...there is a first time.-old Vulcan Proverb
Subtitle: Tekno & Jamaal's SoCal Solace Vacation
So this was the day. The reason for my journey had come. For the first time since it’s inception, I was to attend Knott’s Berry Farm’s Winter Coaster Solace VI 2005. Was I ready for my first event?
The park started ERT at 7am, a full 3 hours before the park opened to the public. During this time, a substantial amount of coasters were running. Five of seven, actually. Also open for early business was Supreme Scream, joining Xcelerator and Timberline Twister at 8am to the lineup. And event attendees got free parking, not that we needed that.
I really wanted to arrive at the park around 7 or 8, but after our concert the nite before, neither Jamaal nor myself was able and willing. Plus, Tim had fallen ill at the Pre-Solace Radisson event, so he was okay with a later arrival. Eventually, we made it to the park around 9am.
The first thing we needed to do was pay and get registered for the event. Apparently, Robb and Elissa Alvey (by their own admission) snagged the last lanyards for the event, so no lanyard for us (I can’t remember who in the group later was complaining because they had gotten there first and instead the girl gave the lanyard to ‘some other couple’, but it was funny reading Robb’s TR and finding out it was them).
Anyhow, Tim told the girl that was taking money and handing out T-shirts he’d get mine and Jamaal’s on his card with his, so we could just give him the money. This proved to be useful for us, because Tim had a CF season pass since he works at Dorney, so we all got in for the Season Pass Price. Sweet! That worked out to Tim not even having to pay for gas since we chauffeured him around L.A., so it worked out nicely for all 3 of us.
Once inside the park, I wanted to hit Monty first. Many have told me that the Flywheel version of the shuttle loop was better, so I wanted to see if that was true. The park was fairly empty at this point in time. First event for me, and first ERT ever. I could possibly come to like this, but in the end, I could care less one way or the other. The dead park was a good thing, though. So we went and got in line for Monty, me in the front seat (of course), and soon we were off.
I couldn’t tell a difference in the launching, but you do get a bit further up the back spike on the flywheel versions. Very nice. I liked it just as good as Greezed Lightnin’. I remember telling Jamaal that someone had died on this ride, to which he replied “Why are you taking me on all these rides that people die on?” as we had ridden BTMR earlier at Disneyland. I then explained that this one wasn’t the fault of the park or the ride. I really wish there were more shuttle loopers around. It pulls some major forces backwards thru the loop.
Since we were so close by, Jaguar! was our next destination. Tim mentioned what I had posted some time ago about Jaguar! being so cheap. Hey, the station and queue are really well done, but $20mil?
This was a fun coaster. Again, a walk on which we all had our own seats for. They were running one train full and the other empty for ERT, but that was okay since there wasn’t a line. I was amazed at how long this coaster is. Not really that thrilling, but the coaster was a lot of fun. For now, though, it was only worth one ride. Perhaps later?
Next up we got a little turned around by Silver Bullet. But eventually we made it back to Xcelerator, where we found a small line to ride. Jamaal and Tim were taking tons of pix, but I just wanted to ride the darn thing already. Eventually we got in line. We could have waited for the front, but since I knew I could ride again later, we opted for second car. The station is nicely themed, as are the cars.
One thing I didn’t know was that you launch from inside the station. I didn’t even realize until we were in the station. I’m used to seeing the train roll out to the launch area and then go. I guess maybe because this was the prototype. The launch on Xcelerator was one of the most intense launches, possibly the most intense launch ever. I liked it even better than TTD’s by far! I couldn’t believe how fast we were going, and then you get that wondrous pop of airtime over the top hat. The rest of the ride is cool too with over banks going every which way and all. Definitely something I’ll be doing again.
I am not a huge fan of drop towers since they really scare me. It isn’t the drop, but I’m afraid of heights, and I’m used to Intamin drop towers holding you at the top for a while. I did like both the S&S and Chance shot/drop towers I’ve ridden, though. This would be the first time I’ve been on a drop version of an S&S. Supreme Scream was right near us, so I guess it was time.
I was scared. There wasn’t really a line, so after one cycle, we were on and going up, facing away from the park. But Supreme Scream is no Intamin. As soon as you get to the top, it latches or something, and down you go. This was one of the best drops I’ve ever experienced! My new favorite drop tower with Maliboomer & Big Shot tied for favorite shot tower. Three S&S towers in a week. Yep, I’m blessed.
Wonderful. Okay, so after that we headed over to Boomerang. This would be my second one of those. I really like the color of the coaster now that it has been re-done. Another shot of ERT, and the park was almost ready to open.
No headbanging. This was a standard boomerang, but it didn’t seem to go up the second spike quite as fast. We sat in the back of the train for this one. I still get that feeling in my tummy when I drop on a Boomerang or Invertigo. It isn’t that steep, and really isn’t that tall, but it does something good for ya.
At this point, the park was opened up and getting packed. Knott’s was offering 2 for 1 rides on their other new attraction, the Screamin’ Swing, which is an up charge flat ride.
