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  1. #1

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    Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Day Four of my trip brought me to Knotts Berry Farm for the first time in over 10 yrs. I was pleased to be joined by Judimouse on her first trip in 15 yrs and Disneyfnatc for his first time ever.

    We got there around 10am and used the Burger King $ 25 pass coupon.

    Our first ride was on Bigfoot Rapids. I would point out first that I was the only one to get really wet on our ride. It was fun enough but was seriously lacking in theming.




    After Bigfoot we moved over to the Wheeler Bumper Cars ride. I hadn't been on bumper cars in years but I have to say we all had a great time. We may have acted like 4 year olds but it was a great time




    After the Bumper Cars it was close to 11 so we went to see Mystery Lodge, which is a really good show with some neat effects. It was probably worth going to Knotts to be able to see the show, especially if the rumors of its possible demise are true.

    On that note we did talk to an oldtimer employee who told us that the schoolhouse, located near Mystery Lodge and Ghost Town is on the National Register so it cannot be destroyed. This might help save the area from coasterdom.

    While in ML, I played with the photo stitch feature of my camera to get a wide shot of the doors.





    This is more than I can say for our next ride, Ghostrider.

    We had all decided to do Ghostrider because while we are not huge coaster people, it is a classic wooden coaster and an impressive sight to see.



    The ride however was not enjoyable in the least. I know that wooden coasters are not going to be as smooth as metal ones, but this was unreal.

    I have never been shaken and tossed worse in my life, I couldn't even see straight at points. Both JM and DF agreed that this was a terrible ride, not even close to other wooden coasters.

    I don't know if Knotts has cut back on upkeep but this ride was very jarring and rough.

    Needing a break we decided to head over to the Calico Mine Train where we ran into another bit of a hassle.

    Judimouse is, for all who know her, one of the dearest and sweetest people on Earth. She is kind and has the heart of a child.

    However she has the knees and ankles of an older person and so she does not do stairs. We asked if there was a handicapped access and were pointed to an entryway which was marked for wheelchairs.

    This is what they called wheelchair access.




    After Calico Mine Train we went ahead and did the regular train ride on Calico Railroad. Both rides were relaxing but they lacked much in terms of theme and the employees/ride attendants lacked any real spirit of the ride.

    Since we were there we also did the Stagecoach ride and walked around Ghost Town, one of the few areas with a decent theme. JM told us some of the stories of the old days of Knotts.







    We were now thinking about lunch but figured if we were gonna do any more coasters we should do them before we ate.

    JM is not big on the super thrill rides, so it was gonna be just DF and I if we did one of the biggies. We pondered Silver Bullet but after our adventure on Ghostrider we were not sure. Plus DF and I can be a bit wimpy on thrill rides too (well at least I can, I won't speak for DF).

    However we decided Montezumas Revenge was short enough that we should at least try one biggie ride.

    For those who don't know this ride, you launch fast like on Screaming. Then you go through a loop and up a ramp to almost vertical. You next go backwards through the loop, past the loading area to almost vertical the other way (pointed down instead of up) and head back to the end of the ride.

    It's actually only 30 seconds long and if you want to try one of the biggies, its probably the best bet.

    JM was willing to do Jaguar so we all rode on it next.

    Again while I enjoyed both coasters, the general lack of theming and the morose attitude of the employees detract from the feel, as does the crammed in feeling of all the coasters looped inside each other.

    We were hungry so we had a relaxing lunch at Johnny Rockets. Our server here was friendly and efficient, the best one we'd seen so far.

    Since Sky Cabin was nearby we moved over there and had an experience that seemed to sum up the day.

    As I've said JM doesn't do stairs, so we went to the handicapped/special assist door. We could see it was hard for the ride operator to see us so we walked around and let them know we were there. We were assured someone would be down.

    But the ride launched without us. For this time we gave them a break figuring maybe the ride was full or they needed to go grab the keys for the back door or something.

    But what happened next was jaw dropping.

    As the cabin came down we were apporached by a employee and we said to him we were waiting. His response was to tell us we needed to go up to the top, up the stairs.

    We reminded him JM does not do stairs. His reply was that 'well one of them (refering to DF and I) needs to walk up there and work it out'.

    Needless to say we were floored, his attitude was surly and as if dealing with us was a hassle.

