California's Great America Update - November 29th, 2019

WinterFest is here!


So as I'm sure most of you are aware, last night (11/29) was the first night of WinterFest @ CGA. So naturally, we were there to experience the park and share some pictures with you all! I'll cover what I think of some of the parts of WF during this update and in other posts on the site but long story short, the event is amazing and the park is amazingly beautiful lit up like it is.

But onto the update:

WinterFest Shows

So I didn't get much of a chance to check out the shows today. I figure that I'll be able to do that over the next few weeks but what I did get to see was pretty impressive.

CGA The tree lighting ceremony looked fun!

CGA And I loved the turning on of the tree

CGA The blood yard stage got transformed into a gingerbread stage

CGA And featured some pop up live entertainment!

CGA I look forward to watching It's Christmas Snoopy!

Jingle Jazz

The one show I did catch was Jingle Jazz. In short it was a group of a capella singers singing some classic Christmas carols. It included some cool moments of guest interaction getting little kids to come up to the stage and ring bells along with the carolers. My personal favorite part was the beat boxer in the back. I've always been fascinated with beat boxing for whatever reason and he did an awesome job!



WinterFest exclusive experiences

WinterFest doesn't just mean getting a couple of extra months to ride our favorite rides, it also brings some experiences you can only do during it!

St. Nick's Pics

In Hometown Square you can take a picture with the big man himself!


Holiday Horse & Carriage Ride

I think my favorite experience is an upcharge one where you can ride a real horse and carriage around what's usually the go kart track. Such a cool experience!


Snow Flake Lake

Come winter time, the fountain at the front of CGA gets frozen over and becomes an ice skating rink called Snow Flake Lake!


CGA If I tried this, I'd definitely be one of those people holding onto the sides

CGA The fact that CGA owns a zamboni just makes me so happy

Mrs. Claus' Kitchen


Opening in one of the Planet Snoopy storefronts is Mrs. Claus' kitchen, where you and your family can decorate their own cookies and maybe get a chance to meet Mrs. Claus herself!

CGA The store has some nice little touches in it

CGA And the cookies look pretty tasty

CGA The experience will set you back $18.99 this year

North Pole Postmaster


In Orleans Place, you can find North Pole postmaster, a place where you can write and send your own letter to Santa!

CGA I love the decorations inside the building



CGA More decorations


Lights around the park

And now for maybe the best part of the update, take a look at these shots of the incredible lights around the park!

CGA Some snowflakes on the side of Goldstriker

CGA Some lit trees shining over Artisan Alley

CGA In front of Railblazer

CGA Candy Cane Lane lives up to its name!

CGA It feels like we're so far away from South Bay Shores but I know I'll blink and we'll be there at opening day!

CGA Sierra Creek Lodge gets in on the fun!

CGA The bridge from Mass Effect to Flying Eagles is my favorite lights in the park by a good margin. So beautiful!!

CGA American Cafe looks like a gingerbread house!

CGA Tinsel Town (All American Corners) is also almost unrecognizably beautiful during WinterFest

CGA Isn't this just stunning?

CGA And Orleans Place had a great light show!

CGA If you get the chance take the Star Tower err... North Pole up and see the lights from above

CGA It might be better from up high!

General Updates

CGA The Holly Jolly Trolley is definitely something I'm gonna have to check out soon!

CGA Artisan Alley is a really cool idea! I love the idea of bringing in crafters from the community and letting them show off what they made!

CGA The rock/gem vendor is my favorite

CGA Had to get a portrait of this penguin in front of a sleeping Demon

CGA I also think it's kinda funny that the mean streets of Victorian London for Rippers Revenge became the friendly streets of Victorian London

CGA With walkaround characters from A Christmas Carol

CGA Even the games get a make over for Winter Fest

CGA I'm curious to see what this tent is for

CGA The checkers and tic tac toe tables are great (although it's a matter of time before people take/lose the pieces)

CGA I just kinda wish there were some rocking chairs to sit in

CGA Gingerbread Village features lots of, well, gingerbread villagers and buildings

CGA And Tinsel Town contains plenty of its namesake as well!

CGA The old location of Firefall has become one of my favorite places to look during events in the park. Despite not being a place many look, it seems to always have some great details that really do a lot to further the park experience

CGA A tinsel tree in front of Patriot

CGA The tree itself!


CGA Railblazer always looks good at night

CGA And the lights only made it look better


CGA Drop Tower is napping for the winter

CGA As is Grizzly

CGA But not Patriot!

CGA Gigantamax Santa guards the entrance of Tiki Twirl

CGA My only ride of the night was a quick ride on Goldstriker! Running pretty fast but was just a little rough. Looking forward to it getting some love this offseason!

CGA I thought the Christmas themed TV segments was a nice touch.

And I'll close out this update with one of the WinterFest banner in front of the tree and the carousel! Overall I had an amazing time at WinterFest and look forward to going many times!