My random opinionated takes on Solace 2005...

Sunday, March 13, 2005 1:02 PM
1. KBF is one of the most professional organizations out there. The staff treat guests like royalty from management to security guard. This alone, is the reason repeat faces are at the Solace event.

2. The days of multiple rides during ERT at night is becoming more and more limited as the popularity of the event grows. Friday night is the real Solace... Saturday is not for me anymore.

3. Silver Bullet is fun, but I do understand some of the critisisms we've seen on this site. On Friday I logged 28 straight rides and 30 total. I stopped at 11:30 pm. I should not have been able to tolerate this intensity (180 inversions and 75 minute of actual ride time) in less than 100 minutes IF the intensity were at the level of some of our other B&M favorites. However, this is an enthusiast talking. The GP will love this thing and it is a wonderful addition to the park.

4. Ghostrider had some problems (stuck lap bar) which cut ERT short on Friday. On Sat they did not close the general public line prior to 10:00 pm which greatly delayed ERT. All in all there was not enough Ghostrider this year.

5. I think Ghostrider was the same great ride it always has been. I heard a vocal minority that felt it was too rough. Again, I noticed none of this and still think it is one of the greatest rides ever build. CP should think about cloning this thing and putting on the Disaster Transport site. This would make CP hands down the most complete amusement park ever built.

6. Coaster enthusiasts are becoming a little more mainstream. The past domination of the "patch-on-the-jacket" crowd is a thing of the past. There is still a lot of that to be found, but they are a minority. Anybody else think we need an influx of women to these events????

7. KBF has really good sugar cookies to go along with all their other great food offerings.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 6:39 PM
I am both a "patch on the jacket" person, and a very "mainstream" person (since we stopped wearing the jackets) - a professional and suitable for taking out in public, and a woman!

These are not mutually exclusive categories!

Belmont Babe

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Monday, March 14, 2005 7:50 PM
I just got back from Solace and I would have to agree with you on a lot of those.

1. The park these days has been getting a lot of insults from a lot of people, especially the staff being poor, but they blew me away! It was so nice at 6:30 in the morning with a lack of sleep and a long day ahead to see smiling faces greet me at the gates. ERT's started early and everything went smoothly. Most people say they do not care like they used to, but I saw the exact opposite. The woman working the Screaming Swing late at night was hilarious, I loved her. Not to mention now that a lot of ops are sporting head mics things have goten more lively. The main thing I actually thought holding them back this year was the guests! On Ghostrider ERT at night the crowd was so stiff. I remember when I went back in 2003 and it was like a part at every ride, people came into the station cheering, the ride operators would have run with the guest, it was just amazing. However this year I could see the attempt for the ops to get us pumped, but the crowd wasn't getting into it, which was a shame.

2. Did not go to Friday Event, cannot comment.

3. While Silver Bullet was not the most intense inverted out there, It is very fun, and the public did seem to love it, the lines at the beginning of the day were pretty long for it.

4. That was a shame about the guests still being there, as the line was pretty long, and they ddi not fully get out of there till about 10:30 PM, but no hard feelings, after they were out of there lines were short.

5. I definately agree! Ghostrider is amazing, which is why in the "pick a part table" during the raffle I picked a Ghostrider wheel (Thank God I actuallt won something (actually 2 things) this year! Gold train at night was insane! I do not think I have seen it fly link that! I was getting pretty tired by the time ERT started, but It kicked me in to gear! The air was amazing, my neck thing almost flew off on the top of the turnaround. Sure it was not glass smooth, but it was bearable, rough coasters give me headaches after a few coasters, but I did not get any on Ghostrider all night. It is very fast, had lots of speed. air and laterals (especially on "the drop" and the turn after it, and in my opinion was running how an ideal wooden coaster should. It should throw you around a little.

7. I was surprised by the late night snack they offered. In the past it was cookies and coffee, but this year they had pie, cookies, chips, icecream, free beverages out of the soda fountain, I was really impressed with this year. A lot of the problems from last year were worked out, and it was just a great event.


Welcome one and all, y'all come have a ball! Things a bear-y fine, ridin' on the old Knott's bear-y line!
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Monday, March 14, 2005 8:23 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Just a few comments....

2. The days of multiple rides during ERT at night is becoming more and more limited as the popularity of the event grows. Friday night is the real Solace... Saturday is not for me anymore.

