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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:39 pm

Arnolds Park

For some reason I had it in my head that Arnolds Park was going to be similar to Conneaut Lake Park. Both are old parks adjacent to a lake with a classic wooden coaster anchoring the lineup. I was also expecting the rundown, post-apocalyptic feel.

And to that I’d like to apologize to Arnolds Park. It’s actually a really charming, well-kept park bursting with energy. It also helps that it’s bordering a tourist hot spot in Lake Okoboji.

Like most boardwalk parks, Arnolds Park doesn’t have an extravagant entrance. You literally pass underneath the Legend’s station. And when the neon lights are on, it’s oozing that classic feel I love.

Parking Lot Entrance (Day).JPG
Ironically, the parking lot entrance was nicer than the park entrance.

Park Entrance (Night).JPG
Neon signs, chaser lights, and weenie dogs are my weakness.

Queen II Docked.JPG
Now this is an awesome setting for a park.


Before giving my Legend review, I need to give this disclaimer- it was hot as balls. It was still 90+ degrees after the sun set. As you probably know, wood coasters in particular tend to run faster in those conditions.

So I may have stacked the cards in favor of Legend. The operators took turns filling in empty seats and even they were left breathless when the train hit the brakes. They confirmed it was indeed running fast.

In the front row, Legend is an enjoyable classic. It’s smooth and has a few solid pops of air thanks to the buzz bars. But the Legend needs to be experienced in the back. It’s just as smooth, but far wilder.

The first drop didn’t do much, but the second drop sure did. You are launched right into that buzz bar. When considering those restraints, it’s one of the wildest airtime moments out there in my opinion.

But wait, there’s more! The third hill gave a quick pop of air and then that leads into the finale. You whip around this lateral heavy turn and then fly over two drops bordering the Lake. Each drop gave some wonderful sustained floater air.

The Legend may be short, but it delivers a complete ride and tours the entire park. Just make sure to ride it in the back. You could say the airtime on the second drop is legendary. 8 out of 10

Little known fact, but the Legend also has on-board audio. WTF? On-board audio on an old woodie? You see, when the operators rode, they often brought a speaker with them. Sometimes they picked the songs. Other times they took song requests. If you haven’t noticed, the staff at this park is amazing.

Legend Lift.JPG
This way to the Point of No Return.

Legend 1st Drop.JPG
The first drop is arguably the tamest part of the ride.

Legend Speed Hill.JPG
Note how close the Legend gets to all sorts of things- trees, rides, dumpsters, etc.

Legend Bunny Hill.JPG
Do you like airtime? Legend has you covered.


Legend was the main course, but the newly relocated Wild Mouse was the dessert. Once Quassy removed their Mad Mouse, I never thought I’d get to ride one of these classic Herschell mice again. They really are dying breeds. And my dad would happily pay for their execution.

You see, Quassy had a no single rider rule on their’s (for reference, Arnolds does not). So little me dragged him along every time. He hated it. He felt like the ride was supported by toothpicks and was going to collapse. Whenever there was another single rider (usually an ACEr from Lake Compounce), he happily offloaded me. :lol:

While this one didn’t have the jumbo first drop (or any real drops for that matter), the hairpin turns were a bit faster and wilder than the more modern mice. It was nice to relive my childhood, but realistically it’s just an ok coaster. But it’s a perfect fit for this park. 5 out of 10

Wild Mouse Overview.JPG
The amount of sway in this structure is mesmerizing.

Wild Mouse Helix 3.JPG
I was thankful this one didn't have the ban on single riders like Quassy.


After the two coasters, I hopped aboard the Rock-O-Plane. It had a long cycle, so I had plenty of time to rock, flip, and stall. I just wish these things had more comfortable restraints. 8 out of 10

Legend Turnaround 1.JPG
I wish I counted how many times I went upside-down. It was a lot.


I also took a spin on the park’s Roll-O-Plane. The operator was bored out of his mind, so he was ecstatic to see someone riding. Unlike the version at Knoebels, this one stayed vertical. Since I’m not a masochist, I considered that a positive.

After the ride ended, the operator walked over. But instead of releasing my restraint, he just asked “Forwards or Backwards”. I guess this was the only action he was getting tonight and he wanted to keep it going as long as possible.

