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


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The old Knotts was really a special place to be. I guess it is hard to explain unless you experienced it first hand. Knotts was one of the few parks i have been to where i really enjoyed the flat rides as much as the coasters. Remember the tumblers, xk1, whirlpool, greased lightning, they were mostly typical flat rides but they had their own charm. Also the soap box racers was my favorite ride as a kid, and who could forget the haunted shack.

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The old Knott's was one of the best parks in the country, and was a place I'd visit every year. The CF Knott's is one of the worst parks in the US, and if never get back there, I'm not going to be very upset. All the charm and atmosphere it totally stripped from the place. Kind of sad, really.

 

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All in favor of Xcelerator getting a new paint job?

 

:raises hand:

 

Other than the hideous color schemes of most of their coasters, KBF looks like a wonderful little park. Would love to visit it one day! ...and great pictures as usual!

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The old Knott's was one of the best parks in the country, and was a place I'd visit every year. The CF Knott's is one of the worst parks in the US, and if never get back there, I'm not going to be very upset. All the charm and atmosphere it totally stripped from the place. Kind of sad, really.

 

dt

 

See this is what I mean by not getting the hate.

 

It may have been one of the best parks in the country. But I don't see it now being one of the worst. It's still a nice park, not spectacular, and not even great, but a good park.

 

The coaster line up is good, they have good food scattered throughout the park, lots of family rides. Again, none of it is great, but I've been to FAR worse parks.

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^Sorry, the last couple of times I've been there I've had bad experiences. Large crowds full of unruly patrons (lots of line jumping, random cursing, shoving, reminded me of the crowds SFMM used to get in the '90's when I visited the park on a weekly basis), coasters not even remotely run to capacity (one train full, one train emplty on Jaguar with a 30 minute line. Yeah, that makes sense), rides not maintained (Ghostrider, previously one of the best wooden coasters anywhere has been allowed to turn into a device that could be used to torture information out of prisoners), and anything unique and interesting removed in favor of concrete and trash cans.

 

Seriously, it's a step above King's Island for me at this point. I guess I'm just not much of a fan of Cedar Fair branding...

 

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Would 1996 be considered as being during the era of "Old Knotts"?

 

I loved the park during my only visit then. We weren't expecting much from the park because you just didn't hear about it in Tennessee like you did Magic Mountain and Disney. We were definitely surprised and had a great time. Looks like we had great timing to be able to ride Wacky SoapBox Racers as it was gone the same year. I loved the Log Flume ride as well. That drop in the dark was amazing.

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I grew up in the LA area so basically every year for as long as I can remember (I'd say my first memories of being at a park as a little kid were from around maybe 88-89... I've got vague memories of Shockwave at SFMM, so 1988 is a good guess.). Anyway one of the things that I had noticed over the years is that Knott's took the most drastic fall. Every year SFMM was basically the same park, plus a new ride. Disneyland is just Disneyland. Knott's starting from the time Cedar Fair took over to present has taken such a drastic fall. I find it very sad the state that once great park is now in, and I truly hope that eventually the park will return to what it once was. What's funny is I can remember a time in the not so distant past when most of the people on here would have raved about Ghostrider, and how it was one of the (if not the) best wooden coaster out there. Now a few years later it's ranked right next to Psyclone and Grizzly. Just shows how lack of maintance can kill an otherwise great coaster.

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Although some opinions say otherwise, I actually enjoy Knotts alot and like the ride lineup they have going. Xcellerator is simply an amazing coaster with a launch that could make any grown man scream like a little girl, Silver Bullet is, while not as intense as Inverts like Batman and Raptor, still a worthwile coaster that caters to families and kids. Ghostrider has seen better days however, it is still alot of fun. (remember: ghostrider is a wooden coaster and not meant to be smooth, it shouldnt be bone-jarring either, but it should be rough to some degree) and Sierra Sidewinder gives a ride that people of all ages can enjoy.

 

When you think about Knotts, you need to remember that its not a "thrill seeker" kind of park. It has been and always will be a park that caters to families above all else and they do a wonderful job in my opinion. As part of that "family mindset", rides like Silver Bullet were constructed not to be intense, but to be fun for the whole family. (height requirements aside) Rides like Xcellerator and Ghostrider were added to cater to the older crowd so that people of all ages could enjoy the park, which they still do every day.

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Day 5- Part 2: Disney's California Adventure

 

After finishing Knott's, we headed to DCA for the rest of the day. Again, I was really looking forward to it, simply because it seemed quite a bit different than other Disney parks. It actually had more similarities to Hollywood Studios than I expected, but only in certain sections. I was impressed with how Disney-ish they made it feel. I really liked the place, particularly at night though. It's a pretty spectacular atmosphere once dusk rolls around and the park lights up.

 

Enjoy! Disneyland is up next!

