Waking up we once again headed back to the beach. Huntington was familiar so we headed there for beach time. I did hang out in the pool that morning. Huntington was just as nice during the day and there were again plenty of surfers. Also, there were birds for Isaac (an avid birder). I acclimated to the water quite nicely, but he was kind of on and off with it. The surf was up and fun, and we spent a nice morning playing in the water and laying out on the beach.
We had lunch reservations at 2:50 at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, and thanks to a good friend, got hooked up with tickets for 2 days while in the area. Because of poor planning and GPS usage on my part, we were a little late meeting our contact, but we did get there not long after we’d planned to meet at the Grand Californian Hotel. Unfortunately, once we parked and got to the resort, another GPS mistake had us walking all thru Downtown Disney and going to the hotel the long way. But once we got in, we met up with our new friend and headed into California Adventure first before heading directly over to Disneyland proper.
My last visit to the Disneyland Resort was in 2005, just before they started the 50th celebration. I hadn’t been to Walt Disney World at that point, but now I’d been to the Florida parks a couple times. So it was nice to compare with the original with a fresh perspective. I love Disneyland, and the last time my group only had a 1 day park hopper pass so we tried to cram too much into one day and didn’t spend nearly enough time at Disneyland. I loved California Adventure even then, before the changes, but I really needed more Disneyland time.
September 26, 2016 Buena Park & Huntington Beach CA
Monday morning we woke up and headed to a neat local diner with great food and homemade salsa for eggs that was not far from the house, then we headed back to Knott’s Berry Farm where we found a nicely shaded parking spot in the lot by Ghostrider. After getting inside we headed over towards Ghostrider first, but it wasn’t open quite yet, so we headed around and hit up Pony Express.
Pony Express–I really like it. I’d be happy if Carowinds got one of these. The launch is fun, there’s airtime, and the train is really neat. It would serve as a great family coaster in whatever park it’s in, but that it’s themed to the Pony Express near Ghost Town makes it all the more interesting. The launch isn’t that intense but it is fun, and the twists and turns are mildly thrilling. The finale with the tunnel is quite fun.
Next we hit up the Log Ride and Mine Train again before heading into the 50s section of the park. We got in line for Xcelerator and with absolutely no line or wait we rode in the front seat. And it was glorious. Then we were allowed to switch to an untaken seat and ride again. We rode two or three times more and then headed over to another ride close by.
Supreme Scream–I like the S&S towers. They don’t scare me that much, though I’m really starting to be less and less scared by drop towers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the drop, but the journey up the tower scares me. Supreme Scream has a nice view, and it’s a shame I didn’t have my camera up there. And the drop was a lot of fun.
We headed over thru the Fiesta Village section next. My last visit to Knott’s wasn’t very busy, but this day was absolutely dead. And it was fantastic. It was time to get some Jaguar and Monte love in.
Jaguar!–I love the queue. It’s really, really long, but really cool. But there was a loud announcement made and you couldn’t make out a word that was being said. They need to fix the speakers. Jaguar! is a great family ride. It’s a long ride, it gets done what it needs to, it’s great for kids and families. No major airtime, but it’s just so much fun going up, down, around, and thru the other rides in the area.
We headed over to another classic, one of my favorites, and a dying breed next.
Montezooma’s Revenge–We had a mishap (with no line, mind you) of the people beside us getting in our seats for some odd reason, and wouldn’t move, because they wanted to ride with their friends who were in the queue right behind them. It was weird. But whatever. Monte is a classic and I’m so glad Knott’s keeps it up. The launch is fun, the loop is intense, and the first spike, while sunny, was really fun. And that back spike really is better on the fly wheel versions of this ride.
We walked over thru Camp Snoopy next. They have one of the best Camp Snoopy sections in any Cedar Fair park, I really like it. Then we walked back to Ghost Town. I had some unfinished business from the night before.
