California’s Great America has been busy this offseason, and whenever it reopens from its pandemic-induced closure, guests will notice a spruced-up park, carrying the momentum of the previous years’ work....
After many, many months of construction, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s NEW Haunted Castle finally had its grand opening on June 4th, 2010. Many people showed up to the grand opening, including members of the Big Kahuna club, and other special invitees. Those who belong to the Beach Boardwalk’s Big Kahuna club were sent this invitation via email to attend the Haunted Castle’s grand opening. NorCal ACE members were also invited to attend.
I was very excited to hear that the opening date for the ride was finally set and that I was invited to attend. Many surprises were about to head my way, which I did not expect until I arrived there. My family and I arrived at the Haunted Castle site around 9:00 A.M., when the fog was just beginning to lift. Soon, officials and other attendees began to arrive, which got me even more excited to be able to attend the opening.
Brigid Fuller, the park’s publicist whom I already knew, walked up to me and asked, “Nicholas, how would you like to be on the first ride of the Haunted Castle with Charles Canfield (Park President) and Ted Whiting III (Vice President) this morning?” I was completely shocked and amazed. Then she said, “We will also be presenting you with a gift for your dedication towards the NEW Haunted Castle!” Shortly after, the crowd gathered in front of the Haunted Castle to hear Kris Reyes, Charles Canfield, and Ted Whiting III give a talk about the ride. Before any of them spoke about the ride, they talked about me and another boy (whom was a big fan of Sally Corp.) named Tyler and how we were big fans of the park and new ride. As thanks, we were each given an original piece of concept art from the ride signed by the park president himself, Charles Canfield.
We were both very pleased to receive such an amazing gift. Neither he nor I expected this! After a few words from Charles, Ted, and Kris, Tyler and I were off to be the first riders on the NEW Haunted Castle. The ride overly exceeded my expectations by 100%. I was completely amazed by how wonderful the ride was done. The Haunted Castle is a ride specifically geared towards families that bring their kids to the Boardwalk and the park brings in a lot of those!
I would like to thank Brigid Fuller, Charles Canfield, Ted Whiting III, and Kris Reyes for giving me this amazing opportunity to be one of the first four riders aboard the NEW Haunted Castle. Also, huge thanks to R&R Creative Amusement Designs of Anaheim, CA for the overall design of this great attraction. Thanks to Sally Corp. for the animatronics for the ride, along with every other company involved in this unique attraction. I highly recommend everyone to take a spin, on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s NEW Haunted Castle!
— Nicholas Laschkewitsch
photos: Nicholas Laschkewitsch