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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12

TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12

Overbanked Overbanked Profile

Posted:
5/24/12 at
6:04:06 AM

After the second ride on Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach, and set the GPS straight for Shakopee, MN, home of Valleyfair. I had to just 'set it and forget it' as they say on at infomercial; With that distance, you don't want to think about it too long. At the time there was some bad storm system in the Midwest. Earlier I flirted venturing to SFGAm, but the combination of the bad weather that engulfed the Chicago area at the time, and SFGAm's plentiful facsimile coasters that I've ridden before (Batman Superman, Dark Knight etc; but that's a whole other story as to why I don't like two many large park facsimile coasters) had me turning down that option very quickly. Plus Valleyfair's opening day was on the 20th, and the 21st the park was closed for the school kids. I rode on the Chicago Loop, loved the Chicago skyline, hated the tolls though, four tolls along the way. On the way to Valleyfair, I passed through the Wisconsin Dells area at night on Interstate 90/94; I had to come back through that same area to go home anyway, and of course hit up Mt Olympus. I've never saw so many road kill deer in my life in Wisconsin, so many that I lost count. I'm talking about some huge buck too! I know those people were mad, with them messed up cars. Now I know why the NBA Milwaukee team is named the Bucks. I stayed at the Travelodge Shakopee for two days, with the distance to being not too far. All morning on the 20th the Weather Channel was saying how the Minneapolis area was gonna get swamped by the large thunderstorm system, so I tuned into the local forcast, and they hit the nail on the head, saying that the weather wasn't gonna be all of that bad. On with the TR.

Valleyfair 5/20/12 Opening Day

The weather was a lil' chilly, but it wasn't too bad, about in the 50's. I was well prepared, rockin' that North Face Hoodie. Unfortunately, Steel Venom was closed; My no-go streak of Intamin Impulse coasters (other being Wicked Twister) continues. :( The Ferris Wheel was the other closed ride. BTW, you have to scream when you say the parks name, Valleyfair! VF has alot of Arrow coasters, maybe they should change to name to Arrowfair! and yes, the Morgan coaster Wild Thing is basically an Arrow coaster. LOL.

Mad Mouse: A typical Arrow wild mouse coaster. It ran smoother than any non-spinning wild mouse that I can think of. This bad boy has alot of cars, 8 cars!

Corkscrew: For some reason, this coaster's que was hard for me to find. It's a typical Arrow loop & double corkscrew coaster. It ran relatively smooth for it's age, I always like riding these coasters whenever I get a chance.

Excalibur: This coaster is situated in the back of the park, but there was an employee guarding the path with benches there until 11:00; In retrospect after riding it, I wish that she would have continued to block that path all day. Wild Thing basically replaced this coaster in every facet, it's a pretty pointless coaster. It's like a Mega-Lite Arrow Hybrid thingy, it definitely has an identity crisis. It was pretty rough too. Basically a 100 ft drop that's followed by a bunch of little painful hills.

Xtreme Swing: A S&S Screamin' Swing. It had some good airtime. It was fun while it lasted as it was on an very short ride cycle. They had one swing side running, as needed with the pretty sparse crowds.

Tower Power: A 275 ft S&S launch tower complex. In was windy, and colder than a mother up there at the top. Later on in the day, at started to get more chilly. Even though you know what to expect with these tall launch towers, that anticipation never fails to thrill me.

High Roller: A wooden coaster that's made from the rare Int'l Amusement Devices (the only other being Colossus at SFMM) This out and back woodie had a classic feel to it, similar to Blue Streak. Not a ton of air on it, but it ran smooth.

Renegade: Rode it 3 times in various places. A nice GCI woodie that feels like kinda a cross between KY Rumbler, and Thunderhead. The first twisty drop is fun, along with the other twisty smooth track , and airhills throughout. It has a Thunderhead-like station fly-by too. It won't threaten my top ten, but it's a fun woodie.

Wild Thing: I thoroughly enjoyed this Morgan Hyper. I rode it the back two times. The first drop was awesome, as it had that outta your seat type air. It was very smooth too, very re-rideable. It was a ton smoother than Maggie. I love the tunnel with headchoppers inside after the MCBR. My favorite coaster at Valleyfair.

On to the drive to Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe.

Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12

This super mega mall was so enormous. It has four levels. Nick Uni is situated right in the middle. With all of the wear and tear from coastering, I didn't do any shopping, because a didn't wanna walk an equivalent of a triathlon by just exploring this gargantuan Mallopolis. I came in and out in the Macy's entrance West area. Similar to Indiana Beach, Nick Uni is ran by a wristband ticket system that you have the swipe your wristband to get through all of the rides. I was lucky as Brain Surge and TMNT: Shell Shock came off their downtime.

Fairly Odd Coaster: A fun spinning Gerstlauer wild mouse. It's a solid addition that is perfectly geared for families.

Pepsi Orange Streak: A sprawling family coaster that meanders all throughout the park. It has a very long train, for a coaster of this type. It goes through a lil' dark cavern over the log flume, kinda reminiscent of Space Mtn's interaction with Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Nice family coaster.

Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider: A Zierer Witch's Dance. the FKA attraction name was 'Treetop Tumbler's' IMO the Atomic Collider name suits this ride WAY better. No one hardly talks about this thing, I thought that it was awesome. It was filled with negative-G forces, as the cars tumble over each other faster and faster raising towards the ceiling. The cars come within inches of hitting each other! IMO it's a very fun and underrated flatride.

Brain Surge: A Chance Morgan Unicoaster. All that I can say is Wow! This thing is awesome. It has a powered joystick (when I say powered, I mean powered like a fine tuned piece of machinery) that lets you control your own ride; Your can remain upright, flip forwards, backwards, remain up-side down, the prone Superman position, or in a supine position looking at the ceiling. Chance Morgan hit this one outta the park! Of course I was in a crazy combination mode of mostly flipping forwards, backwards, and staying upside down. LOL. It was so good, I gave the ride op the thumbs up. I was blown away. I'll just go on and say it, it's my new best flatride.

Avatar Airbender: This Intamin Halfpipe had a flatride feel even though it's a coaster. Just like I said about VF's Xtreme Swing, it was fun while it lasted; The ride time was so short. The ride had good hanging airtime in combination with the twisting of the gondolas.

SpongeBob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge: Boy, that's a mouthful. A Gerstlauer Eurofighter with the main elements being the vertical lift, and drop, a vertical loop, a horseshoe, and a heartline roll. The top of the lift was fun with that 'going through the ceiling' effect. The ride was a lil' headbangy for such a new coaster similar to Mystery Mine, not anything SLC-like by no means. Gerstlauer should ditch those OTHR's for the Dare Devil Dive-style lapbars. It was a fun coaster ride never-the-less.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shell Shock: Another mouthful, although the 'cool kids' just say 'TMNT'. A Gerstlauer Sky Fly. The theming was very well detailed, from the front of the entrance area, to the weapon loaded shells behind the riders. I always root for a ride to be good esp, a new one, but IMO this one just didn't deliver. It was hard to get any consistent flipping action with the wings due to that weird 'oblique loop' like motion. Now maybe I'm a 'flipping amateur' but IMO you'll be lucky to get two consecutive flips on this ride. The ride time was pretty short too. It seems like the Gerstlauer Sky Roller has better consistent flipping action. I'll have to rate Jimmy Neutron, and Brain Surge over this one.

I'll do the last Mt Olympus TR soon; I'll just go on and break the bad Wisconsin news for me, Hades, Zeus, and even Timber Falls's HellCat were all closed. Man that sucked. :(

* This post was modified at 5/30/12 12:17:11 AM *

Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/24/12 8:27:48 AM
Great TR. I was looking forward to reading this after you posted your Holiday World/ Indiana Beach report. In 2 weeks we are leaving for a mid west trip that includes Valleyfair and Nickelodeon Universe in it, and it will be my first visit to both parks. I have several questions.
1) How is the traffic in the twin cities compared to other major US cities?
2) How long does it take to get to Shakopee from Wisconsin Sells?
3) How long does it take to get from Valleyfair to Nickelodeon Universe?
4) How busy was each place, and how long were the lines at each place?
5) What did you think about the 2 parks in general? Are they well themed? Are they kept up nice?
6) Is Renegade better than Kentucky Rumbler and Thunderhead?
7) Are these 2 parks worth revisiting for you in the future?
Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 5/24/12 10:04:11 AM
frontrow said:

Wisconsin Sells?

I'm sorry, Ken..this typo made me laugh!!!

