This Ride Review is reviewing the first ever Intamin Accelerator Coaster, XCELERATOR at Knott’s Berry Farm. Xcelerator opened in 2002 and replaced Windjammer Surf Racers.
Riders will approach the ride as they made their way around the park to the fifties themed area next to the boardwalk. Excelerator stands out with it’s 205 ft. hill. Once you think you’re there, you are not yet, as the ride entrance is located under the hill, on the other side of the themed area. There will be a large sign indicating that the Xcelerator entrance is to be found over there. Once you’re about to enter the line there is a test seat for larger guests to see if they fit in. We advise tall, and guests of an larger body sizes to sit in the test seat to make sure they can ride. Once you decided to enter the line, you’ll pass under the track, pass by lots of (never filled) switchbacks to a little path that will turn in to a ramp to the station. Once in the station you get to choose your row, and you’re ready to board!
Riders board the train, painted and modeled after a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air’s with flames painted on the hood, buckle their lap belt, and pull down the lap t bar. After a series of red and yellow traffic lights, the bottom light flashes green, the train is pulled back by a catch car and the ride launches riders to 82 mph in 2.3 seconds. After only 157 ft of straight track, the ride heads up a 90 degree, 205 ft tall hill. At the top of the hill, the ride switches from the side of the track to the top due to a twist in the track. At the top, it slows enough to see the surrounding Orange County, then plunges back down the other side of the 90 degree, 205 ft hill while twisting back to its original position. Once down, the track hits two over banked turns that make a figure eight. The over banked turns are 110 ft and 95 ft tall respectively, and slow the vehicle down to 67 mph before being stopped by the brake run. The ride only lasts about thirty seconds, but it is sure to leave all riders breathless.
Once the train has returned to the station, riders will pick up their belongings, and leave the station to go see their on-ride photos. The photo-booth is located next to the launch track, and riders will have a sense of the speed as the launched trains fly by!
The lines for Xcelerator tend to be short ’til about noon, but can get pretty long from that point on, especially if they only operate 1 of the 2 trains. This can form a line that may seem short, but takes a while before you get to the actual boarding platform. After 6/7 PM the lines will lessen again, and because of Xcelerator’s popularity at night, it might have short periods of extended waits after that. If the lines are backed up somewhere in the area of the switchbacks, we advise you to come back later in the day, as the lines will most likely be shorter!
Xcelerator is definitely a must-do at the park, and is, together with Silver Bullet, the most popular ride there. Without a wait this is an amazing ride, but with wait it might disappoint, therefore try avoiding lines and have a blast!