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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Click here for the next report of the California Adventure Tour

Zipper-Dee-Doo-Dah in Cleveland

As I’m currently in Ohio for business, I took the chance to visit the I-X Indoor Amusement Park in Cleveland this Saturday.  Since 30 years, the fair takes place in the International Exposition Center (short I-X Center). The name Amusement Park fits in very well thanks to the one-time admission fee and the additional show program. Nonetheless, the I-X Indoor Amusement Park is a typical American funfair. The highlight of the event is the weather independence of the fair and the interaction of many rides with the hall’s ceiling.

Most rides come from the Baker Bros. Amusement Company. Rockwell Amusements, Swika’s Amusements and Reithoffer Shows each provide a roller coaster. In total, the funfair hosts six roller coasters, three of them for children. However, they were not my reason of visiting. I wanted to finally ride a Zipper.

Like the Tilt-a-Whirl and Sizzler, the classic from Chance Rides is indispensable in any US funfair – the oval with the pulleys at both ends has been sold a good 200 times since 1968. And even in Europe you could find a Zipper in the past; on the downside they are very rare.

The ride itself resembles the one on a top spin: it rocks, swings and sometimes wildly rolls over. Only a nacelle brake does not exist; you leave everything to chance. The speeds during the journey are usually constant: The main arm rotates at seven revolutions per minute, while the steel cables make at least four revolutions. At the turning points, a short acceleration kick follows every time, which – with a bit of luck – puts the gondolas into a proper rotation. Since you are only secured by a comfortable lap bar, holding onto the handrails is definitely a good thing.

The ride in the narrow cages is definitely not for tall people. With shoe size 11 you also have problems placing your feet properly. People with a weak stomach will quickly reach their limits through the whole swinging thing – especially towards the end of the journey. The zipper itself, however, is a masterpiece of engineering of the late 1960s. Even before the great looping fever of the 70s, Chance Rides turned the fairground world overhead. Unluckily, our ride on the Zipper was somehow tame. In the end, we rocked more than we did anything else.

Luckily, there are plenty of other options at the Indoor Amusement Park, but due to the crowd, we concentrated on the Fabbri Kamikaze. This Italian ride offers some longer head-over stays at the top of the ride – in spite of the over the shoulder restraints – and wonderful hang time during the fast looping sequences. You basically lift off from your seat, whilst the stations drive throughs you will be pressed neatly into your seat. What a machine!

In addition to the small Zamperla Spinning Coaster Wild Mouse and the little Pinfari Wild Cat next door, the roller coaster G-Force turn out to be one hell of an adrenaline machine. This small Wing-Coaster-Butterfly from A.R.M. Rides is a lot of fun in a rather small package. After having taken a seat in the 16-passenger train, it raises leisurely up a way too steep straight. Arrived at the top, the train then latches out quickly. In the next second, you fall very fast to the ground. The transition between the much too steep lift and the ascending straight after is the only highlight, as the name of the rollercoaster proves itself. After experiencing the G-Force on your own body, the train swings back and forth and fastly comes to a stop again. If ever Sunkid Heege would produce such a ride 😀 .

The I-X Indoor Amusement Park in Cleveland is a pretty cool funfair. The choice of rides is quite balanced and offers something for every taste. On our visiting day, the indoor amusement park was pretty crowded, but the weather outside was also a mess all day. If it is a bit emptier you can definitely have a lot of fun here, I really liked the fair itself. The mood was great and the gimmick with the hall’s ceiling basically upgrades every ride to a maximum.


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