My goal for 2018 is to visit a different park each month since I haven't been doing a good job at breaking away from the Cedar Point-Kings Island-Great America mold. January was a success
and I've just gotten back from California. I'm happy to report this trip went over much better than anticipated!
Precursor: this trip out to California was originally just going to be to visit Joshua Tree National Park. As the holidays came around I got a Platinum Pass so I started researching Knott's. Easy. On the way to Joshua Tree. Perfect. Fly in Friday 2/16 for Knott's and spend Sat-Mon in Joshua Tree. So I got a night at the KBF hotel + the Karmel shuttle once I land to take me to the airport.
Getting closer to February...
Wait. Disneyland is only a 10 minute drive away. Holy crap. It's also open 'till midnight! Knott's is only open until 8pm! Xcelerator is closed... Maybe I can squeeze in both. It's been 10 years since I've been to Disneyland but I've seen everything, so I won't be missing out on anything rushing through.
So the plan:
Land at 8:30am
9am shuttle to Knott's
Knott's open until 3-4?
DCA for Cars/Guardians
Disneyland for Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn
Sounds do-able? Okay, sweet. But if my flight is delayed that screws everything up. So I wouldn't buy a DL/DCA ticket until I was seated on the plane.
Fast forward to last Thursday. Weather looked good. Flight on time!
*Up at 3:30am Chicago time. Go go go. Seated on the plane. Ticket + MaxPass bought.
*Winds caused us to land at 9, so I was already 30 minutes behind schedule.
*Shuttle was effortless and I was the first dropped off. Amazing. Dropped my bag off at KBF hotel and headed into the park. No issue with the Plat Pass getting in!
Welp, Ghostrider was going to be 90 minutes all day. I waited about 70 minutes? Got a back seat ride.
Ghostrider 1x - It reminded me a lot of Legend (HW) in terms of laterals taking the spotlight over airtime. Absolutely silky smooth ride, but it didn't deliver the airtime I thought was going to be there. I would have loved to have ridden it more than once but it just wasn't in the cards for today. 7/10
I was a bit worried about growing lines for the rest of the attractions since it was already 11am, so I sought out Pony Express.
Pony Express 1x - This just wasn't what I was expecting. I definitely know a bit about each coaster of the park I'm going to visit, but I don't know the specs. Wow this ride was short, but hey it was running and I was able to get on it. It was tucked away in a corner of the park and it took me way too long to find it
Voyage to the Iron Reef 1x - Right next door and why not. Honestly, I liked this a lot! Even better than the Justice League rides. Why? It was taken at a comfortable pace and the 3D worked better IMO. The set designs were okay, but you're not just rushing through like I feel the JL rides do. Voyage's screens weren't blurry, the plot was simple, and everything worked. The dots were easy to see so aiming wasn't an issue. 8/10
Goddamn Coast Rider 1x - I love Mack rides. I love wild mouse coasters. WHAT'S WITH THE SHIN BARS?! I'm not even tall! The lap bar wouldn't touch my lap because the shin bar was preventing the restraint from coming down properly... I don't get it. It was a painful ride all the way through, but not as bad as Zeus so you're not the lowest coaster on my coasterpoll.com list! 0/10
Holding back tears as I went by Xcelerator, I went to Supreme Scream because drop towers are fantastic. The website led me to believe this S&S tower was a Combo Tower. Not the case, unless the 1 tower that wasn't open was. Regardless, it's a fun downshot S&S tower with views of downtown LA. I rode Supreme Scream 2x during the day.
By now it was getting close to noon and my body has no idea what's happening because I've been up since 3:30am running around. It's time for some Boardwalk BBQ! Shoutout to the user in the KBF thread that posts pictures of their food often.
Only gripe here - I told the woman behind the counter that I wanted to keep a light stomach so I could try all of the amazing food offered at KBF and even though the pulled pork was only offered in 1/2lb portion, she said she could give me 1/4lb (other meats like tri-tip come in 1/4lb option). Well that information wasn't relayed to the cashier and they emphatically told me I was given 1/2lb portion and wouldn't budge. There were no scales around so fine, I don't know who's in the wrong but I'm not going to spend any more time arguing when my clock is ticking.
Boysenberry beer was great! BBQ was solid with a good amount of sauce variety to pair with.
Tip - Boysenberry beer is Shocktop + Boysenberry concentrate mixed. Even if you're not a fruit beer guy (I prefer IPA's/pale ales), it's a good refreshing beer on an 80* day.
Okay great, food is in my system and my body is happy. What's that? I can take my beer wherever? Excellent, let's get on the flume!
Timber Mtn Log Ride 2x - I knew Splash Mountain was going to be closed so I relished my two rides here even more. I love flumes and this was a great flume, right up there with Movie World Australia's, Splash Mtn, Log Chute @ MOA, and others. The mix of animatronics, smells, surprise drops, and acceptable amount of wetness had me laughing and wide-eyed the whole way around. 10/10
Calico Mine Ride 1x - A visual timeless thrill. There was so much going on it was a crime that I was only able to ride it once. Lock me up. 10/10
Silver Bullet 3x - Of all of the coasters open today, this was one that I was looking forward to more with Xcelerator closed. Ghostrider was a let down for me, so that lowered me expectations even further since I've always known this ride to be the start of the decline of forceful B&M coasters. Soooo..
What's up guys? Silver Bullet was GREAT!
Sure the lift hill feels steeper than the drop itself, but this invert flowed so well through each inversion, pulled some G's, and had unique elements like the overbanked kicks! Loved this ride and I'll put it right up there with Raptor and Banshee. 9/10
Sierra Sidewinder 1x - Similar to Pony Express, I was let down by the duration of the ride. I was excited about the type of ride since I hadn't been on an outwardfacing spinning coaster, and right as I was starting to have fun the ride was over. 6/10
By now I had noticed that Montezuma's Revenge wasn't showing any signs of life - it never opened while I was there.
Who knew the only launched coaster running at Knott's would be Pony Express..
Jaguar 1x- The last credit of the day was an easy one. It's just a fun ride and these Zierer coasters are growing on me. Orange Streak and Jaguar are such fun rides for everyone. 6/10
By this time it was getting close to when I expected my room to be ready so I grabbed another boysenberry beer, re-rode the flume and Silver Bullet on my way out. My room wasn't ready yet so I grabbed a local IPA at the bar while I charged up and I wasn't even 3 sips into my beer when I got the text that my room was ready!
From here on out every minute counted so I slammed the beer, got the keys, might have eaten chex mix in the shower, and called an Uber to Disneyland around 3:30.
I wasn't allowed to wear my Spectacles/Snapglasses on Silver Bullet but didn't have any issues elsewhere - am I okay to post screen grabs from my rides?