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  1. #1

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    Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    WARNING: There be an extremely long post ahead!

    When I moved to LA earlier this year, the first thing I did was purchase a Disneyland AP. I've been a Disney guy for years, and rarely wandered off their properties. The obvious exception is Universal, which does it better in places than Disney, but I'm not that much in love with it. The other chains? Y'know, the Six Flags, Sea Worlds, Cedar Fairs and Busch Gardens? It's either been not since the 90's or just never. The one I most wanted to visit again was definitely Knott's Berry Farm, which I had not visited since early 2000, at age 11, nearly out of elementary school, but not quite yet. Knott's had been a staple of my 90's childhood, even more common than Disneyland. Vague memories always reminded me of the Derby Soap Box Racers, the constant honking of the trucks in Camp Snoopy, the "scary" Calico Mine Ride and dinners at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Restaraunt. But it all came to an end in the 1996, when I moved to Las Vegas. After one more last visit in 2000, my Knott's days were over, only to be glimpsed at on the way to Disneyland.

    Well, I finally decided to head down there with a friend today as the deal was too good to pass up ($30 day pass ticket online). Even though I was there in 2000, I hadn't been there since Cedar Fair really took the park into its clutches. I knew about the changes and the various rides that have been added (not surprisingly, mostly roller coasters), but I was curious about what kind of experience I would be getting in comparison to Disney and Universal. The answer is much less of a crowded, absorbing headache, but nowhere near near the level of perfection the theme park giants put into their layout. Let me explain. (get a snack, maybe a glass of water, you may need it)

    Before paying the cheaper-than-Disney, but still outrageously priced $12.00 for parking, we admired how Beach Blvd and much of the rest of Buena Park is nicer than Harbor Blvd and Katella. Less cheap-o restaraunts, less tacky hotels, better landscaping. (yes, GardenWalk is a recent plus) Though considering that Disney will make parents look for the nearest thing that's cheaper, it isn't a surprising. And they have a Fuddrucker's, which I've always wished would come to Anaheim. If I had a Knott's AP, I'd make it a must to exit the park and just stroll along the street for lunch, there's plenty of great selections. Back onto parking, it's nice to park directly across from the park/marketplace in a quaint lot like how DL used to be, although this one's small enough that there's no tram necessary. (a parking lot in the back, as well as an additional park entrance helps things out) I was shocked how easy it was to walk right up to the whole thing, not to mention how well it's laid out. Everything, aside from Soak City, is arranged spectacularly, unlike the somewhat confusing Disney layout. The "official" hotel and marketplace merely sit in front of the park in a row. Brillantly simple. Even parking was easy to find, just follow the sign that says Knott's and it takes you right to it. I think we can all see the comparison here and how Knott's is arguably better.

    At about 9:45 we arrive at the front gate (after walking alongside the still cute marketplace, a Downtown Knott's, if you will) to hear snazzy orchestral version of folk songs such as "Oh Susanna!" blasting over the loudspeakers as we waited to enter. I was tickled by the fact that I never thought what Cedar Fair, who's only owned property was the Peanuts gang (and IIRC, they don't have the rights to use Vince Guaraldi's music), would use as entrance "mood setting" music. Disney and Universal have plenty of things to choose from, but I guess dipping into the public domain will have to do. Anyways, the whiff of nostalgia that overcame me with the familiar sights is immediately gone the second the Silver Bullet makes its test run, soaring through the cobra roll that faces the gate. The fact that this place is different now made its imprint on me even before I could step into the park. Needless to say, I was ready to start exploring.

    So, rather than contuning on with a play-by-play of my trip, I'm going to basically state where Knott's goes right, and where Knott's goes wrong, and a few other anecdotes. A comparison, if you will, of the Disney experience to the Cedar Fair/Knott's experience.

