It’s only February, but this week the weather is starting to feel a little warmer, which means spring and opening day are around the corner here at California’s Great America. A lot has been happening this off-season, and today we’re taking you for a tour of the construction going on around the park.
Huge portions of the park’s walkways are being upgraded from blacktop to cement and paver surfaces. Most of the midways in Orleans Place have been removed as crews prepare to resurface the area.
Here’s a peek at the midway in front of GoldStriker, which is a little further along in the resurfacing process. The change will really brighten up the walkways!
Also new in 2018: the world's tallest, fastest, steepest restrooms! (Just kidding.) Although there's nothing record-breaking about these new restrooms, we think they're still worth getting excited about. In total, five restrooms are getting big overhauls for the 2018 season. Everything inside from the ground up is being replaced and remodeled.
The Sweet Treats building has been removed, and in its place, French Quarter Funnel Cake & Churro will soon rise. The house-made churros and made-to-order toppings are going to make French Quarter Funnel Cake the premier sweet spot in the park when it opens in 2018.
Across from French Quarter Funnel Cake & Churro, Trending Now is no longer trending and has instead made way for Orleans Candy Kitchen. When construction on this incredible new candy store is complete, the area on the right side of the photo below will have a working candy kitchen, fudge counter and taffy pull, all visible from the midway.
Of course, the big news of the season is RailBlazer, the first-of-its-kind single rail steel roller coaster. If you’ve been checking in on construction on the park’s live cam, you may have seen the bright orange steel be installed 106’ off the ground. But what you can’t see on the live cam are the piles and piles (and piles and piles) of dirt the crews have excavated to build support beams, and create the new landscaping around the ride.
The official name for the first big loop is “late turn down raven” but it’s also acceptable to call it “the HUGE loop!”
Crews are readying the area that will soon be home to the station. Once the station is installed, the track will make a complete circuit, and work on the rocky landscape will begin.
Nearby, a Rocky Mountain Construction team member is hard at work on the transfer track. This is the device that moves additional trains on and off of the circuit.
Planning for the Future
Over in Planet Snoopy, Snoopy’s Splash Dance has been removed. The park has a lot of new and exciting things planned in the next few years, and this area will soon be under construction for one of those projects.
Another attraction that has been retired to make way for future projects and exciting new additions is the H.M.B. Endeavor. Here, you can see that work is underway to send Endeavor to its permanent dry dock, where it will finally stop capsizing.
In our next update we’ll check on Starbucks and the new group event spaces (and of course more photos of RailBlazer). Make sure you’re following California’s Great America on social media for even more behind the scenes content and previews of what’s in store in 2018.