Knott's sans chicken and ghouls

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janfrederick's avatar
A friend gave us tickets to Knott's this past Christmas and we finally got around to setting up daycare for our son and doggies and took a day off this past Friday and headed for Buena Park. We got to the parking lot about 45 minutes after the park opened and noticed that only a couple score vehicles had arrived before us. I looked across the street to make sure the place was open and, to my relief, heard faint screaming growing louder as the Silver Bullet worked its way towards the front of the park.

Tickets in hand, be ran past security and thumbed our noses at them as we ran to catch our first fide on Ghostrider. Well, actually, we didn't run past security nor did we catch a ride on Ghostrider first thing. It, along with other parts of the park, were to open later. Not a problem for us because there were very few people in the park.

So off to the Silver Bullet we skipped for our first ride ever. A train was just about to dispatch as we got to the station and so I wouldn't quite call it a walk-on...especially since, although the train seemed ready to dispatch, it took a full five minutes to get the show on the road. I guess the ops' coffee hadn't kicked in yet. While we waited, the young woman on the mike was bantering about how the Silver Bullet was OK, but Ghostrider was the best and that it was someone's birthday on the ride, etc. And this would have been OK had the mic been turned down from 11 to about 4 and if she didn't have the annoying habit of, when she actually did stop to take a breath, breathing heavily into mic.

To my chagrin, I was asked to remove my glasses when we finally boarded. I understand the reason for it, but I wish they would make an exception if I had straps or something. I sure do like to see when I'm riding. But at least we were leaving the station and that really loud op behind. I'm not a huge steel looper fan and so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The ride had a couple of good out of control moments, but nothing like an unrestrained woodie. But for the sake of fairness, I'll just say that it is not my favorite inverted. Fun, but why bother when the park has so much more to offer. Perhaps I'm just bitter that the Walter K is gone and because the ride made my head spin.

We stumbled off towards the Galloping Goose which we had seen while waiting for the Bullet. They run the Goose when the steam train is down for maintenance. Here's a picture in case you've never seen or heard of it:

As you can see, it is basically a cross between a bus and a boxcar. The one at Knott's has a passenger area instead of a boxcar or course. We rattled around the loop and not surprisingly, we weren't robbed. Who want to rob something that looks like the Goose? ;)

Still green from our trip on the Sliver Bullet, we hunted for hot coffee in Ghostown.The stew place said the pot wasn't ready but that the saloon across the way had some. We went in, got some coffee and found out that there would be a show in an hour. I ran back across the way for some stewalicious stew smothered in cheddar cheese to share with my lovely wife in the saloon. Stew in an theme park? Who'd have thunk? ;)

We polished off the goo and took a trip on Calico. Got off just in time for the show. We had been told it was an interactive show so I was more than happy to sit in the back. When the curtain rose, I was completely surprised to see Moosh playing piano. I know Moosh like's Knott's, but wow! I wasn't expecting to see him working there (go see for yourself Matt!). ;)

Anyway, my sitting in the back tactic worked really well. I was immediately singled out and sucked into the show. It was a lot of fun actually but it took a couple laps on the Ghostrider to shake off the fourteen shades of red that I turned. I recommend seeing the saloon show during your next visit.

After the saloon show, we headed straight for the Mystery Lodge (and you probably thought this trip report was about coasters). I had always passed up the Mystery Lodge in past visits for one reason or another and since we were on the show tip, we figured we might as well knock it off our list. I had no idea what to expect when we entered the theater. Anyway, if you've never been, skip the next paragraph and let it be a surprise to you too.

<spoiler (even though this attraction has been around for a long time)>

We entered the theater and to my surprise there were only seats along the wall edges. Those were all taken so we sat on the floor in front of a large pacific northwest native American dwelling. A little attendant came whistling through the room and stopped by a guy who was laying on his back and told him there was no laying down, what did he think? That this was a Holiday Inn? He paced around the room a few more times stopping in front of kids and saying, "Hello! How are you!" And when the kids would answer "fine" he would mimic them in a rather sarcastic manner.

He asked us if anyone was from out of town and when someone would answer, no matter where they were from, he'd say, "That's across the street. Who's from out of town?" Since we really didn't know what to expect, we thought he was part of the show. But it seemed pretty strange.

Finally he started describing the dwelling in front of us and then left the room mid-sentence. Everyone was looking at each other when some rain noises and lighting effects started. We were watching intently for the show to start but then everything stopped and the little man returned. He asked the audience to, "Please not leave the building at any time!" He pointed to a group of kids and said, "Put your shoes on, you're not at home. What's the problem? You! Come with me. The kids shuffled to the front of the room. Then he pointed at the too women in wheelchairs who were with them. "Come on! You too!"

