Category Archives: Attractions

RailBlazer, the West Coast’s Only Single Rail Steel Coaster, Debuts at California’s Great America

The wait is over for guests who are ready to ride the groundbreaking new single rail steel coaster, RailBlazer, at California’s Great America. Opening to the public on Thursday, June 14, the much-anticipated coaster is the first of its kind on the West Coast, featuring a single rail track.

The design requires the rider to straddle the rail, creating an extremely low center of gravity that amplifies every move and enables more dynamic turns and rotations than have ever been possible on a coaster. With an eight-passenger single file train hugging the rail, riders will speed smoothly over the twisting track as they experience an abundance of airtime and steeply banked turns.

Features of the ride include:

  • A maximum height of 106 feet
  • A 90-degree, face-down first drop
  • Over 1,800 feet of track
  • A top speed of 52 miles per hour
  • Three inversions, including a zero-gravity roll

“We know our guests can’t wait to ride RailBlazer, a truly revolutionary roller coaster concept,” said Raul Rehnborg, vice president and general manager, California’s Great America. “This intense and exhilarating attraction kicks off a multi-year transformation of California’s Great America, following the City of Santa Clara’s approval of the park’s new master plan. This world-class attraction will be the first of many exciting and new developments guests will experience in the years to come.”

The design spirit of the ride is reflective of an off-road adventure, with immersive sensory theming that embraces the great outdoors of the Bay Area and Central Coast. Once on board, riders will ascend a 45-degree climb, dive into a ravine and encounter steeped embankments representing an extreme four-wheeling journey. Imposing physical elements during the ride and queue line include a natural waterway, rocky surroundings and a trailhead marquee sign designed to mark the beginning of the journey.

Season Passholders will have early access to RailBlazer, with the exclusive opportunity to ride all week whenever the park is open, before the ride opens to the public on Thursday, June 14.

To learn more about RailBlazer, purchase Season Passes or check operating hours, visit www.cagreatamerica.com.


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There’s Something New for Thrill Seekers at U.S. Theme Parks and Water Parks in 2018

Record numbers of theme park visitors are preparing for thrilling and memorable new experiences as the unofficial theme park season opens Memorial Day Weekend.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ IAAPA Global Theme and Amusement Park Outlook Report (2017 to 2021), in 2018 the anticipated U.S. theme and amusement park attendance estimate is 398.5 million and guest spending will grow to an estimated $23.58 billion.

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Record-Breaking Innovations Highlight New Rides and Attractions Coming to Six Flags Parks in 2018

Six Flags Entertainment Company, the world’s largest regional theme park company, announced the most spectacular lineup of world-record breaking roller coasters, rides and first-of-its-kind attractions in its 56-year history, debuting at Six Flags parks from coast to coast for the 2018 season. Six Flags is recognized throughout the world as a leader in innovation—pioneering a long list of industry firsts, including the world’s first hybrid roller coaster and North America’s first virtual reality (VR) coasters. Nobody delivers thrills like Six Flags and next season the thrills are taller, faster and BIGGER than ever.

“Many of the rides and attractions we are introducing are ‘world’s firsts’ and record breakers as we deliver fun-packed innovation at the highest level. Innovation is in our DNA and our guests expect and deserve one-of-a-kind experiences when they visit our parks,” said Six Flags Chairman, President and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson. “Our strategy of providing something new in every park, every year, continues to delight our guests and has resulted in attendance growing to over 30 million guests annually.”

Six Flags, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, is launching a thrilling collection of new rides and attractions themed after the most famous Super Heroes and Super-Villains in the world. Here’s what’s coming to a Six Flags near you…

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Universal Studios Hollywood Makes Google Search Top 10

According to Google’s 2017 Year in Search campaign, Universal Studios Hollywood topped the list of Travel Destination Activities based on their aggregation of trillions of search queries.

Trending searches are defined as having the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2017 vs prior year.

According to Google, Year in Search reflects the spirit of the times as they strive to capture the year’s new and exciting search terms. Trending terms generally better identify what people were curious about in 2017 relative to 2016.

As the #1 tourist destination in Los Angeles and one of the most progressive theme parks anywhere, Universal Studios Hollywood inspires guests from across the globe to step into the world of movie-making magic and experience immersive, groundbreaking attractions based on today’s most compelling movies and television shows.


