Knott's Berry Farm - 2/26

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Monday, February 28, 2005 9:35 PM
So today we went down to Knott's since Dave and Mary were in town since it had been like 4 or 5 years since Dave had been to the park, and Mary had NEVER been there.

Dave had heard about how "great" the park has been operating lately, but you know, we always go into the place with the best of intentions and hope that everything we've been hearing doesn't come true. Well....unfortunatly, today's visit to the park was pretty much "As Advertised" *sigh*

First off, we're REALLY glad we got there VERY early to be the first in line at the season pass processing center since we all needed to get passes, and it turns out there was a HUGE line out the door, and the park only staffed *one* person in the pass processing center today. Oh, sure...some people came into help the one person, but proved to be pointless as the conversation went something like this.

GR Person: "Do you know how to use the camera?"
Random KBF person "Camera?"
GR: "That thing on the tri-pod."
Random KBFer: "Tri-pod?"
GR: "Nevermind...go away!!!!"

Seriously...there were like two people who came in to help, and neither person had a clue how to operate any of the season pass equipment, so they left. So yeah, by them *trying* to get people to help, they actually made the process go SLOWER! It took us like 20 minutes to get our passes once the center opened...and we were the FIRST ones in line!!!! *sigh*

So off we go to the front of the park and the gates are due to open in about 10 minutes. We check the sign and it says "All Attractions Will Be Operating Today." Kick ass! Nothing closed!

The park opens, and we head right over to Silver Bullet. Up to the station we go, and we find them STILL doing their morning testing. So yet again, in true Knott's tradition, the park opens, but the rides are STILL not ready. After a few empty trains we're off....I'll keep my review of Silver Bullet brief since I've already written one HERE.


Basically, it's not the worst B&M invert, but it's FAR from the best. Personally I think it's a toss up between Talon and Silver Bullet as the 'weakest' B&M invert. Silver Bullet's got the overbanked turn, Talon's got a nice compact layout. Eh...whatever....

Next up, GHOSTRIDER! Now I had heard that after that amazingly extensive "two week" re-hab that Ghostrider is now "Silver Bullet Smooth."

Ok...let's see.....well, I have to say that it actually WAS better than the last time I rode it. Was it "Silver Bullet Smooth?" FAR FROM IT! And even though it was better, it's still a shadow of it's former self. You can FEEL every board that the train rolls over. It's certainly rideable, but it's not what it used to be. It's still an intense ride, and if it wasn't for the fact that it's got some good moments, it would be really sad. But it's different from, let's say....Georgia Cyclone, where that ride is more "agressive" Ghostrider just seems to be losing something, and each time I ride it seems to lose more and more. At least it wasn't as rough as the last time I rode, where it felt like "Hercules" this was certainly more rideable.

So after GR, we head over to XLR8R and see an empty station.....but wait...it's TOO empty. No one in line....but NO ONE even operating the ride either. Yes, the ride was closed today. WTF??! In fact, this now starts our tour of "Closed rides even though the sign out front said everything was open."

So we walk by XLR8R....CLOSED.....Perilous Plunge....CLOSED....Screamin' Swing....CLOSED.

WTF?!?!?

So FINALLY we find a ride that is open....The Log Ride. Of course they are only running one side and the line is long, but thankfully we got in line when we did, because the queue quickly filled up and became a 30 minute wait and they still only kept one side open.

We rode Montezooma's which all of us quickly realized "Wow...is it good or bad when the BEST ride we've been on all day is the Shuttle Loop that's nearly 30 years old???"

Finally we had enough. Between the line jumpers, the poor operations, the obnoxious ride ops on the microphones, the closed rides, and the fact that we just weren't having much fun, we decided to leave and go to the mall, where we actually had a good time!

*sigh* Knott's used to be one of the best parks in the world, IMO...and it's only gotten worse and worse in the past 5 years. I'm sure you can go back to the days when I used to post on RRC and ADD about how awesome it was that CF bought the park and what amazing things they were going to do. Never did I think that they'd change the park for the worse. I was wrong.

