January 5, 2006


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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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