ones in the parade high marks for tying to get the people they did, to dance- they put some real effort in it. Kids were more than willing to run around collecting the streamers after the parade that got shot into the air. The Calendar online is showing VF is open weekends through October now, but so far no mention of Halloween. Less staff this year for sure, so it will be interesting what comes of that. If they limit attendance with the reservation system, or worse CDC and possible Gov. Walz covid restrictions. I hope that doesn't happen. Hope even harder that they have some new major ride lined up for Valleyfair soon!
  8. In case you haven't seen it, Bloomington approved the zoning and building plans for the MOA water park early this week. The high res drawings are available at; https://agendasuite.org/iip/bloomington/file/getfile/71041 Looks cool, but almost a little underwhelming compared to West Edmonton (same owner), which seems to be a lot taller. I'm not sure how that all comes into play with Valleyfair's plans, but it's a nice visual of what the competition is doing (or at least wants to) 15 miles away. If they play it right Valleyfair could make theirs more unique/different keeping a edge, and still possibly play off the same customer base.
  9. Garyman6- Thanks for all the info! I saw Mr. Cleavers Bloodshed was closed for a while. We now know it was because it got too wet... When that happens, who screams more- the guest or the monster? I've been to quite a few other haunts around the twin cities and while they all have their pluses and minuses, Valleyscare has the best overall fun factor, hands down. There's a reason why they get the crowds they do! After last weekend, that leaves only 6 Looping Starship rides anywhere that still function. So there does appear to be a point of no return on the maintenance side of the ride. (At least unless someone wants to dump some real money into it.) Since Cedar Fair owns two of them, I bet they keep the parts for Carowinds/Kings Dominion installations running as long as possible.
  10. I totally agree- this is Valleyfair- so almost any custom coaster or other ride would qualify as "big" by that standard, a Wild Thing size would be absolutely huge....a large B&M would be more like a miracle. I guess when I see a separate parking lot for the water park I tend to think separate fee. I really hope your right that it would still be one park, if they do a big water park expansion. But when I look at things like a very small percentage increase in attendance at Cedar Point after they built Steel Vengeance, I look at it both ways. Was that a x% increase, or keeping it from a x% drop? How many of their customers are local vs. people to travel to it on any given year? Want to go to Cedar Point or Six Flags this year, type of customers? I have no definitive answer. There has to be a reason they keep building those rides... I'm quite happy that they do! Valleyfair isn't in that category though. It's not big enough and too far out of the way to draw in very many people from out of state, unless they are going for the visitors that are already here for for something else. To attract more of them out, unique helps. As great as a ride that Steel Venom is for example, it's also a stock model that is at Six Flages or other parks too. Renegade on the other hand is an excellent unique and different ride existing nowhere else. Dry ride or water park, having a unique spin on a ride design could help bring in more people than a stock ride. In the case of Valleyscare, they seem to be drawing in quite the crowds. For now my goal is to carve out an hour or two this weekend to loop around the starship one last time...
  11. OOPS- I was wrong. Looking closer at the photos they replaced another similar coaster in 2015! But I stand by what I was saying that for Valleyfair, it is an example of a loss of the more thrill rides to tamer versions.
  12. Actually Wild Rails has been operating since 2009 per Google Earth Photos. It was moved to Jolly Roger Amusement Park as Wild Cat - https://jollyrogeroc.com/attraction/wild-cat/ Wild Mouse was a replacement and also a decision to make it a more tame ride, not because they couldn't keep Wild Rails running. That's fair. But then it's also a replacement! They would likely announce something like that. I'd support a water park expansion, it's just when and how. If they build it out as planed in 2015 it will have separate park entrance and fees. Effectively two parks instead of the one it currently is. While that may make sense in the long term, if the dry part of the park keeps losing it's thrill rides and shrinks, it will also lower attendance at the water park in my opinion. The thrill rides is what sticks in peoples mind more, even if they go to the water park. Though I would like to know at other parks, how many people buy tickets for only the water park section, never going to the dry side. On another post it was said they could add a $25 million coaster and only get a 1% increase in attendance. I think that's extreme. Valleyfair has never done that- closet ever being Wind Thing for half that price in 1996. And they are still living off the rewards. When they were building it, the police started giving tickets to drivers because so many slowed down or stopped on Hwy 101 just to look at it! Granted that was 23 years ago, but you get the idea. If they build something big, something different, they could get more people to show up for that, and then stay for the water park, even at an additional price. Also as I've said before, Minnesota has a short outdoor swim season. Here they have to attract people without water to keep them coming over a longer time of the year.
