This post is sponsored by California’s Great America, all opinions are my own.
My family and I were offered a trip to California’s Great America Family Theme Park along with a luncheon where we had the opportunity to hear about upcoming improvements to the California theme park. I went to Great America many times growing up, it was even the place my husband took me for our first official date, so it holds some nostalgia for me. I was practically jumping up and down by the time we came through the gates to see that beautiful double decker carousel again! I think I was just as excited, if not more so, than the kids.
We were greeted by Snoopy and his friends and then headed straight for that carousel to ride off on not only carousel horses, but rabbits, ostriches, zebras, sea horses, and many more animals; even cats! Carousels are my daughter’s favorite ride, so we must have ridden it at least ten times throughout the day! Always choosing a different animal to ride.
My son had just grown tall enough to be able to go on the big rides, so this was a monumental occasion for him! He and my husband went to find the new Patriot ride. I wasn’t sure if my son should start his roller coaster adventure with the latest and greatest, perhaps a less intimidating ride first? But, there was no time to discuss it, they were already zipping off toward it, my son couldn’t get there fast enough!
I was pleased that the park is still so open, with lots of room for getting around on his electric scooter and almost all the rides were wheelchair accessible. These are things you never think about unless you are close to someone disabled. They both loved the ride and my son kept asking, can we go again? Can we go again?! I’m so glad it was a fun, exciting experience and not a terrifying one for him. He went on almost every ride in the park after that!
I took my daughter off to Planet Snoopy, where the kid friendly rides are and there were plenty to keep her busy for a good long while! Most of them I could ride with her, which is so much more fun for us both! Her favorites were Lucy’s Crabbie Cabbie and Woodstock Express, sticking with the Peanuts Theme for fun names!
These kiddie coasters go pretty fast! And Woodstock has a bit of drop, so I was again glad I could sit with her. It really goes! My girl was nervous for the drop, but absolutely loved the rest. Who knew my little girl was such a thrill seeker? Okay, I did know, ever since she could climb playground equipment.
Boomerang Bay, the water park, wasn’t open yet, but I was glad of that. It was not warm enough to get wet and the kids may have wanted to spend the entire day there if it had been. I love that Great America has something for everyone. They have plenty for adults and big kids, as well as fun rides for the younger kids. They have shows and an interactive 4D movie/ride experience, which was absolutely awesome for all of us, by the way, and water rides and a full water park to cool down on hot summer days. At the lunch, we heard the water park will be expanding with new, bigger and better water slides, but that they will always have both parks included in one ticket price. No need to buy separate tickets!
Speaking of lunch, we had a wonderful meal featuring some of the food the park is and will soon be offering including Tri-tip, fruit salad, and green salad. The kids loved the tater-tot nachos and my daughter’s favorite, mac and cheese in a bread cone! That was pretty cool! If I wasn’t gluten-free I would have enjoyed that. They did say, in the near future they will be offering many more food options including gluten free and vegetarian dishes!
We also got to spend time with some favorite Peanuts Characters, Lucy, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown himself! The kids were treated to toys and I got a glass clock with the new ride Patriot on it. We were thoroughly spoiled! After we ate, we got to hear more about the future improvements of Great America.
I already told you the water park will be expanding and more varieties and healthier food options will be added. Also, that the coaster park and water park will continue to be included in one admission price. Great America is committed to continue offering entertainment for every age so there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy from the youngest to the oldest, and to keep our old favorites like the Carousel around. But, they did just gain approval to build a new 250 ft coaster! And other thrill rides will be added as well. I can’t wait to come back and ride the new additions in the future!
We also heard that more entertainment is being added for year round fun such as the Easter Petting Zoo, Halloween Haunt, Summer Fireworks, Free Family Flicks, Snoopy’s Birthday Celebration and Winter Fest, to name a few. Also, they hinted at future plans to create a fine dining and upscale shopping experience just outside of the Theme Park so locals and tourists alike can come and enjoy entertainment, great food, and more, whether they are entering the park or not. Perhaps something along the lines of Downtown Disney or Universal Studios City Walk. It’s in the beginning planning stages, so I couldn’t get more info about that, we’ll have to wait and see!
As a kid, I loved experiencing thrill rides with my family. As a teen, it was all about the summer concerts and being free to laugh the day away with friends. It was also a fantastic place for a first date; screaming and letting lose, what better way to get to know someone! And returning with my own kids has been such an outstanding experience; watching the excitement on the rides, how their faces light up as a Peanut Character high fives them, allowing all stresses of daily life to fall away as we live in this moment. There’s really no way not to live in the moment while on a coaster, so what better way to spend bonding with family. We are all eager to return and excited for the changes to come to make California’s Great America better than ever!
Author, Artist, Pro Blogger, and Social Media Manager. I encourage parents to nurture children through art and nature. I homeschool my kids and advocate for alternative education, creativity, family values, clean eating, rescue pets, and a playful childhood.
I blog at naturalparentguide.com & RascalandRocco.com