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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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Curious if this version of Great America (that doesn't appear to have been kept quite as true to the Marriott days as it's Gurnee sister) still have the walk through, plant covered tunnel/arbor in the area where Sky Whirl once operated? I know the Gurnee park removed theirs years ago, just curious about this park.

 

Also curious if the Eagle's Flight/Delta Flyers are original? That is, are the towers, cabins and "flight paths" the same as they were when the park opened?

 

 

In looking at the park map on the website, it does appear that the "tunnel" I am asking about is still there! (near Barney Oldfield's Speedway, on the park map) Does anyone have any current pictures of it? Would also be curious to see if any remnants of the old scenic railway are still around? Would seem very strange not to have the railroad bridge to walk under on your way to the (Willard's) Whizzer etc!

 

I just went to the park the other day and snapped a couple pics of the arbor tunnel for you!

 

 

 

Wow, thank you very much! That is great to see, it was unfortunate that they decided to rip that out when they tore down Sky Whirl and installed Deja Vu in Gurnee. While it seems like the Gurnee park has "stayed true" much more to the Marriott days, it's neat that the sky buckets and plant-covered "tunnel" are still around in Cali....

 

It's really strange to look at the two parks and see how much more differently they have been expanded/changed over the years.

 

Anyway, as an outsider to the California park I am wondering if I'm alone in being amazed that it's still there (what with the absolutely crazy building ALL around it). I guess it must be making money, but boy that has to be quite a tempting way to clear up some of your debt (redistributing the rides and selling that land).

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So this Black Widow Caverns...I'm curious as to how this is going to be pulled off as Logger's takes place out in the open. Knott's Black Widow Cavern takes place in a cave. Now it makes sense, I knew something was up when "The campers left because something infested the run." Perhaps use some more of the realistic spider web stuff, not the cheese cloth if CGA really wants to stir up peoples' arachnophobia.

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Hey everyone, new user here, although I've been following this thread for awhile.

 

I'm at CGA about every week, and I noticed a couple (Haunt-related) things when I went yesterday:

 

It seems that Club Blood construction has begun, the walls are scattered in the old Pictorium line.

Logger's Run was closed all day, the mechanics were working on the logs inside the shed near the station. Also, a crew was armed with dusting poles in the station. Preparing for Black Widow Cavern? (but wouldn't it make more sense to have authentic spider webs?)

 

 

Which would be a lighter day wait wise if I go this Sunday the 15th or Labor Day Monday Sept 6th?

 

Last year, I went the day before Labor Day, and it was PACKED. I only rode around 10 rides during a six-hour visit. This Sunday will probably be busy too, since school is starting soon for Santa Clara kids (I think), and everyone likely will try to get one last visit to the park before summer ends. But that's just my thoughts.

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How would tomorrow-Friday the 13th be? I could go tomorrow. NOOOOO!!! Logger's Run is closed already??? I wanted to go on it again only got on it once this year.

 

I don't think that Logger's Run will be closed for the rest of the season. Last year it was open even with all the Haunt decorations (including the mysterious plywood tunnel, which didn't look all that intimidating in the daylight). It could've been just regular maintenance happening yesterday.

 

It's hard to judge what the lines will be, but Friday should be fine. Check the calendar on CGA's website to make sure that there are no special events happening that day.

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I may be doing this park for the first time next summer. A couple of questions....

 

How does it compare to the other ex paramount parks?

 

I was looking over the trip reports from the park, and found it kind of weird that there are no covers on any of the coaster stations.

 

Do they have 2 bayern curves? I notice in the ride index that they have the bayern curve and the berserker. Is it the same ride?

 

By looking at the pictures, it kinda looks like carowinds a little bit. Is that a good park to compare it to?

