California’s Great America Makes Waves with Completely Transformed Waterpark, “South Bay Shores” New attractions, cabanas and food anchor the expanded coastal-themed area, now open

California’s Great America is easily one of our favorite California Theme Parks. Between coasters like Railblazer, Gold Striker, and Flight Deck, their double-decker carousel, and the annual Haunt, there is a lot to love. They have now opened what they are calling a “Completely Transformed” water park in the form of the new South Bay Shores waterpark adding to the roster of summer fun.

Let’s cut to the chase here. What makes it so transformed?

  • increased waterpark’s acreage by approximately 50 percent (from 10.5 to 15 acres);
  • Almost double the amount of attractions (from 10 to 18);
  • Double the amount of space to relax
  • Triple the number of dining options (from one to three).
  • and, of course, the new name.

Guests will be immersed in a completely transformed waterpark experience featuring 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 grassy play area – all richly themed to reflect the excitement and fun of the Northern California coast and South Bay regions. 

Photo: Copyright Great America

New attractions for water lovers of all ages will include: 

  • 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, Photo: Copyright Great America

  • 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 grown-ups a chance to relax under shade structures and enjoy an oversized lounge and sun deck area. 
  • Grassy Gardens – this new area will offer a place for guests to relax and enjoy the sun. Kick back in the garden just steps away from the rides and roller coasters of California’s Great America. 

Photo: Copyright Great America

The food offerings were expanded with the new Pier 76 Cafe cooking up new offerings like fried shrimp and fresh fish tacos, plus park favorites including hand-breaded chicken tenders, sliders, and waffle fries. Shaded outdoor seating offers guests the perfect spot to enjoy a meal and cool off. 

Pier 76 Cafe, Photo: Copyright Great America

The waterpark was also given a brand new entrance, new family changing/showering areas, more lounge chairs, additional shade, and refreshed landscaping with native plants. The waterpark’s existing slides and attractions have makeovers and new names highlighting the coastal theming of South Bay Shores. 

Updated cabanas located near the Breakers Bay wave pool and new Tide Pool lagoon will be the perfect place for families and groups to relax. Upgrades include free Wi-Fi, charging stations, ceiling fans, TVs, and dedicated food and beverage service. 

As of right now, the new park is still operating under strict safety precautions. To properly manage the physical distancing of guests, capacity will be limited each day and may sell out. Ticket sales and reservations are now available at 

For all details regarding California’s Great America and the park’s current health and safety screenings, please visit 

About the Author

Norm(an) Gidney is a nearly lifelong horror fan. Beginning his love for the scare at the age of 5 by watching John Carpenter's Halloween, he set out on a quest to share his passion for all things spooky with the rest of the world.
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