Oh, it's all fun and games until you know you are going to die on a roller coaster.
See that portion of wooden monstrosity behind Amy and I in that picture? That is called "Ghostrider." It's at Knott's Berry Farm. I was all, "Hey, let's go on this wooden one. Wooden ones are really fun. It'll be like a warm-up!"
We waited in line. We got up to the front. I watched a young boy, probably 9 or 10, get off and say, "I thought I was going to die!" His friends were all smiling and laughing and they ran off, ready for the next one.
I thought, "Poor kid. Can't handle the roller coaster."
Then, the next car cleared of passengers, and a group of little girls with matching tee-shirts from a summer camp got off saying that was the best ride ever, and "That was SO FUN!" Again, they looked to be around 9 or 10 years old.
Amy and I get on, buckle in, and get ready. I love wooden roller coasters! They are a little rough, but they tend to have fun ups and downs.
We take off, and on the first drop (from 118 feet...I looked it up later) I thought I was going to die. I grabbed on to Amy's arm and literally stopped breathing. You see, this roller coaster has a lot of "airtime" which I later discovered on the Internet is a roller coaster enthusiasts terminology for "butts out of seats" time. It is the weightless feeling. It is the feeling where you are pretty sure your guts are back up there in the sky, 118 feet back. This roller coaster has this "airtime" thing on 4 separate occasions!
Turns out, I hate airtime.
You should have seen the picture they took of me. It was SO BAD that it was HILARIOUS. If I didn't know myself better, it almost looked as if I was near death, or tears, or that I was heading to my doom into a fiery pit of hell. I looked terrified. It was awful. But I couldn't stand there and check it out for long, because I was going to pee my pants. First, from the ride. Second, from laughing so hard at myself in the picture after the ride.
I spontaneously burst into laughter the rest of the day just thinking about the look of terror on my face. If Knott's Berry Farm has some work party where they show a slide show of the most epic "worst pictures ever taken on a ride," I will be in there.
I should have started in Camp Snoopy.
What has happened to me? I "used to" do all the roller coasters, and enjoyed them. Granted, the last time I went to Magic Mountain and rode Goliath (it was new then), I thought I was going to pass out and the world got a little dark and then it was over...and I didn't love that feeling. I still went on all the classics...I have no problem going upside down...but that weightless feeling nearly put me into a mental state of permanent looniness.
We rode other things as well, and we scoped everything out because we want to take the kids in January. We rode Coastrider (fun and a bit "leave your belly back there" just at the beginning), the log ride, the Calico Train Ride (not at all scary unless you hate mannequins and animatronics), the Dragon Swing (where while we were "up" Amy caught of glimpse of a Claim Jumper down the block, and that's where I later downed 4 cheeseburger sliders for dinner...), the "swings" like they have at carnivals (barf! Got a little sick on that one...) The Jaguar roller coaster (no sudden drops, but lots of speed and turns. We liked this one a lot and thought it would be a good introductory "real" coaster for the kids.), The Pony Express (very short...worth it if the line isn't too long)...and I think that's it! We looked at a lot of the rides, and on a Friday during summer vacation, it was a little crowded. Not Disneyland crowded where you are shoulder to shoulder the whole time, everywhere you are. Breathing room! But, there were still some lines that were fairly long to wait in, and it was hot.
Two observations: everyone there was polite. I didn't see a lot of cell phone use. No, really. I was totally surprised by the lack of cell phone use, especially while we waited in lines. It was...shocking. Also, everyone was pretty much dressed decently...I wasn't uncomfortable once with barely their clothing. I don't know why I even noticed this...maybe it's because where I live, there is a large segment of the population that dress in really, really short shorts (where you see butt cheek) and barely there shirts. Women AND men! Yikes! Also, I seriously heard two boys swear the entire time I was there. There was NO SWEARING, or people taking about how their ex did this and that...blah blah blah. I even said something about it to Amy, and then 5 minutes later those two boys behind us laced their conversation with some foul language. They stopped though...maybe because everyone around them looked at them when they did it? I don't know. I was pleasantly surprised by everyone's behavior and etiquette...but I was also kind of like, "What world am I in today?"
We are going back in January. On a school day! Yes, we will totally ditch. I'm glad I was able to go check it out WITHOUT kids before I take kids.
- There are plenty of well placed bathrooms. It was awesome! They were clean, as well.
- You can bring your own water bottles in and refill them at the drinking fountain, or you can pay a small fortune for drinks there. Especially crucial in the summer when you are sweating bullets while you wait in line...drinks are important.
- There are plenty of places to eat, if you want to sell a child first so you have enough money. No seriously, if you eat a meal in the park at a BBQ place or even Panda Express, be prepared to spend about $20 a person. Maybe more. Not likely less.The parking lot is not far away, and you can re-entry if you go out to the car to eat snacks for a few minutes. Save your meal for Claim Jumper Sliders! Yum. We had a baked potato for lunch and bought the refillable soda cups which gives you free refills for the entire day. The meal cost $36 for two. Those soda containers were handy! I did see a promotion while waiting in line for $20-something dollars person that allowed a food pass for all day pre-paid eating. So, for somewhere between 20-30 bucks a person could eat several times. I might look into this for when we go.
- There are cubbies to stash your stuff in on the rides. I was all paranoid about someone taking my stuff...but of course no one did.
- The park isn't that big. It seemed overwhelming to me at first, but it really is easy to navigate. The old Ghost Town Section is fun to look at.
- There is lots of shade and trees. Sturdy planters to sit on if you need to eat a baked potato and the tables are kind of full.
- It is not Magic Mountain, and it is not Disneyland. But it also isn't in the same price bracket (at all) and for that, it is perfect! You can do the whole park in the time they are open. If you want to. If you don't love the big coasters, you'll be finished even faster! But don't get me wrong. It would be a very satisfying experience for even the people who LOVE big coasters. There were a handful we didn't even go on. Amy isn't the biggest fan of roller coasters, and we were both traumatized by Ghostrider, lol. Yea...there were like 7 big ones we didn't do. There is one that I will never, ever do. And I'll never go to Magic Mountain again...because now I'm old or something!