I told him to surprise me and he treated me to a long cycle in both directions. I felt bad to leave, but I had bigger fish to fry. 8 out of 10

Roll-O-Plane.JPG
Look how bored the operator was when I wasn't riding.


The Boji Falls flume was a nice surprise on such a hot day. What wasn’t a nice surprise was the smell of the water. If that water was from Lake Okoboji, I sure am glad I didn’t go swimming there. :lol:

The flume had an elevated layout that provided a nice birds eye view of the park. The drop wasn’t anything special though. It wasn’t very tall nor steep. 4 out of 10

Boji Falls Drop.JPG
Do you smell that? I think that may be Lake Okoboji.

Boji Falls Chaser Lights.JPG
I think this is the first I've ever seen chaser lights on a flume.


I was intrigued by the Tipsy House. It looked like some sort of fun house sprouting from the Legend’s station. Turns out it was a crooked house. In retrospect, I should have guessed with the name.

The inside was bare and uncomfortably hot. It felt like an oven. But the ride did include this awesome observation deck at the top that provided spectacular views of the lake at sunset. 5 out of 10

Tipsy House Interior.JPG
The inside wasn't anything special.

Legend Brake Run 2.JPG
But the view at the top sure was. Now that's pretty.


I finished the night with a Legend marathon. I’ve been in energetic coaster stations before, but what I saw at Legend was truly special. There may have only been 18 people in the station, but the operators had everyone cheering and high-fiving before every ride. The energy was infectious.

The operators were often giving double rides as well. And on the last ride of the night, they didn’t just give a double ride. No. They gave a triple ride! Now that’s incredible customer service.

Legend Finale.JPG
The Legend was flying.


The park also had a kiddie coaster. But under normal conditions, it’s off-limits to adults. I have heard that adults have been able to ride it in the past if they contact the park in advance. Just the thought of the email I’d send made that a hard no for me.

“Dear Arnolds Park, I am a sad and pathetic coaster enthusiast who flew from Boston to visit your classic park. My visit wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Little Coaster. Could I please ride it?”

Little Coaster.JPG
I kept my pride on this one. A rare exercise in restraint.


Now, I only visited Arnolds Park, but the area around the park was quite nice. There were several shops, restaurants, go karts, and mini golf. If I were living in Iowa, I imagine this would be the vacation spot.

For that reason, I expected parking to cost as much as Six Flags. But low and behold, parking was free! That’s rarer than a Flight of Passage Fastpass when you’re in a scenic tourist trap such as Lake Okoboji.

Boardwalk.JPG
This must be the Jersey Shore of Iowa.


For those heading to Adventureland from Minneapolis, definitely consider hitting Arnolds Park. It’ll add three hours to your route, but this is more than just a credit run. Legend is worth the detour.

Again, I need to emphasize that I did ride Legend in the most optimal conditions possible, but they simply do not make places like Arnolds Park anymore. The charm and customer service is where the park thrives.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:26 am

Adventureland and Arnolds both look charming and would get more visitors among enthusiasts if they weren't so far from other parks

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:52 am

Nickelodeon Universe

Indoor theme parks offer salvation from inclement weather. In Minnesota, that’s usually protection from a blizzard. But on this day, Zeus was pissed and throwing lightning bolts at the ground.

My original plan was to make a credit run at Valleyfair, switch to Nickelodeon Universe, and then finish with Valleyfair night rides. With thunderstorms in the forecast until the mid-afternoon, that plan made no sense. So I started at Nickelodeon Universe. And that turned out to be a blessing disguise.

I knew the Mall of America would be busy. It was a Saturday with cruddy weather. As a result, I knew Nickelodeon Universe would be busy. I just underestimated how packed this park can get.

Entrance.JPG
As Robin Sparkles would say, let's go to the mall!

Park Entrance.JPG
Spongebob, Dora, and slime. That about sums up Nickelodeon.


Nickelodeon Universe is located smack dab in the middle of the Mall of America. Having visited Dubai earlier this year, I’m no stranger to indoor theme parks. But Nickelodeon Universe is quite unique.