    Let me start off with a huge praise, if you can even call it one. (i.e. this is something that park isn't exactly in control of) The crowds were as light as a feather for the bulk of the day, which is impossible to find at Disneyland, even on an off-season weekday. I couldn't believe that still, three hours in, I could walk into huge pathways with barely a person in sight. Unlike sometimes at DL, I always felt like I had breathing room and many intimate moments could be had. Thanks to Princess and the Frog, even a relatively unknown area such as the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square is now crowd hungry. Tom Sawyer's Island has just recovered from a case of crowd-itis, but you know it will be swamped again with the release of Pirates 4. Former "treasures" wanting to be discovered such as the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough suffer from crowd clogging its once quaint chambers. (and not just because it's "new") At Knott's, one can explore the entirety of Ghost Town with its animated characters and authentic buildings throughout the day without waiting for anyone do be done seeing it to, creating a nice, calming and ultimately charming experience. And lines? The longest one I sat through was Perlious Plunge for 30 minutes, due to technical difficulties (we'll get to that later), and that was nearly double the times I usually waited. Walk-ons were extremely common throughout the day, which was pleasantly surprsing considering the complex strategy one has to put in for DL in order to avoid a line surpassing 30 minutes. A definite plus for Knott's.

    Now, crowds aren't within Cedar Fair's control. They come at their own will. However, Knott's is lucky to have an enormous array of attractions and things to do and only keeps expanding, which Disney is somewhat lacking in. Even with California Adventure, all there seems to be are just the "biggies", while the smaller, less noticed ones are few and far in-between and usual many in refurbishment. Knott's has an incredible amount of little things to do, from Ghost Town, to the very unique shops (whereas Disney is pretty one-note aside from a couple here and there), to the games to the arcades. Even the food options spark a variety, from outside vendors (Panda Express, Johnny Rockets) to Knott's own kitchens. Yes, this screams typical theme park, but themeing is one thing and having stuff to keep you busy is another. Especially since it soaks up crowds, which DL needs sorely. (let's hope that DCA remodel reels them in)

    By now, it may seem like Knott's is winning the fight over Disneyland, which is far from the truth. There are quite a few faults in Cedar Fair's model. The first of which is something that absolutely baffled me. Unlike Disney and Universal, there are zero, I repeat, ZERO posted wait times at ride entrances. Now, this makes sense at some Camp Snoopy attractions and some of the flat rides, but many of the biggies have lines that you can't quite make out. No wait time board, no nothing. In other words, going to stand in a ride's line at Knott's is like pressing your luck. You better hope you don't land in an hour-long wait, because by the time you find out, you're stuck. Of course, it did not matter since I only waited 15 minutes at the most everytime, but is it really that hard to install an LED pattern at some ride entrances? Not so much to ask for, and I guarantee it'll make guests much happier knowing what choices they have. I hated having to risk my time when riding every single ride. I know it seems insignificant, but it's not.

    Another incredible fault of Knott's is the loading of many rides, especially the ones that use the cubby system. Every theme park has them, the ride that's so fast and intense with a unique type of vehicle that pretty much no loose articles can be brought one. Knott's has a plethora of them. As a way to help guests out, cubbies are located on the other side of the station where they can store all loose items that a guest might have. (may I say that I did not know this upon purchasing my $8 locker rental, lucky I wanted to remove my jacket or else it would have been a giant ripoff) Well, this system's good and all, but it horribly slows down the loading time. Not because people are first storing their items away before taking their seat, but more due to the rather incompent (but friendly) staff. For some reason, they just are not able to notice some foolish tourist (usually a kid or someone foreign) has buckled in already with loose articles, meaning they have to undo ALL of the restraints, let that guy off, have him put stuff in a cubby and let him back on, instead of just taking his stuff. The worst part? This usually happened around three times in a single load cycle! Not only did it feel like an eternity from stepping in to the actual ride time, but waiting after the ride to get off (because of a train in the station) felt twice as long as the ride itself. Just absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention half the time the waiting was exacerbated by the staff goofing off. This is far from Disney's lightning quick load cycles. The line may be long on Splash Mountain, but those CMs know exactly what to do once you get there and you're on way in a log before you know it. (ironically, the log ride at Knott's had easily the best and fastest loading cycle and team of employees running it)

    Okay, those are my two big praises and my two big complaints. Let's move onto the actual attractions now (didn't I say this would be long? ). I'll talk about this more with theming below, but much of Knott's is slightly schizophrenic in many departments. One half of it is remnants of a Disneyland wanna-be from Knott's pre-Cedar Fair days that puts an earnest effort forward, and the other is a roller coaster-obsessed wonderland that Cedar Fair is trying to push. To Cedar Fair's credit, the coasters are well-placed and are dressed in a mild coat of themeing unlike another certain coaster-crazy company. The result is a strange, but rather unique assortment of attractions. Let's start with the Disney-inspired, Knott's purchased items first.

