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Valleyfair (VF) Discussion Thread


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On 8/25/2021 at 8:12 PM, boldikus said:

😂🤣

Dang, what will they do without your support?

99.99% chance they will be just fine. I am sure they can replace all my visits with just one visit from a family to that thrilling Carnival Parade they had this year.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

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!

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  • 2 months later...

What's up fellow Minnesotans! I found this forum and was bummed to see how quiet it has gotten! Seems like a lot of great conversation here over the years. Yea yea I know, it's off season right now. 

I grew up in the Southwest metro. I love roller coasters. I had so many great memories as a kid at valleyfair, especially the 1 summer that our family got season passes. Back then, return visits felt so rewarding because the park was bringing in awesome new rides all the time. Yep, my time at VF is probably tainted by growing up in it's glory days. I'm talking about the 2000s-2010s. 

As a realist, I still would love to see this park continue to expand. The southwest metro has been growing for years. Shakopee is actively working on major additions to its entertainment district, especially Canterbury/Mystic Lake, which I think compliments VF and should only help drive more visitors to the area with new hotels and restaurants. MOA is a tourist pull, and VF offers tourists a great outdoor option near the airport and mall in the warm seasons. 

So what gives for VF? Their market is bigger than ever, and by my estimation, the park has  shrunk in the last couple years especially. I don't really buy into the whole "coaster war" thing in the midwest with Adventureland and Lost Island, but I think it's harmless to speculate. 

Staying as realistic as possible, I would love to see them announce the long awaited water park expansion for 2023. If that expansion is financially successful, maybe they'd announce a new coaster for 2026 in the dino area, which would be slam dunk timing with the 50th anniversary. Yes, I understand that would mean losing Excalibur before we got a new roller coaster. Of course I hope the timeline is much quicker. I have no inside info, I'm just a proud Minnesotan that selfishly wants more from Valleyfair. 

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts. The screenshot below is a VF recreation I made in Planet coaster to use for making fun coaster ideas in the dino section. It is a crude recreation at best. I just love how good the skyline would be at the front gate if we had another modern steel coaster over there. Planet coaster is an amazing game.

20220109134558_1.thumb.jpg.f3de54fea28dd17c62f0b272ce33dca7.jpg

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Welcome Forfun!

Nice pic- a bit better than just a "crude" rendition! 

I two would love to see a coaster go into that space. One thing I would do is bring the footings around over by Berserkers, to get a better ride in the limited area. With any luck before 2026....

As I've said before, Valleyfair would do well to first see what exactly is happening with the water park over at Mall of America.  Then design something more unique, or at least different. The MOA is talking $268 million and getting financial backing from cities like Bloomington to do it. To quote an old show Poldark;

T'int Right, T'int Fair, T'int Fit, T'int Proper!

But it's real...so VF has to be unique, in my opinion, not just a duplicate. Currently the MOA project is on hold, or at least no announcements, from the pandemic...So a new coaster would be a better investment at this time than the water park. Maybe closer to 2026 make an announcement for water park with the 50 year anniversary? That would give time to make VF water park more of a destination- even if locally- than just another water park like MOA. VF has a good start on that, but I would hate to see the opposite happen- Where VF does something only to have MOA duplicate the best parts of it. So let the big money fall first, then VF reacts. 

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40 minutes ago, budtbum said:

Welcome Forfun!

Nice pic- a bit better than just a "crude" rendition! 

I two would love to see a coaster go into that space. One thing I would do is bring the footings around over by Berserkers, to get a better ride in the limited area. With any luck before 2026....

As I've said before, Valleyfair would do well to first see what exactly is happening with the water park over at Mall of America.  Then design something more unique, or at least different. The MOA is talking $268 million and getting financial backing from cities like Bloomington to do it. 

 

Great feedback and thanks for the warm welcome! I could definitely see a ride starting over by Berserkers and moving into the front entrance space. I kind of assumed however that the land over by Berserkers would be at higher flood risk. I could be wrong! Now I have to see if I can fit a giga coaster that way, ya know, for science. 🤣

As for your 2nd point, I think you've got me beat with that idea. Is that perhaps why the waterpark plans kept stalling out? Sidenote: I feel like if MOA managed to squeeze in a more intense coaster in Nick U, it might just be checkmate for VF. 

 I do think the 2nd parking lot and back gate could be a major help for the park, and would help Renegade stand out as a feature attraction! I think VF has been preparing to go that direction for a long time now, and it shows with how they've rearranged the park. Who knows though!

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I'll keep my vote in for Excalibur.  It's still the most interesting and most fun coaster at the park (for me!). 

