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Great America Debuts South Bay Shores Water Park

Great America’s newest attraction has finally debuted to the public. The revamped Boomerang Bay is now open under a new name, South Bay Shores. The attraction was supposed to open during the 2020 season, but the COVID-19 shutdown delayed the debut. One year later, South Bay Shores is ready to greet visitors.

“It is very exciting that it has gotten to open in 2021. I can’t say enough to the team of people that were here over that time. It started and stopped and started and stopped. We all dealt with all of the problems of what was happening through COVID. So, just to get it open is incredibly impressive,” said Barb Granter, the new General Manager of California’s Great America and South Bay Shores.

With South Bay Shores, California’s Great America creates the atmosphere of a small and quirky beach town. The new Pier 76 Café will feature music from the town’s local band. While characters like Percy the Pelican, Fire Marshall Phillip Buckets, Jack Mackerel, the owner of the local Sand Bar and Mayor Montague, to name a few.

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“We’ve created a whole town in South Bay Shores,” said Granter. “It is it feels like a resort. It’s a lovely place to spend time with your family.”

South Bay Shores is nearly twice the size of its predecessor. The water park kept most of the old attractions such as the Rushin’ River, Pup’s Pier and Breaker Bay and simply gave them a facelift.

It also added new attractions for teens and adults including the Shark Reef Plunge, Barracuda and Feeding Frenzy.

While the COVID-19 shutdown forced most of Great America’s seasonal employees to find other work in 2020, they’ve returned in 2021. Many say, they’re happy with how the new water park looks.

“It’s a lot better than before. A lot more slides now for the guests. A lot more fun now,” said Moritz, a returning supervisor.

“I think it’s a huge, completely change. It looks amazing,” said Jeff, a returning supervisor. “Before our waterpark was nice and stuff, but now it looks like they took the time to make it better. Now there’s entertainment in the water park. There are shows, stuff like that. Way more lifeguards are needed now because we have so many new attractions. It’s a huge change in the environment.”

“I really liked the new digs. Especially our new slides. Those are really nice,” said John, a returning supervisor. “I think that we really stepped it up from our previous years, and I just feel like everything’s going a lot better.”

In addition to opening South Bay Shores, California’s Great America plans to bring back several annual festivals including Taste of Orleans in July, Halloween Haunt in October and WinterFest during the holiday season.

If you plan to visit Great America or South Bay Shores, you will need to make reservations ahead of time on the California’s Great America website.

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