The 5 Best Vertical Loops in California

20150409_193336 (Large)Ever since the first successful loop in the world premiered here in California, the vertical loop’s been among the most common inversions on coasters around the world. And in all honesty, who isn’t a fan of the Vertical Loop? There are all sorts of them out there. From those that rush through them at high speeds to those that leave riders hanging upside down! In the state of California, we’ve got quite a few loops, all are unique in their own way, let’s see what the 5 best are!  Continue reading “The 5 Best Vertical Loops in California”

The 5 Best Drops in California

20141024_171632 (Large)Pretty much every coaster includes drops. Some are hardly considered drops, and some have riders fall out of the sky hundreds of feet. In addition there are quite some types of drops. We’ve decided to bring you the 5 best drops in California, from twisted drops, to those that invert riders, the state of California has a great coaster collection, and thus a great collection of thrilling and unique drops! Continue reading “The 5 Best Drops in California”

California’s Great America Update – April 18th 2015

DSC_0120 (Large)We told you we’d be returning soon, and we kept that promise. It was hectic, to say the least. The combination of the Super-Cross event taking place at the nearby Levi’s Stadium, and the concert being held at the park by local radio station 99.7, things were pretty insane. There is also lots going at the park such as the reopening of quite a few rides, so let’s continue shall we? Continue reading “California’s Great America Update – April 18th 2015”

California’s Great America Update – April 15th 2015

image (26) (Large)We were ecstatic to start our coverage of this park on opening day, and we are even more excited to continue so expect more coverage in the near future! Today was a great day to be at the park! Crowds were light, the sun was out, and we couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more. This however, doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot going on, there has been. We saw everything from ride closures and openings, to new food menus, and even potential future attractions, so let’s get started! Continue reading “California’s Great America Update – April 15th 2015”

The 5 Best Coasters in Northern California

DSC_0044 (Large)Northern California parks are hours away from the Southern California theme parks. Yet, they’re in the shadow of these Southern California parks. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are a few great parks up state, such as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, California’s Great America, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Gilroy Gardens. We’ve decided to take a look at the coasters we find in Northern California, many of which are thrilling and world-class attractions. Here’s the list of the 5 best coasters in Northern California.  Continue reading “The 5 Best Coasters in Northern California”

California’s Great America Opening Day 2015

DSC_0048 - Copy (Large)We were so excited to be present at California’s Great America for the opening day of their 40th season! Although it may not have been the perfect start to the season, we still had a lot of fun, and we are very happy to have this park back open! Please keep in mind there may be some mild complaints throughout this article. They are not meant with malicious intent, but rather honesty. Nonetheless, we had a fantastic day.  Continue reading “California’s Great America Opening Day 2015”

Demon – California’s Great America – Review

Demon is an Arrow Dynamics multi-looper with a twin coaster at Six Flags Great America. Both coasters are identical (track-layout wise), and have a layout featuring two vertical loops and a double corkscrew. This was not the case however, when these coasters first opened. They opened under the name Turn of the Century in 1976, and did not feature the two vertical loops. Rather two airtime hills. After the 1979 season, the airtime hills that originally followed the first drop were replaced by vertical loops, artificial rock formations were installed as themed elements to the new theme and branding. The coasters took the name they still go by today: Demon!

– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

Getting back to our California version… As riders approach the entrance of the queue, they will attempt to make out the ride’s layout through the landscaping that surrounds it.They will then walk past a sign that reads “ Demon”. 20130817_125327 (Large)Guests will walk down a path leading to a set of switchbacks. The path, fenced with wooden handrails, passes under the lift-hill. Many guests though, won’t realize it’s the lift they’re passing under, since the rock-like theming around it blocks guests from seeing the track. 20130817_130835 (Large) 20140726_142611 (Large)From the switchbacks closer to the station, there is a perfect view of the newest elements of the ride, the two back-to-back vertical loops. The trains seem to whip through them at tremendous speeds, leaving the mesmerized guests wondering what kind of forces could possibly await. 20140726_142606 (Large)Once the switchbacks are completed, guests will be assigned rows inside the station. The station itself is outdoor, like all steel-coaster stations at California’s Great America, though the air-gates part of the station is covered by a wooden structure. Once the gates open, riders will pass through, cross the train, and will place all loose items in the cubbies for their respective trains. They then take a seat in the classic Arrow trains, which are a lot smaller than Viper’s newer generation Arrow Looper trains, have their restraints and attached seat-belt checked, and they’re off! (Note to tall people, just like on the newer Arrow trains, request to sit in the front row of a car. There’s not a lot of space anywhere in the older generation Demon trains, but its definitely better than the back rows of each car).

