Knott's Berry Farm and Scandia Park - 3/10

Associated parks:
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Friday, March 21, 2003 8:55 AM
This TR is done in an interview format, since there were four of us present on our week long California trip: Rob (HeyIsntThatRob), Kristin (Kristin Marie), John (Michael Darling), and Chris (Moore On). Enjoy!

Knott's Berry Farm

1.) What was your first impression of the park as a whole?

Rob: The front of the park was gorgeous. The back of the park was typical Cedar Fair.

Kristin: Without Ghostrider and Xcelerator, this whole park could be done in a few hours easily. Ghostrider was quite possibly the best addition they could have ever made, and Xcelerator, although it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the park, looked impressive and definitely created a nice skyline for the park. The front of the park was amazing, the themeing gave me the feeling that I was stepping back in time, but as I got closer to the back of the park, the themeing faded and it looked a bit cheesy and bland in other places. Overall, the park was nice though, and well maintained.

John: "Ooooh... pretty!"

Chris: Another really beautiful park. Knott’s is unlike any Cedar Fair park I’ve seen. I guess Cedar Fair really can maintain theming, although I have to admit that the area of the park CF has most recently developed, the Boardwalk area where Perilous Plunge, Xcelerator, and Supreme Scream are located, does suffer a bit from Cedar Fair Sterility Syndrome. I don’t know if it’s all the white concrete, the gaudy paint jobs, or what, but we felt a definite break in the feel between this area and the rest of the park. The rest of the park is themed beautifully, with some really unique rides (Calico Mine Train, Timberline Log Flume, Mystery Lodge, etc). I think Knott’s is about 2 big attractions away from being a real destination park; I couldn’t have imagined what a visit there would have been like before Ghostrider was added.

2.) What was your favorite attraction and why?

Rob: Ghostrider baby!! It definately went beyond my expectations.

Kristin: Ghostrider! I'm such a sucker for CCI's. Ghostrider had a lot of the same elements that I love in Legend, Raven, Cornball Express, Cyclops, Zeus, and others. The first drop and the drop off the midcourse were just insane in the back seat, and the laterals were amazing.

John: To be honest, Ghostrider, even though I'm not a big fan of CCI style woodies.


Chris: Ghostrider Ghostrider Ghostrider!!! I still don’t know how CCI was able to jam so many laterals into what is essentially a double out-and-back layout. The airtime is also fantastic, especially on “the drop” in the backseat, whose air rivals Raven’s legendary fifth drop. This coaster is a perfect mix of speed, air, laterals, and intensity in the CCI tradition…oh, and watch out for the second half of the ride, it absolutely rages through the course. My only complaint is that the bronze train seemed pretty rough while the gold ran much more more better.


3.) What was the biggest surprise at the park?

Rob: Mystery Lodge. The special effects were really cool.

Kristin: Montezooma's Revenge: it was my first Anton shuttle, and it was amazing. Also Jaguar was surprisingly fun, and Perilous Plunge was just a huge rush. The employees were also very very nice, especially our waitress at Mrs. Knott's restaurant, she even gave us samples of boysenberry punch because we weren't sure if we'd like it!

John: Montezooma's Revenge. It was really intense.

Chris: The animatronics. I was expecting lots of these on the Disney rides, but The Timberline Log Ride and Calico Mine Train rival some of Disney’s uses of animatronics, which I wasn’t expecting at all at a park like Knotts. Also, the launch on Montezuma’s Revenge was definitely a surprise. It may only reach 55 mph in 5 seconds, but it definitely feels a lot more intense than even the modern Premier launched coasters.


4.) What was the biggest disappointment at the park?

Rob: It was unfortunate that Xcelerator was closed, but my biggest disappointment was the loading times on Ghostrider. I can't believe they stacked two trains everytime.

Kristin: Definitely Xcelerator being closed, but I also didn't understand why you have to wear shoes on Perilous Plunge. Obviously whoever made up that rule has never walked around a park all day wearing squishy shoes. If I hadn't had sandals on that day I wouldn't have ridden. Poor Rob had blisters as a result, and John and Chris didn't even ride it. Some of the Cedar Fair policies just cause me to shake my head in amazement.

