Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure

In the Summer of 2012, Disney’s California Adventure completed a huge expansion, adding many new experiences to the park’s line up.  The park added 2 new areas, Buena Vista Street, the entrance area of the park that represents how Los Angeles looked when Walt Disney first stepped of the bus there, and Cars Land, based off of the popular Disney Pixar Film series Cars.  Between the parks opening in 2001, and this newest expansion, many attractions at this park have came and went.  The following is a list of attractions that have been removed or replaced by the park: Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure”

Knott’s Berry Farm overall report part 1.

California Coaster Kings went to Knott’s Berry Farm on the 16th of November. The day started off with light crowds, but around noon, long lines started to form. This is not a trip report in which we are going to drag you through our day, but in the 2 parts we’ll tell about part of our day, what was good and what wasn’t, tips, and info. Enjoy!

Boardwalk

The new Boardwalk is a great addition to the park! It looks very nice, and lived up to our expectations! The Boomerang repaint is interesting, but very bright, and colorful fitting the new boardwalk. Coast Rider is a great family coaster, and fun addition to the park’s line-up. The lines for Coast Rider move fast, and riders are not allowed to keep their items on the side (unless it’s drinks). The ride boards 2 cars at once, and does this very fast too! There are constantly cars leaving the station and coming back. Great operations Knott’s!

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The winter season returned, so riders won’t get soaked when riding Riptide. It’s definitely not our favorite flatride, but the public seems to enjoy it. Also, it really works with the new Boardwalk which is nicely decorated with lights, bright colors and palm trees, as seen below.

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The Boardwalk officially starts over at Supreme Scream, which isn’t really noticeable ’til boomerang, from then on the water, lights and colors remind you of the themed-area. The area ends over at Johnny Rockets next to the new flat rides and Riptide. It overs a great view of the rest of the park!

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The new Boarwalk Pier is a really nice addition, and we hope other parks would add something along these lines! There are 2 new rides on this ‘pier’; Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler. The Scrambler is recycled as it used to be housed under the former Windjammer Surf Racer. (Xcelerator area). It looks great at night too! Part 2 will have these pictures!

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This is how deserted it was around 10.45, 45 minutes after the park opened. Good for us! No lines for Xcelerator, Boomerang, Supreme Scream, and Coast Rider!

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TIPS: Try to do Xcelerator in the morning, before it gets crowded, and since you are right next to the new Boardwalk area, do Coast Rider and Boomerang right after since these rides don’t have huge capacities either.

 Fiesta Village

As we rode Xcelerator earlier that day, we noticed one Jaguar train dismantled for refurbishment, next to Xcelerator. So we figured that there was only one train operating on Jaguar. This resulted in the longest line we waited in all day together with pony, that only operated one train two. We didn’t even bother riding Sierra Sidewinder with the 1-1.5 hour wait it had.20131116_103435

Jaguar has our favorite station, you can just feel when lines get bad, when it starts somewhere in the corridors of the temple! Nice building still.

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And the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop! Montezooma’s Revenge had a line almost all day, but still not as bad as some other rides, the line for this flywheel shuttle launch was only about 20-25 minutes.

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Since it was a Saturday, La Revolucion had a line too. Still a great ride though!

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As long as the seen below switchbacks aren’t in use for Montezooma’s Revenge you’re somewhat fine. If they are, don’t wait in line, come back later or skip it entirely.20131116_123727

TIPS: Visit Fiesta Village after you’ve done the big rides, preferably before noon if possible. Lines can form when Jaguar operates one train, and of course Montezooma’s Revenge always does. Otherwise try coming back after 4 PM.

 GhostRider Re-Tracking

GhostRider underwent some re-tracking a couple of months ago, and we wanted to check out if it really lived up to refurbishment it underwent. Lines were extremely long, backing up to the outside switchbacks, making us nervous. It better be less shaky and bouncy than it used to be, or we have waited too long for no reason. Luckily the re-tracking seriously helped the woodie! Almost the entire track was noticeably improved upon, and you could see the new wood on the track. The first half of the ride, ’til the first block-brake didn’t seem much better, and we feared that the refurb didn’t help whatsoever, but the second half was incredibly good for GhostRider!20131116_155418 20131116_143821

We like the color that the old wood is getting after a couple of years! Also, as you might know, this ride is spectacular at night, pictures of Ghostrider at Night are featured in part 2!

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TIPS: Skip long lines for GhostRider, and come back later if necessary, you must be okay with Viper and Kong in order to enjoy GhostRider. For more info read our GhostRider review by clicking here.

