California's Great America Update - July 18th, 2021

Taste of Orleans, White Water Falls Reopens & Other Updates

After about a month of not being at CGA (having to get a reservation instead of just popping by after work really throws me off) I made my way back. A good bit has changed since then which we'll get into in this update! Expect some info about Taste of Orleans, White Water Falls reopening, updates on Orbit and Berserker, my review of South Bay Cantina and other updates. So let's get into it!

Taste Of Orleans

The biggest change since I'd last been to the park was definitely Taste of Orleans! ToO was the first special event that CGA has had since 2019 and was a fantastic way to kick off the busiest season at CGA! Let's take a look at some of the things the park did for the event!

Taste Of Orleans Orleans Place is home to the celebration!

Taste Of Orleans As you walk in, you're greeted by this sign telling you all of the things going on at the event! In this case the event times and food tasting cards

Taste Of Orleans ...some show times and live performer details...

Taste Of Orleans ...the food tasting stands...

Taste Of Orleans ... and the drink options!

Taste Of Orleans We'll hop around and take a look at the food available at each stand! At A we have gumbo and wings...

Taste Of Orleans At B we have jambalaya and sliders

Taste Of Orleans C has some alligator and catfish

Taste Of Orleans D had crawfish and sausage

Taste Of Orleans E had pizza and hush puppies. F was in the funnel cake shop and served king cake, plantains and beignets

Taste Of Orleans As far as the food I tried, let's start with crawfish! It was surprisingly spicy

Taste Of Orleans Then I had to give the alligator a try. Wasn't quite as flavorful as the crawfish but it was still delicious

Taste Of Orleans After that it was dessert time. I started with the plantains

Taste Of Orleans Quickly I moved on to the king cake

Taste Of Orleans And I finished off with some delicious beignets. The food was all fantastic!

Taste Of Orleans Interestingly, the card didn't have tabs to keep track of the amount of dishes you had left, instead there was a QR code to scan

Taste Of Orleans Let's talk music! ToO continues to feature some great Cajun music. That starts at the big stage near Flight Deck

Taste Of Orleans But there was also this smaller stage near Rue Le Dodge. Great to see live music at the park again!

Taste Of Orleans Walk around characters entertained guests

Taste Of Orleans And of course the Peanuts gang was out and about too

Taste Of Orleans Kids could decorate some masks

Taste Of Orleans The old photo location in Orleans Square has temporarily become a souvenir stand and games store. Spin the wheel and win a prize!

Taste Of Orleans The merch from this year looked great as well!

Taste Of Orleans And of course, the night ended with fireworks! I didn't stick around to watch them but Flight Deck was shutting down early in anticipation of them

Taste Of Orleans The park did a great job decorating the area

Taste Of Orleans All the signs were decorated

Taste Of Orleans With banners across the midway

Taste Of Orleans It just looks good, you know?

Taste Of Orleans Love these banners that fly on Pizza Orleans

Taste Of Orleans This mural greets guests as they enter the area

Taste Of Orleans Is that what I think it is?

Taste Of Orleans Yes it is, Mardi Gras crocodile has returned!!!

Taste Of Orleans A massive voodoo doll sits in the entrance of Orleans Candy Kitchen

Taste Of Orleans As you leave a sign reminds you to let the good times roll!

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Taste Of Orleans. The park always does a fantastic job with the atmosphere of the event and this year was no different. It was great to get live music back in the park and I enjoyed just getting to sit, relax and listen. Although the food tasting cards are expensive, I was surprised with how big some of the portions (like the beignets) were. If you can, make sure you come down to the park for ToO, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Ride Updates

WhiteWater Falls Reopening

The other big news this time around was the reopening of WWF! It looks new and fresh and on such a hot day it was great to see it running again!

WhiteWater Falls Reopening

White Water Falls Reopening They're just about to get soaked!

WhiteWater Falls Reopening The boat climbs the lift

WhiteWater Falls Reopening And heads toward the splashdown

WhiteWater Falls Reopening Delighting some very warm park guests

Berserker

Berserker The other closed rides at the park weren't so lucky. Berserker looks like it did last month

Berserker But with a cool new sign that tells us a little more about the history of the ride and why it's special

Orbit

Orbit Like Berserker, Orbit sits in more or less the same state as it did last month

Orbit But also with a cool new sign! Loving the retro aesthetic they're using

South Bay Cantina

Since I was last at the park, South Bay Cantina finally opened!

South Bay Cantina The serving setup looks kinda like a Chipotle with the same assembly line style

South Bay Cantina Liking the little bit of theming that got put up on the walls

South Bay Cantina It's not a ton but it looks good!

South Bay Cantina And finally, I got a burrito and chips and salsa with my meal plan. I got the steak which was a bit chewy but the rest of the toppings were good!

I enjoyed my food at this new restaurant. With a big burrito and chips and salsa, this might be the best bang for your buck meal plan location at the park. I know I definitely plan on making it one of my go tos when I'm at the park!

Other Updates

Other Updates Let's start with some Haunt talk. At the tooth fairy maze I noticed the entrance portal was back whereas I don't remember seeing it in June

Other Updates A crane sits near the Massacre Manor haunt that wasn't there last month

Other Updates Signs of life are a good thing as is this display near guest services. But interestingly unlike the WinterFest display (included below), the Haunt display doesn't have dates. I assume they're holding out for flexibility. Assuming the event does happen I'd assume that it would be at the end of September like it was in 2019

Other Updates

Other Updates Several other food locations were open, like Pizza Company

Other Updates And Game Time although GT didn't have a menu on display so I couldn't see if anything had changed since 2019

Other Updates As you may have heard, the park has been slammed lately. Most big rides had nearly full queues

Other Updates I have never seen the line this long!

Other Updates Interesting thought as I walked by this sign for the trillionth time, has this location ever actually served *ice cream and candy? I don't think I've ever seen that

Other Updates And finally let's end with a shot of Railblazer!

That's another update from CGA! ToO was awesome and I was really glad to see WWF reopening after a long break! The park is starting to hit its stride for the season although we're only a couple of months away from Halloween season hopefully. If it happens (and even if it doesn't), I'll be there to cover it! Expect my next update from CGA at the end of August!