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With its recent unprecedented multi-million dollar investment to reimagine the decades old theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood has undergone a top to bottom makeover resulting in 75 percent of the destination completely transformed. The dramatic changes that have taken place in recent years have substantially altered the look, feel and experience of the theme park to redefine Universal Studios Hollywood as an entirely new destination.

Since its inception over 50 years ago, Universal Studios has lifted the veil on Hollywood’s most illustrious industry, placing guests at the heart of favorite movies and television shows. It continues to be at the top of its game, taking innovation, imagination and inspiration to meteoric levels working in collaboration with some of the most influential filmmakers in the business and the greatest minds in entertainment—Steven Spielberg, Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, Chris Meledandri, Greg Nicotero and JK Rowling—to create intriguing rides and attractions.

As Universal Studios Hollywood looks towards the future, 2018 will offer guests another exciting year of entertainment including the introduction of the all-new DreamWorks Theatre featuring Kung Fu Panda.


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Countdown to Hollywood’s Biggest New Year’s Party

Universal Studios Hollywood rings in 2018 with Hollywood’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, EVE, on Sunday, December 31, 2017, with extended theme park hours to 1:00 a.m.

The New Year’s Eve event, the first ever for Universal Studios Hollywood, is included in the price of theme park admission and invites guests to spend the day and night enjoying its many popular rides and attractions with a special park-wide countdown party featuring multiple entertainment hubs with DJs and live music, starting at 9:00 p.m.

Universal Plaza, Simpsons Plaza located adjacent to “The Simpsons Ride” and an area near “Jurassic Park—The Ride” will transform into three uniquely-themed electrifying party hubs that will culminate simultaneously at midnight with a traditional New Year countdown and a spectacular fireworks display.


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Food and beverages, including specialty desserts, champagne, beer and wine, as well as 2018 memorabilia will be available for purchase.

With its festive environment, guests can toast the New Year with the spirit of the holidays already resonating throughout Universal Studios Hollywood. “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM” introduces “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts TM Castle.” Several times each night, guests can enjoy amazing images inspires by the Harry Potter films as they come to life in breathtaking digital light projection on the backdrop of Hogwarts castle. And with extended hours on December 31, guests can celebrate the final day of “Grinchmas™” with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.


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Pixar Fest Opens at Disneyland Resort in April 2018

Pixar Fest, the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks, brings guests together to celebrate friendship and beyond beginning April 13, 2018, at the Disneyland Resort.

During this limited time event, some of the beloved stories from Pixar Animation Studios will come to life in new ways at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks, with characters and experiences from films such as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up.” Guests will join the fun as they experience a new fireworks spectacular, the return of two favorite parades with fresh new Pixar surprises, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, creatively themed food and beverage and exclusive event merchandise.

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WinterFest At California’s Great America Opens November 24

The Bay Area’s newest and most immersive holiday tradition, WinterFest, opens at California’s Great America on Friday, November 24 and will entertain guests on select dates through December 30. During WinterFest, Great America will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can experience unique new features, as well as fan favorites such as skating in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admiring magnificent displays of lights and décor, viewing spectacular live holiday shows, experiencing 25 rides and attractions, seeing Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoying scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations.

This unmatched event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience that it will be visible from the International Space Station, more than 270 miles away. The winter scene will be dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. The six-week WinterFest celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19-23 and 26-30 from 5pm-10pm (November 26 and December 17 from 6:30pm-10:30pm)

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California’s Great America To Host Fireworks July 1-4

California’s Great America will celebrate the July 4th holiday weekend with fireworks set to patriotic music each night from July 1-4. Additionally, current and past military men and women will be honored with free park admission (with valid ID) July 1-4 and can bring up to 6 guests for just $22.99 each.

“Great America is historically one of the Bay Area’s best locations for July 4th fireworks, and we’re excited to deliver them each night for the extended weekend,” said California’s Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “We’re proud to again provide free admission for all U.S. military members who have served our county and hope they can enjoy a visit to the park during the July 4th weekend.”


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On July 4th, Coca-Cola will create an in-park destination near Food Festival with tasting samples of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, a giant interactive inflatable, a photo booth and a prize wheel.