John: Although it was the best at the park, Ghostrider was a bit of a disappointment. I expected it to be a little smoother.

Chris:Well, Xcelerator wasn’t running. This bummed us out before we left, but it really didn’t bother us while we were at the park; besides, we got our "POV" anyway! Knowing that CP is getting a ride that is twice the size helped us deal with it too, as did the fact that we rode X, which made us all say, “Xcele-what?”


5.) Would you go back to the park in the future?

Rob: If I happen to be in Six Flags neighborhood... sure.

Kristin: Yeah, but probably only if I was in the area anyway or if Xcelerator was open. Ghostrider was good, but not enough to keep me entertained all day. It's also not very re-rideable since even a "walk on" ended up being a 10 minute wait with their painfully slow loading times.

John: Sure, why not. If Xcelerator was open...

Chris: Definitely. I wouldn’t fly all the way out to California just to go to Knotts, but if I were in the area, you more more better bet that I’d drop in and get one or two or twenty-five rides on Ghostrider.


6.) What's your fondest memory (memories) from the park?

Rob: Chicken!!!!!

Kristin: Having Ghostrider be mine and Rob's 200th coaster, meeting fellow Buzzer CoasterFanMatt (you were awesome, thanks for letting us ride the kiddie coaster!), and successfully getting a group of line jumpers kicked out of the Ghostrider station.

John: Leaving. (just kidding... I don't really have any memories that stick out, though)

Chris: When I think of Knotts, I will remember Kristin’s Velcro-letter shirt she wore that day. She kept changing what her shirt said to fit what we were doing, like having her shirt say “Shivering What” when we rode Ghostrider, “Ow” when we rode Boomerang, and “Is Your XLR8R Running” when we asked the Information Office about the status of Xcelerator. Also, we were able to meet a fellow enthusiast and Buzzer, Coaster Fan Matt, who is a ride op on the Timberline Twister in Camp Snoopy (which, by the way, is one of the most sadistic kiddie coasters I’ve ever ridden), who not only helped us fit into the restraints, but was also very friendly to the screaming kids and parents (a lot of whom do not fit into the ride) he had to deal with. I should also mention Lorie, the Ghostrider gift shop manager who we struck up a conversation with, who was very personable, friendly, and helpful. I guess they love to talk to CPers who come visit their park.

7.) List some superlatives for the park.

Rob: Most Colorful
Biggest distinction between themeing and Cedar Fair
Worst Loading Times

Kristin: Best boysenberry (wait, it was the only boysenberry)
Most agressive ducks
Most stapling

John: Most Cedar Fair
Best non-Disney theming

Chris: Best Food, without a doubt. Mrs Knott’s Fried Chicken and Boysenberry Punch (which Rob and I drank till our tongues turned purple) was the best park food I ate all trip. What is funny is that the cost of my fried chicken lunch platter, served by a waitress, complete with tip, was only $2 more than what I paid for the cheap pizza and soda I ate for dinner the night before from a Magic Mountain counter service vendor. And I’m still salivating over those Boysenberry Funnel Cakes.

8.) Funniest thing(s) that happened.

Rob: Riding John's 100th coaster, the Timberline Twister. Special thanks to CoasterFanMatt for making us fit ;)

Kristin: When I changed my velcro alphabet shirt so it said "I hate Boomerang" and the Boomerang ride op noticed and asked me why I was riding it if I hated it so much, then added "enjoy your ride!" as he checked my harness. Also our Xcelerator "POV", I think a lot of people found that pretty amusing to watch.

John: "riding" Xcelerator

Chris: The phone call Rob made, “Is your Xcelerator running?!?!?!?!” (once again, see the video), the fun we had with some of the statues throughout the park (see our photos), the Xcelerator “POV” we shot in which running with a camera in my pocket made my shorts fall down, and that certain Ghostrider Ride Op who was mean to the point of hilarity (by the way, we think she magically reappeared the next day at Disneyland as the Wicked Queen). It is really easy to have lots of goofy fun at Knotts, even if the people who work at the park can sometimes by “Knottsies.”

