Excellent report and an excellent day! It was so much fun to meet up with friends i've met over the last few years and hang out riding some awesome coasters on this day.
TRIPS: West Coast Tour 2009 - || - Middle America 2010 - || - IntimidaTOUR 2010 - || - Best of China 2012 Taiwan 2013 - || - Japan 2013 - || Scandinavia 2014[url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/5a7b5ea10f265e536d315d1bd5a624a7.jpg[/img][/url]
I'm glad people are enjoying this report so far--'cause we got a ways to go yet.
The Cedar Fair Day: Checking Out Ghostrider and a Crab the Size of a Cow at Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's and TPR always pull out the stop for West Coast Bash, and this year's version held true to form: early morning tours of two coasters; morning ERT on Xcelerator, Silver Bullet, Voyage to the Iron Reef, and other rides; a great fried-chicken lunch, complete with boysenberry pie, goofy gunslingers, and a wild game of TPR Quest; another hilarious Q&A session hosted by Jeff Tucker, the park's entertainment director, in the Charles Schultz Theater; a behind-the-scenes preview of Knott's Scary Farm's Voodoo maze; and nighttime ERT on the Timber Mountain Log Ride (still the best ride at the park), Coast Rider, and other attractions.
So, what really stood out?
Voyage to the Iron Reef--This is the park's new dark ride, which is in the same building as the old Knott's Beary Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs rides from long ago. This ride has garnered a lot of criticism online, especially from southern California locals, but I can't understand why. It's a very entertaining shooting dark ride with a unique premise--Knott's has been attacked by an undersea creature's mechanical army, and your job is to take them out. Granted, much of the ride consists of digital 3D projections, but it's some of the best 3D effects I've ever seen at any park, and the action is really well paced. Besides, what other ride features an encounter with "a crab the the size of a cow"? Well done! Cedar Fair has announced plans to introduce similar rides at other parks, and I hope Kings Dominion gets something as good as Iron Reef.
Calico Mine Train ("version 2.0"): I last rode Knott's classic mine train back in 2013, just before it was shutdown for some much-needed TLC. They spruced the whole ride up beautifully, and the new animatronics enhance the ride's classic scenes--particularly the big finale. It's good to see Knott's and Cedar Fair recognizing the need for and quality of one of the park's original attractions and giving it such a nice upgrade.
It's also good to see Ghostrider getting a long overdue, extensive overhaul. I never had the chance to ride this coaster when it was in its prime and everyone loved it--only years later, after it beat and shook itself half to death and became rough and painful. We had a behind-the-scenes look at Ghostrider that morning and, of course, there were many questions, such as "Are you getting new trains?" and "Is this a total rebuild?" The stock answer: "You'll know in November." I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.
We had an interesting tour of Sierra Sidewinder's maintenance barn, too, which uses an an elevator-lift section under the station due to a lack of space for a transfer track and a separate barn. Voodoo is the most elaborate looking "haunt" maze I've seen outside of Universal Studios; it even includes a section filled with fog and water to simulate a swamp.
And, yes, Montezooma's Revenge still packs a punch.
Come with us into Knott's.
Bright and early at Knott's on Sunday morning. At least it was just a short walk from our hotel, rather than an hour-long drive to Valencia.
Behind the scenes at the TPR check-in table as the masses arrive.
Erik Johnson shows off the nice t shirt Knott's provided for this year's event.
Good old Charles Schultz--first time I ever noticed this little plaque.
OK, who's ready for a little "geeking out"?
I think Eric is still recovering from the drive on Saturday night.
Wheels! Wheels beyond any coaster enthusiast's wildest dreams of wheels! If people do dream of coaster wheels . . . sad, really.
They couldn't demonstrate the elevator lift with anyone in the barn, because sometimes one of the lifters jams--and that would be bad. Still, it's an interesting solution to a small-space problem.
Here's one of the coaster's restraint mechanisms. It's on the left. That's a technician in the right, not a mechanism. Just thought I'd clarify that.
Another look at the lift.
How many of you have stood at the chain link fences surrounding roller coasters, yearning to climb over then. I hope you haven't actually acted on this urge, as that would be foolish and wrong.
In the belly of the beast.
NERDS . . . wait a minute. I'm in here, too. Never mind.
As you can see, the dismantling has, indeed, begun.
Looking up through the structure. Nothing fell on me, which is good.
Even Ghostrider itself is anxious to be worked on.
This has always been an impressive looking ride; let's hope it can be a good ride once again.
Let's leave Jeff Johnson to ask the questions for which the answer is "you'll know in November."
