R.I.P:. Ghostrider...

Monday, June 13, 2011 11:40 AM

I went to Knott's the first time for a couple years yesterday. My favorite coaster has been neutered. The mid course brakes now bring the trains to a complete stop. Not a slow down, a complete stop for a second or two. Obviously the hill after the brakes, which used to be my favorite moment of ANY ride with ejector airtime, is now a forgettable moment. The second half of the ride, which used to be complete chaos to the final brake run is now a shell of its former self. The ride struggles through the second out and back, and the final helix is just "ok."

Has it been this way for a while now? I just cannot believe what they have done to this once great ride.

...very sad!

I don't go to parks as much as some of you. This is the first time I EVER remember being MAD at a ride. I was so excited to re-experience what I consider to be greatness. I had another couple all fired up, and now they are making fun of me. They thought it was "ok, but nothing great." They are right. Very disappointing...

I fail to understand how a ride can run for a decade with such good consistency, only to now need modifications. I call BS.

Monday, June 13, 2011 11:55 AM

^I understand and sympathize with you :)

I feel that way about Timberwolf, Texas Giant and Georgia Cyclone (walked by it yesterday, couldn't take the pain). When they were new (like first month new) they were top 4 rides, Timberwolf being a #1 hands down. Years later and many changes, TG aside - they are completely different rides.

I get your emotions, and I am very emotional like that about those rides but especially, the Cedar Point Blue Streak. Shame.... Issues my friend, issues!

Monday, June 13, 2011 12:05 PM

Thats too bad about Ghostrider. I've only been to Knott's once, many years ago and remember what a great ride it was.

As for the Blue Streak, I think the coaster itself is running great (at least it was last year). But the restraints, head rests and seat divider do take some of the fun out of the ride.

Monday, June 13, 2011 12:43 PM

RPM said:

As for the Blue Streak, I think the coaster itself is running great (at least it was last year). But the restraints, head rests and seat divider do take some of the fun out of the ride.


Monday, June 13, 2011 4:42 PM

Why do wooden coasters need tall, unpadded head rests, again?

Monday, June 13, 2011 4:43 PM

You can have the guests who complain about whiplash and injuries to thank.

The park decided to "slow down" the second half of the ride and added additional padding after GhostRider came in as the attraction with the most medical related injuries on an attraction of all the parks in Orange County.


Monday, June 13, 2011 4:58 PM

DantheCoasterman said:
Why do wooden coasters need tall, unpadded head rests, again?

Insurance companies (via Tom Rebbie of PTC?) seem to like them. Very good point, Dan! And how many woodies still have little signs reminding you to ride with your head against those head rests. Never got that one... on a looper, yes, but not on a woodie!

Monday, June 13, 2011 5:54 PM

Other than Beast's horrid dividers, I really have come to TRY and accept the incessant drive of insurers to continuously "secure" riders more and more. For the most part, I do pretty well...

That being said, Ghostie wasn't really the same coaster as of *about* 5-6 years ago. When the ride was fresh out of rehab, and I was riding "the good train" and it was still too rough and bouncy for MY (admittedly forgiving) tastes...the ride was over. Ghostie had a fabulous run, and THE DROP off the midcourse couldn't even save the ride.

As for CP's Blue Streak - there's a ride that proves I can come to love a well-maintained coaster even with excessive restraints....the ride has gotten wayyy better over the past decade or so (regardless of dividers, individual lapbars, seatbelts, etc.).

edit: Sending a small raspberry to those who claimed Aamilj wasn't "coaster enough" for this place... ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Monday, June 13, 2011 5:55 PM
Monday, June 13, 2011 6:24 PM

Gator that is absolutely true, Cedar Point's maintenance sure has gotten Blue Streak to as close to perfection as they can even with those restraints.

It's interesting how good Blue Streak is these days and how bad the other Streak is. That seems to point to the inherent design flaws with Mean Streak and a case of bigger is definetly not always better.

Monday, June 13, 2011 6:39 PM

The rehab that Canadian company did on Blue Streak really renewed it, and I'm surprised at how well it has held up ever since. Considering the hill where the upstops catch, I'm amazed that they keep it as smooth as they do!

I still haven't been to Knott's, but I remember all of the love that Ghostrider used to get. Legend has it that the maintenance cost is what, to some degree, soured Jack Falfas on wood coasters, though he allegedly fell in love with Renegade. We'll never know if that might have led to new wood coasters around the chain.