  13. Valleyfair is becoming the incredible shrinking park, at least for now. With Dinosaurs alive going away, RipTide gone with no replacement, losing the Looping Starship is another "hit". Granted Delirious has better seating restraints, but the Starship has longer (slowy goodness!) hang times, is smoother, quieter and taller. I'm not blaming them- Looping Starship has been showing signs of significant age/wear, and when they installed Delirious I figured Starships days were numbered....though Looping Starship is also one of my favorite rides at the park. (I personally place it on par with replacing Wild Rails with Mad Mouse....slight grudge) But this does highlight two flat rides that are higher on the "thrill" scale, being removed. Then there is the question of Excalibur. Would they also really want to remove a roller coaster- even a small one- with no replacement of yet another dry thrill ride? One of the BIG benefits of Valleyfair is the water park and regular park is the same admission. If they expand the water park in the Starship area and keep the single admission....then put in place something "big" where the dinos are/were.... as a whole, that would put them in a better overall position to compete with Mall of America's upcoming expansion in my opinion. Once a few dry rides are in place, then further build out the water park.
  14. After the previous posts about Valleyscare being too bright etc. I wasn't sure what to expect when I went last night. But happily it was all good! They made a concerted effort to keep the peace- including no profanity. That can actually help a lot on picking out the "problem" groups long before things escalate and get worse... I saw no roaming groups that were a concern. There were two areas lit up brightly, but they were near the food areas and didn't really affect the scare zones. Fog everywhere help create a great atmosphere. Down by the the Undertakers/Dark Harvest area in particular that had a very well done "spooky" atmosphere. We went through the mazes. On one, I let a couple of women go first (that the greeter chastised me for - ha ha) but honestly letting a couple scaredy cats jump in front of us in line was well worth the extra entertainment value! The shows were good too. There's great for breaking up the time, and entertaining. Masque was good. Sinister Circus if anything has only gotten better. That show in particular is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have never seen it! If you like live shows, those two guys are good... Uncle Muskrat provided great atmosphere music for Blood on the Boundary waters. They had the light, fog, and sound perfect. In fact they sounded good enough that is my only complaint- I could easily listen to them much longer if they were near food area or some other area that you could hang out more in. They provided great atmosphere and it felt like a waste to just walk by. I guess that is the trade off- atmosphere for a scare zone or more of a show. Being a Friday night in early October the crowds weren't bad and so the lines weren't too long. I don't know what it was like last weekend, but I'm happy to report this one is fine. Like Garyman6 said- just come with a fun attitude and a friend or two and you'll have a blast!
  15. I agree with RollerColester. Though I would miss Excalibur. It's a small roller coaster but it is unique and fun in it's own right. One thing that Valleyfair has by it's lack of being cutting edge, is what it does get tends to be unique or improved versions of the rides. By that I mean if you ride Corkscrew at Ceder Point, and than at Valleyfair- it's clear that the later version of the ride at Valleyfair has been improved and is better in smoothness etc. That might give it some extra lifespan too. Excalibur does shows what happens with a lack of cohesive management plan though. Back in the 80's they probably had plans to build more in the back area of the park but Thunder Canyon and Excalibur is all that was ever done. Now they are left too far out of the way to draw bigger crowds. You almost have to know they are there to wander down the long path to get to them. Which does leave an interesting question- even if they build the expanded water park or not. If they decide to add a major ride be it a roller coaster or Thunder Canyon size ride- does it make more sense to keep it near the front to replace the dinos, or the back of the park, or revive the games area for larger crowds there?
  16. They wouldn't want to reuse Excalibur wood substructure for a RMC- or anything really. There are two reasons for it- first it isn't much of a structure- compare it to Renegade. Excalibur has very little to it. The second reason is far more substantial- there is a design flaw on the footings. Valleyfair is on a floodplain and they used small footings.... I'm not design engineer, and I don't do roller coaster maintenance....but I seriously suspect those small footings has a lot to do with the roughness of the ride. If they sink or shift at different rates, they would have to re-trim. Excalibur can be smooth or rough depending on when you're at the park. Is that because the ground dried up or because they re-trimmed it? Renegade on the other hand got a great cement pad put in place below it. So all of it's substructure stays nice and straight.