For the indoor parks that care to create an atmosphere, usually they do so with themed buildings and structures. Nickelodeon Universe has more trees than most outdoor parks! Combine that with the roof that admits natural light, I forgot I was even indoors.

Skyline.JPG
I love how this indoor park has more trees than a lot of outdoor parks.


I arrived right at opening and encountered a series of self-service kiosks. After purchasing my wristband, I tried to peel off the back like you do on 99% of the wristbands out there. But I couldn’t.

Everyone else was having the same issue. Could all of us seriously not figure out how to attach a freaking wristband? Turns out you need to bring your unattached wristband to your first ride. I wasn’t a fan of this.

For one, no one knew to do this until a staff member directed us to do so. But more importantly, it really slows dispatches. The operators spend an extra few minutes every cycle applying stickers.

I started with TMNT Shell Shock. That proved to be a wise decision. When I walked past it later in the day, it had a queue spilling onto the midway. That was the theme of the morning.

I’ve ridden my fair share of these crazy, flipping Gerstlauer sky rollers, but this version had these awkwardly wide restraints. This made it a bit harder to hold the paddles in place once you get flipping, but I was able to manage.

This was definitely one of the harder versions to flip, but once I got that all-important first flip, the barrel rolls didn’t stop. The flipping speed wasn’t quite as fast on this one as some of the newer models, but it was still very disorienting. 8 out of 10

TMNT Shell Shock Rising.JPG
The key is patience. Both to flipping and making it through that queue.


I then walked onto Ghost Blasters. When I saw the ride’s placement tucked in the corner of the park below the ropes course, I figured it would be a short version. Much to my surprise, it was quite long.

I have no clue where they fit everything, but it was filled with 2D targets that reacted with each shot. The guns worked flawlessly and I didn’t notice any dead effects. Well the ghosts were dead, but you know what I mean. 7 out of 10

Ghost Blasters Exit.JPG
I don't know where they fit the track for this thing.


My first coaster of the day was Rock Bottom Plunge. After loving Monster’s lap bar trains the day prior, it was a bummer to return to the Eurofighter OSTRs. But fortunately, this one wasn’t too rough.

The lift on this one is really cool. Per usual, it’s a vertical lift and as it nears the top of the roof, the car slows to a crawl. And then the car drops down, giving riders some incredible ejector air.

I wasn’t expecting the speed hill after. It gave a quick pop of air like the post drop speed hills on a RMC. The loop and cutback were just ok, but I loved the hangtime in the zero-G roll. There was a second half, but it didn’t do anything for me.

Rock Bottom Plunge is essentially defined by three great elements for me, but those three elements are excellent. 7 out of 10

Rock Bottom Plunge Sign.JPG
Those eyes.

Rock Bottom Plunge Overview.JPG
That's a lot of track in a little space.

Rock Bottom Plunge Cutback (Far).JPG
Can you say inversion?

Rock Bottom Plunge Post-MCBR.JPG
Rock Bottom Plunge doesn't do much after the MCBR unfortunately.


Next I rode the park’s Zierer monorail coaster, Pepsi Orange Streak. If you want forces or airtime, this is the wrong coaster for you. This coaster is all about the visuals.

It’s basically a high speed tour of the park. It weaves above, around, and under rides. At one point, it even goes through a dark ride bit by the Log Chute. Plus it’s a capacity monster, which was a major help later in the day. 7 out of 10

Pepsi Orange Streak Finale.JPG
This truly is a high-speed monorail.

Pepsi Orange Streak MCBR.JPG
This won't be the last of Pepsi Orange Streak in this report. It's really good at photobombing.


Back in April, I rode RC Racer at Disneyland Paris. And I enjoyed that coaster more than I thought. It had some decent kick on the launches and nice floater air. For that reason, I was looking forward to trying one of these spinning half pipes.

Enter Avatar Airbender. The spinning was quite intense at the base of the halfpipe. This spinning combined with the ride’s proximity to the ceiling made it super disorienting. Plus it had a longer cycle than RC Racer and just as much air. 7 out of 10

Avatar Airbender Car.JPG
Avatar was better than the live action movie.


