California’s Great America
San Jose / Santa Clara, CA
Cedar Fair Entertainment
See our WinterFest 2017 Report Here
Park News - (3/28/19) Cedar Fair has confirmed the news we mentioned previously, that they have entered into an agreement to purchase the land under their California’s Great America theme park from the City of Santa Clara for approximately $150 million. They expect to close the deal sometime in Q2 2019.
(3/27/19) According the local news the Santa Clara City Council is expected to discuss the selling of the land parcels for the California’s Great America park to Cedar Fair for $150.25 million. This is being done as the city owned property was controlled by the previous “Redevelopment Agency” which has now been eliminated and needs to sell off their assets. This would be a great move for Cedar Fair, who would finally get ultimate control of their own park at the location and give them the confidence to continue to invest in the future growth of the property.
(2/3/19) It is being reported that Drop Tower will be getting repainted very soon, removing the old “Drop Zone” color scheme it’s had from the start. Rumor has it that the tower may be getting painted to more resemble a giant redwood tree instead. Makes me wonder if they’ll give it a new name as well, something with more imagination than “Drop Tower”.
2020 - Waterpark Expansion - Rumor - (2/4/19) According to a posting at Coaster-Nation, California’s Great America has filed some paperwork with the city that seems to indicate that a new waterslide attraction with drop pods is being planned for the park’s 2020 season. This follows along with rumors we’ve been hearing for awhile that the waterpark would likely get a new brand name along with an expansion in the near future.
(6/16/18) While nothing has been announced yet, the signs are all there that a big expansion may be coming to the Boomerang Bay waterpark for 2019. Lots of red paint (and some green and blue) markings can be found along the pathways in the waterpark as well as all around the walls covering up the former Logger's Run attraction. You can see a ton of these in an update posted to CoasterDemon last week.
Keeping all this in mind, you may recall that the park submitted an application to the FAA to build a 240 foot tall attraction for 2019, with construction taking place between Sept. 2018 and Apr. 2019. As far as I know nothing more ever came of this, and the previous link to the application is now dead, which seems to indicate that the application was removed by the park, or perhaps it was turned down by FAA and then removed. Either way, I was unable to find any record of it any longer.
2020/2021 - 210 Ft Tall Steel Coaster - Planning - (3/31/19) Some new rumors are starting to float in about the next coaster planned for California’s Great America. Some of this is in contrast to the previous details leaked out when the park filed for (and was granted) a height variance with the FAA for a new coaster up to 210 feet tall. That variance was good for a project that would start construction during 2019, which would be for a new 2020 attraction, but the latest rumors suggest the park may opt to wait to open a new coaster in 2021. The new rumors also suggest it could be a multi-launched coaster, not unlike the new Copperhead Strike that just opened at Carowinds, but if that was the case it may not even need the 210 foot height variance if the entire project has changed. That doesn’t mean they could built something totally unique instead up to 210 feet in height, but if they wanted to wait until 2021, they would have to get some kind of extension on the FAA variance.
Of course, they could opt to build new coasters in 2020 and 2021, but I highly doubt that is the case, but either way it looks like they have some options open at the moment. So keep your eyes peeled for clues when visiting the park this season, as we also know they were planning a waterpark expansion as well that has yet to happen.
(6/21/18) If you scroll down to the latest update (6/5/18) at Coaster-Nation, they show off an approval from the city of Santa Clara for CGA to build a 210 foot "steel roller coaster ride".
(6/17/18) While the previous FAA details had vanished, a reader pointed out a new revised application from the park to the FAA for a height variance for a new attraction. A few little things have changed as well, as instead of a 240 foot attraction, the new application lists only building a structure 210 feet tall above ground level and appears to be complete this time, with the park given permission to go ahead with the project with some new timeline dates for construction to be done between March 1, 2019 and finished by December 31, 2019, which would make this a new attraction for the 2020 season.
The location is coming up slightly different as well, as the old coordinates seemed to indicate putting it on the Peanuts Pirates location, instead the coordinates now show it taking over the site of Snoopy's Splash Dance water play attraction.
???? - Future Park Plans - (1/26/17) Good news for California's Great America as CoasterDemon reports that the Santa Clara City Council has unanimously approved of the park's new master plan and needed rezoning. Meanwhile Coaster101 got a look at the expanded final proposal from the park, as presented to the council, which offers a few more details about just what they have planned for the park. Items of interest include mention of a launched coaster, a steel hypercoaster, as new flume ride, suspended family coaster and even a new family/child friendly sized wooden coaster.
(12/12/16) According to an article posted by the NoCal ACE website California's Great America is gearing up a new 20-year Masterplan for the park that would see a number of new 200 foot tall (and taller) rides into the park's future as well as an expanded waterpark and some remodeling of the park's main entrance. In fact, it seems a 200+ page report on their future plans has already been published for public viewing on the City of Santa Clara's website ahead of a planned meeting to go over it that may take place as early as December 19th.
(3/31/16) Cedar Fair and California's Great America made a huge announcement a few hours ago regarding the park's future. Not only did they announce their intention to buy the land under the park that will soon be put up for sale by the city, but they have also applied to make zoning changes for the property that will allow them to add more new tall rides to the park (over 200 ft) without jumping through as many hoops as before, or annoying complaints from neighboring office buildings.
Add onto this a new plan that would see a new entertainment complex built just outside the park's main gate that would incorporate the existing amphitheater, but would be open to the general public. In other words, it looks like they intend to build their own version of a Universal CityWalk project, which certainly would help keep the site alive and active all year round, though size-wise a better comparison may be to think of it being more like the Marketplace outside Knott's Berry Farm. Some great images of the new proposed use map for the property and other important notices can be found at GreatAmericanThrills.
Looking at the new map, a few interesting items stand out to me right away, such as #10 where they plan to build a "Major Attraction" such as a "Steel Roller Coaster" or "Water Coaster" on the site of the old Invertigo. There are several spots listed as #11, where they are planning new family attractions (kiddie coasters, climb & play structure or family flat rides), plans to build a Ropes Course and Dinosaur's Alive attraction in the Grizzly / Demon area of the park, further expansion of Planet Snoopy, a re-branding and expansion of the waterpark, as well as plans to build a new dedicated entrance to the waterpark from the new Entertainment District, and plans to "Re-market" the Vortex Roller Coaster (likely the rumored conversation from Stand-Up to a Floorless coaster).