Monday, June 13, 2011 7:58 PM

"Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost-Rider topped the list with 28 medical injuries, according to the Register's analysis."

"Disneyland's Splash Mountain had the second-most investigations with 14, the newspaper reported. Rick Langhorst, vice president of facilities and operations for the Disneyland Resort, told the Register that the park found no injury patterns on Splash Mountain and made no changes."

Is 28 a lot over a two year period? I know we don't know the extent of the 28 injuries, but this seemed low to me. I would guess an average curb in front of an office building could account for about as many injuries over a two year period. I'd almost guess the stairs up to the station are just as dangerous.

I'm not really mad anymore. There is nothing I can control. I guess I'm just a bit sad. One of my fondest memories was 7-8 years ago sneaking into a late night coaster event (we were staying at the hotel and a couple let us use their tickets) and riding Ghostrider 18 times without getting off. My buddy made 23 while I wussed out. Those night rides were the best. I thought the aggressiveness is what made Ghostrider great. It was right on the edge, but never out of control. I have always considered it the best ride in California (with Toy Story Mania now).

The ride I rode yesterday. I would not lose a wink of sleep if they removed it. In fact, they should find something better to do with the space. It is a big old wooden tease. Those who ride it now won't like it. Those that remember the glory years will be even more upset.

P.S. Demon...Timberwolf? I was there this spring and found that too in need of removal. Did they cut the nuts off this one too? Or has age just taken its toll? Predator on the other hand was a ton of fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011 8:13 PM

28 in a two year period is two (or more) a month. Wonder if better maintenance would have stopped the injuries?

Monday, June 13, 2011 9:06 PM

Aamilj said:

P.S. Demon...Timberwolf? I was there this spring and found that too in need of removal. Did they cut the nuts off this one too? Or has age just taken its toll? Predator on the other hand was a ton of fun.

Heck yeah. I have a video somewhere when it first opened. 2nd year, there was so much '#1 coaster' merchandise/advertising (similar to when Raven got it - and kept it much longer). It was fast as hell, smooth, with incredible air time. 2nd or 3rd year, brakes were added to the 1st and 2nd drops, and the 2nd drop (among other things?) was reprofiled. Headrests were also added in those first few years.

The ride opened in 1989, it was incredible. The first night ride I had on it was probably the most single memorable coaster experience of my life. Me and my aunt had no clue - the ride was new and reviews hadn't come out. I rode it in 1990, then again in 1995. By then the ride had been neutered significantly, but still was pretty good. I rode it last in 1998, and it was almost a nothing ride - just a rumbling mess (kinda like GA Cyclone was when I rode it last in 2007).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:39 AM

CoasterDemon said:
Insurance companies (via Tom Rebbie of PTC?) seem to like them.

The insurance thing has always felt like a cop out to me. Don't the insurance companies work for the park (the park pays them right)? When my insurance company did something I didn't like, I kicked them to the curb and found a new one. I'm sure it's more difficult to do with large businesses, but not impossible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:32 AM

^I'd agree with part of what you said, just not sure which part yet hehehe :) Bottom line, it usually takes time, love and money (gasp!) to keep a ride 'as you want'. Knoebel's, from what I heard, goes to court occasionally to keep Phoenix seat belt free. People have tried to get 'modern' trains on the CI Cyclone, etc. The people in charge of the rides obviously feel the rides as they are, are important (to at least themselves, and others) and are willing to do the work, dish out cash, etc. to keep them as classic as possible.

To some organizations/companies (Cedar Fair)/folks - it's simply not very important. Like so much of life, it's "It is what it is" kinda thing, and as a coaster enthusiast that is emotional about such things, I just gotta practice the old 'acceptance' and cherish the places that do agree with me and are willing to keep classic stuff as classic as possible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:17 PM

In order To kick an insurance comPany to the curb you first need to find another one willing to insure your park...It's not like they can just call Geico for a quote.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:19 PM

Fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on amusement park insurance!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:04 PM

I don't think I'm ready to start hearing reports of cavemen sightings at Knott's...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:46 PM

Like a good neighbor, State Berry Farm is there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:56 PM

As far as GR is concerned, I would surmise that the state of CA is at least partially, if not wholly responsible for the changes. The number of incidents that had to be reported to DOSH while seemingly insignificant in comparison to the parks atttendence, are considered high for a single attraction.


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