Reporting John Lauritsen
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) – Power went out at the Valleyfair amusement park just after 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, leaving riders stuck on rides, such as the Ferris wheel.
The outage was deemed equipment failure and was restored later Tuesday evening. While Valleyfair stayed closed Tuesday night, it’ll reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Valleyfair’s Todd Larkin said as many people as possible were evacuated and that no injuries have been reported.
When Deja Schattard got on the Wild Thing this afternoon, she expected a few fast and furious minutes on the roller coaster. What she got instead was a slow, steady roll and then a stop — near the very top of the Wild Thing.
“It was slowly going down and then it just came to a stop,” she said. “And I was thinking, ‘Did they add something into the ride? What’s going on?’ We waited 10 to 15 minutes and they finally were telling us what’s going on. We got to come down, but it was so scary.”
Schattard and other riders were escorted down the steps next to the roller coaster to safety.
Rachel Bolger had a completely different experience. Bolger, her parents, and her daughter got stuck a third of the way up the Ferris wheel.
“We were up there for 45 minutes, just hanging out,” she said. “I took a nap, and Dad took a nap.”
They slept while Valleyfair and Xcel Energy tried to figure out what caused the power to go out, and the rides to stop.
Park employees manually turned the Ferris wheel one car at a time so everybody could get off. Waiting at the end were workers with water and stuffed animals.
Valleyfair also gave Rachel and her family free Cinnabon for their troubles.
“I’m glad I wasn’t stuck on something upside down,” Bolger said. “Or something with really bad music on it — of all things to get stuck on, the gondola was pretty all right.”
Rachel and her family were also given the option of a full refund, or comp tickets to a free day at Valleyfair. They chose the latter.