Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, USA
SoCal day 3
Monday morning we woke up and headed to a neat local diner with great food (and homemade salsa for eggs) not far from the house, then headed back to Knott’s Berry Farm where we found a nicely shaded parking spot in the lot by Ghostrider. After getting inside, we headed over towards Ghostrider first, but it wasn’t open quite yet, so we headed around and hit up Pony Express.
Pony Express-I really like it. I’d be happy if Carowinds got one of these. The launch is fun, there's airtime, and the train is really neat. It would server as a great family coaster in whatever park it's in, but that it's themed to the Pony Express near Ghost Town makes it all the more interesting.
Next we hit up the Log Ride and Mine Train again before heading into the 50s section of the park. We got in line for Xcelerator and with absolutely no line or wait later, we rode in the front seat. And it was glorious. Then we were allowed to switch to an untaken seat and ride again. We rode two or three times more and then headed over to another ride close by.
Supreme Scream-I like the S&S towers. They don’t scare me that much, though I’m really starting to be less and less scared by drop towers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the drop, but the journey up the tower scares me. Supreme Scream has a nice view, and it’s a shame I didn’t have my camera up there. And the drop was really a lot of fun.
We headed over thru the Fiesta section next. My last visit to Knott’s wasn’t very busy, but this day was absolutely dead. And it was wonderful. It was time to get some Jaguar and Monte love in.
Jaguar!-I love the queue. It’s really, really long, but really cool. But there was a loud announcement made and you couldn’t make out a word that was being said. They need to fix the speakers. Jaguar! is a great family ride. It's a long ride, it gets done what it needs to, it's great for kids and families. No major airtime, but it’s just so much fun going up, down, around, and thru the other rides in the area.
We headed over to another classic, one of my favorites, and a dying breed next.
Montezooma’s Revenge-We had a mishap (with no line, mind you) of the people beside us getting in our seats for some odd reason, and wouldn’t move, because they wanted to ride with their friends (who were in the queue right behind them). It was weird. But whatever. Monte is a classic and I’m so glad Knott’s keeps it up. The launch is fun, the loop is intense, and the first spike, while sunny, is really fun. And that back spike really is better on the fly wheel versions of this ride.
We walked over thru Camp Snoopy next. They have one of the best Camp Snoopy sections in any Cedar Fair park. I really like it. Then we walked back to Ghost Town. I had some unfinished business from the night before.
I’d mentioned when Cedar Fair announced that Ghostrider would be getting completely retracked, refurbished, and new trains all done by GCI, that I had a bit of trepidation. I loved Ghostrider with PTC trains. Even in 2012, with the MCBR mostly stopping the train on the MCBR, I still thought the ride was really great. I never got one of the infamous ‘rough’ rides. So GCI’s modifications gave me pause. We rode in the back of the train. I like GCI, I like Millennium Flyer trains, but in the past, switching to those trains have not fared well with enthusiasts. So here is my full review.
Ghostrider-The ride is very smooth. It definitely feels GCI smooth. The first drop was really good, and the first couple of hills were fun, though the amount of airtime was not what was there before, and that comes from simple physics. The trains are different. Also, there was some reprofiling of the layout. You go right thru where the MCBR used to be and the whole last part of the ride is fast, furious, smooth, with airtime and laterals in the helix. So what did I think, and how did it compare? For my first ride, I was slightly disappointed that a few of the more powerful airtime moments are gone, but what it lost in intensity, it gained in speed. Ghostrider now feels like a coaster built by GCI, and that isn’t a bad thing. I liked it, but decided to hold off on officially making a decision until another ride (which comes later). Suffice to say, though slightly disappointed, I still really like Ghostrider just based off of this ride.
We went to the Mystery Lodge, but I’d just gotten a Boysenberry Icee, so I had to finish that instead. I did Mystery Lodge on my last visit, and unfortunately it led to me not getting to ride Jaguar! or Monte because of my time crunch. But since we had Platinum Passes and were less than 2 miles from Knott’s, I didn’t mind waiting this time, and the wait was actually far less than it was the last time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an interesting show using Pepper’s Ghost and a live action actor. The actor last time was much better, but it really is a well done use of the PG effect.
We were getting hungry so we walked out of the park and over to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant, newly renovated and with a new head chef. It. Was. Amazing! I love the chicken there anyway, but the mashed potatoes (dairy free, not that i care, but you just might), and the whole meal was really good. As as the Boysenberry punch (see a theme here?)
He headed back in and I believe we went over to the Stage Coach next. This was my first time riding it, and we it was a lot of fun. Then we rode the train. They had the smaller one running in the off season. I love trains, and the smaller, more unique one was really nead. The outlaw that held us up was funny too.
We walked over towards the Fiesta section again and rode La Revolucion. I love these rides, and this one was no exception. I really, really hope Carowinds gets a frisbee type ride now. We walked back over again to Camp Snoopy. I discovered some random ‘cave’ and had to check it out. Reminded me a little of the Treasure Cave (R.I.P.) at Kings Dominion. I really love Knott’s for things like this. Next was Sierra Sidewinder, another credit for Issac, and just a fun ride for me.
Sierra Sidewinder-Knott’s has another home run as far as family coasters go. It spins, it has a few fun drops and turns. We spinned quite wildly as our car was a little bit off balance, which was great. The layout is really one of the better ones for a spinning coaster. It’s really great.
We hit up Silver Bullet once more as our last ride after doing re-rides on Voyage to the Iron Reef. This time on Voyage, we got stuck just near the end of the ride. I still hope we get one of these at Carowinds (and other CF parks) soon. We also did the Sky Tower for some photos. They need new windows.
Also, Isaac wanted to ride the flyers. Up to this point in my life, I’d yet to snap flyers. I tried hard, but never could. Even at Knoebels. Even at Carowinds. These were no different, but I do like the setup of the boardwalk section. We did the Log Flume too before our last ride on Bullet. And got some last daytime rides on Xcelerator.
We headed out of the park and back to the house for a bit. I tried again to get in the pool, and I think I stayed for a few minutes. It was warm in the mornings, but not so much in the afternoons or evenings. I did manage to nap by the pool one day, and we laid out by it one night.
That evening we decided to head to the beach for my first ever sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Huntington Beach had been suggested, so we headed to the Pier there. And we were glad we did. There were still tonnes of surfers in the water and the sunset was spectacular. Plus I got to see what my new camera could do in low light and at night. And I’m very happy about that. We hung out at the pier and at the beach for a bit before we left.
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