This past weekend Flying Lad took us to California’s Great America. To recap our amusement park experiences to date we’ve been to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot at Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure, and Busch Gardens Tampa. This would be our first park outside of Florida and our first park in California. We were excited!
Quick Note – We were invited by CA Great America as part of a presentation on their future plans as well as their upcoming winter holiday plans. However, all opinions are solely my own.
Flying Dad was looking forward to Mass Effect New Earth 4D . Flying Momma was looking forward to seeing what all Great America had to offer nowadays. It had been years since she had been to the park. There’s now a water park within the park!? Most of all we were looking forward to seeing Flying Lad enjoy himself. And enjoy himself he did!
He spotted the “rollie posters” from the parking lot and as soon as we got inside the park he declared that he wanted to ride one. Play the video and see for yourself.
So in search of a rollie poster we went. Not surprisingly, he isn’t tall enough for the big roller coasters that caught his attention, so we started by taking him to Planet Snoopy. There he rode Lucy’s Crabbie Cabbie’s, but it wasn’t all that he’d hoped it would be. After riding many of the rides in Planet Snoopy, we decided to cool off in the Splash Zone. We had brought swim clothes and a towel, so we could go to Boomerang Bay. The Splash Zone is less “splash” and more “soak”. So be prepared, you will be soaked to the bone after walking through just once. That being said on the day we went it was HOT, so a good soaking was welcome. And the black top that covers the park doesn’t help. Maybe next time they can choose something different than the hottest walking surface next to lava. Not that you walk on lava… or maybe you do, I don’t know. It’s hot, though.
After the Splash Zone, we decided to take Flying Lad on the flume ride. According to the table in our map, Flying Lad met the height requirement. We zoomed to the front of the line with our fast lane wristband and away the boys went onto the ride. I assumed that if the minimum height was so low it wouldn’t be that scary (i.e. fast with steep drop offs). When I saw how fast the log comes down steepest part of the ride, I was worried it would be too much for Flying Lad, but it was too late. I held my breath. I saw them come down, get wet, and as their log flume went by me, Flying Lad was laughing and had the biggest smile on his face. He wasn’t scared. He was thrilled! Great job Great America! That’s putting the Great in Great America. He liked it so much they went on it, again!
In the end we didn’t go to Boomerang Bay, which is sort of a bummer. We arrived at the park around 11 and were done with the toddler friendly stuff by 4:30. The day was really hot and we were tired, so we headed home. We did walk by the area and it looked extremely crowded, and crowds + water make Flying Dad uneasy.
If we had to do it over, again, I might’ve started in Boomerang Bay, spent a couple hours exploring there before lunch, and then headed over to Planet Snoopy.
Overall, a very fun day. It can be very hot, but that’s to be expected. Stay cool by braving the crowds (also to be expected) and heading over to Boomerang Bay. Also, you can find respite from the heat inside some of the eating spaces. We stopped in at Snoopy’s Cafe to refill our cup with water and ice and to catch our breath and enjoy the AC a couple of times.
For Mass Effect 4D, don’t worry if you’re not a gamer and have no idea what a “Captain Shepherd” is, or the difference between a Krogan and a Vorcha, (but of course you do), the ride is still a lot of good fun. Except for that big Rachni breathing in your face – gross. If you ARE a gamer, there’s a decent amount of fan service as well – Grunt! Garrus! Conrad Verner! Good fun, and air conditioned. Also, Mass Effect: Andromeda!
Daily admission is only $39.99. If you add Fast Lane it’s $85. We stayed in the Planet Snoopy section mostly, and only used Fast Lane twice–for Mass Effect and the flume ride. Knowing now how much Flying Lad enjoys the flume ride, I might just add Fast Lane the next time we go. I’m not exactly sure how long the line takes without it, but probably too long for a 3 year old. That being said, maybe he can get the same thrill going down a water slide in Boomerang Bay (sans log flume), so maybe we’ll save the money and make sure to try that next time. But most of the rides in Planet Snoopy didn’t even have the option for Fast Pass usage, so keep that in mind if you’re going with a little one.
Speaking of next time, the next time we go will probably be for their new Winter Fest. We would’ve tried to make it to their Halloween festivities, but we’ll be out of town (see the ‘Round the World post). Winter Fest is new this year and it sounds like it’s going to be a beauty. They’re putting in an ice skating rink in front of the carousel. There will be reindeer. And it will snow! Mark your calendars, the fun starts November 25. For more info click here. https://www.cagreatamerica.com/events/things-to-do/special-events/WinterFest
Thank you for a great day California’s Great America!