California's Great America introduces chaperone policy

California Great America theme park in Santa Clara implemented a new chaperon policy for guests ages 15 and younger. 

Popular Bay Area amusement park, California’s Great America, over the weekend implemented a new chaperone policy for its youth guests, as part of an update to its code of conduct.

The Santa Clara park said the move was in an effort to continue to make safety a top priority, and said it was also in response to a rise in disorderly activity in recent years.

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"Over the past two years, there have been increasing incidents of unruly and inappropriate behavior across our industry and at other major entertainment venues," Great America said on its website.

The new policy, which went into effect on Saturday, requires guests 15 years and younger to be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old. It only applies to youth visitors who wish to enter or remain in the park from 4:00 p.m. until closing.

Under the new rule, a chaperone must present, at park entry, a valid government-issued photo identification with date of birth, no more than 10 youth guests per one chaperone, and the chaperone must remain inside the park during the visit and be available by phone throughout the stay.

The park warned that youth visitors (15 and younger) who were found to be unaccompanied by a chaperone will be subject to ejection. Great America officials also strongly recommended that all teens under age 18 be accompanied by an adult. 

"We believe these changes will help ensure that California's Great America continues to have a positive atmosphere where generations of families and friends can gather for a day of safe fun and good food," park officials said. 

In addition to the new requirement, Great America reminded guests of its ongoing park rules including no firearms, knives, and weapons of any kind; no fighting or physical aggression; no unruly or disruptive behavior; no offensive language or gestures; and no smoking or vaping on park grounds.   

Officials also alerted guests that the premises were monitored by park security personnel who used surveillance video as well as body worn cameras. 

"California's Great America is committed to Protecting the Fun by providing a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for all guests," officials said, and warned, "Anyone who violates the Code of Conduct may be subject to ejection without refund."

The amusement park was on a limited schedule for spring, with the calendar showing an extended summer schedule in June, July and the start of August.

Last year, Great America's owner, Cedar Fair, sold the long-time South Bay amusement park to San Francisco-based real estate group Prologis.  

Under the agreement, the park's doors could close within about five years, though Cedar Fair has an option to extend the lease agreement with Prologis by up to five additional years, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents showed. 

Following the sale announcement, Great America said park goers would not see any immediate changes in operation.