At this point, I still thought the park was dead. But then I saw the queue for the Fairly Odd Coaster. It was spilling onto the midway. Considering these Gerstlauer spinners always have painstakingly slow queues, I should have known better.

I always thought SFNE’s Pandemonium was the original layout that other parks cloned. The ride fits that spot so well. Turns out, Fairly Odd Coaster was the original. As tightly packed I thought Pandemonium was, Fairly Odd Coaster takes it to the next level.

If you’ve been on any of these Gerstlauer spinners, you know what to expect. It’s a smooth ride with some solid dips and if you get an unbalanced car, nice spinning too. 6 out of 10

Fairly Odd Coaster Overview.JPG
I thought this layout was custom for SFNE. I was wrong.

Fairly Odd Coaster Helix.JPG
Helix of death.

Fairly Odd Coaster Turnaround.JPG
I still can't get over how gorgeous this park is.


Whenever someone asks what the best flume is, most people say Splash Mountain or Ripsaw Falls. Other times you may hear Chiapas or the one at Knott’s. But once in a blue moon, someone will say the Log Chute at Nickelodeon Universe. Is this flume really that good? In a word, yes!

For one, the layout is incredible. You go through a cave, up a Knott’s Berry Farm themed lift, past the top level of the mall, past the memorial for one of Harmon Killebrew’s home runs, through a dark ride portion, down a sizable drop, past Paul Bunyan, and down an even bigger drop.

Those dark ride bits were the biggest surprise. I figured this flume may just have some tunnels. I didn’t realize it would be filled with animatronics and this much detail. This ride would fit in at Disney if you took away the Hooters you pass at one point.

I also expected to come off this thing relatively dry. Who would want to walk around a mall dripping wet? I was in for an evil surprise up front. Before re-entering the cave, there’s this unassuming rapid that drenches the sucker up front. And of course that was me.

The only downside with the Log Chute was the queue. There seemed to be a pretty large gap between logs, so the line moved at a snail’s pace. I think I waited 45 minutes for my first ride and an hour for my second ride. But it was totally worth it!

Outside of Splash Mountain, this just may be my favorite flume. It had everything I could ever want- great drops, theming, and a super unique layout. I’d even place it above most coasters I’ve ridden. Log Chute is that good. 10 out of 10

Log Chute Drop (Far).JPG
I still can't believe how incredible this ride was.

Log Chute Splashdown.JPG
The Log Chute does some normal things like dropping and splashing.

Log Chute Bends 2.JPG
But then it weaves its way through a cave and a freaking mall.

Log Chute Harmon Killebrew.JPG
I love how the Mall pays homage to what was once here.


I got my last short wait of the day on Shredder’s Mutant Masher. For whatever reason, this frisbee never had a queue. And I don’t know why since it was one of the stronger ones out there.

It had no force on the downswing, but it had some nice floater on all the max swings. Plus I enjoyed the science lab/experimental theming in the queue. 7 out of 10

Shredder's Mutant Masher Aerial 2.JPG
Maybe this had no line due to those accidents overseas.


I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to ride a drop tower in a mall, so I had no qualms waiting a half hour to try Splat-O-Sphere. This is basically a jumbo Moser tower and that’s fine by me.

I find those towers to give a surprisingly strong, ball-tingling drop. But this one had a view to accompany it. There is so much kinetic energy in the park and the surrounding mall. It’s a sensory overload. 7 out of 10

Splat-O-Sphere Multi-Train.JPG
Sweet! A multi-train shot.


Brain Surge didn’t have too many people in the queue, but it loaded slower than a coaster with VR. I think I had to wait a half hour, but all was forgiven once I got my hands on the joystick.

I alternated between doing front flips, back flips, and stupidly long stalls. While I do appreciate the Knoebels Looper for what it is, I’m an American. I’m lazy. Why rock when I can use a joystick? :lol: Plus it’s nice not having that burlap sack of a seatbelt for a restraint. 8 out of 10

Brain Surge Overview 1.JPG
I'm surprised this didn't have a tie-in to Jimmy Neutron.


Since everything had a queue, waiting 15 minutes for one of the saddest kiddie coasters in existence didn’t seem *quite* as bad. It had no drops and barely any speed, but I’m glad I rode it.