Xcelerator and Supreme Scream

Both ran very well during our visit, although it was the off-season already, Xcelerator ran 2 trains all day. And even Supreme Scream ran all 3 of its towers most of the afternoon! Lines seemed long for both from around 1PM-5PM, but moved fast due to the good operations! We also decided to get some artsy shots of Xcelerator and Supreme Scream. We like the Xcelerator video screens in the station also, they show a funny video of how a roll-back is suppose to look, with an explanation! Supreme Scream didn’t operate more than 1 tower ’til 12PM (noon).20131116_103929 20131116_103723 The Purple train was a bit shaky when we were there, but we rode the red train right after, and at night, and it was better, smoother than the purple. Next up for a refurb; Purple Xcelerator train!

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We like the station a lot, especially due to the fact that it is so open, and only has 5 gates, rather then 10 (1 for each row), this resulted in 4 people boarding per gate per train, and made the line seem to move faster. Also, the way the operators check the seat-belts and restraints is interesting. There are 4 operators, and all check half the seats once, resulting in getting a spot-check twice! Do we call it safety at its best, or overly cautious?

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We wish these towers shot you up instead of dropping. Something S&S Towers are ‘supposed’ to do… Oh well. The down-ward launch is still great though!

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Read our full Xcelerator ride review here!

TIPS: Ride these two as soon as you see a short line, since both Supreme Scream and Xcelerator are very short! People, including us and you, don’t like waiting long for very short rides in general! Also, if both trains are running on Xcelerator, aim for the red train, it’s smoother/ less shaky than the purple train. When you see all 3 towers of Supreme Scream operating, RIDE IT! It’s so much fun to be on the tower when 2 other cars are too! The interaction is amazing.

Well this was part 1! Stay tuned for part 2 next Wednesday! (Wednesday the 27th), it will include the rest of the park, and pictures of the park at night! Also, we’ll have more tips, opinions, and short reviews! Additionally stay tuned for some specials regarding KBF!

BACKWARDS!

blast backwardsDuring Six Flag’s announcements for 2014, Magic Mountain got much exciting news, including what we like to refer simply as backwards. The spring season launches with an exciting twist on two of the  theme park’s beloved coasters. For a limited time, the popular suspended coaster, BATMAN The Ride and the celebrated wooden coaster, Colossus, will run BACKWARDS.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014, the B&M inverted coaster, BATMAN the Ride, will be more intense than ever when riders dare to take on an all new experience going backwards! Continue reading “BACKWARDS!”

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom vs. Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The question is; will the new ‘World’s Tallest and Fastest Drop Ride’ beat the then ‘World’s 2nd Tallest and Fastest Drop Ride’? In other words, how much greater do we expect Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom to be, or do we think it won’t be much different… find out now…

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Let’s start with some quick stats of Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom.

  • Speed; 85 MPH90 MPH
  • Height; 400 ft. — 415 ft.
  • Passengers per dispatch; 1624
  • Attached to…; Superman: Escape from KryptonKingda Ka
  • Park; Six Flags Magic Mountain Six Flags Great Adventure

Looking at the statistics, we notice that faster and taller quite automatically warms up the enthusiast. Therefore we wouldn’t be surprised that most people would think of Zumanjaro as being automatically better. When looking at capacity, we would have to agree, but with capacity only. Structure and park shouldn’t make much of a difference, so we won’t discuss that.

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Speed

When looking at speed, we obviously notice that Zumanjaro is 5 MPH faster than Lex Luthor with a speed of 90 MPH. But how much different will a drop feel when the maximum speed is 90 (Z) or 85 (LL) MPH? Good one, right? Yes, we don’t believe it makes too much of a difference, and this is just for the name or statistics. It will be interesting to see how people will look at both rides when it comes to speed, especially after both are open, and if they have ridden both or neither.

Height

Then there was the height. Just like the speed, both rides deal with record breaking, extreme heights. But how much is 15 ft? A difference of 15 ft is not to much either, would it even be noticeable that you’re up 400 ft (LL) or 415 ft (Z)? We think not. We do agree that a drop ride with the world record of 415 ft in height sounds cooler than a 400 ft tower, and we’d agree with the public when that’d become an argument. But will it make much of a difference in the experience of the ride?

Capacity

Okay everyone, after believing that the rides are mostly the same, here’s capacity kicking in… Oh yeah were giving this to Zumanjaro, if we estimate the ride time to be about the same as Lex Luthor, then it would be able to cycle 150% of the LL passengers. Which is a big win! Waiting long periods of time for a drop that takes 4-6 seconds is not ideal, and therefore a faster operating ride is ideal.

