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Media Center

The Valleyfair Public Relations Department welcomes inquiries and visits from credentialed members of the news media for the production of high quality news features and programs about Valleyfair, Planet Snoopy and Soak City Waterpark.

Contact Us
Public Relations Department
Valleyfair
One Valleyfair Drive
Shakopee, MN  55379
Office: 952.496.5330 (News Media Calls Only)
Fax: 952.445.1539

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Media Passes

Are you a credentialed member of the media interested in visiting Valleyfair? Submit a Media Pass request online to get started.

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Latest News and Events

Find official Valleyfair press releases and feature stories.

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September 14, 2016 - Pre-K Pass: FREE Unlimited Visits for Ages 3 to 5

Valleyfair announces big things for small packages with the addition of a new FREE Pre-K Season Pass. In 2017, guests ages 3 to 5 can enjoy free unlimited visits to Valleyfair all season long including Soak City Waterpark, Dinosaurs Alive and The Great Pumpkin Fest at ValleySCARE. 

Valleyfair offers a number of experiences throughout the season for kids ages 3 to 5, including:

  • More than 17 Peanuts-themed rides and attractions at Planet Snoopy
  • A face-to-face interaction with 30 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Alive!
  • Barefoot Beach at Soak City Waterpark; an interactive splash pad with no standing water
  • Fall family fun with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang during the Great Pumpkin Fest at ValleySCARE 

Guests have until April 30, 2017 to register online for the Pre-K Pass at www.valleyfair.com/PreK and must process their pass at the park by May 29, 2017. Guests that sign up for the Pre-K Pass by October 30, 2016 will receive one free visit during the 2016 season to enjoy the Great Pumpkin Fest at ValleySCARE which begins on September 17! For more information, visitwww.valleyfair.com/PreK.

Experience Valleyfair in a whole new way with a 2017 Gold Season Pass, on sale now for the lowest price of the season. Enjoy exclusive benefits such as unlimited visits including ValleySCARE and Soak City Waterpark, free parking, discounts on food and merchandise, exclusive offers and the new 230-foot North Star (coming spring 2017) for as low as 9 easy payments of $8 (+taxes & fees). Plus, receive one free visit in 2016 when you purchase a new 2017 Gold Season Pass!

August 19, 2017 - The Stars Align for New Thrills in 2017!

Thrill seekers, get ready to reach for the stars as Valleyfair announces plans for a 230-foot-tall Starflyer ride in 2017. 

North Star - named to celebrate the region’s affinity to being “up north” and the great outdoors - is a 230-foot-tall tower that will spin riders more than 20 stories above the ground. Seated in two-person chain-link swings that will allow their feet to dangle, riders will slowly begin rotating in a circular motion reaching speeds of up to 40 mph as the swings ascend and descend the tower. 

“The annual trip to Valleyfair has always been a family tradition in Minnesota,” says Dave Frazier, Vice President and General Manager of Valleyfair. “The addition of North Star certainly adds to the continued commitment to provide lasting family memories for our guests.”

By comparison, North Star will rank as the second tallest ride in the park next to the 275-foot Power Tower and will occupy the spot soon-to-be vacated by Enterprise, which will be retired later this month. The location positions North Star at the front of the park where, living up to its name, it will serve as a beacon to guide and greet guests on their journey to the park. North Star is the only ride of this type in the upper Midwest.

North Star is manufactured by Austrian-based Funtime. Construction on North Star will begin this month and be complete by early to mid-December. The ride will open to guests in the spring of 2017. 

The best way to experience the new North Star is with a 2017 Gold Season Pass, on sale now at the lowest price of the season. Season Pass holders enjoy unlimited visits all season long, including Soak City Waterpark and Valleyscare, free parking, in-park discounts, exclusive offers and events and so much more.

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Park Descriptions

Looking for just the right words and word count to describe Valleyfair?

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25 Words

Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park. Discover an adventure for the whole family, including soaring coasters, Planet Snoopy and the area’s premier waterpark.

50 Words

With more than 75 rides and attractions, Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park, where your next family adventure is closer than you think! Discover a summer of fun from thrilling coasters and Planet Snoopy to the area’s premier waterpark and the new 230-foot North Star.

75 Words

With more than 75 rides and attractions, Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park where families come to play the Minnesota way! Discover your next adventure on one of eight thrilling coasters, hanging out with Snoopy and the gang at Planet Snoopy, reliving your childhood on the classic rides in Route 76 or making a splash at the area’s premier waterpark. Find your true north in 2017 with the all-new 230-foot North Star.

