Category Archives: California’s Great America

7 Reasons to Love Cedar Fair Parks in the Fall

150812 Cedar Point Midway Horse-Drawn Hearse (7 Reasons to Love Cedar Fair Parks in the Fall)

Were you fortunate to make it to a Cedar Fair at least once (or 10) this summer? Traveling to Cedar Point, Kings Island, Carowinds, Dorney Park or any of the other Cedar Fair parks is a blast throughout the year, especially when you can enjoy long days in the park and late nights under the lights of the midway. However, once the temperatures start to drop, there are lots of reasons to love Cedar Fair parks in the fall.

1) Decorations

Starting around August each year, guests visiting the parks can get into the fall spirit by seeing some of the decorations start to take shape around the park. Maybe you will see a Haunt vehicle here or a hearse there. Slowly as you get closer to fall, you will begin to see the park transformed into an entirely new experience, especially after dark.

Fall also means new kids and family activities throughout the day. Then once the sun goes down, the fog starts to roll in and the entire atmosphere becomes captivating.

2) Park Improvements

There is nothing that gets park enthusiasts blood running faster than with the announcement of improvements for the next season. Typically sometime in August or September, the parks have their official release of the next years improvements, whether they be a new roller coaster, rides, or dining enhancements. Shortly thereafter, guests going into fall can watch the early progress of construction, building excitement to carry them into spring and the park reopening.

3) Character Spirit

141022 Cedar Point Trick-or-Treat Halloween Snoopy

Everyone gets into the fall spirit at the parks, and that includes Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Bring the family out during the day and see your favorite characters dressed up just for Halloween.

Or if you visit Cedar Point during the day, you may get lucky and see Tony Clark, the Communications Director driving around the midway parade in a boiling pot of witches brew. Everyone gets in on the action.

4) Unique Menu Offerings

150918 Cedar Point Kettle Corn

While the leaves are changing, so does the food that nurtures the soul, preparing our bodies for winter. That is why we love the food scene at the parks for fall. Find warm cider, pumpkin treats, food stands that are only brought out for Haunt, unique food events, and freshly prepared kettle corn.

2017 Canada’s Wonderland Haunt Food
2017 Valleyfair Blood Suckers Buffet & Brew Bar
2017 Dorney Park Fright Feast
Review: Cedar Point Halloweekends Specialty Baked Potatoes
2017 California’s Great America Haunt Boofet
2017 Cedar Point Boeckling’s Banquet
2017 Cedar Point Night of the Living Fed

5) Dwindling Crowds

Halloweekends/Haunt are historically the busiest time of the year to visit the park, but there are some ways to minimize the crowds. As you get closer to Halloween, and especially on Saturdays, the parks can be very crowded. However, depending on the weather forecast, Friday nights and Sundays can be great nights to take in the park with lower crowds.

6) Merchandise Deals

Looking to snag our favorite merchandise for that special someone? As the parks get closer to closing day, they risk being stuck with a bunch of inventory. This means you should be able to find some great discounts of select items.

7) Best Deal of the Year on Season Passes

Cedar Fair Platinum Pass

If you are like our family, we like to save money, and the best time to do that with Cedar Fair season passes is in the fall. When season passes first go on sale is the best time to buy due to the lowest prices and additional added incentives.

For example, new guests that purchase a season pass this season get into the parks one time this season. Renewing members get a free Fast Lane Plus pass, getting them front of the line access one time this season.

When purchasing your season pass, it is also in your best interest to add the all-season dining plan and all-season drink cup/season pass drink program now, as the prices will only go up the longer you wait.

What gets you in the fall spirit?

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2017 California’s Great America Winterfest Attractions

161203 California's Great America Winterfest Orleans Place ©Inside CGA

©Inside CGA (Facebook/Instagram)

California’s Great America has the distinct honor of being at the forefront of the Winterfest movement, since they were the first Cedar Fair park to host the event in 2016. Now back for the 2017 season, Winterfest will host a whole new lineup of rides, shows, entertainment, decorations and of course, specialty food items for the Christmas holiday season!

California’s Great America Winterfest Rides

(Note: rides subject to minimum weather conditions to operate.)

Carousel Colombia
Flight Deck
Flying Ace
Flying Eagles
GR8 Sk8
Gold Striker
Joe Cool’s Dodgem School
Kite Eating Tree
Lucy’s Crabbie Cabbie
Peanuts 500
Peanuts Pirates
Planet Snoopy Construction Zone
Rue le Dodge
Sally’s Love Buggies
Sally’s Swing Set
Snoopy’s Space Buggies
Snoopy’s Space Race
Star Tower
Woodstock Express

California’s Great America Winterfest Live Entertainment

Winterfest would not be complete with a whole new lineup of live entertainment options.