Anyway, you can see photos from our visit HERE.

--Robb

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Monday, February 28, 2005 9:49 PM
I had totally different experience with the park last week. Then again, I went there to ride Ghostrider anyway. BTW, I though Georgia Cyclone was the WORST woodie I have ever been on. Funny how everyone's opinion differs.
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Monday, February 28, 2005 10:13 PM
^ Yeah, totally...although I should have said that my GA Cyclone analogy was based on some amazingly awesome, yet "aggressive" rides I had on in back in 2001. It was running pretty crappy when we were at SFOG in 2003.

--Robb

*** Edited 3/1/2005 3:14:25 AM UTC by Robb Alvey***

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Monday, February 28, 2005 10:14 PM

UBRhino said:Too bad about XLR8R also. If I had gone to the park and seen that ride was closed, I would have been bummed. It seems to be the parks star attraction.

Not really. As a local and frequent visitor, I know that Xcelerator is definitely not the park's star attraction. That title still belongs to GhostRider -- but that's me judging from how many people line up to ride and what I've heard guests comment. On a very busy summer day, the line for Xcelerator usually is less than half filled, while GhostRider's may extend out of the queue entry - and GR's queue holds A LOT more people.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 1:19 AM
I had totally different experience with the park last week.

I've been to Knotts six times since Silver Bullet opened and encountered only one of the problems detailed in the posts above. That fact can be corroborated by Mike Miller, Chris Murray, Tim Murray, Mike Kallay, Jeff Johnson, Rachelle Lagnado, Scott Russell, Tony Milano, and others who accompanied me on those six visits.

The only "problem" we encountered was that some of the ride ops on microphones, particularly those at Silver Bullet, were pretty annoying. I suspect/hope that as the season progresses the novelty of "performing" on the mic will wear off. They on the right track...they just need to "tone it down" a bit.

As for Ghostrider, it has never been nor will ever be "Silver Bullet smooth." I'm not sure where you heard that, Robb, but for someone to make a claim that it or any wood coaster -- except for maybe an Intamin Plug-n-Play -- could ever be is just plain stupid. Seriously...where did you hear that?

As for Silver Bullet's intensity there is NO WAY it will be as intense as the much smaller Batman and PGA Top Gun. Its intensity level is right up there with other inverts its size [Talon, Raptor]. The only invert of that size I found to be more intense is Montu. To expect it to have Batman-esque Gs is just unrealistic. If you don't enjoy Silver Bullet, fine...but judge it on its own merits [or lack thereof] instead of making an apples/oranges comparison.

Nasai and I will be at Knotts this weekend, and of course I'll be at Solace with a few hundred others. Trip reports will follow soon.

*** Edited 3/1/2005 6:31:04 AM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 1:57 AM
^^ Moosh, I actually had fun on Silver Bullet as I said on the photo updates. And I was comparing it to other B&Ms of similar size. I agree that it's very much like Talon, in fact I think it's probably slightly better than Talon, but I just happen to think that Raptor/Orochi (You really get thrown down that drop!), Pyrenees (Imagine a super-sized Batman), Montu (still the most intese 1st half, even with the trip), Carowind's Top Gun (Batwing is awesome!), and Dueling Dragons (both are just amazing) are more interesting, intense, and overall more fun. All of those are around the same height and length as Silver Bullet so I think those are pretty fair comparisons. IMO, Silver Bullet 'reminds' me a lot more of Air, Silver Star, or Medusa West.

And you know, even if I thought it was the WORST B&M (which I don't think it is) that still means that it would probably be in the top 25% of all the coasters in the world! So it's in good company. ;)

But to each his own, really. Some people don't like XLR8R as much as I do either! =)

As far as the park goes, I really would LOVE to have one of those visits that we keep hearing about from other people. But every time we go there, we see the park being run worse and worse. Now this past trip wasn't our worst in recent years, but it's nothing like the visits we used to have from 2000 - 2002.

