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Photo TR: Scott's MEGA Trans-American Road Trip!

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So, a few months ago, my buddies Tyler (CTU Agent), Robby (BamaRob21), and I started discussing what we should do for spring break. After contemplating trips to Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, Robby said, "Why don't we just go to California?" And so our crazy road trip was born. In 10 days, we drove 5000 miles to LA and back, hitting every open amusement park on the way.


I just want to say thanks to everybody that helped us out and who met up with us on the trip. We all really appreciate it.


Day One: SFOT (Part 1) & Speed Zone

Day Two: SFOT (Part 2)

Day Three: Vegas

Day Four: Six Flags Magic Mountain

Day Five (Part 1): Knott's Berry Farm

Day Five (Part 2): Disney's California Adventure

Day Six: Disneyland

Day Seven: Belmont Park & Castles 'n' Coasters

Day Eight: No update. Driving day.

Day Nine (Part 1): Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Day Nine (Part 2): SeaWorld Texas and SFFT return

Day Ten: Kemah Boardwalk

Special Update! CTU Agent has an accident!


Part 1: SFOT (Part 1 as well) and Speed Zone


We took off at the crack of dawn so that we could hit up SFOT during the latter half the afternoon and hopefully knock out some credits since we only had a short time the next day (Saturday). The park was dead! With the exception of Mr. Freeze, which was down, we got every credit! This park really is the "best overall" SF park in my opinion. The rides selection is solid and the theming is great. The only real disappointment was Texas Giant. My first ride was in the second to last seat, and though it was fairly rough, I really enjoyed it. My second and last ride was in the very last row, and it was easily the worst coaster ride I've ever had in my life. The jackhammering was so bad that I was screaming in awful pain. I'm quite stunned that Shapiro hasn't given it the ax yet. Overall though, it was a great day and a great park.


Later that night, we intended to do the SCAD Tower in Dallas, but it was closed, so we went across the street for some friendly, violent go-kart racing/bashing.




*Race Faces* before our showdown. And yeah, I let them know how it is ;)


Yeah, I'm that fast. Kimi Raikkonen doesn't have jack on this.


Now THESE are some serious go-karts.


"America is all about speed... hot, nasty, bad ass speed."


While moping over the SCAD tower being closed, we look across the street at the Speed Zone and Tyler informed me that he could stomp me in go-karts. For those of you that really know me, you know those are fightin' words. Devastation followed.


This is was twisted awesomness looks like.




Hmm, something is missing here...


Holy crap! Oil Derrick is actually open! There is so much good and so much evil in this picture.


Robby, a closet rapids enthusiast, joygasmed over Roaring Rapids. Unfortunately, it was also down that day.


Best large S&S tower. All in favor?


We'll get to you tomorrow, Freeze.


Gotham City overlook. Yeah, that's the best caption I have.


Flashback was definitely the better of the two Boomerangs we rode on the trip.


Plus, it provides some sweet aerial shots.


Texas Chute Out is always worth a ride when at the park.


We tried to whore ourselves out, but Wile E. wasn't having it.




All SF parks should strive to be like SFOT in my opinion.


Seriously, the need to either invest a LOT of time and money into this ride, or douse it with gasoline and let the highest bidder throw the match.


Texas Giant **Through the trees!**


Here's one for you coaster perverts.


During my last visit in '05, I was really underwhelmed by this ride. However, we were quite stunned this time around! It's not an airtime machine, but it's one intense coaster.


Titan looms in the distance.


Fortunately, the hype wasn't excessive. They were in full agreement. Seriously, why doesn't nobody talk about this awesome little coaster?


I hyped up Runaway Mountain quite a bit to these guys. Most underrated coaster in Texas.


It's fellow Gotham City inhabitant was alive and well though.


Look at it! I maybe a total Premier fanboy but look at it! Unfortunately, it was closed today.


Cool sign leading up to the parking lot.


SFOT! Is there a better skyline outside of CP?


Robby, on the other hand, is a different story. Therefore, he won all-time shot gun privileges.


