Specific Type: Custom Looping Coaster
It was in 1978, only two years after the parks opening, that Valleyfair was acquired by the same company that owned Cedar Point, the Cedar Fair Limited Partnership. The park wanted to increase its capital investment and expand, and saw Cedar Fair’s ownership as a gateway for this. The park opened with 20 rides on 26 acres of land, including two roller coasters: the wooden High Roller, and the steel kiddie coaster, Mild Thing. The year after Cedar Fair took over ownership, the park received its third coaster, Rails, a small steel coaster that previously operated as Wild Cat at Cedar Point. But it wasn’t until the following year, in 1980, that the park would receive its first major steel coaster, Corkscrew.
Perhaps one of the most picturesque and photogenic corkscrew coasters, the ride is situated over and around a small, rock-lined lake near the center of the park. The Corkscrew at Valleyfair was designed and built by Arrow Dynamics, following Cedar Fair’s request to model the coaster to be similar in layout to Corkscrew at its flagship park, Cedar Point.
The ride starts out with a right-hand turnaround to line the train up with the lift hill. The train the slowly climbs up to a peak height of 85 feet before dropping down just feet above the lake, reaching a top speed of 50 mph. The train then rises and pulls through a tight vertical loop, before traversing a small hill, a rarity on older Arrow corkscrew coasters. Unlike its sister at Cedar Point, however, the hill is much lower and less-parabolic. The train then rises up again, then banks and curves to the right, swooping down over the footpaths below. Exiting the turn with a heavy banking, the train then traverses a double corkscrew, with the second taking place entirely over the lake. Rising out of the second corkscrew, the train banks back to the right again, drops to the ground, and speeds up a 360-degree helix before hitting the final brake run.
Until the year 1996, when Valleyfair opened up the Wild Thing, Corkscrew was the only all-steel outdoor roller coaster in the entire state of Minnesota. The only other steel coasters at the time existed at indoor parks, such as the Mall of America. Corkscrew still stands as the only park at Valleyfair with inversions.
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