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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (SCBB) Discussion Thread


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Awesome that Undertow is finally open. Will probably head there during Spring Break and get a few rides in. I remember when it was just testing in August when I last visited the park, good job on SCBB's part for at least opening, better late than never!

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Undertow will stay open throughout the limited operation schedule, and a grand opening event is scheduled for spring:

 

SANTA CRUZ, CA (October 21, 2013) – The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk announced that Undertow, its new spinning roller coaster, has passed inspections and will be running weekends on a limited schedule for the remainder of the year. An official opening will be scheduled for Spring 2014.

 

“We surprised our guests with a sneak preview this past weekend and the response was fantastic, ” said Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes. “People are very excited to discover that every ride on Undertow is different. We think this is a great new ride for our park.”

 

Unlike most roller coasters, which carry an entire trainload of riders, Undertow uses individual cars each holding 4 riders, with each pair of riders facing opposite directions. The ride experience changes every time, depending on the weight and position of riders in the car.

 

Manufactured by German coaster specialist Maurer Sohne, Undertow is the only spinning coaster in Northern California. Undertow took over the location previously occupied by the Hurricane roller coaster.

 

“As is the case with most new amusement park rides, there may be some unexpected ride delays during operating hours for the first few weekends,” added Reyes.

 

For more information about Undertow, the Boardwalk’s new spinning roller coaster, visit http://www.beachboardwalk.com/undertow

 

This sounds like it could work out then if I decide to hit up the 'Walk in November, and hit it up again in February (like I did last year). I had a feeling that this would just be a soft opening being this late in the season and it would officially debut 2014...this is essentially a sampling for what we can now call a 2014 attraction.

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Here’s a trip report for 10/27. It was cool and overcast when my friend and I got there. Undertow wasn’t up-and-running, so we then went to the Giant Dipper. We noticed there were a lot of seagulls on the beach. Cyclone was quite the centrifugal experience, unlike any ride I’ve ever done before. It was very disorienting, but I was still glad I did it. I did terribly on Ghost Blasters (I think it was the first time I’ve done it), but much better the second time. Cave Train had a lot of cool images and I liked that it was a long ride; I think it may have also been the first time I’ve done this ride. When we first got there, we were told Undertow would open a bit later on, but eventually after repeated attempts asking for updates, the answer was it wouldn’t be opening at all that day. What a huge disappointment! The Snickers fudge I had from Marini's was really good, as was the Dole whip pineapple soft serve ice cream. This was the first time I’ve ever had that kind of fudge and that kind of ice cream. I did all of the rides that were open with the exception of the two bumper car attractions, which didn’t appeal to me. In addition to doing Ghost Blasters twice, we did the Giant Dipper twice, Double Shot twice, and WipeOut twice (second time the experience was better because it was in the dark). The weather while nice at times (with some sun) was never as good as I had hoped. I was also disappointed that Cliff Hanger was closed. Overall, the lines moved really smoothly and we had a fun time.

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^ Sorry you weren't able to get on Undertow..it has been particularly touchy in it's first couple weeks even by new ride standards I think. When I was there opening weekend it had about 40 minutes of uptime in the first 8 hours the park was open. That's not for lack of effort on SCBB's part though, they had managers and maintenance techs camped out all day ready to respond at a moment's notice.

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I went on Saturday 10/28 and Undertow was running with no major problems from about 1:00 to 3:00 when I was there. It was about a 45 minute wait (the employee standing at the entrance was spot on) and the line seemed to move relatively fast. As for the ride, it was extremely smooth and surprisingly felt faster than I thought it would be. It is really a great addition to the boardwalk and it will be better when all the kinks are worked out!

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  • 5 months later...

So is the consensus that Undertow is better than Hurricane? I actually liked Hurricane quite a bit. It was exciting from beginning to end and had some nice little Gs given its size. I would honestly rather ride Hurricane than most of the coasters in Northern California. It's better than Boomerang, and maybe Roar/Kong at DK and better than a couple of them at Great America as well. I was sad to see it leave and would rather they had three big coasters instead of, still, two.

 

Any information on when the park isn't that busy? I think I went during a Sunday in September back in 2010 and I imagine that's about as good as it gets aside from offseason. No real extensive wait times for anything and maybe 15 minutes at most for the dipper. We rode anything we wanted to and played the mini golf and laser tag, both of which are very high quality...hell, the mini golf is a heck of a value, has a cool theme and is also fairly easy to get a hole-in-one on and receive a free game.

