I agree with many, that CGA has improved since CF took over. I work there, and I'm always enthusiastic, and I have fun with what I'm doing. I don't know why people always say it's the worst park ever. For the most part, the GP loves Great America. Now just because some of the rides aren't good (*cough* Vortex *cough* Grizzly) doesn't mean that the park sucks. If you look at Firefall, you can see that CF really put effort into making it look nice. It's got great foliage, and the fountains look magnificent.
Bottom line, you can't go to CGA expecting super awesome rides, or else you'll be really disappointed. However, if you go for the overall park experience, you will be impressed with what Cedar Fair has done.
This thread seems to have become "Why I hate CGA vs. Why I Love CGA"
Overall, I used to think CGA was an amazing park. This was back when SFDK was still Marine World Africa USA and we didn't really have any other park in the bay area. Demon was my first ride, hell I was so coaster illiterate at the time, i thought Grizzly was fun. Now that I'm older and have visited more park across the US, Yes, I consider CGA one of the worst parks I've been. However I don't think it's a bad park. It has it's old time charm(Orbitor, Barney Oldfield, Centrifuge), some fairly thrilling rides(Top Flight Afterburn Gun Deck, Invertigo, Delerium), and Family stuff(Boom Bay, Psycho Mouse, and Survivor).
I guess what I'm getting at... The park is moving too slow. It has great assets but isn't getting more fast enough. Hopefully CF can step up the pace like they have with Canada's Wonderland or Kings Island.... Even Kings Dominion is getting a GREAT used coaster... CGA receiving a ride that their competition has had for 10 years, not good enough. X2 is to X as Firefall at CGA is to VooDoo at SFDK... Same ride, new effects.
I hope it improves greatly... sad to see a park i grew up with get forgot in the world of fast expansion.
Went today to be one of the first riders to Firefall. Due to the cancellation of the event a while ago, it seems very few people showed up for the rescheduled event today. There were so few auction winners there that they were taking anyone standing anywhere near the ride to be added to the first riders. Not very exclusive anymore. They also gave all those people t-shirts like we had that said "Firefall First Rider" on it. I understand that this whole event didn't go as planned due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, but seems the only thing I got for winning first seat was some fruit, shrimp, chicken wings, and soda. Normally I wouldn't care so much about all this, but even with the "freeloaders" (none of whom I blame for being in the right place at the right time), they still didn't manage to fill up the entire ride with riders. Plus I still even got sent to the back row while the other guests got the front row. No organization was done for the actual winning auction winners. Adding to all:
1) The ride was obviously not new based on the discoloration of the seats and the lack of cleanliness all-around,
2) The fire effects were still not functioning, and
3) The ride program was very simple and boring. I'm not even sure the vehicle made one complete flip around, even after watching it full of people when the ride was officially open to the public.
Sadly, most of us auction winners sat around for about 45 minutes (as instructed) to wait for our first ride when a few regular park guests just got to walk up, grab a shirt, and grab first row for the privilege we paid for.
To not sound overly negative, the people working at the park were nice and it is nice to finally see this park get something visually interesting (once the fire gets working, that is).
The same thing happened with The Crypt (formerly Tomb Raider Firefall) when it soft-opened in 2005. The fire effects weren't working, the programs were different and sucked, and yeah...it was fixed though.
Here are a couple of photos that were taken at the grand opening of FireFall:
The grand opening of FireFall took place on Saturday at 11 AM.
All the fountains and misters were running for the opening. Fire and water cannon effects are yet to be operational. It wasn't all bad though, the weather was in the 90s by noon, so the park wouldn't of run them even if they were operational.
The first riders on FireFall, the new ride is officially open!
The curving pipe is for the fire effects which will fill the lagoon. There are also two water cannons in the lagoon, an effect which will be similar to those on Pirates of the Caribbean.
The finale of the ride is when the gondola lowers slowly towards the fountains below.
Riders seemed to really enjoy FireFall.
Thanks for checking out these photos, be sure to view the rest of them here.
I rode Firefall yesterday. It is an amazing ride and a much better program than Voodoo, plus it was different both times I rode. I think it has to do with the weight of the car. I loved the fire in the volcanoes! The only problem with it is its extremely slow loading time! It probably takes 4-5 minutes to load and it's a 1-2 minute ride. But the queue line is really nicely landscaped.
The ride was popular all afternoon/evening. I got in one ride around 6 and another right before the fireworks around 9:30. Both times the line extended all the way out to its entrance. There were some line jumpers that were reported and security did a good job of handling it. Apparently they had been line jumping all day, but when they got up to the ride, security escorted them off the ride. Go CGA!
BTW, the fireworks show was very long and had an amazing finale! The park was semi-crowded, but not overly.
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