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Photo TR: Knott's Berry Farm

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Knott's has really changed since the last time we visited. First off, they have a big B&M inverted coaster now that dominates the entrance. Secondly, this park was not nearly as impressive as it was the last time. The park was dead, but rides were running at Six Flags efficiency. One train, closed rides. Jaguar was closed. Blah.


At least the park opened on time.


We headed right to Silver Bullet. We figured it would get a bit of a line, and it was right next to the entrance. Walking to it is simple: Just walk under the cobra roll. We rode in the back row. They made me take my camera off, even though it was securely attached to my belt. I'd forgotten about this park's odd loose article rules. At least the cubbies in the station were free.


Silver Bullet is really just an OK ride. It was a credit for all of us, but not much of an experience. The first drop is not steep at all, the ride is too smooth and it's mostly forceless. The overbanked turn was decent in the back. The back really didn't give us much of a pull. We sort of lagged through the elements. The cobra roll was boring. I'm used to Raptor's, which snaps around quickly. This one is just too fluid. The zero-G roll was odd. The entrance and exit of it are different shapes. The exit turned quickly to the left, which was an odd feeling. The turn after it is quick and forceless. The corkscrews are extremely smooth. The turn between the corkscrews was pretty cool. The beginning of the helix has some good forces, and the jet of water spraying toward our feet was a neat touch. I really liked the magnetic brakes. They slowed the ride down quickly and smoothly before the air brakes kicked in. 6/10.


Did I mention that this park was running inefficiently? Silver Bullet was running one train of two. They ran that one train all day. We saw that the line picked up a little, so we got in line again. We decided to go toward the front to compare the two ends. We got in row two. They were running so terribly, though. They weren't checking heights, so they just eyeballed kids as they got in the train. They'd load all the seats then unload a seat to check the height of a kid. One kid was told earlier that he was too short to ride, but his group got in line with him again and tried to make him get on. They need to figure out a system so it takes less than five minutes to launch a train. Good thing they didn't have that second train on, or people would have been sitting in the brakes forever. I just didn't get it. With this sort of terrible loading time, why would they keep that second train off? Bad idea, Knott's.


The front was actually better than the back, which is odd for B&M inverteds. The overbanked turn was pretty cool up front. We got thrown into it and dove back down quickly. It's really banked! The transition between the overbank and the cobra roll was good. The G-forces were pretty high in that area. The exit of the zero-G roll is really crazy in the front. I was flung around a bit because the exit is so oddly shaped. 6/10.


We went to Montezooma's Revenge next. This is my favorite shuttle coaster. The launch is powerful and sort of unexpected. It's got great G-forces. The loop is awesome! And going backward through the loop is really fun. The back spike is great. We rode in the back car, so we got the best part of the backward climb. There's even a slight bit of airtime on the back spike. This is a great coaster. 8/10.


We hadn't eaten breakfast, so we decided to try out the famous Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The three of us got the famous fried chicken. It was really good, but we were tired from traveling and doing two parks in two days, so our appetites were down. I had a headache, but we visited first aid after eating. That helped. Having food in my stomach helped, too. It's hard to ride coasters on a empty stomach.


My brother sat down on a bench in Ghost Town and picked someone's nose.


Bryan got in line for Boomerang. My brother and I didn't ride because we already had the credit. It's a Boomerang. It's not good.


After Boomerang, we headed to Xcelerator. The park was empty, so there wasn't much of a wait for this coaster. We hopped in the line for the back car. They were only running one train. The second was down for rehab. There was some grass next to the brake run that really needed trimming. The launch on Xcelerator is extremely powerful. It throws you out of the station, and you immediately climb the top hat. The drop is fun, and the top hat has a lot of airtime. The overbanked turns afterward are OK, but the train shuffles like crazy. It really shakes around after that top hat. Darn Intamin shuffle. 8/10.


We headed right next door to Supreme Scream. My brother hates drop rides, so he sat this one out and took pictures of Bryan and me in our seats before and after the ride. It's fun. I like tall drop rides. 8/10.

Ghostrider was next. I was excited. The last time I rode this, it was amazing. It was my second favorite wooden coaster. Was. It had everything: airtime, laterals and a fairly smooth ride. There was a bit of a wait because they were only running one train, the copper train. We hopped in the back car after about a 50-minute wait. The seats are really comfortable, and the restraints were new. It looked like this train just got out of rehab. I never noticed it before, but there are kicker wheels that help get the train out of the station. Oh boy, how this ride has changed. It's rough right off the bat. Straight down the first drop, we're tossed around. When I rode this last time, that was the only slightly rough spot. Now the entire ride jars you around. Ouch. At least the turn after the third drop was still good. That's my favorite turn on a wooden coaster. It's got great laterals. The rest of the ride consisted of airtime and shaking around. The airtime was good, but this ride's just not the same. Good thing those seats are padded. Ouch, Ghostrider. What happened? 7/10.


We wandered around for a while and saw a shooting gallery. Bryan took a picture of it and set off all the gadgets inside with the flash. Hilarious!


Bryan and I wanted to ride Screamin' Swing, and we paid the $5 each to ride it. My brother didn't want to pay because he's probably going to Cedar Point, so he'll get to ride the large version for free. Bryan and I hopped on. The restraints are really comfortable. It's just a lap bar that comes down and adjusts to fit after it locks down. This was a pretty fun ride. Because it's so small, it pulls pretty good G's as it hits the bottom of the swing. We only got two full swings, which was pretty lame. I wish the ride was longer than 40 seconds. Then maybe it'd be worth $5. 7/10.


