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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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Just for reference (for those that aren't quite as in-tune with all of this as many in this thread), I found this picture where you can see where they want to put the new stadium.

 

http://49ers.savesantaclara.org/images/Santa_Clara_San_Francisco_49ers_Stadium_Site.png

 

In the upper right hand corner, you can see the over flow lot --- that, apparently, is where the stadium would be built.

 

I have several questions;

 

*How is parking, no matter what they do with parking structures etc, and traffic flow not going to be a HUGE problem on game/event days? Eyikes.

*Is that over flow lot ever used? If so, is that not a HUGE walk? Seems like quite a hike.

*Are they really THAT hard up for land, in the area, that they need to squeeze it in there? I know that part of Cali is really congested, but wow. Is it simply the convention center/existing infrastructure that entices them to shoe horn that thing in there?

 

Anyway, I've somehow missed the visual of what they're trying to do - so once I found that photo, just wanted to share.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was at the park last night and there was some big steel plates over by Xtreme Skyflyer who knows what its for but let the speculation begin.

 

 

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

 

 

 

 

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

Just got back from the park today and checked out the ground work that's going on there....just found out its....just some maintenance on some water lines. Was moderately busy when I arrived around 2:00 and after an hour into our day, the park seemed like a ghost town with walk-on rides on Invertigo (Hi Sunfire!), Flight Deck, Drop Tower, etc. I guess everyone was attending the special event show that was going on in the amphitheater.

 

A few pages back, a number of us pointed out the old Wild Thornberrys RV getting some new paint...here she is! On the topic of Haunt, looks like half of the mazes are nearly done. The rest are 'just starting.' No signs of black widow-ness on Loggers quite yet. While riding Loggers, I noticed some wall sections sitting back stage...not sure which maze it's for, maybe Werewolf Canyon...or could have been All Wheels Extreme parts as those were spread about back stage as well.

 

Random note: Why do say 2 back-to-back rides on Invertigo make me nauseous yet 4-5 back-to-back rides on Flight Deck are perfectly fine? I'm still feeling "Invertigo'd"

hauntrv.jpg.3f8957be671dfcd41d12aacbd51483d8.jpg

Wild Thorn Berrys RV with Haunt Makeover.

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^I usually will do Vortex about once in a day as I've gotten some occasional smooth rides out of it. I did it yesterday and you know it's rough when even the ride operator is telling the people in line who have never ridden it before that it is actually a pretty rough ride. Invertigo was running quite smooth on the other hand. I think Vortex is becoming the new "Grizzly" with it's mad case of the rattles. I think the main thing about it that makes it painful is how high up the restraints go around your head and the lack of padding. I'm sure you all know, B&M restraints are solid as a rock.

Now Grizzly's taking a change for the positive as it seems to be smoother. Sitting in the very back seat, I was able to get some decent air coming off the first drop, and some floater air coming off the turnaround. I'm sure all of that retracking helped a lot.

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^Yeah, ever since the park retracked the ride, Grizzly has finally become rideable. While it's not nearly the best wooden coaster, it's worth at least one ride when visiting the park. I remember when I used to dread the bottom of the first drop because of how you would be slammed into your seat, but now it's not nearly as bad. Still, I'd rather take a spin on Terminator Salvation than Grizzly.

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One thing to consider when you talk about how much headbanging Vortex has (and it is a lot), is the seat assembly, the entire part that slides up and down to adjust the the rider height. If you compare Riddler's to Vortex, there is one HUGE difference...Riddler's are very tight, meaning they ONLY move up and down to adjust. Vortex, on the other hand, has a lot of slop in the assembly which allows for a lot of sideways movement which amplifies you getting thrown into the restraints when the train makes a directional change. If they could tighten these up to be like Riddler's, get rid of the slop so they can only move up and down, I think it will cut down on a lot of the headbanging. It won't get rid of it all simply because the nature of this ride with the tight turns and changes but the sloppy seats are certainly making it a lot worse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most of you have probably already seen this, but check out the Haunt construction pictures on CGA's Facebook:

 

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=225524&id=28442453154

 

Also, CGA now has a YouTube page with some Haunt videos, check it out:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/CAGreatAmericaTV

 

Anybody going to the Haunt on opening day/weekend?