 

Edit - why do all the unique, special coasters get judged and put on the "most likely to kick it" list?  It's gonna suck when everything is the same (we're half way there).

answers:

1. Because it sucks

2. It's too old and can't get replacement parts

3. No one can find it or don't want to walk way the hell back there

4. It's an outdated Arrow MEGA-mine train that just isn't cool anymore

5. Some idiot took an onride video resulting in death so the ride isn't popular anymore (and was never)

6. It floods too much

7. Corporate doesn't like the noise it makes

8. Magnum needs the left over parts, before it's dismantled becuase of quick sand.

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Hey, finally some action here.  A few things to note.

First, the waterpark project at MOA is back on, talks have resumed but no timeline has been set yet.

Second, VF has obtained permits from Army Corp of Engineers and the city to expand the flood berm.  The Army corp one is still active I believe but the city permit would have to be updated.  This would be expensive but would add buildable acreage for VF.

Third, I've heard rumors that Tumbili, the 4D free spin at Kings Dominion was supposed to go to VF but was moved the KD because Adventureland installed the exact same model.  Thank goodness, its not a terrible ride but would be a big let down as our next coaster.

Fourth, I beginning to think that they are reworking their plans to remove Excalibur.  I believe they are wanting to keep Excalibur and find different ways to expand the waterpark.

Fifth, I agree that a new coaster is coming before a waterpark expansion.  Heck, I could see a major thrill flat ride and coaster before a waterpark expansion.  Personally I'm hoping for a Vekoma STC.

 

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7 hours ago, garyman6 said:

Fourth, I beginning to think that they are reworking their plans to remove Excalibur.  I believe they are wanting to keep Excalibur and find different ways to expand the waterpark.

Sorry if this was already posted, but it seems like a given that they are rounding out the water park where the pirate ship used to be, right? Looking at this space, it just makes too much sense. 

73244621_Screenshot2022-01-18150736.thumb.png.4fbc72834cae0f3502eb06af95d4f96d.png

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The MOA water park has a massive budget, but to make it a year round park, most of the money will be eaten up by them enclosing it in a building. 

Keeping VF unique and competitive is quite doable. Look at Raging Rapids- that's a fun ride, plus it left space in the middle for the Hurricane Falls structure. 

If they plan ahead a lot can go into the space that is currently open next to the water park. If they replace the hill that used to be there and landscape, it could be really nice atmosphere too, compared to the relatively stale indoor setting at MOA. 

When they designed Renegade, they were smart to put the loading area in the park, and the rest of the coaster out in the flood zone. There's no reason why the footing for a coaster can't be out in the flood areas. They build footings in actual water all the time, like they did for Corkscrew. 

So my hope would be if they build the berm they could keep that newly dry area open for other expansions, in future years. Don't eat up too much dry real-estate with coaters. Plus it's kind of fun to go "out of the park" on a coaster.  Only have just enough of the coaster to fly by the park to "advertise" it, and keep the amusement park atmosphere. 

One thing VF generally does well with is good landscaping. Even where the dinos were, there's some really nice trees and stuff that they could work with. If a coaster went in there, having trees to fly by is neat, and in my opinion, actually enhances a ride considerably. If they keep the trees... 

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I'd be interested to see where the future of the park goes personally. My time there is over, and I felt like towards the end they were putting more emphasis on entertainment and special events. Which is ironic considering it sounds like they cut haunt from the fall lineup in their most recent announcement for 2022. The company is well aware people want a coaster, its just a question of whether or not they are motivated to give us one. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/18/2022 at 3:19 PM, Forfun said:

Sorry if this was already posted, but it seems like a given that they are rounding out the water park where the pirate ship used to be, right? Looking at this space, it just makes too much sense. 

73244621_Screenshot2022-01-18150736.thumb.png.4fbc72834cae0f3502eb06af95d4f96d.png

The space outlined is for sure going to be a waterpark expansion.  The access road at the left is planned to be relocated west, on top of the new berm.  That way they can remove the road and tunnel leading to Excalibur and Thunder Canyon and then expand the water park that way.  But, I'm thinking that VF is now  trying to figure out how to keep Excalibur where it is.  Don't know how they would do it though.

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On 1/18/2022 at 6:50 PM, valleyfairfanatic said:

I'd be interested to see where the future of the park goes personally. My time there is over, and I felt like towards the end they were putting more emphasis on entertainment and special events. Which is ironic considering it sounds like they cut haunt from the fall lineup in their most recent announcement for 2022. The company is well aware people want a coaster, its just a question of whether or not they are motivated to give us one. 

Where did you see they cut haunt form the fall lineup in '22?  What I read was that they plan to reinvent haunt.  To me, that means expand it into unique and creative ways.  Haunt is one of the most profitable periods for the park.  I'm sure they have no plans to let it go.  