We went to Mystery Lodge next and watched the show. It was a fun show. The illusion of the smoke coming out of the fireplace is cool.


We got on Calico Mine Ride next. This ride's OK. It's sort of hard to hear the driver of the train sometimes. The robotic figures inside are pretty funny. This is a nice relaxing ride. At the end of the ride, we saw a cat sitting near the track. I wonder why there was a cat there. Yes, it's real. 5/10.


We walked by Timber Mountain Log Ride, my second favorite log flume. It was down so they could take the Christmas decorations off. What a shame. We wanted to show Bryan "sit down!"


We went to Sky Cabin so we could get a good view of the park and take pictures. You get good views of Ghostrider, Xcelerator and Silver Bullet. What's really cool is they let you walk around and stand up to take better pictures. I like it.


We headed to Xcelerator again. My brother sat out because he wasn't feeling too well. We stood in the queue for a while and took pictures. We got a better view of the condition of the red train. We waited a couple trains for the very back seat. That launch is such a rush! I really like it.


It was almost 6 p.m., closing time so we decided to call it a night. This park was pretty disappointing. It wasn't run as well as we'd wished. They weren't running coasters at capacity. Ghostrider was probably the disappointment of the trip. It's such a shame that a great coaster had to be maintained so poorly. I wish Cedar Fair would take better care of this park.

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You forgot to add the part where the kid took about 20 seconds to aim at something in the Shooting Gallery and right before he shot, I set off the camera flash, every trick went off, and he pulled up and looked really confused. That was hilarious!


-Bryan "I love being an idiot-jerk" Wood


P.S. I, too, was completely underwhelmed and would choose any other park on the trip over Knott's.

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When I was growing up, our family referred to Knott's as that creepy "other" park. After our 300-mile trip to southern California from the "bountiful valley," we usually went to Knott's for fried chicken and a bit o' fun (that is, the Mine Train, Log Ride, and the late, lamented Wacky Soapbox Racers). We were ready to head back to the hotel in about two or three hours.


I guess the "creepy" part is that we were always there after dark.

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Wow, yeah, I agree. This TR of Knott's is really spot on! To think that in 2001 I would have ranked this park higher on my list than IOA! At one point, Knott's really was *almost* like the "Knoebel's of the west coast."


A really friendly, relaxing, no hassle park, with a really kick ass woodie and a great selection of rides. Now it's completely opposite of almost all of that.


What a shame.



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Knott's really lost it for me when they replaced the "Roaring 20s" section with that generic SoCal beach theme. A big chunk of personality was torn away.


Chuck "If I owned Knott's, they'd still have the Wacky Soapbox Racers" Campbell

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It really is almost heartbreaking to think about how bad Knott's has gotten. I remember growing up each year we traded off between Knott's and Disneyland and I can't imagine it being that way now. My family loved walking past the missions, riding the Soapbox Car Racers, the parachutes, Haunted Shack, Knott's Berry Tales, shows at the Birdcage (one of my favorite pictures of my brother and I was taken at the Birdcage), the robbers on both the stagecoach and the train that actually cared about their jobs and got into it and the general atmosphere and attitude there.


I took my 10 year old cousin there this year and while she loved the rides like Silver Bullet and Montezuma's, she still liked Disneyland WAY better. I don't know if this would have been true for her 15 years ago.


They really need to do something there. They can start with hiring competent people that care about what they are doing, paying them well, cleaning up the place, emptying trash cans, and making family friendly rides.


I feel crazy, like I am getting all emotional about an amusement park; but it really is a place I have fond memories of. I probably won't bring my family there until they are much older.

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When I lived in CA, I'd always tell people how great Knott's was, and considered it one of the best parks in the US. When I visited for the first time in five years last year, it was sad. It's nothing like it used to be, and a once great park is now below average, at best.



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I've actually :gasp: had fun at Knotts most everytime I visit. It is hard to take in that the park has lost it's personality and charm that it once had just a few short years ago, but I try not to remember that and go in with no preconcieved notions of how things in the park should be. You can still have a good time at the park if you just try not think of it the way it once was. I know it shouldn't have to be that way but unless someone here can influence the suits that run Knotts its your best option.

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Silver Bullet is really just an OK ride. It was a credit for all of us, but not much of an experience. The first drop is not steep at all, the ride is too smooth and it's mostly forceless.

Silver Bullet has been running pretty bad lately. My best experience was during halloween, and it was pretty forceful in the back seat, I got off and my legs were tingling. But on my past couple of visits, all I felt was a bunch of vibrations from the trains needing some maintnance, and not much force at all.

As for me, I've always had fun at knotts, but ever since the old management was replaced by CF (and even before then) you could feel the atmosphere just slowsly start to die. At least with the knotts family management, they would put some thought into thier rides (ie 20 million for that POS jaguar, most of that was theming) and then ghost rider was a nice touch to ghost town, imo. And wind jammer is what really held the beach theme together. After that got ripped out that whole area has just lost any atmoshpere it once had. Now all you have is a good ride, but no atmoshpere.

And the thing that pisses me off most is about knotts is that they screwed up Kingdom of the Dinosaurs by putting them as trains. It was a good dark ride, and they ruined it by putting the trains together.

Also, another thing is what they did to the lake after the put in silver bullet. They should have managed thier budget better so they could of at least had more of the lake and had the little train take its full path, and have the tug boat take its full path, and now there is just barely any water, and its so bad looking.

But its not like the park is bad, its just not as good back in its glory days when it could compete with Disneyland in regards to fun.

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