 

Do they have a dark ride, or was that just in the movie beverly hills cop?...lol

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Woo! It's confirmed I'm going tomorrow-Friday for the 3rd & final time. God am I soooo jealous! TPR will be at the 100 x better sister park which I have never been to & I'm dying to go sooooo bad because SFGA still has the Whizzer(got to get the credit one of these days), original Logger's Run layout, Yankee Clipper(I so miss the Clipper!), Triple Play, East River Crawler(the Lobster). I'm assuming too tomorrow won't be so bad. It was light 2 Friday's ago when I went. Has Invertigo been open right at 10am & anyone working Invertigo??? As soon as I get there I am making a beline for Invertigo so I can get at least 5 rides in!

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I may be doing this park for the first time next summer. A couple of questions....

 

How does it compare to the other ex paramount parks?

 

I was looking over the trip reports from the park, and found it kind of weird that there are no covers on any of the coaster stations.

 

Do they have 2 bayern curves? I notice in the ride index that they have the bayern curve and the berserker. Is it the same ride?

 

By looking at the pictures, it kinda looks like carowinds a little bit. Is that a good park to compare it to?

 

Do they have a dark ride, or was that just in the movie beverly hills cop?...lol

 

1.) Of all the other ex-Paramount Parks, this one is by far the most neglected in terms of new capital.

 

2.) Only Grizzly has a cover over it's station. All others have some (limited) shading in the queue - but that's about it. Don't ask me why.

 

3.) They only have 1 Bayern curve. (Bezerker). However, they do have three classic Schwarkopf flats (Orbit/Berzerker/Centrifuge)

 

4.) There are no dark rides, no tunnels under the park and no more Triple Ferris Wheel - now all part of the movie alone!

 

It's a good park, not a great park - but a good park. Make sure to take a spin on the carousel (upper deck) at the end of the day...it's a great way to finish off a long day in the park.

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Did the park ever have a dark ride? I heard rumors that they did a while back...

With a little Hollywood editing, they did (Beverly Hills Cop III of course). Otherwise CGA's never had a dark ride. Ok, maybe you can classify Logger's Revenge during Haunt as a dark ride with live actors with the Camp Gonnagetcha makeover. If you're thinking of the Scooby's Haunted River, you may think it's one by the name but it's really just a small river for toy boats to go down. The kids grab a boat at the top and follow it down the river.

 

Looks like I'll be CGA-ing this Sunday, looking forward to riding Invertigo. It's been a long time! Maybe I'll do an 'around the park' update for you all, just to see how it looks mid season.

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I went today & can do a report. First if you do Boomerang Bay don't get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo which is right across from Boomerang Bay by Delerium. Those cost $15 & $5 back instead get the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo inside Boomerang Bay which cost $10 & $5 back. Much better. I just noticed that today. I always get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo at Boomerang Bay first thing right at opening then on to the rides. Today Invertigo was open when the park opened. Went right to it got there before 10:30. Ah 3 times in a row no wait. I like the last seat on the left hand side best. It sure is really smooth. 3 times was plenty. I know I saw a TPR member working Invertigo but wasn't sure who-his name is Patrick-was that Sunfire??? I saw him later in the day working Whitewater Falls. Grizzly IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST!!! I WILL NEVER EVER GO ON IT AGAIN!!! On that one curve it slams you hard to one side & I can't stand how bumpy it is. Maybe it had a good spell when I was there on my birthday but these last 2 times I went it has been back to it's old self. Demon is ok & I tried the very last seat it slightly better. Vortex-NEVER EVER AGAIN!!! The ABSOLUTE WORST STAND-UP!!! My head got banged around the whole entire time. I didn't get on Physco Mouse at all this year always a line. You know the Edge was not where those racecars are the Edge was behind the purple gate next to the racecars. I studied the area behind the purple fence & can't a giant coaster fit back there??? I feel it can. There's a lot of room. How frigen sad. Top Gun, Invertigo & the Demon are the only decent coasters. I refuse to go back. Not until I see major changes to CGA.

