Silver Bullet: The Review

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, December 7, 2004 1:45 AM
I had the honor and joy of riding a few nights ago, and seeing as the ride opens in a little over 14 hours, I think its fair to post my review now. :)

I have to say that the ride has really come together in the past few weeks (or days for that matter) with some nice landscaping and theming objects. I have to admit a lot of it looks like the Wild West theming on RCT2. For the first time in its construction phase I really feel like it fits nicely with its surroundings.

The queue actually reminds me a lot of Raptor, with a frightening amount of switchbacks under the brake run and transfer track area. About three flights of stairs gets you up to the station, nicely given a wooden facade.

One thing that I thought was cool was that for the first time, Knott's gave a headset to one of the ride operators on the platform to pump the guests up for the ride Cedar Point-style. They were doing an excellent job with the enthusiasm that night- something I hope they keep up!

So the ride itself... A quick right turn out of the station and up the lift. Its nice to have another coaster with a lift at Knott's. The drop, as you've probably seen, is not too steep, but it certainly does build some speed before heading into the loop. There is some good footchoppers on the right side of the train. Its also neat to look down and see Jaguar's track below your feet. I'm interested to see how it looks to have a train full of riders come by just out of foot's reach. ;)

The ride itself if butter smooth- just the way a B&M ought to be.

The loop, I found, has a lot of hangtime whether you sit in the front or back. Pretty cool.

The overbanked turn is great! It certainly feels wild on an inverted coaster. That riding style really emphasizes the banking. Its a neat feeling, and has some airtime as the train goes over the stagecoach trail and flys towards the ground en route to the cobra roll.

The cobra roll is nice, has a bit of vibration (not headbanging, just vibration) here, but perhaps they have taken care of that now (as they have had a few days between my rides and opening day). Its very minor, and something I have noticed on more than a few B&M rides. Certainly doesn't take away from the ride at all.

So back to the ground the train goes. The exit of the cobra roll is where the photo is taken. The train blasts back up and into one of the sweetest zero-g-rolls I think I have ever experienced (especially in the front). You certainly get that 0-g feeling here as you twist over the stagecoach trail once more.

Different than most zero-g-rolls, the track heads directly into a caroseul turn back towards the lake.

A wingover follows the turn. Nice and smooth, without the snap that I don't like on Batman: The Ride. The track banks to the right as it dips down towards the water (the lake wasn't done when I rode). Finally the train flips into the last wingover, landing directly above what will be the water.

The last helix is sweet though! Very forceful. If you have been on PGA's Top Gun, I'd say that it is VERY similar (which is a really good thing!). After feeling the G's, the train glides into the brake run and its magnetic brakes (which very smoothly slow the train).

One thing of note is that the ride is simply silent. All you can hear is the wind rushing. Certainly no B&M roar here!

All things considered, the ride is smooth, forceful and a lot of fun! IMO, Knott's and B&M have a winner on their hands with this ride. I highly reccomend it, so head out to KBF and give Silver Bullet a shot (pun intended).

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 1:52 AM
Two things:


Knott's gave a headset to one of the ride operators on the platform to pump the guests up for the ride Cedar Point-style

Excellent move! One of those little things that really help.


A wingover follows the turn...

Nice to see someone else who still uses the 'wingover' term - I thought it was pretty much dead.

Sounds like a great ride!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 2:01 AM
Sounds like a fun ride. My favorite inverters are the short ones that don't let up any speed until the end (Batman, Dragons), however a nice big invert with unique elements can't be that bad. On a related note, I swear the lack of roar on Kraken takes away somthing from the ride. Either way, I hope to get to Knotts in 2006.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 2:36 AM
Call me crazy, kick me in the groin and take my enthusiast credentials, but I prefer the silent treatment on the B&M's. I don't think it affects me percerption of the ride at all, but Talon and Kraken are two of my favorites...and two of the silent breed.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 3:08 AM
That sounds awesome that you got to ride it so early. I have two questions -- How do you compare it to other B&M inverts (one of my favorite types of rides) and how was the "gentle-slope" that was the first drop? I thought that maybe it was a little too gentle to be fun... but I was only judgind by photos ;)
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 6:27 AM
That intrigues me about the ride operator getting a head set like they do at CP because I could have swore on one of the Hydra vids on DP's site at the very end of one of them the ride op said "How was your ride?" Perhaps a foretaste of a thing to come to more CF parks?
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 7:41 AM
Call me nuts but the bit about the attendant having the head set really, really made me happy. This is one of that best things about Cedar Point, and to see it spreading is really, really fantastic.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 9:11 AM
...except that CP is slowly getting rid of all of their human speils.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 9:16 AM
Great review! thanks. A silent breed B&M with magnetic breaking....so sweet. I think silent B&M inverts are cool because it adds to the sensation of flight inverted coasters offer. Also it's cool they had the live operator...It should be standard at all CP parks. Once you've been to CP, all other parks without any live interaction with the guests just seem cold and dead to me.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 9:48 AM
And here I thought Cedar Fair was mandating auto-speiels for new rides so they can illogically conclude that it would save their ass in a lawsuit. Good to hear.