  17. Getting an already approved permit extended is usually no big deal- other than the paperwork and maybe a renewal fee- provided that no new issues are involved. It's been a wet year, but the dike they wanted is half built already being a previous roadbed. Plus it's a dike- they can get wet. Like when a park starts laying footings for an unannounced roller coaster, Valleyfair would have no problems starting dike work before an announcement. Especially since the dike would hardly be visible from the park as is, and it would dry up a portion of the areas they already use that they have difficulty with. I would think that would be worth something in itself. Since there is no work at all with approved permits though, that suggests that there is a least still a question of what exactly they will do. I hope that they are saving up for something "big". Though I temper my enthusiasm with the fact that Excalibur has never even gotten any landscaping in 30 years. How much would the visuals of that ride be improved if they simply had a few trees to roll by in the loops vs. the open field? Planting trees are cheap too! That was a missed opportunity only three decades in the making, in my opinion. But if they decide to keep the coaster, it is something they could still do.
  18. Sorry I don't remember for sure - we were walking around a corner- I think it was near the Bumper Cars, but it might have been by the Mad Mouse/Looping Starship ride too. (I'd have to look at the bushes again) Mostly I remember the screaming, and whoever did it, really threw themselves into the role. It was very well done!
  19. I was at Valleyscare last year with my nephew (13). Walking down the sidewalk one of the actors comes running out of the bushes with another chasing him, trying to murder him. His victim trying to use us as a shield to hide behind to avoid being stabbed...(His screams were quite impressive). Since it wasn't in one of the haunted houses and totally unexpected, I caught my nephew actually hiding behind me for safety. I have no idea if that is part of the training, or if two people just decided to do that on their own. But it scared the crap out of him- of all the things there, that little impromptu show is still one of the top things he talks about. I thought I would mention it when you go for your training on Thursday.
  20. I'm new to this forum but have been going to Valleyfair for many years. As I see it, this years lack of major investment makes sense and is fully coherent given the overall landscape; 2015 Valleyfair filed for permits to complete the old road on their western border to make a dike, complete with references to water park expansion. They later received regulatory approval for wetland construction etc. Spring 2019 Raul Rehnborg becomes the new general manager at Valleyfair. Previous experience includes being the Director of Soak City Waterpark at Knott's Berry Farm, ran the water park in San Diago, and was Vice President and General Manager of California's Great America. April 15 Cedar fair announces water park expansions at Canada's Wonderland, Kings Dominion, Worlds of Fun, and Dorney Park. Cedar Fair clearly had plans, and likely a contract even for a major water park expansion at Valleyfair as well. In the meantime though Mall of America announced 250 million water park, and got such backing that the city of Bloominton kicked in 7.5 million just to help draft the plans. Bloomington has their eyes on the million dollar a year tax revenue if built, to such an extent that they don't have any problem if it put competitors out of business like Great Wolf water park, literally across the street. With governments picking winners and losers just 15 miles away, it put Valleyfair in a very bad position. If you think the 7.5 million so far- just from the city of Bloomington- is all the MOA is going to get, there's county and state governments eyeing things up too. Valleyfair would have been a fool to continue with their plans given that. I understand that companies like to purchase multiples for cost savings, themes etc. such as the water parks all at once. But even a transplanted water park manager had to look at the local political landscape here and said "whoa" to that idea. We have a short summer swim season anyway. If MOA builds their water park, Valley fair's will only keep up at best, in that kind of competition. It won't be a regional draw. Only other rides will keep Valleyfair the draw it should be, and everyone appreciates dry seats too. Thankfully with Dinosaurs Alive moving to the much more appropriate Minnesota Zoo, it leaves Valleyfair with a large chunk of land already prime for something else. Grand Carnavale is a fine "time filler" for 2020, and for me at least, I welcome it. They used to have a lot more shows years ago, and if you spend a whole day there, they were great to see between rides. That gives them a year to figure out something else. Valleyfair is long overdue for a major coaster of some kind though. If they decide to get a carnival ride again, at least get something with more of a thrill factor like Equinox currently at the State Fair. (Three spinning circles is awesome) They have lots of great kids and family rides. They need improvement on the thrill rides.
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