Great America’s summer season is underway with 10am-10pm operating hours, the new Patriot coaster experience, and family rides, Boomerang Bay water park and an exciting show lineup, including Vertical Impact, a high-flying acrobatics stunt show.


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The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

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It’s the Summer of Love – Redux! June 10 – 18 San Mateo County Fair

50 years ago, the “Summer of Love” hit the Bay Area. A half century later, San Mateo is still feeling groovy with one of the largest and most family-friendly events on the West Coast, The San Mateo County Fair (www.sanmateocountyfair.com). Over nine days of diverse entertainment, June 10 – 18, “Tradition Meets Innovation” in the uniquely California experience that matches the enthusiastic diversity of the region. Now through June 1, Pre-Sale Discounted All-Season-Passes are available online: $22 adult; $ 18 junior and senior. The purchase a season pass includes all nine days of the Fair and all concerts, exhibits and attractions.

“We were hip before there were hippies,” quipped Dana Stoehr, CEO of the San Mateo County Events Center and Fair, “Every year is the summer of love at the San Mateo County Fair and there’s something to love for everyone. Whether you’re looking for traditional food, fun and entertainment, or the hottest musical acts around, we’ve got a little something for everyone, and every generation.”

As always, the San Mateo County Fair delivers a rocking week of musical quality and diversity: War (June 10); Summer of Love – Live! (June 11); The Family Stone & the Oakland Symphony (June 12); Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular (June 13); Tower of Power (June 14 & 15); The Ohio Players (June 16); Smash Mouth (June 17); and, of course, the traditional closing-out-of-the Fair Latin Music focused Día De La Feria (June 18).

However, it’s not only celebrity musicians who will come out to shine at the San Mateo County Fair.


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“Have you ever dreamed of performing live on stage? This 2017 Fair could be your big break and a great way to get involved in your community,” notes Kaitlyn Bailey-Findley, whose efforts last year socializing the Fair led to a marked increase in attention from young fairgoers. “Join our community stage and become a local celebrity. All singers, musicians, dancers, or performing arts enthusiasts are encouraged to register online to participate. And once you’re onstage, use that hashtag to build your personal fan base: #SMCF2017.”

In addition to the previously mentioned Free Concerts, there will be plenty — traditional and innovative — about which to tweet, including but not limited to the following:

  • New this year is the Rainforest Exhibit in Sequoia Hall recreating a tropical paradise to walk through and at which to marvel. The Rainforest Adventure exhibit will feature mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates totaling more than 35 species including a spider monkey, sloth, binturong, forest hawk, pythons, huge tarantulas, and exotic frogs. Exhibit will also have two shows daily.
  • Returning favorites include Butterfly Adventures, where kids can feed butterflies, Captain Jack Spareribs, a fun filled pirate adventure, and of course, Dennis Forel at the Voice of the Fair.
    Fair Food – Alligator on a Stick, Fried Kool Aid, and The Healthy Food Fare – Our Healthy Food Fare initiative is back with healthy choices being provided by many Fair vendors. But don’t worry: your Fair favorites will still be available from barbeque to funnel cake.
  • Science, Technology, DIY Science Exhibits are back – Young people get hands on experience with innovative new concepts and devices such as 3-D printers. See how much fun a Do-It-Yourself environment can be for kids! In addition, livestock shows, painting, fine art, literary arts, cooking and healthy eating are just part of the fun.
  • Free Grounds Acts – Fairgoers will see traditional pony rides, costumed “Hippy and Summer of Love” characters strolling throughout the grounds, and much more. After a popular debut last year, hypnotist Kellie Karl-Hypnotist returns joined by Celebrity Chef David George Gordon, the Great American Petting Zoo and AgVenture, San Francisco street performers and The Great American Pig Race.
  • Carnival Rides including The Freak Out is Back! The Fair introduced this new carnival ride in 2014. It flies passengers 40 feet into the air. The Freak Out joins Fair favorites like the Ferris Wheel, Zillerator and roller coasters

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The San Mateo County Fair — “Where Tradition Meets Innovation” — is The Peninsula’s premier, community event for family fun and entertainment: June 10 – 18, 2017. Visit sanmateocountyfair.com often for regular updates, contest rules, schedules, promotions, and information.


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