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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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Ok, I just have to say that me and my friend went to CGA when we went to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and I must say that it was the lamest park I have ever been to. The coasters sucked! The only decent, and I do mean decent, thing they had was Flight Deck and even that was lackluster compared to its sister at Carowinds. The one redeeming quality was that it had a lot of good flat rides (inverted swinging ship, flyers, delerium, survivor, drop zone, etc.) Grizzly was the most boring coaster I have ever been on. Vertigo is a Vekoma so go figure. Demon was terribley painful! Vortex was lackluster as well. They really need to look into adding some more rides and make them good! If Carowinds and CGA are any indication of what Cedar Fair is doing then they better step up their game.

 

Ok, first off, it's Invertigo, not Vertigo. Second, just like mentioned, it's only the second full year that Cedar Fair has control. A lot more damage was done when Paramount was there. True they don't have the most amazing roller coasters ever, but it is still a really fun park. And you also have to realize that there is not much room left for park expansion. They are completely landlocked. Just give CF a little longer and CGA will definitely be better .

 

Totally agree with you, well said. I don't think that is the lamest park he has ever been to, for some reason. Like stated, give CF time to repair the Paramount damage and be patient, this park will be better. You actually can already see some positive things happening but it sounds like this person went to the park with a negative attitude and only saw the bad, I don't know but there is something strange about that post.

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CGA is a great park. You just have to go there knowing there's not going to be a any record breaking rides, but just an overall great amusement park atmosphere. Obviously Cedar Fair sees something in the park because it has the second longest operating season this year, first being Knott's. And they announced what's coming to the park in 2009, which parks rarely ever do. And just this past Saturday, the park was absolutely packed! The entire overflow for Vortex was filled, Flight Deck's line was spilling out into the midway, and some of the flats that never see lines, saw big ones that day. Paramounts royally screwed CGA over, and now Cedar Fair has to pick up the pieces. I can bet anyone that if Paramounts was still the owner, The Orbit would be gone, park hours would be shorter, and they still wouldn't want a new coaster.

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Excuse me Mr. tmcdllr or whatever your name is, No I did not go to the park with a negative attitude. I went looking to have fun and their coasters still sucked my ass. I said that their flat rides were good. I am sure the coaster they are getting next year will be fun too, but CGA and Carowinds are both terrible compared to all the other parks I have been to and I have heard that Cedar Fair isn't doing that great with their Canadian park either. My post wasn't strange it's just that you didn't agree!

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CGA is a great park. You just have to go there knowing there's not going to be a any record breaking rides, but just an overall great amusement park atmosphere. Obviously Cedar Fair sees something in the park because it has the second longest operating season this year, first being Knott's. And they announced what's coming to the park in 2009, which parks rarely ever do. And just this past Saturday, the park was absolutely packed! The entire overflow for Vortex was filled, Flight Deck's line was spilling out into the midway, and some of the flats that never see lines, saw big ones that day. Paramounts royally screwed CGA over, and now Cedar Fair has to pick up the pieces. I can bet anyone that if Paramounts was still the owner, The Orbit would be gone, park hours would be shorter, and they still wouldn't want a new coaster.

 

I agree with you 100%. coasterbear30, you obviously did not go to the park when Paramount was running it. Along with what dpxtreme just listed, Paramount also cancelled the park's Halloween event, didn't advertise the park very much, and had low energy, unenthusiastic employees. All of these have changed within the past two years (which is a pretty short time period for all of these changes). This year marks the return of a Halloween haunt (well last year they tried a preview which was extremely successful). I see advertisements for the park a lot more, which I think has increased the attendance. The employees all seem more energized and just more happy to be working.

 

I hate it when people take CGA as an example of how bad CF is. It's been a year and a half. Just give it time. CF has great potential to undo the bad that Paramount did. The park is prettier than a lot of parks (especially with some new paint in certain areas over the past couple years) with lots of shade (except ride stations!) Their flat ride collection is great and their water park and kiddy areas are decent enough, so CF can focus on the roller coasters in the near future. I'm so excited for what CF has for the next couple years.

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^ Well said. Now I can only go by pictures, but when I see photo trip reports of different Cedar Fair parks, personally, I think CGA along with all of the former Paramount parks look the best. And this is probably a little biased because it's my home park, but CGA has one of the nicest entrances to a park that I have ever seen. And going by another thread, SFA seems to be at the top of the worst parks, not CGA.

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I agree with many, that CGA has improved since CF took over. I work there, and I'm always enthusiastic, and I have fun with what I'm doing. I don't know why people always say it's the worst park ever. For the most part, the GP loves Great America. Now just because some of the rides aren't good (*cough* Vortex *cough* Grizzly) doesn't mean that the park sucks. If you look at Firefall, you can see that CF really put effort into making it look nice. It's got great foliage, and the fountains look magnificent.

 

Bottom line, you can't go to CGA expecting super awesome rides, or else you'll be really disappointed. However, if you go for the overall park experience, you will be impressed with what Cedar Fair has done.

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This thread seems to have become "Why I hate CGA vs. Why I Love CGA"

 

Overall, I used to think CGA was an amazing park. This was back when SFDK was still Marine World Africa USA and we didn't really have any other park in the bay area. Demon was my first ride, hell I was so coaster illiterate at the time, i thought Grizzly was fun. Now that I'm older and have visited more park across the US, Yes, I consider CGA one of the worst parks I've been. However I don't think it's a bad park. It has it's old time charm(Orbitor, Barney Oldfield, Centrifuge), some fairly thrilling rides(Top Flight Afterburn Gun Deck, Invertigo, Delerium), and Family stuff(Boom Bay, Psycho Mouse, and Survivor).