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I got back from the employee Haunt preview a while ago. This year's event will be fun. A lot of the mazes are the same as last year, but with minor tweaking to make them better. My favorites are Slaughterhouse and Toy Factory. Also, I highly recommend trying out Black Widow's Cavern (Logger's Run). In my opinion, it's a major improvement over Camp Gonnagetcha (to which I wasn't a big fan in the first place). So yeah, defenitely come by to check out this year's Haunt. Say hi to me if you come to ride Invertigo.

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I so need to get there...Looks like tomorrow night to kick off the haunting!

 

Speaking of Invertigo, last year because of it being down the ride's flood lights were powered off during Haunt. This had a cool effect for Underworld Alley as it made it pretty dark. Anyone know if Invertigo will be running in pitch blackness this season or will it's floodlights be back on?

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Was it busy last night? As mentioned I'll be there tonight with camera in hand. Will post pictures up tomorrow for an "opening weekend" report depending on what I'm doing. I'm excited to check everything out as CGAs emphasis this year was paying attention to details and themed scare Ones like the gauntlet. Any TPR members who may be here tonight may see me. Look for an "all you fear is here" haunt shirt.

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^I was there last night, and the lines were non-existent. Everything (mazes and rides) were walk-ons. I expected it to be pretty crowded.

 

That being said, I thought the Haunt was awesome! It was the first time I've been to CGA's Haunt, and I was extremely impressed. It's hard for me to say which maze was my favorite, as they were all great, but I would have to say that Toy Factory stood out the most for me. I still have the theme song stuck in my head, and the ending was epic (but, like was asked last year on these forums, how can that be safe?)

 

I thought Black Widow's Cavern was also well done. They added a lot of extra tunnels, and I enjoyed the eerie soundtrack. It truly felt like you were escaping from the monsters (some of which hit your log). Maybe it's just me, but it felt like the water was sped up, we were flying through the ride.

 

It was also cool to be inside the old Pictorium for Club Blood. I happened to look up near the end and noticed how high the ceiling is, and I also saw what I believe to be the giant curtain that covered the Imax screen.

 

Totals for the night:

 

Toy Factory: 2 times

Club Blood: 2

Slaughterhouse: 2

Cornstalkers: 1 ("Stay away from my truck!")

Black Widow's Cavern: 1

Werewolf Canyon: 1

CarnEvil: 1

 

For the rides:

 

Drop Tower: 3

Flight Deck: 2 (the singing ride operator was hilarious)

Invertigo, Demon, Vortex, Delirium, Firefall: one time each.

 

CGA has done a great job with the Haunt.

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In just a little bit (as soon as my brother's girlfriend gets off work) we'll be heading on out to CGA. This should be a nice surprise for my brother as he hasn't visited Haunt since 2008. Toy Factory should be a big hit for him though he's already heard the theme song numerous times from me.

 

Glad to see that Black Widow's seems to have some positive feedback as Camp GonnaGetcha had mixed reviews. I felt that CGG was fun but a little on the weaker side when it came to scares and the theming felt a little sparse. I still felt like I was more or less on the log ride. As far as the speed of the log, it usually does seem to zip through the bottom portion. Perhaps now it will feel more like a fast paced escape from the 'caverns' as opposed to someone just rushing through a maze bypassing everything in sight.

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Just got back from Haunt, was a great night, huge improvement. Not all that busy, managed to snag a few rides walk-on like Psycho Mouse, front row Flight Deck, and Invertigo. More details tomorrow. To briefly mention, Black Widows Cavern was done very nice...a huge improvement from Camp GonnaGetcha. Definitely planning on visiting more this month as I'm a gold pass holder.

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Sorry for the double post. Here's my in-depth look at CGA's Haunt 2010.