 

Also, is there any information on the night time deals this year and when they are? It's usually like an unlimited rides pass for $15 with the right Pepsi can or whathaveyou. I remember going with a friend in college for that promotion and we went on a ton of rides and also took on the two attractions upgrade for a few extra bucks. We ended up playing three games of mini golf since we each won a third one on our second game.

 

Pro-tip: It might be worth checking out if there's different hours for some of the side attractions so that you can possibly do them after the rides close. Gives you more ride time which is a bonus if you're there at night for just a handful of hours...in the day I guess it really doesn't matter as there's more than enough time to ride all that stuff twice.

 

One more question. Parking. Anybody know of great places to park nearby that are free? Parking's kind of expensive at BB and I'd rather walk a half-mile or whatever if I can stealthily park at a Safeway or whathaveyou.

 

One More Pro-Tip: If you've never been on it, seriously, don't go into the Haunted House. I think the relatively recent revamp only made it worse. The line is usually the longest in the entire park and the ride itself is an absolute bore. Not worth your tickets or even your time if you have the pass. Better, go on the other haunted house ride on the other side of the park which is also a shoot 'em up game. Way fun.

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Yeah I liked Hurricane a lot too but I do think Undertow has proven to be a better ride. It's definitely better than Roar or Boomerang, that's not even close.

 

Sundays in Spring are usually not too bad for crowds. I went on a Sunday two weeks ago and it was only about 10-15 min waits for Undertow or Dipper. Every once in a while if you can go on short notice SCBB will post on their Facebook that they are unexpectedly running all rides on an off day, those would be even better but you don't know ahead of time when they happen.

 

The discounted evening wristband I believe is a summer only promotion usually, it probably won't be going for a few months yet. I think that runs along side the pepsi can promotion if they still do that.

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I should consider myself fortunate that I still have an SDC Hurricane at my home park, Adventureland. I agree with you guys, Hurricanes are really forceful rides, they only go around 35mph, but during the ride you swear that you're going 50mph. The "teardrop" element after the first drop is packed with Gs and you would swear that Hurricane is a Schwarzkopf.

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Your "Pro-Tip" is to skip the Haunted House?!

 

 

Yes, it's that terrible and instead of scaring people it just makes them go WTF?...just like the last four seasons of Dexter.

 

It's still way better than the typical Sally dark ride.

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They certainly put effort into it, but there's not enough there there. The ride has too many stretches of nothingness and hardly anything popping out to scare you. The only joy myself, my friend and girlfriend got from it was the random Raptor near the end.

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So is the consensus that Undertow is better than Hurricane? I actually liked Hurricane quite a bit.

I don't know if I could rate one over the other. They are both good for different reasons. Hurricane was intense, thrilling, and rough. Undertow is modern, smooth, and not quite as thrilling. It made good business sense for the Boardwalk to put something in the whole family will ride.

 

Any information on when the park isn't that busy? I think I went during a Sunday in September back in 2010 and I imagine that's about as good as it gets aside from offseason.

Weekends during the off-season can be moderately busy depending on weather, although ride lines shouldn't be more than 10-15 minutes max.

 

Also, is there any information on the night time deals this year and when they are?

Looks like that info isn't released yet. Historically, Mon-Tues after 5pm all rides are $1. Wed-Thurs is Pepsi night -- bring a PepsiCo can for a ~$15 wristband. Although if you're going anytime, Costco has a good deal: http://beachboardwalk.com/discounts/costco-locations.html

 

One more question. Parking. Anybody know of great places to park nearby that are free?

This is my area of expertise!

 

10 minute walk:

Bay St between Laguna and Lighthouse (park on street).

Google map: http://goo.gl/SR3RYm

 

10 minute walk:

Park anywhere north of the intersection of Washington and Center St all the way up to Laurel. Parking is limited to 2 hours on weekdays before 8pm (although it will rarely if ever be enforced that late). Weekends have no time restrictions.

Google map: http://goo.gl/aNNj6u

 

5 minute walk:

*Off-season only* From the intersection of 2nd and Cliff St, take Cliff north. Street parking in this neighborhood is free before May 15 and after Sept 30 (permit required during Summer months).