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The riverboat came out, filled with dancing characters, at the end. This concludes day 5. Disneyland is next!

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I'm pretty sure I would have crapped a brick in my pants if I was a kid watching this. I definitely didn't expect them to set the freakin' river on fire. And when you come back the next day, you can't even tell a show took place here.

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Fantasmic was pretty cool. Later on in the trip, Robby and I came to the conclusion that being a pirate would be the ultimate. You get to float around on a boat all your life, swinging from ropes, shooting cannons, and treasure chests.

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DL's fireworks kicked the crap out of Magic Kingdom's. Mainly because it's like 20 minutes longer.

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They really know how to take something innocent and magical and make it devilishly creepy.

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Pretty much all Disney parks are pretty sweet at night.

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And it had this nifty Space Mountain model. I think there was a show or something in the building.

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We hopped, skipped, and frolicked the seven feet to Disneyland to catch the fireworks and Orgastic... err... Fantasmic. Dane and Chris took us into some build near the entrance. I don't even remember what it was, but that they had this cool mosaic in it.

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Hidden Mickey!

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DCA is definitely one of my favorite parks to be at at night.

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Night rides on Screamin' were glorious.

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This ride felt less "Disney" than any other in the park, but it still looks cool at night.

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While in line for giant orange, I remember getting annoyed at how every 'idiot' on the ride slammed their harness-bar up and down. Then, once I was on it, I found out they tell you to do that.

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DCA was cool during the day, but night time is when it becomes awesome.

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Night falls on DCA.

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We actually had fast passes for GRR, but it was a bit chilly out by the time we were able to ride. It'll have to wait 'til tomorrow.

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I liked this Mickey fountain. They need to make a full length Mickey Pixar film.

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We just briefly passed by the Pixar Play Parade on our way to use our ToT fast passes. I just want to establish that Finding Nemo is the best Pixar film ever.

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This train/store setup was really cool. Sometimes I wonder how Disney comes up with some of this stuff.

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Soarin' (EPCOT) = Soarin' Over California

 

Nevertheless, it's a cool, relaxing ride.

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Tyler scores that elusive Sun Wheel POV. I can't lie, it was a lot more fun than expected.

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Robby and Chris look to be havin' a good time on the Sun Wheel.

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I am still slightly baffled as to why they built the ride like this. Height issues?

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Uh oh... empty train.

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I really enjoyed the ride. Nothing extremely thrilling, but it was lot of fun and had a much faster pace than expected.

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Tyler never misses an opportunity for a post-ride interview.

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Danes expresses his feelings on the ride.

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The Screamin' crew has the load process down like clockwork.

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A train full of riders dives down Screamin's biggest drop.

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Next, we headed to Screamin'. I wasn't really sure what to expect from this ride. It's always looked pretty tame.

 

This was definitely my favorite area of the park.

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We didn't make it on Grizzly River Run today, though we would the next day.

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Tower of Terror is one of the few rides at Disneyland that isn't as good as its Florida counterpart. Still a fun ride though. It was cool to see some cast members actually acting the creepy part.

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It just never ends.

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At this point, I'm still in slight belief that I'm actually in California. I was starting to think I would never make it out here.

 

Anyway, yeah, it's DCA time...

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You know how you can charge people to go to the bathroom in RCT? Yeah, places actually do that in SoCal...

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We stopped at a Burger King on our way to Disney from Knott's. I campaign they build all BK Lounges like this.

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So jealous that you got to see Fantasmic!

 

All 4 days I have been at DLR over 3 separate visits it has been cancelled. I have such bad luck.

 

I need to get back out to Cali..but I'll probably wait until 2009 to see what new pops up. I really need to do the San Fran area parks next time...so much driving.

 

But thanks for letting me live vicariously through your pics for the time being...heh.

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^^I'd say the last year of operation of the Wacky Soap Box Racers was indeed the last year of "Old Knott's."

 

I'd agree with that--when the Roaring 20s Airfield became the Boardwalk, the park started to slide (the infamous "Windjammer Era").

 

And being as we're at Disney now, I feel the same way about Soarin'--it's not a trill ride, but it's just so relaxing. (I always feel better after riding it; the music plays a big part in that.)

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Day 6: Disneyland

 

So, we spent our final full day in SoCal at Disneyland. Like almost all of the parks, there was something that made me particularly look forward to each, and for Disneyland, it was the idea that I would finally be able to compare it with Magic Kingdom. As much as I love Magic Kingdom, I prefer Disneyland, despite it's puny castle. I just found that out of all the common rides, DL's versions were almost always better. Not only that, but I kind of liked how everything is so close together. Magic Kingdom feels a little spread out at times, while DL is just attraction, after attraction, right after attraction. This did, however, make the park feel pretty crowded at times. The place just had a special charm about it. I only had three complaints, but you'll have to check out the photos and their captions for those.

