Great America Santa Clara - Review/Rating

Great America was a somewhat different experience compared to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Specifically, the number of rides is much larger and a little bit more crowded. Parking is $15 ($18 for preferred parking). The basic ticket pricing is $49.95 although there are season passes and several options that can reduce price-per-visit significantly. The pricing is discounted in the following scenarios – a) for ages 3-61 AND 48"and under, ages 62+, the pricing is $29.95.Ie, if you are aged 3-61, but you come in at 4’ or less, you quality for the lower price, and b) if you buy online, there is a savings of $13 for the higher priced ticket, but none for the lower priced ticket – ie, $36.95 for ages 3-61 AND 48" and taller & 29.95 for ages 3-61 AND 48"and under, ages 62+. I guess the logic is that if you are under 48” inches, there are several rides, you cannot go in due to height restrictions. But, even that scheme can be fairly unfair as there is not much of a discount for kids that come in under 46” – independent of your age, if you come in under 46”, there are several more rides you cannot go in.

The rides were fairly enjoyable and the lines were not that long. We did almost all the rides rated 4 or under in the 6+ hours we were there. We also saw a half-hour magic show by Ed Alonzo, which everyone in the family enjoyed – it was a good break from the hectic atmosphere in the rest of the park.

As is the case in most such parks across the country, purchasing food/drinks/snacks inside the park is horrendously expensive and you are not allowed to bring in food & drinks from the outside. Cotton Candy’s were $3.50 (small) and the pricing was in that range or higher for other snacks or soft drinks. The one cafeteria we went in had the pricing menu hidden away in the upper side corner. This results in sticker shock at the counter – we saw a family of 4 ordering 2 plates of chicken & fries, 2 slices of pizza, and some soft drinks and the check came to ~$70 – the poor guy asked again to verify, then looked across the plates in front just to make sure there wasn’t any mistake, then offered up the credit card. A somewhat better deal seemed to be the all-you-can-eat barbecue, which is $13.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids. Compared to the food pricing, the gift shops seemed far better as far as pricing. They had several themed t-shirts priced at $5 a piece and many shops had aisles, which offered up to 75% discount.

Overall, a very enjoyable experience – we would go again next year, if time allows. The park closes for Winter in early November and reopens late March.


Related Posts:

  1. Wonderla, Kochi
  2. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo
  3. Great America Santa Clara
  4. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  5. Trip Report to Genting

Last Updated: 10/2015. 


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