Specific Type: Wooden, Double Figure-L
Throughout the 20th century, Knott's Berry Farm grew in Buena Park, California to become one of the country's top-ranking parks for attendance, with a collection of three major steel coasters and a wide variety of other thrill rides in operation by the end of the 1990s. But, being one of the United States' oldest destination parks, Knott's seemed to be lacking something. What was it? The answer came in when Knott's announced their fifth coaster and first ever wooden addition - the GhostRider. And a little wood proved just what the Berry Farm needed. GhostRider flew over Knotts' Ghost Town for the first time in December of 1998 and was received by wooden coaster fanatics with flying colors. The coaster's compact, twisting L-shaped double out & back layout makes for 4,533 feet of wooden rails and 2.5 million board feet of timber densely crammed into an astonishingly small footprint of land. And with a course constantly overlapping and tunneling through its own structure, the 60-mile-per-hour speeds of GhostRider are enhanced as lumber consistently wraps around the track as riders speed along. The 'Ghost also takes advantage of its speed to deliver maximum negative g's with hops and hills around every bend.
Guests to Knotts' themed Ghost Town section enter GhostRider's queue line and venture through a deserted mining tunnel. At the station, one of three golden, copper and silver trains is boarded and dispatched from the station. The ride picks up exceptional pre-lift-hill speed with an S-curve into a U-turn and then engages on the lift-chain to begin a first 118-foot climb to the sky. Over the top of the lift, the ride begins with a tunneled first drop of over 50 degrees. At the bottom, the coaster curves around to the left underneath the structure of an upcoming helix and quickly ascends over a speedy hill. Climbing back up, the layout veers 180 degrees and through an S-curve before plunging back down. Next, a 90-degree banked curve sends the train around to parallel the lift at breakneck speed. Passengers climb into a third turnaround maneuver around the lift-hill curving 90 degrees left and to the 270 right. The track hops up with another Camelback hill and curves to the left to retrace the L-shaped layout with a fourth U-curving turnaround and another hop. GhostRider speeds ahead over another hump and then enters the downward helix before a final hop sends the train into the brakes and curve back into the station.
GhostRider has become a worldwide coaster favorite in its 12 years of operation and with any luck will continue to rank highly for years to come.
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