We don't get to see new inverters as often as we used to, so when one does open, it's great to hear! I hope I get a chance to ride this one sooner than later.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 10:19 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
Two things:


Knott's gave a headset to one of the ride operators on the platform to pump the guests up for the ride Cedar Point-style

Excellent move! One of those little things that really help.


Do you guys really like that constant Cedar Fair babble? "We're going take you up ## feet and drop you ## feet at ## degrees at a speed of over ## mph. They say the same thing over and over and over again ad-nauseam.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 11:10 AM

RamblinWreck said:
I have two questions -- How do you compare it to other B&M inverts (one of my favorite types of rides) and how was the "gentle-slope" that was the first drop? I thought that maybe it was a little too gentle to be fun... but I was only judgind by photos ;)

This is in my opinion, but I prefer it over Raptor, Batman and Top Gun (at PGA). It really comes down to personal preferece though, but for me the scenery and interaction with its surroundings gives it that little something extra. Its considerably longer than both Batman and Top Gun, which is certainly nice. As for Raptor, it really comes down to personal opinion. But between the scenery, the forceful ending, the overbanked turn and the great zero g roll, I prefer Silver Bullet over Raptor.

The first drop isn't exactly steep, like you mentioned. However, the drop is pretty long and does build some great speed as you get towards the bottom. Its certainly different from other inverts, but not too bad really.

As for ^, I would take the "babble" of the statistics over the silence, grumbling or mechanical autospiels on the PA at other parks. It shows some enthusiasm and interaction on behalf of the ride ops, and that isn't something you find at all parks. Besides, the average guest doesn't know these stats, and it probably adds to the experience to think of just how tall and fast the ride is.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 11:13 AM

Jeffrey Seifert said:
They say the same thing over and over and over again ad-nauseam.
And that's worse than the pre-recorded stuff how?
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 11:34 AM
^Exactly!

At least the human spiel has some randomness - usually the ops have fun with it (at least based on CP of the past).

It can be really great if you run into a crew just having a fun day.

And the "Welcome back riders. How was your ride?" should be mandatory at EVERY park.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 12:13 PM
^Amen! I want to work at SFA this summer and I was banking on being able to interact with riders. I suppose I could use the microphone-like thingy, whatever you want to call it. That's one thing I always liked about CP: guest interaction. Nice to hear Knott's is doing the same. I'd really like to get out there and try this one. *** Edited 12/7/2004 5:13:38 PM UTC by sirloindude***
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 12:17 PM

Jeff said:
And that's worse than the pre-recorded stuff how?

At least it can be understood. I've heard far too many announcements from operators who should not be put in front of a microphone. The pre-recorded announcements are usually short and to the point. I've heard operators screaming into the microphone to the point that all that comes out is distortion.


And the "Welcome back riders. How was your ride?" should be mandatory at EVERY park.

You guys need to get around some more. You've been hanging around Cedar Fair parks for so long you're starting to think like them. :)

*** Edited 12/7/2004 6:04:39 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 12:40 PM
The funny thing is that I visited 19 parks in 2004 and not one of them was a CF park. :)

There's something to be said for the human touch and I don't think it's coincidence that guests seem to be into it more and having more fun in general when given just a nudge of encouragement from a ride crew having an equally good time. There's an atmosphere that is created that isn't nearly as sterile and lifeless.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 2:42 PM

Jeffrey Seifert said:

Jeff said:
And that's worse than the pre-recorded stuff how?

At least it can be understood. I've heard far too many announcements from operators who should not be put in front of a microphone. The pre-recorded announcements are usually short and to the point. I've heard operators screaming into the microphone to the point that all that comes out is distortion.


And the "Welcome back riders. How was your ride?" should be mandatory at EVERY park.

You guys need to get around some more. You've been hanging around Cedar Fair parks for so long you're starting to think like them. :)

*** Edited 12/7/2004 6:04:39 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***


At SF parks that have mics the workers there are too dumb to talk clearly, but I've never had that problem at Cedar Point, generally they are very clear, and the mic is on loud enough.

The originality which most ops DO @ Cedar point, notably Raptor, makes the 'Raptor Experience' complete. "When she says your clear that means you are OUtta here! So hang on tight, sit up right, and enjoy the flight on Raptor!"

Much better than the "When riding remember to remain seated, facing forward and up right keeping your hands arms and legs inside the train at all times....." it's awful

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 2:57 PM
Excellent review! You gave a thourough description, yet brief and to the point. Enough information to know I want to ride it, but didn't blow it out of proportion to set expectations too high! Nice!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004 3:06 PM
Pre-recordings....ha....

Sorry, it just makes me think of Volcano EVERY time I hear the word recording. :-)

"Pleese secure ahll loooose ahticals. Looose ahticals are not permitted ohn de ride."

At least it has the theme down pat though...

I would much rather listen to a live speaker. Silver Bullet sounds great, too bad I probably won't be getting to Cali anytime soon, if ever.

Thanks for the review, I've been waiting for one since I heard the announcement.

Josh

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