Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Valleyfair Adding New Family Area for 2014 Season

Another interesting (in a good way!) Cedar Fair announcement took place today.  Valleyfair has announced the addition of a brand new section of the park, named Route 76, which hearkens back to the year the park opened (1976) and features rides for the whole family.

Concept art of the new area.
The new section will reside mostly in the former location of the park's go-karts, which are being retired.  Tucked in between Steel Venom, the large helices of Wild Thing, and the brand new Picnic Point area, Route 76 will have a total of four rides.

The current location of Route 76, only the mini-golf is already gone.
The park will move two of its existing attractions, the Scrambler and the Tilt-a-Whirl, into Route 76 from their current locations in the park.  Both rides will feature new theming and LED lighting in their new homes.  When Dinosaurs Alive! was added to the park they displaced the Antique Autos, and those will also return next year with new Cadillac styled cars on a brand new course.

A brand new ride will also be added to Route 76, and that's the Northern Lights.  Being dubbed by the park as a family coaster, the ride appears to be a Zamperla Disk'O Coaster - which Cedar Point will also receive next year.  The ride will take a car spinning along 300 feet of track up to a maximum height of 42 feet.  At night the ride will be aglow with a mix of blue, green, and purple colors that are reminiscent of the real Northern Lights.

The addition of Route 76 to Valleyfair is another great example of the new placemaking direction that Cedar Fair is headed in.  I can't say how happy I am that these types of developments are being added to the parks - the Boardwalk at Knott's turned out great and now 2014 will see Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, and Valleyfair get their turn.  I can only hope this direction continues and spreads to the other parks!