Knott's Berry Farm

05/26/2013
The expectations for Knott's Berry Farm were pretty high today, even though the park is no longer the cozy family park of the past because in 1997 it was sold by the Knott family to the Cedar Fair group. Before we found the right car park we drove around the park twice already, the signage does not excel in clarity. Once arrived at the right place it's already pretty full with cars this early in the morning.

We have already purchased and printed tickets online at the hotel, which makes quite a difference because with these we can go directly through the turnstiles and do not need to be in the huge line at the tills. Inside the park it initially doesn't seem too bad but we know there's a lot of people waiting to get in. We pick up a sandwich in front of the Ghost Rider and start breakfast.

The public now rushes in and we consider the option of purchasing a Fast Lane ticket for this park as well. However, this appears to be a lot more expensive than the starting price in the brochure and we ended up buying just one.

At Silver Bullet (#809) there are now more people than can fit in the queue. With the Fast Lane pass I can walk past the line straight into the station and wait for a ride front seat. Silver Bullet is a 950 meters long and 44 meters high inverted roller coaster of B&M. Again it's a very fine ride with six delicious inversions and a portion of the track is over water.

A little further on is Sierra Sidewinder (#810), a coaster by Mack with trains whose four coaches can spin around. These trains are very similar to those of Euro Mir in Europa Park. However, the track is a lot shorter and less high and thus considerably less exciting. The trains don't spin that fast either. It's a pretty nice ride but not very special.

Timberline Twister is a kiddiecoaster and although it might be possible here to ride it as an adult under 1.75 meter, with the current queue of parents with children I decide not to try.

Then it's a little hard finding the entrance of Jaguar! (#811). Meanwhile the temperature has once again risen well into the 30 degrees so it's time to adjust the internal moisture balance. Jaguar! is a Zierer Tivoli coaster such as Rattlesnake Drako in Walibi Holland and the Kikkerachtbaan of Duinrell but then a lot longer and a lot higher. This rollercoaster is in Aztec theming, covers quite a large portion of the park and runs underneath Silver Bullet.

Right next to Jaguar! stands Montezooma's Revenge, except for Timbertine Twister this is Knott's oldest rollercoaster and the only one I've done during my visit here earlier in 1984. Montezooma was the first rollercoaster I had te nerve to ride again ever since I was a 9-year-old when I came out of the Keverbaan in Attractiepark Slagharen weeping. We both look good for our age even though one of us clearly at least once received a facelift in the past 29 years. Unfortunately more and more of these Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop coasters disappear and now there are only seven remaining worldwide.

We can not say the same of Boomerang (#812), of this model there are currently 42 operational and therefore this is one of the most common type of rollercoasters. Here too we find a copy and fortunately this is a relatively painless version, despite it's 23 years of serving.

Boomerang has recently got new neighbors because at the end of this month a whole new Boardwalk section of the park has opened. In fact: yesterday Coast Rider (#813), the latest rollercoaster of the park, has opened to the public and the official opening will follow. Coast Rider is a Wild Mouse roller coaster from Mack and a mirror image of The Bat in Canada's Wonderland. It is clear that the ride is still brand new because the queue goes up to hundred meters outside the meandering along the entire side of the Boardwalk. Fortunately, waiting doesn't take more than 10 minutes with the Fast Lane pass. It is a fun ride but not something unique. The Boardwalk is a lovely extension of the park by the looks of it with the new flying scooters and scrambler.

The next coaster is Pony Express (#814), a so-called Moto Coaster from Zamperla. Rather than to sit inside the train the riders here lean forward on the horses with a bracket in the back. Then the train is launched to more than 60 km/h in 3 seconds. Unfortunately, after the launch the best part of the ride is over and the rest of the ride is a little lifeless. The Vekoma versions of these coasters such as the Booster Bike at Toverland are a lot more interesting.

Knott's Berry Farm also has a wooden roller coaster. GhostRider (#815) is a woody from 1998 by Custom Coasters International and with almost 1400 meters in length quite a long ride of 2 minute 40. It is not extremely high by today's standards, about 36 meters but the experience is better than it looks at first glance. In total, GhostRider has 14 hills and the track crosses itself 10 times. A very fine rollercoaster this is.

Lastly there is Xcelerator (#816) where the Fast Lane pass unfortunately cannot be used. So this leaves me no alternative but to just stand in line for more than an hour. Fortunately, the coaster runs fine without any disturbances, which in case of this type of rollercoaster is all but guaranteed. The launch of Xcelerator is insanely: from 0 up to 132 km/h in 2.3 seconds. That means an acceleration of 15.9 m/s2. And that feels great. After launching the train shoots vertically into the 62.5 meter high tower and falls back down on the other side. Then there are two long curves at 33 and 27 metres height before the train is slowed to a stop. The whole journey takes about 22 seconds. But wow what a rush!


The traffic flows in this morning. Parking appears to be a small challenge.


At the gate the crowd is not too bad yet. Most people are still queuing at the checkout.


The western theme is well reflected in Knott's. This image I still remember from 29 years ago.


First a healthy breakfast with a tasty sandwich.


The entrance to Silver Bullet. The queue is already more than full.


Silver Bullet has a unique layout but again many familiar elements.


The 32 meter high loop.


Sierra SideWinder's lift hill.


Nice coaster but clearly a smaller brother of Euromir.


The line for the kiddie coaster. You don't really want to join them being an adult without any kids.


Timberline Twister with striking trains and rather thin-looking track.


Jaguar! zooms in front of the Aztec temple.


Good old Montezooma's Revenge.


Boomerang has also regained a paint job for the occasion. Looks fresh.


Coast Rider has just opened one day ago.


Overview.


The new Boardwalk looks neat from the outset.


Brightly colored Riptide. Not quite my kind of ride.


Pony Express has just a little too tame ponies to make it a thrilling ride.


After the launch back towards the station.




Screamin 'Swing is a great swing attraction. Unfortunately too limited capacity for a day like today.


Very pretty rapid river this Bigfoot Rapids.


Entrance to GhostRider. The Fast Lane entrance is located under the station.




Vintage wooden roller coaster. Nothing wrong with that.




The entrance to Xcelerator underneath the tower.


Beautiful tophat at 62.5 meters altitude.


That's it for today.