November 4, 2015
Buena Park, Calif. – Knott's popular GhostRider wooden roller coaster will undergo a complete refurbishment in advance of Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town 75th anniversary in 2016. This highly anticipated refurbishment is expected to significantly improve the experience on one of the park's most popular rides.
GhostRider opened in 1998 as the longest, fastest, and tallest wooden roller coaster on the West Coast. Now work is underway to restore and preserve this classic wooden coaster.
Knott's has partnered with wood coaster designers Great Coasters International (GCI) to re-track the entire 4,533-foot long roller coaster and perform some re-profiling as well. As part of the restoration Knott's confirmed that the coaster's mid-course block brake will be removed to allow riders to enjoy a relentless, uninterrupted ride from the moment the train descends the 108-foot first drop to the final brake run.
Coaster fans in recent years have loudly voice their disapproval of the mid-course block brake numerous online forums and through social media. The block brake was initially part of the design to allow for three-train service, but in recent years the park has been using it to bring the train to an almost complete stop before beginning the second-half of the ride.
The removal is great news for fans of roller coasters and GhostRider.
Besides re-tracking Knott's will also replace the coaster's existing trains with new "Millennium Flyer" trains, each designed to look like mining cars with gold, silver and copper accents. The new trains will comfortably seat 24-riders, two abreast in twelve cars.
In addition, the coaster's final brake run will be outfitted with state-of-the-art magnetic brakes that will now smoothly slow the train before entering the loading station.
"GhostRider was the last attraction commissioned by the Knott family, and this restoration project ensures that the family's final gift to the park will continue to thrill generations of thrill seekers to come," said Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott's Berry Farm's vice president and general manager. "Seventy five years ago, Walter and Cordelia Knott created a place where guests could live out their dreams of the Wild West, and I think they'd be very proud of how it continues to resonate with guests of a new generation."
When GhostRider re-opens next spring, the queue will snake past a relocated Panning For Gold attraction, which is returning to its original Ghost Town home. The new location for this Knott's staple will be more spacious, more comfortable and provide better photo ops to capture the moments when someone strikes it rich.
Train renderings courtesy of Knott's Berry Farm. All rights reserved.
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