4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA | Directions 9505237.395992 -121.977766
Fun times – We used to have fun times here with my brothers and sisters back when we were little. I haven't been to this place in a while but I remember having the best times with the rides and food!
It's not Disneyland – Well, we shouldn't expect any other theme park to BE Disneyland; but let's admit, once you've been to D. Land everything else pales in comparison. As far as theme parks go, this one is good. There are rides here that give thrillseekers a run for their money, but mostly their rides are short and mild. If you can bring your own food, do so. We all know that food is overpriced in these theme parks, but does it have to taste like a typical school lunch? Four small sized chicken pieces with a ton of fries for $8.00? You'd be a pauper with a heart attack. See for yourself. Pay the admission price and then let loose.
Take a short road trip out of town for a great adrenaline fix. – In Short
There's no question about it, the thrill rides at Northern California's most elaborate theme park are spectacular: the Vortex--the West's first stand-up roller coaster; the Demon, featuring two 360-degree loops and a double helix; and the Grizzly, a classic wooden coaster based on the extinct Coney Island Wildcat. The circa-1976 double-decker Carousel Columbia is the world's tallest. Rides are always being redesigned or updated.
Not that great anymore – Great America, known to locals as Mariotts, since that's who originally owned the park, used to be a theme park. It used to have "themed" areas that celebrated parts of American culture, such as the Yukon, and the French Quarter New Orelans style. But since Paramount took over in the mid-90's, the park has transformed into a movie theme, but it doesn't work. The rides seem to be open only when they want to be, everything is over-priced, and the best old rides they used to have are now gone. And for a park that is themed around movies, the Imax theater(the original Imax I might add) is closed down?! Makes no sense. It used to be great, but not anymore.
Worst of all Paramount Parks? – They say they're a family park, but the majority of people you see there are teenagers trying to escape their parents during the summer. They have done a poor job marketing themselves because they are too stubborn to realize who the majority of their customers are. This is the only park I know of to add a new ride and take it down about 3 years later to add a very lame "water park" that has about 3 rides. Security is way lax, prices are too high, and most of the people working their hate the job. Magic Mountain is a way better deal, being about 6 times the size for close to the same price. Also, too many places are closed or minimally operated during slow days, which is pretty much any weekday. CLOSES WAY TOO EARLY!
The best thing around – It is the best park in the Bay Area, lots of scary rides and good show for those who don't want to ride the rides. Something to do for everyone.
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