California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby Animal » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:21 pm

Today I visited CGA for the first time. I was very excited for this park and pumped it would be free to get in with my platinum pass(Knotts) but knew I had to get a Fastlane pass. At first I was a little upset because the park was not that busy and thought I wasted $160 for me and my girlfriend to get one. But it paid off immensely for one reason and one reason only.... Railblazer!!! I’ll get into that in a second, but first thoughts were it was a nice park but lacking rides. I just visited SFDK the day before and felt that park had a lot more big and good rides. This park just felt lacking in the ride department. I know from history that it was a paramount park and It did not seem reminiscent of that really at all. Let’s get into the rides.

Railblazer is AMAZING!!! Maybe the one of the best I’ve ever been on. I’ve been on steel vengeance and maverick and this one might have a fighting chance against them. The only reason why those beat this is because they’re longer. Other than that this ride kicks your ass, literally!! The airtime hill after the dive loop is the best hill I’ve ever experienced, so fast and hard hitting you don’t know what just happened. And it doesn’t end there, the relentlessness is unreal. For a prototype I’m in awe. It gets me so excited for the future, and honestly I don’t think the jersey devil will be better. It poses the question, what park will shell out the probably $40 million to build the first giga T-Rex?? Whoever does will no doubt have the best coaster in the world. Back to railblazer, it’s just an absolute crazy amazing ride and made my fastlane purchase so worth it. Me and my girl literally rode it over 15 times and wanted more!!! 10/5

Goldstriker was pretty good. I’ve head a lot of great reviews on this ride but those were also when it first debuted. Now it’s just rough, straight up. My brain rattled the whole ride and honestly it was pretty unpleasant. I wish I rode it it the heyday because the layout and laterals are really good. I’m going to say it apocalypse is better... yup fight me!!! Look, GCI makes amazing rides they just don’t hold up. And also I’m a HUGE Ghostrider fan and I’ve heard people say this ride is better in which I don’t agree. If GCI could just figure out how to make their rides last longer they’d be one of the best(their retrack of ghostrider has been been A+ so far). 3/5

Flight Deck was actually great. I loved it and feel it’s very underrated(or maybe it’s not, just never hear anything about it). It’s the second B&M invert ever and I thought it packed a very nice punch. 4/5

That basically ends the ride reviews. That’s my only negative to this park is that there’s so few big rides. The park is very clean and nice but just lacking on rides. If they RMC’d grizzly (which I think has a very RMC’able layout) and added the long rumored hyper this park can be really good. In the meantime Railblazer is the one reason to check this place out and that’s about it. If you disagree please let me know and why!!! Otherwise you’re just going to walk out of here with a big headache (I’m looking at you patriot, demon, grizzly and goldstriker)

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby thrillseeker4552 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:21 am

Nice report. I mostly agree with your sentiments. I LOVE Railblazer as well and think Gold Striker is extremely overrated. I will take GhostRider over it in a heartbeat. It's still a solid woodie though. The park is very nice, but like you said, it's simply lacking in major rides.

Railblazer, Gold Striker, and Flight Deck is a solid top 3, but after visiting two summers in a row ('18 and '19), I likely won't be back until they get their B&M Hyper. It will happen, one day...
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby dmax11 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:12 pm

Good review and as a local i agree with your sentiments. the supporting cast of coasters is nice but not good enough to bother re-riding (demon, patriot and of course boring slow loading grizzly) CGA actually sent me a survey to fill out today in my e-mail while i was at SFDK (lol) and i gave em high marks everywhere but thrill rides and stated they should add a hyper and RMC the grizzly and it'll be hands down the best park in northern California bar none.

On GS, i agree its getting rough but if you make sure to not get stapled so you can get air out of your seat it is still a really fun coaster but easily ghostrider is well above it, its smoother, has more solid airtime and those laterals in the helices are crazy too

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby michaellynn4 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:39 pm

I wasn't impressed with Goldstriker when we visited last month. It has a great deal of potential and a great layout, but it was vibrating the entire length of the track. Not enough to be painful, but enough to notice and discourage re-rides. I tried once in the back and once in the front in order to rule out it being just a "back seat" issue, but I felt it strongly in the front, too.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby joelwee » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:05 pm

