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Photo TR: Gilroy Gardens 6/16/13

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So today I lost my GG virginity, finally. As a CGA Gold Pass holder, I had never taken advantage of the added perk of visiting Gilroy Gardens (which is included with our passes) until today. Today's visit was a family trip (Father's Day) which consisted of mom, dad, cousin, neighbor, plus part of the bay area TPR crew (JeffyJosephNorcal, Rolercstrluver, Blue Fire Guy)...which made for an overall really fun day! All I can say is that "Wow, this is a nice little park!" (Yes, I can say that again!)


A few highlights:

I got 2 NEW credits today being Quicksilver Express and Timber Twister (not to be confused with Timberline Twister down at Knotts). Never underestimate these two coasters! Let's look at QX first. I rode in the back and while it isn't an airtime machine, the ride really picks up its pace especially after the second lift. Bonus points for being able to smack the branches hanging overhead, which happens when you just raise your hands up! Last but not least to say about this ride: HELIX!!!!!


The other, Timber Twister (Zierer coaster) really packs a punch, to the point that you are launched down that first drop when sitting in the back! It's a short figure 8 coaster that does 2 laps and throws you around pretty good! Again, riding in natural hands up position, I achieved smacking overhanging thin branches and even a tree trunk! I love this coaster...we dubbed it "Snakey."


Other highlights:

-Garlic Twirl...this ride proved to be the most intense ride in the park and left me quite exhausted after the first spin...first round consisted of Blue Fire Guy, Rolercstrluver and myself and got the ride spinning quite good...so good in fact that people in line had their eyes glued on us. Poor Rolercstrluver ended up being thrown around and managed to smack his head. 2nd ride actually left me a bit disoriented, requiring some water as it left me panting...a great upper body workout!

-Line jumpers at a low capacity ride (Rainbow Gardens, spinning raft ride that looks quite innocent)...not that it's a highlight but the fact that it's low capacity, line jumping on this is just bad. In fact, both BFG and I had our 3DS's out messing with one of our games when a guy cutting line rambles something to some GP behind us about "how he can't get through because they're playing their games."

-Rock Maze! One can easily get lost in this...and lots of little claustrophobic tunnels to be taken! Just please don't fart in them or the poor victim behind you may hate you afterwards

-Banana Split left some funny body/tummy tingles but ended being a little...rough?!?

-Overall beautiful park...Lots of shade, covered stations, beautiful landscaping...made me wonder if we were still in a Cedar Fair-managed park. Definitely did not feel corporate whatsoever.

-And, friendly staff, right down to security at the front gates!


A couple videos, including Rock Maze and Coyote & Redwood Railroad POVs:




Now without further ado, here's some photos!


We has arrived at Gilroy Gardens! New park credit!


GG had an insect exhibit set up...eek, a giant 'pider! (I'm actually arachnophobic when it comes to real spiders...)


Jeff attempts to control something...


...that is, a robotic spider!


Uh...this is so wrong in so many levels....wait....it's...


...it's only just a giant caterpillar! I'm naming it "Maggie."


My bro checks out a mosquito sucking blood demo....eeeew...


while BFG checks out another display...om nom nom...


Another look at the spider!


In the words of a certain dueling woodie in China...




These butterflies looked amazing!! Love the metallic blue they have :)




Time for the first ride of the day: South County Backroads (1920s track)


Part of the group get in their (awesome pink) car.


Alright, here we go!


Did I mention, this ride has beautiful theming?



Take the bridge tunnel!


and we end this ride with....




Mushroom swings! My brother wishes he could fly like Mario with his raccoon tail :)


And now we get to check out the greenhouse!


Inside the green house, the infamous "Lapbar Monorail" winds its way through.


"TWISTY!!!" trees :)






And over to score one of my new credits! This would be #65!


This ride is pretty well hidden so this is like the only photo I got of it...HELIX!!!


Those menacing raccoons....love the chatter/laughter!


Alright, this is it...what are we about to ride, guys?


Lapbar Monorail!


I approve :)


Mmmm...so much space back there...so much space...


Into the hotbox of death :)


The ONLY butterfly I saw in the greenhouse.


Random path in the greenhouse.


Here's those pesky raccoons again :)


After taking a transport ride that utilized lapbars, it's time to take on another, the Coyote & Redwood Railroad. This is a great way to get from the front to the back of the park.


Jeff, cousin, and the rest of the family


Looking back at the rest of us onboard :)


Rock Maze! Lots of fun moments to be had in here (See video/POV above)


So, which way should we go?


Some of these corridors get really narrow.


Coming out of the narrow corridor...


And yes...TAKE THE TUNNEL! (Yes, I really mean it...)


Tunnel taking to be had...I feel like Mario.


You can see how tight of a fit this really is :)


"I just took the tunnel!"


