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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

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I am planning a trip to CGA during my Westcoasttrip in September and i need some experience from you guys.

My plan is to visit the park during a friday night when the event "Friday Nights at Great America" is scheduled. Now i found out that the added the sentence that *Rides are subject to availability.

Do you expect that all Coasters are running during these Friday nights? Or will it be better i will reschedule my visit to the Saturday?


Thanks for your help!

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Possibly planning a trip here in the next few months...does anyone know if they run all of the rides during Winterfest like Knott's, or is it more like the eastern CF parks where they close 90% of the rides?

Edit:  Second question, can adults ride Lucy's Crabbie Cabbies and/or Woodstock Express without a kid?  I figure no, as is CF's standard, but it's worth a shot LOL.

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First, just in case anyone is interested, there is a petition at Change.org to "save Great America."  Yes, probably no impact, but... https://www.change.org/p/save-california-s-great-america

Second, thoughts about this after having sat on it for awhile.  I am a bit bewildered about what the plan is for this.  Prologis is a company that develops warehouse space.  Clearly, the land here couldn't be aimed for that, so are they looking to branch out into something new?  If so, it is a rather expensive endeavor, though one where they could partner with someone that has such experience.  Or are they looking to sit on it with a plan to sell it off to someone else in the coming years?  Either one fits with the 11 year time line, given that they will need to work with the city to get any development plan approved, or to find another buyer.  Some members of the City Council sound quite angry about it, and have supposedly said no development that isn't an amusement park would be approved... but back to that.

Is there actually a chance, that like last time, something happens?  There are possible scenarios that can be imagined... another park operator steps in and buys it, or the city works something out to take over the land again (probably swapping out other land to bring the park back under city ownership, tech millionaire/billionaire with childhood memories steps in), etc.  Though really, they are probably all pretty far fetched.  Possible, but unlikely.  But thinking about these things, it occurs that there could actually be other operators interested.  The fact that the sale wasn't rumored kind of suggests that Cedar Faire never discussed this with others in the industry.  They likely wanted to keep it from the city or anyone that could interfere with the deal closing, and thus worked in circles where no rumors would echo.  If Great America is gone, it would be safe to say there will never be another park in the SF Bay Area.  So it could be attractive to other operators... though, probably not at the prices already involved.

The slim chance of something happening would probably be if the City Council actually is resolute, and continues to be, about not approving development plans.  But in reality, this is probably why that time frame is there.  Even if the current council members are against any change, the likelyhood of that remaining constant over the next decade are pretty slim.  And even if that happened, and Prologis was willing to just wait it out after Cedar Fair moved out... yeah, hard to imagine.  So, while I can imagine and speculate about crazy scenarios where the park gets saved, I think the best case scenario would be that part of it gets saved - think Orleans Place and the entry plaza buildings remain in place as a dining/shopping area connected to the new development.  And though still unlikely, I suppose if Gold Striker were simply left, it is imaginable that the Carousel, it, and maybe the Star Tower could remain as something that would operate on 49er game days or such?  Though, it would probably be the Carousel and that alone under such a scenario, as the confluence of the operating cost and nature/history of the attraction would make that possible.

I feel quite sad over the potential (99.9999% certain) loss.  But when Cedar Fair bought the land, this was a possibility that immediately crossed my mind.  The most hopeful aspect is that, given comments from the City, it seems unlikely that any change will happen in the two year time frame... I would guess that it will take a year or two for Prologis to smooth things over with the city and actually start to agree on a development plan, and then finding a partner and figuring out the development time line.  And that could be another problem, if construction gets back to pre-pandemic levels in the area; Apple, Cisco, Google, etc, all had multi-year delays in developments just waiting for crews to be available, due to projects already underway.  There are a few large sites in the Bay Area where development has been approved, but getting city approval on specifics and projects started have gone well over a decade!  If there is an actual "real" hope with a future for Great America, it would really be with changing tides in the future.  Still incredibly unlikely, but something that is at least nice to imagine whilst stepping through those stages of grief!

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On 8/23/2022 at 3:10 PM, AmyUD06 said:

can adults ride . . . Woodstock Express without a kid? 

I can attest that, on my only trip in 2019, I was able to ride solo on Woodstock Express.  In fact, it was a Zen ride.  Not my proudest moment but you do what you gotta do.  At least the track is far from the midway so only the ride op shared my shame. 

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  • 2 months later...

I made it out to the first two nights of Winterfest at CGA... and wow!  It was crowded!  It does seem like a lot of people are now visiting since the park was in the news and has an expiration date (2027 seems to be the target mentioned in the most recent Cedar Fair financial reports).  I've been going to the park since I was a child when it opened, and I can't ever recall the kind of traffic backups that were surrounding the park to start Winterfest.  In prior years when I've gone on Black Friday, there is usually very light attendance.

The park looks great, and I noticed along with repainting most of the cars on the Barney Oldfield Speedway, they also have some new cars with four seats (these were off to the side and not yet in service).

