In other news, the Haunt Department has been out and about around the park as of lately. Things are getting a little bit….. Fishy.
After years of speculation, it has been undoubtedly determined by 14-year-old Valleyfair fan and Gold season pass holder Mark Nonever that after spotting a copious amount of flags, the Dining Patio — including our beloved Subway franchise — will be removed in the immediate future to make way for a new 1/4-mile long sun-tanning location. “I heard that it’ll kind of look like the seating area by Breakers Bay, but with less umbrellas and more chairs. I think it’ll really bring a lot of activity to this side of the park!”
The Dining Patio has remained mostly unused since the addition of Picnic Point, and is considered by many to be a relic since the removal of the Flume in 2007. “They removed the Flume when I was 7, but from what my Dad tells me it was kind of the “abandoned jungle” of the park, and wasn’t nearly as cool as the Cabanas that are there now,” explained Nonever. “Now you can pay money to sit in the shade, get some free sunscreen, and Snapchat your friends cool pictures from near the back of Breakers Bay.”
Complete with four lengthy rows of reclining chairs, the new tanning area should be a smash hit for all those abnormally pasty Minnesotans who don’t get down to Florida much, or simply for those who really detest vegetation. “I just hope there isn’t any shade — This past winter was LONG.” exclaimed Nonever.
After our recent visit to Valleyfair, perhaps we weren’t quoting Lana in saying that we have “Summertime Sadness”. However, there’s a larger matter that we care to acknowledge at this point in the park’s history.
We will be writing up a review of Route 76 that does recognize fully our positive (yes, we do have positive remarks about it — we swear!) review of the new area. However, this is our critique of the rest of the park as we saw it last week. We realize that yes, there are empty spots in the park, and yes, they will get filled eventually. In spite of that, we’re aiming to address a larger issue that is of concern regarding the history of Valleyfair, and its evolution over the past few years.
From as far back as we can remember, Valleyfair has been a family amusement park that has maintained a certain “charm”, found in the nooks and crannies of its sprawling acres of land. From the massive willow trees found in Berenstain Bear Country, to Colonel Oompahpah, to the scenic waterfall found flowing underneath the Flume (Say that 3 times fast). Yes, Valleyfair has had its fair share of character and charm; in this we have found no discrepancy between us. However, after our latest visit to the park, there was a unanimous agreement among the Valleyfairzoners — The charm that Valleyfair once had has diminished drastically over the past few years.
Though festive flags abounded, it wasn’t in the cemented-over Midway Stage that took place of the newly relocated Scrambler. In spite of the great new view of the Ferris Wheel, it wasn’t due to the removal of the many trees that used to hang over the Corkscrew queue line. It wasn’t even due to the new Sand Volleyball Courts that are ostensibly similar in size to a new Whitewater West or Proslide kids play area. Neigh, it was the Hydroblaster hill that left us feeling a bit of sadness at the start of this summertime.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that nature in its grandeur has a great effect on the human being. For the longest that we can remember, we have made a sort of “joke” over trees here at Valleyfairzone. In actuality, however, it isn’t a joke. When we see trees, we see hope. We see the opportunity for growth, and we also see shades of that charm we remember from previous years. It was evident that there was careful planning in regard to the natural surroundings in the newly reimagined Antique Autos. However, that seemed to be one of the only “new” areas of the park that featured this natural beauty that we speak of.
Just for reference, let us take you back to 2006, when the Flume dominated the area where Breakers Bay now resides.
It’s found in the overgrown grass that nearly hangs into the Flume itself. It’s found in the jagged rocks that line the fence where guests could possibly get soaked from passing boats. It’s found in the rickety lift hill that could be heard from Excalibur’s queue line. It is an unparalleled charm that we hope somebody is finding somewhere in the park in these most recent of years.
Now before we go accusing the park of cementing over our beloved childhood memories, we have to preface this thesis by acknowledging the business aspect of Valleyfair. The demands that the park keep up with current industry standards, with company policies, and with the ever-growing need to cater to the numerous markets, target-audiences, and fans of the park that want that gosh-darn B&M invert that is “so long overdue”.
In-fact, we don’t take the capital expenditures that Valleyfair has invested in lightly. Planet Snoopy was a much-needed expansion that transformed a mundane kids area into a vibrant, contemporary “planet” where families can enjoy a wide variety of rides, attractions, and entertainment. Breakers Bay brought an incredible potential to Soak City that paved the way (Pun fully intended) for what we’re speculating is an expansion that will finally bring the waterpark into the 21st century. Route 76 did a great job of bringing attention to the front of the park for the first time since 2003, and we know that the front of the park will continue to be remodeled and reimagined as years pass.
