Sean: This week we ventured to yet another few parks around the country. On some quick layovers we hit up two Cedar Fair parks. Valleyfair! was a new park for me, as where Carowinds was a much appreciated re-visit. Both visits took place within 24 hrs of each other, so why not create one report?
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Here we are! In hot-*ss Minnesota where temperatures were 20 degrees higher than in LA, who would have guessed? It was time for the park that put the word “Fair”in “Cedar Fair”, a new park for me personally: Valleyfair!
The park’s signature coaster is Wild Thing, one of the first hyper coasters around, and one of Morgan’s better coasters.
We didn’t actually ride Wild Thing ’til a tad later, as the park’s stretched layout made the distance between the two ends of the park quite long. We started off with Steel Venom, the last remaining Intamin Impulse coaster that holds the train vertically on its back spike, more on that later!
Avid readers likely understand our love for Arrows, and particularly Pyscho Mouse at California’s Great America. Valleyfair! has an Arrow wild mouse too, except Mad Mouse is exceptionally weird when it comes to operations. They dispatch one car at a time, and unload one car at a time, yet run 8 cars at once, meaning the ride stacks like crazy, and it takes about 5 dispatches before you can exit the ride. The queue to get on was shorter than the wait to get off…
In this report we’ll be jumping all over the place, next up is the coaster that is so far removed from the entrance, that you can hardly recognize Steel Venom in the distance, it is my favorite coaster at Valleyfair! and worth the trek to the back of the park. It’s the funky airtime and laterals filled Excalibur!
Excalibur is located in the only section of the park that feels forested and in nature, it’s great to have the chance to escape the never ending Cedar Fair concrete midways. Besides the park has very little shade, except for this beautiful little area. Excalibur is what I call Arrow’s MegaLite. It has some powerful airtime, great lateral movements and incredible pacing. It is such an odd-ball coaster, but crazy smooth and like nothing else out there.
Valleyfair! is also home to a strange waterpark, the park seems to lack some raft slides but has quite a complete selection of body slides. Like some of its Cedar Fair counterparts the water park is called Soak City and looks well maintained and updated. Much like Hersheypark the water park is in the center of the park with dry rides all around it.
Valleyfair! is also home to Renegade, which is widely regarded as one of GCI’s best coasters and ranks as my 3rd favorite coaster at the park. The ride has a mid-size high-speed layout with a ton of airtime and fast turns. For a lesser-talked about park with a generic lineup of family friendly coasters, Renegade really is a world-class coaster!
Important note to all: Valleyfair! loves flags. There are flags everywhere. Six Flags wishes it loved flags as much as Valleyfair!. From the moment you enter the parking lot to every midway, every ride, every slide structure, there are flags everywhere. It really adds some color and fun to an otherwise pretty generic looking park.
The park is home to another wooden coaster, High Roller, which only recently started running PTC trains. This 1976 IAD coaster is the Colossus of the North, as it was one of few big projects for them. The ride runs like a gem and though heavily trimmed still provides some fun air!
Oh look it’s a small prototype World’s Fair Ferris Wheel as well as more Valleyfair flags. The park has a ton of small little gardens that are cutely landscaped, but occasional it really feels like there are too many gaps in the park.
Arrow lovers commence… It’s Corkscrew! Valleyfair!’s only coaster with inversions. It has an awesome color scheme, fun little layout, and runs very well.
Corkscrew is sort of in the center of the park. And as you may see Renegade is far in the distance behind it, now imagine Excalibur being located even further away. This park is very stretched out.
Oh hey Wild Thing! It’s a bit strange to imagine Wild Thing being one of the first hyper coasters, it’s quite good and has more going for it than just airtime.
Like many major US parks, a shoot the chute can be found at Valleyfair! as well.
And this one gets you quite soaked. Whether you are on-ride or just a bystander on the bridge.
My second favorite coaster at the park is Steel Venom. The Intamin Impulse coaster still holds the train on the backwards spine. The ride is best enjoyed in the front when you hang above the parking lot during the hold and get to enjoy the forwards spike that twists straight up.
Wild Thing has some fun airtime, but really shines in the “giant mine train” department. About half the ride is big stretched out turns and classic transitions, which honestly makes it better than Steel Force at Dorney Park. It still has nothing on Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio though…
Perhaps the best part of all Morgan hypers is the fact that their trains are giant, roomy and offer plenty of space so everyone can enjoy that airtime!
Just like Knott’s Berry Farm, Valleyfair! removed their RipTide, a 3rd generation water-effects Huss Top Spin. We now have grass in place…
And with that unexciting note we move to a very exciting park on the boarder of North and South Carolina…