Where the magic of the movies… meets the thrills of a lifetime!
I haven’t been to Great America in Santa Clara since the 90s, which is sad because I used to love going there. I’ve been going through my old stuff and I found this: A map of Paramount’s Great America from 1993! See, this is why it’s a good idea to keep stuff. You can show off your treasure on the internet 25 years later!
When I was little, it was just Great America. But in 1993, Paramount Pictures bought the park, and it was Paramount’s Great America. Many of the rides were branded after their movies. My favorite attraction was all the Star Trek characters, Klingons walking around the park and the Star Trek store. You can read all about the history of Great America on the wiki, if you’re interested. Paramount sold to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in 2006. Now it is called California’s Great America.
If you look at the old map vs the current map, you can see that it hasn’t changed very much. Sure there’s many new additions including Boomerang Bay, and name changes and some rides retired and replaced. But the overall navigation, and most of the classic rides are still there. Obviously anything owned by Paramount had to be re-named and re-branded. Top Gun is now Flight Deck. The Grizzly and The Demon are still standing and have the same names since they were there long before Paramount bought them.
My favorite rides as a kid were The Grizzly and Rip Roaring Rapids. As a teenager, I finally got more adventurous and tried the actual thrill rides. However, I don’t remember much about them now. I can only remember that I didn’t like the one(s) that went backwards. That is a surefire way to get me to barf. I barf easily though, like on the 17. And on the 1 up north. Driving up the Montclair Hills.
I remember The Edge, which eventually got replaced by Drop Zone. They definitely fit more people on the new version. Now it seems to be called Drop Tower: Scream Zone. Only one of my cousins went on The Edge, the rest of us were too young or too chicken shit. I remember the line took forever because we all waited to watch her go down. I still refer to drops like that to The Edge.
My friend and I were talking about airbrush t-shirts, lo and behold, they still have it! The next time I find myself at an amusement park that does airbrush tees, I am getting one! I’ll probably ask for one with pizza. I know, you were thinking unicorns. I should also learn how to airbrush myself. Custom airbrushed tees would be a cool thing to add to my store.
This website is chalk full of info on the History of Great America! So if you found me randomly, you’ll want to be sure to visit them for way more information! They also have a gallery of user submitted photos.
I should make it a point to go to Great America sometime. But not during the summer. It’s too hot and the lines are too long. I will miss those Klingons though.
Now does anyone else remember when Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was called Marine World Africa USA? I still call it Marine World. I had to look up what they call the park now by Googling “Marine World”.