Turkey Week Trip to KBF & SFMM

Associated parks:

I headed down south for my annual Thanksgiving trip to Knott’s and Magic Mountain. At Knott’s we stayed at the Radisson (not a great place, but close to the park) and at Magic we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn (a little nicer than the Radisson, but still only so-so.) As is my tradition, we went to KBF for one day (Wed) and SFMM for 2 days (Thurs-Fri.)

Wednesday: We got to Knott’s early, about 8:45am and there wasn’t a single person there! No ticket counters were open, and the occasional maintenance person drove by, but beside that, it was eerily empty. By the time the park opened, there were maybe 150-200 people, obviously the park was pretty dead all day. We hurried over to Supreme Scream, but had to go through Camp Snoopy because the path along the lake was closed for construction. I noticed they got some new sharp logos on the cars for Supreme Scream, they looked great and not nearly as dull as the old ones. The drop on SS may not be super intense, but boy is that mother’ tall!

After two consecutive rides on that 252ft beast, I decided it would be wise to ride Xcelerator just in case it broke down later (which it did at about 5pm, but not at all other than that.) This was my accomplice’s first ride on Xcelerator. It was a little shaky, but the launch still kicks nutter butters. Funny how just before we entered the park my accomplice had mentioned that Superman Ride of Steel at SFNE would never be replaced as his number one… it only took two front seat Xcelerator rides to change that.

Hammerhead was slowly being taken down, but who cares, we went to ride Boomerang. Is it just me, or is SFMW’s boomerang one of the better ones? Knott’s Boomerang is slow and rough… ours up north is not too rough, but it sure is fast. After that a slow Montezooma ride and typical Jaguar, then we headed up to GhostRider.

I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly with this coaster, and on this day happened to be one of the good. The silver train was a little rougher, but the airtime was a lot better in it. Later in the day we were on the last train of the day in the backseat- insanity!

That’s about it for the Knott’s rides, except Mystery Lodge which I saw for the first time. Although the show wasn’t too special, I had a friend who wet ahead and explained how it works, which blew my mind to an extent. I would have never guessed!

Thursday: We drove up to Magic Mountain from Knott’s early in the morning and made it there by 8:30. Not feeling like standing at the entrance, we walked in the bus parking next to X. There just happened to be a couple of maintenance guys inspecting the second raven on X, one climbed while one spotted. The spotter struck up some conversation with us for a few minutes until we went and got in line at the entrance. Luckily he had informed us that just about everything would be one train operation both days, otherwise we might have been a little surprised.

When the park opened we ran our little gooses off getting up the hill to X (the competition was pretty fast this time) and we made second train of the day front seat... my accomplice had not been on X, but had mentioned to me he didn’t think anything could beat out Xcelerator. Again he reworked his top ten, as X became his most favorite coaster by about the first raven. After our ride on X it didn’t take much investigation to figure out the following rides would be one train operation:




Riddler’s Revenge


Colossus (which only ran backward, and did get a second train later)



Goliath Jr.

Canyon Blaster

And the following rides were not operating:

Superman the Escape (there is no “:” in the name people!)

Déjà Vu

Tidal Wave

The Log Flume (not Arrowhead Splashdown-thingy)

But Ninja, Revolution, and Goldrusher all ran multiple trains!

We hurried and rode everything quickly, then just chilled for the rest of the day, taking it easy. Goliath and X got up to 4 hour waits and Riddler was 3 hours. Everything else was 30 minutes-2hours. Right. Thrill Shot had no line, and it was tons-o-fun, we got 2 rides on it because of a mild breakdown o the second half of the first one.

Friday: This day was a little better. We were able to ride X twice, Batman (which we skipped the previous day with the line being so long) and Colossus a whole bunch just because it’s so much fun backward. Riddler’s Revenge never opened and the train for Déjà Vu was sitting next to Psyclone, so we didn’t stick around to see if it would open. Scream was rough and not as fun as it was on Media Day, and we never got on Goliath because its line was anything-but nominal. Actually only Goliath, Batman, Psyclone, and X ran one train on Friday, so the waits weren’t too bad. Couldn’t resist the Moose Burger Lodge, and although Superman never ran, we had a great time.

I don’t know what else to say about this trip, so at this point I’ll take questions and comments.