100 Words

With more than 75 rides and attractions, Valleyfair is the Twin Cities’ amusement park where families come to play the Minnesota way! Discover your next adventure on one of eight thrilling coasters, hanging out with the Peanuts gang at Planet Snoopy, reliving your childhood on the classic rides in Route 76 or making a splash at the area’s premier waterpark. Find your true north in 2017 with the all-new 230-foot North Star. The only ride of its kind in the upper Midwest, North Star will spin riders 20 stories above the ground at speeds up to 40mph.

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Park History and Timeline

A history of Valleyfair from the very beginning.

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Background of Valleyfair

Valleyfair Family Amusement Park opened its gates over 35 years ago with 20 rides and attractions on 26 acres in Shakopee, Minnesota. The initial park investment was $7.5 million.

The park was created and built by two local businessmen whose dream it was to build an amusement park that would provide entertainment for the entire family. In August of 1974, construction of Valleyfair began. When the park opened in 1976, it included extensive land development, rides, attractions, buildings and landscaping. High Roller--the sole roller coaster--was the main attraction.

The first two years of operation were successful. Wanting to capitalize on this success and continue with an accelerated expansion plan, Valleyfair’s management determined they needed additional investors.

In 1978, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio acquired Valleyfair, under the management of Cedar Fair Limited Partnership. The acquisition allowed Valleyfair to keep its accelerated expansion plan and also gave the park the expertise of one of the largest amusement parks in the world.

The park continues to grow every year with new rides and attractions. Since 1976, Valleyfair has invested over $96 million into the park. Today, Valleyfair is the largest amusement park in the upper Midwest with eight thrilling roller coasters, Planet Snoopy, Soak City Waterpark and more than 75 rides and attractions on 90 acres of land.

When the park debuted in 1976, there were 900 seasonal employees and 63 full-time staff.  Today, there about 70 year-round employees. This season, about 1,600 seasonal employees will be hired.

1974

The park was created and built by two local businessmen whose dream it was to build an amusement park that would provide entertainment for the entire family. In August, construction of Valleyfair began, it included extensive land development, rides, attractions, buildings and landscaping.  High Roller--the sole roller coaster--was the main attraction.

1976

Valleyfair opened it's gates to the public with 20 rides and attractions, including:  Antique Autos, Bumper Cars, Ferris Wheel, High Roller, Scarmbler, SuperCat and Wheel of Fortune.  Most rides and attractions are still in the Park today.

1977

Valleyfair expanded with the consturction two of it's classic rides Monster & Tilt-A-Whirl.  Both of these rides are located in the same place that they were constructed and still remain a Valleyfair favorite.

1978

Known as Ye Olde Log Flume until the early 1990s, the Flume was a log flume ride constructed during this year. 

1979

The Park continued to expand with the construction of the Enterprise, the Kiddie Ferris Wheel and the steel roller coaster Wild Rails. 

1980

Valleyfair began construction and opened it's second rollercoaster, Corkscrew.  It became an instant classic with it's 1950 feet of track, large loop and spiraling steel track. 

1981

Expansion included Tot Town and Grandma’s Bake & Sweet Shop. 

1982

Expansion included the Pepsi IMAX® Theater, this larger-than-life screen gave a whole new dimension to movie watching. Other improvements including a multi-level outdoor dining patio, located next to the Flume. This outdoor area is convenietly located within the park and is able to accomidate up to 500 guest. Guest entering Valleyfair were able to check out the new entrance marquee. 

1983

The waterpark receive an upgrade with the addition of  three waterslides, now named Panic Falls Body Slides.  Each of the three slides includes tunnels and drops that any thrill seeker would like. 

1984

Expansion included two children’s activities that enahnced Valleyfair being an all-age amusement park for the entire family to enjoy. With this year, a beautification program was also added to keep Valleyfair one of the most visually appealing amusement parks in the Upper Midwest.

1985

The Red Garter Saloon, an air-conditioned restaurant with entertainment, was a new addition this year. It allowed guests to take a break from the heat and enjoy some great eats. Of course, with the entertainment, it made it a stop for everyone visiting that year. Valleyfair also added The Looping Starship, a pirate ship that rocks back and forth until riders are upside down 80 feet in the air. Bayern Curve was brought in and some Park improvements including a waterpark expansion and 900 feet of walkways added.

1986

Valleyfair added Northern Lights, a free-fall ride located in the center of the Park.  Expansions also were included in the Ampitheater to allow for more guests during concerts and shows.

1987

Thunder Canyon was added, a quarter-mile white water river rafting ride where riders got wet, very wet.  The Park also had various improvements and expansions.

1988

The waterpark expanded and recevied two speed slides, later to be named Panic Falls Speed Slides. Riders enjoy a steep drop from 34 feet above.  Valleyfair added a new children’s area called Half Pint Park, which included rides, mini-rollercoaster and entertainment geared around the younger visiters.