I’d mentioned when Cedar Fair announced that Ghostrider would be getting completely retracked, refurbished, and new trains all done by Great Coasters International that I had a bit of trepidation. I loved Ghostrider with PTC trains. Even in 2012, with the MCBR mostly stopping the train on the MCBR I still thought the ride was really great. I never got one of the infamous ‘rough’ rides. So GCI’s modifications gave me pause. We rode in the back of the train. I like GCI, I like Millennium Flyer trains, but in the past, switching to those trains have not fared well with enthusiasts.
Ghostrider–The ride is very smooth. It definitely feels GCI smooth. The first drop was really good, and the first couple of hills were fun, though the amount of airtime was not what it was before, and that comes from simple physics. The trains are different. Also, there was some reprofiling of the layout. You go right thru where the MCBR used to be and the whole last part of the ride is fast, furious, smooth, with airtime and laterals in the helix. So what did I think, and how did it compare? For my first ride, I was slightly disappointed that a few of the more powerful airtime moments were gone, but what it lost in intensity it gained in speed. Ghostrider now feels like a coaster built by GCI, and that isn’t a bad thing. I liked it, but decided to hold off on officially making a decision until another ride later. Though slightly disappointed, I still really like Ghostrider just based off of that ride.
We walked to the Mystery Lodge but I’d just gotten a Boysenberry Icee so I had to finish that instead. I first experienced Mystery Lodge on my last visit and unfortunately it led to me not getting to ride Jaguar! or Monte because of my time crunch. But since we had Platinum Passes and were less than 2 miles from Knott’s I didn’t mind waiting this time, and the wait was actually far less than it was the last time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an interesting show using Pepper’s Ghost and a live action actor. The actor last time was much better, but it really is a well done use of the PG effect.
We were getting hungry so we walked out of the park and over to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant, newly renovated and with a new head chef. It. Was. Amazing! I love the chicken there anyway, but the mashed potatoes (dairy free, not that i care, but you just might) were out of this world and the whole meal was really good. As was the Boysenberry punch (see a theme here?).
Heading back in I believe we went over to the Stage Coach next. This was my first time riding it and it was a lot of fun. Then we rode the train. They had the smaller one running in the off season. I love trains and the smaller, more unique one was really neat. The outlaw that held us up was funny too.
We walked over towards the Fiesta section again and rode La Revolucion. I love these rides, and this one was no exception. It made me hope Carowinds gets a frisbee type ride at some point. We walked back over again to Camp Snoopy. I discovered some random ‘cave’ and had to check it out. It reminded me a little of the Treasure Cave (R.I.P.) at Kings Dominion. I really love Knott’s for things like this. Next was Sierra Sidewinder, another credit for Issac, and just a fun ride.
Sierra Sidewinder–Knott’s has another home run as far as family coasters go. It spins, it has a few fun drops and turns. We spinned quite wildly as our car was a little bit off balance, which was great. The layout is really one of the better ones for a spinning coaster.
We took a re-ride on Voyage to the Iron Reef. This time on Voyage, we got stuck just near the end of the ride. I still hope we get one of these at Carowinds and at other Cedar Fair parks. We also rodehe Sky Tower for some photos. They need new windows.
Also, Isaac wanted to ride the flyers. Up to this point in my life, I’d yet to snap flyers. I tried hard, but never have. Even at Knoebels. Even at Carowinds. These were no different, but I do like the setup of the boardwalk section. We took a spin on the Log Flume too before our last ride on Silver Bullet. And we got some last daytime rides on Xcelerator.
We headed out of the park and back to the house for a bit. I tried again to get in the pool, and I think I stayed for a few minutes. It was warmer in the mornings, but not so much in the afternoons or evenings. I did manage to nap by the pool one day, and we laid out by it one night.
That evening we decided to head to the beach for my first ever sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Huntington Beach had been suggested so we headed to the Pier there. And we were glad we did. There were still tonnes of surfers in the water and the sunset was spectacular. Plus I got to see what my new camera could do in low light and at night. And I’m very happy about that. We hung out at the pier and at the beach for a bit before heading back to the house