 Overall Experience

When we recap all we said, but factor in the location and structure this time, we might get surprising different views of both rides. As known, Lex Luthor is attached to the sides of the Superman: Escape from Krypton structure. Zumanjaro will be attached to the front side of Kingda Ka. Looking at the surroundings, Magic Mountain is surrounded by mountains and hills. Great Adventure on the other hand has no mountains, or hardly any terrain height-differences close by. This results in a view that stretches farther for Zumanjaro. We’re not judging the nature/ landscaping around both parks, because the opinions can differ. But one of the biggest factors is the structures of the rides. We are going to say that Lex Luthor will still be a more thrilling experience when both are open because of the following; Both drop cars are positioned on different sides of the tower, back to back. This means you can’t see the other gondola, and you have nothing on either side of you. Zumanjaro has 3 cars next to each other, not having that effect of being solo. Then, perhaps, the greatest difference comes in. When Kingda Ka launches, it will launch over head, creating a feeling that you’re not all the way up, on LL there is nothing above you but the sky. Additionally, when Kingda Ka launches up the tower, the tower will shake, but since you’re not on the side this won’t make much of a difference. With LL on the other hand, the cars are located on the sides, and Superman: Escape from Krypton will launch up the tower without reaching the very top, this results in the cars pulling the tower forward a little when on their highest point. This results in the structure swaying 3 ft both ways, which means the drop cars sway to the left and right too! This is very thrilling, for you guys who haven’t experienced it, this is one of the most thrilling aspects of the ride.

That all said, perhaps Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom and Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom are nearly the same, and it won’t be much different. Or perhaps Lex Luthor is more thrilling although the records all go to Zumanjaro… Who knows?

SEAT-BELTS ON GOLIATH

Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain now has seat-belts! They were installed last week and are in use already. We have no clue why this is necessary after 13 years of injury-free operations. The seat-belts are very similar to the ones on Xcelerator at Knott’s. ‘Intamin’ seat-belts…

These are most likely installed because of the New Texas Giant accident earlier this year.

Photo credits to @AwesomeCoaster on Twitter
Photo credits to @AwesomeCoaster on Twitter

Knott’s

Hey there!

We went to Knott’s Berry Farm yesterday. (November 16th). And we have lots of interesting info and pictures. We will do 2 overall reports, one will be posted Wednesday the 20th, and the other on November 27th! Also, we’ll have lots of Ride Reviews, and additional info on rides such as Coast Rider, and GhostRider (re-tracked). So stay tuned, because we’ll go all Knott’s the next couple of weeks!

Comment any questions, or requests, for what we cover, talk about, or post!

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Universal Studios Hollywood- Day of Giving

On November 14th, 2 days ago, Universal Studios Hollywood hosted the ‘Day of Giving’. An event in which homeless people, and especially children, could come out to receive school supplies, clothing, backpacks, and books. There was a lot of media attention for this great event!

This year’s Day of Giving was; ‘Operation School Bell’, thus all the school supplies for the 250 homeless children. ABC7 and NBC4 came out to cover the event live, and so did our partners from USHFans.com. Universal Studios Hollywood had characters come to the event, to entertain the children. Some characters walking around the event were; Frankenstein, Shaggy, Scooby Doo, and Beetlejuice. There were lots of volunteers at this event, as well as park employees who decided to give a helping hand, creating an amazing group of people giving back to the community!

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Photo credits to; Anthony Santavenere of USHFans.com

For the only full-photo coverage of this event, please visit our partners of USHFans.com by clicking here.

 

Throwback Thursday–Wacky Soap Box Racers

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The Wacky Soap Box Racer coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm opened in 1976 as Cycle Chase.  It is a Special Coaster System Model made by Arrow Dynamics, known as a Steeplechase Coaster.  This special style of Steeplechase coaster was known as a Motorbike Chase, and featured four motorcycle like vehicles racing side by side on a tubular track, that simulated dips and curves as if on a road.  Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Wacky Soap Box Racers”

Blue Bayou Review

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Although there are many fine dining experiences at Disneyland, there are very few on the level of Blue Bayou.  This is not only because of its fancy decor and unbelievably amazing steak and seafood, but also because it is actually located inside the ride The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Let your eyes adjust to the perpetual twilight of this truly unique setting where the bayou is, literally, by you!  Enjoy your meal as jealous onlookers on board the ride can smell the cooking of your delicious meal.  Overhead strings of colorful balloon lanterns cast an enchanting glow, dotting the darkness from which crickets chirp, frogs croak and fireflies wink while providing an ambiance like no other. Since its opening in 1967, Blue Bayou has been a must-do for many a visitor to the Disneyland Resort.  Once you’ve gotten an eyeful of your delightful surroundings, turn your attention toward getting your belly full! Naturally, at Blue Bayou, the menu is inspired by the Cajun, Creole and French influences of Louisiana.  blue-bayou-restaurant-00-560x315