 

As we did the buffet dinner, that got us into the park a few minutes early. While a few minutes may initially seem not that much, you can definitely avoid massive crowds and immediately head to the first maze. We stuck around to see the Overlord's greeting. While the main gate arrival people were roped off at the front plaza, we were well ahead of them. As my brother's never done Haunt since 2008 and never did Toy Factory, we headed straight to the back to do that first. No crowds, we were the first people of the evening to go through. After that, we did a quick ride on Drop Tower and over to Corn Stalkers, followed by a walk-on ride for Psycho Mouse (An ultra rarity I must add). We made our round over to Black Widow's Cavern, Werewolf Canyon, and finished the first lap with CarnEvil. We were there until midnight redoing most of the mazes as each time you go through, it seems to be a different experience. So much detail in there that each time, it seems that you find something new.

 

So what is it that seems to stand out at Haunt this year compared to last?

Each of the mazes had some minor tweaks with the exception of CarnEvil which had a major overhaul (More on this in a bit). Each maze had a more elaborate entrance which really added to the theme. Let's point at Werewolf Canyon as an example. Before, it was a simple sign stuck in the dirt. Now, it's a huge sign over an arch way. Honestly, it's much easier to find the mazes now.

 

This season, the Gauntlet and CarnEvil seemed to be the one that had the most TLC. The whole scare zone was nicely done up to look like the outskirts of a circus. CarnEvil received a new soundtrack this year as well. While it's not as catchy as Toy Factory, it adds a lot to the maze. Rather than what seemed as generic horror sounds and a mixed bag of other audio, the new theme pulls everything together. Some good scares in there, nicely done inside. I love how at the beginning the jack in the box song is played...sounds like an old-school NES chiptune. The purple strobe and the hall of mirrors are very trippy. I'd recommend 3d glasses if you can. I didn't do it this year but have tried it before...Very trippy if you can keep the glasses on your head.

10/10

 

Black Widow's Cavern was the other major thing this year which I think was done up nicely. I don't want to spoil it for everyone but the soundtrack and massive use of tunnels really changes the feeling of the ride and feels like you're quickly zooming through the spider-filled caves. There's a lot of little "WTF" surprises when you first ride, my cousin was freaking out trying to figure out what was going on. You may get wet on this one...a generous wave of water found its way on my lap to finish off the ride.

Grade: 9/10

 

Cornstalkers is probably one of the longest mazes and had the longest line. All I can say is "Stay away from my truck!" I'd recommend doing this once it gets dark as it's completely dark behind the Grizzly portion. Some good scares in here too, lots of good hiding spots and blending in with the surroundings. I only did this once as the line got a little long as the night progressed. I didn't know how fast/slow it would move.

Grade: 9/10

 

Werewolf Canyon is another long and not-so-windy maze like Cornstalkers and is better to do when it's dark. Once you get off of the turntable portion of the maze which was done up nicely, felt like you were in the lodge and enter the 'back trail' it gets pretty dark. The heavy use of fog and darkness made things hard to see and built up the suspense. The maze seemed much longer than what the rapids exit path really is. No real changes this year that I can recall.

Grade:9/10

 

Club Blood was pretty much unchanged with the exception that there were more dancers this time, and the Wild 94.9 radio station labels (which plays the style of music CB had). Fortunately, these vampires are not your loving vampires from Twilight (No offense twilight fans). These vampires mean business. The lady giving birth caught me by surprise, pretty funny I must add.

 

On a side note, it's cool to see the inside of the Pictorium. The ceilings are really high as noted. I also think those are the curtains covering up the screen. With how much was done with the maze, you wouldn't even realize you were inside until you walk out the building at the end of the maze.

Grade: 9/10

 

Slaughterhouse and Toy Factory had a few tweaks to it to freshen things up. As you all know, Slaughter house is pretty much gory stuff and a 'cute' ending which I still love to this day. Any fast food goer would appreciate this. Very noisy in there, almost chaotic. Works with the atmosphere as there's a lot going on in there. The swinging body bags always trip me up. Pretty good scares in there especially when they bang on something loud or quietly follow you.

