Bonfante Gardens pictures

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Saturday, September 16, 2006 6:15 PM
No words in a TR can describe this park. Enjoy the photos instead. :)

http://s107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/Robocoaster/Bonfante%20Gardens/

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Saturday, September 16, 2006 8:36 PM
Nice pictures, the place looks very pretty. Its cool how they preserve so many trees and use them as part of the park, like that artichoke themed ride which uses a tree as an alternative to the tyical "umbrella type ride" lol.
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Saturday, September 16, 2006 10:27 PM
It was kind of interesting to hear, but they have a program that showed on Travel Channel a couple of years ago called "Billionaires Toys" and Bonfante Gardens was one of them. A billionaire built his own theme park in his own backyard. When I heard about CF operating this park, I was surprised that Paramount owned it. I guess the owner either got rid of it, or wanted a larger company to look over it. Anyway, the park looked much more like a huge garden with a few family rides on the show. The program comes on every once and a while still.

EDIT: Nice pictures, the park looks great. Cedar Fair picked up a great park it seems like. *** Edited 9/17/2006 2:44:04 AM UTC by gomez***

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Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:59 AM
Paramont never owned it, and neither does Cedar Fair. They have an management contract. The park is part of a trust.
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Sunday, September 17, 2006 2:31 PM
I think the agreement is similar to what CF had with Camp Snoopy (The Park at MoA). Can anyone explain more on what CF is in charge of with BG.
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Sunday, September 17, 2006 3:25 PM
This is such an excellent park. I remember the year PGA cancelled Coasterpalooza at the very last minute, only giving us a day ticket as compensation. We went to Bonfante instead and had a GREAT time. The theme, the scenery, and the fact everyone is just having a good time. It's a great place that I encourage everyone to visit.

Who could pass up a ride on a giant swinging banana?

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Sunday, September 17, 2006 6:12 PM
Paramount (now CF) manages the property and handles all day to day operations. The park is still owned by the original investors (although I think a few may have left after the sale of some adjoining acreage).

I don't think Michael Bonfante wanted to give up the park. I believe he was forced out by the Board of Directors -- the same Board of Directors/Investors that spent all the park's money on rides before opening the park. Mr. Bonfante's original plan was just a "garden" park. No rides, just more or less an educational and inspirational horticortial park.

Unfortunately, the park bled money the first year and Mr. Bonfante didn't have the bankroll to keep it going. I think it only opened for half a season the second year.

I'm not sure who approached Paramount, but thank goodness they were able to keep this park alive. Except for some product marketing changes, they have pretty much kept the park the same, leaving the beauty of Mr. Bonfante's original vision intact.

If you haven't been, definitely make a trip out there. The Arrow Mine Train coaster doesn't look like much from a distance, but it has an amazing custom layout and packs more punch than you expect.

More about the Paramount operation of the park can be found here:
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2003/July/30/local/stories/03local.htm

And, oh yeah, thanks for the photos!

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Sunday, September 17, 2006 6:37 PM
This park wins hands down on the best smelling award. I have never been to a park that smelled this good and fresh. It's an incredibly beautiful place, and I'd go so far as to say it's on the quality level of BGE only minus the thrill rides, although Quicksilver Express does pack a punch for a mine train. Here's to Circus Trees!

*** Edited 9/17/2006 10:39:19 PM UTC by thrillerman1***

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