Monthly Archives: May 2009

Welcome, Emi and Matthew

  • May 6, 2009
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Please welcome Emi and Matthew Pearce as new Assistant Regional Representatives for ACE Northern California! We called for volunteers for the Assistant Rep positions back in January. Emi and Matthew volunteered and have been approved. They are quite active in the region. If you’ve been to any of our regional activities over the last several years, you’ve probably met them already. Congratulations, Emi and Matthew!

— Steven Wilson

Discover Sonoma TrainTown!

  • May 6, 2009
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Dragon Train roller coaster

All aboard for Sonoma TrainTown!

This charming amusement park near downtown Sonoma off of Highway 12 features a Wisdom kiddie coaster credit called “Dragon Train.” And you can’t miss the miniature train ride through tunnels, over bridges and trestles, and around the heavily-wooded park. Be sure to bring a camera with you on the train as there is a large mirror so you can take a picture of yourself on the open-car train. Bring quarters to feed the animals at the petting zoo / miniature town stop on the train ride. There are goats, sheep, bunnies, and more to feed. Additional rides at the park are a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, scrambler, swings, and an airplane ride for kids only. Kids can also play in the train structure above the park entrance. Train rides are $4.75 each. Roller coaster rides are two $1.25 tickets each or buy a book of ten tickets for $10.00. From June to Labor Day, the park is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Between September and May, the park is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. The “Dragon Train” roller coaster operates only on the weekends. We visited on a recent Saturday morning in May and the park was not too crowded with all rides in operation.

For more information about visiting TrainTown, go to the TrainTown web site.

— Emi Pearce, photo: Matthew Pearce

California’s Great America, May 2009 update

  • May 6, 2009
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Star Tower

There’s plenty going on in May at California’s Great America. The park is open on Saturdays and Sundays through May 17th. On May 23rd, daily operation begins. In addition, Boomerang Bay opens for the season on May 23rd. Don’t miss the spectacular Memorial Day Weekend fireworks at 9:45 PM on Sunday, May 24th.

Also in May, on the 10th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th, you can enjoy breakfast with the Nickelodeon characters. The character breakfasts will also be offered in July and September. For more information, see
Breakfast with the Nickelodeon Characters

For high school students interested in working in the amusement and theme park industry, check out the park’s Career Development Day.
Please note that the registration deadline is coming right up on May 8th.

For more information about California’s Great America, visit
the California’s Great America web site.

— photo: Steven Wilson

Gilroy Gardens, May 2009 update

  • May 6, 2009
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Gilroy Gardens

Spring is a great time to experience the fun and beauty of Gilroy Gardens. The park is open on Saturdays and Sundays in May as well as Memorial Day Monday, the 25th of May. Through the end of May, Secret Treasures are a special treat for children up to age twelve. A free treasure map guides them on an adventure of discovery throughout the park. Gilroy Gardens members (season pass holders) may take advantage of two bring-a-friend-for-free days in May on the 9th and 10th, Mother’s Day weekend.

Quicksilver Express

For more information on planning your visit, go to
the Gilroy Gardens web site.

— photo: Steven Wilson

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, May 2009 update

  • May 6, 2009
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The Giant Dipper’s Eighty-fifth birthday!


Our favorite seaside gem of a wooden coaster celebrates its eighty-fifth birthday on Sunday, May 17th. What better excuse do you need to head over to Santa Cruz and take some celebratory rides? The weekend of the 16th and 17th is the Boardwalk’s Season Kickoff Event. You can enjoy free entertainment with skydivers landing on the beach and the Tubes performing in concert on Saturday only. On both Saturday and Sunday you can catch free performances of Cirque Magnifique. The special event schedule is as follows.

Saturday, May 16
1:00pm CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand
3:00pm CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE mini performances throughout park
5:00pm SKYDIVERS land on Main Beach right in front of the Boardwalk
5:30pm THE TUBES perform on Beach Bandstand

Sunday, May 17
1:00pm CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand
5:00pm CIRQUE MAGNIFIQUE performs on Beach Bandstand

Read more about the Giant Dipper’s eighty-five year history here:
The Boardwalk’s Most Popular Ride for Eighty Five Years – The GIANT DIPPER

For more information on the park, visit
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s web site.

— photo: Steven Wilson

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, May 2009 update

  • May 6, 2009
  • Uncategorized

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Roar’s Tenth!


It does not seem like ten years have passed since we welcomed Roar to the Northern California coaster lineup. But it’s true and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is celebrating the coaster’s birthday in a special way. Here’s the park’s press release:


Moms can ride 10 times in a row with their 10-year-olds on May 9

(Vallejo, CA) – May 1, 2009 – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its wooden roller coaster, Roar, on Saturday, May 9. The 95-foot tall coaster has delighted over 6.8 million riders and cycled approximately 283,333 times since its opening in May 1999.

“Roar is a throwback to some of the great wooden coasters of our time, but is modern in every sense,” said Eric Gilbert, park president. “It still ranks among the top roller coasters in Northern California due to the fact that riders experience the feeling of being airborne over and over during the course of its 12 breathtaking drops.”

Because the anniversary period falls in the same month as Mother’s Day, the park will mark both occasions by inviting moms and their 10-year-old kids to ride Roar 10 times in a row the day before Mother’s Day between 12 noon and 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. Mothers and their kids that ride will receive a commemorative Mother’s Day photo of them on the ride and a sticker to wear that reads, “I rode Roar 10 times in a row!”

Manufactured by Great Coasters International, Inc., Roar which has a top speed of 50 mph, taking riders along a 3,467 spiraling track that features six reversals, 22 crossovers, 17 turns, 12 drops – all this with a G-force of 3.5.

In recognition of the milestone, Mayor Osby Davis and the Vallejo City Council are proclaiming May 9 as Roar’s 10th Anniversary Day, on behalf of the City of Vallejo.

Individuals interested in participating on behalf of Roar’s 10th Anniversary will be able to sign up to ride as they enter the park between the hours of 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. The exclusive ride time will take place on one of two Roar trains during the event hour.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is open Fridays and weekends through May 22, after which the park will open daily for the summer through August 23. Operating hours vary. Season Passes are still available for the value price of $49.99 plus city fee through May 25, 2009. Season Passes can be purchased in-park, online or through SaveMart/Lucky stores.

For additional information on operating hours, rides, shows, special events and to purchase tickets, please visit .

— press release courtesy of Nancy Chan, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom; photo: Steven Wilson