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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:00 pm
by rumble
With less than a week until opening night, preparations for Haunt are well underway at the park. Let's have a look at how things are going:
These propane tanks mean the flame throwers will be back lining the pool at the front of the park, makes for a great entry to Haunt.

The cemetery by Vortex remembers the rides of Great America's past.

A huge stage and lighting rig has been assembled in Celebration Plaza for the brand new NyteWalkers show.

The show will feature the same kind of acrobatics we saw in the summer Aerial Ice Extreme show, and promises to be the biggest show in Great America's Haunt history.

The Blades of Horror ice show will also be back in this year.

Roadkill Road House is one of this year's new mazes, and replaces Slaughterhouse.

M aggie Brown's is decked out for Halloween, but it doesn't appear that last year's transformation to "Madame Marie's Voodoo Chophouse" pre-Haunt buffet is returning. I wonder if it wasn't popular enough last year, certainly the time I went it there was only a handful of people there.

Speaking of Madame Marie, the facade for her maze, Massacre Manor, is up and looking great.

These "Code of Conduct" signs are displayed prominently outside all mazes.

The Haunt RV is parked up by Bezerker. I wonder if this will get moved to its usual spot outside the main entrance.

Cornstalkers is back again this year. One of my favorite mazes.

Toy Factory is also back for another year.

Good to see they are prepared to handle long lines for the mazes this year.

The Zombie High marquee looks great. The entrance is a five minute walk from the maze, around the outside of the park.

Many rides, including Delirium, have received a touch of seasonal decoration.

Wax Museum: Chamber of Horrors is the other new maze for this year. I think this is the first time this building has been used for a maze.

The line for Wax Museum wraps along the waterside.

Another must see show at haunt will be Academy of Villains, who will be taking up residency in the Showtime Theatre. The dance troupe from San Francisco also appear in Knott's Elvira show.

Orleans Place has begun its transformation in to the Gauntlet scare-zone, home of twisted circus performers.

Carnevil is back, so is Jack!

Hopefully that whets your appetite for Haunt. I'll try and share some pictures from the event new weekend.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:33 am
by 805Andrew
Any Bay Area members going to be at CGA today? I'll be there today to finally ride Gold Striker. PM me if you want to meet up in the park or look for the guy in the purple TPR East Coast Tour shirt.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:46 pm
by laqueefa
rumble wrote:Image


I cant wait for Haunt!!!

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:56 pm
by 805Andrew
Really light crowds at the park. A great day to come here if you are a pass holder in the Bay Area. I got on Gold Striker 5 times in a row with a 1-2 train wait. Oh, and Gold Striker lives up to the hype - amazing ride! :lover:

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:03 pm
by laqueefa
805Andrew wrote:Really light crowds at the park. A great day to come here if you are a pass holder in the Bay Area. I got on Gold Striker 5 times in a row with a 1-2 train wait. Oh, and Gold Striker lives up to the hype - amazing ride! :lover:

Dang, I may have to shoot over!

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:18 pm
by 805Andrew
laqueefa wrote:
805Andrew wrote:Really light crowds at the park. A great day to come here if you are a pass holder in the Bay Area. I got on Gold Striker 5 times in a row with a 1-2 train wait. Oh, and Gold Striker lives up to the hype - amazing ride! :lover:

Dang, I may have to shoot over!

If you do, PM me or look for the guy in the purple TPR East Coast Tour shirt.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:15 pm
by rolercstrluvr
Hey, is there anybody going to opening night of Haunt tonight? If so, look for the guy in the TPR shirt or KBF haunt sweater.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:14 pm
by rumble
Haunt last night was a blast. Here are a few of my thoughts and some pics.

The new stage in Celebration Plaza has displaced the traditional "Overlord's Awakening" opening ceremony. In its place was a much simpler opening ceremony where scores of scareactors flooded out of the Haunt RV.


