Gilroy Gardens is a garden-themed family theme park in Gilroy, California, United States, and the current location of the world-famous Circus Trees created by Axel Erlandson.
It was founded by Michael and Claudia Bonfante after selling their Nob Hill Foods supermarket chain to build the park. The park was constructed gradually over a period of 25 years. Before it became an amusement park open to the public, it was known as Tree Haven, and was a commercial plant nursery, as well as a recreational facility for employees of Nob Hill Foods. The park opened to the public in June 2001 as Bonfante Gardens. The name was changed to Gilroy Gardens in February 2007. It features 19 rides, 27 attractions and six gardens.
Starting in 2004, the park began its annual holiday celebration, Gilroy Gardens Holiday Lights.
The park struggled with financial difficulty and low attendance the first two years it was open. It closed early for its first two seasons and the park's management debated whether to open at all for the third season. Paramount Parks began to manage the park on contract starting with the 2003 season.
Gilroy Gardens operates under the management of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which acquired Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation on June 30, 2006.
The city of Gilroy purchased the 536 acres (217 ha) (including the theme park rides) on March 5, 2008. This purchase bought out about half the existing bond holders. The other half is planned to be bought out in 2010. Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park leases the land from the city.
In 2010, Gilroy Gardens held its 10th Anniversary.
One of the Paddle Boats with the Mushroom Swing in the background
- Banana Split — Banana-shaped swinging ship ride.
- Mushroom Swing — Mushroom shaped swing ride.
- Timber Twister — Rattlesnake themed junior roller coaster
- Garlic Twirl — Garlic-themed "tea cups" style ride.
- Sky Trail Monorail — Monorail ride through Monarch Butterfly Greenhouse.
- Paddle Boats — Duck shaped paddle boats.
- Rainbow Gardens Boats — Raft ride though flower gardens.
- Coyote & Redwood Railroad — Train ride around park perimeter.
- Quicksilver Express — Mine-themed roller coaster.
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