Keep Off The Demon - Review of California's Great America, Santa Clara, CA - Tripadvisor
California's Great America
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Reviewed August 3, 2011

I was with friends (15-28 years old) during july and everybody enjoy. Some don't like roaller coster but they enjoyed to because there is a lot of different types of rides. The Aqua parc is really good, especially during the begining of afternoon.
The only bad thing is the price of food, it's really expensive but you don't have choice because you can't bring foot inside the parc !
My friend and me were disapoint because there in no photographs !
You can go to the parc at every âge and you will enjoy it ! :)

Thank chloegarbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

This rides pak is just wonderfull, there is many rides of different types, one beautifull aqua park and the acces is really simple ! The only incovenient is the price of the food inside the park, it's very expensive and it's not allowed to bring food.. I was there with friends betteen 21 and 14 and everybody enjoyed a lot, even the people who don't like the roaller coaster ! There is not longs lines to go to the rides not like in Disney land or Universal studio, so it's great. If you go there you will spent a wonderfull day :)

Date of experience: July 2011
Thank garbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

It's hard to believe I haven't been to Great America in over 17 years, but time really flies by. Even when we started talking about going back to the park three or four years ago, we kept putting it off. Mostly because of the horrible reputation this place has gotten after several ownership changes, once almost closing down for good, and the rumors of violence.

This park is now owned by Cedar Fair, which owns and operates many theme parks across the country, including Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California. They do a decent job with Great America, which makes the park more appealing than when it was independently owned, but nothing like when Paramount ran it, or Marriott, which opened the park in 1976.

We visited the park on a Sunday in July. I expected huge crowds, long lines and hot weather. I was pleasantly surprised that none of this came to fruition. The crowds were small then entire day. I'd imagine the park wasn't even half full. Our average wait in line was about ten minutes, and this could have been shorter (see "the bad"). And the weather was perfect. Not hot at all, and certainly not cold.

Great America has a pretty good selection of rides, including some very good roller coasters, led by Flight Deck (formerly Top Gun), Demon, The Grizzly and Vortex. The Drop Tower (formerly Drop Zone) is a free-fall ride that falls short of similar rides like Supreme Scream (Knott's) and Maliboomer (formerly Disney California Adventure). The reason being that the ride takes you up and drops you once. That's it. Many people like this. I'd prefer a little more. The park also offers a few water rides, along with plenty of spinning thrills, and a host of kiddie attractions in the Planet Snoopy area.

Boomerang Bay is Great America's "second park". This water park features slides, tube rides, a wave tank and other water attractions. The best thing about Boomerang Bay is that admission to the park is included in your Great America ticket. This makes a day at Great America a very good value.

Great America also offers several live shows and a cast of Peanuts characters including Charlie Brown, Lucy and of course, Snoopy.

As with all amusement parks, food is on the expensive side. Vending machine sodas and bottled water are $4 each. Food-service sodas are $3.99 (plus tax), but they are 32-oz, (larger than the 20-oz vending machine bottles). TIP! Ice water is available for free, on request in most food-service places and the cups are generous in size.

The food at Great America is not bad. We had lunch at the Coca Cola American Cafe. Corn dogs, chicken strips and hot dogs were tasty and generous in size. The deluxe cheeseburger was better than most fast food places. It ain't cheap, but it is good food.

Great America has some very good deals if you purchase your tickets online before leaving home. We bought a 4-pack of tickets for $138. That's less than $35 per person, and much less than the $55 main gate ticket price. Season passes start at $60, and all tickets include both the main park and Boomerang Bay.

For a seasonal park, this place must get locked up and abandoned after the season ends. Great America could use a very deep cleaning and a face lift. All ride queues are in disrepair, with worn-down wood and railings that look like they haven't been painted in several years. Signage throughout the park is very generic.

When we arrived at the park at 11am, we noticed many trash cans that were overflowing with garbage. They obviously had not been emptied from the day before. When we left the park at 5:30pm, those same cans (at least 12 of them) were still overflowing with trash built-up on the ground besides them. This gave us a bad impression of what we might expect inside. Fortunately, the park wasn't nearly as dirty on the inside.

Service at Great America is HORRIBLE! Employees are less than enthused about their jobs. They are slow in every aspect. Ride operators take their time loading and unloading guests between each ride. Roller coaster load times were 2 to 3 minutes. Spinning ride load times were 5 minutes or longer between rides. Our ten minute waits in line could have been cut in half if the operators did a better job.

Food service was just as bad. Restaurant and snack stand workers were as slow as molasses. From getting your order correct, to working the register. This area of the park experience is a hot mess. I had to tell the employee at the Dippin' Dots booth three times which flavor I wanted. Not because she didn't understand. But because she couldn't listen. Clearly Great America can do a better job screening and hiring their seasonal help.

Overall, we had a good experience at Great America. Not sure when I'll return to the park, but I don't think it will be another 17 years.

Date of experience: July 2011
1  Thank jvptravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

no lines, lots of roller coasters, lots of parking.

Date of experience: August 2010
Thank ef83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

We went to Great America around 6:30pm and they close at 10:00pm but if your in your late 20's and your wanting to just go to a theme park for fun in the Bay area--it's definitely the time to go since the tickets are 50% off and trust me--you'll be able to ride EVERYTHING! I can't imagine people who go to the theme park and its an ALL day thing--I mean if you have kids I understand--even than i would just be so annoyed!

Have some funnel cake and try to make funny faces on flight deck for the pictures--you'll have a great time! They even have beer--for a raging price of I think it was like $9.00 a cup.

Date of experience: July 2011
Thank Sammy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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