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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

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Anyone have any guesses on how bad traffic and parking are going to be Sunday? I'm hoping to go to the park in the morning that day since I don't think I can make it Saturday. I figured that if I get there early and leave in the early afternoon, maybe it won't be too much of a mess, but I have no idea what to expect with Wrestle Mania going on (was the park open during any preseason Niners games that would be comparable or something).

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Anyone have any guesses on how bad traffic and parking are going to be Sunday? I'm hoping to go to the park in the morning that day since I don't think I can make it Saturday. I figured that if I get there early and leave in the early afternoon, maybe it won't be too much of a mess, but I have no idea what to expect with Wrestle Mania going on (was the park open during any preseason Niners games that would be comparable or something).
I'm going that day too. I dont expect it to be too crazy at opening. Wrestlemania starts at 3:30 so I think if you're out of there by 1pm or so it shouldn't be as bad. For people showing up to the park after that I think it will be an absolute nightmare. I'm going to both, so I'm planning to get to the park before it opens and then just walk to the stadium (And hopefully my gold pass will cover parking for both!)..I expect it to take a long time to get out of there after Wrestlemania is over.


I think a lot of non-wrestling fans will choose Saturday over Sunday for their opening weekend needs, so the crowds might be lessened for that reason, but then you've also got people flying in for Wrestlemania who might, like me, decide to go to CGA before the event next door, so who knows how packed the park will be. If nothing else I will get my Gold Striker fix!!

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Turns out I will be taking a limo! If I am going to be stuck in traffic, at least I can have a cocktail while I wait.



Sounds like a good plan!

I'm making someone else drive so I can watch movies on my phone in the car whilst stuck in the aforementioned traffic. Essentially a free limo

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I'll be going today with my friend and a group of relatives (it's their first time at CGA, and I'll be showing them around the place). I'll be wearing a ride warriors shirt in case anyone's interested in saying hi to me.

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Great America is open for 2015! The new Planet Snoopy expansion looks like it will be a hit with families, and lots of smaller improvements and changes can be seen around the park. Beautiful weather, and lots of people in town for "Wrestlemania", saw opening day draw some large crowds, but the park seems to be managing well for the most part with all rides open by midday after a few teething troubles on Flight Deck, Vortex, Gold Striker and Firefall were smoothed out.


The park kicked off the day with a short opening ceremony of mark Great America's 40th season.



It's opening day! Long lines to get in to the park first thing this morning.


Before opening park management held a brief opening ceremony to mark the start of the parks 40th season...


Former members of park staff from the opening season were welcomed back as guests of honor.


Gary Gillmor was Santa Clara Mayor in the 1970s and was instrumental in bringing Great America to Santa Clara. He spoke of how he convinced then-Govenor of California Ronal Reagan (the actor?) of the benefits the park would bring to the local area. He also thanked Cedar Fair for continued investment in the park.


Snoopy was on ribbon-cutting duty.


Let's go and take a look at the new Planet Snoopy area...



The Peanuts characters were on hand to help open the new area.


This talented chalk artist was re-creating the Planet Snoopy logo. Nice to see little extras like this in the park today.


GR8 SK8 is the first addition to the area. This Interactive Rides X-Scream was previously at Knott's Berry farm and has received a lick of paint before arriving at CGA.


Peanuts 500 is the other ride transplanted from Knott's. This looked like a lot of fun!


Snoopy's Space Buggies is the final new ride.


Elsewhere the surviving Kidzville rides have bee repainted and lightly rethemed to the Peanuts characters... Such as Snoopy's Space Race...


Junior Jump club is now The Kite Eating Tree...


...and the elusive Taxi Jam is now Lucy's Crabbie Cabbies


All in all the area is well done and looks really nice, the new paint really popping in the sunshine.


Let's check out what's going on during opening day, and what else has changed around the park for this year...



The hill by Vortex has a really nice 40th Season floral display.


Gold Striker was only running one train for the morning and thus had a huge line. I don't think I've ever seen the ride only running one train before, let's hope they don't make a habit of this.


Planet Snoopy is also now home to a Star Bucks coffee kiosk, expect long lines here!


The Antique Photo shop has been moved to Orleans Place. I've never seen anyone having their photo taken, and am kinda surprised it survive the reshuffle.


The arcade machines have been moved from the Game Time bar in to the old Antique Photo shop location...


...freeing up lots of space for shiny new seating inside the bar.