Another great flat by S&S for sure. I hoped I wouldn’t get sick and that I wouldn’t get tired of the ride, but instead I could have stayed on quite a bit longer. Since it was 2 for 1, I gave Jamaal my ‘free’ ride. It was really good, I want to see more of these in parks, and I hear we will.
I still hadn’t met up with any of the people I knew other than the 2 I was with. We walked over to the park entrance when my phone rang. Beth was on the other line and her and Mike had just gotten to the park and no one had called them yet. I figured they were with the rest of the group, who was leaving to go to Adventure City. I told her to meet up with us when we were getting on the Calico Mine Ride and would meet them at the entrance.
Calico Mine Ride-
This was interesting. The ride starts out on a tour of a ‘mine’ and is rather well themed. One thing can be said about Knott’s-they have good themeing and dark rides. I only wish I would have gotten to see Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. But this was a nifty little ride that has some excitement at the end. Our train was filled, and the train has no restraints. It was kinda fun, but only worth one ride per visit.
Okay, so we were finished with that and saw Mike and Beth on the midway. The first thing we had to do was take a spin on Silver Bullet, last year’s new coaster (even though it opened at the end of the year). The line looked deceptively longer than it was, but I’m glad we waited it out, since the wait was only a few minutes.
The crew was kicking butt on this thing, getting trains dispatched very quickly. The guy on the mic doing the spiel was really funny. At one point he said something about “Enjoy your day at Magic Mountain”, so when I got on I asked if this was ‘That Batman Ride?’ We waited for the front row, with Tim getting on the train just before us. So here we were, Jamaal, Mike, Beth and I on Silver Bullet. This is my new #2 Invert, and ranks HIGH up on my list. Not intense enough? Whatever. That helix was almost as intense as Goliath. I loved this thing, and how quite it was was unnerving. The Stengle Dive-esq over bank was great, with a pop of air once you’re inverted. I really can’t say enough about this ride. I could have ridden much much more.
A couple of us were hungry at this point, so we decided on pizza. The price wasn’t too bad for a whole personal pizza. This was my first experience with Boysenberry juice.
Yum. Yum Yum Yum!!! More please! This is the nectre of the Gods. I should have brought some home with me. Yes, it was so good that it deserves it’s own rundown here.
Next, we headed over towards Ghostrider, but the line was way too long. We did walk around the park and took pics of the Topspin. Then we got on the Timber Mountain Log Ride, again which was a lot of fun.
Timber Mountain Log Ride-
This was probably the longest line we waited in up to this point, and still it wasn’t that long. Have you ever seen 5 geeks in one log? I was in the very back, with Tim in front of me and Jamaal in front of him. After the seat divider was Mike then Beth. Neato log ride was this. Esp. if you ride with your hands up the entire time. Try it, its fun! Good themeing was again very well, and Mike pointed out some of the animatronics that came over from KotD as well. Five slightly misted thumb way up.
Eventually, we saw where they were taking the group photos, which we didn’t include ourselves in. We also took another spin on Silver Bullet, either before or after lunch. Yep, it still rocked, and the line was way shorter this time.
Now it was time to get my grub on. The five of us headed across the street to lunch, which was catered by Knott’s Berry Farm. As soon as we get to the line, we ran in to Ed and part of the gang. I know I won’t remember every one I met, but I do remember meeting Eric, the URC webmaster, Frisbee Rob, Recess Kyle, Sparky Frank and his dates, Iggy Craig and his side kick, and many others. We were let in to lunch as they gave us little bags with Silver Bullet keychain/pens shaped like a bullet. We were later told not to have that with our carry ons on the plane as Airports don’t seem to like them.
First things first, we all got tables near each other and awaited the other members of the gang. Then it was time for drinks, so I got in line and got Sprite. Little did I know they had Boysenberry punch at lunch too! Then it was time for food. Knott’s provided rolls, BBQ ribs, some type of sausage/wiener with BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy (I had to laugh at a gravy, inside coaster joke to those that don’t get it), and of course, Fried Chicken. Very Yum!
Lunch was when they had the raffle and people met up with others and such. Earlier we had met Jim, who works for Knott’s, as he was with the photographer that took our pix and got our names. Every time we saw him he was making some quip about West Virginia. Very nice, funny guy. I wish all park people at all parks could be like this.
After lunch, everyone was going to Scandia, but Jamaal and I had plans for a nap. We were going to go to Adventure City for the credit, but decided to nap for a bit longer. I think I napped for about 3 hours, waking up at 7pm. At that point, Jamaal decided to call it a nite, as I headed back to Knott’s for some nite rides and ERT. I got back over to Knott’s as every one else was on their way back from Scandia, where they had a blast. Maybe I’ll hit it up with them next year. I got in to the park and went straight for another ride Xcelerator from the front of the train. The line was just slightly longer, and again, I didn’t want to wait for the front, opting to get in the second train and hope that eventually they’d need a single rider for the front seat.
Fortunately for me, just as I was going to be on the next train, the train before me needed a single rider for the front. Yes! A front seat ride was even better. I really loved this ride. It definitely has the most intense launch I’ve ever been on. After that I headed for a back of the train ride on Monty, which had a fairly long line at this point.