Scandia Park

1.) What was your first impression of the park as a whole?

Rob: Where are all the people?

Kristin: "Wow, I've always wanted to have a park all to myself!" Seriously, it was us and about 4 other people. Also, I was amazed that they had some of my favorite rides, like a gravitron and a slide. I was surprised that the park was as nice as it was. It was very pretty, clean, and had one of the nicest mini golf courses I've ever seen.

John: Ha! Can we say ghetto?

Chris: Small, clean, friendly, and comfortable, although a bit of a ripoff: $20 for a ride wristband that includes 1 big coaster, 1 kiddie coaster, and about 7 flat rides, although not having to pay extra to ride the Go Karts was nice. Plus, in their arcade, you only get 3 tokens for a dollar-that made playing DDR a bit expensive.


2.) What was your favorite attraction and why?

Rob: Screamer, wow! Now I see why Miler doesn't make many big coasters, this had brutal airtime.

Kristin: The slide. It was just hilarious hitting the cement wall at the bottom. Whose idea was that anyway?!

John: The big slide! Boy it went fast.

Chris: The Scandia Screamer. I can’t believe more people don’t know/talk about this coaster. This ride is just wrong; Miler should not be designing 90 foot tall coasters. The airtime is beyond extreme, with just about every hill mimicking Legend’s famous “piledriver” hill. And the headchoppers are so close, I stopped putting my hands up.


3.) What was the biggest surprise at the park?

Rob: Screamer in the backseat.

Kristin: Screamer in the back seat. It was just so...wrong, but hilariously funny at the same time.

John: Scandia Screamer. It was pretty intense.

Chris :The Scandia Screamer. I had no idea it would be so good (although I might need a spinal realignment now from being yanked up and slammed down into the seat so many times).


4.) What was the biggest disappointment at the park?

Rob: The cold nachos.

Kristin: There wasn't much to do. I think $20 was a bit steep for what they had there, not to mention the arcade games were wayyy overpriced.

John: Gravitron. Damn singing in it...


Chris: The Go-Kart track was free, but it kind of sucked and the cars were slow.

5.) Would you go back to the park in the future?

Rob: One time's enough for me.

Kristin: Maybe, if they lowered their prices, or if I was planning on staying a while to play mini golf. Screamer was fun a few times, but not very re-rideable.

John: No. It's one of those places that's good once.

Chris: Yes, but probably not every time I am in LA (I’m talking like I’m going to visit LA frequently-I wish I could, anyway).

6.) What's your fondest memory (memories) from the park?

Rob: Videotaping and taking pictures inside of a running Gravitron. All the while listening to Shania Twain's "From This Moment"

Kristin: Videotaping each other on the gravitron. That couldn't have been good for my camera. How many G's does that thing pull anyway? I could barely pull my arm away from the wall. I'm just glad we asked the ride op for a shorter ride cycle than the people who were in there before us. They had to be in there for at least 5-10 minutes.

John: On the Screamer lift was a sign saying "Caution: Low Flying Aircraft." They have a sign to warn us of the airplanes, but no lights to warn the airplanes of the ride?


Chris: The most intense Gravitron I have ever ridden (set to Shania Twain music, oddly enough), and our fun rides on the Sky Slide (which was just oiled down that day, the ride-op told us). Imagine a Sky Slide with a brick wall five feet from where the slide ends. Then there's a cone that says “Stop Here” placed just where the slide ends, reminding you to stop as you whoosh by it and slam into the wall…

7.) List some superlatives for the park.

Rob: Where Did The People Go?
Coldest Nachos
"Spongiest" DDR PAD

Kristin: Worst value for your money
Most laid-back park
Funniest ride op

John: Smallest
Most Empty

Chris: Scariest Carnival Coaster Ever Built

8.) Funniest thing(s) that happened.

Rob: Kristin trying to get back into her seat on the Screamer while on the ride. With each hop she flew onto the center of the seat, and then tried to move back into her own seat, only to find herself back in the middle of the seat after the next hill.

Kristin: Having our very own ride-op who followed us around and ran whichever ride we decided to go on next. Also, it was hysterically funny how I had absolutely no control of where I kept landing everytime we went over a hill on Screamer. That was just out of control.