    The obvious firsts are the Timber Mountain Log Ride and the Calico Mine Ride. Timber Mountain pre-dates Splash Mountain, and even though Splash is neat to look out during the show scenes, Timber Mountain is more fun to ride. The log sloshes through the trough at a rapid pace, truly creating the illusion of being stuck in a streaming flume. Splash makes its way through the show scenes quickly, but not in such a fun way. Let's just say that the drops were not the best part of Timber Mountain. The Calico Mine Ride, may be a classic, but it's also lame, lame, lame. The ride is an outdated Jungle Cruise ripoff which made me thankful that Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland was replaced by Big Thunder, though that might have been better executed. The terrible western accents of the guides, the horribly pathetic attempt at jokes and fading sets and lighting make this entire attraction an embarrasment in need of a serious tune-up. But unless it's going to go over 60 MPH, I doubt Cedar Fair could care much.

    Fiesta Village offers Montezuma's Revenge, a fun Schwarzkopf flywheel attraction which is now truly one-of-its-kind. I remember wanting to ride this as a kid, but never could reach the height limit. For such an old ride, it's surprisingly intense. Also there is Jaguar!, which one assumes is Knott's answer to Indy considering the theming, which is a fun family coaster that sweeps its way through the right side of the park. Guests of all ages seem to enjoy it, as far as being the "cool, big and bad roller coasters only" teenager's guilty pleasure. There's some pre-Cedar Fair flat rides, but I could care less. The same goes with most of Camp Snoopy, which I'll address later.

    The Wilderness section has Bigfoot Rapids. While Disney's Grizzly River Run may be more dynamic with lots of cool tricks, Bigfoot's simplicity somehow allows for more opportunities for drenching. I got much more wet on this ride than I ever did on GRR. There's also the Mystery Lodge theatre attraction, which combines a live actor with holographic effects. A myriad of unused switchbacks suggest that the show used to show continously back in the 90's, but has since relegated to a show every now and then. (there were about six showings in the 9-hour operating day) Considering the age, it must not be as popular to demand it. The show itself is a good reason why. It's a long wait for a mere eight minutes of a Native American blathering on somewhat nonsensically with a shoestring script accompanied by some neat effects that Universal has more greatly utilized since. Having never seen the show, I was always intrigued on what it might be, and I was greatly disappointed. With a stronger script and more characters, this show would be ten times as popular.

    I'm extremely tired right now, so tomorrow (PART TWO), we'll examine the Knott's attractions built after Cedar Fair's acquisition, and how the theming holds up...

  2. #2

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Good report! Actually most of us Knott's APers park in the Marketplace lot, which is free for 3 hours. Given the light crowds you mention, most Knott's APs aren't there for more than 3 hours anyway.

    As far as posted wait times, Disney and Universal are the exceptions, not the rule. Most parks don't post wait times, or if they do, they are posted by hand and are either wildly inaccurate or completely ignored. Most Six Flag parks don't have wait times posted, and as far as I know, nor does Cedar Fair (the chain in question), Hersheypark, Busch Gardens, Holiday World, or most other independant parks. Although I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. And, as you mentioned, most of the time, the lines are nonexistant anyway, so it'll generally be a waste for them to put the effort into it. The day you experienced with them is typical.

    The employees can vary quite a bit, too. Half of them are really good and efficient, and the other half are clearly there to make some quick cash on the side with minimal effort.

    As far as the rides, I think the Calico Mine Train pre-dates most Disney dark rides, doesn't it? I thought I heard a story the Walt rode it to get inspired for his own attractions. That said, I agree it has seen better days, and it'd be nice to get it refurbed on day.

