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Day 5: Dad & Daughter Roller Coaster Adventure Trip

Day 5 Knott’s Berry Farm: Danger and Excitement in the streets of Buena Park!
If you have the time, hit the “like” button and help keep my fragile ego intact…thanks.
Of all my trips to Southern California, I have never been to Knott’s Berry Farm until this past February trip with my daughter on our Dad and Daughter Roller Coaster Adventure Trip. I was really looking forward to visiting Knott’s because it was another unknown roller coaster destination for us. We have been to Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, but Knott’s was a new park with new rides for us. Nothing like trying something new, right?

Blue Skies all around.

Blue Skies all around.

I was warned that Buena Park is a bit of a ghetto. It turned out to be fine. No knife fights, no gun battles as I parked my rental car. I was a little bit disappointed since a few friends had hyped up the danger factor.

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm

As I have written before (for those of you that actually pretend to read my blog), my daughter (age 11) is the only one in my family that enjoys the roller coaster and thrill rides so many amusement parks offer. She does rides that would have freaked me out at her age if I were here. I guess I’m glad I’m not 11 again. She also sings and acts in the school play, so in reality she is a lot braver than me at age 11.
There are certain pros and cons with doing this trip in February during my daughter’s Mid-Winter Break (week long break). Pro: We get out of the rain, doom and gloom, and gray skies of Seattle for the sunshine of southern California. Con: The amusement parks are on limited hours and limited operating days. For example, Knott’s Berry Farm was open all week but hours were 10 am to 6 pm. Pro: Knott’s had a special half price admission for Breast Cancer. Another Pro: Short lines for the rides; not crowded at all.

Waiting for Ghostrider!

Waiting for Ghostrider!

The one long wait we encountered was for Knott’s Ghostrider wooden roller coaster. I’m not the biggest fan of wooden coasters and if I had a choice between wooden and metal, I’d go with metal hands down. However, we had to do Ghostrider since we were at Knott’s Berry Farm and it did not disappoint. That sucker is one fast roller coaster and from their website, you hit 3.14 G-force on that baby. We did have to wait about 35-45 minutes and I lost my hat (from Anderson Island) but it was fun.
In hindsight, we did Ghostrider right when the park opened and that is probably why the line was so long. We should have waited and gone to something else, let the line die down, and then double back to it. The rest of the time, all the wait times were 3-7 minutes. We often would go on a ride, have a great time, and then do the ride over again since we were right there. It was truly wonderful not to have to stand in line for hours to ride a two minute thrill ride. This is how I wish it was like every time I went to an amusement park.
We also managed to have our traditional ice cream lunch. This whole vacation was “chocolate mint ice cream” for lunch. Oops. Bad Parenting but who cares? It’s a vacation!
Another upside to vacation: No one really annoyed me at all during my vacation trip. Isn’t that amazing? Knott’s Berry Farm turned out to be a great value for the money spent: short lines and great rides.  I do recommend you visit it.  I suspect in the summer it will be a mad house.
Thanks again for wasting your time reading my worthless advice blog. As always your comments are needed so my fragile ego can stay intact and I can live in a state of bliss.

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Just chillin with Snoopy!

Just chillin with Snoopy!

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Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream for lunch...because I'm a great parent.

Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream for lunch…because I’m a great parent.

Dad & Daughter Roller Coaster Trip Day 3: Magic Mountain

X2 roller coaster - Flickr photo

X2 roller coaster – Flickr photo

You knew I’d milk this roller coaster trip on forever in my blog posts didn’t you?  On our third day of our adventure, we bid farewell to the City of Sacramento and flew on Southwest Airlines to Burbank Airport in the Los Angeles area.  I do like flying into the smaller airports because it is easier to get in and out in a timely manner.  Both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines flew into Burbank Airport so this worked out well for us since our return flight back to Seattle was departing from Burbank.When I was planning this trip, I wanted to fly in as close as I could to Six Flag’s Magic Mountain Park and Burbank was the closest major airport for me.  My original plan was to fly into Sacramento, rent a car, visit friends in the Sacramento area, do the Six Flag’s Discovery Park, and then drive to Magic Mountain.  That plan fell apart when the cheapest rate I could find on any rental car website or kayak or hotwire or anything was close to $800 for a short five or six day rental.  It was expensive due to the fact I was picking the rental car up in one city and returning it in another.  My original plan also produced a lot more driving and car time that we wanted to do.  We are vacation for the rides not to be taken for a ride by the rental car companies.

We used Fox Rent a Car which had some terrible reviews online but we fine for us.  It was a short ride from the airport to the rental car company base.  We got a sporty little four door Mazda 2 with only 500 miles on it.  Not a bad little car for the two of us.  I thought about having my daughter drive it but considering she is only 11 years old and it would be her first time in LA traffic, I decided against it.Aww! Sunshine!

Now, when you are visiting amusement parks in February Six Flag’s system of parks might not be open seven days a week.  So our only window to visit Magic Mountain was on Monday February 17 (President’s Day).  The park hours are limited as well from 10:30 am to 6 pm and the water rides are usually shut down.

Since we had purchased season passes at Discovery Kingdom the day before, we merely had to park our car for the outrageous sum of $20 and walk though the main gates of Magic Mountain without purchasing new tickets.  I remember passing by Magic Mountain 20 years ago thinking I’d get to it one day.  Finally, this day had come.  Finally, I had a kid who wanted to ride the big scary rides.  Finally, I had a roller coaster ride partner that wouldn’t wimp out on me.  I was finally here.

To be honest, I like coming on the off season because the lines are much shorter.  The newer rides had the longest rides which ate up a lot of our time.  X2 is the latest redesigned ride and it was awesome but the line took forever.  When a sign says the wait will be 45 minutes, that is OK.  When it turns into 75 minutes, then I get a little pissed off.  We didn’t make it to the Full Throttle ride because we ran out of time and the ride looked scary long.  In fact, we had to skip some rides due to running out of time and having to ration our time for the rides that we heard were awesome.  However, on others we rode it three times just because we could.  Goliath, Tatsu, and X2 were my favorites.  I tried to look up my daughter’s favorite ride but the Magic Mountain website is down (sorry folks!).

Waiting for X2 - almost there!

Waiting for X2 – almost there!

Definitely need to have two days at Magic Mountain (even in the off season) to get to all the rides into your schedule.  I can’t imagine how it is on a busy summer day with more people wandering the park, trying to get in as much as possible.  The lines have to be almost impossible.  We didn’t even get to the wooden roller coasters since they aren’t my favorites because we ran out of time.  Personally, I like the speed and loops of steel roller coasters so skipping the wooden ones wasn’t an issue for me.

As anyways, your comments and sarcastic witty comments are welcome.

 

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