This would be Tyler's theme throughout the trip. I'm pretty sure he only saw about 200 miles of 5000 we traveled. If competitive sleeping was an Olympic event, he would medal.


When you're about to start of journey of this nature, a pre-trip photo is necessary. Tyler seems to disagree.

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Part 2: SFOT (Day 2), bizarre closed coasters, and driving to Albuquerque


So, we headed back to SFOT to ride Mr. Freeze and get a few re-rides in. We successful did both, and then took off for our hotel in Albuquerque that night.


During our drive to Albuquerque, we found out that the wild West doesn't believe in gas stations. We drove over 40 miles on E. We all collectively crapped bricks thinking we were going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. It was during this time that we also found out that tumbleweeds actually exist. This was discovered when I obliterated one that rolled in front of my car on the interstate. Fun times.




Whoa! Tumbleweeds DO exist!!!


Umm, yeah... my tank is only 15 gallons. This is why you tell the little sticker on the pump to go to hell and top off anyway.


After driving 40+ miles on E, we finally found civilization!! Let's go clean our pants now!


I don't even need to say anything...


So bizarre... if only it were open.


We drove a few miles out of the way just to see this thing in person. Hopkins must have been on some good stuff when he thought up this ride...


Texans aren't big on gas stations, but dammit, do they love their porn...


Apparently, the country is becoming over populated...


While driving through the middle of nowhere, TX, we stopped at a gas station that was the only sign of civilization. There was a random dog just standing on top of a truck, staring us down.


What!? They have QTs in Texas!?


Heck yes! We're in Jack in the Box territory now!


Goodbye Titan... see ya next year.


Seriously though, forget Titan... forget Freeze... Forget Runaway Mountain. The main event is the Pink Thing! Cherry ice cream on a stick for $2. How often do you find anything for $2 at a SF park!? I wish they had these at all SF parks!


Robby has another joygasm because Roaring Rapids is open today!


Now I'm going all artsy on you guys.


Seriously! This ride may be really short, but it packs one heck of a punch. The mid-course drop is ludicrous.


Some more Batman goodness.


Mmmm, yes.


The trains fly through that overbank.


Jackpot!! There it goes!


Back at SFOT, waitin' for the gates to open, hoping that Freeze is open.

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If the other boomerang you rode was out at Knotts then I really don't doubt that SFOT's is better. The one in California is horrible!


You are a winner!


We should have had three boomerangs actually, but for reasons that will be explained later in the TR, SFFT's was lined out the entrance and we weren't about to wait for it.




Day 3: Vegas!


So, we woke up bright an early in Albuquerque because we had quite the day ahead of us. I was pretty stunned when we walked out of the hotel in the morning. Turns out our hotel overlooked most of the city, we were surrounded by mountains, and the New Mexico Rattler was about a half mile down the road. Of course, if it was their operating season, we would have planned to ride it. But, it wasn't, so we didn't.


Anyway, the plan for the day was to drive to Vegas, hit those rides as fast as possible, and then head to L.A. in hopes of hitting up Scandia and PacPark if time allowed, since both are open late. Unfortunately, a major snow storm in the Flagstaff area and almost two hours of barely-moving traffic at Hoover Dam killed our Scandia/PacPark hopes. An hour's worth of traffic from a wreck right across the Cali state line.


Vegas was great though, as always. I wish we had more time to spend there, but I think we'll probably budget a little more if we decide to do another cross-country trek next year. I sat out on the Strat rides because I did them a few years ago and didn't really care to spend the money on them. Speed was great like usual. Canyon Blaster was quite surprising. I definitely don't remember it being as fast and intense as it was. Honestly, it gave Speed a run for it's money in my eyes. I had high hopes for Manhattan Express since it received new trains after my last visit. Unfortunately, it was more brutal than I remember. However, Robby discovered that if you lean your head a bit forward, it's actually not so bad. He didn't share this info with me until about halfway through the ride though, so it was already ruined for me.


We had hopes of riding Desperado but we didn't get out of Vegas until 8:30 and found out the ride closed at 6. I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time, I didn't care too much because, hell, we were going to SFMM the next day!


