236 Foot Thrill Ride Planned For California’s Great America
When Railblazer was announced, enthusiasts speculated this was the start of a massive expansion to California’s Great America. Recent documents filed with the Federal Aviation Administration indicates that California’s Great America will receive a 236 foot attraction for the 2020 season.
The park is required to submit documentation to the FAA for large vertical construction due to it’s close proximity to the approach path for airplanes landing at the San Jose International Airport. The documentation can be seen below.
It’s worth noting that the site elevation is 26 ft, the structure itself will have a height of 210 ft, giving us the total of 236 ft tall in total height. Click here to view the file above directly on the FAA website. Below is documentation for the new Railblazer coaster for comparison.
From the document uploaded to the FAA Website, Study #2017-AWP-11276-OE involves the construction of a 236 foot tall structure between March 1st and December 31st, 2019. The project involves a new steel structure, situated where the PEANUTS Pirates attraction currently stands. If it is a hyper-coaster as speculated, it would fit – as it could wipe out the nearby go cart track to create the necessary space. Below shows the marked location according to the longitude and latitude for the tallest point of the proposed structure, as well as the go cart track area.
California’s Great America is currently in the midst of a large expansion plan. Starting with the opening of Railblazer in 2018, the park has stated in zoning proposals that it intends to add several key attractions including an 80 ft tall Water Slide Tower, a 140 ft tall Swinging Disc Ride, a 230 ft. tall Tower/Swings Ride, Sling Shot, and a 245 ft. tall steel coaster, which if built would be the tallest in Northern California.
An environmental impact report was released last year that outlined Cedar Fair’s 20-year vision for the park that would add eight 200-foot-tall rides, 11 rides of 100 to 200 feet, extended hours, and a massive retail and entertainment complex near the park’s main entrance. The entertainment district that Cedar Fair plans to build in front of the park could bring in great revenue before and after 49ers games and events at the adjoining Levi’s Stadium.
The entertainment district plan includes the existing Redwood Amphitheater, and “40,000 sq. ft. of additional theater space currently within Great America would be repurposed,” the report reads, possibly pointing to the revival of the park’s shuttered IMAX theater, which has been closed for more than a decade.
Other items of interest include mention of a launched coaster, a new flume ride, a suspended family coaster, and a new family/child friendly sized wood coaster. Although, California’s Great America’s “Master Plan” was approved by the city of Santa Clara, everything in this master plan may not happen — it’s a solid outline of what the park hopes to do. From the FAA document alone, it is fairly clear that the 2020 future expansion will be a hyper coaster. Any thoughts about the park’s future expansion?
Well, it seems the park may be adding a 210 foot hyper coaster, as permits were approved by the City of Santa Clara. The permit (Case Number: PLN2017-12971), for “Architectural Review of proposed new 210-foot tall steel roller coaster ride and new ride station building” were filed late last year. It is unknown when the project will actually begin, but logically, once the permits are issued work will soon begin on the new ride.
The hyper coaster project is officially on hold. Paperwork for Permit Case Number BLD2018-51441: “3RD PARTY STRUCTURAL REVIEW ONLY – Flat work & landscape demolition, rough grading, utility relocation, ride foundation & building number 560 for phased construction of a 210 foot roller coaster” has been defined as cancelled on the Santa Clara permit website. Although the work on the project has stopped, it could eventually be resumed as seen with the park’s iconic Gold Striker coaster.
It seems the hyper-coaster project at California’s Great America is being halted completely and possibly moved to another Cedar Fair park. This might be the beginning stages of the new project starting at Kings Island. If so, we could see Cedar Fair working with B&M once again in Cincinnati. The plots of land available at Kings Island would not fit the land at California’s Great America, so the coaster would need to be redesigned to fit a plot of land at Kings Island. But regardless, Cedar Fair has already spent the funds with B&M, so it would still make sense if the project was re-located. Only time will tell..
The hyper-coaster project at California’s Great America has been entirely shelved. The files for the project have been documented on microfilm and archived. It is unknown whether CGA has any plans on resurrecting the hyper coaster proposal.
The project was relocated to Kings Island, where it opened as the giga coaster Orion. The coaster opened to rave reviews, and became popular among park guests and enthusiasts alike.
Furthermore, that is not the end of this story. The hyper proposal at California’s Great America was virtually recreated using the markings and surviving documents. From this, one can take a spin on what would have been the CGA’s hyper coaster.
For tickets and more information, visit the official California’s Great America website by clicking here.
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