As the train leaves the station, the train enters a dark tunnel before emerging to climb the 102 ft tall lift hill. The tunnel used to have flashing blue lights, these are still turned on, though only a very little part of it still works. Look for it next time you ride. While climbing the lift hill, guests may notice that the train isn’t going at a constant speed. Rather, this older lift hill mechanism really drags the train, and thus the train will go faster, then slower for a second, then fast again, so on so forth. 20140726_142545 (Large)When the train reaches the top, it makes a 180′ degree turnaround, and drops 90 feet at a 54′ degree angle, reaching the top speed of 50 miles per hour. 20140726_142339 (Large)The riders then fly through the back-to-back loops of 70 feet and 55 feet tall, which pull some excellent G’s, and not of the negative variety! Notice that in between the two loops, there’s a small straight section of track, which causes a bit of a rough transition. Remember those forces you were imagining in line while looking at these beauties? Yes, they are just as you imagined them. 20140726_142600 (Large)Riders are then enveloped by a tunnel. The tunnel used to light up orange and yellow with the light bulbs inside the tunnel. This no longer happens, though at the Chicago version, these lights still work. Riders will exit the straight-sectioned dark tunnel and then rise into the second turnaround. Before the train rolls into the second half of the ride, a block brake section, used more as a trim, slows the train down slightly, if at all. A small drop follows and then, the ride’s “new” name becomes very apparent. The trains are swallowed by a humongous rock formation that is the head of, yes you guessed it, the Demon! 20140726_144549 (Large)This provides what has got to be one of the best head chopper effects out there. Keeping your hands up throughout this element is not an easy feat. After zooming past a waterfall on the back side of the Demon’s head, the trains maneuver through the rides original signature move, the double corkscrew. The speed with which it spirals through the 35 feet tall corkscrews is amazing! 20140726_144536 (Large)20140726_144552 (Large)Though tall people must watch out for their knees, and the shorter people for the head-banging, as the transition into the corkscrews is very rough. A great mix of laterals positives and even a hint of airtime are present in the corkscrews, before the ride leads into a funky turnaround, and then slides into the brakes with riders attempting to regain their breath. One final turn onto the transfer track brake section, and the train’s ready to roll back into the station.20140726_142820 (Large)

Although this ride often receives criticism for being rough, it isn’t quite as bad as you would think. It can be a bit shaky like almost any Arrow, but especially when taking its age into account, it’s really pretty smooth, and at the very least tolerable. The line-up of elements may not be the most diverse, but that doesn’t necessarily take away from the experience. This is a solid ride, with some good forces, theming, and head choppers. And we actually enjoy it quite a bit.20140726_142511 (Large) We like to look at it from a different perspective. It’s a classic that still runs very well, gives riders a taste of the older style coasters, and is the clear predecessor to giant loopers we know now. Due to California Great America’s limited coaster collection, it is a must-ride while at the park, especially for first time riders. We may like this classic Arrow, but what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Comment below, and let us know!

Super Poll Sunday! – Best Airtime in California!

We’re back with a Super Poll! We selected 6 heart-pounding roller coasters from California, and we want YOU to VOTE for the one that has the best Airtime!

Below you’ll see the nominees, BELOW THAT, please VOTE!

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What coaster in California has the best Airtime?

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Throwback – Old Timber Mountain Log Ride and its Construction

I stumbled upon some old pictures of the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. I have pictures of its construction and of how it looked in its first couple of years of operations. I sadly had these pictures on my PC for a while now, and quite honestly do not remember where I collected them. Thus the credit goes to someone else. I still thought I’d share them!

Timber Mountain Log Ride wasn’t always planned to be a log ride, originally Knott’s was interested in adding a roller-coaster that would give the impression of flowing through a river, in log-like trains. Arrow Dynamics then decided it was a better idea to add an actual log-flume rather than a coaster, which makes sense after the success Arrow’s first log flume at Six Flags Over Texas had. So the plans were changed and an actual log flume ride was to become the infamous Timber Mountain Log Ride. Though when it opened on July 11th 1969, it was called Calico Log Ride.

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Walter Knott (founder and original owner of Knott’s Berry Farm) didn’t approve construction ’til all scenes and ideas were clearly established. Eventually he approved the $3.5 Million project, which was regulated and funded by the Hurlbut Amusement Company, that after construction officially sold it to Knott’s Berry Farm. Here are some construction pictures!

When you see the ride now, it’s quite hard to imagine it once looked like a whole bunch of steel beams!

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And then this was what the Calico Log Ride looked like when it opened!IMG_3821798741854

It looked a lot grayer, and more concrete-like than the repainted versions later. IMG_3811725408113

Here are some pictures of the original scenes!

This locomotive is still in the ride as of today!IMG_3880349401032

These 3 original scenes are no longer on the log ride. IMG_3901035222567 IMG_3860567388093 IMG_3853702947177

Back then, as well as today, among the best themed log rides in the world!IMG_4085182611201

I kind of like the original bear better than the newer one! IMG_3870148625888

At one point the Calico Log Ride became the Timber Mountain Log Ride, here’s one of the older advertisements for it! IMG_3841590489902

Knott’s for the Cure

Knott’s Berry Farm and Susan G. Komen Orange County are partnering together again to raise money for breast cancer awareness, services and research in our community by offering special Pink tickets and exclusive pink merchandise during Knott’s Berry Farm for the Cure. January 5 through March 27, guests can purchase a Pink Ticket ($39 adults, $35 Jr./Sr. ages 3-11, 62+), online only at knotts.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen Orange County.Knott's Berry Farm For the Cure and Benefiting Logo

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, has raised nearly $1 million for Susan G. Komen in the last five years. This is the second year the partnership will directly impact awareness and services on a local level within Orange County.

