Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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Theme Park:Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (since 1907)
Address:400 Beach St
95060 Santa Cruz
Operated by:Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a seaside amusement park located in Santa Cruz, California right next to the Pacific Ocean. The park is famous for its 100 year old wooden roller coaster Giant Dipper.


Highlights of the Amusement Park



Giant Dipper

A true classic




The interactive looping ride




A fun spinning coaster


A short visit to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a pretty cool amusement park. Located directly on the Pacific Ocean, the park exudes a lot of charm, which is mainly due to its 99-year-old wooden rollercoaster, which takes up almost the entire park. The individual rides are located to the right and left of the boardwalk.


The Zamperla Disk’o Shockwave and the Maurer Spinning Coaster Untertow are located on the roof of a larger arcade. As always, it’s worth getting on the SC2000 backwards, which means you actually experience the first drop backwards before the spinning function is released after a climb and a short curve. Thanks to the subsequent hairpin bend, you’ll be well set in rotation so that you can usually experience the Immelmann Turn with a view of the sky or the ground. The subsequent track consists mainly of smaller bends and a fun straight with lots of swerves before you hurtle down a helix for the grand finale. All in all, a really great rollercoaster, especially if the waiting time is kept to a minimum.

Double Shot, Pirate Ship, Sky Glider und Typhoon

A ramp and stairs take you down to the boardwalk. Here you will find access to the Sky Glider chairlift – which was unfortunately not in operation on the day I visited – and three larger rides. In addition to the Typhoon looping ride, you can also take a ride on the classic Pirate Ship boat swing, before the more daring can take a ride on the S&S Double Shot, which is a great way to shoot yourself in the shoulder restraints.

Giant Dipper

Passing the fantastic façade of the Haunted Castle ghost train, we now move on to the park’s 99-year-old wooden rollercoaster, for which I had to adapt the tour over and over again, as the park unfortunately only rarely opens its rides in September; the Giant Dipper.

The ride on the Giant Dipper begins immediately with the entrance to a slightly longer tunnel, after which the ride’s lift is reached. After the first descent, which is around 20 metres high, we head straight into a large turning curve, which, however, offers a fairly steep entry and exit. Immediately afterwards, we race over a large hill and straight away over a double up. With the best view of the Beach Boardwalk, we now ride over a straight just above the braking section before gaining momentum again in an increasingly steep bend. Parallel to the track we have already experienced, we now race over a series of the finest airtime hills before changing direction again. At a constantly high speed, we race through the beams again and over a number of excellent airtime hills before coming to a halt in the braking section.

Even though I had already heard beforehand that the Giant Dipper is a really first-class wooden roller coaster, I didn’t expect it to mercilessly steal the show from my favourite 100-year-old wooden roller coaster to date – the Big Dipper from the English amusement park Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This ride is simply a class of its own and my favourite wooden roller coaster in the United States to date.


Passing the Afterburner Fireball, the path now leads us to a gem of American engineering: the Eyerly Rock-O-Plane from 1954. This ride is very reminiscent of a classic American Ferris wheel; however, thanks to the locking brake, you can hold your gondolas in position here, which also makes looping rides possible, or you can use the brake and shift your body a little to rock the gondola further and further, whereupon it is also possible to perform several successive somersaults. Great fun, which unfortunately cannot be experienced like this in Europe.

Logger’s Revenge

The second major attraction on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the large Arrow log flume Logger’s Revenge, which acts as a kind of backdrop for the rear area of the park and plays a key role in shaping it. There are several rides below the elevated track, including the Moby Dick and the Round-Up Cyclone. The entrance to the Sea Serpent children’s roller coaster is also located directly below the log flume ride.

Sea Serpent

The small Sea Serpent roller coaster is a real thrill ride, mainly due to its sloping location and the ride being adapted to the terrain. Typical of American children’s roller coasters, the track mainly consists of tight bends and pretty crazy hills.

Cave Train, Ghost Blasters und WipeOut

Interestingly, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is home to many dark rides, two of which are located one level below the boardwalk. In addition to the classic Cave Train, the interactive dark ride Ghost Blasters can also be found here. Access to the indoor Break Dance WipeOut is also located on this level.

Pictures Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Conclusion Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was a pretty cool start to my rollercoaster tour through California and Nevada this year. The park has a similar vibe to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and a pretty cool atmosphere, which made me really like the park. While I unfortunately only used a few tickets on this visit, I would love to come back for a day at the beach with a wristband for the theme park.


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