Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, USA
I had gone back and forth on what day I wanted to drive out to L.A. and hit up some coasters. After checking on line, everyone said that it would be a busy week, especially the weekend. I was going to go on Sunday and meet up with someone, but they weren’t feeling well, so I pushed it back to Monday, hoping it wouldn’t be busy.
I woke up and headed out from Vegas around 6am. Stopped for gas and a Red Bull, and actually made it to Knott’s Berry Farm around 10:30, and that’s with traffic. Passed by 2 overturned vehicles and two tire blowouts on the way.
I flashed my Platinum Pass at the gate to park and headed to the front of the park. It didn’t look to be too busy at this point, and I was only planning on staying at Knott’s for about 2 hours. Unfortunately, my pass wouldn’t scan at the front gate, so I had to get a comp ticket, but that didn’t take very long.
Once inside, I was reminded of how much I love Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s such a charming, clean, and beautiful park. I headed over to my first credit. At this point, the midways were all but abandoned. There were people there, but not a lot.
Sierra Sidewinder-I wasn’t really looking at more than a credit run for this. Both trains were running, but they were only loading one, and the wait was maybe 6 or 7 minutes. I sat facing backwards in the front car by myself, with 2 larger guys sitting in the same care facing forward. I REALLY liked this ride! I was surprised at how well I liked it. Some fun laterals, a bit of airtime, and great spinning action. Everyone on the ride seemed to enjoy it as well. I went in not expecting much, but this was actually a really fun ride, and a great way to start my day.
I toyed with riding again but didn’t. I wanted to ride Gr8 Skate, since I rode its big brother the nite before at the Stratosphere, but passed. Instead, I went to see if my second favorite inverted coaster was still my second favorite inverted coaster.
Silver Bullet-Many people don’t care for this ride, but I love it. I sat in the front, the best place on any inverted coaster. The drop was still really good, and the layout is a lot of fun, with odd airtime on an inverted coaster, and strong laterals thru the helix. I love the overbanked turn, and like that the layout is different from most other B&M inverts. Plus the setting is quite nice as well. And yes, it's still my 2nd favorite Inverted coaster.
I walked back thru the park with my camera. I was going to ride the Log Flume, but didn’t feel like waiting once I got to the line. It probably wasn’t that long of a wait, but it was the longest line I saw all day. Instead, I went to ride one of the best coasters in southern California.
Xcelerator-On my last visit, I still wore Rx glasses to see. Obviously you can’t wear them on any ride at Knott’s, and without them, I couldn’t see a thing. Now that I don’t need glasses anymore, I could finally see while riding. They were only running one train, and there was no wait for anything but the front. I decided to hit the back first. Xcelerator still packs a punch when launching, but I forgot how great the overbanked turns on that thing were. After riding, I ran right back around and waited for the front. Still not sure why Knott’s chose to group the whole first car into one queue. Everyone wanted to ride in the very front, so the 2nd row was going out empty. I missed my chance at riding with another single rider, so I had about a 20 minute wait for the front. Had I realized that, I would have jumped in the second seat, but oh well. It ate up some time, but little did I know my day would go well enough that I didn’t need to worry.
I toyed with riding MonteZooma and Jaguar, but figured I’d try on my way out. I wanted to do Windseeker, but it was closed all day (I’m trying to complete my full set!). So I headed over to the only other credit I knew I could get that day, since I’m too tall for the kiddy coaster.
Pony Express-This was definitely a different seating arrangement. I sat in the front. The restraints reminded me of a Disk-O (obviously). The launch was fun and the layout, while basic, was really neat. Got some decent airtime on the hill before the tunnel. It’s a nice family ride, and I’m glad that Knott’s has invested in some family rides, which seems to be carrying over to 2013 as well.
I had never got the chance to do Mystery Lodge on my last visit, so I just caught that while walking by. It was a neat experience, but I didn’t realize that it and the pre-show were going to take so long. On the one had, I’m glad I finally got to do it, especially if it ever ends up on the chopping block (and lets face it, how often do I get to Knott’s?), but wish I’d have hit it up on my first visit when I had tons of time to do everything. Oh well.
Because I didn’t know how my day would go, and because I waited for the front row of Xcelerator, and because I did Mystery Lodge, I skipped eating anything at the park and headed over to Ghostrider before heading out. With hindsight being 20/20, I know I could have hit up Jaguar and Monte, but I didn’t, and I don’t really regret that a lot. I do regret not eating sooner, but I’ll get to that in the next trip report. Alas, I did head over to Ghostrider. Everyone says it sucks. They usually say that, but I loved it in 2005. I knew it stopped on the MCBR now. How would I like it?
Ghostrider-I sat in the back of the train. The first drop is still really great. This was my first daytime ride ever. Honestly? I thought it was a killer ride. Even with the almost complete stop on the mid course, the second half was still out of control. I don’t know if I just caught it on a good (great?) day, or if I’m just weird, but I loved my ride. Didn’t have a chance for a second, and maybe that’s good, but thus far, I really still like Ghostrider.
So I headed out. The morning had been beautiful. I was glad it was fairly dead at the park, and that I didn’t need to buy a Fastlane, which I was prepared to do. As I was leaving, it started to cloud up. I guess I left just in time, I know how notorious Knott’s is when it rains. All in all, I had a great 2.5 hour visit to one of my favorite parks. Too bad its across the country!
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
I fully agree with your assessment of Silver Bullet. I've ridden all the custom inverts in the US (except Flight Deck in Cali) and only Montu and Afterburn rank higher for me on the invert scale. I'm not sure where all of the enthusiast vitriol comes from as it pertains to this ride. Oh well...
Ghostrider would be a prime candidate for topper track IMO. I really like the layout but I didn't enjoy the washboarding that came with it. I'm glad you got a good ride on it though!
I wasnt a fan of Silver Bullet mainly because the first drop is so blah. After that the rest of the ride just didnt do anything that had that "wow" factor. I agree that Afterburn and Montu are some really great rides and Ill also add in Patriot which to me may be superior than all of them. I loved Ghostrider and wouldnt change a thing on it. After sitting front row on Xcelerator, it blew me away and inspired me to wait the extra 30 min to sit front row on Dragster. Knotts Berry will always have a special place in my heart because it where I got engaged a few years back and I cant wait to go back!
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