Friday, December 30, 2011

Lost Attractions: Skyhawk

Skyhawk made its debut at Great America in 1989. Manufactured by Intamin, this “Flight Trainer” model carried riders approximately 60 feet in the air in “flight cabins.” The cabins were attached to arms, and riders could rotate their cabins manually 360 degrees. Riders could flip themselves upside down nearly the entire ride, or just enjoy the view in an upright position.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lost Attractions: The IMAX Pictorium Theater

Welcome to “Lost Attractions,” a new series that looks at defunct rides and attractions at California’s Great America. Starting off the series is the IMAX Pictorium.

Ever wondered what that big building is next to the Star Tower? Today, it’s used for storage and the Club Blood maze at Halloween Haunt. However, at one time it was known as the Lockheed IMAX Pictorium Theater, featuring a 65 foot tall by 89 foot wide screen. The Pictorium ran from 1978 until 2001, and remained closed until a one-weekend opening in 2004. It has since been closed for good.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Streaming Halloween Haunt music

Thomas Tissot, the mastermind behind the Halloween Haunt music, has uploaded the new tracks that debuted at 2011's Haunt: Dead Man's Cove, Underworld Alley, and Slaughterhouse: Annihilation. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2013 coaster rumor

Things are getting interesting...from Screamscape:

2013 - New Coaster - Rumor - (12/8/11) Screamscape sources tell us that Cedar Fair management may have privately confirmed to GCA management that the park would get a new roller coaster for 2013. So the question remains… is it the long delayed GCI wooden coaster or something new?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cedar Fair will retain ownership of park

Cedar Fair announced today in a press release that they will retain ownership of CGA due to JMA Ventures backing out. Perhaps Cedar Fair has realized the potential of the park, as it was one of their top 4 performing parks of 2011.

Interesting quote from the press release, from Cedar Fair president Matt Ouimet: “California’s Great America was a strong performer in 2011 and we are confident this will continue into the future as we build the park’s customer base through new marketing initiatives and capital investments.”

These "capital investments" are hinted at in an article by the San Jose Mercury: "[Santa Clara Mayor Jamie] Matthews said he's also thrilled to hear that Cedar Fair Entertainment plans to "make major investments" in the park, including a new waterslide attraction and roller coaster. "

Things could be looking up for CGA. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

City will approve (or deny) sale to JMA on Dec. 6

The city will decide on Dec. 6 if they will approve the sale to JMA, according to a document from the Santa Clara City Council. Apparently, JMA is looking to modify the lease to make the project "more financeable."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Global Winter Wonderland and Google Maps

Check out the construction of the Global Winter Wonderland event that will take place Nov. 25-Jan. 2 in CGA's parking lot:

You can also take a virtual walk through the park with Google's Street View.

Surprise! No new rides for 2012

From Screamscape:
2012 - No New Attraction - (11/8/11) Our sources tell us that CGA has confirmed that there will be no new rides for the 2012 season, as the new management will focus on taking control of the park and putting their own house in order.
Looks like we will have another "transition" year, similar to 2007. At the very least, maybe Flight Deck and Drop Tower will be renamed once again.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Haunt 2011 opening night review

I went to CGA's Halloween Haunt on opening night. It was great to be back! Certainly a lot more crowded than opening night last year. Nobody was waiting for the rides, all the lines were for the mazes.

I finally caught the opening ceremony, after missing it last year. It was very well done, especially with the Overlord rising almost to the top of the Carousel.

Lots of noticeable improvements throughout. The most obvious one being Slaughterhouse: Annihilation (more on that later), but also some surprising ones (you can hardly recognize Underworld Alley now, lots of new additions). Black Widow's Cavern seemed to have more monsters this time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Great America SOLD

Cedar Fair has agreed to sell Great America to the 49ers and JMA Ventures, for $70 million. Read more here.

The article did note that "the Drop Zone and the Demon rides aren't going anywhere," so shelve those Demon removal rumors for now.

I don't know what to make of this yet. Could be great for the park, but also very, very bad.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rumor: Demon next to go?

Take this with a grain of salt, folks: On a recent Youtube video that CGA posted, a user who supposedly works for a local demolition company wrote a comment, claiming that the park has been gathering estimates for a potential demolition of the Demon.

