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Photo TR: Behind-the-scenes tour of Valleyfair


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Today, I went up to Valleyfair for the Season Passholder Preview Day and had a great time kicking off the 2016 season. Before the park opened for the preview, I was fortunate enough to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the park. I had won this tour through the #VF40 trivia contest the park has been holding on Twitter recently. We were led around the park by Matt Hehl, Valleyfair's PR manager. During this tour, we were able to tour the park's maintenance shop, walk in some restricted areas, meet general manager Dave Frazier for the first time, as well as take a close look at the new amphitheater and the new Flying Eagles. I also received some interesting tidbits of information that I found interesting, which I will share in the photos below. After the tour, we enjoyed the rest of Passholder Preview Day. The weather couldn't have been better, sunny with temperatures in the low 70s most of the day. The park was a bit more crowded than I expected. It wasn't busy by any means, but the parking lot was a little over one-third full (as seen from the top of Wild Thing), and some rides had decent lines. Every coaster was running one train (except for Wild Thing, two trains). There have been a few more general improvements throughout the park that, while they don't seem like much, they are helping to improve the overall environment. All-in-all, I had a fantastic day at the park, and hopefully I'll be coming back next weekend for Opening Weekend.

 

Moving on to the pictures...

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The drive to Valleyfair features some amazing landscapes... ;)

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We're here!

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About to go under Renegade's lift hill and airhill.

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Stuff near the employee lot.

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Backstage view of Renegade.

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Backstage view of Mad Mouse.

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Backstage view of a few other rides.

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Entering the maintenance shop, major coaster geek moment :).

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Old sign from the front of the park.

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Excalibur's second train cars. Once again, Excalibur will only run one train this season as this one gets some work done. I was also told that despite the rumors, Excalibur is not going anywhere for now.

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Old Steel Venom seats. As you'll see later on, Steel Venom's train received new seats.

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Lots and lots of wheels. Most of these are Wild Thing wheels, but the red ones are for The Wave.

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These are Arrow wheels for Excalibur and Corkscrew.

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A box...

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In the room that had the wheels, nuts and bolts for High Roller and Renegade.

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Old Renegade wheel.

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Old Wild Thing lift chain piece.

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Seatbelts...

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Snoopy doghouse.

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Was told this mechanism is used to hold and release Power Tower's Turbo Drop cars at the top.

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Heading out to the rest of the park, they were doing some work on the new waterslides.

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The back of Subway (formerly Ben & Jerry's).

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Some Haunt stuff. Also told that the Galaxy Theater (on the right) will be dark this season.

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Backstage Wild Thing shot.

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Tour of the new amphitheater.

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Speakers.

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Stage still being set up.

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Bleachers.

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This sign near the front of the park has a new electronic screen.

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Was told while walking by here "if we were to put a ride here, it would be a flat ride."

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Flying Eagles close up.

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I rode Flying Eagles later in the day. This was my first experience with flying scooters, so I don't have anything else to compare it to, but I thought it was enjoyable. Not thrilling by any means, and not something that coaster nuts will be jumping up and down to ride, but it was a good time, and families are going to have a lot of fun with it.

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Steel Venom's new seats look nice.

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Control panel.

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Got a look at the carousel, which just completeld phase one of a renovation.

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2016 park map.

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New sign here.

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Valleyfair 40th anniversary bracelet for the first guests.

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First ride of the day after the tour.

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Was not the most intense ride I've had on it, but it was mostly smooth thanks to the trackwork and is still the best ride at Valleyfair.

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Gave me a small headache. :|

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Did not ride Mad Mouse due to long lines.

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Wild Thing was next. Running decent today.

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Two trains in one picture.

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As you may be aware, High Roller's buzzbars are no more. These are the same chassis that have been here for years, but the restraints are actually the old Ghostrider lapbars from Knott's Berry Farm, which I thought was interesting.

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For a 36-year-old Arrow, Corkscrew still runs pretty smooth.

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Nerd shot.

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Wild Thing in the figure-8.

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New clocks near the entrance.

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Eventually, it was time to go. Thanks to Valleyfair for the tour and for a great day!

 

Thanks for reading my trip report!

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Valleyfair is looking nice! I have never been, but it looks like this park and CF parks across the board are getting some really nice improvements.

 

One question. Is the amphitheater completed? It sort of looks like a skeleton.

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Great report! It's always interesting to see what goes on backstage at amusement parks. I particularly liked the pictures with the wheel racks, those really appealed to the coaster geek in me.

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Valleyfair is looking nice! I have never been, but it looks like this park and CF parks across the board are getting some really nice improvements.

 

One question. Is the amphitheater completed? It sort of looks like a skeleton.

The stage and seats look mostly complete, but they still need to clean the place and set up the stage before the BMX bike show begins its run. They've got plenty of time since the show doesn't start until mid-June.

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Since the new amphitheater is open now. What are the chances of the Galaxy Theater becoming a new dark ride building? When will Cedar Fair began installing the new dark rides? Hows Renegade running? Was there any re tracking done during the off season? I remember on the last day going by the fly by station and the final turn around coming toward's the brake run it felt like it was really rough if they fix that?

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