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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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If people would say , “The capital originally intended for CGA was repurposed for KI instead”, that makes more sense. But saying a coaster went to park A instead of park B... there’s absolutely no way

Oh yeah, no complaints alright. I just hope all this virus crap doesn't affect our 2021.

Just found out not too long ago the parks in our area can reopen but Santa Clara county is forcing them to stay shut. In other news, scbb might be the first to open under newsoms new guidelines. 

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Thanks! I used it for one of my three rides on Railblazer today, but the last time I was going to ride it, the CGA employee at the front told me “we don’t do that” and turned me away. The line must have been two hours long at that point. Do they shut down single rider line when the standby line gets too long? It was pretty disappointing to say the least since I did single rider earlier that day when the standby was lengthy. CGA needs to stick with one policy or another.

 

Besides that, I had a great day of riding coasters. Got on everything except for Grizzly and Psycho Mouse, which are just not worth the wait for me. The park was pretty crowded today. Maybe because this is the last day of full day operation of the season. I ended the day at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with two sunset rides on Giant Dipper. What a great day!

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^I’d say you just encountered an uninformed employee. When I was there, some of the Fast Lane employees let me right through when I said I was a single rider, while others looked like they had no idea what I was talking about.

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I may make a trip tonight to check out Winterfest. How are the crowds for Winterfest typically? Should I expect to wait an hour or so for the big three: Goldstriker, Railblazer, and Flight Deck?

 

Sorry I have been posting so much here lately. Just getting back into the enthusiast scene and I am new to NorCal and the parks here. I appreciate all your guys’ help.

 

UPDATE 12/2: So I ended up breaking down and got a Fast Lane wristband. They were only $42 after fees and I wanted to finally get some good rides on Railblazer without worrying about the long, slow-moving lines that it always gets. The park was dead from 5 - 6:30. All of the rides were walk-ons, including Railblazer. I thought I had wasted my money. However later in the evening I went back over to Railblazer and it had a 45 minute wait. It was very nice to just show my wristband and the ride operator let me choose whatever row I wanted. I got 10 rides on Railblazer, four times in the back, four times up front, and twice in Row 7. Thanks to Fast Lane, I finally fell in love with this ride. In the regular standby line, the ride ops always assign me a row so it was nice to feel like a "VIP" for the night and be able to sit where I wanted to. $42 well spent.

 

The other star of the night was Goldstriker. Holy smokes, that gives one heck of a night ride, especially in the back seat. With those night rides, it almost topped Ghostrider as my favorite woodie, but GR will always have a special place in my heart. Flight Deck was in and out of operation all evening. Not sure if it was from the cold weather, but it was going down quite frequently. Still got five rides on it. Got a few rides on Patriot as well.

 

I got to say, CGA puts on a fantastic Winterfest event. The park was beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths, and lights everywhere. They also put on several shows throughout the part of the park that was open. I did not stop to watch the shows as I was quickly running from coaster to coaster, but next time I go, I will try to spend some time enjoying the festivities. Only bummer of the night was a run-in with a patron in the Railblazer standby line who cussed me out while I was just about to board the coaster. If you want more of the story, I would be happy to share. Just disappointing behavior by some people, but that is what happens in any public space. Unfortunately, rude behavior by the public is prevalent at many theme parks. No knock on CGA, but I feel for the employees that have to put up with the clientele that comes through.

Edited by alpengeistdude321
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For railblazer go through fast lane as a single rider. Shouldn’t be too long of a wait. You can see Goldstriker’s line from the courtyard. If it’s around the tunnel should be like 15 mins max. Flight deck not sure, it’s such a short ride but takes forever to load and unload. If you can’t see the line just walk up, it should be fairly painless.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of progress, if any, has been made at loggers and yankee harbor as a whole. Last I checked they took out the lake across from roaring rapids and the bridge. That was a left over from yankee clipper? Either way, between that, the Endeavor site, the loggers site and the snoopy show stage site we’ve got a lot to work with. Not to mention the go carts (if they’re also on the chopping block) as well.

 

The other great America could shoe horn in two water parks and 6 coasters with that amount of real estate;-)

 

Have fun & report back your findings!!

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Went on 12/26. Definitely appreciated the advice to be there at opening (5 pm). Got there a little early and waited for the rope drop. Railblazer had a short line at first. Got a couple rides in before the line got long. Wow, that is an incredible ride. The park got crowded, but probably most of the crowd were families with small kids looking at the lights. At 8 pm Railblazer's line was over an hour. Patriot was a walk on, a modest improvement over Vortex but not that great. Flight Deck was awesome as always and the line was short. Still not a fan of Gold Striker, it was rattly in the last row and I prefer airtime to curves, especially on wooden coasters. Demon and Grizzly were closed, but that wasn't a loss. The Mouse was open but didn't ride. The drop tower was closed, that would have been a great ride in the cold with the lights.

 

Railblazer was in some ways even more intense than the other RMCs (including SV). It does not have a millimeter of wasted track. Intense, Intense, INTENSE.

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I have a question about y'all's railblazer coaster... Do they have to refill air tanks for the restraints quite often on it. The wonder woman almost without fails needs some air every time I'm at it and wondering if it's an issue that just our raptor has or if y'all's has the same issue

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I have a question about y'all's railblazer coaster... Do they have to refill air tanks for the restraints quite often on it. The wonder woman almost without fails needs some air every time I'm at it and wondering if it's an issue that just our raptor has or if y'all's has the same issue

 

I've never noticed them having to do that on RailBlazer. Maybe someone who goes to the park even more frequently would know more, but I've been on it probably a 20-30 times and never seen it.