So, I finally got myself married a few weeks ago and we took our honeymoon in NorCal the following week. After camping at Portola for a few days, my wife (who likes coasters, but isn't a die-hard enthusiast like I am) let me bring her to CGA before heading home.
This was a first visit here for both of us, but an easy one to make since we both have Platinum Passes and go to Knott's several times a year. Crowds were fairly light that day, since most parkgoers were at the water park. Our first impression was that CGA is a small park that has its own charm. Walking into the park, you're greeted with a fountain, decorative flower bed, a two-story carousel, and a monstrous wooden coaster.
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The monstrous wooden coaster - Gold Striker - was our first ride of the day. I had heard great things about it, with some even preferring it to Ghostrider (my favorite woodie). I asked the grouper for back row, but he instead filled both the front and back rows with Fast Lane riders and placed us in the 3rd row. While Gold Striker had decent speed and a fun layout, it had a rattle that detracted from the ride experience. I still really enjoyed it; my wife hated it. We both agreed that Ghostrider is still #1. I wanted to ride again in hopes of sitting in the back, but my wife commented something about needing to have my head examined for wanting to ride again. So we decided to come back later if we had time (spoiler alert: we didn't). 7/10
Next up was the carousel. Sitting high up on a carousel was definitely a neat experience. Per the "weight limit" sign at the entrance, my fat @$$ was too heavy for the horses, so we rode a chariot instead.
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Next up was Flight Deck - which was temporarily renamed Hurler, as a kid lost his lunch after exiting the train ahead of us. I love old-school B&Ms, and this one did not disappoint. The first drop delivered a surprising amount of airtime, and the inversions had that classic B&M intensity. It reminded me of the Batman clones - short and sweet. But I still slightly prefer the Batman clones, simply because they do more with their short layout. Flight Deck had several sections between inversions where nothing really happened. 7/10
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I was pleasantly surprised to see this park had a sky ride. The one at Cedar Point gave great views of the park, but only went about halfway across the park. Since CGA is way smaller, it spanned the whole park and made for some great photo ops.
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Next, we hit Psycho Mouse. It had one of the longest lines in the park, and I couldn't help but think I could be standing in line for Railblazer right now instead of credit whoring the wild mouse. Still, we stuck it out and rode it. We ended up sitting with two little kids who were comforting each other the whole time - while my wife watched them and kept saying, "Aaawwww." As for the ride itself, there's not much to say about it... it's a wild mouse. They're always fun, and the restraints are definitely more comfortable than Coast Rider. 5/10
Next stop was the world's worst wooden coaster - Grizzly. This one had a 20-minute wait and I began to again think about skipping this and going to Railblazer, but curiosity got the best of me. I had to find out how bad this coaster was. And hoenstly, it wasn't that bad. It was completely devoid of any airtime or lateral forces, but it was butter smooth - probably because it was devoid of any forces. :p My wife enjoyed it. My only complaint was the Morgan trains - in which the tight lap bar and lack of leg room left me sitting in an awkward position and gave me a backache. 5/10
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Finally, we headed over toward Railblazer before I noticed the familiar clickety-clack of an Arrow looper emanating from the trees near the midway. I'm a sucker for Arrow loopers, but just thinking about an Arrow looper gave my wife (who is a foot shorter than me) a headache, so she sat this one out.
Demon definitely felt like an Arrow - two intense vertical loops, followed by two corkscrews - but this is the first one I've ridden that takes the corkscrews faster than a crawl. It was a nice change. That being said, it was definitely the roughest Arrow looper I've ridden. While most of them shuffle from side to side, Demon also lurches forward and backward through the loops. While I usually avoid headbanging, Demon smacked the back of my head into the headrest a couple of times. That being said, I must be a glutton for punishment because I enjoyed it. 6/10
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Finally, I had made it to Railblazer. Ho-ly cow, this thing is bonkers! It's non-stop intensity from the first drop to the final brakes. It packs quite a punch for a ride with such a small footprint. My only complaint is I wish it was longer. Hopefully we'll see one of these at one of the SoCal parks in a few years! 9/10
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After grabbing some dinner, I then grabbed the last credit of the night - Patriot. I went in with low expectations, due to reviews by other enthusiasts, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was surprisingly smooth, and the inversions had the old-school B&M intensity, but the layout was "meh". But that's not too surprising, given it was, what... the 2nd coaster that B&M ever built...? I did really enjoy the theming, though. The rock work was well done, and the patriotic marches playing in the queue line were fun. 6/10
That's a wrap for this park. While it had a decent ride collection, it could definitely benefit from the rumored 2021 hyper coaster. The ride ops (save for Railblazer) were some of the slowest I'd ever seen, as well. I mean, really... they made Knott's and SFMM ops seem like Cedar Point.
CGA is probably my least favorite Cedar Fair park thus far, but it is by no means a bad park. The other parks were just that much better. Thanks for reading!
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby thrillseeker4552 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:48 pm

