Hey there, Park Journey readers!
This Sunday, I ventured down to Gilroy to check out the new Harvest @ Night, the November edition of Gilroy Garden's new "@ Night" series. In case you missed it, we recently reviewed their October event, Halloween @ Night
Harvest @ Night is the park's "Food & Wine" style festival, intended for more of an adult audience. This fall themed event offered a nice way to relax in the park while taking in some rides and beverages.
Written by Andrew Cunningham
Gilroy Gardens is a beautiful park, and it was nice to have the opportunity to walk around without it being so densely packed with families. The park's lighting really brings it to life at night, although most of the displays remained unchanged from the @ Halloween event. The main difference was the noticeable absence of children.
Unlike the park's previously evening events, Quicksilver Express was open for night rides! The wooded area that the ride occupies was decked out with colorful lighting, which added some extra fun to the coaster.
Long queues were definitely not a factor. The ride crew allowed us to stay on and cycle as many times as we wanted. I always thought Quicksilver Express was a really fun coaster, so having our own nighttime ERT session really made our visit! :-)
Next up was checking out the food, which was unfortunately the low point of the event.
For a Food & Wine style event, the menu was really limited, with the food quality ranging from average to poor. Our favorite thing was the cranberry chicken wings, but those took us about 20 minutes to get. The pork slider was probably my least favorite, as it was really just ham deli meat and wasn't very appetizing.
Oh well- you win some, you lose some.
With that said, the beer selection was great!
Next time, I'd eat before coming to the park and then spend my time strolling along with drinks. :-)
The park set up a stage for bands to perform. The music set a very nice atmosphere and people seemed to really enjoy the shows.
They also had a selection of tailgating games and fire pits set up around the stage. This are was really popular when the bands were playing. The fire pits were all occupied and people were out playing games and drinking beer.
Not a terrible way to spend an evening!
A visit to Gilroy Gardens always requires a visit to Bonfante Falls, which really come alive at night. Even more fun to run through the falls with a drink in hand!
The train was also open for night rides, complete with some near pitch-black moments. As you can see, we definitely had our pick of seats.
And that concludes our visit to Gilroy Garden's Harvest @ Night event!
While it wasn't a complete home run, it was still a really fun way to spend an evening at the park. Night rides on Quicksilver Express were definitely the highlight of the event, with the beer, fire pits, and tailgating games also adding a lot to the atmosphere.
And remember, NorCal locals- Gilroy Gardens is included as a perk on the California's Great America Gold Pass.
Cheers and thanks for reading!
Happy Friday the 13th everybody!! Hope you all have some scary things planned for the weekend whether it's just watching scary movies or attending a Halloween event. Hopefully it's not something super scary like having to work.
Today we have another update from California's Great America where my wife and I made our first visit to their Haunt last weekend.
Written by Gregg Condon
Prior to Haunt we made our way over to the park in the afternoon to do some riding and check out the Great Pumpkin Fest.
Lots of graves to mark mazes and scare zones no longer with us
The Pumpkin Patch!! Super cute.
After heading back to the hotel for a nap it was time to head back to the park for Haunt
Believe it or not, in all our visits to this park, we had never been here at night. Weird right?
Our first maze of the night was Massacre Manor
We had actually gotten a tour of this earlier in the day and it did NOT disappoint
Cornstalkers was up next
Nothing creepier than walking through cornstalks ... we had a great time in this maze.
This looks like something
Our first "surprise" maze of the night. Seriously, I love this maze, may have been my favorite of the night. The song is catchy (it's in my head now) but the maze itself is just a whole lot of fun!!
Wonder if Ed Alonzo went back to Bayside?
This looks different at night ...
I know this is supposed to be Humpty Dumpty, and maybe it's because it's Friday the 13th ... but ...
Doesn't this look like Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th Part IV? Google it. Seriously. Do it now!!
Another really fun and inventive maze
Time for Ed Alonzo!! We've missed him at Knott's Scary Farm!!
Believe it or not, this was the only good shot I got of the show. You don't believe me do you? =)
The lighting and effects around the park were awesome
Definitely the "Grossest" of the mazes at Haunt
We also took a ride on Demon Re-Ignited!! Not only are the effects for the ride amazing, but I probably had the best ride I've ever had on it, at least in the past 15 years or so. It was running amazing.
Kudos to the park for not only adding some amazing effects, but for maintaining this classic coaster to such high standards.
If you missed our Demon Re-Ignited Behind The Scenes Tour earlier this week, be sure to check it out.
Last but not least was the all new Backwoods.
And if this is any indication of the future of Haunt, it's going to be one of those can't miss events for years to come. I thought the maze was a bit on the short side, but it was phenomenal nonetheless.
CGA's Haunt has an amazing entry area
Fire makes everything better
Probably my favorite picture I've taken this entire Halloween season
Overall we were very pleasantly surprised with Haunt. The event is a LOT of fun, the talent is into it and the mazes are unique.
One thing I will say is there needs to be more scare zones, they had a couple but they were kind of small. But other than that, we definitely recommend this event and can't wait to go back next year!
Today we've got a bit of an exclusive behind the scenes look at RailBlazer construction at California's Great America. We aren't going to try and guess what's going where but we figured you'd all like to see the progress that's been made so far.
And more progress has already been made in the past few days.
Written by Gregg Condon
Lots and lots of walls up around RailBlazer
Normally this is all we'd be able to show you in a construction update
But exclusively for you Park Journey readers ... we have dirt!!!
And piles of dirt!!
Thanks to the amazing PR staff at California's Great America for allowing us the chance to get a look at construction, we can't wait to see more very very soon!!
Be sure to come back tomorrow as we'll have our Haunt update from last weekend!!