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Late Knott's TR from 03/15-Pics Of Completed Pony Express


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Well, I had meant to have this up last Sunday, but in between work and freelance projects that came to me with sudden, last minute revisions and deadlines, and the fact that I have been deathly sick with the flu all week, I am just now getting to it.

 

So, even though I had spent the previous Saturday at KBF for Solace, I ended up going again on Saturday the 15th to meet up with my friend John O., who after taking a year off from Knott's decided to reinstate his annual pass (I'm still trying to get him to come up to SFMM with me and get a pass there as he has not been there since Flashback was the newest coaster.)

 

Unfortunately, due to a very late work night beforehand, I ended up oversleeping and getting to the park at 9:55 instead of the planned 9:45. Side note: the parking attendants continue to be friendly every time now. We got up to the front gate just as the park was opening and went in.

 

There was a nice little display up front about the Pony Express, along with a prerecorded spiel really playing up the ride as a family fun experience. We walked past that and headed for GhostRider.

 

As usual-long line. For some reason, they had the PA system running so loud that you could barely hold a conversation over it when they dispatched a train. They were running Silver and Gold trains; someone told me to avoid Gold to avoid a bone rattling ride, so we waited for Silver. We got second row, and although it was a rough ride, it was more tolerable than usual.

 

We stopped off to grab a coffee and blueberry muffin at the bakery as I had not eaten, and then walked over to Silver Bullet to see that on another busy Saturday, they were still in one train operation. There was someone working on the train, but it did not appear as if it would be operational all day. As a result, the line was almost full, and we decided to wait and went off to do a few other things first.

 

We checked out some of the craft booths for the Spring crafts festival, and then went on the Log Ride and walked over after that so I could get some pics of the Pony Express construction. The ride looks fun, but very, very short; although I think it is a good addition to the park to round out the family experiences, I still cannot find myself very excited about it. My friend was even less excited, referring to it as "Bologna Express", but we agreed that the park is doing something good by getting another coaster for the family and tried to look at it as "Xcelerator Jr". I just hope that someday they will get another big (e.g., Xcel, Silver Bullet) coaster.

 

We spent a minute at the craft booth where they have the fragrant rocks (for what purpose, I'm not sure) that my friend almost mistook for candy and then stopped in front of the Screamin' Swing (which my friend refuses to ride, and which I did not have the extra $ to ride that day), put the camera in a locker, and headed back over to Bullet.

 

We got in line for Silver Bullet, and although it took over an hour and a half to get on, it was a good ride as always. While not as thrilling as some of the other coasters I enjoy (Tatsu, X) it remains my favorite at KBF.

 

He stopped and got some nachos and I got a Diet Pepsi, and then we were on our way to go ride Sierra Sidewinder, but decided to ride Montezoomas instead. Just as we were about to launch, the ride broke down and we had to get out, wait about 15 minutes for them to come and fix whatever was wrong, and then ride.

 

Next up was the Train-we managed to get one of the outside cars and sit in the sun, as it was getting cold-and as we were passing Pony Express, I noticed something I had not at Solace; they had literally ripped part of the roof off of Bigfoot Broiler to fit the launch area in. The bandits came on to the train and did their thing (I think it's a nice touch that the park still has the "train robbers" as part of the ride) and soon we were back where we started.

 

It was time to grab dinner; I wanted to try Panda Express but my friend had his heart set on TGIFridays, so we ended up going there. Had the French Onion Soup and Jack Daniel's Pulled Pork Sandwich. (By the way-if you're like me and don't like to eat too much fried food, they will gladly substitute mashed potatoes for the fries). Had some overpriced dessert and headed back into the park.

 

We got on Calico Mine Ride-a classic that I usually ride every time I go- and then were planning on hitting Silver Bullet again before my friend had to leave, but we walked up to find the ride closed "due to wind". GhostRider, Xcel and Supreme Scream were also closed due to winds, in fact, there were very few rides open. I personally didn't think it was that windy at first. But when we managed to get on Bullet right as they reopened it, and got to the top of the lift, I understood-very windy, and very cold.

 

After this, my friend had to leave; I walked out with him to put my camera in the car, and to check out the sale in the Market Place (everything was 25% off.) There is a great window set up in Virginia's Gift Shop of some of all of the old Knott's signs from the 70's. I went back in the park about 8pm, and found that although Silver Bullet was open, Xcel, which I had yet to ride, was still closed, as was GhostRider (I don't think GhostRider ever reopened all night). Xcel finally opened and my plan was to ride that, Supreme Scream, and La Revolucion and then get in line for Silver Bullet at 9:45. However, just as my extremely cold and windy ride on Xcel came to an end, it started to rain, and there was no way I was riding Supreme Scream in the cold rain.

 

So, I got in line for Silver Bullet at 8:40, and ended up getting on the front row just as the park closed at 10pm. Grabbed a coffee from the Market Place and headed out.

 

It was a fun day, but being out without a good enough jacket and so tired in the cold wind and rain resulted in a very nasty case of the flu that has had me down all week and out of work for a couple of days!

 

All in all, it was a decent day at KBF; although the park has its problems (I'm still a little peeved at the one train op on Bullet, I thought they already had their rehab in December....), I still enjoy it and that's why I renew my pass every year.

