Great America

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 7:24 PM
LuvRaptor's avatar

Since I am in California again my fav ride warrior and I are trying to make a plan for the parks. We are definitely going to SFMM, US, Disney, Disneys Adventure and Knotts.

My ?? is--has anyone here been to Great America? It would be an 8 hour drive for us and Im not willing to make that long a trip unless it would REALLY be worth it.
Thanks for the advice!!

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2175 :)


It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 7:50 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Jo, while I have not been to any Cali parks a quick look at their collection shows it to be a completely passable park.

The only coaster that looked decent is Flight Deck which is a B&M invert.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Tuesday, May 4, 2010 7:51 PM

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:10 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Jo - what about heading south and hitting Belmont Park and it's great classic woodie? If you've not done that yet perhaps it's an option?

You'll be disappointed with Great America.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 10:23 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

If you were to head north, I would recommend SFDK, SCBB, or even Gilroy Gardens ahead of GAm. It is NOT worth the drive for just GAm, and I'm not sure one the other parks would be either. It's probably best to save the 4 of them for a completely separate trip.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 5:05 AM

I have never been to the northern Cali parks, but if I were to make that drive, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom would be the one I would want to check out since it seems like Sea World in alot of ways and the coaster collection looks pretty good.

I would only then hit Great America for a second park.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 6:23 AM

^^What Andy said. None of these parks are spectacular, but they are worth a visit if you're in the area. I wouldn't drive up there unless you've got a few days to do all of them. Gilroy Gardens is a very nice park, but it's more of a garden with kiddie rides. The boardwalk is fun place to spend a couple hours, and has got a great old woodie. Six Flags is has a couple good rides and a pretty good wildlife section. Great America really has just one good B & M invert. Although it started out like the Chicago park, it didn't end up that way. It's a nice park, but "dull" would be the best word I can think of to describe it.


To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:20 PM
janfrederick's avatar

The drive can be pretty loooong and boring too.

However, a visit to San Francisco would make it worth it. The cable cars are a blast. But if you do go, I'd skip Great America and hit the boardwalk.


"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
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 10:12 PM
LuvRaptor's avatar

Mamoosh said:
Jo - what about heading south and hitting Belmont Park and it's great classic woodie? If you've not done that yet perhaps it's an option?

You'll be disappointed with Great America.

I knew if I asked someone would beable to lmk about GA! So taking it off our list. Thanks! :)
Actually added Madame Tussards Wax Museum to our SFMM & US stops next week. I will safely assume it will be more fun than GA would have been! :)

Moosh-did Belmont in August and went directly there from airport on Sunday. Took a Ace-holeish picture next to the new Giant Dipper ACE plaque too!

Just gotta love California--what a cornacopia of stuff to do!!! SOOO not missing Ohio!!
Thanks again for all the helpful advise!!

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2175 :)


It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:19 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

Or wait and just go to the REAL Great America - in Gurnee, Illinois :)

Had to, sorry ;)


Billy
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Thursday, May 6, 2010 10:49 AM

IMHO California's Great America is an extremely mediocre and unloved park, which has the saving grace of one very good coaster (no prizes........). If I were heading in that direction, SF Discovery Kingdom is much better and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is much, much better :) And Gilroy Gardens is worth an hour of your time too.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010 3:38 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^The Whizzer and Tidal Wave are gone. The Demon's drop is neutered and it's rocks are gone. Ahhh... is it Top Gun you're talking about?


Billy
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Thursday, May 6, 2010 3:58 PM

^No, no, no.

It's Flight Deck. Get it right sir. :)

Much better name.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010 4:33 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^I knew it was a different name, just couldn't think of it. Wasn' t it originally Top Gun? Flight Deck is better? I guess it ain't bad...

I've never actually been to CA Great America. But from reading reviews, looking at pictures for years and years, and knowing that it now has a Cedar Fair makeover, can't be what it once was.

There was a time in the early 80's that I was excited to get out there to see if their American Eagle was the same as ours - as I already had known that their Demon was different in minor ways (from looking at pictures). It took me a while to figure out that they didn't have an American Eagle - ahhh the days before the internet. Had to write letters and go to the library back then!


Billy
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Friday, May 7, 2010 1:23 PM

I was kidding about Flight Deck being a better name. It actually sucks.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Friday, May 7, 2010 7:11 PM

I think Great America descended into eternal mediocraty with the removal of Stealth. It really didn't take much capital investment to keep the old PGA at the forefront (which Paramount clearly knew in retrospect). Even with the advent of Kong, Medusa, Vertical Velocity, and Roar in 2002, PGA was the go-to park for any function, primarily because locally it always had been, plus the park had Stealth and Drop Zone as a cherry-on-top of it's classic charm. Six Flags really had to struggle to break into that market even with a bigger-badder coaster line-up.

I understand why they did it --- become the only NorCal park with a water park --- but they would have been better off ripping out any other section of the park --- removing a park's anchor attraction without proper replacement should be a no-no. They're eternally remembered as the park that's a duller version of its former self.

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Friday, May 7, 2010 10:15 PM
Vater's avatar

I rode what used to be Stealth last year. I've never been to PGA, but I'd like to think that the removal of that coaster would make a park ascend to mediocrity, or possibly greatness.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010 6:19 AM

Not when that when that ride was considered state-of-the-art and the park's biggest attraction. Imagine if Kings Dominion removed Volcano in 2000, two years after opening, then removed Anaconda in 2001, and did not add a single coaster for the next decade except for Ricochet? Not that spectacular, but I could not imagine that scenario working well for any park. Point taken, if that made much sense?

Last edited by Vertigo, Saturday, May 8, 2010 6:20 AM
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Saturday, May 8, 2010 9:24 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I agree with Vertigo and I feel a similar way. Sure, Stealth was plagued with reliability problems and capacity problems, but it was the flagship ride of the park. Compared to the rest of the coasters in Northern Cal, it was a huge step up in "GP Coolness" and "wow factor." After its removal, even though the park went back to where it was a few years ago, all that I could think of when I *didn't* go was "without Stealth, what's there to ride?"


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, May 8, 2010 11:16 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the star of NorCal. Great America is a pretty park, but is indeed lacking in great rides. If that GCI woodie ever got built, I'm guessing it would become a much, much, much more popular park with enthusiasts.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Saturday, May 8, 2010 5:25 PM

It's a head scratcher how a park with an *eight* coaster line-up could be so dull. I feel so ungrateful and at the same time wonder, "what's there to be greatful for?" Apollo, I think it's was more of the combination of losing Stealth, Greased Lightning, Skyhawk, and for a brief period, Drop Zone, all in the course of two years (arguably four of the park's five most thrilling attraction. Pyscho Mouse did not quite fill that void, simply

The majority of CGA's coaster are not family attraction's (Pyscho Mouse atleast fits that description), but simply dated 1st generation thrill attractions that are quite past their prime (Demon, Invertigo, Vortex...even Flight Deck is an incredibly short grandpa of a B&M invert, the shortest ride-length time for a B&M, ) and Grizzly is just in a category of it's own (not necessarily deserving of it's "world's worst woodie" title, but it deos ride like a horse with broken legs). That leaves only the two kiddie coasters. 1+4+2+Grizzly= 8.

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