Monday, December 14, 2015

Aerial Antics: Valleyfair's Recent Changes + Additions

Valleyfair has completed two recent expansions that have dramatically changed sections of the park, which means we can do some fun aerial before-and-afters!

This section of Valleyfair received much attention in the form of a new themed area and a large catering facility.  The Eastern strip of the park used to be home to go-karts, a Skycoaster and mini-golf, mixed together as Challenge Park.

In 2003 Steel Venom was added along the edge of the parking lot, adding an attraction that wasn't pay-extra to the area.  However, the section was a bit awkward in its presentation, isolated from the main park and mostly filled with additional charge rides.

The mini-golf was replaced in 2013 when Picnic Point, a very modern and upgraded catering facility, opened.  That can been seen with the blue/purple roofs in the lower right of this image.  The following year in 2014 the all new Route 76 debuted, which meant the removal of the go-karts for a scenic new antique auto ride.

Two other flat rides were moved from elsewhere in the park to fill Route 76, and a brand new family spinning 'coaster' ride, Northern Lights, was also added.  These changes really brought the area to life and use the space so much better.

Valleyfair's water park, Soak City, was the home of some big changes for the 2015 season.  Above is the before look at a swath of the area worked on.  The park's wave pool, Breakers Bay, was added in 2009 when the water area became known as Soak City.  The wave pool replaced the park's aging log flume.  The rest of the water park is located to the left of this image, so the wave pool was fairly isolated.

Here is the after look at the water park, which increased in overall size for 2015.  In the upper right is the brightly colored slide tower containing Breakers Pipeline and Breakers Plunge.  It replaced a couple buildings along with some midway and also required Hydroblaster, a wet/dry slide to be removed.

In the middle top of the image you can see a new children's area, Barefoot Beach, which replaced the old Imax theater.  There was enough room leftover for a sand volleyball court to go in next to it.  Below that are expanded changing rooms and some new food and retail stands.

With Valleyfair said to be marked for further expansion in the coming years, it looks like we will have several more before and after images to ponder!  Aerial images from Bing and Google.