A Day at Knott's 01/10/2003

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Monday, January 13, 2003 9:17 AM

Well, after all the discussion and consideration as to which park to visit in Southern California, I decided to go to Knott’s Berry Farm. I finished my project for work at about 12 and headed to the park. I started the visit with lunch at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant. Very good food – especially the Boysenberry pie. After lunch, I ran the leftovers back to the car and changed into jeans. I’m not sure what the temp was, but it was a little too cold for shorts.

Then I headed back to the park. As I was heading from the car, I saw Xcelerator testing. I went immediately back to catch a ride before it had the chance to break down, though it would run all day with no problems. As I walked through the park, I noticed that it was a ghost town in more ways than one. There were a few school groups, but that was about it. Throughout the day I never had more than a one train wait except for Ghostrider.

After a leisurely stroll through Fiesta Village I reached the back of the park. Walked through the Xcelerator queue and took my first ride in the front seat after a 1 train wait. WOW. This ride completely blew me away. The launch was very nice – great speed immediately. Cresting the top hat was quite a rush, especially since there’s no track before you until the 90-degree twist. The rest of the ride was nice, if just a tad boring. The overbanks didn’t really do much for me. Now I understand why Dragster is just L-TH-B, it’s the best part of the ride. Took another trip in the back car and really liked the feeling of being yanked over the top hat. As the day wore on, I kept going back to Xcelerator to feed my launch addiction. By the end of the day, I had taken 15 laps – mostly in the back seat. In all those rides, I only got stapled once. The other rides were tight, but not uncomfortably so – and still allowed for a little airtime.

Next up after my first rides on Xcelerator was Supreme Scream. I really like drop rides, but this one seemed a little weak to me. Maybe if it were a space shot instead of turbo drop it’d be a little more exciting. Anyway, moved on to the Boomerang – the first regular boomerang I’ve ridden. It was actually an okay ride. I found it to be a little more disorienting than Déjà Vu, mostly because of the tight layout of the elements. With a little defensive riding, I was able to get through it without hurting. Not as bad as an SLC, but I only rode it the one time.

It was too cold to even consider getting soaked, so I had to skip Perilous Plunge. Based on what I’ve heard about the new restraints, though, I’m not sure I’m missing too much. Next time hopefully it’ll be warmer. I headed back through Fiesta Village to his Jaguar! and Montezooma’s Revenge. I really liked all the theming around Jaguar – very detailed. The queue line is also WAY long, I can’t imagine waiting through all that for a ride. I got to the station and hopped in the back seat. First came the fun of getting in the car. I am 6’6" 250lbs. – pretty big guy. I had to sit in the middle with my legs crossed Indian style to be able to pull down the lap bar. Off we went out of the station. This ride seems to last forever. It was fun, but about halfway through I started to wonder if the ride would ever finish. Overall – nice family ride that has some small thrills for the kids. I actually had a conversation about Dragster with the people in front of me during the course of the ride. Kinda funny to me, since I’ve never had a conversation with strangers while ON a coaster.

Next I headed over to Montezooma’s Revenge. I have ridden a Schwartzkopf shuttle loop before and this was very much the same. It does go high up the back spike, though and gives a nice pop of air in the back seat. Cool launch, but after Xcelerator, it couldn’t compare.

Now it was time to head to the biggest reason I chose Knott’s – Ghostrider. After making my way over to the ride, I noticed how far away from everything else it seems to be. No other rides in the vicinity and it’s as far away from everything else as it could be. Made it up to the station and was able to walk on the front seat. The ride ops here didn’t really seem too concerned with getting a train out very quickly. They were nice, and were enjoying themselves, but they moved at a snail’s pace. The slow ops and the location of the coaster were the only negative things about this ride. So off we go down the dip out of the station and on to the rest of the ride. Very nice ride. Great airtime – no stapling on any of my rides. I got some very intense laterals throughout the ride in every seat I rode in. The nonstop pacing of the ride was fantastic – loved the out of control feel. I got 6 rides in on this – 2 in front and 4 in back. The reason I didn’t get more is the slow operations made marathoning impossible. This ride is great – my new number 3 wood coaster, but the crew could have picked up their pace and made it completely incredible.

All in all, I had a great time at the park. The employees were all very friendly and the rides can’t be beat. Contrary to other reports I was only stapled once, on Xcelerator. Not once on any other rides. My 2 click rides on Ghostrider were fantastic! Good operations for the most part and very clean. Everyone there seemed to be having a great time – I know I was. Next time I’m in Southern California, I’ll be going back to Knott’s if I have the opportunity!

