Seems like we had just got through the holiday season, but we found out some exciting news - Great America will be bringing in its own holiday event Holiday 2016, known as Winter Fest. Mind you, this doesn't mean that CGA is open year round but just to run during the holidays.
Quote from CGA:
GREAT AMERICA OPENS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON MARCH 25:2016 SEASON TO EXTEND THROUGH DECEMBER WITH EXCITING NEW HOLIDAY EVENTSANTA CLARA, CA – California’s Great America will open its 40th anniversary season Friday, March 25 with the most extensive attraction lineup in park history. In addition to the new Mass Effect: New Earth 4D Holographic Journey, Great America will introduce a spectacular larger than life holiday event, WinterFest.The park will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland during WinterFest where guests can skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admire magnificent displays of lights and décor, view spectacular live holiday shows, experience 18 rides and attractions, see Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoy scrumptious holiday fare at numerous food locations.The winter scene will be dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests.The five-week WinterFest celebration begins November 25 for weekend operation. Daily operations run December 19-23 and 26-30.“WinterFest will be one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events, delivering a unique experience where friends and families can create memories and traditions during the holiday season, “Great America’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. “Mass Effect and WinterFest are the first of many exciting additions planned for Great America in the coming years.”Admission to WinterFest will be free for 2016 Gold and Platinum pass holders.Gold Season Passes are currently available for as low as six easy payments of $14.50 online and include unlimited visits, free season-long parking, early entry into Boomerang Bay Waterpark, admission into Halloween Haunt, discounts on meals and merchandise, and bring-a-friend discount offers.The 2016 season at Great America will also be highlighted by a series of special events. Notable events include the 40th anniversary and Opening Day celebration March 25; Boomerang Bay Waterpark Opening Day May 28; Memorial Day Weekend Fireworks May 29; an iHeart Spring Concert June 4; Fiesta Hispana August 7 followed by Halloween Haunt and the Great Pumpkin Fest in the fall.For Mass Effect: New Earth 4D Holographic Journey, slated to open March 25, Great America has teamed up with Electronic Arts (EA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, to create a first-of-its-kind guest experience at Great America. The dynamic new attraction will feature settings and characters from EA’s critically acclaimed Mass Effect™ videogame series developed by BioWare™.Riders will climb aboard motion-based seating and wear 3D glasses as they are taken on a thrilling adventure. A live performer will curate the journey and appear to interact seamlessly with the next generation 3D visuals. These elements will be integrated with motion seating, high tech sound and other 4D effects to create a truly compelling and immersive attraction. Guests will travel through space to a distant planet and face off against bigger than life adversaries and ultimately help save the day.Great America is currently hiring for the 2016 season with opportunities available in all areas of park operation. Apply online at cagreatamerica.com/jobs.CEDAR FAIRCalifornia’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to California’s Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort and five hotels, including Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.
The park will somewhat be the answer to the rival's "Holiday in the Park" event at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom with its own unique twists. What excited us was to find out that the Carousel Columbia's reflection pond will be converted into an ice skating rink (shortly after spewing flames from Haunt :) ).
Generally, the weather during the winter in the South Bay is pretty mild so it's no real surprise that the park is running a holiday event, we're just a bit surprised they didn't jump on this sooner, after the several years success with Six Flags' Holiday in the Park events.
The park was rented out in 2012 for Global Winter Wonderland, where a third party set up different lantern displays and also brought in a few portable carnival rides to fill in where the park's rides were under refurbishment. This was not an official part of Cedar Fair. We're excited to see this come!