In essence, despite the incredible work and effort put into reimagining the park from an infrastructural and contemporary standpoint, the charm and natural beauty that Valleyfair once held has been diminished to its current state, which is quite lackadaisical and seemingly apathetic to say the least. Again, we know that the areas that Tilter, Scrambler, and IMAX previously occupied aren’t areas which management is saying, “Oh well, good enough — we like our sod.” However, we also don’t see the immediate efforts being taken to make these gaps, holes, and fields of grass into areas which guests marvel at the beauty of the landscape, instead of noting “Oh yeah, something used to be here.”
Parenthetically, while we reflect on the number of vacant spaces within the park, we also recognize our inability to have that much of an influence on whether or not massive forests, grandiose waterfalls, or magnificent rock formations are added to the park. We also recognize that we aren’t much help given we haven’t listed our suggestions as to what we think should fill the aforementioned areas. With that said, we do in-fact trust in the current management to bring back some of that charm. It’s simply a matter of imagination, thought, time, and money. Until those factors come in abundance . . . we rest our case.
Yes, our familiar friends, Opening Day 2014 has arrived. The gates shall open, the people shall pass through the turnstiles, Caribou Coffee shall be ordered, Route 76 shall be opened, new food shall be tried, trims shall be turned on excessively high, little things here and there shall not be ready, wonder shall fill our minds as we gaze at the gaping void where IMAX stood, and we shall make new memories, for the 2014 is upon us.
Due to unfortunate circumstances that preclude our attendance of Opening Day 2014, if you would like us to post any photos from today, feel free to tweet at us (@Valleyfairzone) and we’ll throw them on the page, giving credit where it is due. We hope the weather stays nice, and that everyone has a great Opening Day 2014!
The 2014 Live Entertainment lineup has been posted on Valleyfair’s website, making public the various shows and musical reviews that are to be offered this season. Without further adieu, here’s what we’re looking at:
Gazebo Stage – The Gazebo Stage will be featuring two shows this season, one being ostensibly more geared towards the tween crowd than the other. For the early-in-the-day, family-oriented type crowd, Valleyfair Live will give guests a musical revue of songs from the 80′s to today. At night, Ignite the Night will be a more up-tempo, action filled show that is premiering at a few other Cedar Fair parks this year.
Galaxy Theater – The Galaxy will be hosting a familiar face for the 2014 season. Ed Alonzo performed at Valleyfair in the early 2000′s in the Galaxy, making this a nostalgic, yet refreshingly new show. Can we get a robust “ALLELUIA!” for a non-musical show making its way back to the Galaxy?
The Street Beat crew will be roaming the walkways for more small-band fun for the 2014 season, and similarly, the Peanuts characters will continue to roam around Planet Snoopy, posing for photo opportunities (#NoFilter) and many memories. Also for kids, Charlie Brown’s All-Stars are making their return to the Peanuts Showplace stage, and a new kids themed Peanuts show dubbed “Party with the PEANUTS Gang!” is premiering this season.
Overall, we’re fairly impressed with this new Live-E lineup for the 2014 season. Look forward to some sort of review of some/most of these shows later on this season.
The All-New Hydroblaster Memorial Cul-De-Sac
In case you missed our entirely incoherent ramblings about the 2014 Park Map release on our Twitter, we’re here to give you the low-down on what’s new, different, or just confusing about the 2014 season!
After Valleyfair released the park map yesterday on their website, we studied it closely to discern the ostensible differences between the 2013 map and the 2014 map. With that said, here is what we have come to know is different based on this year’s map:
That just about wraps up all that we spotted. If you found anything else, feel free to comment on this post & we’ll throw it onto the list. We’re hoping the Live Entertainment lineup will be announced soon, so stay tuned for that information. Thanks for reading & start counting down darnit — We’re a little over a month away from Opening Day!
After the recent decision to take down the Route-76 webcam from the Valleyfair website, a number of Valleyfair enthusiasts have sparked interest in what many are calling the “Route-76 Conspiracy Theory”. The theory maintains that after the Apocalypse that happened just a few short weeks ago, the webcam may or may not have been stolen by a large mob of Garbage Receptacle Rights Activists, who are still angry that the two garbage cans at the Route-76 construction site remain flipped over. Valleyfairzone staffers attempted to interview the president of the GRA, though efforts remained entirely unsuccessful.
Concerned fan Miles Lopez explains his theory on the webcam situation. “Man, I just don’t get it! But actually, I think I kinda do,” Miles explained with great befuddlement. “They say ‘Due to the construction’ the webcam is down, but isn’t that kinda the point of the webcam in the first place? To track the construction? I dunno man, it’s just fishy……” Later, when asked about his thoughts on who might have tampered with the live-feed, Lopez had simply one word: “Illuminati.”
Regardless of what your theory may be, we’re hoping to get some concrete answers about the foundation of this story. As always, stay tuned for more news.