Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great America, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Amusement park bonanza, August 2013

We had a bonanza of roller coasters by going to Great America on Friday and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on Monday after.  
Great America just opened the 'tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California'.  And since we got in bright and early there was no line and we rushed on.  Definitely a good coaster-faster for sure and smooth.  I read that they had to shut it for a few days while they put up extra sound barriers-the nearby office workers complained about the screaming :0

The Flying Eagles are not for the faint of stomach.  This is one of TT's favorite rides and he got to ride it 3 times, but the adults had to take turns.

The Pumpkin Patch ride might be the most boring ever but the mural (Snoopy in the moonlit pumpkin field) is really awesome.  

The people mover gives a nice overview of the park (and the new 49ers stadium on the other side).  We didn't make it on the Firefall that is in the picture, though someone did lose a flip-flop in the water and we saw the maintenance people staring at the water....

The Tiki Whirl was totally new to me.  It is like you are standing on the edge of a merry-go-round, facing outward and then the whole disk goes on a roller coaster track.  And let's not forget about the fantastic Taxi Jam and the double decker carousel where you can ride an ostrich, cat or pig!

Somehow this is the first time I have made it to the Santa Cruz boardwalk even though it is just over the hill.  Turns out to be fantastic-who knew ;)

Maybe because it is not owned by a chain they have picked an unusual theme-caveman by the beach.  You really have to visit the Cave Train Adventure to get the full flavor.

The big question is how many fried things can you eat?  I managed 4; corn dog, sweet potato fries, twinkie and oreo.  The deep fried desserts were new to me-they are okay, but not something I need more than once a decade. 

What is the best ride in the park?  The Sea Dragon.  It packs quite a punch for its size, so hang on!

The great thing here was the rides are longer than usual and I saw rides I've seen no where else.  The Wipe Out is a classic scrambler, but in the dark with disco lights.  There is a funky bumper cars where you drive with two sticks to steer-it was rougher but more fun than the classic.

While on the carousel you reach out to grab a brass ring and toss it in the clowns mouth, which is something I've never seen before.  And if you don't like the rides there are arcade games, laser tag (we did this-big fun!), mini-golf and a laser maze (Mission Impossible style you avoid the lasers to get to the vault, also big fun!)

Thanks to The Neighbors (+1)!

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