 

Enjoy! Belmont and Castles 'n' Coasters are up next!

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And this concludes the Disneyland update. Thanks for reading! Next up, Belmont and Castles 'n' Coasters!

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On our way out, we caught the fireworks again, this time from the parking garage.

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It became a little too much for Tyler...

 

The ride was pretty cool though. It amazes me that they built this back in '94.

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The theming for this ride was awesome. I wish they'd do an Indiana Jones ride with this much theming in FL.

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With Space Mountain notched, we headed into Adventureland to do the only remaining major ride left: Indiana Jones.

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Alright, so Cali Space Mountain definitely had the better ride experience. The theming was great and the music added a little something. However, I still have to say, from a coaster stand point, Florida's gets the nod.

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Wait, Dane! What was his name, again!? Ahh crap.

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NEVER FORGET JR RODRIGUEZ

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One of the few major rides left is Space Mountain. For the record, we did Thunder Mountain the night before, after Fantasmic. Sorry, no pictures of the superior DL coaster.

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Scott, if you are reading this, this is monorail shot #4. This update has seriously hooked you up. I'm expecting some sweet lift hill shots from your next TR in return. I'm talking something really slutty.

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Heck, I don't even know what ride this is, but it has a giant beached whale with a canal running through its mouth, so its automatically cool.

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I probably should have put this at the beginning of the TR, even though I took it at this point in the day. Hmm...

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Tyler looks a little miserable. That wind was brutal afterwards.

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The rapids enthusiast enjoyed it, as did most of us. I personally thought it was great... second only to Popeye and Bluto.

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Most of us kept fairly dry until a geyser at the end doomed us all. And to think, we thought we were safe.

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We were all pretty psyched about this thing... minus the whole "it's only 65 degrees out and windy" thing.

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We headed on over to DCA once again to get our Grizzly ride in...

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Hey look, there's another.

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I don't care how much they are, you have to get a Mickey ice cream bar when you go to Disney. I suppose that probably makes me a prime target for Seth Stevenson.

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Toontown was pretty cool! Our intention was to do a little whoring, but turns out, the little roller coaster had a 45 minute wait, so we settled with some Goofy water and Roger Rabbit fast passes.

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I guess they saw the light on my camera come on and all managed to get in the picture. Slick, guys!

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Who needs on-ride photos when Disney lets you bring your camera on the rides?

 

I thought it was really cool how the entire ride was sculpted to like it really was ON the mountain.

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They run a ton of trains at once, but wait...

 

Holy crap!! What is that? I didn't even mean to get that monorail shot!

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Excuse me, Matterhorn BOBSLEDS. Got it.

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Alright, I was excited for this. I didn't really know much of anything about the layouts of the Matterhorn coasters.

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Here, you see my only other problems with DL. First, half of the lines are simply made up of ropes that separate them from the actual pathways. Second, NEMO IS IN TOMORROWLAND!!! Tomorrowland just wasn't right. Look at those poor souls waiting seven hours to ride Nemo. Neat ride, but not worth that wait.

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I felt it was my duty to score a picture for TPR's token monorail enthusiast. Here you go, Scott! I might even have a few more up my sleeve before this update is over with.

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Next, we headed over to the most impressive looking ride in this picture. If we were in Florida, you'd be saying, "I didn't know the castle had a ride in it!?" ;)

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...Splash Mountain is RIGHT next to it! I mean, right there. It's crazy how crammed the DL attractions are. I kind of liked it though. And Splash Mountain was arguably my favorite ride at the park. I was stunned. Thunder Mountain probably has the edge though.

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The first ride of the day was Haunted Mansion, which was fun as always. One thing that is bizarre about it though, is how....

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We headed over to Adventureland where, if you didn't know any better, you'd have no idea that a show goes on here at night and that they actually set the river on fire.

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I simply couldn't resist.

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On over to Disneyland... I hate to join the bandwagon, but the castle really is pathetic.

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And we also met up with Chuck for a little bit during the day!

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Apparently, this is DCA's "wienie."

 

First thing on today's agenda is to grab some fast passes for Grizzly River since we didn't get on it the day before...

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RIP Mitch Hedberg.

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I want to call them sellouts, but they were sellouts all along. It's just that their previous sellout name was much cooler. Long live Arrowhead Pond.

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Yeah, I'm a dork, but I was sort of excited about seeing the LA river.

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I can't lie, I've always been under the impression that, unless you are in Beverly Hills or Newport Beach, all of metro LA is pretty janky. I never really saw this. This is taken from the spot where I locked my keys in my car at Dane's place. That was a fun night!

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An awesome TR just got awesomer. Dude, you definitely hooked me up right. That Matterhorn station shot almost brought a tear to my eye. When comparing DL to MK, the smaller castle is easily offset by the monorail running through the park!

 

Nice work, my friend. Nice work.

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