I dunno, maybe I just need to lower my expectations when I go there. I base my expectations on what I know the park is capable of. Which is based on previous experiences, experiences at other parks within the chain etc. But each visit we've had in the past two years has seen rides closed, not opening with the park, lazy crews, one train running empty, etc.

We're actually going to be at the park the next two weekends in a row, so maybe this was just our 'lemon' visit of the three?

Here's hoping for better visits over the next couple of weeks! ;)

--Robb

*** Edited 3/1/2005 7:05:40 AM UTC by Robb Alvey***

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 9:15 AM
I think Raptor is more intense than Silver Bullet. I thought Montu is NOT as intense as Raptor and that Silver Bullet and Montu are rather similar in intensity. Montu is much longer, but Silver Bullet was quite a bit more smooth although the ending helix was very good. It may just be that I have not been on any coaster for 4 months that Silver Bullet was quite exciting. Another smooth invert is Volcano. Batmans are intense but too short for me.

I love inverts, and Raptor has been my favorites for a long time. I have been on every single row of seats on Raptor, Montu, Silver Bullet, and Volcano; and Raptor seems to be the most intense ride overall out of these four. I will not count Face/Off, Wicked Twister or other boomerang inverts for this discussion. I have not been on enough Batman, Talon, Great Bear, or Top Gun to really compare. I will try to later this year.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 10:38 AM

Robb Alvey said:
We rode Montezooma's which all of us quickly realized "Wow...is it good or bad when the BEST ride we've been on all day is the Shuttle Loop that's nearly 30 years old???"

It's an Anton.....'nuff said....:)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 11:13 AM
^^ Moosh, I actually had fun on Silver Bullet as I said on the photo updates.

My bad, Robb...that portion of my reply was in response to what UBRhino said. I should have made that more clear.

I dunno, maybe I just need to lower my expectations when I go there. I base my expectations on what I know the park is capable of.

LOL...thats exactly how I feel about SFMM ;) I've been visiting since 1971 and remember how great the park used to be. Problem is I keep lowering my standards and the park keeps meeting them, LOL! I hope Rob and I have a good day Saturday.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 11:52 AM

Mamoosh said:


As for Silver Bullet's intensity there is NO WAY it will be as intense as the much smaller Batman and PGA Top Gun. Its intensity level is right up there with other inverts its size [Talon, Raptor]. The only invert of that size I found to be more intense is Montu. To expect it to have Batman-esque Gs is just unrealistic. If you don't enjoy Silver Bullet, fine...but judge it on its own merits [or lack thereof] instead of making an apples/oranges comparison.


Well jeez Matt, if you cant compare Silver Bullet and Talon what *can* you compare? Sure, a ride may be 'decent' in it's own right, but, as Einstien theorized, It's all relative. Comparing B&M inverts is catagorically NOT apples/oranges, even if you were comparing Batman to Alpengeist, let alone Talon and Silver Bullet.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 12:31 PM
Everyone knows apples are way better than oranges anyways.

I still find it hard to believe that you all have more fun at Knotts than Magic Mountain, but maybe I will get a chance to see for myself sometime.

Edit: It appears that Rob didn't have more fun at Knotts. . .Still most of you do.

*** Edited 3/1/2005 5:48:46 PM UTC by Word***

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 2:19 PM
You? You being who?

-'Playa

(who had a better time @ SFMM too)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 2:42 PM

Word said:I still find it hard to believe that you all have more fun at Knotts than Magic Mountain, but maybe I will get a chance to see for myself sometime.

When I went to both SFMM and KBF last year, I found KBF to be much more enjoyable. I did not get to SFMM this year due to all the rain, but there was no question last year. KBF was very enjoyable whereas SFMM did not give me a feeling of a thriving park. People were much more friendly at KBF. To say it another words, it was like difference between SFA and PKD. I always enjoy going to PKD more so than SFA.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 2:43 PM
I'll be the first to admit that BOTH parks have gone downhill in the operations department in the past 5 to 10 years. Knott's, IMO, more recently and rapidly than SFMM, but they both have some serious issues.