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  • 4 months later...
On 3/28/2023 at 1:52 PM, grsupercity said:

This park is teasing a new ride by drop tower. Crazy the park that is rumored to close continues to receive new investments 

Huh. That's interesting. I've been keeping a bit of an eye on new for this park since we have never been there but it is one of the host parks for CoasterCon in 2024. Ever since they announced that I've been wondering if the two are related. Either choosing to have Con there before it's gone forever OR as way to leverage a way for the park to stay open. Con was announced right before the park closure was announced.

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On 3/28/2023 at 11:52 AM, grsupercity said:

This park is teasing a new ride by drop tower. Crazy the park that is rumored to close continues to receive new investments 

Is it an easy to relocate carnival type ride or something more permanent?  

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
15 hours ago, andrew.mora said:

CGA sent me this Email.

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for contacting California's Great America, yes, there will be a season 2024.



Why would you even e-mail that and ask?  Just to annoy people?  CF has a lease until 2028 and have stated that they intent to keep the park open through 2033.  We are nowhere near that yet. You are why park employees loathe interacting with enthusiasts.

EDIT:  Looking back through your minimal post history, you did this last year too.  Please stop.  There will be seasons until they say there won't.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi Everyone!

When the news broke that the land under CGA had been sold I decided to prioritized getting down there. It's the closest Cedar Fair park to my outpost in the coaster desert, and I had always been intrigued by it's unique setting, history, and line up. I didn't want to regret not going. And...well...I'm sorry to all the local fans but...I'm not all that sad that this park is going away now... While I am sad that the massive investment plan that CF allegedly had for this park is not going to come to fruition, in it's current state the park is kinda sad I think. Please though, allow me to explain.


I think it's cool that the park shares a parking lot with Levi's Stadium. It might be a logistical bummer on game days but I think the park is in a cool spot. It's a little weird walking past that relatively large amphitheater and down a path ala Worlds of Fun to get to a security screening/ticket booth area that has seen better days, but the reward of the the view with the carousel is a good one.

With Gold Striker on the right side of the entrance let's start there.


Gold Striker was fun, not as fun as I thought it was gonna be though. It's got the signature GCI twister layout, though I think Thunderhead (when running well) does it a bit better. I thought there were a few moments where some potential was wasted, on a ride that was built in a location where space and therefore element utilization is at a premium. I didn't think it was too rough which was really nice. I hope it get's relocated, though I have my doubts.


RailBlazer was an interesting one. It's of course the older clone of a coaster at my homepark, and it operates a little differently than Stunt Pilot does. It seemed to be in better shape than Wonder Woman, though I don't know if that's bad maintenance on Six Flags' part or not. I think I'm in the minority though when I say that the elements didn't feel as well executed as they do on Stunt. Same intensity I think, just Stunt is just smoother and has better transitions in my opinion. There are some variations in the profiling between the two of them, and I think I prefer SP's. I hope RailBlazer gets relocated, and I think the likelihood is good.

Demon on the other hand...just get rid of this thing already. It's old, rough, and has a not very interesting layout trying to shoehorn some loops in there. I normally like older Arrow's but this was not a good one for me.


Grizzly was closed. Wah wah wah...I'm so bummed...I'll have to plan a return trip JUST for that credit...

An Arrow that was gun was Psycho Mouse. Probably my favorite wild mouse, though it's just a wild mouse so...is there really that my to say about it. Hope it gets relocated, though with so many alternatives in the family coaster market now I'm not 100% hopeful for it.


Patriot was a blah floorless. Not very smooth, not very interesting. Don't care about it's fate.

Flight Deck was a solid invert. While short, I enjoyed it's use of space and intensity. I know it's a custom layout so moving might be difficult, but it's probably the one ride from this park (Skyride and Carousel aside) that I hope to see live on somewhere else.

Speaking of the Skyride, this was my first Von Roll Skyway and I can say I'm a fan. It had cool views, and it made me wish that more parks had rides in this vein.


Thinking of this park as a whole, I'm of course bummed that a park is on a timer yet after visiting I think the writing was on the wall. It's in a major metro area, sitting on prime PRIME real estate. I can see why CF would want to invest a lot here in the past, but I can see how attractive it was for them to sell it. The best case would obviously be for someone to swoop in and buy/long-term lease the park from Prologis. But even if they did, I think they would have to put a lot of money into the park to keep it viable long term. There's not a lot of expansion room (not none, but not very much) and it looked to me like the park had a lot of deferred maintenance/blight. I noticed several buildings that looked abandoned for a long time (the large theater behind Gold Striker comes immediately to mind) and while these may be for sound or storage or haunt or whatever, I still thought that for a park in such a nice area it wasn't a positive image. It looked to me like Marriott had a great plan when they built it, but much like SFOT somewhere along the way someone stopped caring about the plan and just did whatever. And ultimately I think that's backed the park into a corner of poor space usage and long-term maintenance. I hope the park is saved, and revitalized cause I think it could be a really REALLY cool park, but right now I'm not devastated to see it go.

CGA kicked off a small NorCal trip for me, so I'll be back with my next stop SFDK! See you guys then!

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