NCL Free At Sea

Ghostrider Will Reopen in June at Knotts Berry Farm

By on 02/29/2016

EDIT (3/16/16): While it was originally announced that Ghostrider would reopen on May 27th, that date has now slipped. Ghostrider should now reopen sometime in June. As soon as I get an exact date, I’ll be sure to let you know.


Important news first: Ghostrider reopens on May 27, 2016!

There, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at where it stands today. Knott’s Berry Farm invited us out on Friday, February 26th for a peek behind the construction wall on everything they’re working on for the 2016 season. With Ghost Town celebrating it’s 75th anniversary this year, there is a lot happening. I’m going to break it down into a couple of posts. This one is going to take a look at what’s going on with everyone’s favorite wooden roller coaster, Ghostrider.

First of all, even while closed for construction, this roller coaster still looks amazing:


All of the old track has been removed and replaced, with the work being done by Great Coasters International (GCI). As a key attraction in Ghost Town, the park decided to stick with wood, as opposed to steel, because they wanted it to remain an authentic wooden coaster. You can tell what wood is new because it is much lighter in color:


The coaster will get all new lighting:

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While there has been quite a bit of new profiling, the lift hill and first drop will remain the same as they were before:


Most of the turns have been re-profiled to add banking, like seen here in the top-right:


Banked track is much more comfortable for the rider, especially at higher speeds, because you sink more into your seat as opposed to being thrown to the side like on flat turns:


One of the most anticipated changes being made is the removal of the ‘B’ block, the mid-course brake run that was located on the following turn that slowed the train way down about halfway through the ride. Once the train drops off the lift hill, there will be no stopping it until it reaches the station again:


Once it does reach the station, it will come to a nice smooth stop thank to brand new magnetic brakes that are being installed.

Looks like they’re still working where the brakes were removed up top:


The big drop that occurs just after the above turnaround also had to be re-profiled. Because the train no longer slows down in this spot, they needed to raise the height of the track on that drop, making it more shallow so that the train doesn’t pick up too much speed. Here you can see the hill at the bottom of that drop that should give a good pop of airtime:


If you look closely where the track cross ties are bolted in, you can see that the track was raised approximately eight feet through here to help bleed off some of that newly gained speed. It was much flatter before:


Here’s a close-up of where the track used to be bolted to:


The GCI crew is working hard to ensure Ghostrider reopens on time:


Most roller coasters are fenced off in isolated areas and you can’t get anywhere near them. I love it when coasters like Ghostrider not only let you get up close and personal, but they also span over the top of an active street:


How cool is that? Both the street and a sidewalk on both sides pass right through it:


Mike here was kind enough to let us poke around underneath the station and take a look at some of the ride mechanics that he works on. He’s standing underneath the storage track, which can hold two full trains directly above his head. If all three trains are on the track, they’ll keep two of them in here at night and the third in the station. Being able to walk underneath the trains allows them to perform their daily visual inspections and make any necessary minor repairs:

KBF_GRUpdate20160226 - 16

Speaking of trains, they are also getting three brand new Millennium Flyer trains designed to look like mining cars, each with gold, silver, or copper accents. They’ll be much more comfortable and able to navigate the course better. The old PTC trains were sent to Valleyfair, where they will be given a new life on one of their wooden coasters (High Roller?):

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This is the lift hill motor, located in a small room under the station near the ride exit:


While the ride is down, they are taking the opportunity to replace all of the gears and put on a brand new chain:


This is the lift hill chain trough, which is fed by that new gear in the previous picture above. It goes all the way to the top of the lift hill. That’s a lot of built-up grease, but you need it really well lubricated:


All of the work they are doing looks great and I can’t wait until Ghostrider reopens so I can ride it. How about you? Leave a comment below and tell us if you’re excited about riding this.

Click here to see all of the other changes being made to celebrate Ghost Town’s 75th anniversary this year at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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  1. Eric

    03/01/2016 at 5:05 pm

    I cannot wait to get back on a much smoother GhostRider. Over the last few years, I’ve lost too many internal organs with how rough it’s gotten. Knott’s is to be commended for giving it some much needed love.

  2. Pingback: Ghost Town Update at Knott's Berry Farm - The Coaster Guy

  3. Jordan S

    03/07/2016 at 6:09 am

    Aww man, I’m going to Knott’s on the 17th. So unless it soft opens im not going to be able to ride it for a while 🙁

  4. Larry Osterhoudt

    06/03/2016 at 12:19 pm

    Yes GhostRider will be a lot better with those Millennium Flyer trains since they are 3 point mount. GCI stole that technology right off Fred Church’s 1924 patented 3 point mount single bench seat design. The Cyclone Racer uses the same 3 point mount cars except the design evolved to 2 bench seats per car instead of one which is mechanically superior to Millennium Flyers. With 3 point mount cars you can utilize more dynamic banking throughout the course. They allow dynamic banking you could never pull off with the 4 wheel car system. Banking makes the ride more exhilarating because you can negotiate a curve at much higher speeds, however if you design ideal bank (no lateral body lean what so ever) the ride will be boring. Let’s hope those new bank angles are under banked. You don’t want to go through a thrill ride and not spill a drop of coffee. If it’s that smooth, like California Scream’n, you might as well be driving on the freeway in a Cadillac.

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