Last week was the grand opening and media day for the all new Ghostrider at Knott's Berry Farm as well as Ghost Town Alive and the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. .
All are AMAZING additions to this already amazing theme park. Be sure to check out all of our pictures, video and reviews of Ghostrider.
Pictures and Video by Matt Nelson and Gregg Condon (additional pictures by Knott's)
Written by Gregg Condon
Oddly enough, we didn't get too many pictures of Ghostrider as we were busy riding and making sure we had a decent review of the ride. Yeah, that's it. =)
We'll start off with some amazing POV provided by the park.
And of course our reverse POV of Ghostrider that we posted last week.
Gregg's review of Ghostrider 2.0:
Let's travel back to 1999. A new wooden beast opens at one of the best theme parks in Southern California. At the time I had only ridden coasters in Southern California. And no wooden coaster (even mid-80's Colossus) could live up to the amazing ride's you could have on Ghostrider. Even after travelling in subsequent years and riding coasters in parks like Knoebels (Phoenix) and Six Flags Great Adventure (El Toro) wouldn't compare to the amazing rides on Ghostrider the first few years it was open. It would have still been my #1 woodie.
Unfortunately the ride was tearing itself apart. The park did everything it could to continue to provide a solid ride, but through the years the ride greatly deteriorated to the point where it was all but un-rideable.
For the past few years there had been rumors about a makeover to the ride. Would it be RMC? In House? GCI? Last year we got the answer, GCI would come in and not just re-track the ride, but reprofile the ride along with new trains. While many were upset it wouldn't be an RMC those of us who still enjoy classic woodies were ecstatic.
Still, we wondered if the ride could live up to the amazing ride Ghostrider once was.
So how is the ride? It's amazing. Is it as insane and intense as it was in 1999? No. This is very much a GCI coaster, with a CCI layout. The ride has been reprofiled to give it a smooth and exciting ride. So while the original Ghostrider would still be my #1 coaster, Ghostrider 2.0 would probably rank #3 behind the aforementioned Phoenix and El Toro.
That's not a dig at Ghostrider, not by a long shot. That's high praise and that's what this ride deserves. A ride that ranked at the very back of wood coaster polls in 2015 should be back in the top 5 or 10 in 2016. THAT is how much work has gone into this ride, how much they have improved it, how much they have made it amazing.
So go, ride, have fun. You won't regret it. We rode in every section of the train and it gives a great ride all around. We also were riding in the morning when it was in the mid-60's. We can't wait to get to the park on one of those hot summer nights, when the ride is broken in, warmed up and see just how awesome it can really be.
The day also marked the re-opening of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant which recently reopened after a major refurbishment.
Unfortunately some of the earlier reports coming out about the makeover compared it to a Cracker Barrel or other similar restaurant. We didn't get that impression AT ALL. They've done a great job preserving the history of the restaurant while giving it a much needed makeover.
The original dining room still looks amazing and has a very homely feel
And of course, the awesome new bar
If that wasn't enough, it was also our first time to check out "Ghost Town Alive" and let us tell you, it's absolutely amazing and charming and totally works.
Don't be an ass ... =)
Some of the citizens of Ghost Town
Lots of great little details
The all new Town Hall
And the Fire Dept ...
The new stage is also done and looks amazing!!
In a kind of unexpected development, the amazing locomotive "Green River" came out from it's 5 year refurbishment (yes, 5 years) and is now on the tracks. It's absolutely gorgeous.
And with that, Engine 41 is now undergoing a 5 year refurbishment. Love the attention and care Knott's gives their trains.
We are going back to the park this Sunday for Fathers Day and we're very much looking forward to spending more time in Ghost Town and experiencing all of Ghost Town Alive.
In addition to Ghost Town Alive we were able to get some video of The Log Ride, our first attempt at a 360 video and an HD POV of the Log Ride. Enjoy and let us know what you think of the 360 video, and if we should try and do more.
Lastly, there was a re-dedication of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant attended by the parks former and new GM and members of the Knott's family.
Our day wrapped up with a great presentation by Charles Phoenix about the history of Knott's and a panel discussion with some Knott's historians.
Last but certainly not least, a new piece of original artwork was unveiled for the 50th which you can purchase at the park or at the Marketplace.
As you can see it was a pretty packed day full of events, which is what you'll have at Knott's 75th anniversary of Ghost Town.
Have you experienced Knott's 75 or the new Ghostrider yet? If so let us know your thoughts below.
Over the weekend Andrew headed out to California's Great America to check out the new Mass Effect New Earth attraction.