Google map: http://goo.gl/YXQJik

 

One More Pro-Tip: If you've never been on it, seriously, don't go into the Haunted House. I think the relatively recent revamp only made it worse.

I will agree with you that the ride has a lot of issues, but it's worth a ride if you've never been on it. Have you ridden it recently? They've gradually been making a lot of changes. Here are a few: better, darker lighting. New gags with more of a surprise factor. Not exactly a good thing, but they removed the ramp in the swamp area. However, they did add some new gags in that area, so I guess that makes up for it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks so much for all that information! The parking stuff in particular is key as there's isn't really any other choices within eyesight of the boardwalk and the stuff I know of nearby is metered, so that will lead to some nice savings. We can get there from our house in just over an hour most of the time, but having to plonk for parking is the biggest hindrance. I think it's $15 or whatever and we're anything but broke, but it kind of leads to one of those "we have to drive and pay for gas and then parking and then..." kind of things. We won't mind the extra walk, so again, that information is GREATLY appreciated.

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Thanks so much for all that information! The parking stuff in particular is key as there's isn't really any other choices within eyesight of the boardwalk and the stuff I know of nearby is metered, so that will lead to some nice savings. We can get there from our house in just over an hour most of the time, but having to plonk for parking is the biggest hindrance. I think it's $15 or whatever and we're anything but broke, but it kind of leads to one of those "we have to drive and pay for gas and then parking and then..." kind of things. We won't mind the extra walk, so again, that information is GREATLY appreciated.

For the record the main parking lot across the street from the park on Beach is $12. It's really a pretty great deal compared to a lot of theme parks that are charging $20 or more and especially when you consider SCBB doesn't charge gate admission.

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Thanks so much for all that information! The parking stuff in particular is key as there's isn't really any other choices within eyesight of the boardwalk and the stuff I know of nearby is metered, so that will lead to some nice savings.

Sure, and feel free to ask any other Boardwalk/Santa Cruz questions.

 

For the record the main parking lot across the street from the park on Beach is $12.

True, by theme park standards it's a low price. But for people (like me) who hate paying for parking and don't mind walking a little more, free parking is always nice to know about.

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  • 1 month later...

I did a day trip to Santa Cruz with couple of my friends a couple of Fridays ago. We drove up from the San Luis Obispo area and it took us about 2.5 hours to get there. Here are some pictures I took from our day there.

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402353321.387889.thumb.jpg.36c9eac1e15a78fd7a8e41a9f780794f.jpg The view of the Boardwalk and the new Undertow from where we parked on the street.

 

I bought a unlimited rides plus wristband on my phone about 20 minutes before arriving there for $35 and change. The process was really easy and when I arrived to the will call window all I had to do was tell my name and show the card I paid with, no showing emails or print outs. It was $6 cheaper than at the gate, and there was no $8 service fee like another theme park website (*cough* six *cough* flags). The unlimited plus wristband also includes $3 in arcade play loaded on a card and two extra activities/games (I went with the Fright Walk and Mini Golf) and is only $2 more than the regular wristband. My friends Adam and Fina weren't sure about how many rides they were going to do so they did the 50 ticket bundle for $45. Fina's sister Anna drove down from Milpitas (Bay Area) and met us there.

 

The first ride I did was the carousel (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it). Now I normally don't do carousels and have never done the Santa Cruz one before but it has a ring toss so I had to try it. For those not familiar with it there are little metal rings that dispense out every time one ring is pulled out and you try to throw the ring into the clown's mouth almost immediately after you pull it out. Fina and I both got a ring in the clown's mouth on our first ride. What a way to make a carousel ride fun by turning it into a game!

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402355191.861735.thumb.jpg.ff272905602736914518f44f65d75f4a.jpgAfter the carousel we were getting warm so we walked down the Boardwalk to the Logger's Run. It was about 65F but it was sunny so it felt warmer. I didn't a sign or policy not allowing pictures on this ride so I took some pictures aboard.

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402355525.215985.thumb.jpg.2a136b35364e0a835308f4e994d31ca8.jpgYou get some great views of the south end of the Boardwalk, the beach, and the river on Logger's Run.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402355723.561695.thumb.jpg.84cc7fbeb324dbf4a4db3785b0dad6d5.jpgI rode the front of the log and I got a lot wetter than on most other log flumes and even many rapids rides. Adam was willing to try the Hang Glider ride so we did that after Logger's Run (to help me dry off).

