Knotts Winter Solace V

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Monday, March 8, 2004 11:24 PM
The Coaster Event on the West coast had arrived! It was with much anticipation that Belmont Babe and I headed up to Buena Park and Knotts. I had taken Friday off, as we wanted to hit the road early enough to miss the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic up by the Farm. It turned out to be a prudent move, as things really started getting thick around Disney Way.

We arrived at the Raddison, checked in and settled into our room. The shuttles over to the park began running at 6:15, and we went down to the lobby and got in line. As in previous years we entered via the Western Ave. (employee) gate. Dinner was to begin at 8:00. The pre dinner ERT was provided by Supreme Scream and Xcellarator. While running with only one train, Xcellarator was performing flawlessly.

At about 7;45 we started walking over to Ghost Town. Arriving at the Ghostrider midway we found that it had been converted into our reception area. After everyone had been seated, Susan Tierney of the Knotts PR dept. introduced herself. It was then that we learned that our fearless leader Jack Falfas was unable to join us that evening due to company business. Then groups of tables were dispatched to the buffet line. Knotts always provides a great feast, and that night was no exception. With a choice of salads, vegetables, potatoes, meat and poultry, there was something for everyone.

After dinner there was a informative presentation from the rep from B & M about the Silver Bullet, the new inverted coaster coming to Knotts. We were able to see what it was going to be like via an animation on a big screen TV. Then was the raffle for various coaster items (largely from Knotts, and other Cedar Fair parks) and the chance to ride with Jack on the first official run of the Silver Bullet. A decadent selection of dessert items were then put out and the evenings ERT on Ghostrider began. What can I say about this coaster that hasn't been said before! It really loves the night, as it really breaks loose after sunset. (It was a full moon that night as well!) We wearily, but happily went back to our room that night. Happily, because we didn't have to get up before the crack of dawn to get our tickets as they had given us our packets that evening.

The next morning after eating breakfast in our room we headed over to the park. We meandered over to the site where demolition work was being done for Silver Bullet. There the omnipresent Raffle Ticket Lady was selling more chances for the luncheon raffle. We went through the doorway in the construction fence to see the now drained lake, the river boat high and dry, as was "Jack's Gamble" Alas, the latter is not long for this world, as it is in the way of footers for the mew ride. Several sections of the 2 ft. gauge steam railroad that runs out of Camp Snoopy had been removed to faciltate access to the lake bed. Looking at the map of this coaster, while compact by many standards, really sprawls over a large portion of the park.

ERT was offered on all of the coasters that morning wiht the exception of Ghostrider. At 10:30 we gathered over in the Boardwalk area near the Ballroom for the group picture. (It turned out really good.) We tried to to ride the "La Revolucion" but they wanted us to remove our glasses, and we declined. ( when you have eyesight as bad as ours, taking off our glasses in these situations can make us ill.) At 11:30 we got in line at the Ballroom for lunch. We noticed that even with the lines as long as they were, there were apparently little if any available seats. People were eating on the steps surrounding the main floor. We were fortunate that a couple gave us their seats, as they were going back to the hotel. (We spoke to Susan Tierney about this after lunch. She informed us that they had experieced a lot more walk up registration that morning than expected, thus taxing the seating at the ballroom. the final tally for the event was 440 people. She said that if it looked like this was going to happen next year the luncheon would be held over at the corporate picnic facilities next to Soak City.)The raffle commenced and a lot of pig iron and chunks of Ghostrider wood left that room that day.

We did a little more riding after lunch, then went back to our room for a while. We went back to the park that evening and had diner at Coasters with a young lady we had met the night before at the reception. Now the serious part begins-shopping! The rest of the evening was spent perrusing the many gift shops in the park. When all was said and done we limped back to the hotel toting our newly acquired treasures.

Sunday morning we partook of a filling breakfast at the hotels Sunday brunch before heading for the giftshops at the California Marketplace. After doing as much damage as we could, we hit the road for San Diego. Knotts Winter Solace V was history. As in the past we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The staff at the Raddison and at the Park rarely disappoints us (with the exception of the glasses incident.) We are looking foward to Solace VI !


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