California’s Great America Update – June 13, 2018

Alexander: On the last day of Passholder Preview for Railblazer, Sean and I made the journey to California’s Great America to see what all the fuss is about and to do a general update on the park.

– Over the years, many of our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that not everyone mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to Thank you! –

Time to have “THE BEST DAY” at California’s Great America!You can start off your “BEST DAY” at Great America with a ride on the park’s best coaster as soon as you enter the gate. As it enters its 2nd season of operation, Patriot has proven to be more than “interesting because it’s new/different/weird.”Unconventional gestation aside, Patriot has proven to be simply an enjoyable ride in its own right. And now this:I had high expectations for Railblazer and its comically too-fast pacing. Good atmosphere, a nice layout, and reliable operations all sweeten the deal.I rode Railblazer a total of three times – seats 2, 7 and 1.First time around, I wasn’t at all prepared for the awkwardness of sitting “spread eagle.” Not being able to ride with my knees together makes me uncomfortable, and the stance makes riders vulnerable to hamstring cramping (read: If your muscles are stiff, yer gonna have a bad time).Valiant attempts at stapling still left me about 4 inches of room between myself and the lapbar, thanks to the configurations of the harness (I’m hoping some tall, scrawny person doesn’t fly out of this thing pelvis-first at some point, but I wouldn’t be surprised, either)On my 2nd ride, my shoulders felt rough. I put my hands under the belts to help bear the stress. On my 3rd ride, I had some strange headrush sensations on the dive loop and subsequent hill (I wasn’t sure if I was seeing purple fireworks and yellow sparks in broad daylight or if I was merely having a stroke).(Plot Twist: It was neither actual fireworks / sparks nor was it a stroke. It was just Railblazer behaiving normally)Tomorrow will be media day for Railblazer, (followed by insane crowds), but today things are pretty quiet over here. Grateful to have gotten my rides in early. Everything around Railblazer has enjoyed a refresh, including restrooms. The soap-faucet-dryer config is class. Everywhere should be doing this. Railblazer has a small photo booth kiosk at its exit, but the ride’s gift shop is situated all the way over by Barney Oldfield Speedway.MUH CHILDHOOD. You need some paint. *¿por que?*Eagle’s Flight time!Great America isn’t exactly famous for being pretty, but somebody here obviously has a green thumb. This flowering tree in front of Psycho Mouse goes at least 3x beyond the call of duty for “regional park wild mouse landscaping.”I would say now that Great America is about knee-deep in getting “Carwoinds’d.”Here’s our first little step:And here’s the home of steps 2 & 3:I don’t think anyone really wanted to see Logger’s Run go, but man, what an ugly flume ride that was. “Enjoy views of our miserable waterpark followed by views of concrete walls at a high elevation.”Not many people (probably) miss Endeavor, but it sure looked nice in its location. Time for Boomerang Bay to get its act together.NorCal waterparks are honestly a race to the bottom right now(Raging Waters San José and Boomerang Bay really take the cake , though), so I think the impending power move here will really deliver. Delirium is one that I always forget is here. I basically have no concept of what (and when) rides were added between Boomerang Bay and GoldStriker.New Orleans Square is enjoying a stead transformation into “French Quarter.” It may never win “Best Louisiana-themed Area in a California Theme Park“, but it’s trying its best. I’m being told that GoldStriker isn’t running as smoothly as it should be, but I hardly noticed. Still an A+ GCI, and arguably the standard upon which all U.S. GCIs are judged. Continue reading on page 2 of the report!

3 Replies to “California’s Great America Update – June 13, 2018”

  1. I haven’t ridden a lot of inverted coasters, but I agree with your feelings about Flight Deck. A fairly short ride and thankfully only three s-p-r-e-a-d o-u-t inversions.

    Kudos-and-a-half to this park for keeping its Von Roll skyride going.

    A two-part update here is rare, but much appreciated because it means more CHK goodness for us! You guys keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks for the update. I’m heading up to CGA later this summer and am worried about how short the seat belts are on Flight Deck compared to other B&Ms. I can fit on Magic Mountain Batman but those seatbelts are definitely shorter then the ones on every other B&M invert that I have been on. I’m worried the one on Flight Deck will be even shorter. I’m 6’4 and am worried my shoulders will get in the way of the seatbelt fitting. That said, I was able to get stapled into Wicked Twister at Cedar Point which also has notoriously short belts.

    I really love B&M inverts and would be disappointed if I can’t ride one because of short belts that should have been extended by now.

  3. So it wasn’t just me that thought Flight Deck seatbelts were crazy short. But I still love it. I miss both Endeavor and Fall. As for Railblazer, well I guess it was designed with us short stocky folks in mind because I am head over heels about it. And yes, you are lucky with Sean.

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