Park operations generally run from April - August, with full week operations June through August.
Established Seasonal Events
Scarowinds occurs on Fridays and Saturdays from mid-September to Halloween. For the last couple of weekends in October the park is open on Sundays for the event.
Winterfest occurs in November and December (mostly on weekends) with limited ride openings and a focus on holiday atmosphere, entertainment and treats.
California's Great America has large coasters, thrilling flat rides, two excellent kids areas and a water park. However, CGA suffers as there is a limited selection and variety of rides that families can enjoy together.
The park has kept pace in the area of flat rides. However, the lack of area to expand and the uncertain future of this park within the Cedar Fair chain may be hindering their ability to expand the coaster lineup, which is large, but uninspiring with only one standout.
I love California's Great America a lot! It is my home park and I even consider myself a CGA fanboy! Overall this park is so much better than some of the negative reviews saying that Cedar Fair doesn't pay attention to this park or that they don't have a good coaster lineup. They have an awesome B&M invert Flight Deck, amazing GCI Gold Striker, and even the arrow looper Demon is good. This is such a great park that I don't understand why people underestimate it. It's also pretty underrated. It's a good park I recommend you visit it!
I've been to California's Great America at least five or six times and it seems like each time I go it just gets worse and worse. If it's not the rides it's the line, if its not the line it's the food, etc.. CGA needs more thrill rides. My favorite rides there is Flight Deck (Awesome), and the Demon(Classic). All of the other rides are boring to me. The food is good (I LOVE Panda Express) and I really don't check out the live shows much since they changed their name from Paramounts Great America to California's Great America. Pople are usually friendly when I go there but the park can go for some retouching.
Here's my final ratings:
Thrill Factor: 3 out of 5
Family Friendly: 3 out of 5
Efficiency: 3.5 out of 5
Food and Drink: 3 out of 5
CGA suffers from a serious lack of attention from current AND past ownership. During my last several visits, the park has been continuously dirty and generally unappealing. A shame considering this park was great in it's heyday. Of the past 3 coasters that have been added over many year, two of them have since been relocated to other parks with no replacements. On the plus side, Flight Deck is still a pretty awesome inverted coaster that has stood the test of time.
CGA suffers from a lack of new coasters. However, operations are descent, the park is clean, and it may be one of the most family-friendly CF parks. If you only want to do a credit run, you could probably do the whole park in half a day. However, if you want to try out all the flat rides and water rides, there is plenty here to justify staying a full day. FD is undeniably the best coaster in Northern California. If SFDK's operations and cleanliness are frustrating you, go to CGA instead!
CGA was my least favorite CF park. While they have a decent amount of rides and attractions, the park just didn't seem to mesh together very well. Top Gun I find to be just so-so. For me, Demon is the standout attraction. The park has on OK setting and if you like flats, they have a few you will enjoy.
After Flight Deck and Demon, this park lacks good roller coasters. Grizzly isn't good, Vortex is boring, and Psycho Mouse is not a legit coaster. The park, however, has two good kiddie areas in Planet Snoopy and Kidzville. Also, the thrill rides aren't really that good. The family rides aren't good and the water rides are mid-class. This park needs a hyper coaster!
Great America is a nice medium-sized park serving the bay area locals or people who might be visiting the SF bay area. They don't have the largest coaster lineup but they've got some good rides. The major standout as we all know is Flight Deck which has been on some of the higher ranking lists...then we have Grizzly that's been at the bottom of the barrel.
CGA is known for its decent collection of flat rides spread throughout the park, with the major standout being Drop Tower. There are also 2 kids areas great for the little ones plus a water park. The water park's not huge but it serves its purpose for being included with park admission.
All in all, CGA's a nice park that has potential to really pack a punch.
The entry plaza mightíve looked decent, Top Gun, er Flight Deck mightíve met my thrilling needs, service was a little bit better than my home park down south, as well as the family friendly environment, but overall I wasnít impressed. Now Iíve only visited once, but I don't see myself returning any time soon. Overall advice, take your money and head up the road to Vallejo.
I once loved this park and it has been sat to watch it slowly die as time has gone on, It still does have a decent collection of roller coasters but they are all outdated now and nothing new seems to last, however they do have a great collection of flat rides many of them classics. My biggest issue with the park is the admission is too high for what they have to offer
CGA was my home park from 2007 - 2011 and I have learned that even though CGA has an OK coaster collection with only one great coaster, it has the best flat ride collection in California. Even though CGA lacks in new rides, it has tons of classic rides that opened with the park. With Gold Striker opening in 2013, this park is indeed a must see in the Bay Area. Don't let the other reviews fool you, this is a great park.
