California’s Great America opens for the 2019 season on March 23, but for ACE members, the season typically kicks off much earlier than that. Such was the case on March...
As ACE NorCal’s Chief Correspondent on everything about the new Haunted Castle at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Nicholas Laschkewitsch was invited to represent ACE at the park’s VIP 2010 Summer Season Launch Party. The special event was to include sneak preview rides on the new Haunted Castle attraction. Here is Nicholas’ report:
Nicholas at the Boardwalk
I was recently was invited to go to a 2010 VIP Launch Party at the Boardwalk on May 27th. I did not know much about what was going to happen at the event. It ended up being a real blast! According to the agenda I was emailed, there was going to be live entertainment, free lunch (and dessert!), an announcement about the summer events on the beach, and a preview of the NEW Haunted Castle dark ride. All of this happened, except for the preview of the Haunted Castle.
However, there were a few other things to do there that weren’t announced on the agenda. In the Boardwalk’s Ballroom they had tons of Haunted Castle concept art on display from the new ride -– it was really cool. Some of the pieces were from over two years ago and it turned out that there were at least three different designs that they were considering. They also had a large projector screen set up with the time lapse videos of the construction of the Haunted Castle playing.
After my father and I checked out the awesome concept art, we grabbed something to eat. The food was very delicious. The entertainment that they had was some live Hawaiian music along with Brazilian dancers who came out later during our meal. Kris Reyes, director of community relations for the Santa Cruz Seaside Company, came up to the stage to talk about the upcoming “Bands on the Beach” and about Circo Brazil, a Brazilian circus coming to the beach. We found out later that the Brazilian dancers we had seen earlier were from that show. He then announced that the Haunted Castle ride would NOT be opening that day. I already knew that this was going to be closed. As consolation, they gave everyone free mini-golf and laser tag tickets along with free all-day ride wristbands! Thanks, SCBB! Kris Reyes then said, “Welcome to our 103rd season. Enjoy your lunch!” and we were let free to roam around the Boardwalk. I also checked out the Haunted Castle that day and it was looking fabulous.
I would like to thank Brigid Fuller, Kris Reyes, Ted Whiting, and all of the staff at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Santa Cruz Seaside Company for making this VIP event so unique and fun. Thanks! And congrats on your 103rd season. How about another 100!
— Nicholas Laschkewitsch
— photos: Brian and Nicholas Laschkewitsch