    I do disagree with Mystery Lodge. I think the script is amazing, and am moved everytime. However, I do agree the effects, which were amazing at the time, are a bit outdated now. And it's been around a very long time. But I do think the concept is great, and I'm sorry you didn't like it more.



    I also totally agree with you on Knott's having way better food options, both in the park and out. Pat & Oscar's is great, as is Tokyo Time and Philly's Best, all very nearby.

    The cubby hole thing can be problematic. It's the reason Six Flags now has $1 lockers in front of all their major rides, to alleviate the wasted time. Of course, now all you hear are people complaining about the lockers! So they really can't win. And the don't make it free because they want to discourage people from bringing things in the first place.
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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

    I spent one summer working at Knott's. Like any good aversion therapy, that experienced worked to make sure that I return there very rarely.

    That aside, I also just plain don't like the way the park is becoming more and more "six flags-ish" with too many roving packs of obnoxious gangsta wannabes.

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Thank you for this trip report! I look forward to seeing part II. If possible please add a few sentences or so discussing the crowd at Knott's. As mentioned by Snorkletts Mom in the previous post I have not returned to Knott's since my wife and I had our kid for the same reason. Punk kids that think that making a name for themselves in gangland is to harass ordinary people at Knott's everyday. A family friend recently gave us two free passes to the park but we are concerned about the type of people that go there nowadays.

    Again, thank you for this trip report!!

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    As far as posted wait times, Disney and Universal are the exceptions, not the rule. Most parks don't post wait times, or if they do, they are posted by hand and are either wildly inaccurate or completely ignored. Most Six Flag parks don't have wait times posted, and as far as I know, nor does Cedar Fair (the chain in question), Hersheypark, Busch Gardens, Holiday World, or most other independant parks. Although I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. And, as you mentioned, most of the time, the lines are nonexistant anyway, so it'll generally be a waste for them to put the effort into it. The day you experienced with them is typical.
    It's still a jarring shock. I guess I've been spoiled all these years, huh? I'm surprised they haven't done it yet, because you would assume guests would have complained ad infinitum by now.

    The employees can vary quite a bit, too. Half of them are really good and efficient, and the other half are clearly there to make some quick cash on the side with minimal effort.
    So be it with Disneyland, too. But at least they have eyes.

    As far as the rides, I think the Calico Mine Train pre-dates most Disney dark rides, doesn't it? I thought I heard a story the Walt rode it to get inspired for his own attractions. That said, I agree it has seen better days, and it'd be nice to get it refurbed on day.
    Actually, Calico opened in 1960, five years after Disneyland opened, and five years after the Jungle Cruise. It's clearly trying to mimic what Walt had done.

    I do disagree with Mystery Lodge. I think the script is amazing, and am moved everytime. However, I do agree the effects, which were amazing at the time, are a bit outdated now. And it's been around a very long time. But I do think the concept is great, and I'm sorry you didn't like it more.
    I will say this about Mystery Lodge: I am absolutely shocked that Cedar Fair hasn't demolished it yet to make room for another coaster. You would think that it would be the first to go. Props to them for keeping charm and variety. (btw- even though I didn't like it much, the crowd erupted into applause at the end, so it still has an effect)

    Anyways, thanks for your comments. Here, without further adieu, is part two. (hey, that rhymes!)

    So, we already examined most of the big attractions that are still standing from when Knott's owned the park. Let's take a gander at the beasts: the Cedar Fair biggies.

    Let's start with Ghost Rider, our first ride of the day. A traditional wooden roller coaster, which are not so common nowadays and not nearly as popular with the public (a woman in line thought it was 60 years old, and said they don't make 'em out of wood anymore, her words, not mine), it's a bumpy, but fun ride. (comfy seats help with the bouncing) Despite no inversions, I clutched onto my pocket articles and glasses hard, worried that the bumpiness would cause me to lose them. Even though there are no cubbies, I highly suggest going on the attraction with nothing to enjoy it the most. (great airtime, btw)

    The next coaster I ventured on was Knott's newest and strangest coaster, Pony Express. It's a take on the old steeplechase coasters, strapping riders on horse-shaped cars like jockeys. The seating is bizarre, tilting your back into a leaning position, as well as putting your legs inward. Not only is it an extremely short 30 seconds from launch to break, but once again Knott's spectaculary bad loading cycles force you to wait in that position for at least another two minutes before heading back into the station. Thank god for short lines. I hear Demon Drop is coming to Knott's, so I guess Cedar Fair has made the rule for new attractions "the shorter, the better".