    However our rather terse response to his statement persuaded him to do his job and finally someone came down to let us in.

    The funny thing was as we rode up in Sky Cabin our response was to see if we could see Disneyland, and we did grab some shots.




    We now moved to the front of the park to check out Camp Snoopy. It was now that we realized something else that was missing. No characters were out and about.

    Back in Camp Snoopy we finally found the dog, and got a shot of him with our second favorite mouse. But this was about it in terms of character interaction.



    By now we'd done all the rides we really cared about so we did a couple of shows. First we watched the Calico Saloon show and then the Wild West Stunt show.

    Calico Show was clever and the performers did a good job, but give me Billy Hill any day. JM commented that the show used to be longer and with more performers, including Can Can dancers, but such is life under Cedar Point.



    The Stunt show was well done and the performers skilled, but it was less than 15 minutes long.


    However, there was one moment in the show well worth repeating. When the good guys caught the head bad guy they told him

    "We are going to send you to the place that all hardened criminals go"

    His response.

    "You mean I'm going to Six Flags ???"

    JM, DF and I almost fell to the floor we were laughing so hard.

    Having finished up stuff in Knotts park we walked across the street to Independence hall to take in the show there.







    As JM said, every American should be required to watch a show like this to remind them how lucky we are.

    At this point we felt we'd done the day and around 5:30 or so we headed out.

    I know its not entirely fair to compare Knotts to Disney, but as JM pointed out at one time the two were very close. Today they are not even in the same league.

    DF put it best when he said this is not a theme park, merely an amusement park.

    I hope I am not being too rough on Knotts but I did not find the day especially fun. I enjoyed the company of course and parts of the park were enjoyable. But the lack of theming, the complete indifference of the employees and the general mood was just not up to snuff

    In face DF and I stopped at Downtown Disney for dinner and felt more magic and spirit in the hotels and DD than we did at Knotts.
    ďAny sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, thatís when the magic really happens": Modern Family

  2. #2

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Sorry to hear that Knott's wasn't too enjoyable for you.

    It's no DL, that's for sure!

    Thanks for the nice report and great pics!

  3. #3

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    being a coaster fan, I do like knott's, but you need to remember that Ghostrider is already over 8 yrs old and wooden, and montezuma's revenge much, much older. The newer coasters(silver bullet is about 2 and Xcellerator is about 4) are really nice and smooth. We don't go there as often as DL, but do enjoy our times there.
    MCDA - A Healthier, Happier Me!



  4. #4

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Sorry to hear how their employees treated you. It makes you realize that even on Disney's worst day it's still so much better than what else is out there.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Wood coasters have allways been and will allways be rough rides, however they become much worse if you keep your back and neck firmly against the head and neck rest, a mistake I know many novices can make (since for some reason some wooden coasters tell you to do this.) Keeping (mostly) out of contact with the back rest reduces the vibration you feel (because from the back the vibration is mostly horizontal whereas the vibration from your seat is vertical) and results in a smoother ride. Im not sure if you did this but just wanted to inform anyone who happens against this message, since I know that Ghostrider is fairly well liked in coaster enthusiast circles.

    This has been a message from your friendly roller coaster enthusiast.

  6. #6

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Ok, for my two cents on our day.

    I have been on other wooden coaters and have never felt what I did on Ghost Killer (my new name for the ride). My head never touched the headrest as I was being jarred from side to side. Exited the ride with a headache.

    Let's not even get into the employees who could care less.

    My biggest gripe with Cedar Park is that they could have cared less about the history of Knott's. The bulldozed the original boysenberry stand and all the orginal plants. To me (I grew up at KInott's) would be like tearing out the Castle at DL. The moved the beautiful Reflection Church to a corner of a parking lot (yes I did finally find it). I am surew the HIstorical Society in Buena Park would have gladly taken the building and the plants.

    Give them a few years and original ghost Town will be all coaters with two little school houses tucked between pillar for other coaters.

    Knott's (to me) has the uglest park I have every seen Get inside and all you see are coaster loops on top of coaster loops.