When ERT began at 10pm Silver Bullet was a 1-2 train wait unless you wanted front or back. I understand Ghostrider was slightly longer at 10pm. However at 11pm Ghostrider was a walk-on [again, except for the front and rear rows] and I rode it non-stop for the last hour of ERT, only changing seats when forced to or when I felt the urge for a new experience.

3. Silver Bullet is fun, but I do understand some of the critisisms we've seen on this site.

I wholeheartedly agree. I knew a ton of people who were getting their first rides at Solace and they all loved Bullet. Was it their #1 inverted? No, but they all thought it was smooth and exciting. And on Saturday the line was an hour all day long so obvioulsy the GP is eating it up. A winner for Knotts!

5. I think Ghostrider was the same great ride it always has been. I heard a vocal minority that felt it was too rough. Again, I noticed none of this and still think it is one of the greatest rides ever build.

The first drop, which has always been a very troublesome spot, was the best it has been since the ride opened. I didn't notice any other excessively rough spots and thought it was running very well.

Overall a great event and it was nice to see so many friends.

mOOSH

*** Edited 3/15/2005 1:24:19 AM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Monday, March 14, 2005 10:32 PM
ShiveringTim's avatar I have to agree with Moosh's last point. This is the best Ghostrider's run over the past three Solaces. If that's what some call rough, those people are never going to find a "smooth" coaster anywhere. There's a huge difference between "rough" and Ghostrider's performance this weekend. SOB is "rough". Mean Streak is "rough". Ghostrider is powerful and intense, but smooth at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that, folks. *** Edited 3/15/2005 3:34:31 AM UTC by ShiveringTim***
Scott - Proud Member of The Out-Of-Town Coaster Weirdos
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 12:30 AM
I'm happy to see other people that had a ball, here are my comments to you Jeff:

1. Knott's Friendly staff, while not Holiday World or Silver Dollar City / Celebration City they had some awesome people working there, and they tried so hard to work everybody up, especially on Ghostrider.

2. Multiple Rides on ERT ar short numbered: if you are wanting 50 rides in 2 hours yes, but Friday night ERT I was able to score many a rides on GhostRider, and guess what I was in the back seat and was able to stay in it for another ride!!!!! I haven't been able to do that on any coaster in 2 years!!!! Especially in the best seat!

3. Silver Bullet great but not that great: Well the first loop kicks butt, and the over banked turn is fun, and the overbanked hill was fun. The cobra roll was OK not as good as Raptor's and in my opinion the zero-g roll is the worst I've been on on a Beemer, am I the only one that thinks it has no SNAP to it, it supplies no airtime like so many good Zero-g rolls do. But the flatspin turn flatspin helix is my favorite inverted finale in existance, that turn is awesome given some great air and that helix is one of the most intense helices in existance.

4. Not enough GhostRider this year: I completely agree! This trip I still managed to get my 25+ rides on it over the course of 2 days, but for being tied as my favorite coaster in existance that is not enough!!!!!!

5. GhostRider is still a great ride: Oh yeah, the retracking of the first drop did wonders, although later sat night the gold train seemed to beat it up a lot. I will have to say I noticed a couple more problem spots on it: the bottom of the second drop is getting pretty rough, and the swooping first turnaround was rough to and I noticed a bit of shuffling, but overall GhostRider was hauling as fast as gravity would allow it to. What an amazing ride!

6. Lack of women: I agree there needs to be more women, there was an unbelievable amount of wang there this year...... Where are all the hooters girls when you need them?!

7. Food: just as usual Knott's outdid themselves in food! They offered an extreme variety and not to mention where we ate this year was a 500% improvement on last years, there was actually enough room this year! and everyone got a seat!

Overall it was another awesome event, and for those who haven't been to Knott's and are thinking you don't want to go. Don't listen to the complainers they are just finding reasons to b&*^h about Knott's when in reality it is an awesome park, and has improved the opperation vastly in the last 3 years I've gone.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 5:32 PM
Mooshy, Bullet may not have been my Favorite over all, but it did take the #2 spot, right behind Top Gun @ PCar. Twas lots of fun, Event was great, 7 days (hehe, well, maybe) of SoCal and Vegas coming soon to your nearest TR spot...
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 5:45 PM
rollergator's avatar I'm with Clint, PCar's remains THE invert, but SB isn't far behind...that last run with the opposite-twisting inlines AND an airtime hill, what MORE can I ask for? :) The loop, the overbank, the helix, the water sprayer, sure it isn't THE most intense, but it IS "hella fun", and the front row provided INSANE airtime on the first half of the cobra roll....and *I* generally don't care much for CRs...

