Global Winter Wonderland
Santa Clara's Great America hosts a winter wonderland of lights through New Year's Day.
Great America theme park isn't just a summer time venue anymore.
It draws thousands of people for Halloween and, for the second year, the park is the backdrop for a holiday laser light show and display.
The park in Santa Clara will be turned into a lighted extravaganza featuring some of the world's greatest architectural wonders. It's taken four dozen engineers from China working for the past month to create the display.
Unlike other holiday light displays in the Bay Area, this one is not a drive through. It is instead, a walk-on-your-own two feet type event.
The Global Winter Wonderland venue picked the Bay Area for its U.S. debut last year. The nightly event is described as a family-friendly festival of lights that lets you travel the world in one night.
Organizers said more than 400,000 people walked through the display last year.
This year they have all the lights, plus a couple dozen of the theme park rides will be available (no roller coasters) and there will be more than 15 carnival style rides.
The gigantic illuminated displays feature things like the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Chichen Itza, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Some of the structures are more than 50-feet tall.
Global Winter Wonderland calls the structures lighted lanterns. The lanterns are made out of soda cans, bottle caps, CDs, porcelain dishes and metal flatware.
They are eco-friendly and powered with low voltage LEDs and fluorescent lights.
They were designed by the same engineers who built lanterns for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
The lights are the draw, but it also features fire dancers, fire eaters, and other circus type characters.
And, yes- Santa is expected to be there.
Hours: Sundays – Thursdays, 4pm to 10pm; Fridays-Saturdays, 4pm to 11pm:
Adults $18; Children (5-12) & Seniors (62+) $16; Children 4 & under FREE. Call (888) 589-9035 or go to www.globalwonderland.org, open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.