Bay Area Vacation: Great America Park

This gotta be the highlight of the vacation for the boys. They wanted to snuck in a theme park on the vacation. I am all for it as I love roller coasters and such myself. However, Suanne vehemently protested that she will absolutely NOT go on any rides. He he he … she had a torrid time when we were in Disneyland/California Adventure and Knotts Berry Farm when we pestered her to have a go on the rides. Why even the kiddie rides freaks her out.

There are only two choices we can find for Theme Park — it is either Six Flags and Great America. Six Flags is out of the way in terms of the general direction we are heading and I think Six Flags have wilder rides. Great America seems to be a more family oriented.


One tip about going to the park, get your tickets before you get to the park. We got ours at the hotel we were staying in. I think it was about $10 less or so per ticket.


The one and only reason we headed to Santa Clara before going to San Francisco is because of the theme park stop.

In terms of size, Great America is no where near Disneyland although one would need at least 1 day to cover this park. The park is very compact and very walkable with lots of seats and shades around. Getting from one ride to another is pretty quick and helps us cover as much rides as we wanted.

We were there on a Saturday and expected a large crowd on a summer weekend. However, it was not as crowded as I feared. The lines were not too bad as we have seen worse in Disneyland. A long wait on the popular rides is like 15-30 minutes only.

You know, the few days before we arrived, there was a fatality in this park in the water section of the park. Apparently a toddler drowned in the newly opened wave pool. It was all over the news in Santa Clara. We did not spend any time at the water section because we did not have the time.


The star attraction of this park is the Top Gun ride. It is a long inverted roller coaster with all imaginable turns and twists you can ever imagine. It’s based on the experience of riding in a fighter plane. We headed to this ride first.


Arkensen went on this ride twice. Here is the video of him on the ride.

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