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Monday, December 25, 2023

California's Great America: Tickets, Park Information, and More

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

California's Great America, situated in Santa Clara, California, is a top-tier amusement park that promises an exceptional experience filled with exhilarating rides, captivating water attractions, delectable food, and non-stop entertainment. Whether you're seeking a day of wholesome family fun or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Great America caters to all interests and preferences. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the details of ticket prices, park hours, must-visit attractions, and other vital information that will ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable visit. Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through California's Great America!

California's Great America 

California's Great America
California's Great America
Source: wikipedia/Oleg Alexandrov

History of California's Great America

The history of California's Great America dates back to its inception in 1976. Originally known as Marriott's Great America, the park was built and operated by the Marriott Corporation as a joint venture with the city of Santa Clara. It was envisioned as a family-friendly amusement park that would cater to the growing population of the Bay Area.

The park's construction began in 1975, and it officially opened its gates to the public on May 20, 1976. Spanning over 100 acres, California's Great America quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a wide range of attractions and entertainment.

Throughout the years, the park underwent several ownership changes. In 1985, Marriott Corporation sold the park to the Kings Entertainment Company (KECO), which added new rides and expanded its offerings. KECO operated the park until 1992 when it was acquired by Paramount Communications, the parent company of Paramount Pictures.

Under Paramount's ownership, the park underwent a transformation and was rebranded as Paramount's Great America. The park incorporated popular themes and characters from Paramount movies, creating unique experiences for visitors. During this time, iconic attractions such as Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (later renamed Flight Deck) and Drop Zone Stunt Tower were introduced.

In 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company acquired the park from Paramount Parks, rebranding it as California's Great America. Cedar Fair continued to invest in new attractions and improvements, enhancing the park's appeal and maintaining its status as a premier amusement destination.

Over the years, California's Great America has become known for its thrilling roller coasters, including the renowned wooden coaster called Gold Striker. The park also features a water park, Boomerang Bay (now known as South Bay Shores), which offers refreshing water attractions and slides during the summer season.

Today, California's Great America continues to captivate visitors with its ever-expanding lineup of rides, shows, and entertainment options. It remains a beloved landmark in Santa Clara, providing memorable experiences for families, thrill-seekers, and entertainment enthusiasts of all ages.

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Great America Tickets and Pricing

When planning your visit to California's Great America, it's important to explore the ticket options and pricing to make the most of your experience. The park offers a variety of ticket choices to cater to different preferences and budgets.

Single-Day Tickets:

California's Great America offers single-day tickets that grant you access to the park for a full day of fun and adventure. Prices for single-day tickets may vary based on factors such as age and the time of year. Generally, tickets for adults and older children (aged 12 and above) are priced differently from tickets for younger children (aged 3-11) and seniors. It's recommended to check the park's official website or authorized ticket vendors for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information.

Season Passes:

If you're a frequent visitor or planning to visit California's Great America multiple times throughout the season, investing in a season pass can provide significant savings. Season passes typically offer unlimited admission to the park for the entire season, allowing you to come and go as you please. Additionally, season pass holders may enjoy various perks and benefits, such as discounted or free parking, exclusive discounts on food and merchandise, and early access to certain attractions. The cost of season passes may vary based on factors such as the level of pass (e.g., regular pass, gold pass) and any additional add-ons or benefits included.

Special Discounts and Promotions:

California's Great America often offers special discounts and promotions throughout the year, allowing visitors to save on their tickets. These discounts may include deals for specific groups, such as military personnel, students, or seniors. There may also be promotional offers available during certain times of the year or in partnership with local businesses or organizations. It's worth checking the park's official website, social media channels, or subscribing to their newsletter to stay updated on any current promotions or offers.

By exploring the various ticket options, comparing prices, and taking advantage of special discounts or promotions, you can find the best ticket option that suits your needs and budget, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit to California's Great America.

Park Information and Features

California's Great America waterpark
California's Great America
Source: wikipedia/Oleg Alexandrov

Park Layout and Map:

Navigating a large amusement park like California's Great America can be made easier with a detailed map. The park provides visitors with maps that highlight the various sections, rides, attractions, dining options, restrooms, and other essential facilities. These maps are usually available at the park entrance or can be downloaded from the park's official website. Familiarizing yourself with the park layout before your visit can help you plan your day and ensure you don't miss out on any must-see attractions.

