I'm not calling this a trip report, I didn't really take notes and my camera batteries died an hour into the day (I SWEAR it showed full when we left the house).
Went to Knott's with a small group today. I was a little worried at first, the day before July 4 tends to be a little busy. Not really a problem, as the park was pretty light. We did a series of 45 minute lines, but that's because we hit Ghost Rider... which is usually one of the longer lines. Then Pony Express... with one train seating 16 tops cycling once every three minutes if things are running well. The rollercoasters in general were the lines of any note we dealt with. Ah well.
Rest of the park... I was honestly impressed. There were a *ton* of characters out in Ghost Town and beyond, doing some pretty good street interaction. I know a LOT of improv people who pride themselves on their work, some of them professionally. Some of the talent's that good (of course, some of said improv people used to work the Knott's streets, so...)
The park was clean. There's a graffiti problem in a few places where some heathens carved their mark into windows and such, and it's a shame that some of them are the ORIGINAL *&!^#@# IRREPLACEABLE WINDOWS FROM THE ORIGINAL BUILDINGS and I might be a little irritated about that... but I'm not sure what the best solution for Knott's is. Replace historic windows? Probably. Beyond that, there were sweepers everywhere. Good job on that.
Did not get to see Kirk and the boys. Little sad about that, but we kinda ran out of power before the show we'd been planning.
The biggest part of the day for me was the reborn Timber Mountain and Calico Mine. I went in with high expectations from what I'd seen so far, and I was extremely pleased with the experience.
The increased activity nearly EVERYWHERE in the Calico Mine was amazing. A few technical glitches - one or two effects were from the look of it not operating, and the "Powderkeg Peg" audio track cut out in the Cathedral - but otherwise I was impressed. The silver lining in the track dropping out was our train driver gamely picking up the thread and completing the tour. I'm pretty sure she was one of the original drivers - the cadences and a few of the jokes matched the old spiel a little too closely.
Timber Mountain Log Ride... Aaaah... Happy to have been able to see this. I'd always been a fan, but also warned people that the ride had... faults. The visible support structures after the first drop, the relatively static interior scenes, that kind of stuff. I was absolutely happy with the way they addressed a lot of the older seams showing in the work - moments like the "explorer" hanging in the single shaft of bright light, the prospector's camp with naughty squirrel... I was impressed. The ONLY bit that I remotely found jarring was the climax. I'm... not sure it needed an explosion? It kinda comes out of nowhere, and... er... doesn't explode? I think this bit may have been better left as just the final climb up the sawmill ramp or however you wished to interpret it before.
Anyway, home, suffering severe Boysenberry fatigue (seriously, the $10 "all day free refill" cups rock, though I think my eyeballs may turn purple from the amount of boysenberry punch we went through), and happy with the day. I hadn't been to Knott's for about a decade as a daytime customer, and have fond feelings for the park from working back at the park just out of high school. I'm glad to see it doing as well as it was today - I was curious to go before, but not sure how the full day at the park would go and whether we'd be able to keep going. We did, and now I want to go back again