Enjoy the pics! SFMM will be the next update!


The rest of the camp had mixed reactions...


SFMM is up next!


This face sums up my feelings on my decision to spend $14 on giving the ride another try.


The sign says Manhattan Express, the painting is of Viper, but the ride's official name is "The Roller Coaster." Nice.


It definitely has one of the coolest settings for a coaster.


Manhattan Express time! I'm glad I'm spending my $14 towards such a quality attraction! Seriously though, it looks like one of those rides that should be so much fun. Such a tease...


Lady Liberty welcomes us to NY, NY... Casino.


The Paris is my personal favorite casino in Vegas, but unfortunately, we didn't have the time to stop in. We had jaws to break!


Wastin' away again in...


I love Chaos', but not for $7! I'd rather pay twice that for terrible rides on the south end of the boulevard!


Kind of a crappy photo, but I still thought it was cool.


Canyon Blaster sports Drachen Fire trains with pimp paint on them. For the most part, the ride is actually fairly smooth!


Next in line on the Strip was the Adventuredome. Seriously, why pink though? I don't have a male complex, but the color on the entire building is just hideous! The coaster inside is a lot of fun though...


It's expensive, but the best ride on the Strip.


And then goes through this little section, where it feels like you get a rocket strapped to your ass. Whip around the building, up the spike, and do it in reverse.


Most of you probably already knew all that.


Then it goes through some Derek action...


That train gets whipped through this overbank at some speed that feels faster than advertised...


Mhmm, check out that Premier goodness. I will argue that these are the best looking non-custom coaster trains with any fellow coaster nerds who want to contest that notion.


I know this ride looks and sounds pretty lame, but it's actually pretty freakin' sweet.


Vegas' main event is fortunately just a block down from the Strat.


The Strat was my abode during my only other visit to Vegas so it was cool to go back. Unfortunately for the wombmates, Insanity was down due to winds that day.


I bid these guys adieu. I didn't care to pay the money for the rides again, nor did I care to eleven freaking bucks to go up the tower. So, I just stayed in the casino and celled some honeys. That's how I roll.


Tyler is excited to tryout the Strat rides.


Alright, here you go kiddies. The good stuff.


Here is a dam picture for all you dam enthusiasts. We were stuck in dam traffic for about two hours. Apparently, Hoover Dam is the only way to Vegas from AZ.


Yeah, it got bad. I haven't seen weather like this since I moved out of Indiana at the beginning of the year.


Robby is all "What the heck? We're in Arizona!"


Welcome to the West.


I promise, I'll get to some coaster pictures shortly.


Remember how I said Tyler was only awake for 200 miles of the trip? I'm tellin' you, that's not far from the truth. Taking pictures of Tyler asleep became a hobby for Robby and I.


Hooray!! 4th new state credit of the trip!


Just amazing...


New Mexico was my favorite state to drive through during the trip... well, at least northern New Mexico. Outside of Vegas, I had never really been out West, so landscapes like this were completely new to me.


"How come every time I come around my London, London Bridge wanna go down"...


Yes, we know how to boogie to crappy music in the morning.

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Day 4: SFMM!


After staying the night in Stevenson Ranch, got up bright and early and headed for the most anticipated park of the trip: Six Flags Magic Mountain.


I'll spare you guys of all the details, but we had an awesome day at the park! After hearing so many bad things about the place for so long, I was really stunned by how nice it was. Out of the seven current SF parks I've been to, it's my personal favorite (though not the "best"). The park had a really cool setting with its placement on the mountain, and the ride selection was stellar. We were pretty surprised that almost all of the coasters exceeded our expectations, at least mine. The big surprise of the day was Riddler's Revenge. We were all blown away by it. It is definitely one of the best B&Ms I've ever been on and by far the best ride in the park.


Well, I'll leave the description at that and let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story. Overall though, it was an amazing day.




Unfortunately, this concludes our day at the Mountain.


Thanks for reading. Knott's and DCA are up next!


Goliath's entrance almost looks kind of creepy. The Goliath crew was really movin' fast that night! I've heard through the grape vine that Jahan showed them how it's done.


