Just got back yesterday afternoon from Knott's Berry Farm (or so-called "America's First Theme Park"). My older cousin Dave, who is 21, decided to take my autistic 16-year-old cousin Quinn and I to Knott's because my aunt (mother of my 16-year-old cousin) scored some tickets. Yay!
So Dave picks us up at 9:30, a half-hour before opening. Quinn has no idea what Knott's is, although he thinks its some kind of a farm due to its name. A typical conversation about Knott's before the trip went like this:
Me: "Quinn, where are we going tomorrow?"
Quinn: "Uhh, umm, Knott's Berry Farm?"
Me: "Good job! What is it?"
Quinn: "It's a, uh, house, pig, horse.,"
Me: "No, Quinn, it's a theme park; rollercoasters!"
Me: "Yes, rollercoasters! Now where are we going tomorrow?"
Quinn: "Knott's Berry Farm!"
Me: "Good job! What is it?"
Quinn: "It's a house, cow, roller coaster."
So I'm looking forward for Quinn to actually realize that very few farms have roller coasters. Upon arrival, we run on into the park after parking and Dave, who hasn't been there since right after Supreme Scream opened, was in total shock of all of the new rides Knott's has. We get Quinn a Disability Pass, a little blue card that allows up to 4 people to enter any attraction through the exit (Quinn can't stand in lines too long without throwing a temper tantrum). The system is much more complicated than Disney's, and you can only go on a ride once with the pass during the day, but it still works fine. Dave wants to go on Ghostrider, but I recommend saving that for last due to the fact that headaches will most likely occur.
Silver Bullet is our first destination, and we found the crowds to be low enough to just use the regular line instead of using the pass. Front row seats are in store for us, so we can come off with red eyes and a desperate need for Visine. I still came off a little bit seasick because I can't wear my glasses, but it still was a heck of a lot of fun and still so disorienting! It's very difficult to know where you're going, and (especially in the back rows), it's hard to tell whether you're upside down or rightside up!
So we go on Montezooma's Revenge, my first looping coaster ever back in 1999 (and what a way to learn the loop!). The ride seems to be a little less smooth than I remembered, and I'm hoping that it won't get knocked down like most rides at Knott's do when they get more than ten years old. But it was a blast, and Quinn seemed to enjoy it a lot.
After Montezooma's we make our way over to the Boardwalk and over to Supreme Scream. The loading system was horrible there, and no one knew where to go or what to do until the employee (I'll save the term "cast member" for someone who acts Disney-like) started screaming at us. The ride itself was a blast, and the view was amazing!
Xcelerator was next, and the line was short enough (again) to ride without the pass. We get on barely without the red showing on Quinn's lap bar, so it's a go! Once again, I noticed the ride was a little bit more rickety than before and not quite as smooth as it once was. But it was still a blast, and when you get off, all you can remember is sitting in the station and waiting to unload. Everything else inbetween is just a blur and I guess that's the experience Knott's wants. We went on this twice, and afterwords took a quick plunge on Perilous. Still a ton of fun, though I'm glad they replaced those lap bars and cloth shoulder restrains to just one permanent over-the-shoulder restraint. Quinn almost didn't make it, but after the employees (still not very nice people, although I'm sure they're stressed out) locked him down even more, he was able to ride, although uncomfortably I assume. We came of sopping wet!
We left the Boardwalk for a bit and headed over to the Calico Railroad, which had caught Quinn's attention for a while and he showed it by making "choo-choo" noises every time we got near it. So we went on what I like to call a "Vegas-Style Slow-Moving Unbanked Big Thunder Mountain Railroad". It was actually one of my favorite attractions, which shows you how desperate I was for theming, even if it was a bunch of extremely primitive Audio-Animatronics. There was this weird guy in the train with us and kept on talking about how he hated Knott's. It became a comic situation when Quinn (remember, he's mentally handicapped) kissed Dave on the cheek (he does this to everyone, and remember that he has the mind of about a three-year-old). The guy freaked out and said, "What was that?" Dave responded by explaining how he was autistic, but Quinn tried to first by saying, "it's a kiss, cheek, its cute," which got me and Dave to laugh once we got away from this dude. I felt bad for his daughter, though, whose father seemed to be totally aware of everyone else besides her.
So once away from the guy who has never met a mentally handicapped person before, we vamos over to Sierra Sidewinder, but unfortunately the guy decides to make us come back a half-hour later, so we take one more ride on Montezooma's Revenge and Jaguar before running back to catch the last thrill ride before lunch. Sidewinder was insane! Just when you think you're going to go one way, BLAM! Suddenly you're backwards and facing different people than before! The video camera was a good idea, but the guy wouldn't give us a direct price on how much a DVD of us cost, so we just blew him off and walked away.
We ate lunch at Lucy's Lunchbox, a medium-sized fast food restaurant in Camp Snoopy (hey, it was right next to Sidewinder). I ordered a cheese pizza, Dave a chicken sandwich, and Quinn a cheeseburger. Dave and Quinn said their food was okay, but mine was absolutely awful! Dave and Quinn tried a slice and agreed with me... although the pizza didn't, and so I couldn't ride Boomerang with them a little bit later. I did somehow make it to Bigfood Rapids (fun!) and the Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars (short, only 60 seconds?), and called in after Dave and Quinn went on Boomerang while I felt sick and waited off to the side. Went on the Sky Tower afterwords, and finally we took a trip on Ghostrider as our final ride. That ride is so rickety... Colosus at Magic Mountain is much more stable than Ghostrider! All three of us came off with a headache as we made our way back to the entrance. Once we found the car (took us a while), we headed back over here to La Verne, although we had to stop in San Dimas to pick up McDonald's for my little cousin Doug back at home, Pizza Hut for Quinn, and Subway for Dave and I.
Overall, this was a fun trip. If I was alone, though, it probably wouldn't have been as much fun. Knott's needs to re-evaluate its refurbishment policy. If a ride becomes rickety but it's old, it will be demolished. The only exceptions to this rule are Perilous Plunge and Log Jammer.
*Whew*! That was a long post! Stay tuned for next week when I go to Disneyland!
EDIT: Thanks for the MontezOOma correction!