Upper Midwest/Plains State Tour--Suggestions?

Monday, July 3, 2006 3:37 PM
I am designing a 4-day junket/mapcap coaster spree that will begin in Shakopee @ Valleyfair in Minnesota and am trying to figure out what parks to take in around Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, before finally heading back East to Cincinnati.

The catalyst for this trip is the Coaster Craze Day (Friday, July 28, 2006).

Is Adventureland a good park? What about Arnolds Park in Iowa? Also, need Coasterbuzzer feedback on the Mall of America coasters and the small park called Como Town.

Finally, can Arnolds and Adventureland BOTH be done on the same day?

Any adventurous parties wish to join, departing Thursday July 27 and returning Monday, July 31, 2006? Did I mention that I was DRIVING all of this?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Happy Coastering!

Barry J.

Monday, July 3, 2006 3:53 PM
Adventureland is a great park. You wouldn't necessarily need a whole day there, but it's one of my favorite small parks in the midwest. I've never been to Arnolds, but I know there's not much there. I've heard good things about the Legend, though. I think you could feasably do Arnolds and Adventureland in the same day, but you're not really going to get your money's worth at either park.

What kind of advice do you need for the Mall of America? If you're just going for the coasters you could really just run in and run out, but you'd be missing a lot of what this place has to offer. There's nothing at Como Town unless you're a credit whore or into going to the (free) zoo.

Don't miss the Dells if you haven't been, since it sounds like you'll be driving right through on your way to the Twin Cities.

What/where is Coaster Craze Day?


Monday, July 3, 2006 3:53 PM
Is the Dells part of your itinerary? Should be if you're looking at Wisconsin. If you're not avoiding corporate parks, SFGAm is along your route. Also, I believe Indiana Beach would be roughly along your route. You could try and swing a Holiday World, but that's a good 3-4 hour swing west of Cincy. I've been doing a lot of planning in the same general area this summer, but I'm coming from Pittsburgh for what that's worth. Hope this helps.
Monday, July 3, 2006 3:55 PM
Adventureland is a medium sized park, but I had a blast there! Arnold's Park is very much worth visiting if you're a history buff, make sure you do the funhouse on top of 'The Legend's' station. Back in 2002, I did Adventureland early in the morning and made the 3-4 hour trek up to Arnold's park for the evening. It all depends on how much you want to experience the park, we just did the coasters at Adventureland and then the Ferris Wheel, then left.

Mall of America I went to back in 02 the day after doing Arnold's Park and even did Valleyfair since it is about 45 mins away. I haven't ridden the new ride, but I remember the rides being reasonably priced.

I'm poor, I'm a new home-owner, new husband and new parent, so I wouldn't be able to do a trip like that. Have fun!

~Rob Willi

Monday, July 3, 2006 4:00 PM
You should be able to make it from Valleyfair to Mall of America in twenty minutes or so as long as traffic isn't horrendous (and Twin Cities traffic usually isn't).


Monday, July 3, 2006 4:12 PM
IMHO skipping Arnolds would be a crime! A few hours would be enough to see the unique [Tilt House, Mirror Maze] and the kitchy [Bug House] as well as a few flats and the train ride and still marathon on the excellent Legend.
Monday, July 3, 2006 4:22 PM
Coasterdude and everybody thus far!!

Thanks for the great input. Excellent advice, all.

Coaster Craze '06 is a park-sponsored event, much in the same vein as CoasterMania @ CP and an event I attended earlier this year at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City called Coaster Madness (I think, I get all of these Coaster "Insane" Event Titles confused). I'm not sure how many years they have had it, maybe 3 or 4, but I still have NEVER been to that little section of the country up there and I need to get it marked off my list.

And, as for the Dells, yes, I've been there and LOVE 'EM. Am organizing another road trip to go there for the ACE events in mid-August.

Whew! Mucho driving lies ahead. . .


Monday, July 3, 2006 4:27 PM
I agree, Mamoosh; I am soooooooooooo looking forward to Arnold's Park; it has my name all over it. THAT is the kind of classic kitsch American Amusement Park I just love!

And I just know I'll love THE LEGEND. . .though I have always been very fond of ANOTHER particular coaster with the same name in Southern Indiana. . .


Monday, July 3, 2006 4:30 PM
BJW - if you plan to do Adventureland and Arnolds in one day I'd suggest ending the night at AP if park hours permit. 7p-10p should be plenty of time for Arnolds and you'll enjoy your night rides on the "other" Legend.
Monday, July 3, 2006 4:56 PM
Mamoosh--that is an excellent suggestion. I would LOVE night rides on the "other" Legend.

Unfortunately, the way it's mapping out, Arnold's is the farthest point west for the junket and I'll probably have to do AP in the earlier part of the day and Adventureland in the second half of the day. But, with your suggestion firmly in mind, I may use the early part of that day for sleep, then go to Arnold's in the afternoon to be positioned for the evening rides. Then, drive to Des Moines for Adventureland early the next day. I guess I need to see how late Adventureland is open as well.

Thanks for the excellent advice, as always, M.


Wednesday, July 5, 2006 11:54 PM
Arnold's would have to be done in the morning, and Adventureland in the afternoon. It is a great park. You'll like your ride on both the Legend and the Tornado. You've got to try a spin on Adventureland's Mixer if it's open. I've never seen another ride like it. It was made by Chance back in the day.

Either way, you're bound to have fun.

Thursday, July 6, 2006 12:35 AM
Adventureland's Mixer is a Zamperla product. A few parks bought them when they first came out (Old Town and Knoebels to name a couple) and sold them almost as quickly.

It's worth a ride just so you, too, can wonder what the hell Zamperla was thinking. :)


Thursday, July 6, 2006 12:50 AM
The Mixer is no more. Adventureland replaced it with the new for 2006 Splash Over (Top Spin style ride with fountains).

As great as it would be to ride Arnolds' Legend at night, it's already fantastic durring the day. I would highly recommend doing Adventureland at night. Lots of colored lights and the Tornado and Outlaw run a little better. Plus it's MUCH easier to find an affordable place to stay near Advenuteland than it is near Arnolds Park. If time permits, I would do Valleyfair and Arnolds in the same day, ending with Arnolds. Then do Adventureland the next day, but make sure you're there 'til close. It is about a 4-hour drive between Arnolds and Adventureland.

Thursday, July 6, 2006 1:18 AM
Oh, sure...because you're a local and I live in Los Angeles suddenly you're the expert? ;)
Thursday, July 6, 2006 1:28 AM
Well, ya know.... ;)

Oh yeah, as an alternative route if you wanna be a credit whore, go from Arnolds to Omaha for the kiddie credit, then on to Des Moines. It's not that much more driving, and it will break up the drive a bit, plus the credit (which I don't even have).

Thursday, July 6, 2006 8:30 AM

Mamoosh said:
Oh, sure...because you're a local and I live in Los Angeles suddenly you're the expert?

I got your back AV, hehe.

Well also being from the same town as AV it is about a 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive from Arnolds to Adventureland because there really isn't an easy way to get from one to the other.

With the problems AP has had lately (trying to save the park), you don't want to miss out on it. I finally made it there last year and I have lived in Iowa for 25 years. It is a small park but very fun. They also have a pay per ride (like Beech Bend) or you can get a wrist band.


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