On the first lap, I felt something glance over my head. I thought someone may have thrown something from a balcony above. On the second lap, I realized what it was. A tree branch was scraping against my head. Remember, we’re indoors. :lol: 2 out of 10

Back at the Barnyard Hayride.JPG
I felt a little dirty riding this one. So it fit in with the barnyard theming.


Usually I skip wave swingers, but the Backyardigans Swing-Along was unique. This one had backwards facing seats. I can’t think of another swing ride with that gimmick.

I’m sad to say it wasn’t that good. For one, it was a very slow swing ride. In retrospect, that makes sense since the park markets this as a kids ride. But the bigger issue was the swing spacing. Once per rotation, one of the forward swings would bash against my knee. I had to ride defensively. 4 out of 10

Backyardigans Swing-Along Overview.JPG
Backwards swings was an interesting concept. Too bad it was a knee-banger.


Pop quiz. What’s the tallest ride at Nickelodeon Universe? You’d think it would be one of the coasters, the drop tower, or the Ferris Wheel. But you’d be wrong. The tallest ride is actually a slide.

The Anchor Drop slides were a $3 upcharge on top of admission. The view of the whole park was fantastic at the top, but the slide portion was a bit disappointing. You glided smoothly thanks to the mat, but it twisted around itself so many times that it never built up any major speed. 5 out of 10

Anchor Drop Slides.JPG
This looks like something straight from Europe.


I contemplated trying Fly Over America. It was pricey, but I was willing to give it a try based on the positive reviews. However, the queue was a complete showstopper. They estimated it was over an hour. That was my cue to leave for Valleyfair.

Fly Over America Prices.JPG
You can fly over both America and Canada, if you so choose (and pay).


But before leaving, I made a lap of the mall. I saw a lot of mall staples (GameStop, Forever 21, Wetzel’s Pretzels, etc) on the lower floors, but on the top floors I saw some bizarre specialty stores. This included a cheese store and an alpaca store.

Cheese Store.JPG
I think the mall's Wisconsin is showing.

Lego Transformer.JPG
I didn't go to the Lego store, but these looked awesome.


The most intriguing place I found was Smaaash. It appeared to be a mash-up of a sports park and a VR park. It was super busy, so they must be doing something right.

Smaaash Entrance.JPG
Smaaash is basically DisneyQuest with beer.

Smaaash Finger Coaster.JPG
Finger Coaster just sounds dirty to me.


While the Mall of America wasn’t as impressive as the West Edmonton Mall or several of the ones in Dubai, it was still quite nice. It’s refreshing to see a mall this lively. Maybe one day that American Dream mall will finally open so I have one of these super malls in the Northeast…

But undoubtedly the crown jewel for me was Nickelodeon Universe. None of the coasters are stand-outs, but they compliment each other well and are all very reridable.

The real stars of Nickelodeon Universe are the atmosphere (I’m still in awe at this park’s natural beauty), strong flat collection, and that otherworldly flume. I just can’t get over how amazing that flume is.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:53 am

cparkes92 wrote:Adventureland and Arnolds both look charming and would get more visitors among enthusiasts if they weren't so far from other parks


At least Adventureland is off a major highway if you're going cross-country and by the state capital. Arnolds Park is in the middle of nowhere. It's unfortunate because it really is a charming place.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:20 pm

Canobie Coaster wrote:The real stars of Nickelodeon Universe are the atmosphere (I’m still in awe at this park’s natural beauty), strong flat collection, and that otherworldly flume. I just can’t get over how amazing that flume is.


Indoor trees and a kick a** flume are my favorite parts of the park also. Having the flume in NU really helps make up for the removal of the one that VF used to have. Glad to hear you enjoyed the park which I think is only second to Disney in theming per square inch. ;)

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:40 pm

^ I'll still take Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi for the best indoor park by far, but I really liked how different Nickelodeon Universe's feel was. While Warner Bros tried to teleport you to different lands, Nickelodeon Universe tried to make you feel like you were outside in an indoor park, which is no small feat.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:04 am

Valleyfair!

The forecast called for a 100% chance of thunderstorms through the afternoon. As I approached Minneapolis, I saw countless lightning strikes in the fields adjacent to the highway.