Grade:9/10

 

Toy factory really stood out of the bunch again last night. This one got my vote at the end of the night and was the most visited. To begin with is it's theme. Custom written by CGA's staff, sung by 1 person, this song is extremely catchy. Many say that it's annoying but many people are in love with it (like me). I could say that it's probably it's theme and how they mixed the audio once you get inside the maze that seems to keep pulling me in (The audio changes to slightly altered variations of the theme from 1 room to the next while completely staying on beat with the overall theme that is played inside and out). The theme of toys is completely awesome as well. For me, some of the stuff may be nostalgic while others are nice references to pop culture today (Kill-A-Bear Workshop anyone?). The strobe room with the dolls are probably the part that freak me out the most...the dolls just stare at you and follow you through the room. Also, kudos to the Raggedy Ann 'show' that was put on...these characters really get into what they're doing! The ending is epic. (SPOILER ALERT! Highlight over the text to see)You pretty much squeeze through 2 inflatable walls exiting the packaging/shipping area, we describe it as 'butt cheeks' or 'giving birth'. This inflatable hallway is probably a good 20 feet in length and seems to go on forever. I'm shocked that this is even allowed in the states. My brother who has never been in TF before was surprised though he wasn't too crazy about the concept. Overall, love it. I even have the theme (youtube rip) as a ringtone on my phone.

10/10

 

My total visits:

CarnEvil, Slaughter House, Club Blood: 2 times

Toy Factory: Probably 5 or 6 times

Werewolf Canyon, Black Widows, and Cornstalkers: 1 time.

 

Did about 3 rides on Drop Tower (Gotta love dancing ride operators, dancing to Toy Factory's theme), 1 Psycho Mouse, 2 Flight Decks, 2 Invertigos, 1 Endeavor (Boat ride of death), 1 Demon and 1 Grizzly.

As promised, here's some pictures. I'll probably get some more shots in and whatnot within our next visits and continue to update. Enjoy!

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Obligatory Flight Deck Entrance shot, entering the "Boofet"

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Yup, I'm ready!

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Booga-booga!

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Chillin' with the clowns!

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Me likes!

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This photo doesn't do justice for what the CarnEvil plaza looked like. It came to life after dark.

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Balloons, or Ear Bulb squeezer things? You decide!

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The Overlord has greeted us!

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And the monsters will obey all of his commands!

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Kind of poorly shot but this gives you an idea how heavy the fog was at times. (Take a look at Grizzly in background)

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The depths of Underworld Alley

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Toy Factory! Love the lego and crayon tank!

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A better shot of the new prop

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New Werewolf Canyon signage, much better than last years!

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And Black Widow's Cavern!

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Yay, spiders!

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This was done up pretty good, felt like a spider infestation.

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And this insect spray will not get rid of the spiders. Watch out, this could be your first moment of getting wet.

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This dude was hanging out in the photo area in Logger's Run exit.

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Gauntlet at night.

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Club Blood's now easier to spot. Before, it was just a couple of movie posters.

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And Slaughter House got a fresh new sign.

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And one last look at Toy Factory's area, an overview.

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And here's a few other random pictures in no particular order.

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Almost forgot Cornstalkers. Also easier to spot.

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I'll end it with a friendly reminder: Drive safe!

(This was a prop just outside Werewolf Canyon)

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Excellent report and pictures!

 

In my first walk through of Toy Factory, Raggedy Ann was getting choked, and pretty convincingly. Kudos to the actors for their enthusiasm. I also thought the strobe light section was cool, but man is that room potentially seizure-inducing. I wonder how the actors can stand it for so long...

 

Your description of the ending is hilarious, I'm totally going to be thinking that the next time I visit.

 

I gotta say, I was surprised by the ending of Slaughterhouse, nice contrast to the rest of the maze.

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I visited Haunt tonight with my cousins, and business is really starting to pick up. It was surprisingly crowded tonight. Toy Factory's line was spilling out into the midway, and the other mazes had 20-30 minute waits at peak times. Also, Invertigo's line nearly reached the blue canopy at one point in the night, which took about 45 minutes due to slow dispatches (I don't blame the operators for this; from the perspective of a ride operator, you start to realize that guests can really slow things down). Despite the rather large crowds, we still had a fun night.

 

If you're planning on checking out CGA's haunt, I recommend coming on a Friday or Sunday night if you can. Try to avoid any Saturday, because that's when the crowds really pile in. Now, if the crowds are already picking up this early in the month, I can only imagine how jam packed it's going to be as we get closer to Halloween. One thing is clear though: this event is really helping to bring guests in the park, and so far it looks like a success.

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