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Tuesday, October 17, 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.
"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...
Since 1994 the Action Theater at California's Great America has hosted everybody from James Bond to Stan Lee to Sponge Bob. All the while the technology kept falling farther and farther behind. By last year things had deteriorated to...
 "You don't stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing"     (Michael Pritchard) After two days of passholder previews, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will open the Joker to the public Sunday May 29. The...
I started this column for MiceChat with no book to sell or podcast to promote, but figured that I'd perhaps get to go on one of those cool roller coaster hard hat construction tours one day. Excitement ran high...
It's the slow time of year for the parks here by The Bay, with the promise of new things helping the slog through winter (ignoring the fact that mid-February temperatures plunged into the low 80s). Six Flags Discovery Kingdom...
He brought us the personal computer. He brought us the US Festival. And now Steve Wozniak has brought us Silicon Valley Comic Con. Held the weekend of March 18-20 in San Jose's Convention Center, the event featured panels, celebrity...
With its lush flora and thick groves of trees, Gilroy Gardens is certainly the most beautiful of the Bay Area’s theme parks. And even the loss of foliage upon the onset of winter won’t diminish the appeal with the...
Although we humans are no longer so fascinated by the light bulb that there is a nightly parade to the one home in the neighborhood that has been wired with electricity, multiply that by a few thousand bulbs and...
As the calendar moves on and the temperatures drop, tinsel and lights sprout up throughout the landscape. Theme parks are no exception, so I donned my thickest hoodie, counted my pennies for a refillable mug of hot chocolate and...
Fright Fest Stumbles at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom By Marc Ricketts Saturdays in October draw a crowd at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. By late afternoon when I arrived last weekend, cars were being diverted to park across the street in...
Great America Gets It Right at Night By Marc Ricketts Ah, Halloween. When theme parks filter or extinguish the lights, crank up the fog machines and (presumably) process a new injury claim about every 6 1/2 minutes. I've missed it...
No Roar No More, Bay Area Briefs By Marc Ricketts August 16 was National Roller Coaster Day, and at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom it was also the last day for Roar, the park’s woodie since 1999. Roar was the first...
Sequoia National Park By Marc Ricketts Sometimes, a person just needs a long walk in the woods. Fortunately for those in the Golden State, there is some serious wood growing out there. And yes, it is red. There are, however, two...
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Debuts New Ride and Show By Marc Ricketts While many of us were spending all or some of a 24 hour day in Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom opened their latest addition, the...
Planet Snoopy Expansion at California's Great America By Marc Ricketts California’s Great America enters its 40th Season in 2015 with an expansion of Camp Snoopy and a couple of new shows added to the park’s entertainment lineup. Yes, after a protracted...
Sailing Into San Francisco’s Past By Marc Ricketts For years the best free thing to do in San Francisco was the Hyde Street Pier with its collection of historic ships. Times change, of course, and “free” is practically an endangered species....
Visiting John Muir's Home By Marc Ricketts Alert readers may have noticed by now that since the Bay Area theme parks don’t have as much news as the ones to the south, I like to fill in some of the gaps...
The Pinnacles of Our National Parks By Marc Ricketts It was early and dark, of that there can be no doubt. I had just left the 101 freeway for two lane Highway 25 and a solid line of headlights bearing down...