by Andrew Rybarczyk
This week much has been discussed about the new trademark filing, Valravn for Cedar fair. It has led to a fury of discussion and debate about what the name might be used for if anything at all. First, let’s look at what a “valravn” actually is. The term originates from Danish folklore and is described as a raven that scours a battlefield consuming the bodies of fallen knights and soldiers. Another cool aspect of the mythology is that a valravn can actually assume the form of a knight after consuming the heart of a child. Pretty graphic right? It can also take other forms such as a half wolf creature. Overall, I think it’s a pretty cool name, but what is it going to be used for? I’ve compiled a list of possibilities, some far-fetched, some a more of a possibility. So let’s take a look at what this might be
Cedar Fair over the last few years has been transforming the front gates of its parks. Cedar Point was first with the amazing GateKeeper flyover. This year, it was Fury 325 with the dive under the new entrance. Valravn could do this for another park but would probably have to be unique. We know that a dive coaster is rumored for Cedar Point, but what if it’s not for Cedar Point but rather its neighbor to the north, Canada’s Wonderland? A dive coaster into the center of the plaza would be a spectacle for sure. Now this by itself might not be a longshot, but what if last year’s hot rumor of Centurion actually comes true? What if Canada’s Wonderland not only gets one coaster but two? A Centurion vs Valravn dueling coaster that interacts would really up the ante for a park that has a lot of coasters but only a few really top notch coasters. A new wing coaster and a new dive coaster with interactive elements could make Canada’s Wonderland the top park in North America.
Dark rides are all the rage at Cedar Fair with Matt Ouimet stating that all the parks would be getting a dark ride sometime in the future. Every one of the dark rides thus far have a central enemy such as the Dragon at Wonder Mountain or the steampunk octopus in Voyage to the Iron Reef. The valravn described in mythology fits this description as a pretty cool baddy. The question is what park might it fit in? My first thoughts go to Kings Island or Kings Dominion. Drawing of the medieval feel of the story could fit with the parks name. Yes, I know it’s a bit of a stretch but is it any more of stretch than Voyage to the Iron Reef? A medieval theme for a dark ride could be a really fun topic to explore.
Even though most people are focusing on the possibility of a coaster, it could also be used for haunt. This is less likely due to the language of the filed trademark that states for amusement rides, but also for various merchandise. The valravn and battlefield theme could work as a pretty cool haunt. Imagine an ancient warzone with raven screeches and special effect attacks. You could also pull in the various incarnations of the valravn including the knight and wolf as the haunt progresses.
The easiest answer is that Valravn will be connected to the oft rumored Cedar Point dive coaster. The imagery created by the valravn diving to the battlefield to eat the bodies of the fallen is perfect for a B&M dive coaster. The minute I heard the name and read what it was, Sheikra at Busch Gardens Tampa immediately came to mind. If placed at Cedar Point, Valravn would fit nicely with not only the area but the recent additions. Two years ago, GateKeeper introduced the character of the guardian that has been thoroughly promoted and merchandised. Rougarou this year introduced another new mythical character into the Cedar Point lineup. Valravn would continue this trend. The area also provides an interesting situation as well with the coaster being placed right next to the old bird, Raptor. One would assume that the entrance to the new dive coaster would be located right next to the iconic Cobra Roll of Raptor. In addition, if painted the right color, Valravn and Raptor could be a great complement to each other. A black and purple color scheme would be striking next to the green Raptor. Add in a few grave stones or battlefield landscapes and you could have a very awesome experience. On top of that, you could even add the old Fear Faire haunt to travel under Valravn and have theming that can be kept up all year and heavily utilized during the haunt season. I was skeptical at first of the idea of a dive coaster but if themed correctly it could be a real hit for the park.
So those are my major ideas of what Valravn could be. Obviously its pure speculation at this point and there could be a number of different other possibilities. In fact, it might just be a red herring that is never acted upon by anyone. Overall, I think Valravn is a pretty cool name with a backstory that could lead to some pretty interesting concepts being integrated. Hopefully, when we finally find out what Valravn is, it’s just as good if not better than what we are currently envisioning.