CF Platinum Tour Part 1: Knotts 6/7/22

OhioStater's avatar

Music inserted for your listening pleasure.

Prologue

We flew out to Long Beach from Cleveland on a 737 Max 8 (yes, those planes that all got recalled). The only reason that is important is because of the seating; two rows of 3 seats. We are a family of four, so my wife sat with the girls helping them decide the epic battle-of-the-window-seat while I sat in the adjacent row by myself. Until…

For a minute I thought I would have the row to myself, as no one had sat next to me and boarding was nearly complete. Then the last man to board came in and, of course, picked my row. I leaned over to my wife laughing under my breath and whispered, “I’m pretty sure I’m sitting next to Rod Stewart”. She also laughed once she glanced over at him, because he frickin’ looked just like Rod Stewart. About 30 minutes into the flight we started talking about things, and I had to laugh even harder when I found out who I was sitting next to. Turns out it was almost Rod Stewart. I flew out to the west coast with John Anthony, the world’s premier Rod Stewart impersonator who had just played a “Legends” concert at the MGM in Cleveland the night before.

Cool.

Californication

OK, now we can talk about rides and things. This trip is part of what my kids are calling the Cedar Fair Platinum Tour, because after this trip we booked some time at Cedar Point, and then later in July we are headed to Kings Island. As for Knott’s, this was a chance to introduce my kids to the Pacific coast for the first time, since we always seem to head to the Atlantic year after year. We picked Huntington Beach, which is about a half-marathon away from the park. I had never been to this park in my life (well none of us had), and it’s always been on the list of parks I wanted to experience. All that history, all those boysenberries, all that Garner Holt theming…

If you have never used VRBO for a vacation, I highly recommend. This is our 7th property booked through that company. For about $200/night we had our own place a couple blocks from this:

So this was our home for the week, and we randomly picked Tuesday (6/7) to head to Knott’s.

Down on the Farm

Since 1) no one in this family had ever been to Knotts and 2) this was the only day we were going, there were two things that were going to be true. Fastlane was a given, and we were going to open and close the park. Fastlane was about $100 with no “Plus” upgrade needed, and just to be safe we got them online the night before (the website said they sell out quick, which is most likely not true at all, but I wasn’t taking chances).

The park website also let us know that a few rides would not be available. Montezuma’s Revenge (shuttle coaster) is in the midst of a yearlong refurb. No loss there. Pony Express was down for maintenance, and The Calico Train (the park’s main train ride) was out of operation for our day , but most notably Xcelerator was on the list. Apparently it has been down since late March, and is still not operating. One would probably assume this is somehow tied to Dragster’s incident, but the ride was just repainted this season.

Fiesta!

We started our day by heading into Fiesta Village, taking a spin on La Revolucion, the park’s “mini MaxAir”. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but we all ended up liking it more. While MaxAir awes you with its superior height, we felt that we actually get more air on this smaller model. Kids loved it, and we revisited it many times.

Jaguar was up next. This is where we realized a couple things. First, we felt like we were the only people with FastLane in the park and thank god we were. The park was packed, and Jaguar itself had about an hour wait already this early in the day. Fun for a family coaster, but the best was clearly awaiting us around the corner. And the next corner.

Boardwalk

Off to the Boardwalk we go, taking a moment to first pay our solemn respects to Xcelerator. I had somehow totally forgotten that “Voyage to the Iron Reef” was already gone, replaced by “Knott’s Berry Tales”, but that interactive dark ride was next. It was OK. I’m just not a fan of video game rides, even though I clearly kicked my family’s ass. (Author, top right. 3rd and 5th place are no relation, but also lost).

The gem of this park is not Ghostrider, at least in our collective opinion *ducks to dodge lettuce and/or tomatoes*. The ride that was up next and the one we rode the most was Hangtime. Super smooth and intense, what makes this ride really fun is the clamshell restraints. It was a little off-putting to our youngest at first not having OTSRs on a ride that both dives and gets all twisty, but after one lap she discovered the advantage of having such a freeing restraint. 90 minute wait with no Fast Lane, walk-on for us, and after a few laps we were ready to discover the Ghost Town.