    I have been there, done that, and will never go to another Cedar Park again.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Quote Originally Posted by judimouse View Post
    My biggest gripe with Cedar Park is that they could have cared less about the history of Knott's. The bulldozed the original boysenberry stand and all the orginal plants. To me (I grew up at KInott's) would be like tearing out the Castle at DL.
    Completely agree. I used to love the Knott's when it was truly Knott's. It is a shadow of its former self now and is fast becoming coaster-land. We have had no desire to visit and that does make me sad. You have confirmed my fears, tiggerfan. We'll stick with DL.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    I guess I will comment on the day. Having never been to Knotts before; I was NOT impressed. Well, our group was comparing everything to Disneyland and we just noticed how much better Disneyland is. There is no theming at Knotts to speak of compared to Disneyland. I was not impressed with the bathrooms as well. Disneylands are soo much cleaner and impressive. To be fair we did pay $24.50 to get in and I will say it is worth $24.50 and Disneyland is worth $63.00. Don't get me starting on how they load their attractions or how they park or their ticket booths. As tiggerfan said I/we just had to go over and walk through DtD and the Hotels (I was blocked out on Saturday) and eat at Whitewater at the end of the day. Also there was not much shading at Knotts I got pretty burned which was my fault but I have not gotten burnt that bad on a day at Disneyland.
    Just my 2 cents.

  9. #9

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfnatc View Post
    I guess I will comment on the day. Having never been to Knotts before; I was NOT impressed. Well, our group was comparing everything to Disneyland and we just noticed how much better Disneyland is. There is no theming at Knotts to speak of compared to Disneyland. I was not impressed with the bathrooms as well. Disneylands are soo much cleaner and impressive. To be fair we did pay $24.50 to get in and I will say it is worth $24.50 and Disneyland is worth $63.00. Don't get me starting on how they load their attractions or how they park or their ticket booths. As tiggerfan said I/we just had to go over and walk through DtD and the Hotels (I was blocked out on Saturday) and eat at Whitewater at the end of the day. Also there was not much shading at Knotts I got pretty burned which was my fault but I have not gotten burnt that bad on a day at Disneyland.
    Just my 2 cents.

    This is what gets me ticked off. I'm sorry but I dont like when people go to a different park and automatically compare it with Disneyland. I like Disneyland as much as I like Knott's. But both parks are completely different parks and they both offer different stuff. When going to different parks a person must always have an open mind about it, or else what's the point of going to other parks when they'll always be comparing the park with Disneyland. It takes the fun out of it.

    Growing up with both Knott's and Disneyland, both parks have its ups and downs, and believe me I can type out many flaws that both parks have.

    I don't get when you say that Knott's lacks on the theming section.

    This debate can go on forever. But one thing, anyone whose not a roller-coaster fan or enjoy thrill-rides then i wouldn't recommend Knott's at all.

  10. #10

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    ^Amen, if you go expecting every park to be like a Disney Park you are going to be disapointed everytime, and thats too bad because there are some great parks out there (Cedar Point, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens Europe, Hersheypark, etc.) Each offers a different experience, and to expect the same from every single park is crazy, not to mention unwanted since it would result in a boring industry.

  11. #11

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    IMO, saying that Ghostrider is 8 years old and therefore rough is not fair. I have ridden wooden coasters that are 20-30 years old (Phoenix at Knoebels comes to mind) and it's my favorite coaster ... period. It's just that Knott's has not taken the time to keep it up.

    As for Montezooma's revenge, I've found that this is probably the best maintained coaster at Knott's. And is still one of my favorites.

    As for comparing Knott's to DL, yes, at one time they were very comparable. But since Cedar Fair has taken over the park, it's just another concrete playground with lots of coasters everywhere.

    We used to be able to spend a full day at Knott's, easily. Now, 3 to 4 hours and were done.


  12. #12

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Great report TF! Thank goodness I'm not the only one who thinks Ghost Rider is rather rough. I swear after a few seconds on that ride I wanted to get off VERY BADLY - I love roller coasters but hate Ghost Rider.

    As for the rest of the park, the only area I really like is Ghost Town ... everything else is too coaster-y for me. I hate seeing those support beams all over the place.


  13. #13

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    I had an AP to Knotts up until a month ago. I love going to Knotts for the things they have to offer that isn't offered at other parks around here such as the Stagecoach. To compare it to Disneyland isn't really fair. Disney is in a league all of it's own and I am going to think it is safe to bet there was probably a bias in favor of Disney even before stepping foot in the park.