*** Edited 12/2/2003 3:00:51 AM UTC by GoliathKills***

We also went to SFMM Thursday (2003 Season Pass) and KBF Friday, flying out from the east coast. Staying at the same 2 properties, I'd say the Raddison was nicer than the Hilton, went on the "Romance" pkg, which included tickets, dinner, breakfast and champange & chocolates delivered to the room for $149. Hilton was $93 a night, room only. We had a great T-day dinner at the Black Angus down the road.

Did the maintenance guys have any insight on why only 1 train was running on "X" and Goliath?!? (other than it's a typical SF park and the management could give 2 clicks about their guests) We've been to 10 SF parks and SFMM ranks in the lowest quarter for sure. I can't believe people actually think it's better than CP, I can't see how. Must have been at least 50 people cut the lines on "X" and Goliath, what a joke. Obviously the fish stinks from its head to its tail at Six Flags. No wonder they're in such trouble.

KBF employees were very nice, the park well themed and decorated for Xmas. Highly recommend this one! Ghostrider (2 trains) was excellent, our first ride of the day in the front seat and last ride of the night in the last seat, what a ride!! Xcelerator (2 trains) was a rush, can't wait for Hershey's coaster after this one. Hard to believe it's only half as tall as TTD. Great pieces of history in this park, from the train to the stagecoach, buidlings over 100 years old, this is a classic park, emphasis on "class".

156 coasters and counting

I'd like to know why you call your "friend" accomplice? Just seems strange.
Accomplice just sounds cool. ;)

After talking to a few ride ops, they don't have the money at the moment to get Goliath's other two trains running, same thing with X. Usually Magic isn't quite like that, usually it's tons-o-fun. Sorry you visited Magic on just the wrong day... I would be pissed if I didn't visit 3 times a year.

I agree with Parker, with SFMM, you gotta hit it on the right day to have a good time. It is a bummer for those that come from far away and only get to visit once, and have to deal with the long lines and 1 train op. But for us nearby (well, I'm 5 hrs away, kinda nearby!), it can be a great place if you can hit it on a slow day.

Like my visit last Sunday, front parking lot was half full, even with only 1 train op, the longest line I experienced was 1/2hr for X. Everything else was a 5-10 minute wait, pure coaster heaven! Even the bathrooms and overall cleanliness throughout the park was superior due to the small crowds. One of the best days I've ever had on The Mountain, absolute blast!

Nice post jomo. I agree 100%.

I forgot to mention in the TR that I talked to a ride-op on X and he mentioned that they were getting $15,000,000 for 2004 and that lots of the rides would be cleaned. They all need it to some degree, but Ninja REALLY needs it.

*** Edited 12/4/2003 4:23:23 AM UTC by GoliathKills***

rollergator's avatar
I like the word accomplice...kinda like "Partner in Crime", only without the crime part...:)

I have had both kinds of days at "The Mountain", but I'm usually lucky enough to be accompanied by great friends, and that ALWAYS makes the day better!

Gotta wonder about multi-training Revolution, were they having a special on Alleve at the gift shop? ;)

I was also at SFMM on Thanksgiving with a whole bunch of relatives. While we liked the coasters we got a chance to ride, the one train operation was incredibly frustrating. Several of us have Cedar Point season passes and know how fast a line should move when the operators and equipment are running at 100%. SFMM’s performance, at least for that one day, was a complete joke.

And what is with the line cutting? We figured that there must be some sort of rule that if you hold a cell phone to your ear you can walk to the front of the line.

Big surprise of the day for us was Ninja! What a cool ride. Plus it was running two trains (Gasp!) and had no wait. I’m convinced that CP’s Iron Dragon has to be the absolute worst suspended coaster. The others I’ve ridden (Top Gun, Big Bad Wolf) are all fun rides.

Being on two suspended coasters...Top Gun (PKI) and ID (CP), I agree. Top Gun surprised me most with the speed since I assumed it would go slow like ID. Glad to hear you had a decent time. Our only Thanksgiving tradition is bowling on Turkey Day.
Soggy's avatar
Amazing what a good time can be had at SFMM when you realize what it means to go there in the off season.

JustBob: If you think Iron Dragon is bad, go to SF AstroWorld. XLR-8 is absolutely pathetic. ID at least has some good moments near the end, not so for XLR-8.

Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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