Ghostie ROCKED, I always think it's more intense than rough, but it was running VERY fast ad smooth this year.

Monte ALWAYS delivers, nothing like waking up to ERT on an Anton...:)

Riptide and La Revolucion were awesome rides, wish they'd figure out SOME way to handle load/unload/restaint-checking on Revolucion though, it had REALLY slow throughput...most parks seem to suffer the same way with those type of rides, hmmm...

ONLY beef with Knott's, the eyeglasses policies and their various enforcement levels, NEVER can tell when a strap will allow you to keep them on....or Knott. The poor employees don't know when glasses are OK with straps and when they're not, HOW am *I* supposed to know?

Overall, a "Top-Knottch" event, yet again, and I expect to return in '06.

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Friday, March 18, 2005 4:20 AM

Mamoosh said:
Just a few comments....

I knew a ton of people who were getting their first rides at Solace and they all loved Bullet. Was it their #1 inverted? No, but they all thought it was smooth and exciting. And on Saturday the line was an hour all day long so obvioulsy the GP is eating it up.


Um...no actually that's not true. I was there all afternoon and rode bullet several times during a 4 hour window. The longest I waited was 10 minutes (at the bottom of the steps). The shortest was about 5 (only 2 tiers of steps with people). So while it may have had hour long waits at opening, or at some other point in the day, it certainly did not have anything close to that during the afternoon. But Ghostrider did!

I guess I am in the minority. I really don't get why all of you are praising Solace as this wonderful thing. It's a pale imitiation of it's former self. Perhaps that is due to increasing attendance, but whatever the reason, a Solace without all the traditional things it once had like the behind the scenes tours, the photo gallery, the coaster trains, the artwork and the speakers seems kind of pointless to me.

Really it's not much more than a regular operating day now. And that's kind of sad. Perhaps the ERT's are good and it's a good social opportunity, but the unique things that made Solace what it was are missing.

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Friday, March 18, 2005 5:46 AM
Perhaps you're missing out on hainging with a bunch of friends all day? The event itself was okay, the food was pretty good, and I think the Knott's staff was more than friendly. But what makes *any* even is not the park, coasters, or ERT, my friend.

I'd think anybody could figure that out.

And as for unique things that make events special, in this day and age, be glad we have enthusiast events at all. With the way most 'vocal' enthusiasts act, it really is a wonder we still have events...

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Friday, March 18, 2005 10:13 AM
This was my first Solace (and first KBF visit), so I can't comment on how it's improved or worsened. But I thought it was great.

I thought the Radisson and the in-park staff were phenomenal. Everyone was very accomodating and friendly.

Amber Waves was an ideal location for a midday break to watch the Ohio University Bobcats win the MAC and gain an NCAA tournament berth. Go 'cats!!!

As for the coasters, I say any coaster is a good coaster in the middle of March. Silver Bullett was a good ride. I thought the ride ops were hilarious especially when they got the hordes of cheerleading squads present whipped into a frenzy of school spirit. Ghost rider's a great ride. We did pay to ride the screamin' swing twice which was sweet.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005 10:55 PM

TeknoScorpion said:
Perhaps you're missing out on hainging with a bunch of friends all day? The event itself was okay, the food was pretty good, and I think the Knott's staff was more than friendly. But what makes *any* even is not the park, coasters, or ERT, my friend.

I'd think anybody could figure that out.


Yes...despite the sarcastic tone, I figured that out all by myself long ago. So well that I do that all year long at a variety of parks besides just Knott's. Therefore Solace has become for the most part just another operating day, not the truly special event it once was.

*** Edited 3/25/2005 3:56:29 AM UTC by Coasterbuf***

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Friday, March 25, 2005 9:19 AM
I can understand where 'buf is coming from. I know nothing about Solace in particular, but I can see how the behind the scenes stuff would be a big selling point.

