Peanuts and Rollercoasters

August 6th, 2010 | Posted in News

I’ve operated a caricature concession business at the ValleyFair! amusement park in Shakopee, MN since 1991, and one thing that park has been missing is a real “character brand”… Disney of course has Mickey Mouse and co., Six Flags has the Warner Bros. cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as well as the DC Comics superheroes, Universal has the Hanna Barbera characters like Yogi Bear as well as Universal movie characters, a deal for comic strip characters, the Marvel Superheroes and now Harry Potter.

Valleyfair had the Berenstein Bears and a couple of home grown characters called Colonel Ohmpa-pa and Chocolate Moose… no doubt the sales on Colonel Ohmpa-pa merchandise left a little something to be desired. The Berenstein Bears had a reasonable recognition level but nobody got real excited about seeing Papa Bear and company.

Well those days are over. Today Valleyfair announced the 2011 opening of “Planet Snoopy”, a 9 acre ‘Peanuts” themed area that will be include 6 new rides and 7 “rebranded” rides as well as lots of Snoopy and gang themed shops, food stands and decor. One of my caricature booths is located smack in the middle of this area, so we will be getting a facelift and probably seeing our quotient of drawings of kids skyrocket.

Having drawn caricatures in the old “Camp Snoopy” that is now “Nickelodeon Universe” in the Mall of America, I know that this will be pretty well received, especially around here. People weren’t too happy when the Mall of Amercia’s theme park lost the Peanuts licensing. Sparky was from St. Paul and the people of this state are pretty proud of him being a native Minnesotan. It’s fitting that these characters are going to be represented in a local theme park. Maybe Jeannie Schulz and some representatives from Peanuts will be on hand to see “Planet Snoopy” open up next spring.

Read the official press release here.


  1. Trevour says:

    That’s funny because I recently learned that Nick Universe was just turned into a Planet Snoopy this season at Kings Island in Ohio (which I visit nearly every summer with my wife’s family – native Ohioans). Before Nick it was Hanna-Barbera Land (the best franchise, character-wise, in my opinion!!). I guess that’s what we get when Cedar Fair buys out the Paramount parks.

    The Berenstain attaction at Valleyfair was rather dull. It’s about time we got some Grade A characters ’round these parts again! I know the Peanuts franchise has been a part of Cedar Fair’s locations for a long time, but it really make the most sense to have Snoopy and the gang return to Minnesota. This should be a perfect fit for Valleyfair!

  2. Stan says:

    2001 opening? or 2010……lol

  3. Mark Engblom says:

    Great news! It was such a shame when Camp Snoopy (and its focus on the Peanuts) went away…so it’s great that Schultz’s creations will be celebrated at another of Minnesota’s top-notch entertainment destinations. I’ll have to go check it out, even though I no longer have the “cover” that little kids provide for overgrown kids like me.

  4. Nate says:

    Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio (by the way, as a native Ohio person, AWESOME place) has always had a Snoopy area (as of 2000, or somewhere around there). I forget all the details, but they still use Snoopy and other Peanuts gang in their advertising. Not too sure if there are rides and stuff though.

    • Tom says:

      Cedar Fair is the company that owns Valleyfair as well as several other theme parks like Cedar Point. In 1997 Cedar Fair purchased the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park company, which held the license for “Peanuts” theme park branding. At the time Knott’s had two amusement parks, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA and Knott’s Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America. Camp Snoopy was a unique arrangement, however. Ordinarily a company both runs AND owns a park, but in Camp Snoopy’s case the actual park was owned by the Mall of America owner’s group (MOA Entertainment Co. LLC) and Knott’s was under contract to operate and manage the park. Therefore Cedar Fair suddenly found themselves running Valleyfair’s local rival theme park in Camp Snoopy. By acquiring Knott’s Cedar Fair now owned the Peanuts license for amusement park branding. They brought Peanuts to all their parks except Valleyfair because of Camp Snoopy.

      In 2006 the MOA group decided they could run the park themselves and need not pay Cedar Fair to do it. There was a lot more to it than that, but in the end Cedar Fair left and they took the Peanuts license with them. Camp Snoopy became the Park at MOA for a few years until being rebranded Nickelodeon Universe.

      Now Peanuts is coming to Valleyfair… finally. I hope Planet Snoopy does Charlie Brown and the gang justice.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: