My first Cali trip - Day 5&6, SFMM, KBF

Associated parks:
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Thursday, June 5, 2003 3:34 PM
Day 5 - SFMM, USH

Today I became one who “knows”, so I won’t go into more details and will stick to the cliché as I should, but it does feel good to know something, even if it isn’t much and you can’t tell anyone!

After the meeting I had, I came back up to my hotel near SFMM again, and arrived at about 3:30. I wasn’t planning on hitting SFMM again if it was past 3 when I got here, but decided what the heck, 2 ½ hours is still enough time to hit up X and Viper if I do it right. So I went back over there only to discover they were open until 8! And there was absolutely no one in the park, even less than my first day. Almost all rides were walk-ons, except for the highlight of this half of the day, Déjà vu was open! I finally got to ride this incredible machine, and I loved it! A combination of an impulse and an invertigo make for one heck of a ride. I’m so glad that I decided to come back, because if I knew what I was missing by not getting on this ride, I would have been kicking myself! Score: 9.5/10.

As I said before, no one else in the park. In 4 ½ hours I did 3 runs each on Batman and Viper, 2 runs each on Riddler, Scream and Déjà vu, and one run each on Goliath and Superman. X unfortunately was down, and didn’t even have a train on the tracks. I didn’t understand this at all, especially since it seemed to be in the same state as Deja was when I was here earlier in my trip – all the parts work, the ride just stays off for the day. Is this just to reduce wear and tear on the rides on non-peak days? If so, seems like a pretty crappy way to run things for folks that intentionally shoot for the low-attendance days. So, I got to do Universal Studios and SFMM today, not bad for a day when I wasn’t even sure if I was hitting a park or not!

Day 6 - KBF

Today was the long-delayed and awaited Knott’s Berry Farm! This is a wonderful little park, reminded me of what Kennywood would have been had it started in the late 70s instead of the late 1800s! I had a blast at this place, and I know that it would have been an all-day stay if I was there with other people, but since I was by myself I left a little early, about 4pm. I still managed 6 rides on Xcelerator, 3 on Ghostrider, one Jaguar, one Boomerang and one on La Revolution.

Is La Revolution a Huss giant Frisbee? I’ve seen these enough this year to assume that they are, but based on the promotional materials, I figured that Frisbees would be bigger than this? Anyone familiar with the ride able to answer that one?

The scenery at this place is wonderful, from Ghost Town to the crazy amusement feel of the Xcelerator area. I really enjoyed it, and I even bought some food in Ghost Town because the whole place just smells so darn good! I would definitely visit this park again, and overall, I’d say it was my favorite of the ones I visited while I was here. SFMM is great for rides, but the crowds can get atrocious, as can the prices for food, and the random closure of seemingly in-tune rides is annoying. The security at this park was also great, as were the customer relations people, but more on them in the main report following.

My day began with sitting in traffic on I-5. I was sort of counting on this, so I was up quite early. I hate it how lanes just switch purpose in California as if it were easy to just take note of the sign and get over. But whatever, I’m used to sitting in traffic, so I just found the station with Howard Stern on it and waited to see signs for Buena whatever where Knott’s is. I found it and took the first exit for Knott’s and proceeded to get very lost trying to find the park on “Knott Avenue” only to make a U-turn in which I saw Xcelerator … doh! So I went back to I-5 and took another road that I actually had directions for. I made it to the park and drove down the road right in front of it waiting for some sign indicating where to pay for parking – only to be dumped back on a large road! I was quite confused at this point, but I just took the first turn back towards the park, more to make a U-turn again and try that road I was just on than to find the parking lot. But, wouldn’t you know, the parking lot was on the road I turned down. So, paid my usual $8 fee for a day’s worth of entertainment that I’ve been paying ever since I got here (season passes are wonderful!) and headed for the gate. Got quite excited to see Xcelerator rising above the skyline, but was slightly disappointed that Montezooma’s Revenge was down. I never got to ride an old Arrow or Schwartzkopf launched loop, and I thought this would be my chance, but not to be. I later noticed from Jaguar that the ride was actually in pieces, and there were mechanics hard at work on it.

I jumped in the main line of people expecting this to be like Cedar Point that they just scan me in and write down that I came from another park, but that wasn’t the case. The ticket guy was quite confused by my non-Knott’s pass, and had to ask his manager what to do, she told me I had to go to customer relations and they’d print me out a free ticket. So, I went over to the unfortunately really long customer service line. I wasn’t in line more than 2 minutes when the same woman came out and picked me out of line and handed me a ticket and thanked me for choosing to visit Knott’s. How cool is that?! I was *very* impressed to say the least. So, with that good start, I went over to Xcelerator.

First thing that I noticed about this ride is the relative shortness of its launch track compared to Dragster. But, hearing that hydraulic launch got the adrenaline pumping, so I jumped in line and to my delight, found the front line with only 2 rides worth of people in it! So, my first experience on Xcelerator was front seat and boy what a rush! I took 6 spins on this baby, 2 front, 2 2nd seat, 2 back seat over the course of the day, and I honestly can’t decide which is better, this or Dragster. Xcelerator’s launch packs the same punch, but crawls over the top, but sustaining the speed rush with the overbanks is really cool, even though in the enthusiast community, it seems those are seen as a pathetic attempt at a longer ride. But overall, Xcelerator rocked! Score: 9.75/10 (I reserve 10/10 for my favorite coaster, and that is and has been for a couple of years, Kumba)

Next ride was Boomerang, which well, is a boomerang and nothing more. One thing here that I did notice was that in the natural headbanging, I am now sure that Zonga bruised the back of my head. I suspected so when Viper at SFMM hurt more than I remembered yesterday, but on Boomerang, it was confirmed. I now hate that ride even more. Not Boomerang, Zonga. After Boomerang, I noticed there were actually a lot of adults and older folk on the Jaguar, so I took my first spin on a coaster of this style. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would! Not especially fast or forceful, but kind of fun. Score: 6/10.

Last thing that was open today was Ghostrider. With the other entries in the California wooden coaster column having such a varied approval with me, I didn’t know what to expect with this one. Well, this one was amazing! The drops were incredible, so steep! The turns were so unexpected, and almost as banked as a GCI! This ride won me over from halfway through my first ride! It was absolutely amazing, and has definitely sealed itself as my favorite wooden coaster, which is odd since it isn’t a GCI ;). The pacing, the unexpectedness, it just has everything! And on this ride, I had a great chance to see what I consider the “Cedar Fair” effect on this park. There was a guard named Jair (if anyone in the park reads this, please tell him I say he did a great job!) who was busting line jumpers left and right! It was great, the first time since I got out here that someone has taken a stand on line jumpers! The ops on La Revolution also took a stand and kicked out a whole group of line jumpers! I was very impressed, he was definitely doing a great job of keeping order in easily the longest line of the day. Great job Jair! Ride Score: 9.75/10.

As I said before, I really enjoyed this park. There was a few points that I had to laugh at “little Cedar Point” things, such as trash bins everywhere. Also, under Boomerang there is a miniature car-racing game for kids, which reminded me of the Go-Karts under Magnum at CP. This was a great experience, and if I come back to California, I will definitely re-visit this park! Well, this ends my third and final TR for my California Coaster Vacation. I fly home at 6:05am tomorrow (ouch). I would say it was quite the successful trip, took well over 150 pictures, rode 28 new coasters for my track record, spent a lot of money, and had a blast! Thanks for reading!

Edit: formattig

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"You know we got a good thing goin and I don't wanna see it end" --Reel Big Fish
-- Brett
*** This post was edited by PittDesigner 6/5/2003 7:43:24 PM ***

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 4:01 PM
Knott's La Revolucion is a Chance Revolution 32. Six Flags New England's Tomahawk is a Huss Frisbee. Paramount's Kings Island's Delirium is a Huss Giant Frisbee.

-Danny
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Coaster Insomniacs

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 7:39 PM
Incredible Reports, Brett. I'm glad you had such a great time. I'd love to do all of that some day.

-Jason

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