What Valleyfair’s Next Roller Coaster Could Be
Valleyfair, located in Shakopee, is Minnesota's largest theme park and it has an impressive roster of roller coasters, but it's been years since they've gone big with a new world-class coaster.
The last large/extreme coaster built at Valleyfair was in 2007 when Renegade opened, that is a wooden coaster built by Great Coasters International and is one of two wooden coasters in the park, along with the hybrid wooden/steel coaster Excalibur.
It's safe to say that Valleyfair is due for another major roller coaster investment, but what will they build for their next big attraction? Valleyfair has not made any announcements on any future expansion, so this is all speculation.
Taking a look at trends throughout the roller coaster world, looking at what Valleyfair's sister parks are doing, and what roller coaster designs are missing from the region, here is what I think Valleyfair could build next.
Several coaster manufacturers make spinning roller coasters, and they are very popular right now. The issue here is that Valleyfair would need to do something different than the 'Fairly Odd Coaster' at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America, which is a spinning coaster built by Gerstlauer, it is a compact coaster due to the limited space available at Nickelodeon Universe so Valleyfair could obviously build something much bigger.
This is where S&S Worldwide come in with their 4D Free Spinning Coaster design, it's a spinning coaster, but the spinning is done a little differently, instead of spinning coaster cars, riders jump on vehicles that hold eight passengers that are seated in pairs, four on each side of the track, this is known as a wing design. S&S says that "depending on the weight, seat position and rider interaction it provides a different ride experience every time."
And, it just so happens that Cedar Fair, the owner of Valleyfair, just built one of these costers at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Tumbili is a 4D Free Spin coaster and looks like crazy fun.
SUSPENDED ROLLER COASTER
Suspended roller coasters aren't as popular as they once were, but there are some exciting ones still being made, and it might be a great addition to Valleyfair.
Steel Venom, which opened in 2003 at Valleyfair, has suspended seats but it's not the same experience as a traditional roller coaster. Steel Venom is a launched coaster that takes riders back and forth on a U-shaped track layout.
I like what Dollywood just built in its latest expansion, it's a suspended family coaster built by Vekoma called 'Dragonflier', it only has a top speed of about 46 MPH, but as you can see by the video below, this certainly isn't a "kiddy-coaster."
FLOORLESS DIVE COASTER
Floorless coasters have been popular for years, they provide a unique experience for riders as they fly through the air with their legs dangling in the air. Dive coasters are a newer trend, they basically hang riders "over the edge" at the top of the lift hill for a few seconds before releasing them at a 90 degree or steeper angle straight at the ground at high speeds.
In fact, Cedar Fair has a record-breaking coaster of this kind at their Cedar Point theme park in Ohio. 'Valravn' was built in 2016 and at the time was the tallest, fastest, and longest Dive Coaster in the world, it's still the tallest, 'Yukon Striker' at Canada's Wonderland theme park now holds the other two records.
I think this would be a great choice for Valleyfair, and maybe a chance for Cedar Fair to get some bragging rights back with a new, record-breaking design that will thrill riders for years to come.
Single-Rail Roller Coaster
I think this would be a winner for Valleyfair, single-rail roller coasters, are just that, the track is just one rail and guests ride the coaster in single, inline seats, no holding the hand of the person next to you for comfort, you're all on your own.
The 'Raptor Track' from Rocky Mountain Construction, which has built coasters for Cedar Point in the past, is the company pioneering this design. They are currently working on a new coaster called 'Wonder Woman Flight of Courage' for Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, and it looks amazing!
This would be a unique coaster to the region, currently, there are only 5 of these types of 'raptor track' coasters in America, and nothing near Minnesota. If Valleyfair is looking for a coaster that will draw crowds for many years, this might be a winner.
Multi Inversion Coaster
One thing that Valleyfair is short on is inversions, the only coaster with any inversions is the Corkscrew, which was built in 1980, and while it is still a fun coaster to ride, times have changed and riders may want something more extreme.
Ride maker Intamin, who made Valleyfair's 'Steel Venom' coaster, makes a 'Multi Inversion Coaster' that offers up to, get this, 10 inversions with this unique track design. 'Altair' is an Intamin Multi Inversion Coaster that opened in 2014 in Rome, Italy, it features a whopping 10 inversions with riders being held in place by only a lap bar.
As far as I can tell, there is no other coaster like this in America, so this would be something special and unique for Valleyfair if they were to go with a coaster like this.