My slightly stuck lens cover made this Scream train shot look kinda cool.


The night ride on Scream was even better. You couldn't see the parking lot!


The same can be said for myself. Such an amazing ride. Have I said that enough yet?


Riddler re-rides pleased Robby.


Naturally, we headed straight to Riddler, which had an empty station.


After dinner, it was back to the park for some night rides.


Yeah, there's a reason I've never heard anything bad about these burgers. I'm going through withdrawal as I make this TR.


Heck yes! It was finally time to see what the scoop is with this In-N-Out stuff.


We caught one more ride on Tatsu before heading out for dinner in Stevenson Ranch.


It could have been a fun ride, but those horrible restraints ruined it.


Revolution was really the only disappointment of the day.


This view was awesome. Tatsu looks ginormous from the bottom of the mountain.


And look who I ran into when our Ninja train came back into the station! Jahan was crackin' the whip around Samurai Summit! It was good to see you again, dude.


After being down for the first half of the day, Ninja opened. Yet again, I was stunned. Going by what other people had said, I expected it to be the best suspended coaster I'd been on, but that doesn't really require a whole lot. Ninja pretty much destroyed the field.


Check out that hot lift hill action.


If it were up to me, every sit down looper would be floorless.


That whip was pretty sweet.


Can't they throw some sand or gravel down on top of the parking lot? Anything would make it look better. Heck, paint the pavement green!


I must say, this was the only part of the park I didn't care for. It just didn't seem like they tried at all. I still loved Scream though.


There was a decent sized lizard roaming the Scream line


Parking lot coaster or not, I was really psyched about trying this ride out.


Goliath really makes "Colossus" look pretty pathetic. I loved the tropical theming.


It's generic for a reason, and that reason is because it's still a really cool shot.


I have no idea what the point of this tree is, but I thought it was cool in a random sort of way.


I loved Viper. It has what is easily one of the greatest drops I've ever experienced. It's a little on the jerky side, but is still a great ride if you know how to brace yourself.


Viper **In the reflection of the freakin' Panda Express window!**


I've hit a new low...


*thinks to myself* "Why must it be closed when I finally make it out here!?"


My day will come.


"Holy crap... what just happened?"


We were all expecting a fairly tame coaster, but this thing was quite surprising.


Neither does Tyler, as he is obviously in deep thought after that stunning ride on Riddler.


Robby doesn't seem to be expecting much from Gold Rusher.


I bet you've never seen this view before ;)


I just want to throw out there that this is personally my favorite Batman paint scheme.


After our amazing ride on Riddler, we headed over to get the Batman credit.


Riddler gave a fairly intense ride, had great pacing, and an awesome layout. It set the bar pretty high for the rest of the coasters on the trip. Why do we not hear more about this thing?


We were blown away! What a freakin' ride! Honestly, this might be the best B&M I've ever been on.


With Deja Vu closed, we headed straight toward Riddler's Revenge. We had no idea what was in store...


After Tatsu, we headed straight for Deja Vu, however it was down, and remained so for the rest of the day. We weren't too heart broken though. Actually, the rest of the rides in the park pretty much made us forget it even existed, especially since it's so tucked away in a corner.


Here's an artsy one for ya'll. I'm a die hard lift hill enthusiast.


The placement of this thing is awesome, as with many of the SFMM coasters.


First up, Tatsu! I really enjoyed the ride. It definitely kicked the crap out of the SUF clones.


Yeah... everybody has seen it, but when you see it for the first time in person, you can't help but take a picture of it yourself.


:( Next year... next year.


This ride looks so awesome. Fortunately, it's not very visible throughout most of the park so I didn't have to think about not riding it too much!


X2 looks really good with it's new paint. It's hard to notice the real color of the supports with my camera. I really like the charcoal color though.


Wow! It's 9:30 and the park doesn't open until 10:30!


We draw near! Just out of curiosity, has the park ever actually been called Six Flags California?


I've waited to see this sign for years...

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Great SFMM TR!


