California's Great America Update - November 3rd, 2019

Great Pumpkin Fest & Halloween Haunt Leftovers!

Hey everyone! And welcome to NorCal Thrills. I have grand plans for this site, constructing a state of the art web application that matches our amazing set of parks in the Bay Area, but I found myself developing them a little slower than I was hoping so I figured I'd spin up this temporary site until the main site is ready! I'll have a post on what I want the main site to be like soon but for now, enjoy this CGA update!

So I headed out to CGA today to check out Great Pumpkin Fest after spending the previous night enjoying the last date of Haunt. It was a great event this year and I'm already looking forward to seeing what the park has for next year! Everyone must've stayed out pretty late last night since it was pretty dead all day. Railblazer and Gold Striker were both walk ons which is pretty rare for the park. I took advantage and got some rides in as well as walking around the park to check out what's going on with construction. Here are some interesting things I saw!

Table of Contents

Great Pumpkin Fest

Planet Snoopy Sign

I'm glad that parks have events like this for the kids. Halloween is such a great holiday and one that all ages can enjoy. Peanuts is a great IP to celebrate holidays with and CGA does it right!

Great Pumpkin Fest Meet and Greet Plenty of pumpkins and hay to be seen

Great Pumpkin Fest Foam Pit Like Cedar Point, CGA also has a foam pit for kids. CP's was a bit bigger though.

Great Pumpkin Fest Stage The stage for the Peanut's Halloween show.

Great Pumpkin Fest Corn Chairs I have a game that I personally play trying to find the corn chairs at every special event. I've found them at Taste of Orleans and Red White and Brews and now here they are at Haunt/Great Pumpkin Fest!

Great Pumpkin Fest Snoopy Always good to see Snoopy not dressed up as a clown!

Haunt Remnants/Cleanup

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage Haunt Cleanup hasn't stopped Flight Deck.

There's no rest for CGA. Even though Haunt closed for the season last night, they are already hard at work cleaning it up. The most visible effort to those ends was the taking down of the Dia De Los Muertos Stage.

Dia De Los Muertos Stage

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage Already got the crane out.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage Hard at work.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage Two guys were working on it today.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage They brought out the heavy equipment.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage One guy was at the top of the stage taking down the rigging.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage More work.

They do move fast! I came back just 20 minutes or so later to find that all of the panels at the front were already gone.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage The panels are already gone!

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage I'll be glad to have this photo op back without a stage in the way!

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Stage It'll be done in no time!

Smaller Haunt Deconstruction

Elsewhere, there was smaller evidence of deconstruction around the park.

Haunt Cleanup Hometown Square A worker was in the process of taking down some of the Harvest Square Decorations.

Haunt Cleanup Zombie High Sign I can't imagine this sign for Zombie High lasts much longer in the open.

Haunt Cleanup Tooth Fairy I would assume that cleanup has already started inside of the mazes and I did see workers outside of Tooth Fairy.

Haunt Cleanup Tooth Fairy Looking through the back of Tooth Fairy. I'd have to assume that they wouldn't leave this door open if they weren't taking it down?

Haunt Cleanup Roadkill Road House Workers take what are presumably props or costumes to a backstage area.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos I swear these steps had more candles on them last night. Maybe they're taking these down already?

Haunt Cleanup Inside CGA And at Inside CGA, cleanup starts on the Haunt displays.

Misc Haunt

And after noticing deconstruction I also took some last pictures of some Haunt decorations.

Haunt Cleanup Grizzly It feels right to have Grizzly travelling over corn fields.

Haunt Cleanup Tombstones I can't believe I didn't notice these lost attractions tombstones earlier!

Haunt Cleanup Town Hall I appreciate the displays in some of the windows around the park.

Dia De Los Muertos had some of the best decorations in the park since I'm a big fan of the goofy looking skeletons.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos They just look so thrilled to be here.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos Dabbing skeleton is definitely the best.

Haunt Cleanup Dia De Los Muertos I still don't exactly know what this skeleton's pose is supposed to be but it's provocative (no it's not it's gross), it gets the people going!

CGA does a great job decorating.

Haunt Cleanup All American Corners I love the subtle decorations in All American Corners. These lanterns in the trees are great.

Haunt Cleanup Witches Poor witches, one of them fell down.

Haunt Cleanup Blood Yard Stage Blood Yard Stage is still standing but there's no chance it is next weekend.

Haunt Cleanup Propane Tank I never noticed the huge propane tank that powers the flame effects at the front of the park.

South Bay Shores Construction

South Bay Shores Construction

After admiring the Haunt decorations one last time, it was time to check on South Bay Shores construction. Construction looks to be ticking along quite nicely.

New Tower

The new slide towers look to be done. They're going to be a lot of fun! I'm particularly excited for the drop slides. I did my first one last month at Volcano Bay and thought that the sensation is extremely unique!

South Bay Shores Construction A close up on the drop pod slides.

South Bay Shores Construction Looks like green and yellow are a little bit more of speed slides.

South Bay Shores Construction Whereas tan wraps around the other tower after dropping you.

South Bay Shores Construction And blue looks somewhere in between.

South Bay Shores Construction The complex does tower over the Planet Snoopy annex.

South Bay Shores Construction The more traditional towers look great too.

South Bay Shores Construction I love the alternating color scheme.

South Bay Shores Construction And of them, blue white and yellow is my favorite.

South Bay Shores Construction It sure is a big complex.

South Bay Shores Construction You can see it from all over the park.

General SBS Construction

General construction for SBS is proceeding nicely as well. Going up on Eagle's Flight (no pictures are technically allowed on the ride - and I try to respect the park rules) you can see that nearly all of the concrete around the park is ripped up. The remaining towers stand alone on dirt paths, it's like they're building it from the ground up! This job seems like more than just a rebrand. Big props to CGA for doing this right and not the cheap way.

I did head up into the Star Tower to grab some shots. In these pictures you can see what I'm talking about since just about every path is gone.

South Bay Shores Construction

South Bay Shores Construction

South Bay Shores Construction

I'm looking forward to seeing what SBS looks like! And you better bet that I'll be there to cover continued construction and opening!

General Park Updates


It's been a long while since I was on Railblazer last but with the walk on lines today I walked right onto the back row.

Railblazer I will saw that I'll miss the fog that tended to gather around the base of Railblazer with Haunt. Not that I ever wanted to wait in the Haunt lines but I appreciated how it looked!

Railblazer But Railblazer was as great as I remembered!

Railblazer I sat in the back which is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned! The whip over the drops is an incredible experience!


Demon Random Demon picture. I wish they would've done their Halloween sprucing up of Demon but I for one am glad we still have this classic Arrow looper at the park!


If it's a walk on, how could I not take a ride on the best wooden coaster in the area? I got both front and back row rides and although it was running a little slow earlier in the year, it really picked up and is running really well although just a touch rough.

Gold Striker I love the way Goldstriker's first drop wraps around the Star Tower.

Gold Striker You know it's a dead day when there are empty rows.

Gold Striker The sense of speed is the thing that GCIs do best IMO and Gold Striker is very good at this.

Gold Striker I remember when Gold Striker was announced. I was in the middle of falling out of the hobby and remember being less than impressed.

Gold Striker But I take that back now. This is defnitely the second best ride in the park.

Gold Striker When was the last time you remember the front row being empty on GS in the middle of the day?

Gold Striker Yep, it was a great day to be here.

And that concludes my visit to CGA for the day! Expect an update from both SFDK and CGA next weekend. I expect to see more Haunt deconstruction at CGA and maybe some progress at Sidewinder Safari at SFDK!