Knott's Berry Farm (& Haunt): 10/15 - 10/17

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 12:23 PM
With cheap airfare and a pretty good deal at the Radisson, Shannon and I decided to take in an extended weekend at Knott's Berry Farm, in Buena Park, CA. We flew out of Milwaukee on Midwest Express, the Best Care in the Air, early in the morning on Friday and got to LAX around noon local time. After renting our car and driving to the park (thanks for the better directions, Moosh) it was just after one. We quickly checked into the hotel and headed into the park. Observation number one: Guest Relations at this park suck. It took forever for them to get to us so we could process our Valleyfair passes for tickets. When they did get to us, they had to go through some complicated rigamarole to actually get us our tickets, which involved photocopying the passes, getting signatures and waiting an inordinate amount of time. Cedar Point was so much easier, and at least they let you right in the park, where at Knott's you get your ticket and have to get in the general lines to get into the park.

Anyways, the park was pretty dead. I'll skip the ride details until later. We hit pretty much everything in the park before close at 5:30. Afterwards, we had dinner at Amber Waves, which is part of the Radisson. The package we got included breakfasts and dinners for each night we stayed, along with a bottle of champagne for afterwards. The dinner was really good and Snoopy even came and visited our table!

The next day we spent the entire day at the park until close at 5:30. For a Saturday, the park was pretty dead. The longest I waited for anything was about 15 minutes for Ghostrider. Everything else was pretty much a walk-on. Took a short break in the middle of the day for some famous Mrs. Knott's fried chicken, not to mention their yummy biscuits with Boysenberry jam! Mmm, mmm! That evening, we headed over to Adventure City to go ride the Treetop Racers, but after seeing that it was an 11.95 POP admission, I wasn't too keen on paying that for an hour and a half left of time that they were open, not to mention for only one ride worth riding in the park. We ended up leaving and going back to the hotel for the evening.

Sunday we went to the park early and left around one to rest up for Haunt. Once again, the park was a virtual ghost town, with pretty much everything a walk-on. At five we met up with Moosh, Zingo, Bass, Swervo, and a large cast of other people for Haunt. We did the in park VIP dinner. The food was pretty good, most of it coming from the chicken restaurant. We all headed out afterwards to a nearly deserted Calico Mine Ride and Flume Ride. We quickly knocked those two rides out and then did the mazes. Absolutely amazing! Haunt definately blows away the poor excuse that Great America shuffles out every year for Fright Fest. The atmosphere in the entire park was extremely eerie. Smoke and fog machines throughout the park made for a disorienting experience just getting from one ride or maze to another. The ghouls did a great job of keeping people on edge and looking over their shoulders. Three of the mazes required 3-D glasses, including my favorite that was themed to Alice in Wonderland. Another one that required 3-D glasses was the one that will give me nightmares for months, a maze with evil clowns. (I hate clowns). Other mazes included a spider theme, a vampire theme, a voodoo theme, a haunted high school, and an asylum.

We also saw a great show called the hanging. If you are going to Haunt this year and don't want a spoiler, skip to the next paragraph. The show was a satirical take on all things popular. They paraded out a bunch of people that were impersonating celebrities and they basically killed each other with lots of bloody, gory special effects. They even trotted out Mister Six from Six Flags and mutilated him! At the end, they hang who they think is the most over the top celeb of the year. This year they hung Ryan Seacrest. Great choice!

All in all, it was a great time. It was great meeting some of the Southern California enthusiasts. Shannon even had fun being "Mooshed" on the lift of the Calico Mine Ride, even though she didn't know what it meant ;) LOL.

Anyways, I saved the ride impressions for last, seeing I rode them all three days that we were there. So anyways, I will go ride by ride and throw out a few impressions of each one.

Ghostrider: What happened to this ride? It was so awesome last year, but this year it seems to have gotten quite rough. It was still very enjoyable, but not really reridable. I had to take my Ghostrider rides in small doses.

Xcelerator: I was looking forward to riding this after riding Dragster only a month ago. I wanted to compare the two rides and there was definately a clear winner in my book. Xcelerator. Here are the reasons why:

1. On Dragster, you are going so fast that you don't really have time to appreciate that you are 420 feet above the ground. On Xcelerator, it seemed that you had more time up at the top and the climb and decent seemed to drag out a bit more, making it easier to savor.

2. Shorter lines, meaning more re-rides on Xcelerator. I was lucky to get the three rides on Dragster that I did while at CP. At Knotts, Xcelerator is almost always a walk on meaning lots of awesome re-rides. Even when I was at the park last August, and the park was packed, I didn't wait for more than fifteen minutes for Xcelerator.

3. Better launch. Much shorter launch track = more intense launch. You honestly cannot breathe on the launch for Xcelerator. I can't say the same for Dragster.

