Sad news for Knott’s Berry Farm, but not entirely unexpected either. Many have been waiting for some kind of sign that Knott’s was ready to move ahead with their impressive Giga coaster project. Unfortunately the sign that has now been discovered seems to indicate that Knott’s was forced to give up on that concept, likely due to complaints from the neighbors on south side of the property.
An all new layout concept has leaked out, showing the coaster’s new starting point to be essentially across the pathway from GhostRider’s station. Trains will depart and turn eastward to head out over GhostRider’s turn from the station, up over the marketplace, where it will then take a first drop that will run underground through a tunnel below Beach Blvd, parallel to the existing tunnel that leads from Grand Ave to the North parking lot. From there it will rise ahead, head over to run past the picnic areas towards the entrance of Soak City, but quickly turn north-east towards a grassy lot what looks like a hammerhead u-turn. From there it will head back exactly along the same general path, dive under Beach Blvd again, over the Marketplace and back past GhostRider and into a brake run.
While this is just a rough estimate, my best guess is that the new Knott’s layout may only be about 4,200 to 4,400 feet in length. For comparison’s sake, this is about 1,000 feet shorter than Orion at Kings Island, which has a length of 5,321 ft. While we don’t know the height, I’m can only guess they’ve given up on thee dream of a Giga coaster at this point, otherwise this is going to be the shortest one on record.
Rather than waste track on height, Knott’s may be better served trying to make this a Hyper Coaster airtime machine instead. They’ve made some really fun 200 ft sized coasters in the past, such as Mako at SeaWorld Orlando (200 feet tall and 4,760 feet long), Apollo’s Chariot (210 foot drop and 4,882 feet long), Hersheypark’s Candymonium (210 ft tall, 4636 ft long) or Golaith at Six Flags over Georgia (200 ft, 4,480 ft long). So far the two shortest such coasters from B&M have been Goliath at La Ronde (174ft tall, 4,038 ft long) and Flight of the Himalayan Eagle at a Happy Valley park in China (157 ft tall, 3,923 ft long).