Early this week Mrs. Oogie and I decided to play hookey from our respective jobs and go have some fun. We ended up going to California’s Great America in Santa Clara, being that neither of us had been to it in about 20 years.
Mrs. Oogie’s sister was off work that day, so she decided to join us. The good thing about going at the end of the season (The last open weekday of the season to be precise), is that there are so few people there.
The last time I was there, there was a large buffer between the park and the tech companies of the Silicon Valley. Since then it appears Cedar Fair sold off some of the land. You can see how close these companies are to the park now.
You can see how empty the parking lot is.
The park entrance
Once past the metal detectors, we were greeted with a familiar sight, the double decker carousel.
I guess all Cedar Fair parks have Snoopy now. The last time I was here they had Warner Brother’s characters wandering around.
The Vortex and the swings as seen from the top deck of the carousel.
From a distance, the carousel still looks beautiful..
But as you get closer, you realize that this ride is in serious need of some TLC.
But at least the grounds were tidy.
Wow!!! An actual video arcade!!!!
Looking up at the ceiling of the swings. It too needs painting and a good cleaning. You can’t really see it in the picture but the chains for the seats are all rather rusty, kind of what you mind find in the midway of a county fair.
You can see how empty the park is.
Whitewater Falls. Since there was no line we stayed in the boat and rode it twice.
Invertigo. This is where The Sky Whirl used to be. It was a 3 armed ferris wheel that gave you a great view of the Santa Clara valley. I was sad to see it had been removed.
Since the park employs a lot of high school and college students, they didn’t have enough ride operators to run Invertigo. After a few hours though they closed down The Vortex and moved the operators over to Invertigo.
The Demon. This is one of the parks first roller coasters. Originally called ‘Turn of the Century’, it too has fallen into a state of neglect. The cars are full of graffiti, rebar and chicken wire can be seen in several places where facades have broken off, and the demon images on the front of the cars are looking weathered.
The ‘mouth’ you enter before hitting the corkscrews on The Demon. There used to be ‘fangs’ in the mouth, but they have either broken off or have been removed. Also near the left hand ‘eye’, there is a giant chunk of rock façade missing.
Great America’s version of ‘Autopia’, Barney Oldfield’s Speedway.
Without any themeing (knowing how Mrs. Oogie drives, I tried giving her a lot of space)
A view of ‘The Grizzly’ from the Speedway.
Hey!!! They have Dole Whips here too!!!
The Midway Games area. Again you can see just how empty the park was this day.
If you ever miss the Maliboomer, you can always come to Great America and ride the Drop Tower.
Whoot!!! Another arcade… with air hockey tables!!!! J J J
Survivor, the Ride.
There are signs like this throughout the waiting area, and they are all weathered and in bad need of painting.
The ride is fairly simple. You sit facing outward on a disk that spins and rolls around on a ‘W’ shaped track. Along the sides of the track are various masks that every so often will spray water at you. It’s a fun little ride.
The wild mouse coaster
With a themed entry (one of the only themed entries in the park)
The entrance to the Snoopy section
Where you are greeted by a statue of Snoopy.
This is a kids maze through a bunch of ‘leaky pipes’. It was rather hot this day and I found myself wishing they had an adult sized one.
Mrs. Oogie (in the pink hat) and her sister have a seat with Snoopy and Woodstock.
The stuff in the kids area looks great.
Except for the restaurant. What does Cedar Fair have against paint?
After paying almost $30 for a small cheeseburger, a side of fries, 4 chicken strips, and 2 drinks, we made our way over to the log ride.
Originally there were 2 log rides at Great America. Loggers Revenge in The Yukon Territory (now Planet Snoopy), and The Yankee Clipper in Yankee Harbor (now Boomerang Bay). The channels that they used for the 2 rides were side by side, which on hot summer days, made it perfect for having water wars between the 2 boats as they passed by each other.
Wow!! An actual skyway! I think those are even the original cars.
Most of Boomerang Bay was closed that day.
But the entrance to it was still open.
Even Coke is helping to ‘Aussify’ the area
Rip Roaring Rapids. Not quite on par with Grizzly River Run, but still a very fun ride. The ride operators were very laid back and let us ride it 3 times without asking us to get our.
And yes, you get very very wet on this ride. The wettest you get though is when you pass by these machines.
There are 2 spots where they have these jets, and whoever was using them when we were on the ride were experts at using them. Everyone in our raft got soaked.
In turn I got off and spent $3 soaking people as they came by.
Flight Deck, originally called ‘Top Gun’ during the time when Paramount owned the park. It’s a fun coaster, but there it’s the only coaster I found which has a size restriction on it, and no I don’t mean height. If you are big in the chest, shoulders, or upper torso, you will have problems on this ride and will probably be asked to get off.
Yay!!! Bumper Cars!!!!
Since it was getting late (about 5pm and the park closed at 6pm), we decided to take the sky way back across the park so Mrs. Oogie could ride Survivor one more time.
The tracks for Vortex
A scenic view of the park
An arial view of the entrance to Boomerang Bay
Remember, you’re having fun.
The Psycho Mouse and the employee parking lot beyond.
Unfortunately Survivor was closed due to ‘technical difficulties’. So after another round of Churros, Corn Dogs and Lemonade Icee’s, we made our way back to the front gate and home. I was a bit sad to see some of my favorite rides were gone, but the ones that were there were lots of fun. We are already talking about maybe getting a season pass for next year. Hopefully by then they will have painted a bit.