This ride was just as fun, but as I was sitting in the train, my phone (which was over by the exit) kept going off. I knew this was Tim telling me he was at the exit to meet me. So we met up once I got off the ride, and then went over towards Xcelerator. This was when Xcelerator broke down. We were told it would be open in an hour, but I figured that it wouldn’t open back up so late. It did, but I didn’t get any more rides.
So I saw that Perilous Plunge was going, and I wanted to try it. Sure, I might get drenched, so I had to change out of the T-Shirt I was wearing and just wear the button-up. Once I got in line, they told me I needed at least 6 people. I waited for a while till we eventually got enough to ride. I’m glad I waited.
You get completely soaked. Thankfully I didn’t wear jeans on this ride. This is the best Shoot the Chutes I’ve ever been on, with the exception of Jurassic Park, and then only because JP has such good themeing. The drop on this thing was amazing. What an angle to drop on a water ride. Such a shame about its history, I was freaking some girls out confirming what the ride ops had told them about someone loosing their life. But I assured them it would happen now that they had shoulder straps (which aren’t as bad as people let on. Yeah, I got soaked, and it was a cool nite. But I dried off pretty quickly.
After changing into the dry shirt, Tim and I went to ride the Top Spin. I like them, but they really make me sick. So far this week I hadn’t been sick, and hadn’t even needed any Ginger pills. This was the newer type of Top Spin, and it had the fountains going on it as well. As we were in line, we saw Mike, Beth, Frank and his girls.
Another vomitless flat for me, yay! The riders before us got five consecutive flips, but our most was 2 ½. Oh well, it was still a killer ride. Not quite as good as Tomb Raider at PKI, but still great none the less.
The park was almost starting to close, but I needed the kiddie credit, so we headed to that with Mike and Beth. I waited in line, just to be told I couldn’t ride since I was too tall. Tim got on, however, and got the credit. I should have hit it during ERT that morning, since it seemed anybody could ride, as a few people much taller than I got on. Oh well.
The last ride of the nite during park hours was on La Revolucion, a KMG Afterburner. I had been on one at a fair, but this one swung past 90 degrees.
Another great flat for me, yay! The one ride op had been there all day and wanted to go home. I could sympathize. As we were talking about rude and uncooperative people, 2 rude and uncooperative girls gave him some trouble. I really felt for this guy, he was so nice. So we rode, and I loved it again. The floor was different than the one at the fair when it lowered. You really get some air, and it seemed that every time we would swing, our branch was at the top of the swing, except the last time. After our ride was over I asked the Ride Op “So, do you want to go home and go to bed, or do you just want to get off work and go out on a Saturday Nite?” I won’t say what he said here as I don’t want the wrong person to read it, but his response was priceless and hilarious. It kinda made me hungry.
Now the park was closed. We had gotten our Lanyards during lunch to allow us to participate in late nite ERT, which was offered on Silver Bullet and Ghostrider. The first thing we did was a nite ride on Silver Bullet near the middle of the train. This ride at nite was even better, and I still love that pop of air on the Stengle Dive/over bank thingy.
The park cleared out quick and we headed over to Ghostrider, which was dying out. We went up and in to the station house. The infamous ‘Stapler’ was no longer employed by Knott’s as of the nite before, so I missed that. Saw a few more peeps in the station that I knew. We got on near the back, I think.
I don’t remember when I rode in the front, this may have been it. Regardless, I really liked this ride. They turned off the runner lights for ERT, so it was slightly darker. Definitely has great laterals, and if people thing this coaster is still rough, then I think someone is smokin crack. This was a really great ride. The drops were good, air was plentiful, and I’m glad this was saved for last.
After the first ride, we went for the late nite snack provided by Knott’s. Another thing they had to drink there that most places don’t was Sarsaparilla and it was good. We had chips, cookies, Oreos (no they’re different that just ‘cookies’) and I had something ice cream and chocolate. Maybe an Ice Cream Sandwich, I don’t recall. We sat, Craig had me cracking up, and eventually we headed back for more Ghostrider.
This time I know I got on near the back, and rode with Moosh. Finally, I got to see what all the fuss was about. Yeah, I got mOOshEd. Was I supposed to have enjoyed it like that? Maybe I’m a masochist.
We rode a few other times as well, but eventually we got on the last train going out. I think I stayed on Silver most of the time, but did get a ride on Gold at one point. Somewhere along the line, I lost the T-Shirt that we had just gotten a few minutes earlier. I really wanted it, but oh well.
So the nite was over and Tim and I had to walk back to Days Inn. Then we had to get up and out early the next day and head to Six Flags. Would we have a repeat of this morning and sleep late/show up late? Or would we leave on time that morning. Would we even find our way to Valencia at all?
It was so funny when we were there, I didn't give it another thought, but once you put that in your TR on URC, I couldn't help but laugh. Oh well, I saw you briefly at SFMM on the back of Goliath and nothing bad happened, except the cold, gloomy weather. Can I blame you for that too?;)
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