 

I'll let the pics and captions tell the rest.....sorry for the smaller image size and resolution, one of these days when I have the time to get my server and site back up and running I will post them hosted from my server.....

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Insert your own fun caption here.....this poor guy is just sitting down in the gully below all the Pony Express footers.....Thanks for Reading!

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Wanted to try this place out, maybe next time. I like the way they made the exterior match, and the inside is pretty nice as well.

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Didn't eat here this time, but did want to comment that I think this is one of the better places to eat at the park.

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The end of the line-the brake run hill into the station. From what I was told at Solace, the entrance will be somewhere close to where that tractor is parked.

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If you look closely, you can see some additional footers by the turn, I think these are for the "tunnel" structure

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Final banked turn into the brake run hill

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Bottom of the third hill, crossing Bigfoot canal and going into final banked turn

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Going into the third hill. The way the coaster interacts with the midway and Bigfoot Rapids should make it interesting, and at the very least bring more life to the area. You can also see the magnetic brake run here.

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Same hill from the other side, you can see how it dives over the midway.

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The other side of the second hill, with a better view of the station. The queue is supposedly going in the cleared area next to the Porta Potties.

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Hill after the drop. The silver things sticking up at the bottom right are the supports for the station roof. The entrance will be over by Bigfoot Rapids.

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Drop from the other side. After the drop you go up a bunny hill and take a curving dive to the right next to Bigfoot Rapids.

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Completed first "drop" after the launch into the banked turn.

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The flywheel launch mechanism. I actually think this looks kind of cool with the Western Theming.

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It's Knott's new Horsey Coaster!

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Wait.....what's that through the trees?

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My failed attempt at a cool shot of Screamin' Swing.....

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The trucks they brought the cheerleaders in on, and part of my friend snapping a shot of Screamin' Swing

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There were also a ton of cheerleader events going on-making the park more crowded than usual.

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One of the school groups performing music at the park (there were a lot of events going on last Saturday). Here they are about to play a rousing rendition of Dio's "Holy Diver".

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Ok-this guy is set up as part of the Snoopy Safari thing they have going on; the little train goes past him under Silver Bullet. That's not bad. But in addition to dancing back and forth, he loudly plays the same 8 bar refrain of "Crocodile Rock" over and over and over and over and over.....during the lengthy line for Silver Bullet. Cute, but after the first hour it got annoying!

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One of my favorite parts of the ride, the final corkscrew/wingover/whatever you call it-the Zero-G and overbank are still my favorites, though.

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Heading down the drop-not the steepest, but still fun.

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.....or maybe not.....

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Why look.....they have one of the Silver Bullet trains in rehab. Surely, the crowd must be pretty light today.....

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For some reason, I thought this was funny.....I have no idea why.

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One of the Craft Booths set up. I'm not sure I would want to buy anything made of hair.

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As usual, GhostRider was our first ride. Silver Train was running pretty smooth.

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This is the display you see when entering the park-here's hoping no one takes them up on the fine print on the sign where it says "Wages $25 A Week!"

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Those pictures of Pony Express are really good. The ride looks a lot better than I thought it would.

 

That Silver Bullet line looks ridiculous! I know that at some points they have to take one of the trains down for maintainance, but they could have picked a better time of the year or perhaps they could have just taken down the whole ride for both trains to rehab in like January or something.

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Does look like a fun family ride. I will say the colors actually match up great. Thank god they didn't go with the steel color tracks. If they did... *plummet*

 

Jeeze, it's been like 5 years since I last went to Knotts Berry Farm, and they already have 3 more coasters since my visit. Silver bullet, Sidewinder, and Pony Express. I must go there this Summer.

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Pony Express looks really awesome, and the theming doesn't look to bad either. Does anyone know the date when Pony Express is suppose to open?

BTW Nice Pictures.

 

Thanks for the compliments on the pics!

 

In re the opening, I have consistently been hearing Memorial Day Weekend, same as with Sierra Sidewinder last year. Based on how far along they are (they went from being 1/3 done with track work to complete in six days), I can see that happening. Trains are supposed to arrive within a week or two from what I have heard.

 

Thanks for posting the pictures for Pony in the order of the layout! That was awesome! It's hard to photograph the layout since it makes an L towards the back. Great job!

 

Thanks-that was the reason I did it, there is not really a place to get a good shot of the entire layout. Well, the Sky Cabin, maybe, but by the time we were going to go up there, it was closed due to winds.

 

They really did do a pretty creative job of shoehorning this ride in. If someone had told me a coaster was going in that small space alone, I would never have believed it. And the launch gets REALLY close to Bigfoot Broiler, I wish I had gotten a picture of how they had literally ripped off a section of the roof to make clearance.

 

That Silver Bullet line looks ridiculous! I know that at some points they have to take one of the trains down for maintainance, but they could have picked a better time of the year or perhaps they could have just taken down the whole ride for both trains to rehab in like January or something.

 

They were supposed to have it down for a week in either November, December or January, but I don't think they did. As a result, what is usually the fastest moving coaster line in the park was one of the slowest. Ah, well. At least it was open.

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