1989

A new steel roller coaster called Excalibur was added to the already extensive list of rides and attractions. Part steel and part wood, this rollercoaster quickly became a favorite for guests visting. Along with Excalibur, park improvements and expansions continued.

1990

Valleyfair received it's own railroad track with the expansion of the Minnesota River Valley Train Ride. This 11-ton engine pulls riders throughout the Park with stops at the front gate and in Half Pint Park.  

1991

Expansion continued with phase one of Challenge Park. Once part of the Valleyfair parking lot, this area soon became part of a quarter-mile go-kart track and club house. 

1992

The Wave was the newest way to cool down on a hot summer day. This flume-style ride would bring riders down a steep hill to create a 60 foot by 30 foot wall of water. Guests could enjoy the action from an observation bridge and even there they will get soaked. Other park improvements included two 18 hole golf courses in Challenge Park and a new food concession. Improvements were also made on the administrative side with a new employee cafeteria.    

1993

The Whitewater Country Waterpark was expanded to include a variety of water rides, like: Hurricane Falls raft slide and Ripple Rapids inner tube ride. Little splish-splashers enjoy the addition of Giggle Run and Splash Station activities. Challenge park was added on with the addition of Bumper Boats.

1994

Berenstain Bear Country, a one acre interactive play area for children under 54” tall was added. Park expansion and improvements included a new food concession. 

1995

Hydroblaster, a black enclosed water coaster in which guests ride down black chutes on a two-person raft was included in the Park's expansion. 

1996

The Valleyfair skyline changed drastically with the addition of the world-class hypercoaster called Wild Thing. Over 5460 feet of  lime green steel track on teal-colored supports make up this ride reaching speeds of 74 mph and with a drop of over 200 feet. Challenge park expanded with the addition of RipCord, a Skycoaster experience. 

1997

Expansion continued with a new ride called Chaos. Other park improvements included the new restaurant Coasters and the remodeling of the front gate area. 

1998

A new indoor, air-conditioned Galaxy Theater was added for guests to enjoy a variety of shows and live entertainment. New additions also included a brand new arcade. Administration also received a new merchandise building. 

1999

Mad Mouse, a family rollercoaster, was added in replacement of the Wild Rails. Valleyfair continues to improve and expand with various programs.

2000

The Valleyfair skyline changed again with the addition of the 275 foot Space Shot/Turbo Drop ride called Power Tower. This thrill ride was meant to be higher but had to be kept at it's already notable 275 feet due to the Flying Cloud Airport flight path. Young guests were not neglected with the a new children’s area featuring Frog Hopper, a mini-version of the Power Tower. 

2003

Steel Venom, an impulse rollercoaster, became the newest addition to Valleyfair sharing space near Challenge Park. 2,600 feet of track with the highest point at 185 feet and a drop of 175 feet has riders spinning in 360 degrees.

2004

Already appealing to the younger guests, Valleyfair expanded KidWorks, a rebranding of the kids' area, with the Foam Ball Factory indoor attraction and family ride called The Rockin' Tug. Guests of all-ages enjoyed these improvements and expansions.  

2005

Valleyfair added two new thrill rides including, a new top spin thrill ride named RipTide and Skyscraper, an extreme thrill ride. The Midway Games received a facelift and re-theming.  

2006

Valleyfair appealed to playground enthusiasts with the addition of Xtreme Swing. This air-launched thrill ride swings riders up to 125 feet in the air at over 60 mph.

2007

The eighth rollercoaster made its place at Valleyfair with the addition of Renegade. This world-class wooden rollercoaster lets riders experience a two minute adventurous ride including a never-before-experienced twisting first drop, a low-to-the-ground high-speed S-turn and a high-speed station fly-by.

2008

General improvements to the park and its infrastructure, including an upgrade of the park’s ticketing system. ValleySCARE, the Upper-Midwest's largest Halloween attraction debuted with the Halloween Haunt. Guests enjoyed a world of terrifying mazes and scare zones, creepy entertainment and, of course, Valleyfair's signature thrill rides.

2009

Expansion and improvement of the re-themed waterpark called, Soak City Waterpark. Some highlighted improvements included Breakers Bay, a 350,000 gallon wave pool that guests enjoy on a hot summer day. Other additions were 24 rental cabanas, a new changing facility, merchandise stand and food location.

2011

Snoopy is back with a whole new planet to explore!  Expansion and renovation converting KidWorks and Half Pint Park into Planet Snoopy. The 3.5 acre Planet Snoopy features over 17 PEANUTS-themed rides and attractions; including PEANUTS Playhouse, Snoopy Boutique, Planet Snoopy Grill and daily meet-and-greet opportunities with PEANUTS characters like Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally and the world’s most popular beagle, Snoopy.