They seemed frightened or bewildered as we all were at that point. What was the little strange guy going to do? Was he a homicidal maniac who finally snapped at his job? I was ready for anything at that point. Then suddenly the dwelling opened up and the audience gasped. We weren't in the theater. We were just in the waiting room. Sheesh. Everyone nervously found seats and waited for the show to start.

The show itself was an amazing 3-D story that I won't detail. But it had us choked up a little in some parts. Who know, being put on edge by the little man probably enhanced the emotion. Any way, it was a really interesting experience when you include the man and the amazing show. I'll definitely catch it again next time. </spoiler>

OK...I probably didn't spoil much on that, but whatever. Be sure to check it out. So we needed some thrills after that and took a couple of wild trips on a very walk-onable Ghostie. The first ride in the back and it was off the hook. I felt like I was out of my seat the entire time. The second ride was wild but didn't seem as fast even though we were in the same seat.

This report is getting long and so I'll wrap it up. We walked around to the other side of the park and hit Jaguar before I took my first trip on Perilous Plunge. Again, the ride op's mic was turned way too loud. And this guy was abusing the spiel like it was a red-headed step child (sorry to any red-headed step children out there). For example:




"Why you crying?!"

"Why you crying?!"

"Why you crying?!"

"This microphone makes me sound like Alberto."



"Who can tell me the true color of the sky, you'll get a free ride."

"Why you crying?"

Man, I wanted to get out of there! When I boarded, I tried to get one of the ride ops' attention to see if I could ride with my glasses. I couldn't get anyone's attention and so I sat down. Of course, after I was locked in, I was told I needed to remove my glasses (good thing I discovered later). But come on! Wake up people! Grrr.

Well, my anger was doused by some very cold water and a quick dry cycle on Xcellerator followed by a chocolate Malt and Johnny Rockets. A couple more rides on Ghostie (and a ride op who thought he was Gene Krupa with his screwdriver on the control box), a stunt show, and the park was closed for the day (later to reopen for the Halloween thing).

Overall we had a great time. If anything, the bored ops and weird guy at the Mystery Lodge gave us something to talk about. Can't wait to come back. But our next trip will be to use our free Year of a Million Dreams ticket. Anyone else get one of those? That will be my next trip report. Ciao!

Post park bits and peices:

The weirdness didn't end when we left the park. It was my wife's birthday and so I wanted to take her somewhere interesting for dinner while we waited for Friday OC traffic to die down. I found a Peruvian restaurant online, but the adress was wrong. We drove about an hour through Orange County looking for it. I finally called and found out it was on the other side of town. Got lost on that side of town and found it just as we were about to give up. The place had a bunch of patrons who looked like they had been waiting a long time. There was only one waiter, who was really nice, but never brought us water (you know how you get after a day at a park...and the Day fire had some serious smoke in our lungs) and took a the order for a couple who had come in after us.

After 20 minutes on staring at the menu, we left (can't keep the dog sitter and baby sitter waiting) and found a strip mall. The first place we looked at was Hawaiian, but when I noticed the menu lacked Loco Moco and had a burger called the Kahuna, we were out of there. The next place was a Mexican place not unlike Baja Fresh, but with inflated prices. An elderly couple was having the woman at the counter go into detail about the menu. After 5 minutes there, we rolled our eyes and popped into the next joint which was Thai. We were seated immediately, our order was taken promptly, the food came out right away, my glass was filled continually, the soft shell crab with green papaya was delicious, the wait staff was friendly, and we had a wonderful meal.

After a white knuckle freeway ride home (commuters plus drunk TGIFers heading back to San Diego), we unwound with a nice movie and caught our breath. Fun stuff I tell ya! *** Edited 10/3/2006 1:16:06 PM UTC by janfrederick***

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Breaking that up into paragraphs didn't cross your mind?
rollergator's avatar
^ I'm sure it crossed his mind, and probably even his word processing software....then the formatting disappeared... ;)

Yikes indeed! :)

Plunge = Wettest ride ever... EVER!

Moosh playing piano? Too many easy zingers, I can't pick one! ;)
*** Edited 10/3/2006 12:21:15 AM UTC by rollergator***

rollergator said:
Plunge = Wettest ride ever... EVER!

Agreed...Knott's definitely was not kidding when they advertised the thing as the "tallest, steepest and wettest water ride in the world."

It falls in third place behind jumping into a swimming pool and getting into the shower in terms of how wet you can get.

First time I rode the thing, I did not expect to be completely drenched from every hair on my head down to crevice inbetween every toenail on my feet. My shirt, undershirt, boxers, pants, socks, and shoes were soaked through all the way. With the new boats though, the wetness factor may not be as bad as it used to since the splash is now considerably smaller.

janfrederick's avatar

kRaXLeRidAh said:
Breaking that up into paragraphs didn't cross your mind?

Naw, I just wanted to see who would take the bait. You win! :)

Fixed some othere weirdness too. Tripe report? Plug the TGIFers? Wow, too much sweet n' low yesterday. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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