Jeff is playing with balls...


While BFG plays with monkeys :)


Any clue what this (now blank) sign once said? It reminds me of one of those RCT2 signs in which no name was added yet.


Acceptable amount of wetness pad


And over to the park's most intense ride (if you make it that way)...Garlic Twirl! BFG, Rolercstrluver and I had this thing spinning, and apparently everyone in line was watching us spin like mad...Spin your wheel counter-clockwise for some nice forces!


Spinny boat ride, AKA Rainbow Gardens...


No babies allowed...what about fetuses?


"I can't take the baby on?!?"


Their chariot (boat) awaits...


Seated and ready to spin!


Let's do this!


Meanwhile, back at QX...


No, Rolercstrluver! Don't take a bite!!!




Now for the park's other coaster, Timber Twister! (Or, Snakey!)


You can take the scenic route, or the quick route...if you take the scenic route, don't complain about others cutting in front of you :)


The Loooooooooooooooooooong train! (Yes, I put in as many "O's" as there are cars on this train).


Who doesn't like snakes? (Personally, I think snakes are awesome!)


Again another hard to photograph coaster...


...just watch out for its tail! (Actually, this is exactly where you want to sit on this thing as you are launched over the top of the hill and into the drop!)


Credit 66...After attempting it the first time around, Snakey denied us as it broke down. This is one of the few smaller coasters I've seen around here that take your photo on ride.


A look at another simple but fun walk-through attraction..Bonfante Falls!




Is THIS an acceptable amount of wetness?


"This is NOT an acceptable amount of wetness" (As BFG barrels his way through to avoid getting wet)


Onto one of our final rides...any guesses at what it is?


Here's a clue...it has taken this many riders!


South County Backroads, 1950s track!


Uh-oh...he's driving?!?




Take the tree tunnel!


More "Dauling" track :) (Again, thank you dueling woodie in China/High-five coaster)


Theming here does not disappoint! Actually, I think I may like the visuals on this over Autopia at Disney :)


Car Wash!


On one of the final stretches before returning back to the station...


At first I thought this guy was real.


Uh oh, here's another.... You already know what I'm going to say so I'll let you shout it out instead :)


(Shout it out now!)


The Jeff Johnson credit we got denied riding...


Another 'deniable' Jeff Johnson credit...


And I conclude this TR with a random floating duck! *QUACK*

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Awesome TR! That ride we had on Garlic Twirl was absolutely insane. And to those reading this, rolercstrluver didn't get head banging because it was rough, he got it because it was INTENSE. I was literally plastered to the wall on that thing due to the forces! That's the beauty of rider-controlled flats: they can either be nice and chill or "OMFG ride of your life!!!" intense depending on what the riders do.


And about that caterpillar...it's a completely normal green caterpillar, nothing wrong about it at all!


One last thing...


There is really a TON of space in the back, and the park could benefit from a family-sized GCI or GG woodie here. I heard there was going to be a GCI to open along with the park, but it seems that never came to be...THIS SPACE IS PERFECT FOR A WOODIE!!!

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Mmmm agreed some GCI goodness would fit right in there!


The problem is people, the couple of times I have been to the park it has not been crowded at all. So the big question would spending that kind of money bring more people to the park in the long run.

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Mmmm agreed some GCI goodness would fit right in there!


The problem is people, the couple of times I have been to the park it has not been crowded at all. So the big question would spending that kind of money bring more people to the park in the long run.


When I went, the park was very dead. The only reason why some rides had long waits was because of their capacity. As short as the lines were, you can easily wait a good 30 minutes (like when we waited for Rainbow Garden boat ride). I would have thought that being Father's Day, everyone would have thought "Let's take Dad to the park!"


I gave read in other trip reports that it can get more crowded when the Garlic Festival is going on. Otherwise, GG remains a hidden gem in the Bay Area.

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"3 ... 2 ... 1... TAKE THE TUNNEL!"


That empty area by the train tracks is actually used for a petting zoo (with lots of goats) later in the season. I much rather prefer a flat ride or two though.


While the park has been dead nearly every time I've been there, there was one time late last season when it was absolutely packed. Nearly the entire overflow for the car ride was full, and we waited an hour or so for Rainbow Garden. Even Quicksilver Express was using one row of its overflow!


Great report.


I would have thought that being Father's Day, everyone would have thought "Let's take Dad to the park!"


Actually, everyone had that idea for CGA. It was packed!

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Great TR. Gilroy Gardens is great. It looks like some of that land in the back was just recently cleared, it certainly wasn't that open when I was last at the park. It's been a few years but can anybody confirm if that's a recent thing? I've always felt a nice family woody would do wonders for that park.


And I agree about Rock Maze. During the TPR trip some people got lost in there so long I'm wondering if they are still in there.

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