As always, this could be a troll looking for attention, and have no basis in fact whatsoever.

Read the user's comments on this video:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Halloween Haunt 2011 full details

CGA has updated the Halloween Haunt website.  Check it out here:

The full details are listed on this poster:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New wooden coaster is coming...just not in 2012

Theme Park Review members who attended a Q&A session with park management recently were told that the wooden coaster is indeed back on track, and will be built either in 2013 or 2014.

I'd expect the coaster to open in 2013, seeing that it would be within the time frame of the two-year height variance extension.

As far as 2012 announcements go, Cedar Fair plans to announce new additions for "all" of its parks in late August/early September, so stay tuned.

Early Halloween Haunt 2011 details

Slaughterhouse will be receiving an update this year, and will be renamed Slaughterhouse: Annihilation.

The Witch Doctor's Trail scare zone will not return.  Instead, Dead Man's Cove: Lost Souls will begin at WDT's former location (bridge near Firefall), and extend all the way to Logger's Run.

Fangs will also not return, but there will be new shows.

CGA has promised to reveal full Haunt details soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wooden coaster project being revived?

I came across some interesting information regarding the supposedly dead wooden coaster project.  Last month, Cedar Fair requested a two-year extension for the 111-foot height variance for the wooden coaster.  You can see the request from the Santa Clara Planning Commission agenda for their June meeting.  I've highlighted the important bit here:

Also of note is the permit status for the project, which you can view on Santa Clara's online permit database.  It looked like the project died in 2009, but now there are a few new entries dated in May and June of this year.  The request for a time extension is noted on one entry.  I don't understand the code words on the other entries, but what is important is that there has been movement recently on the project.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Firefall has reopened (hopefully for good)

Reports have been coming in that Firefall has now reopened, for now at least. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

News roundup 7/1

Cedar Fair's new incoming CEO, Matt Ouimet, visited CGA recently. 

Cedar Fair has announced Coasting for Kids 2011, a charity event in which participants can marathon Flight Deck.  More info here.

Finally some light at the end of the tunnel for Firefall, as it has been testing this past week.  I'd expect the ride to open soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A new game is being constructed near Barney Oldfield's Speedway, called "Home Run Derby."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rumor: Halloween Haunt expansion?

An anonymous user on Wikipedia has posted that a Halloween Haunt expansion is scheduled for this year.  While it is Wikipedia, an expansion surely sounds plausible, as CGA has consistently expanded the event every year.

Haunt details are usually announced around August, so we won't have too long to wait.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Rip Roaring Rapids now has a drying booth.  For 5 dollars, you can spend three minutes in infrared light.

Firefall is still down, but there were mechanics working on it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recent quote from Cedar Fair

From Dick Kinzel, in the latest Cedar Fair press release:

"We have already begun approving new rides and attractions well into 2013 and I am confident these investments will continue to make our parks the best in the world."

Could CGA be included in this?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

White Water Falls and Firefall updates

White Water Falls has recently reopened.

Also, the gondola for Firefall has been reattached, and is currently testing. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stadium and White Water Falls Update

The court has ruled that Cedar Fair will not be able to halt the new 49ers stadium.  Read more here.

Also, it has been reported on Theme Park Review that White Water Falls has been testing.  Expect the ride to open soon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Guinness World Records LIVE!

Cedar Fair has partnered with Guinness World Records to present GWR LIVE!, an event that will tour Cedar Fair parks, including CGA this summer.

According to the press release, the "mission is to entertain, educate and inspire people through a live Guinness World Records experience; and to celebrate ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats."

You can read the entire release here.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Recent visitors

CGA has had some "high profile" guests lately.  According to a post on Theme Park Review, Dick Kinzel, CEO of Cedar Fair, visited the park recently.

Also, a few Detroit Red Wings players visited the park on Thursday, as they prepare for their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks:

Via CGA's Facebook

Friday, April 29, 2011


White Water Falls, down since the start of the season, showed some signs of progress today.  There were mechanics in the control booth, and more at the top of the lift hill. They weren't testing, however.

Firefall, also down, still has it's gondola parked outside of the maintenance shops.

Both rides are rumored to open sometime in May.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


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