This is the type of weather that would keep a family park closed. This is the type of weather that would cause a corporate park to close early.

Much to my shock, Valleyfair opened. Not only that, but they waited out the storm and stayed open until 11 pm! People may mock Valleyfair’s new additions, but good god is that some great customer service.

I met up with RCjunkie. He was a cool guy and shared all sorts of facts and history about Valleyfair as we made our way to the back of the park. If you ever come visit Canobie, I’ll be happy to return the favor!

Snoopy Fountain (NIght).JPG
On this day, Snoopy got very wet.


Our first stop was Excalibur. Unless a park has a ride whose capacity is so prohibitively bad, I always make it a point to start with the most unique or most anticipated attraction. Since Excalibur is perpetually on the chopping block and Valleyfair closes the back section 2 hours early, I wanted to knock it out ASAP.

Calling Excalibur’s layout bizarre is an understatement. In no way should this layout work. It has a bunch of low-to-the-ground, coat-hangery transitions. But somehow they don’t hurt and pull some nice Gs.

The only flaw with Excalibur is that it’s short. The first drop may be trimmed, but it still delivers a strong burst of air. And the first S-hill delivers a powerful burst of ejector air. It reminded me of one of the S-hills on SFNE’s Superman. 7 out of 10

Excalibur Sign 2.JPG
Apparently the chain is there because some moron tried to pull the sword from the stone.


We then took a spin on Renegade. And I have to applaud the Minnesotans, you guys are pretty hearty. Despite the cruddy weather to start the day, Renegade had a half hour wait (admittedly with one train).

Most GCIs blend together for me. They’re a fast paced flurry of turns and quick pops of airtime. Renegade felt distinctly different. Sure it has some instances of both (GCI just can’t help themselves), but there are a lot of straight hills with sustained floater air. The second hill in particular is pure bliss.

I’m always a bit nervous to ride an older GCI, but Renegade tracked quite well. It hauled through the course and only had a bit of a rattle to it. I’d say this is my favorite GCI after Mystic Timbers. 8.5 out of 10

Renegade Turn.JPG
Renegade twisted and turned like most GCIs.

Renegade Camelback.JPG
But these hills with sustained floater differentiated it from other GCIs.


RCjunkie needed to leave, so I took a spin on Thunder Canyon. Usually I skip river rapids rides, but it had a short queue. It still ended up taking 20 minutes though since the park only loaded every third raft.

Thunder Canyon has a solid layout. It has a nice mix of waterfalls and rapids. Plus the layout alternates between the woods and a field with awesome views of Renegade. But can we talk about those water cannons?

The PSI on those things is through the roof! It felt like I was being stung by an army of bees. The force of the water was so strong that it ripped the sunglasses off the face of the woman next to me. :lol: It would have done the same to me had I not been wearing a glasses strap. 7 out of 10

Thunder Canyon Waterfall.JPG
These waterfalls were child's play. It was the water guns that were lethal.

Thunder Canyon Dispatch.JPG
They were oddly filling every third raft.


It had been a while since I had ridden an Arrow mouse, so I was happy to give Mad Mouse a whirl, especially since it was a walk-on. And I have to say, I forgot how good an Arrow mouse is.

The first two turns have some powerful laterals. Then the final sequence of drops has some nice pops of airtime, better than anything on a Mack or Maurer mouse. Plus you have all that funky banking too. I wish there were more of these mice around. 6 out of 10

Mad Mouse Queue.JPG
It's my understanding I lucked out that the queue was this short.

Mad Mouse Brake Run.JPG
Now that's some serious stacking.


Up next was Wild Thing, one of the least talked about hyper coasters anywhere. I know enthusiasts jokingly call it Mild Thing, but please have respect for the park’s deceased kiddie coaster.

The first drop is stellar. The floater air in the back is top notch thanks to the Morgan profiling. But the highlight was the second hill. Instead of a towering camelback, it was more of a speed hill with some serious sustained floater airtime.

The turnaround wasn’t particularly forceful, but it was cool to fly above the Route 76 area. Then that led into the moment of truth- the MCBR. This can either make or break a Morgan hyper.

