Skip to Main Content

Valleyfair

Skip to Next Section

Winterizing Valleyfair

Kelsey Bailey

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. 

As the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, many of us focus on the upcoming holiday season and winter activities. Not the Valleyfair Maintenance team. It is full speed ahead to get the park ready for 2018.

One of the first steps in the winter maintenance process is removing all the trains from their designated coaster track. The trains are moved to Valleyfair’s maintenance building where they are completely disassembled. Each train is completely stripped down, and every individual piece is cleaned, inspected, and then reassembled. 

“People would not recognize this as a coaster train once we take it completely apart,” Tom Suel, Director of Maintenance, said, “These trains are stripped down to nothing.”

Not only do the trains come off, but the brakes are also removed from the track and go through a similar process of disassembly, cleaning, inspection, and reassembly.

Steel Venom requires a healthy amount of maintenance in the offseason. Each train rests on the train in front of it, so when disassembled, all the trains have to come off in unison.  “It takes a lot of labor to rebuild those seven cars,” Suel said.

He also explains that wooden roller coasters require a higher level of maintenance. Beams and parts of the track have to be replaced every year along with tightening every nut and bolt on the coaster. “The track stack takes the hardest beating throughout the year and has to be replaced frequently,” Suel said, “Wooden coasters offer a great ride experience, so it’s worth the extra work.”

Some rides, such as North Star, are built with maintenance in mind. Suel explains that these rides are built with parts that are great for outdoor use. Stainless steel does not rust and can withstand the cold temperatures that hit Minnesota. “We still go through and do complete inspections on these rides, but they do not require a major tear down that some of our other rides do,” Suel said.

When asked which ride takes the most time to get ready for the next season, Ride Maintenance Manager, Jim Boone, quickly answered “Power Tower.”

"Power Tower is three rides combined into one, and with 36 seats it takes a lot of work to get ready for the next season," Boone said. A fair amount of the work is completed at the top of the ride structure. “This time of year it may be a comfortable temperature on the ground, but you go a few hundred feet in the air, that changes,” Suel said, “Our guys will stay up there all day doing maintenance because it’s not fun climbing up and down.”

Scrambler and Tilter are a few of Valleyfair’s rides that would seem like smaller maintenance projects but require a decent amount of work. All of the cars have to be removed, disassembled, and inspected similarly to coaster trains.

Most of the smaller rides in Planet Snoopy are serviced during the weekdays of ValleySCARE. They are inspected and repaired before getting covered in shrink wrap and sealed from winter. “They are such small ride units that you can clean them and reassemble them right there on sight,” Suel said, “It allows us during the weekdays that we are closed to get those smaller projects completed.”

While we wait for Opening Day of 2018, Valleyfair’s Maintenance team will continue at full speed to make sure guests enjoy a safe and fun season.

Share This

Kelsey Bailey

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. 

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Genius Valleyfair Hacks

We want to make sure that you have the Best Day Ever when you visit Valleyfair so here are a few hacks that are sure to make your trip a fun-filled success!
Read More

Autism Awareness Week at Valleyfair
 

Valleyfair is excited to announce that Autism Awareness Week will take place from July 16 - 22. Keep reading for more details on how you can make it the best day ever at Valleyfair during Autism Awareness Week!
Read More

Family Care Center Offers All the Comforts and Conveniences of Home

Valleyfair’s Family Care Center is the perfect place for parents visiting the park with infants and toddlers.
Read More

A Season of Family Fun

Longtime Valleyfair Season Passholder, Anne Ferguson, gives an inside look at why her family purchase season passes every year and see the park as their favorite family entertainment destination.
Read More

Things to Do in Minnesota

Whether you’re a Minnesota native or novice, you should know that spending a day at Valleyfair is one of the best things to do in Minnesota. Now, we have done you a favor and put together a list of the best things to do at Valleyfair. Follow this guide, and you’re sure to have the best day ever!
Read More

Phenomenal Food Featured in 2018 Line Up

Riding roller coasters and dropping down winding water slides makes any visit to Valleyfair a workout. To get the most out of every Valleyfair experience you need to stay fueled - and we have some exciting refuel options for you in 2018!
Read More

Help Save Lives, and Have The Time of Your Life

For the past three years, our partnership with the American Red Cross has increased donations, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction for their organization. You can support this incredible organization by purchasing your Valleyfair tickets through pages.cedarfair.com/redcross as $2 of each ticket sold here will go back to the Red Cross.
Read More

Practicing Valleyfair's Values: Owen Guthridge Wins Cornerstone Award

Owen was recently awarded the Valleyfair Cornerstone Award. He has always connected deeply with Valleyfair’s cornerstone values of service, courtesy, cleanliness, safety, and integrity, which made winning this award even more special.
Read More

How to Take the Perfect Valleyfair-gram

If you’re looking for ways to capture that perfect Instagram shot, look no further. We’ve got some tips and tricks to help. In fact, you won’t even need to lug your DSLR to the park with you. All photos shown are of real people – with real Instagrams.
Read More

Guide to Making this Father's Day Awesome

Wondering what to do with your dad this Father’s Day? Valleyfair has you covered to help celebrate every type of dad out there: from the dad who loves the adrenaline rush of the rides to the foodie who loves indulging in each mouthwatering bite of delicious cuisine.
Read More