The food service area has also been reworked to include draft beer and hot food. A much needed improvement following the disgraceful state this location was in at the end of last season. I'll definitely be hanging out here over the summer for a beer or two!


Flight Deck was down at park opening, but quickly opened and is running as great as ever.


Flight Deck now has it's own range of "Kick the Sky" merchandise.


It would appear that tie-die neon is the latest fashion.


The Fool-the-Guesser stand in All American Corners has been replaced with a wheel of fortune game where you can win front-of-the-line passes for Gold Striker and Flight Deck.


This is still here. That huge building would make a great home for a dark right don't ya think? ;-)


I also spotted this new entry way that leads from the main entrance area to the office buildings next to the park. I wonder if the park or stadium will be using the parking structures as over flow parking? Is this an indication of warming relationships between the park and its neighbors?

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Am at the park too! Hope you didn't get out of line as Gold Striker is back up now.


There has been some downtime on a few rides today (I saw Gold Striker, Flight Deck, Vortex, Firefall, Loggers Run, Tiki Twirl and the Rapids all down at various times), but I think this is opening day bugs rather than some systematic problem with operations.


Looking forward to reading your TR!

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Sitting in the airport after a great day at great America. Goldstriker was the reason for the trip and it was well worth. Smooth,fast and aggressive without being rough. It was everything I look for in a wood coaster and now sits at number 3 on my wood coaster list knocking else Toro down a spot(thats right I said it is better than el Toro). Also, ran into a few other tpr members enjoying opening day as well. I was the tall guy in the west coast bash shirt. Fast lane was well worth every penny as it let me get in eleven laps in on goldstriker and that line looked pretty long.

Edited by x2isawesome
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[Mini-TR (sorry no pics)]

Came to the park about 3:20 PM. Started out by processing my season pass where waited about 90 minutes. Part of the delay came from the fact that people had no way of knowing about open computer station to put their information since I saw 4 computer open while waiting for my picture. Once I was done, I saw that the line had extended to near the popcorn stall.


Went on the Celebration Swings, Firefall, then the Orbit. Wanted to try out one of the new rides at Planet Snoopy but got impatient and realise that would be just somewhat of a waste of time. Went to Joe Cool Cafe, where one of the cashiers called me by name. I was shocked by this but then learned she found out my name from my Gold Pass. Later met up with family outside the Cafe as it had closed by then. We proceeded to the American Cafe, the only restaurant opened at the time. At first I went to the Flight Deck but found the line too long so I went towards the Gold Striker and at first decided not to go. Upon further inspection, I thought that the lines would be shorter but man was I wrong. The lined moved much slower than usual. As I got closer to the front I realised it was because of the Fast Lane line being crowded. I overheard someone explaining that the delay on the Flight Deck was because of the Fast Lane line getting too much priority, was too crowded or both. By the time I rode it became dark and it was well past closing time. It was my first time riding it at night and I rode on the front seat.


Because the rest of the fam started waiting in line to get their season pass processed while I was waiting for the Gold Striker, I didn't leave the park until after 59 minutes after closing, the longest I ever held out at a theme park. Overall, I feel that the operations wasn't good today, but what do you expect since it was the first day of the season? Additionally, I think the park was busy today because of the crowds who came to the area for Wrestlemania decided to check out the park. I am now tired from today's visit as of writing this.

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Well, I can safely say that Opening Day 2015 (while not the worst) was the most stressful time I had ever had. The biggest problem was the lines. It wasn't the number of people, it was the employees who made everything, from the rides, to the food, to the season pass processing, slower than molasses. I had to wait two hours in the Food Festival just to get one hot dog, not only that, but a friend of mine waited the same time to get a burger, and the order was wrong. The first ride we went on was Gold Striker, but that line was also slow because they were running only one train, thankfully they were running two later in the day. I also heard people complain that they had to go in circles to get their FastLane wristbands. I know I may seem a bit harsh, it was opening day after all so I can't blame, but I don't think the lines/processes should be this slow (saying from past experiences with such). And at the end of the day, half my group separated and we spent almost an hour trying to find them.


With all that said, you might think that I had a bad day. Well it wasn't all bad. I did finally gt my fix of GS since it was closed every time I went last year. Things also started to mellow out at the end of the day. The park's improvements look nice, especially the new Planet Snoopy area. All the rides still run great. And above all, me and my group had a lot of fun. It was a mixed day for me, and I know I'll be going back more often for some more enjoyable experiences. Though I can say, I will never go to anymore opening days again.

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