    Let's take on Perlious Plunge, an attraction plagued from the start. A mega shoot-the-chutes attraction, this ride has been the victim of deaths and technical difficulties all its life. Not to mention a recent change to the boats (or should I say boat, since they only ran one) that creates a smaller splash, has idiotic OSTRs and looks way less nice. The ride was unsurprisingly on and off most of the day, and broke down while we were in line. The one boat running created an embarrasingly long loading cycle that seemed to stretch into the five-minute range every time. Once we actually rode it, it was a fun drop (the vertical aspect takes you off guard), but I can see why it's numero uno on people's hit lists for the next attraction to be axed.

    Xcelerator was unfortunately closed, so I did not get to experience it. I hate attractions like Supreme Scream, so I have no real comment. (it's awful fun to see people ride it, though) And so, Silver Bullet. This inverted roller coaster is badly placed and damages many of Knott's charms by intruding upon sightlines. But, it sure is fun. That double helix at the end really packs on the G-forces. I also really liked the video camera taping your ride, it's a quite an inventive take on the on-ride photo. The other Cedar Fair newbie is the Sierra Sidewinder, a spinning coaster that we didn't ride due to a constantly long line. (we also didn't want to hurl our lunches) I had no idea why the line was always so big, seeing how the crowds were. Oh, well. It looked like fun.

    Aside from the usual flat rides, that takes care of the attractions. (aside from Mystery Lodge, I did not see any shows) Let's delve into theming. Like I said earlier, half of Knott's is mostly trying to compete with Disneyland by tackling innovative theming and dynamic rides. With the other half being Cedar Fair's minimal, but honest effort, there's a bit of a battle going on. A lot of charm still exists in the mountains of Timber Mountain and the Calico Mine, and Ghost Town is just as winding and authentic as ever. Cedar Fair did a brillantly good job with the queue of Ghost Rider, though it largely used old theming. Fiesta Village still retains its carnival atmosphere, and the Aztec-inspired Jaguar queue is obviously trying to imitate Indy (it opened somewhat soon after), but you can't call it crap. It really is a nicely themed queue. Camp Snoopy is still just as woodsy as ever, with its pines, mountains and waterfalls easily rocketing me straight back to my childhood. However, towards the front some cramming has been done with Woodstock's Airmail and Sierra Sidewinder, destroying some of the charm in the front. The entrance to Mystery Lodge is still very nice looking (though with obvious wear and tear), and even though there's little theming, Bigfoot Rapids is nice and shady (Pony Express, however, ruined a little bit of this).

    Things go wrong, however. Silver Bullet has trashed the once quaint entrance area, as well as the lake that it sits on. Once mighty with a Mark Twain-inspired steamboat, the lake is tiny that mostly occupies footers for the dominating coaster. Cedar Fair has made the Boardwalk section into a concrete mess, with little to no theming to be found. Perlious Plunge has some neat stuff to look at, but the poor upkeep of the ride has caused it to slowly deteriorate. The clashing of Haunt theming and Christmas theming was to be expected, but I couldn't believe how many mazes are still up. It's the middle of November, and they can't manage to get them down yet?! A fault of Knott's through its entire life is the fact that the "lands" don't blend well into each other, creating a jarring atmosphere. Demon Drop is slated to take place of the Screamin' Swing next year, and I'm anxiously awaiting how CF treates this one in terms of theming.

    The layout of the park is abysmal, making it hard to get around even with a park map, especially in Ghost Town, who's nooks and crannies can confuse even the most directionally astute of people. DCA, which is not the best laid out park (just wait until the remodel's done), is even thought out better.

