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Finally made it to Santa Clara

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA

Finally made it to Santa Clara

Postby RandyV » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:41 am

This may not belong in the "remembering" category -- but after growing up and going to the Gurnee park as a kid in the 80s and 90s, and reading and seeing all about the SC park (and even writing to them to get a Press Kit in the early 80s), I finally made my first trip the Santa Clara Great America with my wife and daughter a couple of weeks ago.

This post will probably come off overly sappy, but it was kind of an emotional trip for me and really made me regret not getting to the park much, much sooner in life.

Even though a lot has changed between the two parks, especially in Yukon Territory and Yankee Harbor, I really felt a connection being at Santa Clara. Riding the "sister" rides like the "star tower", Columbia and Demon with my daughter (who has not been to Gurnee) was a real treat.

I didn't realize Eagle's Flight / Delta Flyer still operated in Santa Clara. That was a real trip down memory lane. As we rode, I noticed the old Tidal Wave platform and footings for the ride. Loggers Run looked out of place with out its sibling Yankee Clipper. As we sat on a bench in Hometown Square, in front of the Grand Music Hall, I could picture the original configuration of with the now-missing train station and the missing bridges. It was all very familiar, but very different at the same time.

The old train station in County Fair that is now the queue for the Pshyco Mouse, and the boarded up Pictorium with "DO NOT ENTER" warnings nailed across the doors was another reminder of what once was.

We had lunch at the Farmer's Market in County Fair. I could picture Sky Whirl where Invertigo now beats people up. It also gave me a sense of scale. As we ate, I could see the corkscrews on the Demon with no viewing area and we were right next to Grizzy, which is basically the back edge of hte park. In Gurnee, there seems to be a lot more room.

Riding the Demon with my daughter for the first time was really the highlight for me. She loved the ride, and to finally take her on the sister ride of a coaster I'd been riding since 1980 was just awesome.

Marriott really did a great thing building these two parks, even though they aren't quite the same as they were back in the day.

For me personally, Great America was a big part of my childhood and I'm glad that I've had the chance to experience both of them, even if I didn't really get to experience SC as Marriott had intended.

If you're passionate about Great America and haven't been to both parks -- don't wait. Do it.
Randy V.
Gurnee will always be my home park...
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Postby HiddenMickey » Sat May 16, 2009 10:52 pm

I went to CGA today for the first time in at least ten years. I mostly wanted to experience itself to take a trip down memory lane. I'm glad a lot of it is still as it was back then (although often under different names) but I'm sad a lot of it is gone.
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Postby retlawfan » Tue May 26, 2009 10:15 pm

We made that trip (the other way - visiting Gurnee) a few years ago. It was a blast. And it was a bit strange. Most things were where they were supposed to be, and some were not. I remember taking a lot of pictures to compare when I got home.
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Postby RavenLenore13 » Thu May 28, 2009 3:43 am

I went to SC GA about 6 years after my last season for the Duran Duran concert.
It hurt to see the place I loved to much changed.

When I saw that the Yankee Clipper was gone, I almost cried.
I had missed my beloved Clipper, the place I loved to be the most...
I still it.

I haven't been back since.
"Clipper Kryis"
'88-94 Santa Clara Yankee Rides
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