San Francisco writer loves Gilroy Gardens

Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

"I'm not sure why it took more than than six years as a parent to finally visit Gilroy Gardens. Formerly known as Bonfante Gardens, the amusement park has been around for a decade, catering mostly to young families who want a more low-key alternative to Great America and Discovery Kingdom."

Read more from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:10 PM

Was it me - or did this story just "smack" of an infomercial?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:36 PM

It was just you. He's just a writer talking about his experience. If it were an infomercial, he wouldn't have used the words "penis-shaped."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:41 PM

In most cases, sure. But the park really is that nice. And the reporter critiqued the music. I'd wager this is legit.

That being said, the park really could benefit from more positive PR. I want to take my grandkids too.

Edit: That's right....he said penis-shaped. (can't wait for Beavis and Butthead's return)

Last edited by janfrederick, Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:43 PM
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:45 PM

We were time-limited at the park due to a tight (SpringCon) schedule...and for thrill-seekers, 4 or 5 hours at the place might be enough. For people who love gardens and the whole horticultural gig, like me, it would be VERY easy to spend a whole day there...regardless of musical choice/tastes.

I'd find it pretty difficult to be *objective* - I totally fell in love.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:46 PM

When I win Mega Millions, I might donate a new woodie. ;)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:11 PM

Jeff said:
It was just you. He's just a writer talking about his experience. If it were an infomercial, he wouldn't have used the words "penis-shaped."

Yes - I missed that blurb. How un-family friendly! Make them turn it inside out.... or something...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:21 PM

janfrederick said:
When I win Mega Millions, I might donate a new woodie. ;)

Penis shaped speakers and a donated woodie.. what more could a park near SF want? :)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:00 PM

Jeff said:
If it were an infomercial, he wouldn't have used the words "penis-shaped."

Leave it to this comment to actually make me go read the article.

The park looks great. Is this the former Charmland USA?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:50 PM

I suspect a lot of people read the article after that reference. I do what I can to help the newspaper.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:34 PM

+1 for male genitalia references. Did I just say that?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:35 PM

Overall a nice piece. I too decided to read after the penis coment. :-)

Since I visited in 2007, Gilroy has been my favorite park for landscaping. It's a great park to just walk around and take in the "Charm"

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:53 PM

Jeff said:
If it were an infomercial, he wouldn't have used the words "penis-shaped."

I'm not so sure that'd be a bad thing in an infomercial setting. I mean, how many more tubs of Oxy-Clean would Billy Mays have sold if he had to say those words with a straight face?

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:35 PM

I visited Gilroy Gardens for the first time a few years ago and had the same reaction the the writer of this story (although I don't remember the annoying music part). The park is just incredible.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:51 PM

I listened to the music clip - definitely not an infomercial - that would deter visitors.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:47 PM

Jeff said:
It was just you. He's just a writer talking about his experience. If it were an infomercial, he wouldn't have used the words "penis-shaped."

Unless it were an infomercial for..., oh never mind.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:22 PM

Penis-shaped things are so gay.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:27 PM

Gonch, that is very discriminatory against things that are vagina-shaped.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 11:02 PM

The first time I saw anything on Bonfante Gardens was when PBS did a segment about the park on Victory Garden. I was totally blown away by all the cool things they did to mold and shape the trees and plants. Gilroy Gardens is on my list of Cali amusement parks to see as much as Knott's, CGA, Disney, or Magic Mountain.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:29 AM

It seems perfectly reasonable to refer to "penis shaped speakers" in a column entitled "The Poop."

And for the record, there IS a garlic-shaped mascot, named Gil. I have one of his little plush likenesses sitting on my mantel between two (stuffed) Dueling Dragons and next to a (stuffed) Big Bad Wolf (with curly tail, of course). Gil looks like a clove of garlic with arms, legs, smile, and sunglasses. Think in terms of the Kiss at Hersheypark, only in beige instead of tinfoil.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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