Examiner was recently invited to California's Great America to tour the under-construction Gold Striker wooden rollercoaster and get a sneak preview of what's new for 2013. During the preview, representatives from Great America stressed that the park's parent company, Cedar Fair, is substantially invested in making several key improvements to the park for this year and beyond.
While Gold Striker, the park's first new coaster since 2001, will deservedly get the most attention, the park will be rolling out several other additonal offerings, including a new film in the Action FX motion simulator theater, a new show to replace last year's western-themed Boot Scootin' Boogie, and several improvements to Grizzly, the park's original wooden coaster. Additionally, Great America will increase its food offerings by adding the Subway brand to what is an already wide food selection for a theme park.
Great America is also spending money on repainting several of the park's buildings and working to revitalize the "theme" aspect to the park. Theme-appropriate music is expected to return to each themed section and replace what in more recent seasons had become more of a radio station sounding experience. Special emphasis is being placed this year on recording an original theme song for Gold Striker.
During the preview, park representatives also spoke of plans for the future. While nothing could yet be confirmed, plans to add an attraction to the former site of the Invertigo coaster, and possibly even plans to finally make use of the massive space within the former Pictorium IMAX theater (now visually obscured by Gold Striker, for the most part), were discussed.
While Cedar Fair's investment in bringing even more great additions to the park in the future remains to be seen, this year's investment is clearly visible and makes for Great America's most highly anticipated season in over a decade.
California's Great America is scheduled to open to the public March 29. The opening date for Gold Striker is still to be announced.
For more details on everything new that's coming to Great America this year and beyond, stay tuned to the Bay Area Theme Park Examiner.