California’s Great America – OPENING WEEKEND 2017

Jeremy: It’s time to head back to California’s only large regional park with an off-season… You’ve guessed it, California’s Great America! As most of you know, this last weekend was opening weekend, so we headed out to the Santa Clara theme park to see how the off-season treated the park.


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Upon arrival, I noticed the new security system right outside the front gates. The park has added metal detectors. There were quite a few, so these will take much less time than the wands that they used in the past.

I also noticed that the Star Tower was not running. Though it is still opening weekend, perhaps the tower is closed for inspections related to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Sky Cabin. In this shot, you may also be able to see that the supports that mounted Santa and his reindeer to the top of the Gold Striker tunnel/drop are still attached. They may leave that up for future use. We shall see.

Once we were in the park, it was nice to be back at California’s Great America. Fresh flowers had been planted around the pond, and everything just seemed to shine with new paint, and the park was just amazingly clean and beautiful. So let’s dive head first into the park!

I had arrived around lunch time, so the first thing that we did was eat. We went straight over to Maggie Browns, and we were quite surprised. First off, the name has changed from Maggie Browns, to Maggie’s Smokehouse and Fried Chicken.

Ordering food now is also a whole new process: self serve, and it is by far the most efficient way I have ever seen a theme park do it. When you first walk in there is a set of touchscreens.

You can either touch the screen to start, or scan pass if you have dining plan, or your meal pass if you have the single-day food plan.

It then shows you how many credits you have if you did scan a meal pass. If you don’t have to have a meal plan, you are able to pay with cash or credit as soon as you finish ordering.

Once you have decided on type of payment or plan, you pick your entree.

Once entree is selected, you are able to choose your side. There is also an option for your drink, but since I had my cup I was good to go.

You then get a number, and wait for your number to be called.

While I was waiting I was able to talk to an employee about the all season souvenir bottles. Cedar Fair has stated that they were going to a paper cup option this year. I asked them how this works. They stated that California’s Great America is only going to offer a paper cup if you lose your bottle. Now at Knott’s they are registering your bottle and scanning it every time. That way if it gets lost or stolen, you can replace it for a small fee. We then got our food, and the area that used to be the checkout, is now a condiment station.

This whole process is much more efficient, and the food was fantastic.

Once we finished eating, we headed back over to Hometown Square to get a glimpse of Patriot. We were blindsided though by the all new Peanuts Block Party. Four enormous stages and one giant dog house for Snoopy surround Hometown Square in an all new extreme dance party with Snoopy and the gang.

It was really fun to see the park alive with all new entertainment for the whole family!

Also, right behind the show is the old Firehouse building. It has now re-opened as a beverage stand for refills and purchases.

We then walked over to Patriot.

The wall is still up, but I was able to get a glimpse of the test seat that was directly behind the wall.

We are all very excited that Patriot is just a few days away from having its first riders! We then went around to the exit, which is no longer boarded up, to see what else we could find.

From the looks of things, there will be an on-ride photo, and the new exit area is looking fantastic!

While we are on the subject of Patriot, let’s share a few more photos that we got from the Delta Flyer/Eagle’s Flight.

Test Dummies are still seated on the train. Also… SPOT THE PARAMOUNT ERA:

SO MUCH BLUE. Something that California’s Great America could use!

We were hoping for the station to be covered, but unfortunately, it is not.

Who else is ready to take a spin on Patriot? Season pass holders get a sneak preview on Friday the 31st! Visit the website for details, or download the all new CGA app for more information!

While on the Delta Flyer, we noticed a great amount of structures and buildings around the park being repainted. It seems as if the theme this year is blue, and blue is looking great on Great America. Even the Flying Eagles have been transformed into a new shade of blue, and they look fantastic.

While passing Fire Fall we noticed something was missing…THE RIDE!

You may have noticed that Fire Fall left during this year’s off-season. Like most Top Spins, it doesn’t seem to last. There are just a few more of these scattered around parks.

Oh look! It’s our favorite Wild Mouse Coaster! 

Dispatch times and capacity may be horrible, but we still love you Psycho Mouse <3

Team members Sean and Alex just rode Carowinds’ smaller Drop Tower. At least theirs is repainted. Ours is still looking faded. On a positive note, the shade structure over the ride’s switchbacks have been replaced!

We were very excited to ride Flight Deck again. We also noticed that the restraints got a fresh new coat of paint while in hibernation. This is still one of my favorite B&Ms! Yes it is short, but it sure does pack a punch!


All in all, we had an amazing day at CGA. It was nice to see the park back in its normal state. Everything seems to be all patriotic as well. Even the carousel is dressed in red white and blue.

And that’s it for this quick California’s Great America opening weekend report. Thank you for checking out this report! Check out our new Sol Spin and Six Flags Magic Mountain Updates! 

We also just visited some of the South-East’s best parks and will be comparing them to all of our home-attractions in a set of exciting articles! Stay tuned!

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3 thoughts on “California’s Great America – OPENING WEEKEND 2017”

  1. Six flags should really do the touch screen to order. I’ve been in so many damn lines waiting and waiting because someone would order and just stay in front of the window until they get their food. So damn annoying! And they should also do the scanning as well. I like that idea a shit ton cause I’m always paranoid someone will steal my cup.

  2. I never understood why so many rides at CGA have uncovered stations. Sure the weather is milder than other areas, but standing in direct sunlight can be uncomfortable. I also see on other sites that they haven’t done anything to the beat up gates in the Patriot station either.

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