First, thanks to this site and others we chose Knotts over Magic Mountain to visit for a "coaster park" while in southern Calf. (we also visited both of the Disney parks for the 1st time). I believe we made a good choice as this is a very nice park for both coaster enthusiasts and families alike.
Crowds were no problem at all as we went mid week and schools were not out for the summer yet in the area. We picked up a cup of coffee and discount coupons at Carl Jr's on the drive there which saved us close to $60 for a family of 5 (by the way, they make a much better burger than any of the national "big 3" fast food chains). We arrived right at opening (9-10am and left at about 5-6pm) and were able to see and do everything we wanted. The park is a bit confusing and the maps are a real pain, but due to the lack of crowds it was no real problem.
Our 14 year old son is the coaster nut and he went on all the coasters and thrill rides (multiple times) except for the Jaguar as it was down for repairs. He said the Xcelerator (with a 200' straight drop) was the smoothest coaster he has ever been on (and he's been on a lot of them). Ghost rider was fun, but a bit bumpy and he really liked all the others as well (Silver Bullet, Montezoomas Revenge & Boomerang), but Xcelerator was his favorite by far. He also liked the Perilous Plunge water ride, but got really soaked (front seat) and it took way too long to load due to the complicated restraint systems.
The "rest of us" enjoyed the western section of the park the most with the Ghost town, train ride, stage coach ride, mine ride (rather bumpy as well) as well as the "regular" log flume ride. The bigfoot rapids were rather tame and not long enough when compared to others we had been on. The sky cabin has a great view of the area and was a real treat to folks like us who had never been to the area before (and it's free unlike many others, ie: the one at Seaworld in Orlando).
Overall this park is a real bargain. Lots to do for the whole family, good price, very clean and well maintained with friendly and helpful employees. Would come back again for sure and recommend it to any and all ages. We don't have a tots anymore, but the park has plenty to do for them as well in the camp Snoopy area.
We also ate at Mrs. Knotts chicken restaurant and sorry to say we were not impressed by the food or the prices. The chicken was too greasy, the "pulled pork" BBQ was actually diced or cubed in chunks making it so tough it was inedible and the service left a lot to be desired as well. Recommend you pass on it.
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