Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Holiday Lights trip report
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby gisco » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:25 am

Hardly anyone goes to the park now, if it wasn't for the rides, no one would go. I wonder how much money comes from the trust to run the park and what does CF get out of all this?

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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby RCjunkie » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:32 pm

gisco wrote: I wonder how much money comes from the trust to run the park and what does CF get out of all this?


Good question, it would be interesting to know. CF must get enough to make it worth their time because they have kept this relationship up over the years and they list them on their main site as one of their 13 parks. In their quarterly reports all I have been able to find for revenue is their pie charts with no dollar values assigned to it but just a graphic representation of how much each park contributed to the whole piece of the revenue pie. And they don't split out their 'fee' for running the place or how much of a percentage of sales (if any) that they get towards revenue. If anyone knows where to find this information please let me know because I too am curious. I just read the quarterly reports for CF, do people who own stock get a more detailed picture?

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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby Flagg O'Dim » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:11 am

I went to Gilroy Gardens' annual Holiday Lights for the first time on Saturday. I was able to get in for free thanks to my 2013 California's Great America Gold Pass (really got a lot of mileage out of it this year).

The light displays are pretty spectacular. The park opens at 3 p.m., but at that time, it's a little too bright to be able to see any of the displays.

Once darkness starts to fall around 5 p.m. that's when the park really starts to shine (literally).

Night rides on Quicksilver Express and Timber Twister were some of the highlights of the night, even if it was freezing cold!

Some of the trees around Quicksilver Express are lit up, but for the most part, you're in complete darkness. Going down the second drop in complete darkness is pretty amazing.

The Waterfall Illumination show at Bonfante Falls was fun to watch. I took a video of it:



On to the pictures:

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The park's entrance gives you a taste of what you're going to be seeing a lot: Lights!
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Attendance was a bit lackluster, but at Gilroy Gardens, that's the norm.
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Wish I took this picture when it was darker, but Panoramic Wheel had its own mini light show.
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At first, I thought the amount of tables was excessive for the holiday feast, but it was quite full later on in the night.
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Many ride queues had their own decorations. This was Timber Twister's queue.
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People gather for Waterfall Illumination, a really cool display of lights that are synchronized to music.
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Most of Bonfante Falls is closed off, and for good reason: You don't want to be walking underneath the waterfalls in this weather.
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But of course, off-limits areas do not apply to irresponsible parents.
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The show is about to begin!
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South County Backroads (aka "the car ride") is themed to the 12 Days of Christmas.
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The lights are hardly noticeable during daylight. Once night hit, this ride had a long line (for Gilroy Gardens, that is).
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We wanted to punish ourselves with a freezing-cold ride on Mushroom Swing, but it was down when we got in line.
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I'll end this with a construction update for Gilroy Gardens' new water area. Land clearing is still going on. They removed a circus tree on the property since my last visit.
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This is what the area looked like in mid-November. Workers dug around the circus tree and built a box around it for transportation.
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A hole is all that is left now.

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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby cfc » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:57 am

Looks like Gilroy Gardens does a nice job with their holiday lights. It is a very pleasant park, and I hope it survives and has the chance to grow a bit.
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby Mechanic » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:16 pm

Thank you for the report! It's been several years (maybe even a decade now that I think about it) since I've attended Gilroy Gardens' holiday event, but it looks like it's better than ever. The South County Backroads ride was definitely a highlight during my last visit. Hearing that they had the coasters running during your visit is icing on the cake. This is definitely a must-visit park for anyone that finds themselves in the south bay area. I may just have to find myself in that area this weekend.
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby kidcoaster 2 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:03 pm

Looks like a really nice event. Thanks for the photos!

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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby Mrlittle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:19 pm

They did a good job with the christmas lights.
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby Jew » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:28 pm

What does fast lane actually cost the park? Might as well add it, since it's almost pure profit for the park!
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby forces » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:33 am

Thanks for the update!! I enjoyed the park when I visited this year and it is nice to see the park taking the time and efforts to look great for the Christmas season.
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Re: Trip to Gilroy Gardens

Postby cfc » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:52 am

Mechanic wrote:Thank you for the report! It's been several years (maybe even a decade now that I think about it) since I've attended Gilroy Gardens' holiday event, but it looks like it's better than ever. The South County Backroads ride was definitely a highlight during my last visit. Hearing that they had the coasters running during your visit is icing on the cake. This is definitely a must-visit park for anyone that finds themselves in the south bay area. I may just have to find myself in that area this weekend.


I think Gilroy's car ride is the best of its kind.
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