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by ray_p ray_p Profile at 5/24/12 10:51:31 AM
I'll chime in with the great TR comment as well. One question Overbanked- did you ride the Log Chute at Nick Universe? That was my favorite ride there. I also laughed about the comment you made regarding VF's Corkscrew entrance. I believe I wrote the exact same thing in my TR two years ago! It's not exactly well-marked!

And while I'm no expert, I'll answer a few of Frontrow's questions:
1) How is the traffic in the twin cities compared to other major US cities?

I didn't find it to be bad in my brief time there. Busy at rush hour, not too bad the rest of the time.

2) How long does it take to get to Shakopee from Wisconsin Sells?

I'm going to estimate about 3-3.5 hours. I stayed in Bloomington (right outside the MoA) and that's how long it took me to get to the Dells.

3) How long does it take to get from Valleyfair to Nickelodeon Universe?

Around noon on a Thursday, it took me 20-25 minutes to get from the Mall to Valleyfair. It wasn't bad at all.

I'll let Overbanked answer the rest as I sort of hijacked his spotlight.

Again, another excellent TR.

Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/24/12 11:00:42 AM
Thanks for chiming in Ray. I'm just trying to see what I'm in for. I'll probably do both parks in one day. Just trying to figure out a time table.
Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 5/25/12 2:01:10 AM
frontrow said:

Great TR. I was looking forward to reading this after you posted your Holiday World/ Indiana Beach report. In 2 weeks we are leaving for a mid west trip that includes Valleyfair and Nickelodeon Universe in it, and it will be my first visit to both parks. I have several questions.
1) How is the traffic in the twin cities compared to other major US cities?

I'm sorry for taking so long chime in. I'm still a lil' travel weary. Thanks Ray, you hit the nail on the head, and I'll also add that the Minneapolis area has quite a bit of road construction projects going on, but I don't think that it should be much of an issue getting though.

6) Is Renegade better than Kentucky Rumbler and Thunderhead?

I'll say that it's about even keel with KY Rumbler but I'll give the edge to Thunderhead in the battle of these three GCI's with MF trains.

7) Are these 2 parks worth revisiting for you in the future?

No doubt MOA/Nick Uni is a major US attraction; Maybe if Valleyfair adds another attraction in the future, I can see myself going back there; It's proximity to MOA is definitely a positive; Plus that unfinished business with Steel Venom is definitely a lil'leverage for me to go back there eventually. :)

* This post was modified at 5/25/12 2:14:22 AM *

Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 5/25/12 2:32:18 AM
ray_p said:

I'll chime in with the great TR comment as well. One question Overbanked- did you ride the Log Chute at Nick Universe? That was my favorite ride there.

No, I didn't ride it. I guess that I was taking it for granted, thinking that it was just a typical log flume ride, but indoors. Ray, what was some of the things that makes it stand out from an average log flume? I did see a tad of the dark section overhead from Pepsi Orange Streak. For some reason, I never saw the que to that log flume (but then again, I wasn't looking for it) if I had, I probably would have went on and ridden it.

* This post was modified at 5/25/12 2:33:50 AM *

Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/25/12 6:16:59 AM
Thanks for the info Overbanked. If all the stars align we'll be leaving for the Midwest on June 8th. Those Minnesota parks are on our list along with SF St. Louis, Worlds Of Fun, Adventureland in Iowa, and SF Great American. Just like you we are going to watch the weather. Other parks like Holiday World, Indiana Beach, Beech Bend, Mt. Olympus, and Michigan's Adventure may come into play if the weather is bad at our primary parks.
Re: TR: Valleyfair & Nickelodeon Universe 5/20/12 by ray_p ray_p Profile at 5/25/12 3:03:52 PM
Overbanked said:

Ray, what was some of the things that makes it stand out from an average log flume? I did see a tad of the dark section overhead from Pepsi Orange Streak. For some reason, I never saw the que to that log flume (but then again, I wasn't looking for it) if I had, I probably would have went on and ridden it.

I am a sucker for a well-themed log flume. Disney's Splash Mountain, BGW's Escape From Pompeii, Knott's Timber Mountain and Kings Dominion's old Haunted River all ranked very highly on my list. When I rode the Log Chute at Nick Universe, I immediately added that to my list of faves. There's one scene featuring a very large animatronic Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox which completely surprised me and made the ride totally worthwhile. There were also two drops and some fun little scenes along the route. Definitely a must-see in my opinion.

And if my memory serves me correctly, if you are facing the Falling Star ride, the entrance to the log flume is to your left.