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7 Things Our Waterpark Manager Loves About South Bay Shores

Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing for California’s Great America, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers!

If you haven’t heard the big news by now, you should have! Great America’s waterpark is being completely transformed and expanded for the 2020 season. South Bay Shores waterpark will increase the waterpark’s footprint by almost 5 acres, nearly double the number of slides and attractions, and will triple the number of dining options.

There’s so much to be excited about with this huge waterpark expansion, so I sat down with Danny Murillo, the waterpark manager at Great America, to ask him what he’s most looking forward to. Here are the top 7 things our waterpark manager can’t wait for:

  1. Drop Slides. “They are terrifying and awesome,” he says. “When you get in the pod, you don’t know what to expect. Then the floor just drops open and you fall right into the waterslide. It’s incredible!”
  2. More Areas to Have Fun. “The waterpark is getting so much bigger, which means there will be even more space for families to spread out,” says Danny. “We’re going to be able to offer the best experience possible now with the expanded acreage and added attractions.”
  3. Improved Capacity. No one likes waiting in lines, and at South Bay Shores, we kept efficiency and capacity top of mind as we chose new attractions. “We’re thoughtfully placing operational panels and lifeguards so that we can be as quick as possible,” says Danny. “Yes, we’re safe—that’s always our number-one priority. And we’re also being as quick as possible so guests won’t wait in line for long.”
  4. More Shade! You spoke, and we listened. We’re constructing tons of new shaded areas in the waterpark, which will let you lounge in even more comfort. “We’re adding shade sails around the kids’ areas so mom and dad can better enjoy watching their kids play, and we’re putting shade structures near the wave pool and along the new midways, too.”
  5. NorCal Vibes. “We’re making sure we have a great entrance into the waterpark from the main park,” says Danny. “We put a big emphasis on the front gate of the waterpark to make sure that everyone sees it when they visit Great America.” From the new entrance portal to the wayfinding signs and attraction marquees, South Bay Shores will have a relaxed, beachy vibe that NorCal residents will love. Think signage around your favorite state beach, architecture from Monterey’s Cannery Row or the atmosphere of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
  6. Expanded Fun for Kids. “We’re adding more excitement to the waterpark experience for little ones,” he says. “Yes, we’ll still have the popular kid-friendly attractions from the waterpark’s Boomerang Bay days, which will be re-themed and refreshed. And we’ll also have eight new kids’ slides in the new Tide Pool, some of which will even let kids race each other down the slide!”
  7. Premium Cabanas. “We’re adding new premium cabanas to the wave pool, which will be bigger and have new amenities,” says Danny. Upgrades will include free Wi-Fi, charging stations, ceiling fans, TVs and dedicated food and beverage service.

We know that, just like our waterpark manager, our guests can hardly wait to experience all the fun and new attractions of South Bay Shores at Great America in 2020. If you want to be one of the first to experience South Bay Shores, and have unlimited visits to Great America and the waterpark all year long, don’t miss out on a 2020 Gold Season Pass. They’ll be going on sale Thursday, Aug. 15, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing for California’s Great America, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers!

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