    So, will I rush out to Knott's soon and buy the (admittedly cheap) AP? No. Will I go there again? Maybe, in the future. My trip to Knott's yesterday was not only fun, but interesting. I got to analyze how a more traditional theme park fares against the Disneys and Universals, especially one that really tried hard for Disney charm years ago, but has since stopped. The result is an rewarding experience for both thrill seekers and theme park lovers, but the latter will be far more frustrated at Cedar Fair's insistence on coaster after coaster. Since room is running out, expect them to become smaller and smaller until old Knott's starts becoming paved over.

    I was last at Knott's nearly ten years ago, and the welcome it gave me was bittersweet. Part of me had myself sighing due to reminiscing my childhood, and part of me had me sighing due to Cedar Fair's roller coaster obsession. But, you know what they say: beggars can't be choosers. All-in-all, I'm glad I made the trip...
    Last edited by goldenstate5; 11-16-2009 at 09:41 PM.

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenstate5 View Post
    Another incredible fault of Knott's is the loading of many rides, especially the ones that use the cubby system. Every theme park has them, the ride that's so fast and intense with a unique type of vehicle that pretty much no loose articles can be brought one. Knott's has a plethora of them. As a way to help guests out, cubbies are located on the other side of the station where they can store all loose items that a guest might have. (may I say that I did not know this upon purchasing my $8 locker rental, lucky I wanted to remove my jacket or else it would have been a giant ripoff) Well, this system's good and all, but it horribly slows down the loading time. Not because people are first storing their items away before taking their seat, but more due to the rather incompent (but friendly) staff. For some reason, they just are not able to notice some foolish tourist (usually a kid or someone foreign) has buckled in already with loose articles, meaning they have to undo ALL of the restraints, let that guy off, have him put stuff in a cubby and let him back on, instead of just taking his stuff. The worst part? This usually happened around three times in a single load cycle! Not only did it feel like an eternity from stepping in to the actual ride time, but waiting after the ride to get off (because of a train in the station) felt twice as long as the ride itself. Just absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention half the time the waiting was exacerbated by the staff goofing off.
    And as much as people complain about the lockers at Six Flags, all of this is avoided now because of the policy and the load times are excellent.


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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by WestsideCM99 View Post
    Thank you for this trip report! I look forward to seeing part II. If possible please add a few sentences or so discussing the crowd at Knott's. As mentioned by Snorkletts Mom in the previous post I have not returned to Knott's since my wife and I had our kid for the same reason. Punk kids that think that making a name for themselves in gangland is to harass ordinary people at Knott's everyday. A family friend recently gave us two free passes to the park but we are concerned about the type of people that go there nowadays.

    Again, thank you for this trip report!!
    Sorry, I didn't see your post. Outside of a couple of obnoxious, screaming teens, I did not notice any wanna-be gang members or potential thugs. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough?

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    And as much as people complain about the lockers at Six Flags, all of this is avoided now because of the policy and the load times are excellent.
    Yeah but those cubbies were a godsend when you, I, and quite a few other Micechatters did that Late night coaster run at Haunt! I would have needed to leave my man bag with someone else like my sister or our friend if I didnt know they had them! I do understand they make the load times a little longer but they make my life a little easier knowing I have a place to hold my man bag!

    Although I know with Haunt I never usually plan on coasters and that ride on sidewinder and silver bullet was kinda unexpected anyway so I usually wind up wearing zippered pockets and carrying only basics in those zippered pockets whenever I go to Knotts or Six Flags but since I had no real plans to ride rides that night I took my bag in and at the end when everyone did a coaster run I could not resist and was wondering the whole time "Do they still have the cubbies to hod my stuff?" and they did and it worked out nice... but it does kill the load times a bit but its a tradeoff I am willing to accept if I know I could take my bag along with me and carry my "essentials" so to speak!
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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    As far as the rides, I think the Calico Mine Train pre-dates most Disney dark rides, doesn't it? I thought I heard a story the Walt rode it to get inspired for his own attractions.
    How about this ride serving as inspiration for a boat ride where you sail along looking at pirates sacking a Carribean village?

