Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Valleyfair 2015

While visiting Minnesota, J and L had their first visit to an amusement park. We went to Valleyfair just outside the Twin Cities. The children were excited to go. Our first sight of the place promised the heaps of fun to come.

View from our parking space

A closer view

The park has a T-Rex breaking out (shades of Jurassic World) and a more extensive dinosaur exhibit inside that we strangely never went to see. We did see some other dinos in the main park.

T-Rex makes a run for it


Our first ride was the drencher The Wave, a short flume ride with a large boat that makes a huge splash. Naturally, I was unable to take a picture on the ride and forgot to take one of the ride.

Our next ride was the more sedate Antique Autos, where the kids drove the parents around the course.

L gets her first driving instructions

On their way

Everyone but Mommy tried the Scrambler, a fun "toss you around in a round car" ride.

Getting into the Scrambler

L getting tossed around

J then announced that he wanted to ride Steel Venom, a terrifying ride that sends passengers twisting up one four-story tall post and then backwards up another straight post. Mommy and L were unwilling to try (L lucked out by being too short) but I went along and had a great time.

On line

Discussing our strategy--"Don't throw up!"

Ready to go

L in the photo op seat outside the ride

More of the same

When we disembarked, J said he enjoyed it but also he might pass out. Happily he didn't. We went off in search of lunch, which was naturally overpriced in the park. L did her bit for recycling while there.

Post-Venom J

L asked for this picture

After lunch we went on one of the original rides in the park, Supercat. The cars chase each other around a round track with music playing.

Mommy and L ready to go

Supercool supercat

J and I went on another heart-pounding rollercoaster, Corkscrew (three upside-down moments packed into a minute and a half of high speed horror), while Mommy and L rode the ferris wheel.

The Corkscrew, as seen from the Ferris Wheel

Riding the ferris wheel

J and I took on another scrambling, whirling dervish of a ride called the Monster. The spider-like arms held four cars that spun round as the arms flung them in a large circle. We had a lot of fun on this one too.

Monster fun

J and I continued our roller-coaster odyssey while Mommy and L went to Planet Snoopy to relax in the massive indoor ball pit. In addition to the Monster, we rode the High Roller and the ferris wheel (which provided good opportunities to take pictures of other rides).

Planet Snoopy with a bit of the High Roller on the right top

L does ball pit experiments

L also met the star of Planet Snoopy--the beloved pooch himself!!

Hugging Snoopy

Fun photo op

From there we regrouped and headed to the back of the park to get soaked on Thunder Canyon. This ride has big round boats that head through tumbling rapids with lots of splashes for the unlucky passengers. Our unluckiest passenger was L. The boat always spun around so that she would get the maximum blast from any spray or waterfall. She was quite drippy afterwards.

Post-Thunder Canyon

J really wanted to ride two more rides--the water slides and the Wild Thing. The water slides were in a separate part of the park where patrons could go barefoot and enjoy a lazy river ride or the various pools. We changed into our bathing suits (which we obviously should have done earlier). J chose the four-story tall water slides. He and I climbed up while Mommy and L enjoyed a pool. At the top, we had to get in these large glass cases with water running down the back wall. When all was clear at the bottom, a trap door opened and the rider drops down the tube at high speed. It was a lot of fun.

Our final ride was Wild Thing, a steel rollercoaster that runs through half of the park. It was the tallest ride in the park and the most thrilling. We enjoyed the ride, especially at the end when we went through a dark building with a bunch of hills. Whew, what a great ending to a fun day.

Part of Wild Thing in the background of this park shot from the Ferris Wheel

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