Glad you had a fun time there but I'm so sorry X2 was still closed! I would have also been very sad if I were there for the first time and I couldn't ride it! The new paint jobs on Viper, Ninja and on X2 look beautiful. I am so glad they chose upkeep over another roller coaster this year. And you are right about the Scream! roller coaster... they should really add SOMETHING! It looks awful the way it is right now!

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A dam dam is much different from a damn dam.

If you confuse the two, us damned dam enthusiast will get really damned pissed.


But you are right, that's one of the best damn dams there is.




Did you change three times at MM?

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^Yeah, I was wondering if anybody would catch that. I changed out of the first shirt for, umm, an unusual issue. I changed out of the second shirt because it was starting to really cool off so I went with a long sleeve shirt and the zip-up hoodie.


Day 5- Part 1: Knott's


Yet again, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard nothing but smack about this park, but it never looked that bad to me, even for a CF park. While there were definitely some downfalls (one train op on SB, Ghostrider kinda sucked, Boomerang and Riptide blew, PP was down) I was impressed by the actual atmosphere of the park. I really wasn't expecting much theming at all, but it was definitely there... all over the place actually. I'm sure CF had nothing to do with this, but still made the park look really good. Xcelerator met all my expectations, which were pretty freakin' high, and Montezooma was definitely the sleeper hit. I had no idea it was possible to be that much better than Greezed Lightnin'. Overall, we had a pretty good time at the park and actually finished after three hours.


Enjoy! DCA is up next.


After three hours, we owned KBF, and it was time to head to DCA. Overall, I enjoyed the park.


This random dancing alligator reminded me of something Indiana Beach would have...


They need to do more of these Stengel dive-turn-thingamajigs.


I actually really enjoyed Silver Bullet. It was one of the worst B&M inverts I've been on, but then again, the worst B&M invert is still a pretty good ride.


Yeah, I seriously geek out over lift hill shots.


Overall, it wasn't THAT bad, but it wasn't really good either. Plus, I rode on a non-wheel seat. Tyler opted for the wheel seat and said that it was the worst coaster he's ever ridden.


It was time to meet our doom. I had heard a lot of bad things about this ride.


Speaking of which, here's a Pony Express photo I forgot to add earlier in the TR.


There is so much going on in such a small area. For some reason, half the park is jam-packed with rides, and the other half only has Ghostrider, the Screamin' Swing, and Pony Express.


I spy 10.


Ugh... anybody else in favor of starting a support group for those who have been sterilized by Rip Tide? This ride was terrible.


For getting so much flack, I was surprised how nice most of KBF was. It definitely didn't really feel like a CF park to me, though I'm sure the things that made it feel that way weren't CF's doing.


Chris or Dane pointed out these two don't really seem to go together.


"You know what? %&$# it! Let's just make it an elevated train for a couple hundred feet!"- Zierer


Jaguar was an interesting family coaster, to say the least.


The real reason is because you get fudging ejected in the back seat on the rear spike! Montezooma made me realize that Greezed Lightnin' blows something wicked.


I thought it was just because Montezooma was supposed to have a better launch than Greezed Lightnin' and it doesn't brake you on the return trip... I was kind of right. Kind of...


Chris and Dane seemed fairly excited for this one. They kept the biggest reason why a bit of a secret...


We were pretty bummed... Perilous Plunge didn't want to play today :(


We gave the Log Jammer a try. Why must all logs on flumes smell like a high school locker room?


It looks nice, but wow, this one was a lot worse than any other Boomerang I've been on!


Dane originally wasn't going to ride Boomerang and changed his mind. Afterwards, I understood why.


Gotta love the RCT canvas station...


That launch was such a rush. I can only imagine what Dodonpa must feel like. Plus, that top hat left me out of my seat for like three seconds.


Yeah, you'll notice the Christmas tree isn't quite timed up with the launch. That's ok though, 'cause Xcelerator kicks the crap out of TTD.


Dane and Chris' turn!


Robby is about to catch comedic gold. Copy and paste the following link and wait for the 2:20 mark to come around on the first video: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=42626


Tyler was really hittin' it off with his riding partner, Mantis Woman.