Wax Museum is one of two new mazes this year and is a trip through a chamber of horrors filed with grotesque wax works, some of which spring to life. The exterior of the maze looks great with a huge illuminated marquee, and a showman barker drawing you in. I thought that this was a pretty good maze with really good attention to detail. It was also great that its a maze that tells a story, with an awesome sinister twist at the end. My criticism would be that the middle section of the maze was really lacking in scareactors, and I went through several rooms passing the wax dioramas where not one sprung to life as advertised! Lets hope they can add a few more scareactors to these empty rooms.


The other new maze, Roadkill Roadhouse, went down whilst I was waiting in line, so I didn't get to check that out yet.

Zombie High was new last year, and still looks great. It's a really detailed maze with lots of campy visual gags and stereotypical highschool characters. There's a spot right before you enter the maze where they take your photo, which I don't remember from last year (could be wrong on this though).

Also saw Dia De Los Muertos which holds up well from last year too. I really like the outdoor sections and twisting walkways. The room with the hanging bodies - with a scareactor or two mixed in - was one of my favorite scares from last year, so was disappointed that there was nobody lurking in that room this year. This maze is located behind Gold Striker, so if you're a coaster nerd its fun to see the ride from this angle.


This year's new scarezone, Ironworx, uses the covered bridge in All American Corners. This is a pretty small area compared to the other scarezones in the park, but it works quite well. There are lots of clanging pipes and banging drums and the scareactors have wonderfully detailed "steam punk" costumes.


The Gauntlet, in Orleans Place is Haunt's signature scarezone. Whereas last year I felt this scarezone was a bit lacking, with nowhere enough scareactors for such a huge space, last night it was overflowing with maniacal circus scareactors, including a stiltwalker, human monkey, ringmaster and lots of scary clowns. A really great scarezone. Lets hope they keep this up for the whole of Haunt.


The final scarezone, Underworld Alley, back by Invertigarden, is the same snooze-fest that it was last year. There were way too few scareactors, I walked right through without seeing a single one. I like that they've added more smoke and decorations to the tunnel to help add some atmosphere to the area, but I really hope that they add some more scareactors here too.

There are also two excellent new shows at Haunt this year, and both are well worth taking to the time to see.

Nytewalkers is the first, and is presented several times a night, sorry nyte, on the huge new stage in Celebration Plaza. This show mashes up acrobatics, gymnastics, parkour, dance, video and lighting effects and ear-splittingly loud music. The whole stage is constantly in use, with action wherever you look. You really need to see the show several times to take it all in. One thing I found a little odd was that the show has a very abrupt ending and the performers walk off without taking a bow. After all the energy and effort they put in, I think the performers could be afforded a moment of applause. Was good to see that the show was pulling a decent size crowd too.


The final new show is Academy Of Villains. AoV is a hip-hop dance group from San Francisco, who had a brief moment in the limelight on America's Got Talent. The group have been part of the El Vira show at Knott's Scary Farm for the past two seasons, but this is their first headline show at a Haunt. The show mixes dance, comedy and illusion and is definitely not-to-be-missed in my opinion.


The park wasn't too crowded, especially early on in the event, but by 9ish lines were starting to form at all mazes. It was actually great to see so many people in the park for opening night. Based on this my advice for any one planning on visiting Haunt would be to get there at opening and see as many of the mazes early on as possible, then once the crowds start to pick up see the shows. The mazes as the back of the park are also pretty deserted at park opening, so its a great opportunity to see these without crowds.

As you can see from above I didn't see that many mazes last night as I was concentrating on the live entertainment and scarezones, so am planning on going back tonight to see the rest of the mazes, and maybe do the Skeleton Key rooms too.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:28 am
by rumble
I visited Haunt again on Saturday night to pick a few more things of the list. I still haven't seen all the mazes this year, but that's one of the luxuries of being a pass-holder; you can take your time to soak in the details and not have to rush to squeeze everything into one night. Here's what I did last night:

Roadkill Roadhouse is one of this year's new mazes. It replaces Slaughterhouse, but is pretty similar in both concept and execution. I heard that a lot of the props and costumes were shipped up from Knott's where they were part of that park's Uncle Willy's BBQ Slaughterhouse maze. The maze feels quite similar in style to Zombie High, with lots of campy gory scenes. The line for this maze was a mess, rather than use the queue-line ropes that most of the other mazes use guests are lined up alongside the back of the maze. Its way too wide a space and results in kids constantly cutting in line. Great America need to add some security to this area to crack down on the line jumpers.

