If you were planning on making the trek out to Valleyfair this summer for a ride on Excalibur or Power Tower, we regret to inform you that your dream is dead.
Yesterday afternoon, the Shakopee amusement park showed us that they cared, announcing that they are officially calling off their 2020 season due to safety concerns.
“Although we have done our due diligence in developing a comprehensive safety plan in accordance with industry and public health standards, the continued uncertainty in our region surrounding COVID-19, as well as the diminishing number of calendar days left in the 2020 season, has brought us to the difficult decision to keep the park closed for the rest of the year,” the release states.
Annual pass holders and folks with 2020 tickets can sort things out through the FAQ section of their website.
Many amusement parks have struggled to figure out how to navigate the pandemic. Most major players in the industry -- Disney, Six Flags, Cedar Point, Hersheypark -- have either temporarily closed or delayed opening before returning with limited admission, shorter hours, and mask requirements.
This post from Disney is really magical:
As we look towards reopening our domestic parks and resorts, the well-being of our guests and cast members remains a top priority. Learn about Disney Parks’ commitment to health and safety measures on the @DisneyParks Blog: https://t.co/pniCSviXOb pic.twitter.com/rgKtBUr1OK— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) July 7, 2020
Locally, people comfortable with riding rides during a plague outbreak can visit Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, as it reopens August 10 after closing for five months.
As most festivals and major concerts have either canceled or moved online, Valleyfair neighbor the Minnesota Renaissance Festival regularly proclaims on its Facebook page that it is indeed still on this summer, though they have moved the event back (Sept. 5-Oct. 4) and plan to limit attendance to 250 at a time. (There were a lot of plagues during that era, as humans had no concept of sanitation or how diseases spread. So maybe they’re going for some historical accuracy here?)
"It is our belief and hope that the amount of people testing positive, the severity of the cases, and the advancements in treatment will trend in the correct direction in Minnesota and that Governor Walz will issue a new Executive Order resulting in significantly more people being permitted to attend outdoor events in Minnesota," states the organization in a hopeful Facebook post from late July.
As for Valleyfair, it plans to return in 2021 with a Charles Schulz celebration, new restrooms, and a lot of corn. That includes Corn Feast, an event featuring 30,000 pounds of free corn on the cob and corn eating competitions, plus the new Corn Cart building, “where guests can watch corn roasting and popping through giant glass windows.”