Thrilling Rides and Roller Coasters:

California's Great America is renowned for its exhilarating rides and roller coasters that provide an adrenaline rush for thrill-seekers. From the heart-pounding drops of the Gold Striker wooden coaster to the high-speed loops of the RailBlazer single-rail coaster, there's no shortage of excitement. Other notable attractions include Flight Deck, Patriot, and the iconic Demon. Each ride offers a unique experience, so whether you're a fan of twists, turns, or high-flying thrills, Great America has you covered.

Water Park Attractions:

When the California sun is shining and you need a refreshing break, California's Great America's water park is the perfect destination. Boasting a range of water attractions, including water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and splash zones, the water park provides a fun and interactive way to cool off during the hot summer months. Whether you're looking for thrilling water slides or a relaxing float along the lazy river, the water park offers a delightful respite for visitors of all ages.

Dining Options:

Exploring an amusement park can work up an appetite, and California's Great America offers a diverse range of dining options to satisfy every craving. From classic amusement park treats like funnel cakes and cotton candy to international cuisine and gourmet burgers, there's something to please every palate. The park features a combination of quick-service food stands, food courts, and full-service restaurants, ensuring that you can refuel and recharge before continuing your adventures.

Shows, Parades, and Special Events:

California's Great America goes beyond thrilling rides and delicious food with a lineup of shows, parades, and special events throughout the season. These events may include live performances, character meet-and-greets, fireworks displays, seasonal celebrations, and more. By checking the park's schedule in advance, you can plan your visit to coincide with these entertaining experiences and add an extra layer of excitement to your day.

Understanding the park's layout, exploring the thrilling rides and roller coasters, enjoying the water park attractions, indulging in delicious dining options, and attending shows and events will ensure a well-rounded and unforgettable visit to California's Great America.

Park Hours and Location

Park Hours:

California's Great America operates on a seasonal schedule, with varying hours throughout the year. It's important to check the park's official website or contact their customer service for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding park hours. The park typically opens in the late morning or early afternoon and closes in the evening, but specific opening and closing times can vary depending on the day of the week and the season. By checking the park's hours in advance, you can plan your visit accordingly and maximize your time at Great America.

Park Closure Dates:

While California's Great America provides hours of fun and entertainment, it's essential to be aware of any closure dates. The park occasionally closes for private events, maintenance, or other reasons. To avoid disappointment, ensure that you check the park's official website or contact their customer service to confirm that the park will be open on your desired visit date. By doing so, you can plan your trip accordingly and make the most of your time in Santa Clara.

Park Address and Location:

California's Great America is conveniently located in Santa Clara, California, making it easily accessible for visitors from various areas. The park's address is:

California's Great America Map
California's Great America Map

California's Great America

4701 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054

When planning your visit, it's helpful to input this address into your GPS or navigation system to ensure you reach the park without any difficulty. Additionally, being aware of the park's location allows you to explore nearby accommodation options, such as hotels or resorts, to make your visit more convenient and enjoyable. Numerous hotels can be found in close proximity to California's Great America, providing a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

By staying informed about the park's hours, checking for closure dates, and knowing the park's address, you can effectively plan your trip to California's Great America and make the most of your visit.

Nearby Hotels and Accommodation

Nearby Hotels:

When planning a visit to California's Great America, it's beneficial to consider nearby hotels that offer convenience and comfort. Here are a few hotels located in close proximity to the amusement park:

  • Hyatt Regency Santa Clara: This upscale hotel is situated adjacent to California's Great America and offers spacious rooms, on-site dining options, a fitness center, and a pool. It provides a convenient stay for park visitors who value luxury and proximity.
  • Avatar Hotel: Located just a short distance from the park, Avatar Hotel offers modern and stylish rooms with unique decor inspired by technology and pop culture. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor pool, and complimentary shuttle service to nearby attractions.
  • Hilton Santa Clara: Situated near the park, Hilton Santa Clara offers comfortable accommodations with amenities like a pool, fitness center, and on-site dining options. It's an excellent choice for families or travelers seeking a comfortable stay close to the park.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Santa Clara: This hotel offers affordable rates and a convenient location near California's Great America. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and access to a fitness center. It's a great option for budget-conscious travelers.

Choosing the Right Hotel:

When selecting a hotel near California's Great America, consider your preferences and budget. Take into account factors such as proximity to the park, amenities offered, room rates, and guest reviews. It's helpful to visit each hotel's website to gather more information about their offerings and compare them to find the one that best suits your needs.

Additionally, reading reviews from previous guests can provide insights into the quality of service, cleanliness, and overall experience offered by each hotel. Websites such as TripAdvisor and can be valuable resources for finding reviews and ratings from other travelers.