Next up I took a couple of passes through Madame Marie's Massacre Manor. I think this is the best maze at the park. The interior is so wonderfully detailed it really does feel like you are exploring an authentic haunted house. The scareactors are also the cream of the crop in this maze and I love how they address you directly it really makes you feel like part of the story. The climactic scene is wonderfully frantic and is a great alternative to some of the other mazes which have very abrupt endings. I can wait to go through this maze again.

My last maze of the night was Carnevil, which I actually ended up going through four times due to the lack of a line, in fact the maze was oddly quiet all night, this of course worked in my favor as I got a lot of personal attention from the creepy circus folk inside. Carnevil is the same as it always is, "classic" you could say and there are some fun gags and good scareactors in the maze, but to be honest it is starting to feel a little long in the tooth now, and some of the scenes and props are looking quite shabby now. It would be great to see a freshened up Carnevil 2.0 next year, or even a brand new maze with the same creepy circus theme.

I also took in another showing of both Nytewalkers and Academy Of Villains. Nytewalkers was a little tweaked from opening night, with an MC added at the end. Academy Of Villains was yet again spectacular.

The park also had some scareactors out interacting with the crowds outside of the scarezones. I saw scareactors in the lines for Roadhouse and Massacre Manor which made the waits pass by quickly. I also saw roaming scareactors out on the midway by Drop Tower, and of course Madame Marie was out in front of the Chicken Resturant. I thought this was a great bonus touch.

I had hoped to see Mirror Mirror too, but by the time I made it around that side of the park it had a huge line, stretching all the way back in to Kidzville. I heard that when this attraction was at Knott's last year the line was very slow moving due to the limited capacity of the maze and it looks like the same problem is occurring at Great America too.

Plan to see Mirror Mirror, Toy Factory and Cornstalkers next weekend, as well as checking out the Skeleton Key rooms.

Speaking of which, I saw a lot of people who had Frightlane passes use them to skip very short or even non-existant lines at the beginning of the night. If you buy one of these passes I would recommend that you use the regular standby line for the first hour or so that the park is open and then when the park gets busy later in the evening use your Frightlane.

Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:57 am
by Coaster Palooza

The girls went to the Media/VIP Event for Haunt at California’s Great America! I arrived later in the evening and saw a few shows. CGA’s Haunt has new mazes, scare zones and shows! We’ll be attending again in a couple weeks, but below is the Trip Report for the Event!

Wax Museum – new maze. Really interesting with wax characters from popular movies. Can’t wait to see what they do with this maze as the season goes on.

Roadkill Roadhouse – This maze is where Slaughterhouse was set up. It takes over for Slaughterhouse. This is a gruesome maze and I think we could enjoy it more if it wasn’t for all the line jumping.

Mirror Mirror – This isn’t a maze as much as it is a unique experience with mirrors. You will hit some dead ends though. They give you gloves to wear before you go in so you don’t smudge the mirrors with your fingerprints.

Academy of Villains – Spectacular new show! I thought it was long, but everyone really liked it.

Nytewalkers – New show near the Carousel. Another unique show. They scale walls, bounce on trampolines and jump REALLY high!

IronWorx takes place of the Pirates scare zone. A new scare area. It is an experience to see!

Werewolf Canyon is gone.

Blades of Horror is still a MUST see!

The rest of the event is the same as last year. Favorite Mazes in order – Massacre Manor, Dia De Los Muertos, CarnEvil, Toy Factory, Wax Museum, Roadhouse Roadkill, Zombie High, CornStalkers. There isn’t a bad maze, but these are my opinions. Can’t wait to go again!
The Girls!

Gyendolynne with her Fright Lane Pass and Skeleton Key

It glows in the dark!

First stop

A wide variety of Alcohol