Hang Ten, dudes!

Frontier Town Plus

My favorite part of Cedar Point’s landscape is Frontier Town. Ghost Town at Knott’s was, then, a dream come true. The details and the live action characters were all in great form, and since we didn’t have to spend all of our time waiting in lines, we were able to really explore all the streets and shops and little touches. It’s clear this is the heart of the park, and it was immaculate.

First up ride-wise was the Timber Mountain Log Ride, and all the great things people say about this ride were true. It was every bit as fun as Splash Mountain, and that’s saying something. The animatronics were fun and in great working-order. Calico Mine Ride was more of the same, just in a slow-moving train. This is such a unique ride, and the “pipe organ scene” in the middle of the mountain with the colorful rock features was nice. So many little details and things to see, we did this a few times and I saw something new each time around.

Then it was time to give Ghostrider a spin. This was our second-favorite ride behind Hangtime, as it lived up to the hype. It was smooth without being “Mystic Timbers” smooth; just enough classic wooden-coaster intensity that it made you want to hold on between moments of keeping your hands up. Really well-maintained, with our best ride coming at night as we were walking out of the park.

At this point, we had circled the park hitting the big highlights, leaving just Silver Bullet and Sidewinder after a break at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner. Well done, Mrs. Knotts, well done. The weird thing about eating inside here was that the food lines outside the park were atrociously long at nearly every venue. But inside at Mrs. Knotts, it was a literal Ghost Town. Ba dum tss.

Silver Bullet reminded us of Talon at Dorney Park. Really fun and smooth. Not Banshee-great, but fun-wise I would probably put it a notch above Raptor with excellent pacing and smooth transitions. Sidewinder was a nicely-themed fun family coaster that we all enjoyed. Maybe it was just our luck, but we really didn’t do much “spinning”, but fun was had.

At this point, it was only around 3:30, so we slowed down, kept doing the rides we liked and did some exploring. The Summer Nights festival was going on, so we were able to enjoy some unique food and live music towards the end of the day. We hung around until 10:00, ending our adventure with final laps on Hangtime and Ghostrider.

We said goodbye to Knott’s after a really fun day. The park was in beautiful shape and packed full of great food and some unique sights and experiences.

And then the next day we went to Medieval Times, which it turns out was right across the street.

Our yellow knight died valiantly in the second round.

Until the next stop on our platinum tour…

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

Jeff's avatar

Medieval Times is a good time. Got fairly drunk my last time (15 years ago) and very vehemently cheered for my lame ass knight. The alcohol was to counter the allergies from the horses.

Also, can't believe how old your girls are getting.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Those young ladies are beautiful, not to mention talented.
What a fun trip report, and thanks. I like Knott’s, I wish I could get there more than once a decade or so. And I’ll say it again- we need a campaign to bring Mrs Knott’s to Cedar Point. Decent fried chicken is always a good thing at a park.

OhioStater's avatar

Jeff, I stumbled upon MT back in 1995 on a senior trip with a couple friends to Atlanta. Mysteriously, the green knight won that fateful night, and sure enough, green won again when we were there...hmm.

I had no idea there was one tucked away so close to where we were, and couldn't pass up the chance to give the girls that experience. To be honest I wasn't even sure they were still in business. The drinks were impressive.

We're in a time warp with the girls, and I know every parent everywhere says the same thing, but take a look at this from 5 years ago. It seems impossible that I typed that out 5 years ago, but there it is.

RCMAC; they take after their mother. :)

I think I know of a certain location at Cedar Point that already serves some chicken Monday - Saturday that is no where near as good as Mrs. Knotts that could use a facelift... ;)

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

OhioStater:

Montezuma’s Revenge (shuttle coaster) is in the midst of a yearlong refurb. No loss there.

You're dead to me.

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