    That's right. IMO the mine ride was very influential on what Walt did to Disneyland. I've heard that Walt actually served as a consultant on a portion of the Calico Mine Ride (it was his suggestion to make the stalagmite room more impressive than originally planned). And I am positive he took back what he had seen and incorporated it into POTC. IMO you see this influence throughout the grotto. The rockwork was complete all around you much like the rockwork in the mine ride from Knotts. Go to the older dark rises in Fantasyland and look up. All you see is a black indescript area with plumbing and air ducts. The Calico Mine Ride IMO is what Walt was thinking of when he built POTC.

    Knotts has had a huge influence on Disney over the years. It's unfortunate and sad to see what has become of it. But this fact alone should garner it more respect than one would ordinarly think.

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by tamasurvivor View Post
    Yeah but those cubbies were a godsend when you, I, and quite a few other Micechatters did that Late night coaster run at Haunt! I would have needed to leave my man bag with someone else like my sister or our friend if I didnt know they had them! I do understand they make the load times a little longer but they make my life a little easier knowing I have a place to hold my man bag!

    Although I know with Haunt I never usually plan on coasters and that ride on sidewinder and silver bullet was kinda unexpected anyway so I usually wind up wearing zippered pockets and carrying only basics in those zippered pockets whenever I go to Knotts or Six Flags but since I had no real plans to ride rides that night I took my bag in and at the end when everyone did a coaster run I could not resist and was wondering the whole time "Do they still have the cubbies to hod my stuff?" and they did and it worked out nice... but it does kill the load times a bit but its a tradeoff I am willing to accept if I know I could take my bag along with me and carry my "essentials" so to speak!
    That night it worked great ... although we would have been on and off silver bullet MUCH quicker without them.


  11. #11

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenstate5 View Post
    Sorry, I didn't see your post. Outside of a couple of obnoxious, screaming teens, I did not notice any wanna-be gang members or potential thugs. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough?
    we accidentally went on bring a toy get in free day...the park had more "interesting" people than I had ever seen before. As it got later more and more showed up...we left at 4:30pm...it was a horrible experience.

    I have been to knotts four times and have not enjoyed it all four times.

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    I grew up in So Cal and Knott's can have some interesting people if you go during the wrong times.

    Times to avoid: Toys for Tots admission-large hordes of people bring in $1 and $2 junk toys, and claim its worth $15 to get free admission. Its the saddest thing I've ever seen.


    Summertime after 5 p.m. (last time I was there, they had reduced price admission after 5 and all the wierdos came out) 3 day weekends, holidays (although this should be common sense)


    Now...the Knott's Halloween Haunt. I still go to that. Its extremely crowded, and some people get the bejesus scared out of them, but I still have a good time. Plus they really up security during those events. EVERYONE gets inspected by security with metal detectors before they get in.


    IMHO the best time to go is during fall weekdays. The park closes early on those days (especially when the Haunt is running), but you can still pretty much do about everything that is up and running. Last time I went, most of the rides were walk on, and the ride operators would allow us to stay on and go over and over again. "Just let us know when you get sick and we'll let you off!"

    I also really happen to really enjoy Knott's food over Disney's. Fried chicken, boysenberry punch, boysenberry pie, and funnel cakes? Restaurants you can eat at for less than $40 per person? Yes please!

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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    The odd thing is, Magic Mountain is actually still pretty dead on the Toys for Tots days. Go figure.

    We've gone a few times and had a great time. Then again, this was probably 10 years ago, but still.


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    Re: Knott's 11/15/09 (first time in 10 years!)

    Good report so far.

    However, I think my sister's boyfriend would be like "what!? " towards your thought on the Calico Mine Ride. He used to work at Knotts on the mine ride before he came to DLR and is thinking of reapplying for Knotts next year.

    The guides on the Mine Trains have to practice on their accents and it may not be perfect but you got to give them credit for trying.

    I agree on the lines. So unorganize once you get to the loading area. They don't use their workes to get people into the rows. It's ever man for himself basically.

    The only things that make me want to go back is for the Stunt Show and Mystery Lodge.



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