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They didn't mention haunt in any capacity. They just said "Halloween celebrations at Valleyfair are transforming in 2022 with an all-new décor, lights, entertainment, and unique Halloween experiences" which, after being a park goer for almost 10 years now, is valleyfair speak for "we're doing something way worse but we don't want to say it yet because people will get mad"

Halloween Celebrations sounds nothing like haunt. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, SwuaraeC said:

https://www.valleyfair.com/events/tricks-and-treats

 

Looks like Haunt is done at Valleyfair

But wait is that a new coaster in the concept art?😂 Also love how they used other Cedar Fair parks in the concept art. I can clearly see Cedar Point in the background of one. 

I am genuinely surprised that they would make this kind of a move considering how successful haunt / Valleyscare has been in the past for them. I Just scrolled through the comment section on instagram and twitter and many others are sharing the same opinion: this is not going to go well for them. The only thing I can hope is that they knew they would need all of the space back where dinos is for a new coaster and needed to come up with a different plan for haunt. But this also doesn't make sense since they could've just either relocated the current mazes that are in dinos area or just went without them and still have kept the other mazes.  

Overall nothing has changed, not happy with management as always. They're taking the whole "VF is a family park" way too seriously. NU in my mind is more of a family park and is located what, 20 minutes away? Plus NU has halloween events every year for kids as well, don't they? 

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Does anyone know how the Halloween Haunts did at other Cedar Fair parks?

I thought they had a balanced approach- kid friendly Sundays and Saturday afternoons. Friday and Saturday nights more scary. Family could decide if they want to stay or not into the evening. VF had sold out crowds last year, and huge crowds the years before- hard to beat that...

Just wondering how much the change is with VF and how much is CF corporate. Sometimes a one size fits all is not the best move... though the change might fit some parks in the chain really well. I don't know. 

Not that they would ever announce it if one park or another disagreed. Just seems dumb to throw away a sell out performance, which makes me wonder if other parks didn't do so well.  Or maybe they were concerned about security etc. 

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7 minutes ago, budtbum said:

Does anyone know how the Halloween Haunts did at other Cedar Fair parks?

I thought they had a balanced approach- kid friendly Sundays and Saturday afternoons. Friday and Saturday nights more scary. Family could decide if they want to stay or not into the evening. VF had sold out crowds last year, and huge crowds the years before- hard to beat that...

Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Kings Dominion were absolutely packed during Haunt.  Dorney Park was its normal dead self, but still larger crowds than normal.

Those four parks all did both - a family friendly thing during the day, then Haunt at night.

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It’s shocking to me that any park would consider not having their busiest event of the year. If you need more security, hire more security. If you need less crowds with that insane demand, black out low level passes and raise prices to make even more money.

It’s crazy to me that Cedar Fair would consider this but this is the chain that closed Dorney for staffing on the 4th of July and opened everything 2-3 months late last year for no reason and operated at a loss while all of their competitors turned a profit so maybe they just hate money.

As a fan, I like the sound of less crowds in September and October but from their perspective… lol

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I dont blame anyone that has VF as a home park for being upset. WOF is my home park and Haunt is my favorite time to go! If they did the same thing there, I would be very upset! 

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I'm thinking about the potential loss of huge crowds. That's a possible loss of huge revenue- and that's an extended timeline to a new ride. 

I'm also reacting to the loss of what was a good space for teenagers. Sometimes it seems like they don't want to be, but they are part of the family too. :)  VF was one of the better places for them to go to. Haunted houses was a big part of the attraction.

I doubt it, but I could be wrong and there's an untapped market of families who want to take their younger kids out on a Friday night after work, and they will make more money than before.

For some I'm sure there is a gain to having a place for younger kids at night. Some of the shows at Haunt were a great place that was a medium thing for 10 year old's. (And they could wear no scare lights) Sinister Circus was a great "family" show for example. With no need to leave as the night wears on and teenagers crowd in. 

Will teenagers/young adults continue to show up in such large numbers for Treats, or large numbers of families to replace them? I guess we'll find out. It's interesting that the new tricks and treats is no longer prominently displayed on the VF webpage- though that might be a marketing issue. Corporate is probably not changing their minds. 

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It really is baffling to me that Cedar Fair is killing the haunt events while knowing how wildly popular they are.  I can't speak for them all, obviously, but 90% of Halloween events I've attended have had an absolutely obscene rise in popularity in the past decade.  Just this past season I went to a haunt outside of Chicago (Hellsgate) in late September and the place was a zoo.  It was around 40 degrees and the place was so packed that my VIP pass still had a 40-minute wait to get into the haunt.  I'm not even going to bother going into details about how absurdly overcrowded Knott's was in mid-October.

Long story short, eliminating a haunt event in favor of a child-friendly trick or treat event seems, well, dumb, but I also have no idea what kind of ROI the parks see from the events, either.  For all I know it could be a negligible profit for a lot of upfront cost while a trick or treat event would cost substantially less to put up and bring in more profit in the end.  That's all these businesses care about in the long run anyway; whatever makes more green in the end.

Edit - If you're in Chicago during haunt season, get your ass to Hellsgate.  It's phenomenal.

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