Valleyfairadise Lost: 10 things you realize at Valleyfair when you’re old enough for existential dread

by Sophia Vilensky

As Valleyfair celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, I’ve come to realize that the only thing that’s changed … is me.


  1. The person manning the Wild Thing (ie. the person in charge of my life) is a friend from high school’s much younger brother.


  1. I’ve recently considered buying myself some bermuda shorts like the workers wear. They feel very Comme des Garçons.


  1. While I have grown to stop hoping that I’ll find a dreamboat in the Power Tower line, the prospect of rollercoaster romance is still prominent in the park. Matching “She’s mine”/”I’m his” T-shirts are the new Phitens.


  1. A white chocolate mocha from the Caribou kiosk tastes a lot sweeter after stumbling off of the Xtreme Swing than it did when I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee. Sweeter as in way too much syrup. Gross.


  1. The Ben and Jerry’s kiosk is long gone and only bittersweet memories remain of sharing a scoop of Chocolate Fudge Brownie with my BFFs. Things will never be the same — some of us don’t eat gluten anymore.


  1. The idea of paying someone to guess my age isn’t as enticing as when I was an abnormally tall ten year old.

  2. The best ride is Enterprise; all of the other ones make me dizzy. Also, I’ve become my mother.


  1. When you ask the person in charge of the water ride if you’ll get wet and he says, “Maybe!!!!” he actually means “Yes, you’ll get wet. Have fun walking around with soaked linen pants the rest of the day. Idiot.”


  1. There’s no use hiding your shoes under someone’s bag to prevent theft when you go on a ride. No one cares about your Old Navy flip flops.


  1. The souvenir cups haven’t lost their allure.


For those who spend their lives longing to be taller than 48 inches — cherish your youth. Someday Mad Mouse will hurt your neck.