Big Thrill Factory – Minnetonka, MN

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Played September 26, 2015

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

When we were invited to the birthday gathering for my niece out in the western metro suburbs of Minneapolis, we didn’t expect to find a lovely mini golf course. We started this blog to document all of the small hidden gem courses we had been playing but found little information on in advance. In fact, there are quite a few courses we have played that we had no idea existed until we drove past them on road trips in our own state. The Big Thrill Factory was definitely not on our radar when we got the party invite but we were curious to see they had a mini golf course along with a bowling alley, arcade and laser tag. We were surprised to find out later that it had been open since at least 2013. The course was more than a pleasant surprise, it was a diamond in the rough!

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Rating:

Hole-in-one – I don’t know if the Pink Putter will fully agree with my final rating but I love this course. The bright, bold solid colors and a few of the unique obstacles made it stand out. A number of the holes are short and straight forward but everything looks superb. My bias towards colorful attire may be elevating this rating slightly but this is a well above average course in design and play. Some of the colors and design remind me of 80’s Nintendo games but it doesn’t feel dated or like a rehash. The most difficult holes on the course were not long but used well-placed obstacles and contours to challenge above average putters like my brother. The course is not located in a prominent area and is probably not considered the main attraction to the organization, but I’d play this course anytime.

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Self-service putters and balls!
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Overview from the start of the course
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View from the halfway point of the course.
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Hole 1 – Huge factory smokestacks
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Hole 2 – Deceptively challenging
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Nieces are more interested in exploring the landscape than playing
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Conveyor belt takes you over to the hole
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The crank activates the brushes that can block your way to the cup
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Kids can’t resist poking around in all the moving parts
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Each hole has a didactic outlining the path to the cup
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Makes me nostalgic for the first Super Mario Bros.

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Short but colorful
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Rainbow colored bolts sticking with the exploded color factory theme
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2nd half of the course has another conveyor belt that utilizes raised angles and gravity. Unfortunately, Gary couldn’t keep the ball on the path.
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Mechanized cog from the factory serves as windmill
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Archimedes screw leads the ball to the end of the course. See the video above to see this amazing plinko / pachinko game.
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KIDS LOVE BALLOONS…
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and blowing out the candles

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Big Thrill Factory Website

Pros:

Smart and creative game play
Colorful and immersive
Analog and motorized obstacles matching the theme of the course
Detailed didactics for each hole featuring the layout and design
Fun and challenging for kids and adults

Cons:

A few holes were somewhat simple and short in length

Nerdy Notes:

  • 18 Holes, Par 41
  • $7/28 points (using a Big Thrill Factory card). Included in some of the package deals.
  • Colored rubber covered putters. Ability to select ball color via machine.
  • Rules: 5 stroke max. Ball closest to cup putts first. No more than 4 in a group.
  • Flags in the holes.
  • Attractions include food, bowling, laser tag, black light rope courses, Bump N’ Spin Cars, arcade, Kid’s Fun Factory, Time Challenge, X-Rider Motion Theater, trampolines, Spider Climb and Giant Slide and climbing wall
  • Build by Cost of Wisconsin (Jackson, WI) using Micro Golf Contoured Greens

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