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Sunday, August 20, 2017
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Marc Ricketts

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Marc Ricketts is a writer/photographer who has not yet outgrown roller coasters, and provides news and information about San Francisco Bay Area destinations. Mark's columns can frequently be found on MiceChat in our Weekend Updates.
Theme park folk tend to fall into one of two camps, those that like big honkin' roller coasters and those that like the heavily themed attractions of Disney and Universal. Other than a few places like Knott's Berry Farm...
Summer at the beach is like winter on the slopes, a no brainer. In Santa Cruz of course, the beach is fronted by Monterey Bay, and backed by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. There are several summer traditions at...
Two weeks before Memorial Day weekend I was in Santa Cruz, and this was the state of their entrance rebuild. s Seemed that they were probably at least a month from completion, so with the announcement of it happening...
It seems that big things are happening in theme parks all over the country this weekend, and amidst these feasts of Volcano Bays, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakouts and Pandoras, a few crumbs have dribbled down to our...
It's the end of one phase and the beginning of another for California's Great America with the conversion of stand up coaster Vortex into floorless coaster Patriot and a new master plan proposed to the city of Santa Clara....
This column regularly features new rides and events at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California's Great America; meanwhile the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk keeps chugging along as what is arguably the finest seaside amusement park in the nation. But...
Last Fall Six Flags Discovery Kingdom made its first foray into the world of roller coaster virtual reality by adding Rage of the Gargoyles to Kong, with a result that was not entirely satisfactory, at least on my visit...
Like many readers here at MiceChat, we take a lot of park centric vacations. In 2016 that was certainly true, but our objectives weren’t theme parks, but National Parks, specifically, the four park’s of Colorado. Let’s get underway with...
Like many readers here at MiceChat, we take a lot of park centric vacations. In 2016 that was certainly true, but our objectives weren’t theme parks, but National Parks, specifically, the four park’s of Colorado. Let’s get underway with...
Like many readers here at MiceChat, we take a lot of park centric vacations. In 2016 that was certainly true, but our objectives weren’t theme parks, but National Parks, specifically, the four park’s of Colorado. Let’s  get underway with...
Like many readers here at MiceChat, we take a lot of park centric vacations. In 2016 that was certainly true, but our objectives weren't theme parks, but National Parks, specifically, the four park's of Colorado. So let's get underway...
Normally, this time of year at California's Great America means the gates are locked tight, seasonal workers are filling out job applications elsewhere and the mechanics are ensuring that the coasters are ready for spring. Not so fast this...
I recently wrote about a great new nighttime candlelight tour at the Winchester Mystery House. Now, some lucky MiceChat reader has the opportunity to win a pair of tickets for a General Mansion Tour! See the house in daylight,...
From the beginning of this column I've been aware that the parks here by the Bay would not have the never ending stream of news of the level that Disneyland provides, so other options outside of the parks would...
Note: Almost the moment I finished writing this, Cedar Fair announced the permanent closure of Fear VR at Knott's Berry Farm and California's Great America due to complaints from mental health activists. The Insanatorium maze has also vanished from...
The days grow shorter, the corn stalks grow taller. Tickets sales are initiated, mazes are announced. Yes, it's Halloween time once again, and theme parks come alive with the dead. All fine and well for those old enough to...
Inspiration, move me brightly. Light the song with sense and color. Hold away despair. -Robert Hunter Lanterns have been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and like any other endeavor, refinements and improvements have occurred in that time. That combination...
"We're the same sad story that's a fact One step up and two steps back" -Bruce Springsteen While The Joker has captured most of the attention this year at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and deservedly so, the park also quietly reopened the...
 When the Black Cat's in town, it's time to get down! - Dwight "Black Cat" Carrier After some tumultuous years involving Levi's Stadium and rumors of the park's very demise, the 40th anniversary of California's Great America comes complete with a...
Periodically I get away from The Bay for my other favorite kind of park, the National Park. Alert readers may have noticed we've mostly been on a tour of the California parks, and particularly alert readers will have noted...