January 7, 2006


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   We got to Adventure City about 9:30 a.m., thinking we could park, hang out for a bit, then ride the two coasters when the park opened at 10. The problem was the operating hours were different than what the Web site said, and the park actually opened at 11 a.m. We decided to find a place to get breakfast. We drove down the road a bit, and right next to Knott's Berry Farm was a McDonald's. This was the oddest McDonald's I've ever been in. It had model trains suspended from the ceiling, and they drove around on tracks up there. Near an entrance was an arcade with about 10 games. Weird.

   After breakfast, we headed back to the park. We had about 30 minutes to kill, so we wandered around the area. There are small stores that share the parking lot with Adventure City, and we visited The Indian Store and a store that sold reptiles.

   We bought our tickets about 15 minutes before the park opened. They have an American Coaster Enthusiasts discount, so our tickets cost $6 each instead of $13. The person who sold us our tickets told us Tree Top Racers, "the reason you're probably here," doesn't open until an hour after the park does. So we decided that we'd go straight to the kiddy coaster and get that out of the way once the park opened. Then we'd wander around for an hour until the coaster opened.

   The woman taking tickets saw that we got the ACE discount. She told us to have fun.

    Once the gates opened, we entered the park and walked back to Freeway Coaster. We were the first people on. We got in the last three cars. The ride host sort of laughed at us. Yeah, we're tools. The ride started abruptly. It's got a quick start and a quick lift hill. What's unique about this coaster is the second hill hops over a tree branch. Very cool. Because it was the first run of the day with passengers, and we were sitting in the back, it crawled over the second hill. I thought we'd roll back for a second. The next part of the ride is a downward turn to the left next to a small waterfall. It goes under some track and turns into the station. They let you go around twice. It's a neat ride. 4/10.

   We still had an hour to kill, so we wandered around the park. It's themed to a city, which is pretty cool. It's also got some odd things around the park like a bear in a tree. The midway was wet, which we figured was because they cleaned it before the park opened. We saw some animals, so we walked over to pet them.

    We walked over toward Tree Top Racers, which was still closed. There's a Moser Spring Ride called Drop Zone right next to it, so we got on that. It's fun. They were only loading one side of the ride, so we didn't get to face Tree Top Racers. There are some little pops of airtime every time it springs up and down. It's perfect for this park. 4/10.

    There was still some time to kill, so we walked to the arcade. Bryan played Skee Ball. After that, we went back and rode Drop Zone again. Whee.

    We saw a train driving around the park, so we got in line for the train. Bryan and my brother were thrilled. It's a small train that seats two adults per car. Along the track you go through a tunnel, pass by some scenery and go through a cafeteria-like place. There were some kids in there having a birthday party, so we waved at them. It passes by Tree Top Racers, so we got a few pictures of it.

    After that, we went back over to Tree Top Racers and waited. There were people in the station preparing to open it. Two of the ride hosts got in cars and test rode.

    Then they opened the line. Woo. There's a sign at the beginning of the line that has all the safety information. We noticed that it says "it'sure to be an adventure to remember." It'sure? Ha! The cars on this coaster are extremely padded. They need to be. Some of these turns are brutally quick and underbanked.

    My brother got the first ride of the day. They didn't tell him to buckle his seat belt, and he didn't notice it. They just let him ride without his restraint! Bryan got in after I did. None of the block brakes were on. It just turns around sharp corners and makes some quick dives. There are two camelbacks that give some airtime, but there's a crazy hill followed by a quick turn that I loved. You get major airtime, then you're thrown to the side. It's wild. There are great headchoppers along the return stretch. It ends with a helix and a hop into the brakes. We rode immediately after we got off. They made my brother buckle his seat belt this time. This is a great classic ride. I hope someone buys it after this park closes. 8/10.

    We rode Drop Zone again. This time we asked if we could sit on the side facing Tree Top Racers. The ride host let us, so that was fun. We left the park after that. The woman at the entrance asked us how our visit was and she told us to have a great visit to California after we told her we were from Arizona.

    Adventure City is a fun little park. Kids whose parents take them here on weekends don't know how lucky they have it. They've got an amusement park with two great coasters right in their neighborhood. It's a shame this park is closing. It's got such character and flavor to it. The owners really know what they're doing. 7/10.

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