Monthly Archives: September 2010

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Legends Day at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized

On August 20th, 2010 the four Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk legends Charles Canfield, Ted Whiting III, Carl Arnett, and Carl Henn visited Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. This very unique event was open to all ACE members who wanted to come and meet these special people. My family and I arrived at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach at around 10:00 AM. Within the next hour or so, many other ACE members arrived to help set up for the legends arriving shortly.

preparing for the lunch

At 11:15 AM, the four legends arrived at the front of the Museum to much excitement. They were taken down the hall of memories where they reminisced about Playland-at-the-Beach. Next, the legends were taken into the “Laffing Sal Theatre” to watch some historical films about Playland-at-the-Beach. Once the movies were through, Charlie Moran (The creator/building of the Playland model in the theater) showed the legends his beautiful model of Playland that is displayed in the theater. The lights in the room were dimmed down for full effect.

After that, it was about time for lunch, so they all headed towards the kitchen area to eat. There were about 15-plus ACE members that showed up to meet and eat with the legends. We ate pizza for lunch along with cupcakes for dessert. I saw next to Charles Canfield at lunch and got to ask him many questions I had wanted to ask him for a long time.

eating lunch

One of these questions was about the bear right inside the Cave Train, and why they have it so long. Here is his response:

“My father bought it over forty years ago for the original Cave Train, and we kind of just kept it ever since. We kept trying to get rid of it, but we just couldn’t part with it. It does look funny in there, don’t you think? With the red finger-nail polish and all…”– Charles Canfield

During lunch, Richard Tuck presented an award to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, saying:

“Special thanks to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for outstanding generosity for preserving the legacy of the America’s Amusement Park Heritage and especially the Fascination games.”

Richard Tuck presents award to Charles Canfield

Charles Canfield displays award from Playland

After lunch, the legends moseyed on over to the Fascination Parlor, to play a rousing game of Fascination. The four legends went head-to-head-to-head-to-head, and in the end, Charles Canfield won!

SCBB legends playing fascination

Once they finished playing Fascination, Richard took them through the rest of the museum, including Circus World, Charles Dickens, Santa’s Village, and Dark Mystery. The legends also played a few games of pinball throughout the day. Before I knew it, the day was coming to a close. Just as they were about to leave, they surprised the museum with a donation. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk donated an old Ferris wheel seat that they took off of the Ferris wheel last winter. We were amazed and very excited!

SCBB Ferris wheel seat donated to Playland

SCBB legends with Richard Tuck of Playland

A HUGE special thanks goes to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for visiting Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. Also, thanks for the generous donation of the Ferris wheel car to the museum. Thank you, SCBB, for keeping the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk operating for over 100 years and congratulations on your success and good luck in the future. For those who haven’t been to the Boardwalk recently, be sure to check out the NEW Haunted Castle!

— Nicholas Laschkewitsch
— photos: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

California’s Great America, September 2010 update

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized


CGA Planet Snoopy

California’s Great America is open weekends and Labor Day Monday in September. For hours, see: Enjoy a fireworks display at 9:45 PM on Sunday, September 5th.

Buy your 2011 Season Pass now and get the rest of the 2010 season included. For details, see:

California’s Great America
web site:

— photo: Steven Wilson

Gilroy Gardens, September 2010 update

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized

Gilroy Gardens 10th Anniversary

Gilroy Gardens Special Weekend offer

You and your family can visit this beautiful park with its six gardens and world famous Circus Trees. Get a special back-to-school admission ticket for only $12.00 per person. You, your families and friends can visit the park for more than 70% OFF the regular admission price!

Simply click onto this link Print your coupon and bring to the park.

Offer valid only September 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2010

Enjoy Labor Day Weekend at Gilroy Gardens with a special All-You-Can-Eat BBQ. For information, see:

Gilroy Gardens is open weekends and Labor Day Monday in September. For hours, see the operating calendar:

Buy your 2011 Gilroy Gardens membership and get the rest of the 2010 season included, along with many other benefits. For information, see:

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park sign

Gilroy Gardens
web site:

— Thanks go to Emi Pearce for the Gilroy Gardens weekend special offer coupon.
— photo: Steven Wilson

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, September 2010 update

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized


Upcoming activities at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach

September 4,5,& 6 – Playland Lives On Forever!

Bay Area residents know that September 4, 1972 was the final day of operation for Whitney’s Playland at the Beach in San Francisco. Within weeks we lost the Fun House, Laughing Sal, the roller coasters, the games, the excitement, and all that fun. Fortunately Playland will live on forever in our hearts and in our Playland-Not-at-the-Beach Museum of Fun, as you will discover this 3-day weekend.

We are bringing back the good old days! We will be conducting behind-the-scenes tours showing how volunteers built every section of this museum. We will be showing how it all came together — opening our archives for guests to look through our photographs and memorabilia. We will also be showing off the three new exhibit areas that are currently under development — you will be the first people to see them. There will be special contests for everyone. Bring the kids and the grandkids too.

We’re all indoors so the heat outside won’t matter. Come have a grand time! You are also welcome to bring a picnic lunch. We provide the eating areas (indoors) as well as refrigerator, ovens, ice makers, range, and microwave ovens.

There will be entertainment all weekend long too:

Saturday at 1:15 and 3:00: Professor B’s Flea Circus!

