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Snoopy’s birthday party at California’s Great America, Mass Effect: New Earth and more!

snoopy_and_friends

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNOOPY!! Snoopy is 66 years old. That’s almost half a century in human years!

To celebrate the cute and cuddly superstar friend, California’s Great America has thrown a wonderful party. And what a party it was:

birthday card

A huge birthday card! 

There was a huge birthday card (the world largest?) and kids left colorful messages to congratulate Snoopy. It was very sweet as the moms took their little kids and helped them write on the board. It was great to see how many heart warming messages were left for Snoopy. What a happy pal he must be!

cake

The Cake!

What’s a birthday without a cake? WOW, there was such an excitement around the cake. The kids went wild and after singing the birthday song to a cheerful Snoopy – the first 500 kids got to taste the cake. They snatched every single piece. According to my “sources” the cake was amazing! (ok.. I took a bite – I admit it.. couldn’t help it! – Hey, I’m a kid at heart).

crowd

This was the first time I’ve been at California’s Great America. It was a pure joy visiting the park and as a gamer, I was very curious to experience the new Mass Effect attraction.

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Mass Effect: New Earth

On Mass Effect: New Earth you’re going on a trip to imaginary landscapes and some familiar creatures and characters from the the franchise show up (I won’t ruin the surprise, but it’s fun to see them). Of course nothing goes as planned and you end up more than just enjoying the beautiful views…

Mass Effect: New Earth is a 4D movie with special effects, movement and live performance, but this description doesn’t do it justice.

What sets Mass Effect: New Earth apart?

Well, the quality projection on the huge screen is simply amazing! It really makes you feel like you’re inside the action and I hardly recall ever seeing such depth with 3D effects. Holograms pop up from the screen, creatures attack – and it just feels very realistic and integrates extremely well with the live action performance of the capitan and the setting of the spaceship.

The other thing that’s unique is using EA’s largely successful franchise to tell a stoy. The collaboration between EA and California’s Great America must have been great as this looks like a product of love. Wish to see more of this collaboration with additional attractions at Great America in the future (and attractions based on popular games in general). It was such a great experience that I wanted to see the Mass Effect attraction twice (and it was funny to see a different capitan and performance the second time around).

Tip: while you’re on the way to Mass Effect, treat yourself to the near-by Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream (tried their Strawberry and Banana blend – omg) – it is absolutely delicious!

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The other highlights from my visit were:

Rides:

Flight Deck – an extremely fun roller coaster with smooth twist and turns.

Gold Striker – California’s Great America’s latest roller coaster. Gold Striker is touted as being the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California and it’s one of the better wooden roller coaster I’ve tried. I’m not a fan of wooden roller coaster, but this one is really great and it really feels powerful and fast.

Shows:

AcroFlyte – a wonderful acrobatic show with some energetic dancing and awesome music! really exciting.

40 Seasons of Summer – a fun show, with music with from different eras (70’s, 80’s and 90’s mostly) that celebrates California’s Great America’s history.

PEANUTS Party in the Plaza – while not directly connected to Snoopy’s birthday event, this party was great and got people dancing and having fun (boy, I didn’t know Lucy Van Pelt knows how to throw these moves!).

On the Mic! Karaoke – this show was soooooo funnnnnnnyyy! It’s a karaoke show where you get to sing your favorite songs in front of your friends and crowd. The talents for each show vary and some of the brave souls who go on stage to perform are just hilarious!

Shops:

Dragon’s Lair – this was a real surprise! A shop with an amazing collection of highly detailed and colorful fairy figurines. Definitely worth a visit!

So how was it?

Snoopy’s birthday was very exciting! Visiting California’s Great America was a wonderful experience. Considering that for the same price of admission you can enjoy Boomerang Bay Waterpark, relax by the pool, watch highly entertaining shows- the value is terrific. If you’re a Snoopy fan, well, it might be the ultimate Snoopy theme park, as Snoopy has his own zone with kid rides, shops and restaurants. For those living in San Francisco area it only takes about an hour to get there (by car). Definitely coming for a second visit!

Here’s a short clip from Snoopy’s birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme park enthusiast, world traveler, film and animation buff

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