Warning: Please forgive my excessive ramblings. These TRs are long, but that is just the way I do it. You can find these reports along with some photos at: http://www.coasterfanatics.com
Saturday 3-12-05 (Solace)
Walking over to Knotts the following morning, I was pleased to see that the season pass processing center was open for business before 7am. This allowed us to get our passes before we went into the morning ERT. The passes were a great deal for us, because we visit Cedar Point often, but also live very close to Geauga Lake. This will allow us to visit both parks without having to pay the upgrade required with both the Geauga and Cedar Point passes.
After picking up our packets we headed in for the morning ERT sessions. We did Jaguar and Montezuma before meeting up with Chris, Natalie, and Paul for the 8am Xcelerator ERT. As was the case last year, Xcelerator was only running one train and the line was a little lengthy for ERT, but still worth it. This ride is without a doubt, the best ride in the park. If Ghost Rider ran at its peak, it would give it some competition, but as it is right now ... no contest. We rode Xcelerator several times and ever waited for the front row on one ride before giving the Boomerang a courtesy ride.
Once the gates opened to the general public, we grabbed a bite to eat and then met back up to the flume before the line got too bad. The flume at Knott's may very well be the best flume out there as far as the total ride experience goes. Sure, Dudley and Splash Mountain are great, but do they move down the trough with the momentum of Knotts' flume. The highlight of the ride has to be the drop in the dark, but I love the whole thing. A fun ride from start to finish.
After the flume, Paul and I grabbed a ride on the Screaming Swing. I don't normally do the whole up charge thing, but they offered it at half price for Solace attendees so I figured, "What the heck". While it is true that the swing does not offer a very intense ride, it sure is a lot of fun. the only downside is the short ride cycles. With a little bit of modification, this ride could be one hell of a thrill. I can't wait to see the version that Kennywood is in line to receive in 2 years.
The park was starting to fill up, so we headed over to Disneyland for the third day of our 3 day parkhopper. If we thought that Knotts was crowded, we had no idea what was in store for us at Disneyland. After making our way through the lines at the gate, we headed to the Matterhorn and got the opposite side of the one we rode just 2 days earlier. It was only about a 20 minute wait, but this would prove to be the shortest one there. We walked back to Toontown because Catrina wanted to ride the Car toon spin, but the standby was 80 minutes and they were all out of fastpasses. Well, I guess there is always next time. Since Disneyland looked pretty bad, we figured we would try our luck across the street at California Adventure.
Things at California Adventure were not much different than Disneyland, but it was a little bit easier to walk around. We headed back to Paradise Pier and took in the sights. This part of the park looks absolutely gorgeous at night and the lights almost force your brain into a sensory overload. The Orange Stinger and Zephyr are two of the best looking parts with bright lights adorning every part of their structures. We walked back and checked the wait for California Screaming and it was 80 minutes. Since the ride was fun, but not unforgettable, we decided to instead ride the carousel next door and them head over to Mullholland Madness.
The queue was pretty full for Mullholland, but I noticed that they had a single rider line, so I asked Catrina if she would mind riding alone. She said that was fine, so we headed up to the exit and got our rides in less than 5 minutes. Mullholland is a fun little mouse and flies through the turns with the greatest ease. Most of the first half is completely brakeless and it really starts to pick up some steam before the first trims come in. It might not be the best mouse ride out there, but it is certainly among them.
After Mullholland, we just strolled around a little bit before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the evening ERTs at Knotts. It felt really good to relax for a little bit. So good, that I actually fell asleep and almost missed the evening ERT altogether. Not a good idea seeing as how I haven't even had a chance to ride Silver Bullet yet. Luckily enough, Catrina woke me up with about 5 minutes to spare, so we grabbed our coats (hey ... it was cold outside) and headed to Knotts for the evening ERT.
First ride was on Silver Bullet. The trains were only running about half-full so it was a pretty safe assumption that everybody opted to start the ERT with Ghost Rider rides. We climbed aboard Silver Bullet and started up the lift hill. I had been hearing mixed reviews from everybody about how good or bad Silver Bullet was. I really wanted the ride to be good, but it just failed to deliver. The first drop has no angle or intensity and rest of the ride contains very drawn elements that produce almost no force at all. The only part of the ride that really grabbed my attention a little bit was the quick helix up at the end, but it still didn't make up for the rest of the ride. At least I hadn't built it up too much, so it wasn't a case of anticipointment. Only disappointment.