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Could Yankee Harbor Return to California’s Great America?


With the announcement of Carolina Harbor (and the all-but-certain expansion of the water park at California’s Great America in the near future), it got me thinking…

Could California’s Great America score some MAJOR brownie points and pull off one of the biggest throwbacks EVER with the re-branding of their Boomerang Bay water park to one of the classic Marriott-era themed areas – Yankee Harbor?

Theme parks generally have specific areas that work together with the rides and attractions to form a cohesive theme.

Admit it – this is a perfect name for a water park inside “GREAT AMERICA.” Photo by: Kris Rowberry. 

During the Paramount-era, it wasn’t uncommon to use a singular brand across multiple parks. After all, it was cheaper and the design team only had to do one thing. But the Carowinds announcement may signal that Cedar Fair is looking to create not a singular brand identity across all their parks, but an INDIVIDUAL PARK IDENTITY.

Boomerang Bay was originally themed after Crocodile Dundee movies – but once Paramount bailed on the park, licensing forced a slight change in name. But the name really doesn’t work with the rest of the park. (Aussie area in GREAT AMERICA?) The park has already made significant efforts to revive Orleans Place, with signage and background music, so could this be the next, logical step?

What better way to mesh the old theme of the park than with a newly expanded, American-themed water park that – let’s face it – would be the GREATEST THROWBACK EVER (I.E. even I’d buy merch if it had the classic logo integrated somehow). Nostalgia sells these days – just ask the people at Busch Gardens Williamsburg who can’t keep up with demand for their Big Bad Wolf shirts…

Plus, maybe the park could get the old lighthouse to spin up and shine again.

What do you think – would you welcome a return to “Yankee Harbor” or does “Boomerang Bay” still work for you? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think:


3 responses

  1. When I visited Six Flags Great America in Illinois for the first time I was absolutely shocked at how much of “Marriott’s Great America” was retained at that park. It reminded me of visiting California’s Great America as a kid. Six Flags has really done a great job of adding their Six Flags brand to that park without totally abandoning what the park was. I mean, The Whizzer is still there.
    I would love to see more of the classic Great America come back to Santa Clara.

    September 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

  2. Greenslade

    It saddens me that Great America has been purged of the Marriott theming.

    Ditch the Aussie and bring more Yankee

    September 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

  3. Domm

    Absolutely agree with Gregg. I was just at SFGAm a month back and it felt like taking a time machine back to our Santa Clara Great America. Most of all the classic theming was intact and the feeling throughout the park was genuine. Wish we still had some semblance of how nice it was before the Paramounting.

    September 6, 2015 at 11:13 am