Pros:Good assortment of coasters and other attractions.
Cons:Not quite the experience of a Six Flags.
The Bottom Line: By all means, if you're in the south Metro of Minneapolis and have the time, give Valleyfair a shot.
The Midwest boasts a handful of truly great amusement parks - Cedar Point and Great America come to mind. The problem with the great amusement parks is that the large crowds come right along with them.
Valleyfair isn't one of those truly great amusement parks. It's merely a very good amusement park, which works out well sometimes. Try going to Great America on a weekend in July, then go to Valleyfair on a weekend in July. You'll see what I mean. Give me the choice between the two and I'll take Valleyfair almost every time.
There are a few fantastic attractions at Valleyfair. The first, and most noticeable, is the Wild Thing. The 200-foot drop makes this one impossible to miss. It comes down at about 60 degrees, so be prepared to hold your stomach in your throat. Any amusement park in America would be proud to add Wild Thing to its portfolio of coasters. It's a classic.
Another enjoyable roller coaster is Excalibur. This one is tucked back at the far end of the park, and is easy to overlook. The lines for Excalibur are generally quite good. In the evening, you can sometimes ride, get off, walk through the line, and be back on the ride inside 10 minutes.
The High Roller is the granddaddy of Valleyfair's coasters. One of the old wooden coasters, it has that old-fashioned feel that should never go out of style. It's only 70 feet tall and the ride is less than two minutes, but you've got to ride it at least once.
Steel Venom, one of the popular U-shaped coasters, is one of the park's newest and most popular attractions. It's interesting once or twice, but I'll take a real roller coaster over one of these "impulse" rides any day.
The Roller coasters aren't the only attractions at Valleyfair. The park also includes the standard amusement park fare -- games, food, shows, a Ferris Wheel, carousel, etc. Other attractions include an Imax theater, the Looping Starship (one of those lose-all-the-change-in-your-pockets rides), a variety of water rides, and a corkscrew coaster. There are plenty of options for those who prefer calmer, safer rides. One of the best is the Antique Autos attraction. It's simple, but enjoyable -- steer small model antiques around a flat track.
Valleyfair is a great place for families. Arrange a weekday visit if possible, and get there early. Lines are much better than some of the bigger parks.
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