More Hints at Future California’s Great America Attractions Revealed

Earlier this week the Santa Clara City Council Planning Committee held a special meeting to discuss the new proposed master plan and rezoning for California’s Great America. Included in the documentation related to this meeting is a presentation (presumably from Great America and/or Cedar Fair) from back in September with details of some of the potential future attractions the park is considering adding. Some of these were already revealed in December, including a proposed ~250ft hyper coaster, but a few more specific coaster styles are included. Now to be clear, none of these are for sure or necessarily planned yet, but these are clearly rides that California’s Great America and Cedar Fair are considering when thinking about future expansion of the park.

September presentation from California's Great America to the Santa Clara Planning Commission

September presentation from California’s Great America to the Santa Clara Planning Commission

A few of the most notable inclusions:

  • The steel hyper coaster mentioned before. This looks like it’s definitely part of the plan, as it received its own slide and we’ve heard a lot about it already.

A Hyper Coaster at California’s Great America is almost definitely happening if the rezoning gets approved.

  • A steel launch coaster. The specs mentioned are very similar to Wicked Twister (slightly over 200 feet, ~70mph) at Cedar Point. As the presentation mentioned, launch coasters have the benefit of a small footprint, perfect for CGA. Of course, Great America used to have a fantastic launch coaster, Tidal Wave, a Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop. My vote would be just bring that back…

The first we’ve heard of a steel launch coaster, and it sure sounds (and looks) like an Intamin Impulse roller coaster

  • A new flume ride. This is interesting since the park already has a flume ride and rapid ride. I wonder if this could be a replacement or upgrade for the existing Logger’s Run.
  • A suspended steel family coaster. We knew a new steel family coaster was part of the plan earlier, but the presentation now specified, a version of “Flying Ace Aerial Chase” at Carowinds and King’s Island. Although the height specified (60ft) is more like the newer “Freedom Flyer” at Funspot America, or the upcoming S&S “Merlin’s Mayhem” at Dutch Wonderland.
  • A mini-wooden coaster. I think this is the first we’ve heard of a potential addition of a small wooden coaster, which would be an interesting addition to the park. The specs mentioned (35-40 feet tall and ~1400 feet long) of course make me think of the recent Gravity Group family coasters, like Roar-o-Saurus.

A family suspended coaster and family wooden coaster are both potential additions!

  • A Tower swing ride and multiple flat rides, which were hinted at in the previous leaks and reveals.
  • The vortex conversion mentioned, which of course we already know is happening with Patriot.
  • A major water park expansion, which was also hinted at in all of the previous leaks and reveals.
  • A “Knott’s Marketplace” like area in front of the park, as has also been mentioned before.
  • An out-and-back wooden coaster, and a 4D interactive ride in an existing theater (theater conversion in the presentation).

What makes the last two interesting is that while the first thought is this could refer to Gold Striker and Mass Effect: New Earth, but the presentation is marked as being from this past September. Those rides were both already completed (long completed in Gold Strikers case). For the wooden coaster, the description of the potential ride ends with the line, “An out-and-back version with a few bells and whistles would be a good addition for the Park.” As Gold Striker is not an out and back,¬†and it refers to a good addition to the park. This to me implies this would be a new wooden roller coaster. Perhaps a replacement for the Grizzly, or an upgrade to Grizzly, which would mesh with the earlier revealed potential increase in noise in that area of the park. Of course, “bells and whistles” make me think of a current wooden out-and-back being built at a Cedar Fair park, Mystic Timbers with its mystery shed at the end…

California's Great America new wooden coaster

Could a new out-and-back wooden coaster be in store? Perhaps a Grizzly replacement?

In the case of the interactive 4D ride, the description mentions possibly a tracked ride, but definitely an interactive component. While I love Mass Effect, it is not an interactive ride (well, except for when the live actor gets responses from guests). So again, to me this implies something new. The first obvious opportunity for this would be second half of the Action Theater. Mass Effect took over one half of the theater, but as best we know the other half is still just used for storage. Of course, there is also the old IMAX Pictorium theater which still stands behind Gold Striker. I don’t really know how one could access it, but it might be big enough for a “Voyage to the Iron Reef” or Justice League type ride.

Could there be another 4D interactive ride in California’s Great America’s future?

As I mentioned, none of this is for sure, but it gives a better sense of what California’s Great America is thinking of with their master plan, and reveals a few new potential rides that haven’t been discussed before. If you want to see the full meeting and public hearing, and read the background documentation where this material came from, you can find it all on the Santa Clara City government website here. Assuming you don’t want to watch it all, to also make us all feel more excited about the potential for this, the public comments in the meeting were overwhelmingly positive towards the master plan and proposed zoning updates. So have faith, this is likely really happening!

We’ll no doubt have more coming as the bureaucratic process continues, and as Great America starts making announcements for future attractions (like whatever comes in 2018), so make sure to keep checking Coaster101.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And let us know in the comments below what parts of the new information sound most exciting to you (beyond the Hyper Coaster, everyone wants that)!

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1 Response

  1. Ross Almazan says:

    This is all great news. Even before I read this, I had felt that the IMAX theater was ripe for an interactive/tracked dark ride given what CF has done at Knott’s Berry Farm and Canada’s Wonderland. It would totally make sense to me. I’m sure there’s a way they could develop new access to the building from somewhere towards the front of the park (north of Gold Striker) or by Whitewater Falls/Extreme Flyer (south of Gold Striker). The out and back wooden rollercoaster is interesting…to your point perhaps a replacement/re-purposed Grizzly. But if I had my wish list granted, I’d rather see Grizzly re-purposed via RMC treatment (ala Mean Streak or Hurler). But again, just very happy to see the future of the park I grew up with (I’ve been going since it opened in 1976) is very bright!

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