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Monday, December 11, 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.
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...
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...

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