Xcelerator was quite possibly the most anticipated coaster in SoCal. Word on the streets is that this has the most intense Intamin launch.


The main event, boys and girls...


Knott's won 50 cool points because they play a Nickel Creek song for the theme music in Bullet's station. If you know Nickel Creek, then you're mandolin-rockin' awesome.


A storm is a brewin' o'er yonder...


Next up was Silver Bullet. Again, yet another ride that I was particularly looking forward to. Seriously though, the drop left something to be desired. Is B&M losing their touch?


Chris and Dane load up in the goofy lookin' Mack trains.


It was a fun ride, but no Gerstlauer spinner!


First ride of the day was Sierra Sidewinder. I hadn't heard much of anything about this, so I wasn't sure what to expect.


We went to Knott's during the first half of the day before heading over to DCA. I have to be honest, I was really looking forward to this place. It's another park that gets trashed so much and I've never really seen what is so bad about it.


We crashed for a few nights at GotDane's place. The main street of his town look like something out of a movie. Plus, it had a coffee shop that makes Starbuck's look like dirt-flavored tap water.

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These are great updates, I haven't been out to California in a few years and I want to go back so bad! I went to Texas this summer, but I was in Austin which is a couple hours away from SFOT


Knott's Boomerang has to be in my top 3 worst steel coasters alongside Python and Goudurix. I rode GhostRider in a wheel seat and it was pretty much like taking a 2.5 minute ride on that Boomerang, so you missed a pretty brutal experience.


Oh, and I also noticed the three different sets of clothing at SFMM, but I didn't want to be the first one to point it out for fear of looking like a total creeper. haha



Thank God Knotts has Xcelerator.

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Being a non-native Californian, I feel pretty much the same about Knott's as you did. I don't get the hate around here, but I never saw the "Old Knott's". I think it's a very nice park.


I think I might be the only one left though that still likes Ghostrider. It still makes my top 10 wood (out of 60 or so).


Of course, Knott's is nothing compared to Disney in my book ;-D

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Being a non-native Californian, I feel pretty much the same about Knott's as you did. I don't get the hate around here, but I never saw the "Old Knott's". I think it's a very nice park.


I think I might be the only one left though that still likes Ghostrider. It still makes my top 10 wood (out of 60 or so).


Of course, Knott's is nothing compared to Disney in my book ;-D


I talked to a Cedar Point employee who had visited Knott's (the lead on TTD) and she said Knott's was "okay." I told her she should have visited the park pre-Cedar Fair, and she didn't get it. It was beyond her that the park could have been better when it had far less roller coasters and thrill rides.

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Being a non-native Californian, I feel pretty much the same about Knott's as you did. I don't get the hate around here, but I never saw the "Old Knott's". I think it's a very nice park.


I think I might be the only one left though that still likes Ghostrider. It still makes my top 10 wood (out of 60 or so).


Of course, Knott's is nothing compared to Disney in my book ;-D


I love GhostRider! Backseat is insane on every drop, and for some reason I don't find it painful at all.



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Being a non-native Californian, I feel pretty much the same about Knott's as you did. I don't get the hate around here, but I never saw the "Old Knott's". I think it's a very nice park.


I think I might be the only one left though that still likes Ghostrider. It still makes my top 10 wood (out of 60 or so).


Of course, Knott's is nothing compared to Disney in my book ;-D


Yeah, it is sort of a "you had to be there" kind of thing, I guess. The old Knott's just had more charm (and, yes, some of that charm is still there). But two things sum up what's wrong with Knott's today (at least for me):


1. Silver Bullet--it simply does not belong in this park. It towers over Ghost Town and Camp Snoopy and detracts from both--and it's a mediocre ride, at best.


2. That whole "Boardwalk" area, which used to be the Roaring 20s and Roaring 20s Airfield. This was once a unique section, with pretty cool stuff, such as the Parachute Sky Jump and the Wacky Soapbox Racers. But now it's just generic. That being said, I do think Xcelerator is a great ride.


Rant over. I'm glad you enjoyed your time at Knott's.

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