PGA was better than GCA, But I'll Take What They've Got...
The thing I have to say is this: Cedar Fair ruined Great America. Honestly, I still love all the attractions the park has to offer, but that "magic" is gone..the park's atmosphere seems to have withered and died when Paramount decided to get out of the theme park industry.
Needless to say, people still give this park too hard of a time. The park is heavily treed and shaded, the rides are great, and the water park that is included in admission is a great addition (somewhere in the Carolinas, Stealth just shuddered).
I'd give this park a chance, and check it out, even with Invertigo gone, I'd still visit it.
CGA seems to exemplify the worst Cedar Fair qualities. No discernable themes, large expanses of concrete, and a general hollowness to it all. A lack of interest from its current owners seems to come into play. Operations are patchy, though it does have a few great flats. The Skyride is a big plus! Flight Deck is insanely good - I'd rate it a can't-miss! Based on what it used to be this park could be great.
California Great America is underrated. When I was there I had a good time. Yes, the only good coaster was Top Gun, (I went there before the name changes) but the park felt like a classic. The line up of flat rides is superb, and the atmosphere is very charming. This is one of those parks that you can either have a good day or a really bad day there. They need more kickbutt coasters, but other than that, it's a pretty nice park. Just make sure to avoid crowds anyway possible.
California's Great America may only have one good coaster, but they have a nice collection of rides. Better yet, except for Saturdays and holiday weekends, it is rare to find a line over fifteen minutes. Other than the lack of a new coaster for over a decade, this park is great, and is definintely worth a visit if you are in the area. It's nothing to go out of your way for, but you won't regret your visit.
You know what was strange about this park? It was actually good! Flight Deck alone was worth the trip there, yet I found there to be plenty to do at this small park. Although the other coasters are mostly medocire, the awesome flat rides and water park included with admission do help negate this. Overall, I have to say CGA is definitely worth a visit, and is much better than SFDK.
I grew up going to CGA and would have rated it at least a 4 back in the day. Flight Deck is still an incredible ride, and worth a visit. The rest of the rides are pretty aged, and there hasn't been a new coaster for way too long. The food used to be incredible, but the last few times I was there it was disappointing. They have an incredible setup, but just lack the quality and rides to be able to get a better rating.
We all know this park is not known for its spectacular coasters. With only 4 majors coasters (Flight Deck, Demon, Grizzly, and Vortex), 2 family coasters (Psycho Mouse and Woodstock Express), and 1 kiddie coaster (Taxi Jam), its already easy to notice this is a family oriented park. Aside from roller coasters, FireFall, Drop Tower, Delirium, and Tiki Twirl (formerly Survivor: The Ride) are probably the top flat rides at the park. Each offers a different and unique experience, and tend to have the longer lines of the flat rides. The park also has a lot more flat rides throughout the park including Berserker, Centrifuge, H.M.B. Endeavor, The Orbit, etc. Water rides and attractions are also very plentiful for a park this size. Three water rides (Whitewater Falls, Logger's Run, and Rip Roaring Rapids), Boomerang Bay water park, and a water maze in Planet Snoopy (Snoopy's Splash Dance). The park also boasts 2 kids areas with plentiful rides (Planet Snoopy and KidZville). KidZville also has a mini version of bumper cars and swings that kids who weren't tall enough to ride the regular version, can ride these versions. Many live shows and a fantastic Halloween Haunt event can be reason alone for some to visit the park. California's Great America is not by any means a destination park. The overpriced, mediocre food is typical for an amusement park. The not so spectacular coasters also deter many thrill seekers from this park. But overall, with what is currently being offered (even with the removal of Invertigo), families will love this park because it is a great "training" park to get the young ones into roller coasters and other rides. There is a great mixture of things to do for a family.
FLIGHT DECK!!!!! Best Steel in Nor CA. IMHO
and a bottom rated woody, (I still ride it every time I'm there) Also very smooth this season Nice Job on the re-tracking. What more could you want How about an Arrow Looper? This is one of the parks I get to call a home park. The all you can eat BAR BE QUE is a decent deal (hope they bring it back again) the rest of the food is standard park fair. Time wise 6hr with no water park slow day busy day with water park full day.
Still a few good shows and parades. (I'll update for the new season when open)
Small but nice water park, Usual Water park stuff. The Half pipe is one of the things I haven't seen else where (my limited travels). Water park is only open in summer, Not in spring or fall though. Haunts are pretty good too.
On busy days some of the crowds can be rude though. (line jumping and such) Coaster loading times are slow on some coasters, Best to try and visit on the slower days.
I hope they can get things sorted out with the City, Neighbors and Niners. It would have been nice to get a new wooden coaster in 2010.
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