    I am a pretty easy person to please with things and I thought the theming in Ghost Town was good. I will say I missed the missions and the other things that were classic Knotts but sometimes things change, and not for the better as we have seen with Disneyland and the 98 Tomorrowland they rolled out. The Roaring 20's area is missed dearly by me but if they needed to get rid of it in order for progress so be it.

    With Ghostrider I will agree that it is better left without going on. I never went on it unless I had my advil with me. Silver Bullet is a great coaster and extrememly smooth. The ride itself looks worse than it actually is. It is my mom's favorite ride in the park and she is pushing 53. Mystery Lodge is a great show and the times I have been on it it has brought in a full house.

    I have gone to the park with a person in a wheelchair before and have had no problems with access. I guess it is a hit or miss thing. As for a person going through the line while the person in the wheelchair waits at the handicapped boarding point isn't uncommon. I know we did that a lot at Autopia when I worked there. I know you guys didn't have a wheelchair but maybe it is the same concept?

    I will agree that the shows are pretty good though. I enjoy the christmas show in the saloon and other shows they have to offer. I will have to say that Knotts has turned into a thrill park so to say. Since this is the case there probably isn't much to offer if you aren't planning on going on coasters or the high speed rides although you hit up the Mine Train, Calico Railroad and the bumper cars. Did you guys go on the log ride? It is another not to be missed.

    Sorry you guys had such a bad time but if you decide to try again in the future I would suggest going with an open mind and it might be a better experience.





  14. #14

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateChick View Post
    I had an AP to Knotts up until a month ago. I love going to Knotts for the things they have to offer that isn't offered at other parks around here such as the Stagecoach. To compare it to Disneyland isn't really fair. Disney is in a league all of it's own and I am going to think it is safe to bet there was probably a bias in favor of Disney even before stepping foot in the park.

    I am a pretty easy person to please with things and I thought the theming in Ghost Town was good. I will say I missed the missions and the other things that were classic Knotts but sometimes things change, and not for the better as we have seen with Disneyland and the 98 Tomorrowland they rolled out. The Roaring 20's area is missed dearly by me but if they needed to get rid of it in order for progress so be it.

    With Ghostrider I will agree that it is better left without going on. I never went on it unless I had my advil with me. Silver Bullet is a great coaster and extrememly smooth. The ride itself looks worse than it actually is. It is my mom's favorite ride in the park and she is pushing 53. Mystery Lodge is a great show and the times I have been on it it has brought in a full house.

    I have gone to the park with a person in a wheelchair before and have had no problems with access. I guess it is a hit or miss thing. As for a person going through the line while the person in the wheelchair waits at the handicapped boarding point isn't uncommon. I know we did that a lot at Autopia when I worked there. I know you guys didn't have a wheelchair but maybe it is the same concept?

    I will agree that the shows are pretty good though. I enjoy the christmas show in the saloon and other shows they have to offer. I will have to say that Knotts has turned into a thrill park so to say. Since this is the case there probably isn't much to offer if you aren't planning on going on coasters or the high speed rides although you hit up the Mine Train, Calico Railroad and the bumper cars. Did you guys go on the log ride? It is another not to be missed.

    Sorry you guys had such a bad time but if you decide to try again in the future I would suggest going with an open mind and it might be a better experience.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly. There was a huge bias toward Disneyland and the standards of Disneyland before we entered at least before I entered. We did not go on the log ride it was not running. Now that you say Silver Bullet looks worse than it is I wish I would have tried it. We almost went on it. I did manage to go on Montezumas Revenge and it is so fast that by the time you are going through the backwards loop you are almost done. The shows were pretty good. I did enjoy the Wild West Show. I did not want to offend anyone who likes Knotts.

  15. #15

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    Re: Tiggerfan & Friends at Knotts (and why its Not)

    Comparing Knott's to DL aside, comparing Knott's now to Knott's in the past, I'm disappointed as well. Knott's used to be totally themed just as well as DL. Now you walk into Camp Snoopy and you pass a huge coaster leg. The beautiful area with the church and pond, coaster leg. You used to be able to go to Knotts with the whole family and find plenty to do and see. But, I guess for the price it's ok. I go every now and then, but I'm just not as happy there as I used to be. Thanks for your trip report, though, it's always good to get an update.

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