Bonfante Gardens flourishes under new management

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Bonfante Gardens has become more successful since Paramount Parks began managing it in March. Joint marketing with Paramount's Great America, including a season pass offer for both parks, coupled with the company's skill at managing theme parks, has resulted in what park officials say is a "better year."

Read more from The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Mamoosh's avatar
This is *awesome* news! Bonfante Gardens is by far the most beautiful park I've ever visited [yes, I've been to the Busch parks] with excellently themed rides. IMHO this place is begging for a medium sized terrain woodie to compliment their awesome Morgan mine train, Quicksilver Express.

Anyone headed to the Bay Area this summer should definitely plan to spend a day at Bonfante Gardens. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the big themers.


A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Osteopornosis [n.] A degenerate disease.

john peck's avatar
Yes, I agree completely with you, Moosh. This was indeed one of my favorite stops when I was in Calif. Last summer.
Paramount's Bonfante Gardens? Maybe?
janfrederick's avatar
I hadn't considered Paramount's buying power to help save money. Good thing. Also, this stood out:

"Still, several changes have taken place, though only a keen observer likely would notice.

First, all rides are open all the time. "

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Think this topic is a little old???
Jeff's avatar
Uh, the article is dated yesterday. How is that old?

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - -
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

Take it from a regular visitor, the park has been much busier this year than ever before. So yes, Paramount has done a great job at getting the word out about BG, it's nice to see crowds in the park for a change. And kudos to Paramount for maintaining the beautiful landscaping, all the plants and trees still look healthy and well taken care of.

But being a "keen observer", I've noticed slight changes that although are small, do make a difference since it is the small things in this little park that make the difference. The food quality throughout the park is not nearly as good as it was before, I miss the delicious garlic mash potatoes and roasted chicken that used to be served in the mentioned San Juan Grill. Special efx like the thick mist in Quicksilver's tunnel, on Round Boat Ride, and in the car wash section of South County Backroads no longer work. Nor do the few animatronics like the dynamite and laughing racoons on QE, and clucking chickens on SCBR (the embarrasingly cheesy singing vegetables show still works though!). I've actually seen graffitti in many of the bathrooms this year for the first time since the park opened, dirty bathrooms in general, trash cans overflowing, etc.

It's still a very beautiful and amazing park, always enjoy bringing friends and family for their first visits and seeing their reactions to how amazingly beautiful it all is. And at the same time I realize in order to meet the bottom line, some things had to give in order for the park to survive, so I do cut Paramount some slack and appreciate what they are doing right. Besides, most of the GP probably doesn't notice or care since they're used to unmaintained efx, mediocre food and dirty bathrooms at PGA, but again, these little changes are noticable to this "keen observer". Hopefully once the park starts turning a profit thanks to Paramounts efforts, they'll have the means to maintain the park to the way it was before, along with adding that hillside woodie!

"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it"

I think this topic could have been up here at least 2-3 months ago. If you just found out this info, that's fine. I've just known for quite a while about this topic. Seems old to me...
I was at Bonfante Gardens a week ago along with a friend who had a 2 year old boy, and had a great day. I bought a P.G.A. V.I.P. Season Pass and took advantage of the 2 for 1 offer so my friend was free. I agree a medium sized wooden coaster would be great for that park, in addition to a few more flat rides, like an S&S Double Shot tower(s). The Illinios Supreme Carousel has been running very slow ever since the park opened back in 2001. A manager told me it's had lots of problems that they're working on, and Paramount Parks is comitted to make the park a success.
Which also proves to me that Paramount could succesfully run Lesourdsville Lake and PKI even though they are only 20 miles from each other.

Charles Nungester.
It's official Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003

Jeff's avatar
Tycoonman... look carefully. Think hard. This is a news article. It's linked to a news story that was published by a newspaper Wednesday. No one cares how long you've known anything. "2-3 months ago" was too early to tell what Paramount was able to achieve with the park.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - -
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

Just visited BG for the first time on Friday. One word: "Wow!". The park is absolutely the most gorgeous theme park I have ever been to! The park sorta proves that the "California" theme doesn't have to come out poorly (see DCA). I'm glad to here that it is "Officially" doing better. We met up with a family friend who's son did some contracting with the park. She was making it sound like the mgmt was going to put the padlocks on the gates forever the next day!

I was completely won over by the park. I think it really has potential. Jeez, I wish there was something I could do to help (other than actually regularly visit and get the word of mouth out, that I'll do...)

It's weird, alot of what I saw (and what I learned of "Behind the scenes" from our friend) reminds me of early Disneyland...

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