I have read numerous trip reports and other posts in other topics about how this ride doesn't get ever get more than a 15 minute wait. I was just wondering why the ride isn't more popular than it is. It looks like a very awesome and intense ride experience (I've never been to KBF). You have that vertical twisting drop and the 82 mph launch.
It's kind of a shame when you build a brand new roller coaster and then not have it be a tremendous hit with the guests. One theory I have heard is that it might not have been marketed/promoted that well. Anyone else have any other theories?
It's the fear factor. More people are willing to ride Supreme Scream than Xcelerator. It's just one of those rides where you look around and you see the same amount of people watching as those waiting in line - people go wide-eyed. This doesn't mean the waits are always less than 15 minutes. I've seen days where the queue is packed all the way to the entrance. But it's true - unlike past Knott's rides, Xcelerator did not have any aggressive marketing/promotions/advertisements when it opened.
It seems to me that people like watching Xcelerator more than riding. I can't count the times that I have been iin line for it and the person behind, or in front of me is watching launch, and either walks into the line divider, trash can or turnstile.
Knotts proably overstepped its traditional family GP majority with that ride, too scary for them. BGW has a similar "problem" (its more of a gift to us) with Alpengeist, youre going to find a longer wait for LNM, at least that was true the last time I was there.
Being *inversionless*, I am kinda surprised at the short lines for Xcel...esp. considering that the 15-minute Xcelerator line on one side of the park was countered by waits of well over an hour for Ghostie...
Betelgeuse nothing, THAT is *the Ghost with the most*...still, doesn't fully explain the reluctance for Xcel. Now if the steel-heads were busy queueing for the last couple rows of Monte, at least *that* would make sense to me...;)
I got on Xcelerator 12 times in an hour in February. It is a good ride but does not compare with TTD by any means. I rode GhostRider 16 times that day as well so the traffic was light. The trains were always full though.
There were a few people who did not get on them because the LAUNCH. They thought it was scary.
I found the same Xcel = 15 minutes while Ghostie = 1 hour when I was there a year ago. I agree that a lot of folks are probably intimidated by the launch. 0-80 mph in 2.3 seconds is pretty honkin' quick. A Ferrari Enzo can't even do that! (0-60mph in 3.3 sec - Car and Driver test, July 2003 issue)
Touchdown said: Knotts proably overstepped its traditional family GP majority with that ride, too scary for them.
I agree. Knott's is really a family park. It doesn't typically attract the same thrillseeking clientele as SFMM.
Do Knott's guests like thrill rides? Of course. Why would KBF add such rides if that wasn't the case? But I don't think that the average guest at KBF prefers a ride that is as wild as Xcelerator. (I think that Silver Bullet will be much more successful)
Don't get me wrong, everyone who rides Xcelerator loves the ride. But like everybody here said, there is a very big proportion who wouldn't dream of setting foot on that ride and would prefer to simply watch it.
I also think it is a great ride, and the small lines are very surprising for a ride that is great. But i would guess the launch scares some people. Now if only GR had such small lines or would run at better capacity.
Moosh had hit the nail on the head. The top hat looks "unsafe" in most guest's minds. That's the reason my wife refuses to ride it. And it doesn't matter that it hasn't fallen down yet, because it will probably fall down on the one time THEY decide to ride it.
I also agree that Silver Bullet will draw HUGE lines almost all the time. Much more than Xcelerator's anyway. The peeps love them "feet dangling" rides.
Wicked Twister has this kind of problem. The ride is great and looks cool but it is over looked by Raptor, Millennium Force, Mantis, and Top Thrill Dragster. Location is also this ride's problem. I love watching TTD is as fun as riding I think. I'm comparing Xcel to TTD but my friends at school see TTD and WT as unsafe. The launches and the rate of acceleration, the restrants that hold you while looking straight down, and the occansional rollbacks creates rumors of lack of safty. A coaster geek like myself would know better to believe such things but the GP doesn't. Xcel and WT both have a lot of unsupported track which looks to be unsafe. No matter how good the rides are they are still scary looking and the looks of rides will always pull people away from them.
I think its also a matter of putting people through faster. WT's cycle is about the same as Xcel's (at least the way Xcel was running the day I was out there), and that cycle is about 1/2 to 1/3 of most other "major" coasters (TTD excepted - but that was also earlier mentioned that the line gets real short - like struggles to get over an hour and a half when its at full speed) so you really are moving more people. If Xcel or WT took 2 1/2 to 3 minutes for a full load/run/unload cycle, the lines would probably be an hour or longer on bad days.
But, hey, I'll take it the way it is - short lines for my favorite ride in the park! (both of them!)
It also has to do with the height. West Coast park goers aren't used to Hypercoasters yet, and unlike our other 2 Hypers, you get very upclose and personal with Xcel's 205ft tall hill upon entering the que. A very intimidating coaster for the typical KBF GP.
Scream Machine said: I was just wondering why the ride isn't more popular than it is. .. You have that vertical twisting drop and the 82 mph launch.
Anyone else have any other theories?
Well, sadly, I have what I think will be an unpopular theory. Before the flames get to hot, I'd like to see some actual factual estimates of the comparisions I about to make. (I made mental notes the last time, but seem to have forgotten since I didn't write them down.)
Simply put, Monte launches "harder" and has more "intense elements" with "longer duration". Xcelerator is a step backwards.
I have gone to KBF 4 times in the last 6 months (ok, no biggie). Nearly everytime the train on Monte stops, you can hear laughing and applause from the riders. Xcelerators train remains quiet as it comes to a smooth stop after those two long drawn out overbanked turns.
Is Xcelerator fast? HECK YES!!! ... but the accleration comes on smoothly and is longer then Monte's. And, most Californians are not a stranger to speed as they drive fairly fast on the freeways (if traffic allows).
Xcelerator's major feature, the Tophat, just doesn't seem to "invoke fear" the same as an inversion does. I still have no idea why people are more scared to ride the Corkscrew then Tremors at Silverwood; but I've observed the general public many times to know this is true.
Monte's gut slugging brakes and quick return to station also beat out Xcelerator's smooth brakes and up to 20 min wait back to station (yes "I" was STUCK on the train for that long one time.)
Xcelerator is a two trick pony that is over before you can blink twice, and the general public just doesn't care for it. Don't believe me? I've taken 3 familys to KBF, and those that are not afraid to ride, just don't find Xcelerator to be "fun". Its a "good" ride, but lacking.
I like Xclerator, but the launch, while fast, really does NOT push my stomach up into my throat. The Tophat just makes it feel like you WOULD fly out of your seat if the restraints failed; no real air. Now, to try to calm the flames, there are TWO neat parts about the ride. I REALLY like the twists from the front seat. And, the change in forces in the rear seat. But, those are just fractions of time considering the whole ride.
The blunt truth of the matter is that the members of the family I was with would rather ride the log ride twice in a row then Xcelerator twice in a row.
I'm like to try an anti-flame question. Why did I notice the GP rush to enjoy HULK over and over? (Only other launched coaster I've ridden)
Anyone else care to comment on Xclerator and Hulk GP response after ride?