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Some of pictures got mixed up in my first post (first pic got posted twice and the parking lot pic should have been first). When I tried to edit Tapatalk crashes, so I just going post pics with limited captions. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356695.764307.jpg.885e5653ea1687206c9f4048e80871f8.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356734.885656.jpg.25fbb8bcdfa9eefabc9322080d7483c1.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356758.665416.jpg.1d358ea35b042da3c67b8372ce8d27e7.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356815.502660.jpg.c413e7cb9d5d566a3a1ecfc39309edab.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356842.284688.jpg.0e8a0d50517dcc801165387c98dcf2c5.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356867.019165.jpg.9effa34b1b901e1abb14c443eb6f49e8.jpg

Adam and I on the Sky Ride

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356916.861331.jpg.91994eb3d952f2a7f6845a64f3cf154a.jpg

That's me!

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402356961.744181.jpg.1b04dcb62973e86d8749709ccade30d4.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402357000.127045.jpg.c93f2badc6e202cabf9bce01ae8e993b.jpg

Who do I see?

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358137.402832.jpg.56da49e5367486a08c234daee7edd4dd.jpg

That's Anna and Fina, who decided to walk the length of the Sky Ride back.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358277.035661.jpg.f54fc7a655e9838969b08ab650da6018.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358301.757232.jpg.d1278a9c3f727f8407be74f63d5d5ef3.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358318.315627.jpg.1ff1b62098be665f5409e18d5953f9b8.jpg

Undertow here we come!ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358388.812648.jpg.e446a46f3ace9f5cf386c2dafa593d01.jpg

This is the building the carousel is housed in.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358450.144233.jpg.910920e7a1871c67187677b195e596db.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358482.228421.jpg.81306288f38aec89750629a88357621e.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402358502.556589.jpg.bee6a4f161bdf00f0d135e0d9f272c99.jpg

The best seaside amusement park in the world according to Amusement Today. I wonder how it compares to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. More pics coming up soon.

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Okay, so all my pictures in my previous post are in backwards order. So I will load them on Tapatalk in backwards order. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360691.777257.jpg.fe4c942c77579e105c1ffd5ff379417b.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360716.595267.jpg.1896f4a7dc36219b92fbd7887c4b6baa.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360736.300542.jpg.a29d509f02488f40a9c792cc84c5d343.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360766.291686.jpg.0444a81b1e454d4d1fac6e92e81e5698.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360795.070005.jpg.ab7e37e15dc1121a99044db24814a929.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360826.854638.jpg.690b0d272c4c048dfb7f7aed3301b9d4.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360869.547958.jpg.d8e761b889df4c820b1b25a29e8109f2.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360888.210017.jpg.535e760314ce0e08d7ef1107b6f6823f.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360911.907532.jpg.7b2bc63d4f8c7ed45f58cf8ab797d7a5.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360925.543679.jpg.fa65947f6095ecc3887be30011ea4bfd.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360947.974443.jpg.8d0845c7b43903ab0faabdcd7d1a23e3.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360964.732650.jpg.95fb9fb975a0dd35aa9db547dd1e01a9.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360985.985349.jpg.3f77202848427db96e862c5b9e70dd53.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1402360998.273532.jpg.d8a979ba5d29b5af2f49f4e467e27aef.jpg

Ok, here the rest of my pictures from our day at Santa Cruz. After riding the Sky Ride I hit up Undertow, my newest coaster credit to date, putting at 77 I think. My friend Adam is kind of a thrill ride wimp and wouldn't go on certain rides. He was unsure about Undertow with the spinning so I rode it the first time (in a backwards facing seat at the start). It was fun with several spins but not nearly as many as a Crazy Mouse or the Sierra Sidewinder at Knott's. I told Adam that he would like it and it spins less than the Crazy Mouse (he's ridden it at the CA Mid State Fair). He agreed to go on (we got forward facing seats at the start) and enjoyed the ride. Undertow had the longest line at the Boardwalk (expected being the new hotness) being about a 20 minute wait both times. The general public seems to like it and it looks like a good addition for the Boardwalk.

 

After Undertow, we went on the bumper cars and someone in line had two extra unused wristband coupons they gave to Adam and Fina. Score! After they got wristbands they were willing to go on more rides. We headed down to the Giant Dipper which everyone rode. I still couldn't get Adam on Fireball or Double Shot - baby steps I guess.

