Valleyfair is one of the original 2 Cedar Fair parks that has always been known as a smaller family style park with a couple thrilling attractions sprinkled in, until recently. Matt Gourmet, the president and CEO of Cedar Fair has announced that Valleyfair is one of 3 “growth parks” that will be receiving a massive expansion in hopes of making it a destination park. Now as many Coaster Enthusiasts hope that this expansion will bring the long awaited B&M Invert, the truth of the matter is that Valleyfair has a much more dire need, a modern, fresh, and fun waterpark.
Soak City opened in 1983 as a small water rides section, intended to keep people at Valleyfair for an extra hour or two, and provide a cool way to beat the heat. It opened with just a mere 6 slides, which the park has barely managed to double 34 years later. Then 10 years later, Cedar Fair realized that it was time for Soak City to get their first major expansion, and in 1983, they debuted Ripple Rapids, a 1200ft lazy river, Hurricane Falls, an adrenaline pumping water raft ride, and Splash Station, a much needed zero-depth water play structure and mini-lazy river. The future looked fantastic for Soak City as attendance was a record high, and everyone loved their brand new additions. However, that suddenly all crashed to a screeching halt. Soak City went almost 22 years without a single new slide in the park, leaving almost an entire generation to visit without ever seeing anything new. Then finally, after a multi-decade hiatus, Valleyfair saw their dying waterpark, and invested in Breakers Plunge, 2 almost-vertical speed slides, and Breakers Pipeline, 4 trapdoor free-fall body slides in addition to an extremely tiny kids splash pad.
What Valleyfair really needs to be the world-class park Cedar Fair has destined it to be is a world-class waterpark. Here are a couple major complaints and what Cedar Fair should do about it:
-Complete Lack of Tube Slides. While Soak City is doing just fine on body slides, there is only, no joke, 1 tube slide for the entire park, meaning anyone who wants a fun, yet very smooth attraction, is left with 1 thing to do. Cedar Fair needs to invest in a Slide Tower comprised of 4-5 Tube Slides, similar to Malibu Run at Knott’s Soak City in Buena Park, California
-Disregard for Food Service. As my fellow water loving people out there might know, any sort of water activity is considered a “heavy” sport, meaning light foods should only be eaten before you do them. Valleyfair has almost 0 dining options inside the waterpark, and most of them serve heavily processed food that contains low nutritional value. This leads a lot of people to not feel so good when fighting the rapids in the wavepool or running around the splash pad. Valleyfair needs a restaurant that serves light foods like salads and chickens, as well as another restaurant to combat the long lines of their very minimal selections for places to eat now
-Panic Falls Speed Slides. I’m sorry but these slides are complete and utter garbage. They are a not-as-good clone of Breakers Plunge, look really ugly, and are extremely rough. There have even been several reports of people’s bathing suits being ripped up because of their sandpaper like surface. Valleyfair honestly needs to tear these slides down, and put something much more useful in it’s place, like some plants, or dirt, or a sinkhole
-Lack of High Capacity Attractions. Almost every slide at the park has an extremely low capacity, even by waterpark standards, and that makes the park feel much more crowded than it should, turning away potential paying guests. Something like a Mat Racer, or a Tornado Clone (Like the one from KBF) would be an amazing benefit for capacity. Thunder Rapids at SFFT can do about 500pph at a minimum which is a crazy high number for a waterpark, and that line moves like a breeze.
-Lack of Things to do. In all honesty, the biggest problem with a waterpark this small is it doesn’t keep people there long enough to make extra money on things like drinks, food, merchandise, sunscreen, and other things with insane profit margins that rake in the dough.
Here is what I believe Soak City needs as a whole to make it worth saving, as in my honest opinion, without these things, it would be a much more viable option to sell off the slides, pave it all over, and add in a hearty group of flat rides, a dark ride, and a couple rollercoasters:
-Tube Slides replacing Panic Falls Body Slides
-Something like Bonzai Pipelines at Great Escape replacing Panic Falls Speed Slides
-High Capacity Water Coaster
-Big Family Splash Pad
So that about wraps this lengthy article up on what is needed to fix Valleyfair’s Raging Dumpster Fire of a waterpark. To finish off, thank you so much for reading, and be sure to share this article with friends and family!!