By choosing a nearby hotel that aligns with your preferences and budget, you can enhance your visit to California's Great America and enjoy a comfortable stay during your time in Santa Clara.

California's Great America Reviews and Recommendations

Visitor Reviews:

California's Great America has received numerous reviews from visitors who have experienced the park firsthand. Reading these reviews can provide valuable insights into the park's offerings and help you make informed decisions for your visit. Here are a few excerpts from visitor reviews:

  • "The roller coasters at Great America are absolutely thrilling! I loved the adrenaline rush on rides like Gold Striker and RailBlazer. The park has a great variety of attractions for all ages." - Sarah
  • "The water park at Great America is fantastic, especially on hot summer days. The slides and wave pool provide hours of fun and refreshment. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit!" - Michael
  • "The live shows at Great America are top-notch. The performers are talented, and the entertainment is enjoyable for the whole family. Make sure to catch one of the shows during your visit." - Emily


To make the most of your visit to California's Great America, here are some recommendations on must-try rides, shows, and dining options:

  • Rides: Don't miss out on thrilling roller coasters like Flight Deck, Patriot, and RailBlazer. For a classic amusement park experience, hop on the Carousel Columbia or take a spin on the traditional bumper cars.
  • Shows: Catch one of the park's live shows, such as "All Wheels Extreme" or "Cirque Electrique." These performances showcase impressive stunts, acrobatics, and entertainment that are sure to leave you amazed.
  • Dining: Indulge in the diverse dining options available throughout the park. From satisfying snacks like funnel cakes and corn dogs to full-service restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, there's something to please every palate.

By taking into account visitor reviews and recommendations, you can prioritize the rides, shows, and dining options that align with your interests and preferences, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit to California's Great America.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is California's Great America?

California's Great America is a premier amusement park located in Santa Clara, California, offering thrilling rides, water attractions, delicious food, and endless entertainment.

2. What are the ticket prices for California's Great America?

Ticket prices for California's Great America vary depending on factors such as the type of ticket (single-day or season pass) and any ongoing promotions or discounts. It is recommended to visit the official website or contact the park directly for the most up-to-date pricing information.

3. What are the park hours for California's Great America?

The park hours for California's Great America may vary depending on the day and season. It is advisable to check the official website or contact the park for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding opening and closing times.

4. What are the popular attractions at California's Great America?

California's Great America offers a wide range of popular attractions, including thrilling roller coasters, water park attractions, live shows, and entertainment. Some of the notable attractions include Gold Striker, Flight Deck, South Bay Shores water park, and various live shows and events.

5. Where is California's Great America located?

California's Great America is located in Santa Clara, California. The park's address is 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054.

6. Are there any nearby hotels or accommodations near California's Great America?

Yes, there are several hotels and accommodations located near California's Great America, offering convenient options for visitors. It is recommended to research and book accommodations in advance to ensure availability.

7. What are some recommended rides and attractions at California's Great America?

Some highly recommended rides and attractions at California's Great America include Gold Striker, Flight Deck, Patriot, Demon, and the various water park attractions at South Bay Shores. These attractions provide thrilling experiences and are popular among park visitors.

8. Are there any discounts or promotions available for California's Great America?

California's Great America often offers discounts and promotions, such as special pricing for season passes, group rates, and online ticket discounts. It is advisable to check the official website or subscribe to the park's newsletter for updates on current promotions and discounts.

9. What entertainment options are available at California's Great America?

California's Great America offers a variety of entertainment options, including live shows, musical performances, parades, and special events. The park's schedule may vary, so it is recommended to check the official website or park information for the latest entertainment offerings.

10. Is California's Great America open year-round?

California's Great America operates seasonally and is not open year-round. The park typically opens during the spring and operates through the summer and fall seasons. It is advisable to check the park's schedule for specific opening and closing dates.

11. Can I bring my own food to California's Great America?

Outside food and beverages are generally not allowed inside California's Great America. However, there are numerous dining options available within the park, ranging from quick-service eateries to full-service restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines and snacks to cater to different preferences.


California's Great America in Santa Clara, California, is an amusement park that guarantees excitement, entertainment, and unforgettable memories. With its diverse range of rides, attractions, and amenities, the park caters to families, thrill-seekers, and adventure enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you're looking for heart-pumping roller coasters, refreshing water park fun, delicious dining options, or captivating live shows, Great America has it all. By exploring ticket options, park information, reviews, and recommendations, you can plan your visit to maximize the enjoyment and make the most of your time at California's Great America. Get ready for a day filled with thrills, laughter, and endless fun at this premier amusement park!


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