Edited by greatamerica1990sfan
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I haven't been there since fall of 2004... Can't say I enjoyed my visit... horrible weather, horrible crowds, horrible queues, horrilbe arcade games... I can't say ALL the rides were horrible... The Grizzly is the coaster to ride if you're feeling you can care less if you die or not... Top Gun (or "Flight Deck" as it is now called )... was the first coaster we hit once the park opened... and after 4 rides with no wait, we just got sick of it... The Rapids were THE WORST when I was there last... the water was GREEN, and Nickelodeon Splat City was long gone at that time, so there was no excuse.

I also HATED the Spongebob hype that flowed bountifully throughout the park... Spongebob parades, Spongebob merchandise, Spongebob balloons, Spongebob music, Spongebob picture booths, and worst of all, Spongebob 3D... which I heard is STILL operational at the park even though everything has been changed to Planet Snoopy... booooo!

Food was over-priced, drinks... eh, don't get me started...

Let's just say Great America was the reason I've become a Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk fan, and the fact that I get a season pass to that place every year...

But the good rides at CGA were the rides I grew up with, as well as some that are long gone...

The Good Rides:

Top Gun

Demon

Invertigo

Drop Zone

Double Decker Carousel

Psycho Mouse

Celebration Swings

Delirium

Revolution (the swimging upside-down boat)

Log Ride

 

RIP Long Gone Rides:

Tripple Play

Tripple Wheel

The one merry-go-round where the Drop-Zone is now

Cartoon Carousel

The Edge

Tidal Wave (or "The Wave" it might have been called)

The Boat Ride (was near the Log Ride before they put Stealth in)

Stealth (I got to ride it once!)

The Train Ride

The Lobster (it was some red thrill ride that spinned like crazy... might have been called something else though)

AND...

Dr. Dark's Mansion of Madness... (Okay, I heard at one point THIS was the title of CGA's dark ride, but nobody seems to recall it... unless I'm remebering it wrong... but I remember people saying that they RODE it a long time ago...)

 

Anyway, if CGA never had a dark ride, I think it's time they got one... At least a prototype of Ghost Blasters would do... because let's face it, mostly ALL the good theme parks have at least ONE dark ride... (except Six Flags... so they're in dire need of dark rides as well...)

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I went today & can do a report. First if you do Boomerang Bay don't get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo which is right across from Boomerang Bay by Delerium. Those cost $15 & $5 back instead get the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo inside Boomerang Bay which cost $10 & $5 back. Much better. I just noticed that today. I always get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo at Boomerang Bay first thing right at opening then on to the rides. Today Invertigo was open when the park opened. Went right to it got there before 10:30. Ah 3 times in a row no wait. I like the last seat on the left hand side best. It sure is really smooth. 3 times was plenty. I know I saw a TPR member working Invertigo but wasn't sure who-his name is Patrick-was that Sunfire??? I saw him later in the day working Whitewater Falls. Grizzly IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST!!! I WILL NEVER EVER GO ON IT AGAIN!!! On that one curve it slams you hard to one side & I can't stand how bumpy it is. Maybe it had a good spell when I was there on my birthday but these last 2 times I went it has been back to it's old self. Demon is ok & I tried the very last seat it slightly better. Vortex-NEVER EVER AGAIN!!! The ABSOLUTE WORST STAND-UP!!! My head got banged around the whole entire time. I didn't get on Physco Mouse at all this year always a line. You know the Edge was not where those racecars are the Edge was behind the purple gate next to the racecars. I studied the area behind the purple fence & can't a giant coaster fit back there??? I feel it can. There's a lot of room. How frigen sad. Top Gun, Invertigo & the Demon are the only decent coasters. I refuse to go back. Not until I see major changes to CGA.

 

1.) Paragraphs make trip reports more organized, coherent as well as read by more people.

 

2.) What are these "fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo?" I think I can speak for everyone reading this that you've collectively lost us already.