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California's Great America posted on their blog that their Intamin Drop Tower will receive a nice new paint scheme this year! You can read more about the "theme" behind it on their blog.

 

https://www.cagreatamerica.com/blog/2019/fun-news-drops-now

 

Also, is that B&M track in the lower right of the image? Just thought I would open that for speculation...

 

drop_tower_paint_color_scheme.jpg.f64bbd3a90ec055223f0488217fb5696.jpg

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California's Great America posted on their blog that their Intamin Drop Tower will receive a nice new paint scheme this year! You can read more about the "theme" behind it on their blog.

 

https://www.cagreatamerica.com/blog/2019/fun-news-drops-now

 

Also, is that B&M track in the lower right of the image? Just thought I would open that for speculation...

 

[attachment=0]drop_tower_paint_color_scheme.jpg[/attachment]

 

The Drop Tower featured in the artist rendition is the Drop Tower at Canada's Wonderland, that is why you see a bit of Leviathan in the corner. I am glad to see that California's Great America is re-painting their Drop Tower. I hope Canada's Wonderland does the same with theirs as it would be nice for it to fit within the Medieval Faire section of the park.

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Hey guys, how crowded is this park typically on opening weekend? I’m still bummed out that I missed out on this park last summer and am thinking about taking a drive up there for opening day.

Do they usually have issues with rides not being ready to go on opening day? I’m mainly interested in Railblazer, Gold Striker, and Flight Deck, but the more coasters that are open, the better.

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Cedar Fair has finally bought the land that California Great America sits upon. This could more quickly accelerate previously proposed changes to California Great America (front entrance plaza, expanded hours internally green lit rides). In the long run this relieves CF of a $5.3 million rent payment each year for the next 55 years through 2074. In order to create significant impact to the financial bottom line in any one year, the $150 million cost will be spread out over decades through long term borrowing.

 

 

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/28/great-america-amusement-park-buys-city-land-for-150-million/

 

Great America owner buys theme park property from Santa Clara for $150 million

The theme park has leased the land from Santa Clara since 1989

 

By Thy Vo | tvo@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: March 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm | UPDATED: March 28, 2019 at 5:01 pm

 

SANTA CLARA — In a move that could lay the groundwork for California’s Great America’s expansion, Cedar Fair Southwest has purchased the 112-acre theme park site for $150 million after leasing it for three decades from the city of Santa Clara.

 

The Santa Clara City Council on Tuesday approved agreements finalizing the sale with the Ohio-based company, which owns 13 amusement and water parks across the country.

 

A master plan approved by the city in January 2017 envisions an expansion of hours and park operations, as well as a new entertainment district outside park gates.

 

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to solidify our control of 112 acres in the heart of Santa Clara,” Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said in a written statement Wednesday. “The transaction underscores our long-term commitment to enhancing and expanding California’s Great America, insuring a high-quality, family-friendly entertainment destination for those who live and work in Northern California.”

 

The city was forced to sell the property, which it bought in 1985 with money from its former redevelopment agency, as part of a state law that dissolved redevelopment agencies statewide.

 

There have been rumors in recent years that another buyer would come along and try to change the property’s use, even though the theme park’s lease wasn’t set to expire until 2074.

 

“It’s great we’re going to be able to retain a theme park here in Santa Clara,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s hard to let it (the property) go … but I think the outcome is going to be very beneficial to Santa Clara.”

 

Redevelopment agencies take portions of property tax money that otherwise would have been divided among local government agencies such as schools, the county and special districts and use it to improve blighted areas. Santa Clara’s redevelopment agency purchased a number of properties near the theme park, including the site of Levi’s Stadium and convention center.

 

But after the state dissolved redevelopment agencies in 2011, cities have had to sell their assets and properties to pay off existing debt. That’s why Santa Clara had to cede its ownership of the Great America property.

 

The company has leased the land from Santa Clara since 1989, providing it with the revenue to operate the city’s main parking lot there and an electronic billboard.

 

When the city took bids on the property last year, Ashkenazy Acquisition, which has residential buildings, hotels and shopping malls in its portfolio, submitted the highest bid, at $158 million. But the city and bidder couldn’t come to an agreement over the terms of the sale, particularly about long-term use of the city parking lot, according to assistant city manager Ruth Shikada.

 

Cedar Fair was the second-highest bidder and, as part of the existing lease, had first right to match the highest offer on the property. As part of the sale, the city will transfer the billboard to Great America and come up with a new agreement for use of the city parking lot.

 

The lease generates about $5.3 million annually in fixed rent, plus additional rent — an estimated $1.18 million this past fiscal year — based on a percentage of revenue generated by the park, money that goes toward paying off redevelopment agency debts.

 

Because money used to originally purchase the land came from the city’s former redevelopment agency, proceeds from the sale will be distributed among the various taxing government agencies. The city’s share of that is about 10 percent, or $15 million, according to Shikada.

 

Council member Patricia Mahan called the sale of the land a “substantial loss” to the city.

 

“The redevelopment agency dissolution has been a very painful and long process,” Mahan said. “In light of these very difficult circumstances, this is really the best outcome for the city and Cedar Fair.”

 

According to the company’s statement, Cedar Fair will finance the purchase of the property “through additional long-term borrowings.”

Edited by larrygator
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Went there on March 24. The park was not crowded. I was there for Rail Blazer. BUT they were only running one train! Excruciating slow line. It is a fantastic ride, but needs a better loading operation.

 

Patriot and Flight deck are fine classic B&M rides. B&M has come a long way since they made those.

 

Good day at a fun park.

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