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What Are Your Best Great America Memories?

Danny Messinger

As communications manager, 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!

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!

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Danny Messinger

As communications manager, 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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