Great America announces massive water park expansion

California’s Great America’s water park is getting its largest investment in its history, 13 years after the last new attraction opened.

The park announced Boomerang Bay will be transformed into South Bay Shores for the 2020 season.

The expanded water park, increasing its acreage from 10.5 to 15 acres, will feature seven new water attractions, including four drop slides, two tube slides, and a new lagoon area. Guests will also enjoy new and upgraded food and merchandise locations, upgraded cabanas and a sandy beach play area — all themed to reflect the Northern California coast and South Bay regions.

A rendering of the new Pacific Surge slide complex. | Image: California’s Great America

The new attractions opening next summer are, as described by Great America in a press release:

∙ Shark Reef Plunge: Part of the brand new Pacific Surge slide complex, this attraction features four six-story-tall body slides that will simultaneously send four guests — each in a separate enclosed launch chamber — on a nearly vertical free fall when the floor drops out from under them. The high-speed plunge into a series of flat loops and s-curves will provide an amazing adrenaline rush for maximum fun.

∙ Feeding Frenzy & The Barracuda: Located on the same Pacific Surge structure, these two five-story tube slides can accommodate guests riding alone or with a friend and will send them winding through an enclosed tunnel before shooting them back out into the sun, through intense drops and turns.

∙ Tide Pool: A new family lagoon with eight kid-sized water slides that line the perimeter of a zero-depth-entry pool will give children their own mini water thrills, while giving the grownups a chance to relax under shade structures and enjoy an oversized lounge and sun deck area.

Barefoot Beach: This all-new sand play and beach area will offer a place for guests to relax and enjoy the sun.

In addition to the water attractions, a new restaurant, Pier 76 Cafe will cook up offerings such as fried shrimp and fresh fish tacos, plus park favorites including hand-breaded chicken tenders, sliders and waffle fries. Shaded outdoor seating will be offered as well.

The water park’s transformation into South Bay Shores will also bring a brand new entrance, new family changing/showering areas, more lounge chairs, additional shade and landscaping with native plants. The existing slides and attractions will receive makeovers as well, and will receive new names highlighting the coastal themeing of South Bay Shores.

Construction on South Bay Shores has been underway for many months, and will continue through the winter. | Photo: Erik Chalhoub

“South Bay Shores represents the newest phase of a multi-year revitalization of California’s Great America, building on our nearly 50-year heritage of giving Bay Area residents even more reasons to call the park their favorite destination for fun,” said Manny Gonzalez, vice president and general manager of California’s Great America, in a press release. “Along with the water park, recent investments such as the innovative RailBlazer roller coaster, new dining venues, and general park improvements are showing guests and the community that the park’s transformation is fully underway here in the South Bay.”

At the end of the 2017 season, Great America removed a number or rides and attractions to make way for the water park expansion, including Logger’s Run and Endeavor.


About Erik Chalhoub

Erik Chalhoub is the Magazine Editor at New SV Media in Gilroy (and a roller coaster fanatic!). He is also the proud recipient of the 2016 ACE NorCal Richard Tuck Spirit Award.

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