Professor B has been training fleas from around the world for many years and has put together the most amazing congress of unusual acts you have ever seen. You will see alive before your very eyes all of the following:

+ The world’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll Flea doing his imitation of the King: Elvis Presflea
+ Fifi LaFlea, the Parisian high wire walker — will she make it all the way across?
+ The Daredevil High Diver, Evil Fleanevil, fearlessly climbs to the top of the ladder and then plunges head first into a small pool of water!
+ The world’s only Mind-Reading Flea, the amazing Fleo!
+ A flea fired out of a cannon to be caught in the hand of a member of the audience! Never to be forgotten! The Austrian strong flea, Arnold!
+ A flea-powered carousel entirely propelled by the strength of two amazing fleas!

There are skeptics out there who claim there is no such thing as a Flea Circus. See for yourself or, better yet, bring a camera to prove to your friends that everything is as described.

Sunday and Monday: Amazing Magicians performing both afternoons!

At Playland-Not-at-the-Beach pay one low price to play all day — over 30+ pinball machines set on Free Play, Penny Arcade devices, carnival games, magic shows, historic films. Only $10 for youths (up to 14 years old), $10 for seniors (55 and up), and $15 for General Admission. Parking is free! If you wish to visit one of the local eateries for lunch, re-entry to the Museum of Fun is free.

Special on Monday, Labor Day, September 6th: Adults get in for the child’s price — $10. Just print out this coupon and bring it with you. Without this coupon the price is $15.

Adventure Weekend is Saturday & Sunday, September 11 and 12:

Put on your helmet and pull out your bullwhip. Become Indy Jones or Dora the Explorer as you try to solve our mysteries. We supply the treasure maps, the compasses, and all the tools to discover the hidden treasures. Beware the Chamber of Laughter and don’t get fooled by Esmeralda the Foolish Fortune Teller. She’s just trying to get you lost! These adventures are geared for every age from 5 to 105.

This October – Magic Classes with Heather Rogers

We are proud to announce in early October The Return of Heather Rogers providing two evenings of Magic Classes — Beginning and Advanced. Watch for details on our website and in future newsletters.

Don’t miss our Extra Day to PLAY This Weekend!

This weekend is Labor Day Weekend, and Playland-Not-at-the-Beach will be open for all three days — Saturday, Sunday & Monday, September 4,5,6 from 10 AM to 5 PM.

To see our other Extra Days to Play visit our website:

“Remembering Playland”

“Remembering Playland”, the documentary all about Whitney’s Playland in San Francisco, continues to play at 12:30 each day at the Balboa Theater. Or you can order it on Remembering Playland DVD from our Playland Souvenir Shop. Just go to our website or call (510) 232-4264 ext. 24. The DVD version has fifteen minutes of extra footage not shown in the theater.

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach nonprofit Museum of Fun, open to the public every Sat, Sun and school holiday. Open evenings for private events 365 days a year. 10979 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530 (510) 592-3002. . Admission $10 for kids (to 13), $10 for seniors (55 and up), and $15 for general admission. Admission includes 34 free pinball machines, penny arcades, carnival games, treasure hunts, miniature dioramas, and surprises around every corner. ACE members receive a $5.00 discount on admission upon presentation of their ACE membership cards.

— Thanks go to Frank Biafore for contributing this article.

web site:

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, September 2010 update

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized

red, white, and blue

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk September Highlights:

The last Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert of 2010 is September 3rd, featuring The Tubes with Fee Waybill. For more information, see:

September 2nd is the last Pepsi Night of the season. An empty Pepsi can will entitle you to purchase an unlimited rides wrist band for $9.95 plus tax.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s rides are open weekends and Labor Day Monday in September. See the park’s calendar for full details:

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
web site:

— photo: Steven Wilson

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, September 2010 update

  • September 1, 2010
  • Uncategorized

Medusa's tenth anniversary

Let’s welcome Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s new Park President, Dale Kaetzel! Here is the official announcement:


Entertainment Veteran Dale Kaetzel returns to the Bay Area after 25 year absence

August 25, 2010 (Vallejo, CA) Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced today the appointment of Dale Kaetzel as its new park president. Kaetzel, 51, had previously managed Paramount Parks properties and served as marketing director for the San Francisco Giants. Kaetzel will be responsible for all park operations, strategic direction and general management duties for the 135-acre combination wildlife, oceanarium and theme park.

“With his background in management, marketing and communications, Dale brings keen business acumen, as well as brand understanding, to Discovery Kingdom,” said Al Weber, Chief Operating Officer. “His experience in bringing unique and innovative approaches to his roles as a park general manager and marketing executive has lead to great results, and make him an excellent match for the Discovery Kingdom opportunity.”

During Kaetzel’s eight years as a senior executive in four of five Paramount Parks, he served as senior vice president and general manager of North America’s largest seasonal theme park, Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto. Prior to Paramount, Kaetzel served for 13 years as marketing and retail vice president for Centre Management/MCI Center in Washington, D.C., a preeminent sports and entertainment venue, now called the Verizon Center and home to major NBA, WNBA and NHL franchises and other live entertainment events.

As director of marketing for the San Francisco Giants in the mid 80s, Kaetzel was part of many memorable campaigns including the anti-mascot Crazy Crab, Croix de Candlestick, and the 1984 MLB All Star Game.

“I’m truly thrilled to be returning to the Bay Area to lead Northern California’s most unique family destination,” said Kaetzel. “I look forward to taking Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to a new level of family entertainment and providing guests with one-of-a-kind, memorable experiences.”

Kaetzel joins Discovery Kingdom as the park prepares for its 25th anniversary in Vallejo and as the Six Flags Entertainment Corporation celebrates its 50th year in 2011.

— end of announcement —

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is open weekends and Labor Day Monday in September. See the links below for more info.

Buy your 2011 Season Pass now and get the rest of 2010 included along with lots of other benefits. For details, see:

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
web site:

— Thanks go to Nancy Chan for the Dale Kaetzel announcement.

photo: Steven Wilson