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Travel BLOG
May 25, 2017

Summer Fun at the Beach Boardwalk

All Photos by Garrick Ramirez

For us, seasonal pairings are a given: fall and pumpkins, winter and snowmen, spring and wildflowers, and summer and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Right now, kids are measuring themselves to see if they’re finally tall enough to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster, and adults are budgeting dietary allowances for the promise of corn dogs and funnel cakes. The Boardwalk did some prepping for the new season, too, with a whopping $14 million worth of new rides, updated attractions, and cool enhancements. Here’s a peek of what new fun the Boardwalk has in store for 2017.


A spiffy new entryway welcomes guests with new rides and attractions.

Debuting this summer, the Boardwalk will unveil a new main entrance and fun-filled plaza. Home to new rides and attractions, the entrance plaza was designed by Daniels Wood Land, a company on California’s Central Coast with their own reality show, Animal Planet’s Redwood Kings, which features their fantastical creations for theme parks, casinos, and playgrounds. In addition to the new attractions listed below, the improved entrance will also feature more ticket windows.


The Boardwalk delights adrenaline junkies with a pair of new thrill rides.

Like a spinning carousel adrift at sea, Shockwave—also referred to as a Mega Disk’O—spins 24 thrill seekers aboard a giant disc that glides back and forth across a 65-foot U-shaped track. Perched on an expanded upper deck next to Undertow and overlooking the new entrance plaza, Shockwave is expected to open in June.

Fans of the Pirate Ship will flip over Typhoon, a new thrill ride that swings two boatloads of riders upside-down via spinning arms that extend 60-feet into the air. While the visually striking ride will act as a centerpiece of the new entrance plaza, budding Boardwalk historians will remember a similar ride of the same name that was replaced by the Sea Swings in 2009. The new version of Typhoon is expected to open this July.


Two Boardwalk favorites get a modern upgrade.

Since opening in 2004, Fright Walk has forced friends to fearfully cling to each other as they nervously tiptoe through a darkened maze of eerie scenes and animatronic monsters. This year, the popular walk-through haunted house gets a spooktacular upgrade and a new home in a scary dungeon beneath the new plaza. The expanded maze guarantees more square footage, more ghouls, and more high-tech scares!

Like a scene from a classic heist film, The Vault Lazer Maze challenges guests to inch over and under an illuminated web of laser beams in an attempt to reach a target destination before their time runs out. Cheer your friends on, and then try to beat their score!


Go ooh-la-la for crepes and carnival games.

It wouldn’t be the Boardwalk without the prospect of taking home an oversized stuffed Minion or Spongebob character. Test your skills and impress your friends at the entrance plaza’s two midway games, Ring Toss and Pitch In. And when hunger strikes, you know to count on the Boardwalk for an international assortment of edibles, from crispy, sugar-dusted churros to Korean rice bowls. Now, you can add sweet and savory, made-to-order crepes to your options with newcomer Cruzin’ Crepes.


Take advantage of these midweek discounts.

An arched sign at the entrance plaza proclaims “Making Memories Since 1907,” but it's not simply nostalgia that celebrates the past. From June 19 to August 24, 2017, every Monday and Tuesday after 5pm is Retro Night with $1.50 rides and throwback prices throughout the park. Plus, each Wednesday and Thursday after 5pm is Pepsi Night when any Pepsi product—Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer, or Aquafina—gets you unlimited rides for $14.95 + tax! Note: discount pricing is not available on July 3rd or 4th.


The Boardwalk is just one of many local spots that shine during the summer. For more fun this season, check our site for a guide to a sunny Santa Cruz summer and where to discover the perfect beach.

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