*Screech*

Well, crud. Needless to say, we were braked hard. As a result, the bunny hills back to the station had barely any airtime. Wild Thing may be the weakest Morgan hyper, but it still has a great first half and is a super smooth and reridable coaster. 7 out of 10

One of the operators was a super friendly enthusiast who joined me for night rides on Renegade later in the day. I guess most guests to Valleyfair don’t wear Copperhead Strike t-shirts. :lol:

Wild Thing Drop (Close).JPG
Wild Thing lives up to its name in the first half.

Wild Thing Camelback.JPG
This camelback had some incredible sustained airtime.

Wild Thing Helix (Close).JPG
Little do these people know just how bad the trim will hit.

Wild Thing Helix (Sunset).JPG
Once that trim hit, I totally understand why people call this Mild Thing.


Since I was making good time, I decided to start hitting some flats. The first was the Xtreme Swing. By now, I know exactly what to expect from these screamin’ swings. They’re super fun rides but they’re over in a flash. All 3-4 of the max swings had some great floater air. 7 out of 10

Xtreme Swing (Far).JPG
S&S land would make Stan Checketts proud.

Xtreme Swing (Close).JPG
Looks like a car full of happy riders.


Next was Power Tower. Since I had yet to see the Minnesota River, I figured this would be my best chance to see the river that is a thorn in the park’s side. Not only did I see the river, but I rode during sunset so the views were fantastic. As for the drop, it was your average S&S turbo drop. 7 out of 10

Power Tower (Far).JPG
I'm not used to seeing multiple towers run at once. Thanks SFNE...

Power Tower Entrance.JPG
I love how you have to cross this suspension bridge to reach the ride.


Three oddities about the ride. One, was sporting ratcheting restraints. I guess that’s a way to avoid the new S&S lap belts. Two, the ride did this odd thing where it paused about 9/10 of the way up before continuing to the top. Three, the ride is located on an island so you have to cross a rickety bridge to ride.

The last flat I hit was Northern Lights. I used to like these Disko/Skater coasters a lot more, but I’ve been riding them a lot recently so they’ve started to lose their uniqueness. I definitely prefer the disko for the seating arrangement, but I did at least get an end seat. 5 out of 10

Northern Lights.JPG
God, that sunset is gorgeous.


It pained me to skip Delirious, but darkness was descending upon the park I wanted to knock out the final four coasters so I could get back to Renegade. I waited two trains for the front and it was well worth it.

The visual of careening up the spiral was quite terrifying and the subsequent floater was good too. But the highlight was the holding brake. It’s an absolute mindbender. 7 out of 10

Steel Venom Overview.JPG
Kings Dominion sure wishes it had a launched Intamin invert.

Steel Venom Holding Brake.JPG
The holding brake makes this ride.


Corkscrew was a complete walk-on. I was stunned it was running two trains, but that’s Cedar Fair for you. They do a great job maximizing the capacity of their rides even if they don’t need it.

While Excalibur had jerky transitions that weren’t actually bad, Corkscrew had some jerky transitions that were bad. Thankfully my head was above the OSTR. Otherwise this would have been painful. As a result, I was able to enjoy the forceful vertical loop and surprise pop of air on the speed hill. 4 out of 10

Corkscrew Drop.JPG
Corkscrew certainly did its fair share of screwing.


High Roller is a coaster I almost never hear anything about. I figured that was one of two things. Either it was a boring snoozefest or it was a brutally rough ride. It was neither.

High Roller wasn’t fast, but it was smooth. And the outward leg actually had 2 surprising pops of airtime in the back. In the front, the ride gave what I like to call bouncy airtime. Then the finale gave strong pops of air throughout the train. 6 out of 10

Monster.JPG
I love chaser lights.


The final coaster, much to the amusement of the operator, was Cosmic Coaster. As far as kids coasters go, it was a comfortable fit for an adult and the helix actually had some decent laterals. 3 out of 10

Cosmic Coaster.JPG
I'm glad the old Mild Thing kiddie coaster was removed. It was too easy to confuse that ride with their hyper.


I had about 45 minutes before closing, so I kicked off the Renegade marathon. I heard Renegade was an excellent night ride and it delivered. There is hardly any light through the first 3/4 of the ride.

