California's Great America Update - October 13th, 2023

Tricks & Treats Returns for Year 2!

Turns out the reports of our death has been greatly exaggerated! My apologies for the radio silence. My computer decided it didn't want to boot up anymore and when I migrated the data to my new PC (backups are important!) the environment for the site refused to build. I was running a very out of date version of my site generator of choice (Gatsby) and I started to update my software but it was a nightmare of tangled dependencies. I was starting to feel stretched running the site on that software so I took the opportunity to move to NextJS! After rebuilding the entire site in Next, I'm a big fan. Expect a better site experience in the future!

But regardless, it's Halloween time at the parks again! And at CGA that means Tricks and Treats, coming back for its second year. In this update, we'll cover the event again! What's changed? What's stayed the same? Let's go!

Table of Contents

Tricks & Treats

Let's walk through the park counter clockwise like we usually do and check out what each themed area brings us!

Tricks & Treats But real quick, let's talk about the themed food at the park. Like last year, this year we have plenty of themed food

Tricks & Treats And here's the corresponding map

Tricks & Treats Similarly, here's the entertainment overview for you to see before we keep moving!


Tricks & Treats | Entrance It's truly the best time of year!

Tricks & Treats | Entrance I could sit at the entrance to the park all day. They do such a good job decorating!

Tricks & Treats | Entrance The stage behind Columbia Carousel has a big pumpkin on it!

Tricks & Treats | Entrance And that pumpkin is part of the Patch's Halloween Bash show

Tricks & Treats | Entrance One cool thing I enjoyed around the park this year was the "Ding Dong Doom Neighborhood Watch Program" where you can take selfies of yourself at four doors around the park and post them on social media with a certain hashtag and get a prize! Here's the full rules if you're curious

Tricks & Treats | Entrance These waypoint signs greet you and point you in the direction of any of the themed lands. Let's follow along!


Tricks & Treats | Everfall First up is Everfall. Like last year, this zone is in Hometown Square

Tricks & Treats | Everfall And like before this zone is very heavy on the gourds and pumpkins, classic fall theme!

Tricks & Treats | Everfall There's a merch booth set up here (and elsewhere), here's a quick look at what they're selling this year

Tricks & Treats | Everfall Here's our Ding Dong Doom door for Everfall. Pretty traditional door here

Tricks & Treats | Everfall Like last year, there's a little craft booth set up for kids

Tricks & Treats | Everfall This year bfrings us a cute little corn/hedge maze

Tricks & Treats | Everfall I love all the little pumpkins around!

Tricks & Treats | Everfall The corn chair is back!!

Tricks & Treats | Everfall Although this little pumpkin cow might be my favorite new decoration

Tricks & Treats | Everfall As far as entertainment goes, Everfall features the stage in front of Great America Theater with a couple of shows, Cartoon Cowboys and Bonfire Tales

Sweet Tooth Acres

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres And like before, Sweet Tooth Acres is back in what's now NorCal County Fair

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres And like before, you should expect plenty of candy theming around!

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres The DDD door in this area is exactly what you might expect, lots of candy!

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres This was my favorite of the little candy theming!

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres As far as entertainment goes, this year had a little more organization when it comes to the Trick or Treat Trail

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres This time there was a line and a pretty clear progression from door to door where each little door had some little quirk or interesting thing about it instead of all just being plain doors

Tricks & Treats | Sweet Tooth Acres And if you wanted a little lollypop, you could pick it here!


Tricks & Treats | Ickyville That'll bring us around to our next area, Ickyville!

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville Unlike last year which had Ickyville near Mass Effect and Delirium, this year had it in All American Corners proper

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville It had the same kind of "gross" theming that you remember from last year

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville This time the slime shop was moved to the little cookie stand on the corner

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville The games were just in front of Liberty Twirler

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville And of course, you know the dabbing skeleton is back!

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville The DDD door looks the part of the gross/industrial aesthetic

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville There are a couple shows that get shown here. Wish I could've seen that Bean Boozled show!

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville And the modular screen they had for the stage was cool too!

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville Nerd shot. I thought it was so cool how they all hook together!

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville And finally, new this year was a decent number of street entertainers! Like this person

Tricks & Treats | Ickyville Or this guy that was playing some sort of game with guests! Seriously, this is so awesome from the park that I hope we get it year round! Some sort of New Orleans performer in Orleans Place, or classic 50s jock in All American Corners? Sounds cool to me!

Spooky Spires

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires Onward to our last zone, Spooky Spires!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires This year again it takes place in Orleans Place

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires And again this year it is the more "spooky", scary Halloween area

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires Think skulls and tombstones and fog. But nothing too scary!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires Wouldn't be a scary area without a hearse!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires This is my favorite area and the area I saved for last for pictures. The sun setting just enhanced the mood

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires The DDD door looks the part

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires Although some parts of the park are already getting ready for Christmas!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires There are several food booths set up around the area

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires And the blood bar makes a return!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires The inside is so cool looking and eventually I'll try a drink here!

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires As far as entertainment here, we start with street performers! This guy was hanging around near the hearse

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires And there's a big stage set up near Flight Deck showing a couple of shows

Tricks & Treats | Spooky Spires But I'm a sucker for the shows on the Orleans Candy Kitchen Balcony. These are the Spectral Sisters!

Other Decorations

But not only the 4 themed areas were decorated! Let's take a look at some of the decorations in the rest of the park!

Tricks & Treats | Other Decorations Over past the NorCal County Fair games area, you can find our usual pumpkin carriage!

Tricks & Treats | Other Decorations Snoopy was as decorated as ever!

Tricks & Treats | Other Decorations As was his area. Love the pumpkins!

Tricks & Treats | Other Decorations The different bridge transitions between the areas are my favorite, this one between Planet Snoopy and All American Corners is great!

NorCal County Fair

So I had an entire update written about NorCal County Fair finally opening Pacfic Gliders but the site going down kinda put that on ice. Maybe I'll end up writing it in the future but for now, please take these pics that that's true!

NorCal County Fair It's finally open!

NorCal County Fair It's such a beautiful looking ride, I'm so glad to see the park continuing to add new experiences even given the uncertainty around the land situation

NorCal County Fair And that wasn't it. Grizzly has a spiffy new entrance sign!

NorCal County Fair Tiki Twirl is finally open!

NorCal County Fair As is Centrifuge. The area looks great and big props to the park for making it shine!

NorCal County Fair The area has its themed trash cans! Glad to see this small little detail in the new area

Misc Updates

Misc Updates Let's start with closed rides! It wasn't a cold day so only half of the water rides were closed

Misc Updates Railblazer is looking fantastic!

Misc Updates Over near Planet Snoopy, this little games stand is new!

Misc Updates Mass Effect got some new graphics on its facade

Misc Updates And in its queue. The ride looks much improved from the state it was in

And there you have it! It was another fun visit to the park and I continue to really enjoy the Tricks and Treats event. It's good to have a little balance in Halloween events and with SFDK just a drive away having a scarier event, it's good to have a family focused one. The park was pretty crowded too which is always great to see.

My next visit will be in November for Winter Fest!