How Will Visiting Valleyfair Be Different In 2021 as it Reopens with COVID Restrictions?
If you missed taking a ride on Wild Thing or hanging out in Soak City last year, there's some good news: They're going to be reopening this year after being closed all of the 2020 season due to the pandemic.
They shared earlier this year that they would be opening in the later part of May, noting that there would be some changes to the experience to make it safe for employees and visitors. As we draw closer to the opening date, here are the things to know if you're planning a trip to Shakopee to visit the amusement park this year.
When is Valleyfair opening for the season in 2021?
Different aspects of the park will open at different times, which isn't necessarily a COVID-19 thing, but definitely something to know.
- The park itself will open on Saturday, May 22. You'll be able to hit the rides and do much of what you enjoy doing at Valleyfair both May 22 and May 23 before they close again for the week. They'll open once again the following weekend, and will shift into a modified summer schedule in June. More on that later.
- Soak City Waterpark will open the following weekend, on Saturday, May 29 - which is Memorial Day Weekend. It will be closed after Monday, May 31 until June 10, when it will be open during the park's modified summer schedule for the season. More on that later.
- Valleyfair's "Grand Carnivale", which was postponed last year, will be happening every day from July 24 through August 8. They bill this as the amusement park's "largest ever event", which will feature decorated floats, street performers, festive food, and more.
What are Valleyfair's modified hours for the 2021 season?
The park will maintain different hours during the pandemic. Valleyfair will be closed most Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays through the summer. After opening for May 22-23 and May 29-31, it will open for the season on a modified schedule starting Thursday, June 10.
The amusement park will be open most Thursdays-Sundays (with some notable exceptions - see their full calendar here) on the following modified schedule:
- Thursdays: 11 am - 7 pm
- Fridays: 11 am - 8 pm
- Saturdays: 10 am - 10 pm
- Sundays: 10 am - 8 pm
Soak City will mirror dais of operation, opening for Memorial Day Weekend and then for the season on June 10. While there are some exceptions (see the full calendar here). here is the schedule for the water park:
- Thursdays: 12 pm - 6 pm
- Fridays: 12 pm - 9 pm
- Saturdays: 11 am - 9 pm
- Sundays: 11 am - 7 pm
What are the other pandemic-related policies for 2021 at Valleyfair?
In some information provided via a release to the Pioneer Press, some key details were highlighted:
- Reservations will need to be made to attend the park as a means to maintain capacity.
- Face coverings will be required on all rides/attractions except for water attractions. You'll probably want to make sure your face covering fits well to make sure it doesn't blow off on some of the more adventurous rides.
- Wait lines will be marked for social distancing, and surfaces like seats, armrests, restraints, and headrests will be sanitized frequently.
- The Valleyfair app is being recommended to visitors as a means to digitally store tickets or season passes, determine ride wait times, see entertainment show times, and navigate around the park.
What if you bought a 2020 season pass?
Good news! It can be used for the 2021 season. In the information shared with the Pioneer Press, park management said refunds for 2020 season pass holders are an option (see here if you have a season pass and want a refund), those that keep their 2020 pass for the 2021 season will also get an additional $35 "loyalty reward"