It's not enormous, but the water park at California's Great America offers a great way to cool down after a hot day on the coasters and other rides. Called Boomerang Bay, the park features an Australian theme. It was originally called Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay. (For those who may not remember, Crocodile Dundee was a fictional character played by Paul Hogan in a series of comedies. The movies were distributed by Paramount Pictures, and the park used to be operated by CBS Corporation and known as Paramount's Great America.)
Among the highlights is Didgeridoo Falls, a family raft ride and Down Under Thunder, a halfpipe-style slide. Other more aggressive attractions include the enclosed body slides, Screamin' Wombat and Ripsnort Ridge as well as the two-person raft slide, Tasmanian Typhoon.
Younger kids and those seeking a less intense experience, will want to check out Jackaroo Landing, an interactive water play center with small slides, sprayer elements, and a giant tipping bucket. Boomerang Bay also offers the Great Barrier Reef wave pool and the Castaway Creek lazy river.
Toddlers have their own attraction, Kookaburra Cay. It includes small fountains, and other fun ways to get wet. Toddlers could also join their families at Boomerang Lagoon, a large heated pool with shallow water.
California's Great America general admission passes include access to both the water park attractions and the dry rides. (It is the only theme park in California to include water park admission at no extra charge.) Reduced price tickets are available for seniors (62+) and juniors (48"and under). Children under 3 are admitted at no charge. Discounted tickets are available for purchase in advance and online at the park's Web site. Season passes are available.
Private cabanas are available to rent. Inner tubes are provided, but guests can rent tubes to use throughout the day at the water park. Complimentary lifejackets are available.
What's to Eat?
There are plenty of dining options throughout California's Great America. Inside the water park, Crocodile Canteen offers pizza, chicken strips, hot dogs, wraps, and other fare. In the amusement park, good choices include Sierra Creek Lodge, which includes paninis, pizza, salads, and hamburgers on its menu, and Maggie Brown’s Smokehouse & Fried Chicken, which offers barbecue items such as brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. Note that guests are not allowed to bring their own food or drinks into the park.
Location and Directions
The park is in Santa Clara, California. From San Francisco, take US 101 S to the Great America Parkway exit. From San Jose, take US 101 N to the Great America Parkway exit. From Oakland, take I-880 S to 237 W to the Great America Parkway exit.
Other California Water Parks
If you are looking for other, larger parks, the following are among the nearby, standalone parks: