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Great America Opens This Weekend

The 2018 season of California’s Great America is just around the corner.

One of the main focuses at the theme park throughout the off season was efficiency. Great America has been diligently working to provide a more efficient dining experience for guests. In the past, single line eateries required long wait times and took guests out of the park. This year, however, Great America is changing that, with some of the storefronts being redesigned to allow dual lines that will allow for faster service.

“California’s Great America is dedicated to delivering dynamic food and beverage offerings that will match the world-class rides and entertainment guests will enjoy beginning in 2018,” said Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “We realize the importance of food to the overall guest experience and these additions are only part of what is planned in the coming years.”


One of the biggest changes for 2018 is the addition of a full-service Starbucks, replacing the smaller Starbucks that was located inside the park. The coffeehouse, situated in the park’s Hometown Square where Candy Café once sat, will serve Starbucks favorites and bakery treats. Additionally, an outdoor patio and interior decorated with historical images of Great America’s early years will be featured.

Orleans Place will see two major changes in 2018. The first is the removal of the popular Sweet Tooth funnel cake stand, which will be replaced by the French Quarter Funnel Cake and Churro Factory. The French Quarter Funnel Cake and Churro Factory will give guests the opportunity to create a personalized funnel cake—although the classic strawberry and powdered sugar cakes will remain—and offer flavored churros.

The second big change to Orleans Place is the addition of the Orleans Candy Kitchen. Replacing the Trending Now store, Orleans Candy Kitchen will create specialty caramel apples with personalized toppings that are dipped to order, fudge made in front of guests and salt water taffy, crispy rice treats, chocolate covered Oreos and an assortment of Jelly Belly flavors, among its cornucopia of candy offerings.

Over in Planet Snoopy, Joe Cool Café is being reimagined into Sierra Creek Lodge, a family dining experience with a mountain lodge feel and murals featuring bears and other wild animals. Sierra Creek Lodge offerings will include a panini bar and “Barrilitos” station with agua fresca pairings. Kid-friendly favorites of chicken tenders, mac and cheese, and pizza will also still be available.

Finally, Great America’s iconic Maggie Brown’s Smokehouse and Fried Chicken will include additional ordering kiosks, a visible giant rotisserie and smoker, expanded outdoor patio and interior design renovations.

This season, Great America’s Flight Deck ride turns 25, and the park will celebrate this milestone opening weekend, Mar. 24-25. Other Great America events scheduled for 2018 include a Backyard Bands and BBQ event throughout Spring Break (March 31-April 8); Red, White and Brews June 2-3 and 9-10; Taste of Orleans July 14-15 and 21-22; Halloween Haunt Friday-Sunday nights Sept. 21-Oct. 28, WinterFest on select nights between Nov. 23 and Dec. 30.

Great America’s show offerings include Elevation Extreme Memorial Day though Labor Day with professional BMX, rollerblade and scooter athletes as well as acrobats and dancers, Snoopy’s Dog Days of Summer beach-themed show at the Peanuts Showplace Theater and Peanuts Block Party at Hometown Square, in addition to the all-new The R&B Boys performing in 1960s style at the All American Corners Stage and the new Cable Car Connection with a troupe of entertainers singing and dancing as guests ride a trolley. Ambient entertainment will continue with bluegrass, piano, Latin and jam bands playing throughout the park.

The new dining experiences will roll out throughout the first half of the 2018 season, and while not everything will be ready in time for the Saturday, March 24 season opening, guests can expect to nosh on new foods before summer ends.

Visit for additional information.


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