California's Great America Update - December 31st, 2019

WinterFest, New Years Eve and Closing Day at CGA

I really got into coasters when I was growing up in Ohio. Every year I'd try to go to closing day of either Kings Island or Cedar Point in late October/early November and then have to spend the winter until April jealously reading trip reports from enthusiasts in California/Florida.

Well now I'm one of those lucky enthusiasts and closing days feel a lot less awful than they did in the past since in NorCal we have SFDK open all year. But even with that fact, CGA closing for the year is still a little sad but we were there to document the day and eagerly look forward to next year!

Table of Contents

WinterFest / NYE

WinterFest / NYE

So not only was it a normal WinterFest day at the park but also featured some special NYE events, chief among those a DJ and fireworks. Let's take a peek at some of the setup around the park!

WinterFest / NYE Different parts of the park had these firework viewing/party areas

WinterFest / NYE The fireworks themselves started at 9pm, perfect for those of us (including myself) who don't want to stay up all the way to midnight

WinterFest / NYE Mix106 had a booth set up to DJ from

WinterFest / NYE I might just not be observant but I don't remember this stand ever being open

WinterFest / NYE But it was tonight, distributing NYE hats and noisemakers

WinterFest / NYE The hat itself

Closing Day Prep

Walking around the park I found the first signs of a park about to hibernate for the winter.

WinterFest / NYE Workers start to take down prizes from games booths

WinterFest / NYE Later in the night they were all down

WinterFest / NYE Actually most of the games were closed


Like most of the other parks around the country, CGA also experienced heavy lines around Christmas time. Never was it more evident than NYE. Even 30 to 60 minutes after opening several flat rides already had a line spilling out of the queue.

WinterFest / NYE Eagle's Flight/Delta Flyer has an overflowing line

WinterFest / NYE As do Flying Eagles

WinterFest / NYE And 12 Days of Christmas/Barney Oldfield Speedway

WinterFest / NYE And Celebration Swings

WinterFest / NYE And of course Carousel Columbia

Initially the coasters didn't look quite as bad probably due to having longer queues but they got in on the fun later on, with Psycho Mouse and Gold Striker both having overflowing queues when I walked by at 7:30pm.

WinterFest / NYE

WinterFest / NYE Not sure if they were using all of the switchbacks for GS though

I think part of the reason for these lines is the fact that it was the last day to use Platinum Pass renewal Fast Lane which led myself and many other passholders to use it, inflating the Fast Lane count and slowing the regular lines.

WinterFest / NYE The queue to get through security and get into the park was still completely full when I left around 7:30pm

General Park Updates

CGA Updates The last update of the year for SBS. Can't wait to try these slides out next year!

CGA Updates The sign for the Wax Museum haunt is finally covered up, I guess that means Halloween is officially over :(

CGA Updates This is the first time I actually saw the horses on the track!


CGA Updates I think I missed some of the decorations in Planet Snoopy the past few times I went to CGA

CGA Updates Snoopy's doghouse is represented

CGA Updates As is Charlie Brown's sad Christmas tree

CGA Updates The lights in Orleans Place are my second favorite ones in the park

CGA Updates The details stand out to me

CGA Updates But my favorite is Tinsel Town

CGA Updates I mean how can you not love the tinsel?

Coasters & Rides

CGA Updates Patriot looks good at night

CGA Updates Especially surrounded by trees and lights

CGA Updates I think all coasters look good with Christmas lights

CGA Updates But I still think the best looking coaster in the park is Railblazer

CGA Updates The lights on 12 Days of Christmas were a lot of fun!

CGA Updates I'm gonna miss walking into the gates of CGA and seeing this until next year

CGA Updates CGA does the holidays right!

CGA Updates Until next year, CGA, I already am looking forward to coming back!