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I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco

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Monday, January 13, 2003 10:08 AM

Great TR! Glad you had a good time ;)

Moosh

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Sig under construction!

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Monday, January 13, 2003 11:13 AM
Two clicks on Ghostrider?!? I'm a local and I cannot remember the last time I was allowed to ride with only two clicks!! Now that I think about it, never. I'm always forced to ride with 3 or sometimes 4.

Glad you had fun. Did you make it onto the Log Ride or the Calico Mine Ride??? Both are very cool and worth going on, especially without a wait.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Monday, January 13, 2003 11:30 AM

Soggy - IIRC Timber Mountain Log Ride is closed for bi-annual maintenance for the next couple of weeks.

Moosh

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Sig under construction!

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Monday, January 13, 2003 12:25 PM
I should have known that. Dang, I guess I don't go to the park enough anymore. My "new" job came with a nasty commute, and by the time I get back to Orange County it is usually after 6:00 pm. I used to get off at 3:30 and was only minutes from KBF. ***sigh*** That was enough time on dead days like this to rack up tons or re-rides.

Just had to vent...

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Monday, January 13, 2003 1:43 PM

I'll make comments in the same order as your TR. First off, the Chicken Dinner Resturant is great. Large portions (hence the leftovers), all inclusive for dinner (although a little pricey), and quite a few traditional desserts (I think they have Boysenberrey Ice cream and apple pie too). The other great resturants of the park are Amber waves, formerly Cucina Cucina (the hotel) and Ghost Town Grill (a bargain, in the park).

Expect the park to be empty on weekdays this time of year (other months, like April through October, are more crowded). Some people consider the "ghost town" feeling to be a little to depressing, others love it. There are alot of middle and elementary school groups there (studying the gold rush, indians, ghost towns, etc), but they only ride things like the stage coach, log ride, calico mine ride, and go to the several museums (independence hall, ghost town museum, and a few others), and depending on their age, they may ride Ghostrider.

Xcelerator's overbanks are too boring. They add very little to the ride. Another top hat would be a lot more fun, or a helix (one was originally planned to go around the sky cabin, but then the ladies died on goliath and montezummas revenge). The overbanks are a little intense for about .3 seconds, but other than that, you can't even feel the coasters speed in the valleys cause its so damn smooth (at least in the front 3 cars). I guess everyone's opinion on what is a staple is different, but the amount of pressure applied is so much less than what the ride ops were doing opening week, thats for sure. I guess you didn't see the staple in the loading instructions by that one woman, YIKES.

Supreme Scream. I've found a few towers to be more intense, specifically the turbo drop at Buffalo Bill's resort in Jean, NV (stateline). The thing is the ride always overheats overthere, cause its damn hot. Supreme Scream beats Maliboomer in all ways. The scream sheilds take away a lot of the space shot experirence. All you feel is G forces. No wind. As for why Supreme Scream isn't a space shot: Knotts wanted a PT clone, a few feet taller, but maliboomer got the rights to the space shot before they did (I mean, all of DCA's thrill rides were being constructed by 1998). Tood bad. We would have had everyones "favorite". But then, when Vertigo opened, the mechanics made the bounce levels on all 3 towers about 40% lower. Why? I've heard as many different reasons as people i've heard them from.

What colors were Bommerang's trains. They may have added on the repainted, rehabbed one.

Too bad about Perilous Plunge and the cold weather. It went really from VERY warm on sunday and monday (like 80 degrees) to just about 62 by Friday. The restraints are pretty over protective (theres no way they'll fail, ever), but its not NEARLY as bad as an OTSR because its not too uncomfortable, and zero headbanging. It can just get a little overtight sometimes, but not as tight as a few months ago, when you couldn't even reach the front grab bar. The ride experience is great though, but its best not to get wet. Best drop in the park.

Its hard to carry on a conversation on Jaguar. The I-beams make too much noise like Superman: The escape. The rides a GREAT family ride (except for the fact that they raised the height requirement to 48" because the restraints are not good at all for accomodating small ones), but the Knotts family actually marketed it as a thrill ride. Thats where "the big cat of roller coasters" came from i guess.

A lot of people think Montezummas Revenge is better than the rest. It still has the lap bars, no brakes going backwards through the station, and goes high up the back hill. The launch was pretty intense for when it was built, and the flywheeels are better than the weight drops.

Ghostrider is very close to the entrance of the park. The closest ride is the walter k. knott steamboat in camp snoopy. The reason the ride ops were slow is because there was no line pretty much. They're pretty fast usually when you need them to be, to the point of being fast enough to dispatch a few trains at the rate that 3 train operation would be beneficial. They shine on the weekends when they're needed, usually......

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