Knott's Berry Farm 4/17/05

Associated parks:
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Sunday, April 17, 2005 11:19 PM
After weeks of anticipation I finally took a trip to Knott's Berry Farm from San Diego today. Overall, I had an excellent day with beautiful weather, great rides and operations, and nice people. Knott's clearly warrants its Cedar Fair backing and I have few, if any, negative things to say about the park. To make this easier to read I am just going to break down my report into different rides.

KNOTT'S BERRY FARM! (Excellent)

We arrived just before ten after a quick 1.5 hr drive from San Diego. We parked in a lot around the corner and headed to the gate. We got tickets with a AAA discount for $36 and headed into the park. The only ride that was closed today (was written on the sign so I knew what to expect) was Montezooma's Revenge.

All ratings are out of five stars...

SILVER BULLET (**** 3/4)

We headed straight for this because I was travelling with a younger friend of the family and didn't want to be too picky about what we rode and when we rode it. My mom commented on how the ride is so close to the entrance, a characteristic that I think makes it look impressive. The whole ride design is great and Knott's did an impressive job theming and placing this ride in the park. We got on the back row in about five minutes and were off. The lift hill is moderately fast and the views are great. The drop is ramp-ish, however it does pack a nice little punch and feels fairly steep. The train picks up some nice speed and heads into the vertical loop and then into the best part, the overbanked turn. This is an awesome element and is best on the right side of the train. The cobra roll is next and is nice and smooth with only a little shake in the back half. The barrel roll is also smooth and the helix into the corkscrew-dip-corkscrew finale is nice. The final helix is a lot more intense than I would have expected and the magnetic breaks bring the trains to a quiet stop. After all the so/so reviews of this ride, I wasn't expecting much, but it is now one of my favorite inverters. The operations were great, & the crew was efficient, friendly, and having fun. I rode back row twice and second row once. A great addition to the park!

XCELERATOR (*****)

I love Intamin...and this rocket is my new favorite. I love Storm Runner, but this is just a bit better due to lap-bar only trains and a smoother ride. The launch on this thing is awesome and the tophat gives serious hang in the front and air in the back. The first overbank turn is higher, but the second is better because it is more overbanked. I rode front row, third, and back twice. Front is awesome for the view, but as I said above, I loved the back for the airtime. Xcelerator has some great looking trains and the lapbars and seatbelts are easy to use and comfortable. The rocket design with/without loops has so much potential. I'd love to see an Xcelerator size rocket with some more camelbacks and twists and only lapbars. I hope that we haven't seen the last of lapbar only coaches because it is a great feeling. I will be riding Dragster this summer (knock on wood) and can't wait to compare.

BOOMERANG (***)

Wild colors and a wild ride. Standard boomerang issue, but a little rougher than some I have ridden but not the worst. The boomerang itself kind of rough, but there is no jerk on tower 2.

PERILOUS PLUNGE (****1/2)

The king of flumes, Perilous Plunge (another Intamin gem) features a great drop and gets riders the wettest I have ever seen on a water ride. I normally am not a huge fan of soak rides, but rode this one three times. First row is definitely better and you get wetter, but back and middle are both great. The restraints are kind of annoying because they pull them so tight, however I cannot say I would feel completely safe with just the lapbar like before, however I am sure if one rode along with all the rules they'd be fine. They were running two boats and I'd hate to see the wait in the summer because it takes forever to fix all the straps.

RIPTIDE (****)

Seemed a bit better than PKD's "TOMB RAIDER: TR" and I got to ride both sides this time. The ride ops were pretty funny and saying things like "yeah you'd better get prepared to flip" and "if I controlled the water and flips, you'd be wet and dizzy." I love these floorless topspins. They're more comfy and provide a nice ride. This seemed like a similar program to T.R. and I hope in the future we'll see a longer pattern.

SUPREME SCREAM (****)

Not as intense as Drop Zone at PKD/PKI or Dorney's Dominator, but still a nice view and drop. They had two sides open, both shot down. I don't know if they have shoot up.

SCREAMIN' SWING (mild thumbs up)

Not rating this one because its a pay per ride. It's five bucks and the ride is cool but WAY too short. You only swing at full range twice. It's great only having a lapbar and the height and visuals are pretty neat. This is a neat concept that can be improved upon with a longer ride and a bigger capacity. Intersting to note is that my mom was talking to a lady working this and she said that it's a prototype (well was I guess) and that Knott's doesn't own it and it won't be there forever. Don't know if that has merit, but chew on it nonetheless.

GHOSTRIDER (****1/4)

I really liked the entrance and design of this ride. This was as predicted the longest wait and I rode silver both times. The ride is moderately rough, but in a good way. Also, I had no idea it was that long. It seemed to go forever!!! The drop was great and I got some airtime on the hills. The helixes were a little rough, especially after the trim. Overall, not a great woody, but a very good one.

BIGFOOT RAPIDS/LOG FLUME (***,****)

Didn't get too wet on the rapids ride and it wasn't too exciting. More like a lazy river after a red bull than real river rapids. The log flume was nicely themed and although the ride wasn't as good as Splash Mountain, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

I ate some very good fried chicken for lunch and it was also very good! I thought the prices were semi-reasonable for a theme park. In case you are wondering, I didn't ride La Revolution, which was open, because I'm not a fan of this type of ride and I've ridden the ones at Dorney and PGA.

Overall, I had a great day at Knotts! The lines were short, the rides were great, and the day was beautiful. It was nice having all the rides up all day and open at opening time. All were at full capacity and running well. I also loved how most of the ops were very fast and had fun with their announcements and seemed like they actually wanted to be there. I am surprised at some of the neutral reports I've heard about Knotts because I was very impressed. My only regret was once again missing a Schwarzy Shuttle. I think its getting a new train, right? Oh well another day, another time.

Knott's was a great way to spend the day and I give the park ****1/2.

PICTURES:

http://photobucket.com/albums/y54/willh51/Knotts%20Berry%20Farm/

*** Edited 4/22/2005 2:25:43 AM UTC by Willh51***

+0
Monday, April 18, 2005 12:42 PM
Glad you liked Knotts. Just one minor correction:

"[Ghostrider's] helixes were a little rough, especially after the trim."

Unless something has happened since Solace, Ghostrider has no trim brakes. Not even the MCBR is used as a trim.

mOOSHie

+0
Monday, April 18, 2005 7:15 PM
My mistake, I thought after the turn around above the station there were trims, I guess thats the midcourse and it wasn't on.
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Monday, April 18, 2005 7:33 PM
2 boats on the Plunge- hooray! It's not that I ride it too often, but it PAINS me to see the ride running only one boat. Last time I was there the single boat was dispatching about every 20 minutes.

Glad you had a great time!

+0
Monday, April 18, 2005 8:12 PM
The brakes on the MCBR are active. You can hear them open and close as each train passes into the next block zone, closing off the block behind it. But no speed it trimmed from the train.
+0
Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:26 PM
Posted pictures. Only did a few I liked the most because it was taking forever to upload them.
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