Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Knott's Berry Farm Fun

We have had some serious amusement park time in our past. Between our last two trips to Florida and our previous trip to California, the kids have been to pretty much everything. So, we knew we didn't want to spend a bunch of time at Disneyland this trip (two years ago we did five days at Disney World). And we did six days at Sea World parks last year, so that was out. So, we had to choose between a day at Six Flags and a day at Knott's Berry Farm. 

After some careful deliberation, we decided Six Flags would be good when they are a bit older and more into hardcore thrill rides (Finny excluded...she is plenty into thrill rides now...). So, off to visit Snoopy. 

We let the kids warm up on a couple of easy rides. You know, build courage and confidence. I love Finny's hair in the picture below.

This ride was perfect for Lukey...he pushed his boundaries a few times, but this is his comfort zone

Next up was the Sidewinder. It was a roller coaster where all the cars spun independently from one another as it went around corners. Lukey was hesitant, but we made him go on. You can see his eyes watering a tiny bit below. He is wiggling his insanely loose tooth for comfort. I know I mentioned it already, but I am really looking forward to getting that thing out. It's turned grey...shudder....

Lukey loved the Sidewinder. And he was really proud of himself. Tough to know when to push and when to leave kids be...but I think we made Lukey go on the right rides this time. His favourite was the Jaguar roller coaster, which he initially didn't want to try.

The next ride we went on was the Silver Bullet (pictured below). Lukey was worried...until he realized he was too short. Phew. He is just over 48", which means he can go on lots, but not everything.

You can see us at the back of the coaster...just look for my red clogs!
The most excitement was saved for the bumper cars. It was the first time Lukey was tall enough to drive his own bumper car. He was quivering with joy. Until he got hauled out of his car to go over and get measured by the operator. I took the picture below as soon as he was verified as legit and back in his own car. Happy boy.

We devised quite a complicated race system that involved me racing Eric in laps around the track, with us conniving to get the kids on our own sides and acting against the other parent. It got pretty heated. We battled three times and I lost two of them...but the one I won was a slaughter. I lapped Eric twice because my evil henchmen (and women) were very effective.

I don't know if people know this or not, but Eric and I can get pretty competitive.

He was not wearing this happy face when I humiliated him in our third battle...needless to say, he suddenly wanted to quit...

A big section of the park is a "ghost town", but unlike other theme parks, Walt Knott actually purchased real buildings from old towns like Prescott, Arizona and transported them in pieces before reassembling them.

It makes for an awesome Old West feel.

Look at those cold hearted killer faces...
The atmosphere can't compete with the magic of Disney, but it still has a really cool feel. There are tons of little touches around the park that make it special. I think there are similarities with Disney, because both place were very much influenced by the visions of their founders. Walter Knott was a visionary, coming up with much of Knott's Berry Farm before Disney even existed. 

Do you like Eric's photo bomb in the background, there?

This Bottle House was amazing. All those dots on the building are the ends of bottles. It was beautiful.

They had a really good Wild West stunt show. The kids got little bullets to bring home and this excellent picture, too:

Finny never smiles like this when I pull her around by the hair...
There was a great little kids' section with tons of rides. Molly, Finny and Lukey sprinted from one to another while Eric and I took a break and attempted to regain some equilibrium after the more intense rides. I sure have noticed that even though I love rides, as I get older I am a lot more sensitive to rides that aren't smooth or spin too much. Eric's even worse than me. We both went between feeling great and feeling a little scrambled. Molly too, actually.

Trucker Finny looks quite a lot like Cowboy Finny. I wouldn't want to run into either in a dark alley
I went to Knott's Berry Park as a kid and I have strong memories of sitting on a bench while my dad on Montezooma's Revenge about a dozen times. Lukey said no and Finny has super game, but Molly was on the fence. See her face below:

Molly was hilarious. In the past, she's balked at some of the bigger rides. In fact, I have one very strong recollection of Space Mountain with Molly and it involved...well, it involved...a lot, it just involved ALOT. And most of the really fun rides at Sea World and Busch Garden were a pass for her last year, too.

This year, she brought a new attitude. She was nervous, but she was also determined. She wanted a "perfect record"...undefeated by any ride.

She did it. She went on everything.

She also developed a really funny technique. She asked every, and I do mean EVERY, ride operator if the ride was "scary". Every single time, whoever was checking restraints or opening a gate was peppered with questions and it always started with, "Is this ride scary?"

Some were earnest and answered honestly. Some messed with her. Some were kind. She kept asking.

She was really brave. And she conquered. Her crowning glory was impressive. She said no to the scariest ride of them all: the Xcelerator. Even I was a little nervous. She said she's wait with Lukey. We went and lined up and she and Lukey were standing at the exit. They could see us getting on. She suddenly yelled at us asking if she could still get on. She came in through the exit gate and got on. She even rode alone, with no one next to her. She was awesome. 

Here's a man who loves a swing ride...
We didn't wait for a single ride. We went on everything. In short, Knott's Berry Farm in November on a weekday is amazing. 

Finny flew for the whole time on the swings
Knott's Berry Farm was a great combination between family rides and legitimate big-time roller coasters. And if you aren't convinced there were big rides, look at Eric's face and hair after the Xcelerator:

The downside was he was less than pleased with his performance shooting three pointers at the midway portion of the park. He did fine, but just not up to his regular prowess. I will leave it to him to explain further, but the spinning, dipping, swerving and diving on the rides took their toll...

There was a Peanuts show right before we left and as a great send off, Finny and Lukey were pulled up on stage. Poor Molly was sad to be left behind, but there's no accounting for Linus' taste...

Sitting in the Sky Cabin...
We rode until they booted us out. We walked out filled with giggles and stories from our triumphs and failures of the day. We hit Denny's for dinner and laughed until we fell asleep. Success.

View from the Sky Cabin and the sunset of our great day...

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