USA 01/19 – Knott’s Berry Farm

Day 9 – Knott’s Berry Farm

Just like I never got DisneySea, I never clocked that this place was a Berry Farm until the station audio said Knott’s… Berry Farm. I’ve been saying it Knotts-berry Farm all my life.

Thanks to the late night preview, I had some sort of a plan for the following morning.
Hit that mouse first. Don’t want another CGA situation.

#1 CoastRider

Well this was terrible. The local obsession with shin bars has made its way to one of these and the result is rather uncomfortable, to the point where a guy in front of me said “nah I’m not doing this” as soon as they put the bars down and got them to let him out. You haven’t thought this one through have you boys?
It’s that Legoland layout as well – crap.

Xcelerator was still doing an Intamin, so jumped back on Hangtime while it was still quiet at this end.

Hangtime (#700)

I like this thing. They’re not trying to be the best thing ever, but coming out with some good solid compact layouts now with proper trains.

The hang on the holding brake with so little area of contact between yourself and the restraint is just fantastic for those who appreciate that sort of exposed feeling and probably quite terrifying for your average guest.

Other than that it’s like half of Smiler (which I enjoy) with proper trains, including the crazy speed hill between inversions. Disorientating fun.

Obviously the night rides were better. The lighting package they have inside the track that syncs up with music in the station was a real spectacle to behold. Not that it isn’t pretty in the day as well.

#2 Xcelerator

They fixed it.
I once sat next to a random guy on Stealth who loved it but said it was short. “It would be better if it did up and down and woop de woop” (gesturing other manoeuvres with his hands).
“They have those in other parks” I said, agreeing that it would probably be an improvement.

This one isn’t. The corners do nothing and you sacrifice the fun hill-nnnnnnnnnn-brakes moment.
So what’s up with half the rides at this place not having enough air gates for the number of rows? I got spited several times by some terrible batching with guests and staff not understanding the concept. Only 2 of 4 people have moved forward into these 4 seats, but I won’t search behind that gate for a 1 or 2, I’ll start calling for people at the other end of the train.
Highlight of the ride was helping out some Korean girls who were confused by the front row queue system.

Montezooma’s Revenge

+1ed this Shuttle Loop the previous night and never went back for it. I like the way the lights go out half a second before the launch. Makes a satisfying set of noises. Other than that, Shuttle Loop.

#3 Jaguar!

Jaguar time. The rare custom Tivoli. Nice to try a unique layout and the interaction with other rides was fun. Imagine that indoor queue can get pretty grim if it’s busy.

#4 Pony Express

Only this Zamperla Moto(Horse)coaster was left cred-wise (not true, but that can wait). It broke down as we got to the station. Nothing major, camped it out for completion and after everyone else had left the queue, it re-opened. Didn’t even need testing.

Ugh, Motorbikes. Seating position seemed slightly less offensive as a horse. Layout was very short and didn’t do a whole lot, but probably a better simulation of what you’re supposed to be doing than the standard Zamperla/Golden Horse layout.

Dark ride time. I like the fact that Voyage to the Iron Reef was trying to link itself to the park in the storyline but it soon got massively confusing and suffered from that issue where having to shoot screens distracts from storytelling. The fact the guns shot ice and it built up on things over time was kinda different and cool.

Better dark ride time. The website sold Calico Mine Ride as something special and it actually is. An actual train ride though the mine – what a great idea. Loads of detail and interesting scenes, effects, smells too (who knew dynamite smelt so nice?). Only complaint would be sitting awkwardly sideways dodging other people’s legs and hurting your neck to see some of the scenery.

Timber Mountain Log Ride was nearby and only down as a maybe on my list, but that was a mistake. Didn’t expect more lengthy and intense dark ride scenes akin to a cowboy Splash Mountain. I believe it actually inspired it. Definitely not one to miss.

Did the train cos it looked nice. Route and views left a little to be desired around the back of the park, when you just run the perimeter fence and either stare out at the road or the back of sheds. Appreciate the live actors doing a little comedy train robbery scene mid-ride though.

The big coasters were all holding their queues, so couldn’t really be bothered for any more laps on this day. Jumped on the observation tower for some views and then headed out early.

Guess I’ll talk the rest now.


It was a pleasant surprise to see new GCI trains on GhostRider. I only knew that it had had some work done on the track. If the ride was bad before, it’s definitely paid off.

It’s got a weirdly mixed layout that makes for a great ride. A couple of huge air time filled drops, questionable flat turnarounds, joyful bouncy twisty sections that appear out of nowhere (my absolute favourite thing on woodies) and the hilariously intense lateral section through the structure. Also just goes on and on. Really solid stuff, favourite wood of the trip.

Silver Bullet

Silver Bullet is weak. Think that shallow first drop has somewhat of a reputation and it is definitely a bit of a joke when you’re on it. The train had a dodgy shuffle (probably from not taking anything fast enough) and the ride provided none of the signature strong positives or snappy transitions that make a B&M invert special. If a back row at night can’t sell you on one of these, you’ve done something wrong.

Shame, looks nice.

Sierra Sidewinder

The Mack spinner was unfortunate. Never got a decent spin on it. I loved it as the Spiderman incarnation and this still had the overly intense helices (better than the invert) but otherwise fell a little short.

Another park of mixed feelings really. It took me 4 separate visits to get everything I wanted out of it (popped back in another couple of times after this) so it was always too busy to get a real judge of the place. Quite often the operations didn’t help that, the single rider idea only existing on 1 ride for 1 hour on 1 day was a bit of a tease and some other incidents just plain sucked.
It has a couple of nice areas and unique attractions, but none of the creds are amazing enough to provide much pull to me for the future.

Day 10

USA 01/19 – Sea World San Diego
USA 01/19 – Pacific Park

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