 

I guess what I'm getting at... The park is moving too slow. It has great assets but isn't getting more fast enough. Hopefully CF can step up the pace like they have with Canada's Wonderland or Kings Island.... Even Kings Dominion is getting a GREAT used coaster... CGA receiving a ride that their competition has had for 10 years, not good enough. X2 is to X as Firefall at CGA is to VooDoo at SFDK... Same ride, new effects.

 

I hope it improves greatly... sad to see a park i grew up with get forgot in the world of fast expansion.

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Went today to be one of the first riders to Firefall. Due to the cancellation of the event a while ago, it seems very few people showed up for the rescheduled event today. There were so few auction winners there that they were taking anyone standing anywhere near the ride to be added to the first riders. Not very exclusive anymore. They also gave all those people t-shirts like we had that said "Firefall First Rider" on it. I understand that this whole event didn't go as planned due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, but seems the only thing I got for winning first seat was some fruit, shrimp, chicken wings, and soda. Normally I wouldn't care so much about all this, but even with the "freeloaders" (none of whom I blame for being in the right place at the right time), they still didn't manage to fill up the entire ride with riders. Plus I still even got sent to the back row while the other guests got the front row. No organization was done for the actual winning auction winners. Adding to all:

1) The ride was obviously not new based on the discoloration of the seats and the lack of cleanliness all-around,

2) The fire effects were still not functioning, and

3) The ride program was very simple and boring. I'm not even sure the vehicle made one complete flip around, even after watching it full of people when the ride was officially open to the public.

Sadly, most of us auction winners sat around for about 45 minutes (as instructed) to wait for our first ride when a few regular park guests just got to walk up, grab a shirt, and grab first row for the privilege we paid for.

To not sound overly negative, the people working at the park were nice and it is nice to finally see this park get something visually interesting (once the fire gets working, that is).

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Here are a couple of photos that were taken at the grand opening of FireFall:

 

The grand opening of FireFall took place on Saturday at 11 AM.

 

All the fountains and misters were running for the opening. Fire and water cannon effects are yet to be operational. It wasn't all bad though, the weather was in the 90s by noon, so the park wouldn't of run them even if they were operational.

 

The first riders on FireFall, the new ride is officially open!

 

The curving pipe is for the fire effects which will fill the lagoon. There are also two water cannons in the lagoon, an effect which will be similar to those on Pirates of the Caribbean.

 

The finale of the ride is when the gondola lowers slowly towards the fountains below.

 

Riders seemed to really enjoy FireFall.

 

Thanks for checking out these photos, be sure to view the rest of them here.

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I rode Firefall yesterday. It is an amazing ride and a much better program than Voodoo, plus it was different both times I rode. I think it has to do with the weight of the car. I loved the fire in the volcanoes! The only problem with it is its extremely slow loading time! It probably takes 4-5 minutes to load and it's a 1-2 minute ride. But the queue line is really nicely landscaped.

 

The ride was popular all afternoon/evening. I got in one ride around 6 and another right before the fireworks around 9:30. Both times the line extended all the way out to its entrance. There were some line jumpers that were reported and security did a good job of handling it. Apparently they had been line jumping all day, but when they got up to the ride, security escorted them off the ride. Go CGA!

 

BTW, the fireworks show was very long and had an amazing finale! The park was semi-crowded, but not overly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From an article about the 49ers stadium:

 

Last week, Santa Clara's planning commission voted 5-1 for the height exemption (35 feet is usually the maximum). They said Prudential's concerns about noise were unfounded. Adding a new attraction boosts the overall value of the park, and that's been something of a hot topic in recent months.

 

edit: the original article

 

 

The meeting was on May 28, so I guess that means CF is free to start building?

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From an article about the 49ers stadium:

 

Last week, Santa Clara's planning commission voted 5-1 for the height exemption (35 feet is usually the maximum). They said Prudential's concerns about noise were unfounded. Adding a new attraction boosts the overall value of the park, and that's been something of a hot topic in recent months.

 

 

The meeting was on May 28, so I guess that means CF is free to start building?

 

If that is so, then that is a huge win for the park if they decide to build more rides!

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Besides the location of the new woodie, where could they add more rides without removal of another? Couldn't they start building stuff over by the north end of Flight Deck's pond?

 

Is the employee lot in the back ever completely full? Plus even with the woodie, they could tear down the IMAX Theater and there's tons of space over there.

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Besides the location of the new woodie, where could they add more rides without removal of another? Couldn't they start building stuff over by the north end of Flight Deck's pond?

 

Is the employee lot in the back ever completely full? Plus even with the woodie, they could tear down the IMAX Theater and there's tons of space over there.

 

We could always hope for an indoor coaster/dark ride

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Cedar Fair always seems to find space at Cedar Point. I think there is plenty of space for some more flats right now.

 

And... once this new woodie is in place.... how many people would miss Grizzly if it were taken out? (I actually would a bit... love the entrance landscaping and my expectations are always so low for the ride that I'm usually impressed)

 

They can probably fly steel over parts of the park, too.

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Cedar Fair always seems to find space at Cedar Point. I think there is plenty of space for some more flats right now.

 

And... once this new woodie is in place.... how many people would miss Grizzly if it were taken out? (I actually would a bit... love the entrance landscaping and my expectations are always so low for the ride that I'm usually impressed)

 

They can probably fly steel over parts of the park, too.

 

I for one would not miss the Grizz. The entrance is pimp looking, yes - but that only lifts up your spirits high enough to be crushed by the sheer suck that is the ride itself. I say we burn the sucker down and make way for another world class coaster. Maybe they could get a bigger version of the Pony Express in there. Anything would be better than whats there now. But I have to disagree with the addition of any more flat rides. CGA is full of them!

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