4. More than launch, top-hat, brakes. Yes, the overbanks are a bit lame, but it's still better than L-TH-B.

Flume Ride: Whatever the name of this ride is. I love it. Shannon loved it and kept asking to go on it during our entire visit. I loved setting off the "SIT DOWN" sensors on the ride. The themeing on this ride is just awesome.

Montezuma's Revenge : Always great. Nuff said.

Jaguar! : Found that I cannot ride this with another person as my legs take up the entire car. Quite unenjoyable.

Boomerang : Didn't find it as unpleasant as last year. Still head bangy, but not bad overall.

Perilous Plunge : Due to the cold weather (in the 60's most of the time), I decided I didn't want to get drenched and once again didn't ride this. Maybe next year.

Riptide : Which is to say, why would I go on Riptide if I didn't want to get wet on PP? Who the heck knows. All I do know is that Riptide is one insane little ride. Got four flips on the finale, woo hoo! On Friday I got it with the water effects, but rode it on the side that doesn't get as wet. Being lowered face down into fountains that are spitting up at you is quite a sight! The other three rides I got on it were without the water effects. Awesome ride. Those of you at Valleyfair that are complaining that you arent getting a coaster next year and are only getting a stupid flat ride, might change your minds when you first ride the Riptide. Awesome ride, great addition to the park.

Screaming Swing: Took one ride on it. Scared the crap out of me because I thought I was coming out of the ride on the apex of each swing up. Worth the five dollars to me because I love having the crap scared out of me like that. I can see that for some thrill seekers, though, that the five bucks would be a waste with the short cycle time.

Mystery Lodge: Missed it last time, now kicking self. Great show with awesome special effects. Definately something I will never miss on future visits to the park. Talked to a guy in line that had been going to the park since the 1950's and he told me about a lot of hidden things in the park that not many people know about like the heartbeat under the grave and the jail.

Rode countless other things but don't have anything else noteworthy to say about them. All in all, a great visit. Can't wait to get out and visit again. Like I've told everyone during Haunt, I visited all the SoCal parks last year, and Knott's was the only one that I felt like visiting again. I had enough fun this time that it might become a yearly thing. Definately have to make it back for Silver Bullet. That coaster looks like it's gonna be an awesome ride.

Cheers,

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 2:51 PM
Bob - good to spend some time with you and Shannon. I'm glad the two of you had such a good time at Haunt. Did you explain to her what "mooshing" meant? ;)
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 3:19 PM
Good to see the Solace Gang and meet you Bob. I had to get up at 0430 Monday which is part of the reason for leaving after the Hanging. Made it to the car just as the rain hit around 2230, where was everyone else when the rain hit? Next year I need to be better rested for Haunt if I go.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 3:52 PM
I also wondered what happened to GR this year. Took 2 different friends on 2 separate occasions for their first rides on GR this year, after raving for years of what a great ride it was and my #1 coaster, just to have them hate it because it was so incredibly rough. Couldn't even get them on a second ride because that first ride left them with bruises and a headache.

I love woodies and expect some roughness, but GR has never been this uncomfortably rough before, really hope it gets some much needed TLC or whatever it needs soon.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 4:03 PM
Moosh: I think she'd kill me for laughing at your comment if I told her what moosh-ing was :) LOL. She thinks it just meant getting sMOOSHed :D

Boblo: I knew I forgot some people in my list. Sorry! It really started coming down after we left the one maze that comes out between Jaguar and Montezuma's Revenge. We went into Camp Snoopy after that to do the Vampire maze and the Pirate Maze. The Vampire maze was mostly exposed to the outdoors so a lot of the monsters were wimping out and not scaring people, but rather hiding under plastic garbage bags. Next year you better be well rested because I definately intend on coming again next year.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 4:10 PM
Kick the sky said,

"On Dragster, you are going so fast that you don't really have time to appreciate that you are 420 feet above the ground. On Xcelerator, it seemed that you had more time up at the top and the climb and decent seemed to drag out a bit more, making it easier to savor."

That might have somewhat to do with where you sat. In the back on TTD it is a blur. From what I see the front car barely makes it to the top so I would assume TTD would be at the top longer if your in the front. Probably the same with Xcelerator.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 6:31 PM
Bob - that *is* what it means!

It all began at SRM 2000. Mark Rosenzweig and I were sitting next to each other on Holiday World's Banshee. I thought it would be funny if I let the strong laterals slam me into him and when I did it he cried, "I've been MOOSHED!" Since then it seems anytime anyone is flung into the person next to them its called getting mooshed ;)

Boblo - Scott and I stayed until 12:30 and it didn't rain until we were in the leaving the parking lot. We managed to repeat the Mine Train, Log Flume, and Spiderwood maze as well as grab rides on Revolution and Monty.

*** Edited 10/19/2004 10:32:38 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

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