 

After that we grabbed a bite to eat. I got deep fried artichoke hearts (grown in nearby Castroville) with a Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Giant DIPA (Double India Pale Ale). Score for a park that has local food and local beer. The 16 oz can of Giant DIPA (love that name) was strong and hoppy with 8.9% alcohol and was about $7 (same price as 24 oz can of Bud/Bud Light). Let's just say I didn't do as good on the carousel ring toss when we did it again after lunch.

 

We did some various other rides and re rode the Giant Dipper several times until the rides closed at 7PM. I did the Fright Walk which is like an automated version of a haunted maze at Fright Fest or Knott's Scary Farm (but not as good). We did the indoor mini golf after the rides which was open until 8:30. It was 18 holes and had 3 glow in the dark holes. It was a lot of fun. I highly recommend the Indoor Mini Golf at the Boardwalk if you've never done before. We did some arcade games afterward which were open until 9:30.

 

We wanted some dinner before heading home and looked up restaurants that were open on Yelp. I came upon Pono Hawaiian Grill in downtown SC which was really good and inexpensive. I ordered Poke which is like Hawaiian style sashimi with spices and a spicy sauce and a Loco Moco burrito which has grass fed ground beef, eggs, sweet onion and came with a spicy gravy for dipping (both are pictured). Fina ordered the Kailua Pork sliders which I didn't try but she raved about so that's worth trying. Pono Hawaiian Grill in Santa Cruz is worth checking when you want something besides burgers/fries/hot dogs after a day on the Boardwalk and it's kitchen is open until 11PM (at least when we went). It also has a separate full bar which is open later and music, outdoor patio, etc.

 

Okay, that's all I got for our day at Santa Cruz on May 30th 2014.

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Next time any of you TPR'ers are in the area and want some food, I recommend trying out 99 Bottles of Beer! Besides having a vast selection from beers from around the world, including a rotating menu of select master brews, they have amazing food. On my last visit I ordered and enjoyed the Salmon burger. It was melt in your mouth good! and my friend had the Ahi Tuna burger. The Tuna was THICK and had a perfect sear on it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The park today posted this fantastic 23 minute video that includes tons of interviews, features on the 'Dipper, and behind the scenes of making their commercials and booking of the bands. I love that for a 90 year old roller coaster they say the Giant Dipper only averages around 4 hours of down time per YEAR! Take that Six Flags!

 

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I had recently visited the Boardwalk last week with a few friends. And I noticed that a lot of things have been changed around since my last visit (I last visited the place sometime around spring break last year). I may be a bit late on noticing them since I haven't followed this thread as much. One of the more notable changes was in the Haunted Castle. I've noticed a few new additions that make the ride seem to go more for the scare factor than just make it a creepy, yet family-friendly ride (which I'm not against even though most haunted houses/rides aren't my thing), some including new gags, darker lighting, and lots of loud noises. I also noticed that there were a few things that were a bit off in the Cave Train; most notably the spinning tunnel was removed and replaced with an empty room with what seemed to be blacklight colored cave paintings. One more change I found was that the Logger's Revenge sign now had a figure of a surfing beaver rather than a lumberjack (I wasn't able to take a picture of it unfortunately since we were caught up in all of the fun while at the park).

 

The rest of the visit went pretty well. Only few of the rides had pretty long lines. One of my friends and I got into an intense competition on Ghost Blasters (with me being victorious from a close tie). The Giant Dipper ran pretty fine (perhaps a bit smoother than I remember). Wipeout was closed which kinda sucked since we all wanted to ride it. And I got terribly soaked on Logger's Revenge.

 

I will definitely say that the highlight of my visit was Undertow. Not only was it a really great coaster (I'd even put it in my list of favorites), but it also partially helped one of my friends get over her small fear of roller coasters, which I must say was a great accomplishment. The coaster was so great, we were able to ride it twice on both sides.

 

All in all, I must say that my recent visit to the Boardwalk will in no doubt be a memorable one.

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I do like Santa Cruz a lot. It's got a lot of stuff to do, and some great food. The new ride is a nice addition, and fits well with the park.

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I do like Santa Cruz a lot. It's got a lot of stuff to do, and some great food. The new ride is a nice addition, and fits well with the park.

I know, the Boardwalk is such a great place that the rides (other than the 'Dipper) really are just a bonus.

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