This has definitely been one of the "afterthought" attractions for 2016 but after reading Andrew's review it looks like it may be one of the surprise hits of 2016. Be sure to check it out!!
Written by Andrew Cunningham
Minor Spoilers Ahead
As a short preface, I think it’s worth mentioning that I am not familiar with Mass Effect, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when going into the attraction. I can’t really tell you the name of any of the characters, and I probably missed a lot of nods to the franchise throughout the ride.
With that being said I was a huge fan of the attraction and ended up doing it three times. Here is breakdown of what to expect.
The Queue: The queue was entirely outside and pretty basic. There were a few signs setting up the story of MRG: Mass Relay Getaways, a company that was taking us from Great America to a luxurious vacation planet. It felt very “Star Tours” in terms of plot setup.
The Preshow: After waiting through the queue, you are given your glasses and sent to a corral area that corresponds with a door. There are two robots in the preshow area, but they don’t move. The TVs continue to set up the MRG storyline, telling you about how you are going on a safe vacation through the galaxy.
However, towards the end of the video, in a classic “something might go wrong” moment, the MRG commercial is interrupted by a character warning of an attack coming. He quickly loses his signal and we watch the conclusion of the MRG commercial before the doors open and bring us into the theater.
The Attraction: You walk into the theater, which is themed to look very sleek and futuristic. Our live-action pilot is standing at the front of the theater and begins chatting with the audience as everyone finds their seats. The seats themselves are very comfortable and have some great motion effects.
Once everyone is seated, our pilot asks us to put on their safety goggle so that our vision is protected from solar flares. We then take off from Great America, dodge a minor meteor field, and arrive at our vacation planet, Terra Nova. Just as our pilot begins to tell us about the great timeshare opportunities on Terra Nova, some alien villains begin to attack the planet, and then things begin to escalate from there.
The attraction includes very crisp HD 3d technology, water sprays, smoke effects, odors, motion, and a live action pilot who interacts pretty seamlessly with the 3d environments.
Overall they really went above and beyond to create something that, aside from the queue, felt on par with an attraction like Star Tours or Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. I was so impressed that I ended up riding three times during my day. Hats off to Great America for getting such a great themed attraction, I really hope to see more of these pop up at other Cedar Fair parks.
Just a few other random park pictures as it was an absolutely beautiful day at the park.
Thanks to Andrew for the great pictures and review. We're definitely excited about this attraction and it looks like it may be one of the surprise hits of the 2016 season.
Today we have a LONG overdue update from Knott's Berry Farm where a lot of work has been going on in preparation for the 75th Anniversary of Ghost Town and of course the major refurb of Ghostrider.
There's also lots more going on around the area including the reopening of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant which looks AMAZING.
Written by Gregg Condon
It was a beautiful spring day at the park. Sadly two of the major coasters were closed during our visit.
Let's start off with a look at the Wagon Camp and all the work going on.
Lots of work going on for the Wild West Stuntshow.
Ghostrider looks closer and closer to being done and the trains should be on-site by now.
A peek in the station, no sign of trains.
Some kind of platform has been added beneath the turnaround.
Still working on stuff
Pan For Gold is back at the front of the park where it belongs and it looks great!!!
Should be much more popular in a more visible location.
A look at the previous location.
Last week the Chicken Dinner Restaurant reopened and it looks amazing!!!
Lots of outside seating towards the back, will be a nice spot to spend some summer evenings.
A peek inside
We've seen a lot of complaints about the restaurant looking too "modern" or non-original, we didn't get that impression at all. It looks amazing in person.
One of the more popular locations is going to be the bar of course.
Lots of work still going on for the 75th Anniversary of Ghost Town
Work going on for the living peek-in's
The Barn is getting set to host live animals
The new stage is springing up rather quickly
The show area for the new stage is supposedly going to be bigger which will be nice
No word on how Pony Express is going to impact the shows
Lots of random things going on at the park as well.
Some work in the games area near The Log Ride
Xcelerator was closed, the purple train was on the break run so not sure if it was just down for the day or is in refurb.
Jaguar is also getting some TLC as the supports have been repainted to their original color.
From the lift hill of Sierra Sidewinder it looked like the 2nd train for Jaguar was receiving a pretty extensive refurb, but of course we can't take pictures from the ride.
New Guest Relations area is open near Ghostrider.
The area where Riptide was has now been redone to a nice park. It looks really nice but hopefully a new ride will return to this area for 2017.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We had lots of stuff to cover so we apologize for it being a bit too long. We do hope you enjoyed it though.
Once we get word of testing going on with Ghostrider we will for sure be doing another update.