Xcelerator Opening Night

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:12 PM

I'm not one for writing TR's, but I feel that I should add my $.02 about Knott's new coaster, Xcelerator. For those who haven't heard about the tail end of ACE's CoasterCon XXV, here's a brief rundown. On Thursday, KBF GM Jack Falfas announced that Xcelerator will not be included during any of our ERTs, but the park would comp Con attendees one ticket for the Sat and Sun following in order to ride the new coaster. However, some held a pseudo-vigil Thursday and Friday near the photo booth watching test launches and last minute work and hoping for any word of an opening.

Fast forward now to Saturday. Dilemma time. Legoland down in Carlsbad, CA, was holding an event this day, of which I had already pre-registered. Do I skip Xcelerator for Legoland or vice versa? My group decided to check out Knott's first to get a estimate for the opening. We already knew that the media and auction ride would take place around 3pm. So after receiving my comp ticket I asked about a opening time for Xcelerator. I was told 6:30pm. Great, plenty of time to go to Legoland (which is a really really neat place) and to close Knott's. Anywho, we got back to KBF in time for a few rides late Saturday, and thus ended a very hectic day.

Oh, my impressions of the ride. As you've probably already read from other reports, KBF is not taking any chances with this ride. Here's a list of the policies they're enforcing: 1) Absolutely positively no loose articles in line, including fanny packs 2) No glasses allowed while riding 3) About one inch of slack needed between the MF-style seatbelt loop and the buckle. 4) Maximum stapling a must 5) Head back against headrest 6) Hands down on restraint bar, which is the only grab bar in the train. Although I think the stapling and glasses rules are a little much, I completely understand based on the dynamics of the ride, as well as Knott's history with these restraints, so I really can't complain too much.

As for the launch, hands down the best launch I've ever experienced. By the time I realized what just happened, the train was going over the Top Hat and on it's way down. It's a nice combo of big airtime, speed, and a powerful twist. The launch and top hat is the single most intense one-two punch I've ever experienced on a coaster. The other thing about the launch is it's very, very quiet. Only the sounds of wheels and screams are heard.

I don't want to downplay the rest of the ride, but anyone whose ridden MF or SFNE S:ROS will have know how the overbanks feel. There's nothing really too new about the high turns, other than they're a nice complement to the launch and top hat and a good way to burn off speed from the top hat.

What really intrigues me about this ride is that the whole thing was built, tested, and operating in a very, very short time frame. Of course, this is a very, very short ride clocking in at 24 seconds from launch to brake. However, Xcelerator is a prototype so there really shouldn't be anything else expected. This new launch technology, from what I can tell, is more electrically efficient compared to LIM/LSM and way, way more quiet than a pneumatic or magnetic launch, which I think is the biggest selling point.

Intamin and Knott's has hit a home run with Xcelerator and I hope to see more rides like this soon.

Time for jet lag recovery,

-----------------
Scott W. Short
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com

*** This post was edited by ShiveringTim on 6/24/2002. ***

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:18 PM
Very nice report, glad you got to ride it! It's very helpful to hear about the operating procedures and such, thanks for the info!

-------------
Kara (car-uh)
665 Laps
252 in '02
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer
Proud Co-Founder of the CoasterBuzz Street Team

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:26 PM

Kool nice update. I was just watching the video of it on badnitrus and even though it's not the real thing the launch did seem a lot smoother and quieter.

I have one question about the rules they are enforcing. I know that on Hypersonic they said not to have your hands up during the launch and if you want you can put them up after the hill. Pretty much everyone though, myself included, put my hands up right after the launch so I could get the full feel on Hypersonic. I was wondering if they say anything about after the launch. Did they say anything about no hands up until after the tophat??? Even though it probably won't matter considering parks can't really do anything to people that would put their hands up, I was just wondering their policy on that.

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 9:55 PM
if you are wearing glasses, do they make you take them off and put them in your pocket, or on a shelf, or are they not allowed in the queue. i'll try to wear my contact lenses when i ride.
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Monday, June 24, 2002 4:11 AM

There's nothing they can do about having your hands up after the launch. I know mine went up going over the top hat.

They have a set of number and color coded shelves on the unload side of the station, one for each seat on each train. When I asked about bringing loose items into line and putting them in the shelf, a la my fanny pack, the operator I asked said if they let fanny packs in, then backpacks will start, then stuffed animals, and they don't want to start clogging up the station. The shelves are for glasses, keys, wallets, cell phones, pagers, hats, etc.

-----------------
Scott W. Short
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com

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Monday, June 24, 2002 11:52 AM
I'm sprised they actually allow you to keep stuff in the station. Usually only the monte and bommerang operators encourage you to do this. If you put a humongous teddy bear to the side of ghostrider's station, the ops will hand it back to you after you are all locked in (well, not the largest bears).
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