A Peanuts Guide to Christmas (PEANUTS™ Show Place)
Cool Yule Christmas (Celebration Plaza)
Holly Jolly Trolley (Hometown Square, Celebration Plaza, Toy Land)
It’s Christmas, Snoopy! (Great American Theatre)
Jingle Jazz (Hometown Square)
The Mistletones (Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza)
Tinker’s Toy Factory (Theatre Royale)
Tree Lighting Ceremony (Celebration Plaza)

161127 California's Great America Winterfest ©Inside CGA

©Inside CGA (Facebook/Instagram)

California’s Great America Winterfest Food

Not only are we really elated to experience Winterfest at California’s Great America, but we think everyone will be really excited to see the specialty menu items available throughout the park!

American Corners Christmas Café (American Cafe)
Candy Cane Concoctions (Coca-Cola Polar Plaza)
Cheery Churros (Spike’s Churro Factory)
Cool Corn (Popcorn cart in Celebration Plaza)
Maggie Brown’s Festive Dinner (Maggie’s Smokehouse and Fried Chicken)(Serving normal menu items or a traditional turkey or ham dinner, which includes mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and a California winter vegetable mix.)
Prancer’s Pizza (Pizza Orleans)
Sally’s Festive Funnel Cakes (Sally’s Sweet Treats)(Serving candy cane funnel cakes, peppermint soft serve ice cream, deep-fried peppermint Oreos, deep-fried banana bites with dipping sauce, or gourmet hot chocolate—served with a mini-donut, toasted marshmallows and whipped cream.)
Sugar Plum Sweets (Silly Sours and Sweets)
Toy Town Treats (Great American Pizza Company)(Serving cinnamon pull-apart bread, cinnamon rolls smothered in warm spices holiday cookies, hot chocolate)
WinterFEAST (Great America Pavilion building)(Served daily from 5:00-7:00 pm, all-you-can-eat holiday meal includes roasted turkey with festive dressing, fried chicken, baked ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, vegetarian baked pasta, tossed salad, dessert squares, Christmas cookies and unlimited fountain drinks. $16.49 per person.)
Yule Time (Game Day Sports Bar)

Also available will be the following franchise locations.

Joe Cool Café (accepts Dining Plan)
Auntie Anne’s
Subway (accepts Dining Plan)
Panda Express (accepts Dining Plan)
Sally’s Festive Funnel Cakes, proudly serving Starbucks
Planet Snoopy Snack Shack (accepts Dining Plan)

California’s Great America will bring back the 2017 Winterfest Souvenir Mug for $10.99 which includes free refills on the first day of your visit of hot chocolate and $1 refills on subsequent visits.


©California’s Great America

Note, only 2017 All-Season Dining Plans will be accepted during Winterfest. Stay tuned for which menu items will be included. Winterfest Single Meal Deals will also be available for $14.29. 2017 All-Season Souvenir Bottles and Season Pass Drink Plans will be accepted during Winterfest.

California’s Great America Winterfest Activities

In addition to shows, rides and food, the California’s Great America Winterfest event will feature a variety of seasonal activities as follows.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Lot
Let It Snow
Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen ($14.99 for 4 sugar cookies or 1 large cookie, frosting, and decorations)
North Pole Postmaster
Ruby the Reindeer
Sally Brown’s Christmas Crafts
Snowflake Lake
St. Nick’s Pics
Coca-Cola Polar Bear Party

2017 Kings Island Winterfest Attractions
2017 Carowinds Winterfest Attractions
2017 California’s Great America Winterfest Attractions

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Review: California’s Great America Outback Shack Shrimp Po-Boy

170618 California's Great America Outback Shack Shrimp Po-Boy ©Mike Rumble (1)

We love that the California’s Great America Outback Shack serves some “themed” menu items that you would expect to find in said area.

One of the premium menu options that we were really excited to see added to the California’s Great America dining plans this year was the shrimp po-boy!

The sandwich is served with 4 pieces of fried shrimp on a sub roll with shredded lettuce, tomato, and sauce. Fries are included.

170618 California's Great America Outback Shack Shrimp Po-Boy ©Mike Rumble (2)

While the sandwich was good, one of the biggest complaints about meal options like this is the very skimpy amount of shrimp offered for the price point. While we realize there is a premium to be paid for shrimp, we would really like to see the amount of shrimp on the po-boy increased.

170618 California's Great America Outback Shack Shrimp Po-Boy ©Mike Rumble (3)

A special thanks goes out to Mike from Inside CGA (Facebook/Instagram) for coordinating our review of the Outback Shack shrimp po-boy.

170618 California's Great America Outback Shack Shrimp Po-Boy ©Mike Rumble (4)

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