California's Great America Update - January 1st, 2023

New Years Day Crowds & WinterFest!

Happy New Year to everyone reading! Hoping 2023 brings you a nice peaceful, quiet year. I started my year off with a visit to CGA for WinterFest. It was good to visit the park after my past visits were cancelled either due to travel or inclement weather. But I made it for the last day. Me and everyone else in the area apparently, it was crowded! But lets go through the event and talk about what's happening!

Table of Contents


WinterFest WinterFest is back at CGA! Let's walk around the park and talk about what's going on at the event this year!


WinterFest / Shows As in the past, the night starts off with the Tree Lighting Ceremony

WinterFest / Shows A family is chosen to come up and help light the beautiful tree in the main park plaza

WinterFest / Shows The biggest show at the park this year is It's Christmas, Snoopy which takes place in Great America Theater

WinterFest / Shows It's about a half hour full of ice skating and costumed characters, both Peanuts and non-Peanuts

WinterFest / Shows The house was almost completely full so make sure that you get to the theater early if you're looking for a good seat!

WinterFest / Shows The little ampitheater in Planet Snoopy is home to A Peanut's Guide to Christmas

WinterFest / Shows In front of the entrance to South Bay Shores is the Four Drummers Drumming show (two drummers were in the audience at this point in the show)

WinterFest / Shows In All American Corners is the Mistletones show

WinterFest / Shows It also features the same singing and dancing that you might expect

WinterFest / Shows The Holly Jolly Trolley is under the Flight Deck Zero G roll and has a variety of performers singing and dancing as well

Other Entertainment

WinterFest / Other Entertainment But there isn't just shows at WinterFest! There's also plenty of other entertainment. Like the silent disco in Action Zone!

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Check out a pair of headphones and jam along with the DJ spinning music just for your ears

WinterFest / Other Entertainment And like in years past, there are plenty of oversized games throughout the area

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Over in the Planet Snoopy annex is Charlie Brown's Tree Lot, a little maze full of trees

WinterFest / Other Entertainment With the famous Charlie Brown Christmas Tree at the center!

WinterFest / Other Entertainment In Planet Snoopy proper is Sally's Christmas Crafts

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Where you and your family can make your own crafts

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Some walk around characters return this year, they're stationed all over the park

WinterFest / Other Entertainment North Pole Postmaster where you can write a letter to Santa returns

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Although it was pretty empty as you might imagine, on New Years Day after Christmas

WinterFest / Other Entertainment You can make some tasty cookies at Mrs Claus' Kitchen again this year

WinterFest / Other Entertainment The cookies were piled up waiting for people to come decorate

WinterFest / Other Entertainment I thought this way of dispensing toppings was particularly cool

WinterFest / Other Entertainment My favorite new entertainment of the yar at the park was Reindeer Roundup, singing animatronic reindeer

WinterFest / Other Entertainment They put on shows every so often and "slept" when they weren't singing

WinterFest / Other Entertainment And finally, of course, ice skating was back on the main fountain in front of the carousel

WinterFest / Other Entertainment Wake me up when they start selling rides on the zamboni!


WinterFest / Decorations And the park had beautiful decorations as always. Starting with the Christmas tree in the main plaza!

WinterFest / Decorations The first aid building is always a standout to me

WinterFest / Decorations Santa and the reindeer take up their normal place on the lift of White Water Falls

WinterFest / Decorations The park features tons of cute little decorations, like these little penguins

WinterFest / Decorations The floral tunnel is covered in lights

WinterFest / Decorations Even the rides tend to get into the spirit! Here's red and white Grizzly

WinterFest / Decorations Action Zone is full of ginger bread

WinterFest / Decorations And the jelly filling station is back

WinterFest / Decorations Guess this gingerbread car isn't an EV!

WinterFest / Decorations Planet Snoopy always has beautiful lights

WinterFest / Decorations And Snoopy's dog house makes an appearance!

WinterFest / Decorations The best piece of decorations is as always, the bridge to All American Corners

WinterFest / Decorations Sorry, not All American Corners, Tinsel Town

WinterFest / Decorations Which is as full of tinsel as you'd expect


WinterFest / Misc Snoopy is decked out in his holiday best for the event

WinterFest / Misc The former Blood Bar in Orleans Place becomes Blitzen's Bar for the holidays, offering a variety of holiday themed drinks

WinterFest / Misc And there were plenty of other places around the park to get drinks. like this holiday spirit station

WinterFest / Misc Artisan Alley is back, full of artisans selling their wares near Railblazer. Today, most of the booths were closed which makes sense considering it's after Christmas

WinterFest / Misc Fire pits also make their return. They were a welcome addition on a chilly night

WinterFest / Misc Also again, some rides, shops and restaurants change their name for WinterFest, in this case, the car ride becomes 12 Days of Christmas and gets some extra lights added

Misc Updates

Misc Updates Like I mentioned, the crowds were very heavy! Actually, this line for security wrapped around past the berm outside the park. And I got into the lot right at 4pm.

Misc Updates Remember how in updates past we were talking about the construction of the buildings in Action Zone that were being used as the Tooth Fairy haunted house? Well, that work has been totally done. Part of the area was paved over and was used as the silent disco area for WinterFest. The other part of it sits behind a small fence of trees (that didn't do much to hide the area)

Misc Updates What will this become? Not entirely sure, we'll have to see. I've heard some people talk about a ride but I'd doubt that would be the case for 2023. Maybe 2024? Especially if something were to happen to Grizzly. But we'll see!

Misc Updates The stand in All American Corners finally has a name. Looks like it'll be Pearl's Cookies

Misc Updates Railblazer looks great at night!

Misc Updates The stickers in the Mass Effect queue look like they're being refurbished. Finally. Earlier in the year they were looking terrible

And that'll wrap up our update for the day! Not a ton of miscellaneous changes at the park this month since most of the park was decorated for the holidays. But this year is the first year that the park is open year round so we'll have another update for you from CGA at the end of January!