Friday, April 27, 2012

A Western View - NorCal Two-fer

Today we are going for a NorCal two-fer.   That’s right, we are checking in with not one but 2 Northern California parks.  First up, a quick look at California’s Great America. 

Fresh off the announcement that Cedar Fair would retain ownership of the park and invest in it’s future, the park is already benefiting from it’s parent company’s renewed care for the park.  The park looks absolutely beautiful, the staff was upbeat and friendly and the overall feel of the park has become very positive.  This was one of the best visits I’ve had to the park in quite a few years, something I’m very excited about as this was the park that I grew up with.

First off, a few attractions received some fresh paint.  The Columbia Carousel got the full work over and looks stunning.  Flight Deck and The Demon also got some fresh paint; unfortunately it looks like the park decided to just paint portions of the coasters and not the whole thing.

Grizzly received some significant track work on the fan turn near the station.  The work has greatly improved the roughness of what was easily the worst part of the coaster.  While the ride is still not particularly exciting, many riders were getting off raving about how fun it was which I think is proof that the ride has a place in the park, even if enthusiast don’t care for it.

Lastly, the park’s new neighbor recently broke ground.  49ers Stadium is set to open in the park’s former overflow parking lot for the 2014 season.  It’s going to be an interesting couple of years watching the stadium go up right next to the park.

Next up we visit Six Flags Discovery Kingdom where construction of the park's new roller coaster, SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight is well underway.

The park has a good portion of the ride’s track and support pieces in the guest parking lot prepped and waiting to be moved to the ride site. This track is not tiny either; in fact it’s massive.   I’m not sure why I was under the impression the ride would have small track, but these piece are almost the size of typical B&M track.

The rides support structure is starting to go up, and what is surprising is how drastically different from the concept art it is.  What appeared to be a linear structure is turning out to be rather wide, in fact it takes up the majority of the old Zonga pad.

Workers were on site putting the structure together, which has really gone up quickly over the last week.   At this rate it’s likely the entire ride will be up within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

The big screen over the ride’s entrance plays a constant loop of the ride’s promotional video.

SUPERMAN is starting to become a part of the park’s skyline, something we expect to see looking very different very soon.

Check back soon for a look at another Northern California park we don't see very often, Gilroy Gardens.