It's funny that your wife had almost the exact same reaction to Gold Striker that my mom did. She LOVES GhostRider and the Beast (her two favorite woodies), but both times we rode Gold Striker she said it was the worst roller coaster she's ever ridden and absolutely hated it.

I guess intense layouts that are smooth (like GhostRider) are fine, and boring layouts that are rough have their own charm (like Beast), but once you get an intense AND rough layout (like Gold Striker), it's just bad. I actually like Gold Striker, but I do think it's overrated and I see why my mom hated it.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby dmax11 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:34 pm

Patriot. I went in with low expectations, due to reviews by other enthusiasts, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was surprisingly smooth, and the inversions had the old-school B&M intensity, but the layout was "meh". But that's not too surprising, given it was, what... the 2nd coaster that B&M ever built...? I did really enjoy the theming, though. The rock work was well done, and the patriotic marches playing in the queue line were fun. 6/10


Perhaps you mixed up the theming of railblazer or demon there? Patriot has no rock theming or any other theming other than its in hometown square and they converted it to a floorless and called it patriot. the more i ride it the more i kinda wish it was still a stand up but i'm kind of a sucker for stand up coasters i guess lol.

Demon is rough entering or exiting transitions like many arrow loopers, it's the oldest coaster in the park but its not too bad in 3rd row from the back seats like most arrow loopers.

Goldstriker is in dire need of a retrack its a ton of fun but the faster it runs the worse the jackhammering gets i already had a slight headache one day i was there with a fastlane and stayed till near close to night ride most of the coasters and rear seat goldstriker at night on a warm day was something else, lot of a fun but maaan it was rough lol in the morning when its running slower its not too bad esp first dozen or so trains our probably, 10 years ago grizzly was the roughest thing in the park by far but that retrack GCI did to it some years ago made it smooth for sure, so smooth its now just boring after the first two drops lol

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby VegasBaby » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:12 pm

It’s really sad to hear that Goldstriker has gotten so rough. It makes my wonder why it’s aged so badly as it’s only 6 years old. Ghostrider at Knott’s was running pretty rough before the re-track, but it was almost 20 years old at that point. GCI did a killer job on Ghostrider, it’s been 3 years since the re-track and it still runs like a dream. Maybe CF will use them to do some re-tracking on Goldstriker in the future.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby moviemansig » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:48 pm

Here is a trip report for Sunday. Gold Striker was a walk-on in the morning and in the afternoon; I can't remember the last time that happened. Whitewater Falls and Rip Roaring Rapids were both closed. I did RailBlazer both in the front and back, and preferred the back as there's more airtime. Tiki Twirl experienced technical difficulties while we were waiting in line for it and again when we were on it. The lines moved really smoothly for the most part.

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby RAWKIN_coaster38 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:31 am

VegasBaby wrote:It’s really sad to hear that Goldstriker has gotten so rough. It makes my wonder why it’s aged so badly as it’s only 6 years old. Ghostrider at Knott’s was running pretty rough before the re-track, but it was almost 20 years old at that point. GCI did a killer job on Ghostrider, it’s been 3 years since the re-track and it still runs like a dream. Maybe CF will use them to do some re-tracking on Goldstriker in the future.

i've been wondering the same thing. Maybe the San Jose combination of heat and cold mist/fog isn't good for it. But same could be said about the weather in Buena Park. Also, when was the last time CGA did retracking work on GS?

joelwee wrote:So, I finally got myself married a few weeks ago and we took our honeymoon in NorCal the following week. After camping at Portola for a few days,

Just noticed this. Portola in Plumas County? My parents work in that area! It's rare that I hear people actually trying to visit that area (vs. get tf out, as I did).
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