Spotted on a walk through California’s Great America at this time of year is a decorated “cemetery” filled with tombstones featuring past park attractions that are resting in peace, such as The Edge, Gulf Coaster, Lobster and Smurf Woods. Deeper inside the park is Planet Snoopy where the Great Pumpkin Fest comes alive.
The park has been hosting this seasonal attraction for several years. Popular among young children, the Great Pumpkin Fest takes place on weekends from noon to 4 p.m. until Nov. 1.
“Anyone who is a parent loves the opportunity to have their kid wear their costume more than once,” says Roger Ross, public relations manager for California’s Great America. “There’s nothing scary about the Great Pumpkin Fest. We’d recommend it for kids 12 and younger. Halloween has become a month-long season and it’s a lot of fun. As kids look back on it, we want to provide them that extended Halloween experience where they have a lot of fun during that extended season.”
At noon on weekends, a team of employees emerge on Planet Snoopy costumed as Peanuts Gang characters, including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Sally, Franklin, and Schroeder. The characters stroll through the park, many working at a trick-or-treat booth. Here, the characters offer hugs and high fives to children and pose for pictures. Next, the children grab some candy from a park employee and move on to another booth or attraction.
“We also do mini-pumpkin decorating where they can put stickers on or googly eyes onto pumpkins,” Ross says. “The foam-tastic pumpkin patch is a foam dance area where kids can go dance between bales of hay. The talking pumpkin is interactive and can answer questions. The scary-go-round is a merry-go-round we decorated at Planet Snoopy with spider webs, spiders, and pumpkins around it.”