They welcome you to the Bayou with a Cajun-inspired salad or a cup of our delicious New Orleans gumbo, included with your entrée. Then choose from such signature dishes as the pan-seared Tesoro Island chicken with Boursin cheese mashed potatoes or the Royal Street seafood jambalaya. During lunch, they feature the Buccaneer’s boneless beef short ribs in a Cabernet reduction—while at dinner, the broiled filet mignon and succulent lamb chops entrees, and the surf-and-turf combo is extra-deluxe. Little ones are also well provided for with roasted beef strip loin, cheesy macaroni and healthy Mickey Check meals of seared salmon or chicken breast.  Full men eat no dessert, so save room! They aren’t not telling tales when they say that savoring a piece of Key lime pie tart or crème brulée in this magical  establishment full of Disney history is an experience you won’t soon forget. bbysteak

During Coaster King’s last visit to Disneyland this past June, we feasted on this restaurants broiled filet mignon, and let us tell you, it is no joke.  This gives a whole new meaning to fine dining in a theme park.  Along with the filet mignon came a bowl of there house gumbo that tasted “straight out of Louisiana!”  We finished of the meal with a cup of their light and airy chocolate mouse (served for a birthday, we are unsure if this item actually appears on the menu).  This restaurant is definately the finest dining experience at any theme park in the state of California, or possibly the world.  Be sure to get a reservation, because they will stop taking walk in diners later in the day, but be sure not to miss out on Blue Bayou.

Quicksilver Express @ Gilroy Gardens

A park often forgotten about with all the CA Theme Parks is Gilroy Gardens. Gilroy Gardens actually has a very unique coaster! Quicksilver Express that is!

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Quicksilver Express is the world’s only Mine Train coaster made by Morgan. Quicksilver Express opened in the Gilroy theme-park in 2001, and was one of the last Morgan rides to be built. It’s a long ride, for a Mine Train Coaster, and has a track-length of 3,787 ft. QE is 60 ft. tall, and reaches speeds up to 38 MPH. The ride time is surprisingly short, with only 1 minute and 35 seconds.

Quicksilver Express has 2 trains, which fit 30 passengers each, which creates a capacity of approx. 1,400 riders per hour. The trains are similar to the Arrow Mine Train Coaster trains, with 5 cars of 3 rows each.

Quicksilver Express roller coaster QE has 2 lift-hills, and is built on a hill, offering a nice view of nature, as well as the gardens of the park it resides in, Gilroy Gardens. QE has the following height requirements; Riders must be at least 42 inches tall with an adult or 48 inches to ride alone.

Quicksilver Express is a very interesting, and often underrated, Mine Train coaster, that is actually pretty unknown, although it is faster than Gold Rusher at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and is unique due to the fact it’s the only Morgan Mine Train! So next time you are up in Northern CA to do some parks, why not check out Gilroy Gardens, and ride QE!

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Tomorrow Tuesday–Tsunami Soaker

The 2014 Six Flags’ new ride announcements were one of the biggest in Six Flags history.  Among these announcements, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom (Great Adventure), Goliath (Great America), and Medusa (Mexico), were all announced to open with a bang.

Although one of the more underrated Six Flags parks, and personally, one of our favorites, Discovery Kingdom, didn’t receive any new record breaking coasters or drop rides, they received some fantastic new add-ons, to add to an already great park.  First of all, they will be open year round.  Secondly, the popular Cirque Dreams Splashtastic show will return, after the success it had in 2013. Thirdly, they will be adding an all new soaksational experience: Tsunami Soaker.

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Tsunami Soaker is similar to the classical spinning teacup ride but with an exciting twist. You and up to five other passengers will hop into one of the nine round boats sitting on a circular floor atop a pool of water. As the ride begins, the floor will lower into the water until it disappears below, allowing your boat to float and splash around. Your raft will spin in circles while the other boats twist around you, creating a quite dizzying experience.  Each seat on the boat is armed with a  water gun so every rider can participate in the soaking of enemy boats. While your boat rotates around the wet course, you can engage in an soaking battle of aim, shooting your water blaster at other riders as well as innocent bystanders waiting in line to ride, soaking them with bursts of water. This drenching water attraction will be a great way to cool off on a hot day and enjoy a fun family adventure.

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The Tsunami Soaker will have a platform diameter of 66 ft, and will be located in the former Wave Jumper space, on Roar Plaza. Below there will be two pictures showing where the ride would then have been be located. 

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Tsunami Soaker is coming to the park after the huge success this Mack ‘Twist ‘n Splash’ had in La Ronde. The ride was new for the 2013 season in the Canadian Six Flags park, and had the name; ‘Aqua Twist’. The ride was popular with the audiences visiting the park. These audiences are similar to the ones visiting Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Six Flags St. Louis. Therefore the St. Louis park is also receiving a Mack ‘Twist ‘n Splash’ with the name Tsunami Soaker for the 2014 Season.