5 things to know about South Bay Shores

The new South Bay Shores waterpark area opened on Saturday (June 5) at California’s Great America in Santa Clara.

You can read our full coverage of the attraction by clicking here. But we also have singled out five things that people should know before attending South Bay Shores, which replaces the old Boomerang Bay waterpark area.

  1. Reservations are currently needed in order to visit South Bay Shores. Having a regular ticket to the park isn’t enough to secure your entry. Patrons must specifically register that they plan to attend the waterpark, which can be done when purchasing park tickets or (for those with season passes) by visiting cagreatamerica.com. The need for a separate reservation, however, is likely a temporary situation — and could go away once more COVID-19 precautions are lifted throughout the state.
  2. For safety reasons, jewelry and other types of accessories are not allowed on the Shark Reef Plunge attraction, which begins with a nearly vertical free fall in an enclosed waterslide tube. That includes watches and, even, wedding rings. So, you might want to leave that leave those things — especially the big carat numbers — at home before going to the park.
  3. The old Boomerang Bay had an Australian motif — which, Great America’s director of marketing and sales  Jason Soyster, admits never made a lot of sense for a place that bills itself as being “California’s.” The new South Bay Shores, however, has an appropriate California beach town feel, which Soyster describes as being “inspired more by Santa Cruz than a Huntington Beach or Venice Beach.”
  4. Park officials say that it takes 32 seconds to ride from the top of the drop slides (on Shark Reef Plunge) to the bottom. But we saw it done in less than a third of that, as Jimmy Pham of Fremont became the first guest to brave the Plunge on June 5 — and did so in 10 seconds flat!
  5. The old Boomerang Bay had only one dining spot. That’s been tripled for Boomerang Bay. The main dining area is Pier 76 Cafe — with a name that nods to the park’s opening in 1976.

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