 

3.) Your focus on just coasters in your "review" tells me you're not a, "theme park" fan. Now, I'm not here to defend CGA to the death, Lord knows I've done it in the past - but I think you need to visit the park again (or at least attempt to review it) by expanding your horizons beyond just the "E" ticket attractions. As I've said before...it's a good park, not a great one. It has many redeeming qualities...but to blatantly say you refuse to go back because there were only three rides worth it is ignorant. (My opinion)

 

Most parks are lucky to have just ONE decent coaster or attraction (I.E. Santa Cruz) Be thankful you have (according to you) three "redeeming" reasons to visit this park.

 

4.) A coaster behind the "purple gate" cannot be built, despite your extensive "studying" of the area. That's the area used for maintenance and facilities buildings, (You know, the places that make the park work?) as well as the back access road, water reservoir for Rip Roarin' Rapids AND an unfriendly neighborhood. (They already hate fireworks, imagine a Mega Lite back there everyday for 12 hours) And no - there was NO SUCH THING as the "Rebel Rocket" concept.

 

While I understand your opinion, I think it's based on something that's unobtainable. It's been proven that a "coaster only" park FAILS (SFMM) You should take the entire park experience into consideration before, "...refusing to ever go back until major changes occur." The site, after all is "Theme Park Review." Then again, if you don't visit the park again until there are, "major changes" there will be shorter lines and less crowds for the rest of us.

 

Can the park use some love? Sure - but so could a bunch of other parks. Even Disneyland has it's serious flaws. Look at it this way, at least CGA has all of it's attractions open. (Re: Peoplemover)

 

5.) It's "Delirium," "Psycho Mouse" and "Friggin'"

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2.) What are these "fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo?" I think I can speak for everyone reading this that you've collectively lost us already.

 

He actually lost relatively few of us. XD By the way, I didn't really type "I like small boys in tights" either. Seriously, both are word filters on the site that have been running jokes for quite some time now.

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Anyway, if CGA never had a dark ride, I think it's time they got one... At least a prototype of Ghost Blasters would do... because let's face it, mostly ALL the good theme parks have at least ONE dark ride... (except Six Flags... so they're in dire need of dark rides as well...)

 

CGA isn't completely devoid of dark-ride goodness. The Demon could be classified as a dark ride of sorts. It's got the creepy (well, at least it's trying to be) voice in the first tunnel, and the "demon face" last tunnel. The waterfall at the end used to be colored blood red (bring it back for the Haunt!).

 

But yeah, they desperately need a true dark ride, especially since the Boardwalk built their new one. That Pictorium building has so much potential...They need to make it a permanent dark ride, rather than just use it for Club Blood.

 

Now I have the Ghost Blasters theme song stuck in my head...

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I went today & can do a report. First if you do Boomerang Bay don't get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo which is right across from Boomerang Bay by Delerium. Those cost $15 & $5 back instead get the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo inside Boomerang Bay which cost $10 & $5 back. Much better. I just noticed that today. I always get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo at Boomerang Bay first thing right at opening then on to the rides.

 

I'm still planning on going tomorrow. I did notice the increase in prices for the fluffy bunnies (aka locking storage compartments) since last season, went up about $5. These are the locks right next to the spray ground across from Delirium. Since most of the time I'm carrying just my cell, pass, and some money, I invested in one of those water tight bags that I can stick in my pocket...Perfect for Boomerang Bay and other water rides. I typically just wear something light that will dry off within a few rides.

 

While CGA may not have the latest rocket coaster, CGA has a good collection of flat rides and still has some of it's original classic rides like Orbit, Centrifuge, and Berserker. I will admit though. Vortex is quite rough. Sometimes Vortex can seem to 'behave' and deliver a somewhat smoother ride. I think of it as Vortex is one of those snappy intense rides which seems to more slam you here and there as opposed to bouncing around the entire ride (like Grizzly). I find that if you stand toward the middle of the train and not on the ends, it doesn't slam you around as much.

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