I can’t decide if I prefer the front or back. The front has the better airtime, but the speed and whip is better towards the back. These night rides are why I place this GCI above the likes of Gold Striker, Prowler, and Wodan.

Renegade Entrance.JPG
You know a coaster is a great night ride when it's impossible to get a clean photo of it once the sun sets.


Valleyfair is definitely one of the weaker Cedar Fair parks, but that doesn’t make it a bad park. I’d still take it over a lot of Six Flags parks. As with most Cedar Fair parks, it’s clean and incredibly well run. Just look at how they stayed open despite a major storm keeping the rides closed for the first third of the day.

And it doesn’t hurt that Renegade is great too. I highly recommend planning a visit when they have a late close like I did so you can try it at night.

Ferris Wheel (Side).JPG
Look at this cute Ferris Wheel behind the sculpture of a Ferris Wheel.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:21 am

As always, quality reports, Mike! Finally getting caught up here after not popping in for a while.

Fun fact about that Boji Falls flume - it used to reside in Wildwood on Hunts Pier (now Moreys maintenance pier, next to Surfside), which also featured Golden Nugget, which we all know is now known as Black Diamond @ Knoebels.

HuntsFlume.png

more photos of it here: http://www.funchase.com/Images/LOGFlume/LogFlume.htm

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:42 am

Very interesting the Arnolds Park flume was relocated! I'm guessing Wildwood doesn't miss it with Zoom Phloom there. :lol:

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:20 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Much to my shock, Valleyfair opened. Not only that, but they waited out the storm and stayed open until 11 pm! People may mock Valleyfair’s new additions, but good god is that some great customer service.

We then took a spin on Renegade. And I have to applaud the Minnesotans, you guys are pretty hearty. Despite the cruddy weather to start the day, Renegade had a half hour wait (admittedly with one train).


Minnesotan's experience everything from -30F to +99F degrees with sun, rain and snow in a given year so we are a hearty bunch and get 'out' whenever we can because it seems winter is always on its way.


Canobie Coaster wrote:I met up with RCjunkie. He was a cool guy and shared all sorts of facts and history about Valleyfair as we made our way to the back of the park. If you ever come visit Canobie, I’ll be happy to return the favor!


It will happen someday so be ready! Been to 37 of the 50 states and Massachusetts is still one I need to step foot in. Along with all those tiny upper eastern states. And if anyone else visits VF and wants to meet up just drop me an IM and I can bore you with all the VF history you want or if you just want to do a few laps. The park opened when I was 7 years old and I can tell you stories how High Roller in its first couple years had 90 minute to 2 hours waits and how the entrance/exit for the ride switched after the ACA went into place. It was fun to meet you, I wish it hadn't rained all morning so I could have had more time to ride but in Minnesota you take what you can get.

Canobie Coaster wrote:I know enthusiasts jokingly call it Mild Thing, but please have respect for the park’s deceased kiddie coaster.

Some serious coaster history for a park that is not your home park. Major kuddos for that but also....this shows how much of an amusement park geek you are. :lol: (not there is anything wrong with that, just stating fact).

Canobie Coaster wrote:Next was Power Tower. Since I had yet to see the Minnesota River, I figured this would be my best chance to see the river that is a thorn in the park’s side.

If anyone visits in the fall this is a must ride to see all the changing tree colors in the Minnesota River Valley.


Canobie Coaster wrote:I can’t decide if I prefer the front or back. The front has the better airtime, but the speed and whip is better towards the back.

You nailed it, this is how this GCI runs. I prefer the back with speed and the whip but both are solid.

Canobie Coaster wrote:Valleyfair is definitely one of the weaker Cedar Fair parks, but that doesn’t make it a bad park. I’d still take it over a lot of Six Flags parks. As with most Cedar Fair parks, it’s clean and incredibly well run. Just look at how they stayed open despite a major storm keeping the rides closed for the first third of the day.

A fair assessment of the park. I would give it a C on a grade scale but because it is so clean and operations are usually very good so I give it a C+. I think with a water park expansion and a modern steel looping coaster it could hit the B- level. Glad you enjoyed your visit to VF, a 3 Arrow coaster park. ;)
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