Reporting Natalie Nyhus
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) – This spring, the popular Shakopee amusement park Valleyfair got a fresh paint job, new grounds and a new star: Snoopy.
The iconic Peanuts cartoon character left the Mall of America’s Knott’s Camp Snoopy in 2007, but now he’s back and changing up the game at Valleyfair.
“Planet Snoopy is really the largest renovation that we’ve done in a number of years, so it gets people excited about coming to Valleyfair,” said director of marketing Robin Stinnett. “It gets people excited about something new and fun and different to do this summer.”
The park underwent $9 million in renovations. There are 17 rides at Planet Snoopy, six of which are brand new, like the Cosmic Coaster.
Planet Snoopy’s theme is the old “Happiness is…” line that Minnesota native cartoonist Charles Schulz introduced in the 1950s when he created the “Peanuts” comic strip.
“All throughout the park you’ll see signage that says, ‘Happiness is a day at Planet Snoopy’ or ‘Happiness is spending time with the beagle.’ So it’s really part of our theming all throughout Planet Snoopy,” said Stinnett.
The park has something for every generation, from ‘coasters to candy. Plus Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown and Linus will wander the park with fairgoers daily, only to break for their noon “hoedown.”
“Charlie Brown’s Hoe Down is a live show that goes on in our Peanut Showplace. It includes JT, which is MCing throughout the show, where kids can sing along with Charlie, Lucy and Linus,” said Stinnett. “So it’s a very interactive fun stage show for kids.”
Planet Snoopy is included with the cost of admission, so you can check out the other 75 rides and attractions on site for one price. There are several different admission plans.
So far, Plane Snoopy is getting rave reviews, proving happiness really is a warm puppy.
“It just kind of brought back the memories of when we were little. I grew up with it,” said Alexis Hoghaug, a senior at Minnetonka High School.
“I think everyone loves Snoopy,” said Stinnett. “It’s funny you’ll see when he came on the walkway today people are drawn to him. They want to give him hugs, they want to give him high-fives, so he’s really just the lovable beagle that everyone wants to give a hug and be a part of.”
Coming up on June 4, Valleyfair is launching their weekly character breakfast. People can have breakfast with all of the Peanuts characters every Saturday morning at 9.