Tricks and Treats with ACE 2023 Event Recap

Last month, we held the first-ever ACE NorCal event during Tricks and Treats at California’s Great America. Learn more about our spooktacular day, thanks to ACE member Liz Tan!

On October 14, 2023, ACE NorCal members gathered at California’s Great America for a terrific day that included a behind-the-scenes tour of Tricks and Treats, ERT on Gold Striker plus a buffet.  

Attendees entered the park 3 hours before the park opened via the Great America Pavilion, a space that offers terrific views of Flight Deck. All attendees were given custom lanyards for the event.  The day began with the members greeting one another, then the group headed into the park for the tours. 

ACE members check-in to pick-up their themed name tags and CGA trading cards that were pulled from the park’s archive room. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

Mike Curry, Director of Facilities and Construction led the group through the maintenance area, where they observed Flight Deck’s second train in refurbishment, saw many antique cars in varying stages of repair, and enjoyed viewing a large set of old signs from throughout the park’s history.  The final stop in this backstage area included a glimpse at a prototype electric antique car!

ACE members enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s Coaster Shop, where various train refurbishments are in progress. The original sign for Whizzer is in the background. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

Mike Curry provides an inside look at the FMC department at CGA. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

After leaving the backstage area, Corporate Creative Producer Clayton Lawrence took over as tour guide and led the group into the main park. Some group members were rather distracted by the maintenance worker who had tethered himself to a Drop Tower car and went for a slow ride up!  The group learned that there’s a ladder inside of the ride, but most workers prefer to ride up rather than climb.  

Clayton Lawrence explains what went into the transformation into NorCal County Fair. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

Next, the group enjoyed a walk back through Barney Oldfield’s Redwood Rally, many attendees enjoyed taking rare pictures and setting off the sensors that play audio messages at the start and finish of the ride. The group made their way to the infield of Gold Striker, where the tour guide shared the ride’s history and explained that neighbor complaints about guest noise as they rode the ride were the impetus for all of the sound-dampening panels and the two tunnels on the ride.

ACE members received a rare opportunity to walk the tracks of Barney Oldfield’s Redwood Rally. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

ACE members entering the in-field of Gold Striker. | Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch

The tour concluded with a walk through the WinterFest storage area (which used to be the IMAX theater), the official end of the day was a buffet at the Great America Pavilion. With the park’s future uncertain, it’s always a treat when ACE members are able to spend some time together at this local landmark.  ACE NorCal looks forward to sharing this park with Coaster Con 46 attendees in the summer of 2024!

Photo: California’s Great America

Photo: California’s Great America

About Nicholas

Nicholas Laschkewitsch is the Regional Representative for ACE Northern California and has been a member of the club since February 2009. He says it's hard to pick favorites, but the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk makes the top of his list. Being a Northern California local his whole life, he makes it out to the Boardwalk quite often. Nicholas is excited for what the future will hold for the Northern California amusement parks.

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