Updated: May 06, 2021 06:59 PM
Created: May 06, 2021 04:13 PM
One of Minnesota's most popular summertime attractions is getting ready to welcome back visitors for the first time since 2019.
Valleyfair in Shakopee is reopening on May 22. The last time the park was open was for ValleyScare in October 2019. Valleyfair Communications Manager Kelsey Megard says the entire staff misses the typical sounds of the park.
"I haven't heard it in so long," she said. "It'll be music to my ears."
For the last year and a half, it's been quiet.
"It was just kind of a surreal experience," said Raul Rehnborg, Valleyfair vice president and general manager.
Rehnborg says they were able to take advantage of the extra time last year with no guests.
"We really had this once-in-a-generation opportunity to do a lot of offseason projects during the season that we would not normally be able to do," Rehnborg said.
Those projects include new food options, renovated bathrooms and a new cultural festival in July called Grand Carnival.
"It's going to be bigger than anything we've ever done here at Valleyfair," Rehnborg said.
But when guests return, they should be prepared for some changes.
"We're really excited to welcome guests back but the environment when we first open is going to look a little different," Megard said.
Megard says the first major difference is guests will have to reserve tickets ahead of time. Plus they have capacity limits, a brief health assessment when guests arrive, social distancing and mask requirements.
"I can assure you that the masks do stay on and they do not hinder the experience at all," Megard said.
Plus, there will be lots of sanitizing.
"Our park services team is going to be so busy this season," Megard said. "It won't be in between each ride but it will be multiple times throughout the day."
Valleyfair staff say as state guidelines change with COVID-19, they will adjust their restrictions for guests.
"As COVID restrictions become loosened, it will become closer and closer to what a normal theme park experience would be," Rehnborg said.
Those who had tickets or season passes for the 2020 season are able to use them for the 2021 season. For more information on COVID-19 guidelines at the park, or to reserve your tickets, click here.
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