Yes, "Chicken Togo"--the lunch that shakes you to death, rattles your brains, and leaves you with a headache. (My thanks to Eric Wilson for pointing this sign out.)
OK, that's enough touring--time for some riding.
Bob is ready to go!
I'm not a huge fan of Silver Bullet, but it was running very well that morning.
Hey, let's ride Wind . . . er . . . Cart Seeker?
Jaguar has the most elaborate queue I've ever seen for an oversized "kiddie" coaster.
Cue the Indiana Jones music!
"Here, Dr. Jones, you see the sorry fate of those who failed to keep their hands inside of the ride at all times!"
Xcelerator is still one of the best rides in California--especially at night.
"As God is my witness, Garbels will fit on Xcelerator!"
Here was the biggest surprise at Knott's.
"I saw a crab the size of a cow! A cow, I tell you! Well, maybe the size of a St. Bernard, but that's still one big freakin' crab, I tell you what!" More to come.
A classic made better. This ride used to help folks to kill time while waiting for a chicken dinner. (I guess it can still fill that role.)
Hot, boiling, blurry mud--right in my face!
Look! A mermaid! Perhaps we'll see a crab the size of a cow, too!
If they'd actually had caverns like this at the real Calico Ghost Town, they would've found a real gold mine--tourist dollars!
It's good to see some real men working so hard in their Glory Hole.
Nice view of Calico Square from what they used to call this "rickety, wobbly old trestle."
"Ya know, I'm still waiting for that trestle to collapse so that we can dine on some nice carrion." "Yeah--maybe we should just kill something on our own."
In case you hadn't heard, they're holding something called "Scary Farm." Consider yourselves informed.
As you can tell by the presence of the BIG DOG himself, it's group-photo time.
"Quick! Dogpile on the . . . dog?"
A Canadian vampire! In the daylight!
"OK, guys, we're taking an authentic daguerreotype photo this year. We'll need you to stand absolutely still in the hot blazing sun for another, oh, 15 minutes or so. Thanks!"
"OK, does anyone else want to know if we're a'gettin' new trains fer Ghostrider? Anyone at all? Good! You'll know in November!"
Garbels limbers up for TPR Quest. I'm impressed that he can stretch this much.
And the bedlam begins!
Yeah, this will end well.
"If I give you my baby, will you give me a hunk of Intamin cable? Please, I'd even accept a Vekoma wheel! Take my baby, damn you!"
No one choked to death during the "boysenberry-pie-eating-contest" portion of TPR Quest, although some in the audience may have puked.
Are you sure you weren't shot? You didn't ask about the Ghostrider trains, did you?
"Create the ultimate coaster nerd" was another part of TPR Quest. I forget who won this segment, but I remember it was a tough choice.
"So, just to save some time here, panel, what is your answer regarding the final outcome of Ghostrider refurbishment project?" "YOU'LL KNOW IN NOVEMBER!." "Thank you. Now I'd like to show you A CRAB THE SIZE OF A COW!" Kidding aside, the Q&A session was great.
"Howdy, pardner. Y'all might be wondering how I got here. Well, it's a very interesting story. You see, it all started when . . ."
". . . oh. You have a tour now? OK. I understand. I just get so lonely . . ."
Unless I miss my guess, Watson, someone has been performing arcane voodoo rituals here!
"You're in my chair."
"Er, sorry sir."
"He's not kiddin'! I was the last guy who sat in his chair!"
Wow! On a clear day, you can see Philadelphia from the Sky Tower!
Night falls on Knott's--almost time for more ERT!
Unfortunately, we missed out on the Flyers--but don't they look pretty?
I remember when the old Parachute Sky Jump was part of this tower, too.
ERT + New Credit = WIN!
Finish our night on Xcelerator? Well, why not, indeed! That's all for now--Disney is next. My thanks to Robb, Elissa, and Knott's for such a great day!
Glad to see the Ghostrider revamp as this park sorely needs a big thrill attraction to compliment Xcelerator.
Not that MR and Sierra Sidewinder aren't cool coasters in their own right, the park needed another good thrill coaster and I am positive that the revamped Ghostrider will deliver. Given the park doesn't appear to have tons of space, this is the perfect choice for them in terms of a "new coaster".
Great stuff Chuck! I really enjoyed my visit to Knott's back in 2013. Great to see another ride refurb with Calico and the addition of an interactive dark ride to round out the park's collection, which I think is sometimes a little underrated. The new GhostRider will hopefully put the park firmly back on the map.
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.