Guests entering the theme park during the time of the promotion will be greeted by a beautifully themed pink Knott’s Berry Farm for the Cure display along with inspirational testimonials by breast cancer survivors.20150110_084826 (Large) 20150110_084830 (Large) Additionally, limited edition “pink” t-shirts and specially designed canteens will be available for purchase. A portion of the “pink” merchandise proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen Orange County.20150110_085651 (Large)

“During the Knott’s Berry Farm for the Cure partnership, guests can honor loved ones,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, vice president and general manager of Knott’s Berry Farm. “The partnership between Knott’s Berry Farm and Susan G. Komen Orange County is an impactful one, as the two organizations come together to advance women’s health by raising money and awareness to fight breast cancer.”

On January 10th, Knott’s hosted a media breakfast where breast cancer survivors joined. After the breakfast where Susan G. Komen OC members spoke along with Raffi Kaprelyan, we headed over to Jaguar where the survivors took a ride for the media. 20150110_100751 (Large) 20150110_102256 (Large) 20150110_102647 (Large) 20150110_102742 (Large)

The three month long promotion will provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy Knott’s world class entertainment, attractions and specially-themed “pink” décor, while supporting a great cause. The famous Calico Mine Ride, Knott’s Berry Farm Main Gate and the Camp Snoopy waterfall will all glow pink in honor of the campaign.IMG_0788.JPG IMG_0789.JPG IMG_0787.JPG IMG_0781.JPG

For the park update that goes along with my visit for Knott’s for the Cure, please click here!

Knott’s Berry Farm Update January 10th 2015

It’s time for a new Knott’s Berry Farm Update! I attended the Knott’s for the Cure media event in the morning, and everything related to that will follow in a different post soon. This update includes many things around the park that were worthy to be included in this update.

Let’s start with Pony Express, which is back to two train operations. I find this very ironic almost, since during the summer it occasionally only operates one train… 20150110_133251 (Large)

The park has definitely not finished cleaning up after Merry Farm yet! There are a whole bunch of decorations left to put in storage. Though it isn’t half as bad as Magic Mountain, that has hardly stored away anything! 20150110_130550 (Large) 20150110_112806 (Large)20150110_123719 (Large) Though I really like these banners, they’re clearly Merry Farm!20150110_123737 (Large)

Just like Riptide, La Revoluccion is still awaiting parts from Germany. Meanwhile the ride’s fences, gates, control boxes, etc are being replaced/ moved around quite a lot. 20150110_125435 (Large) 20150110_125452 (Large)

Boomerang, which is seriously the only coaster running in the rain (even light rain), has received new station speakers. 20150110_115906 (Large) Even more exciting, the train has received a new chassis! Meaning that the base of the train has been replaced, with new wheels, etc. It’s smoother, though not very significantly. It’s still a great ride!20150110_122714 (Large)

Staying on the Boardwalk, Xcelerator will soon receive a brand new Fast Lane waiting line. It’s hard to see in the picture below, but small flags in the grass indicate where the new path will be placed. 20150110_125051 (Large)

Right next to Xcelerator, Coasters has received a new repaint. So has the interior. 20150110_123444 (Large) The neon-signs are awaiting new neon-lights. 20150110_123459 (Large) Here’s the poster on the door, and the inside still wrapped up. 20150110_123513 (Large) 20150110_123518 (Large)

There are quite a few rumors of Calico Saloon closing for a while, to be totally reconstructed as the building is wearing out. The building is visited by many people each day and is quite old. 20150110_111303 (Large)

The Timber Mountain Log Ride is closed for maintenance. It’s closed ’til January 30th. 20150110_111356 (Large) The drop and lift-hill are being worked on most. For example, the entire conveyor belt from the last lift will be replaced. 20150110_111359 (Large) The new conveyor belt is ready to be installed and stored under the ride. 20150110_105201 (Large)

The Calico Railroad was closed for a couple of days, as the park renewed the crossing. New tile and concrete were placed. 20150110_114840 (Large) In addition the fences/gates were taken out, and repainted black. (Used to be purple).20150110_100130 (Large)

Moving on to Voyage to the Iron Reef! There’s still not much to see really, some work has been done inside, and the laser-tag is currently also under construction. The Arcade is only closed due to the construction going on inside, other than that it’s currently used for storage and will reopen with Voyage to the Iron Reef20150110_124335 (Large) 20150110_124010 (Large) 20150110_123952 (Large)

GhostRider, which is so much better with a wet track, will be closed for extensive maintenance, and likely some more re-tracking from January 20th ’til February 13th. 20150110_140059 (Large)

That was the regular Knott’s Update for now, stay tuned for everything related to Knott’s for the Cure! To check out our new Six Flags Magic Mountain Update with lots of interesting things going on, click here!