Seriously, if you just get a group of your friends and hit a park on a slow day, you can pretty much get ERT-like conditions. But you *still* cant look 'behind the curtain' so to speak. Losing that does take away from things a bit.

lata, jeremy

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Friday, March 25, 2005 1:44 PM
Mamoosh's avatar The park is trying to make Solace different each year instead of letting it get stagnant. That being said, they're willing to accept people's opinions and ideas and incorporate them into the event. Chris Murray emailed their PR department asking them to include Screaming Swing. What the park ended up doing was giving 50% off to all who registered....not quite the same as offering it for ERT but still it was because of Chris's suggestion that the discount was given in the first place.

If the park did something in the past you enjoyed and would like to see it brought back or you have a suggestion for something you wish they'd do write them!

Regardless of what the park offers incoming years I will continue to attend for three reasons: ERT on Ghostrider, free lunch, and most importantly time spent with great friends.

*** Edited 3/25/2005 6:46:02 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Friday, March 25, 2005 2:40 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar I had an absolute BLAST this year, with everything.....from the surprisingly kick-arse Silver Bullet to the little Hershey Kiss-filled black Silver Bullet Mugs they *mysteriously* left in our rooms at the Radisson. :-)

This was my first Solace (second trip to Knott's) and it's obvious that I will make this a yearly thing now.

Yes! That Screamin Swing chick was a riot! :-D

I have no complaints, just GREAT memories! Can't wait for 2006!

-Tina

*** Edited 3/25/2005 7:42:08 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Saturday, March 26, 2005 12:27 AM
I've never been to an event of any type but even I know that if you're looking for swarm of hot young thangs, you're better off at the local mall on Saturday night than an ERT session at a park.

Right?

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005 4:38 PM
I will write them. But if everyone is happy with getting LESS of an event and a return on the dollar, which seems to be the case in this thread, then nothing I do will help much. Seems folks here are quite content losing all the stuff they once had and getting basically a regular operating day.

Strange.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005 4:50 PM
rollergator's avatar 'buf...been to any of the more recent SRM events? PPP? Coastermania? Any of the last few Cons?

Those events *used to be* about power-riding as well. As they become more popular, there's more people, and fewer rides.

I've been to Knotts *plenty*, and I live across the country...would I still do a 20-lap marathon on Monte? Sure would! But ACE now boasts 9K members, and there's lots of various smaller clubs as well...so any well-publicized event that draws people from around the country, and even from outside the country, isn't going to give you *power-riding*. For that, you need to attend smaller, more regionally-oriented events. Solace simply grew, mostly BECAUSE it's such a great event...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005 6:01 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Seems folks here are quite content losing all the stuff they once had and getting basically a regular operating day.

Considering I was never interested in the museum or the speakers in the first place I have nothing to b!tch about and would stop attending if I didn't feel I was getting my money's worth. I'm not alone in my opinion.

For $25 I get ERT, a good meal, and time spent with good friends. Heck, the time spent with good friends is worth $25 alone! Remember what that was like, Greg?

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Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:02 AM
Actually, buf, I wasn't being sarcastic with that post, but it was a friendly nudge :).

I agree with Moosh (oh my). And I don't mean spending the day with a few friends. I 'knew' upwards of 30 + people at solace. I've never been to a park where I knew that many people to run into before. Heck, other than school field trips, which were far too long ago, I never just 'run in to' people at parks like I did all weekend, and the week before.

I had a blast, I went more for the people than anything. I didn't take much advantage of the morning ERT, getting there about an hour before park opening and only riding things that morning once. Heck, I Didn't even take much advantage with nite ERT, getting maybe 7 rides on Ghostrider and only 1 on Bullet right at the start of ERT. My friend that went with me sat nite time ERT out and never did Ghosty all day...

I liked the event because it was $25 dollars for a day at the park, the opportunity to ride when the GP wasn't there, an oppurtunity to make fun of those 2 ACERs with the purple jackets on (you know the 2, the husband and wife, the man with the hardened 'Gray-fro' on his head, and her with the biker shorts on that showed off her cottage cheese thighs) as they did plenty of things to make the enthusiasts community look bad that I commented loudly on around them to make myself heard.

It was a fun event. I took a 3 hour nap after lunch, and didn't have time for speakers and such. I was there for the rides.

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