Now, granted we go to SFMM more often because we live right down the street and we know when to go and when not to go, but that doesn't make me lean any more towards one park or the other on which one I enjoy better. They both frustrate me, almost equally.

I will give SFMM this - they HAVE actually improved "somewhat" in the past year. But even still it means they've gone from being one of the worst run parks in the country, IMO, to being just 'mediocre.' In 2003 and most of 2004, several rides were down for LONG periods of time (Deja Vu, Superman, Spin Out, Atom Smasher, Scrambler, Bumper Cars, etc) and several coasters were running one train, with the second and third trains nowhere to be seen (Batman, Riddler's, Goliath, Ninja, X, etc.) At least NOW it seems they have gotten most of those flat rides back up and running (although the Bayern Curve is now down as has been for quite some time) and two trains on *most* of the coasters, and I even noticed that Riddler's and Goliath's 3rd train was back too. I don't even count Flashback, Metro, and Sky Tower anymore, IMO those rides are gone and I'd be floored if I ever saw them operate again. It's depressing because the park used to be run SO MUCH better.

SFMM was never run as good as Knott's used to be, which is probably why I still go to Knott's expecting more, and we DO make sure we point out the positive stuff on each trip, it's just depressing because you know they could be doing so much better.

I mean, when we've had visits to Astroworld and SFA that were light years better than recent SFMM visits, you know something is wrong! ;)

--Robb

*** Edited 3/1/2005 7:45:19 PM UTC by Robb Alvey***

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 5:24 PM
What I meant by my "apples/oranges" comment is that I think its unrealistic to think that an inverted coaster the size of Batman or Top Gun [approx 110 feet tall] will have the same intensity as one much taller.

For example look at B&M's speed coasters. Raging Bull and Apollo on average get much better marks on negative and positive G forces than Nitro and Silver Star. Consider the forces on any Betman the Ride clone versus Alpengeist.

If you want to compare Silver Bullet to Batman, fine...go for it. But be realistic about the rides and what each can offer. I don't expect Silver Bullet to have Batman-esque intensity, just like I don't expect McDonalds to serve filet mignon.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 5:33 PM
They are both B&M Inverted coasters, I think its fair to compare them.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 6:27 PM
I'll repeat what I said above:

If you want to compare Silver Bullet to Batman, fine...go for it. But be realistic about the rides and what each can offer. I don't expect Silver Bullet to have Batman-esque intensity, just like I don't expect McDonalds to serve filet mignon.

Obviously YMMV ;)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 7:26 PM
Well, I'm in the minority that thinks there actually *are* forces on Alpie (it has the *one* cobra roll that I think is 'snappy' enough) so I see no problem comparing the two.

It just seems like people want to separate each ride into it's own little corner of the world and whenever someone else wants to cross these (arbitrary) boundaries, out pops the "Apples/Oranges" postulate. Just a pet peeve of mine I guess. ;)

lata, jeremy

--yes I know I have issues...who doesnt?

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 7:54 PM
I admit my "apple/oranges" comment wasn't the best way to convey my opinion. Again, I have no problem with people comparing rides so long as its done in context.

For example, I prefer Batman [and clones] over every other B&M inverted I've ridden [and in the USA that's all but Carowinds Top Gun] because I find the smaller inverted to have more intense forces. That's the reason I also enjoy PGA's Top Gun.

I didn't ride any of the other larger inverted coasters expecting those same kinds of forces so I judge them on their own merits. Of the larger B&M inverts my favorites are Talon [for the pacing and unique layout] and Montu [for the pacing, unique layout, and theme elements].

At the moment my least favorite invert is Alpengiest...other than the aformentioned snappy cobra roll I found lacking in extreme forces [but still a fun ride]. I did enjoy the theming, however.

Discussion and comparison are fine but IMHO it just seems silly to expect B&M's larger rides to be as intense as their smaller counterparts.

And Robb...sorry to hijack your trip report ;)

*** Edited 3/2/2005 12:55:23 AM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005 8:46 PM
^ Don't worry about it...my TR's aren't that interesting anyway!

--Robb

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