John: The ride op who followed us around decided to stop spieling on the coaster about loose articles when he realized around the middle of his spiel that we were all planning to videotape on the ride.

Chris: Going up the Screamer lift, the sign that says “Warning: Low-Flying Aircraft,” due to the nearby Ontario airport. Yet, there is nothing on the coaster warning the low-flying aircraft about the coaster…gee, I wonder if it’s more important to warn the riders about the planes or to warn the planes about the coaster…



*** This post was edited by Kristin Marie 3/21/2003 1:57:38 PM ***

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Friday, March 21, 2003 9:02 AM
Guys, I totally dig this format! Look for me to steal is after I make my trip to ACE Con.

Glad you had fun...wish we could have hooked up somewhere along the line ;)

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WWGD?

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Friday, March 21, 2003 9:09 AM
I get sick of reading TR's that are the length of The Iliad and are basically just comprised of "And then I did that...and after that I went here...and next I did this.."

I wanted to get all our of opinions in and still make it an easy read for anyone who actually cares about reading it. And since there's quite a few inside jokes making references to our pictures, the link to my WebShots album is in my member info. :)

Thanks for the compliments, Moosh. We'll definitely be meeting up with you sometime, hopefully at PPP.

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Sunday, March 23, 2003 11:22 AM
I also really enjoy your interview format for TRs. It's a fun break from the bland norm.
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Sunday, March 23, 2003 7:08 PM
It was great to get to meet all of you! I read that you were coming, but never really connected it until we started talking and you told me that you posted here.

And yes, Timberline Twister is a very sadistic kiddie coaster. :)

It was no problem fitting you guys in there, my pleasure really. Glad I could help you get your 100th coaster, John!

Too bad about Xcelerator not being open. Strangely enough (or not) it is still down for rehab!

Anyway, it was nice meeting you and I'm glad you had fun out here at all of the local parks!

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA, Wyandot and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Sunday, March 23, 2003 8:02 PM
Seriously, it was cool running into you. It reminded me (once again exactly how small of a world it is. I mean, I met Rob and Kristin on GTTP and then found out that I go to school with them... how weird is that?

Oh, and I'm sorry for the "I'm sorry" reply to your "I'm an ACE member" statement. It was totally in gest, I assure you. :)

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- John
Dag, yo
Support Rob in the Great DDR Challenge!

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Sunday, March 23, 2003 8:13 PM
No problem. I actually thought it was pretty funny. And besides, I'm not that kind of ACE member. They scare me. :)

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Monday, March 24, 2003 6:52 PM

Kristin Marie said:
Kristin: Definitely Xcelerator being closed, but I also didn't understand why you have to wear shoes on Perilous Plunge. Obviously whoever made up that rule has never walked around a park all day wearing squishy shoes. If I hadn't had sandals on that day I wouldn't have ridden. Poor Rob had blisters as a result, and John and Chris didn't even ride it. Some of the Cedar Fair policies just cause me to shake my head in amazement.

It would be awfully painful and VERY dangerous to walk down the ride's 200 step, extremely steep staircase without shoes on. And with perilous plunge being an Intamin, I can assure you that is a weekly occurance. Also, the park's insurance mandates the wearing of shoes at all times. They do not want you to step onto a rusty nail and get teburculosis.

Anyways, theres a little slot you can stick your shoes into on perilous plunge on the side of the base of the T bar.

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Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:10 AM

It was unfortunate that Xcelerator was closed, but my biggest disappointment was the loading times on Ghostrider. I can't believe they stacked two trains everytime.

Yeah, I just got back from a week in SoCal, and was quite disappointed that Xcelerator was closed.:( Perilous Plunge was also kind of disappointing. With one boat running around once every five minutes, I didn't even want to wait in line. Ghostrider made up for everything, though. :)

And I was not that disappointed that I didn't get to ride Deja Vu, Colossus, Flashback, Goliath Jr., or Canyon Blaster. Well, maybe Deja Vu. ;)
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You are about to discover what lies beyond the 5th dimension, beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination in the Tower Of Terror.

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