Skip to Main Content

Your Greatest Memories

Skip to Next Section

What Are Your Best Great America Memories?

Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, 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! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

The sheer amount of history at California’s Great America simply blows my mind.

In the park’s 44-year history, this amazing place has seen the installation of dozens of incredible, world-class attractions. Some rides have been retired to make way for exciting improvements, and others have stood since the park first opened its gates in 1976. In the past 44 years, we’ve debuted the world’s tallest freefall tower, the world’s first flying roller coaster, and the West Coast’s first single-rail coaster. And our guests have been screaming with delight for the whole ride.

Part of the South Bay’s Story

Great America has evolved alongside the South Bay community—serving as a gathering place for family, friends, businesses and organizations since day one. There have been family reunions, birthday parties, company holiday gatherings, marathon races, concerts, marching band performances…the list goes on and on. The park has hosted many big-name acts over the years, ranging from Miami Sound Machine in the 1980s to Ariana Grande and Charlie Puth in the 2010s. We’ve been woven into the fabric of this area since we opened.

Marriott’s, Paramount and More

The park has morphed and evolved alongside changes in its ownership. Longtime residents of the Santa Clara Valley might remember the park as Marriott’s Great America—complete with themed lands based around different areas of the country. Still others may remember Paramount’s Great America, where many rides shared names with popular films.

Nowadays, California’s Great America continues the tradition of South Bay fun and family memories, offering yet another generation the opportunity to grow up with the park.

We Need Your Help

What are some of your most treasured memories at Great America? Do you remember riding Tidal Wave or Top Gun when it first opened? Were you at the park for our 10th anniversary parade in 1986? Has your family been taking a photo in front of Carousel Columbia every visit for decades?

Share your special stories in the comment section below. We can’t wait to see what incredible memories you can help us uncover!

Related Topics:

Share This

Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, 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! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Here’s How to Make a Great America Funnel Cake at Home

With the help of Erick Ponce, Great America’s executive chef, we’ve concocted a copycat Great America funnel cake recipe that you can make at home. We've taken our in-park recipe, scaled it down and only included common pantry items. Enjoy a taste of Great America right at home!
Read More

Virtual Backgrounds for Zoom, TikTok and More!

Video conferencing has become a staple of daily life as we all adjust to our temporary "new normal.” Luckily, California’s Great America is here to spice up your daily meetings with five virtual backgrounds featuring some of your favorite attractions and park scenes.
Read More

Take a Front-Seat Virtual Ride on RailBlazer

Buckle up, remain seated and hold on tight. It's time to challenge the drops, loops and thrills of RailBlazer!
Read More

5 Digital Puzzles to Play at Home

The Great America team has put together five great digital puzzles that you can complete at home from your computer, phone or tablet!
Read More

The World’s Coolest Physics Classroom

We’ve assembled a downloadable worksheet that quizzes students at a high-school level about the principles of amusement park physics. While students are at home this spring, they can supplement their distance learning with a fun, real-world application for kinematics principles.
Read More

California’s Great America Word Search

This word search challenges puzzle lovers to find the names of 30 popular Great America rides and attractions.
Read More

Kids Can Learn at Home with Fun Activities Featuring the Peanuts Gang

Looking for stimulating lesson plans to use at home with the kids? Our friends, the PEANUTS Gang, have super fun STEM activities for grades K-8!
Read More

10 Writing Prompts for Kids Who Love Great America

To help kids keep up their penmanship and work on their storytelling skills while homeschooling, we’ve put together a few amusement park-inspired writing prompts for them to try at home.
Read More

Fun Things to Do at Home with Kids—Great America Style!

Most of the Bay Area is stuck at home, perhaps scrambling for something fun to do with kids. Here is some amusement park fun to help keep your family entertained at home.
Read More

The 5 Most Popular Rides in 2019 Were...

Can you guess which Great America attraction gave the most rides in 2019? It’s time to unveil the ridership numbers from last season…
Read More