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GhostRider (roller coaster) facts for kids

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Knott's Berry Farm
Park section Ghost Town
Coordinates 33°50′33″N 117°59′53″W / 33.84256°N 117.998056°W / 33.84256; -117.998056
Status Operating
Opening date December 8, 1998 (1998-12-08)
Cost $24,000,000
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Custom Coasters International
Track layout Double Out and Back
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 118 ft (36 m)
Drop 108 ft (33 m)
Length 4,533 ft (1,382 m)
Speed 56 mph (90 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:40
Max vertical angle 51°
Capacity 1600 riders per hour
G-force 3.1
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 3 (2 in operation) trains with 12 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
GhostRider at RCDB
Pictures of GhostRider at RCDB

GhostRider is a wooden roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. It is located in the Ghost Town section of the park, south of the main entrance. It is the tallest and longest wooden coaster on the West Coast of the United States.

Ghostrider Entrance
Ghostrider Entrance


The ride was formerly manufactured by the defunct Custom Coasters International. Construction on the attraction proceeded so quickly that the coaster was completed and opened nearly six months ahead of schedule. In August 1999, an unsecured piece of wood from the track was lifted by a passing train and thrown into another car that was passing below. Five people sustained minor injuries and the attraction was temporarily closed for inspection and retrofitting of the track.

On August 20, 2015, it was announced that GhostRider would be refurbished and restored for Ghost Town's 75th anniversary. The refurbishment, conducted by Great Coasters International, began on September 8, 2015, and was completed in June 2016. The refurbishment saw the replacement and re-profiling of most of the track, the removal of the mid-course brake run and the replacement of the PTC trains with GCI's Millennium Flyer trains.

Ride experience


Riders approach the ride near the entrance to Ghost Town. The queue begins in a mining tunnel and leads into the mine-themed queue house. After a wait in both levels of the queue, riders board one of the three GCI Millennium Flyer trains of the ride. The trains themselves are colored gold, silver, and copper similar to the precious mining metals.

The tunnel entrance was once part of the Pan for Gold attraction. As of May 2016, Pan for Gold has returned to its former location and the queue for GhostRider now snakes around it.


There is a small initial descent into a ravine, which is followed by a gradual sweep to the right. Trains then pass through the transfer track and climb the lift hill. At the top, riders descend a 108-foot (33 m) drop, turning left and rising up over an airtime hill before making a sweeping left-hand turnaround. After the turnaround, riders descend another drop, and rise up a gradual right-hand climb, before descending into the structure of the lift hill, and rising up into the ride's midway turnaround.

The turnaround starts the second half of the ride. Diving off a straight section which was where midcourse brakes used to be, riders descend a steep drop, making a left-hand turn, rising over an airtime hill, before making a right-hand turnaround underneath the turnaround in the first half. After rising over another airtime hill, the trains enter a 450-degree downward helix to the right, before rising over a final hill and hitting the final brake run.

The ride follows an L-shaped double out and back pattern. Most of the attraction resides on the parking lot near the marketplace. The ride crosses over Grand Avenue four times, road connecting southbound Beach Boulevard to the parking lots. The first two in the first half and last two in the second half.

The initial drop was covered with a “scream shed” shortly after opening with a metal overhang after nearby residents complained of excessive noise. At night, orange rope lights light up the handrails of the ride.


Over the sixteen years of GhostRider's operation, the trains have gone through several different design updates. The PTC trains were originally delivered, Copper was a dark brown, Silver was a flat gray, and Gold was a light brown. All trains sported the standard "Knott's" logo on the front of the train. Later on, ride logos were added and a metallic sheen added onto Gold and Copper trains. Lastly, the third update added airbrush effects on the sides of the individual cars along with a customized "Knott's GhostRider" logo on the front. Also Copper was repainted to a more metallic orange/copper.

Although the ride has three trains, only two are in use at any time. The third train is usually being maintained and will be switched out with one of the other trains during the duration of the year. Each train is gets a maintenance overhaul during the year. After the 2016 refurbishment, the trains were replaced with Great Coasters International's Millennium Flyer trains. As of November 2019, only the Gold and Silver trains are operating, while Copper is under maintenance.


Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Ranking 13 8 6 6 6 8 10 12 17 24 19 24 27 23 29 N/A style="background: #ececec; color: grey; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-na" | N/A 29

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