Knott's touch and go for Christmas

Monday, December 14, 2015 12:47 PM

Although we got passes for Knott's this year, we only went a couple of times last spring because after purchasing Disneyland Resort passports; our spare weekend time was spent there. So we decided to at least get in a quick holiday trip to Knott's before our passes expire (we're still deciding whether to renew for next year).

We originally planned to leave early enough to grab breakfast at Mrs. Knott's before the park opened (fried chicken and eggs anyone?), but after a night of binge watching How I Met Your Mother, we decided on Cliff Bars and Apples to get us through lunch.

After an uneventful 90 mile, hour and a half drive, we were directed to the North parking lot for the first time ever. I'm wondering if the Ghostrider rehab had something to do with it. A short walk to the ropes at the end of Ghosttown and we were soon headed to Iron Reef. The experience was fun, although my finger and wrist hurt pretty quickly after entering. I think it is a nice addition to the park, but the kid in me would have preferred a remake of Knott's Berry Tales.

After a couple of intense laps on Xcelerator (sporting a lovely new queue), which included a 10 minute wait for the front, and we were good to go for a lap on Timber Mountain followed by a wonderful 30 minute version of A Christmas Carol at the Birdcage Theater. And this is the reason I wanted to put together this short report. Knott's has great entertainment options, especially for the holidays. The talent not only for the play, but the park citizens, make this such a great place for families. Sure there are a lot of teenagers, but they were mixed in with quite a number of large families, and even groups of adults without children. I think Knott's must realize there are a lot of Orange County folks who grew up with this institution, and are catering to them. This is a good move. Although the park wasn't bursting at the seams initially, it did fill up later in the day, and there was a lot of holiday shopping activity around the arts and crafts booths.

For lunch we checked out Ghost Town Grill for the first time ever. I didn't realize this was a sit down restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. Also, just a bit of warning, the portion size was pretty big, for us anyway. We probably could have done with two entrees for the three of us instead of three, but the food was really good considering we were in a park. Real gravy, for you all you enthusiasts out there ;), and real mashed potatoes. Our smoked brisket sandwiches were moist and flavorful. Much better than lunch at Mrs Knott's with old school Jell-O as a side (although I'm guessing they will improve their offerings with the revamp this spring).

A lap on on the ever-so-creepy Calico Mine Ride followed by obligatory laps on Jaguar (a favorite of me and my son) rounded out our short late winter morning, early afternoon trip, but not before dropping off some more of our cash on Christmas gifts, Boardwalk Games, and wait for it, funnel cake with boysenberry goo on the side. Boo-yah! I'll be walking an extra five miles today. :)

Last edited by janfrederick, Monday, December 14, 2015 4:46 PM
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Monday, December 14, 2015 1:22 PM

I have always liked the "park citizens" at Knott's. It is what really makes that park a lot of fun to visit and keeps me coming out to Southern California to go ride coasters. There is an atmosphere in the park that just isn't at any park I have been to, at least recently. Maybe part of it is tradition. I know when I go out there that I can always ride the train and it will get robbed. I can ride classics like the Calico Mine Ride and the log flume. I can always go and find the beating heart in the graveyard.

Knott's has changed a lot throughout the years but at the same time it hasn't changed and that is really what makes the park so special. I have planned entire trips out there around going to Knotts and staying at the hotel there on site. I might throw in a day out to Magic Mountain or a day or two at Disneyland, but the reason I am there is Knott's.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015 10:20 PM

What changed about Xcel's queue?

Can't wait to get back to Knotts next year!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:02 PM

janfrederick said:

...obligatory laps on Jaguar (a favorite of me and my son)

When I ride Jaguar or the twin at MoA, can't help but think how cool it is to get an overview of the park like you might get from a skyride or train, *and* a coaster merged into one attraction...more parks should get those kinds of coasters.

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Friday, December 18, 2015 1:27 PM

Tekwardo said:

What changed about Xcel's queue?

They made it all tall, black, and fancy. Now that I think of it, it would be a lot more difficult to climb to go looking for a cell phone. But it does look much nicer than a cyclone fence (then again, a cyclone fence is much easier to climb than the straight bars they have now). And yes, I know there are a couple of jokes in there somewhere...

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