Sean/McLaren: We headed to the media event/opening day of Knott’s Soak City on the morning of May 20th and we were greeted with warm, clear weather, the sound of running water and a live band playing classic beach tracks, all accompanied by the smell of fresh wood. We knew we were in for a treat as Cedar Fair always does a great job as far as park quality and event quality goes!
– Over the years, many of our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that not everyone mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –
Upon entering the front gate, we were excited to see everything freshly painted and ready for the summer. The surfer fountain is a nice touch to starting your journey through the revitalized water park.
We did some wandering around the park before normal operations began at 10am to get an up close and personal look at what the park looked like for the 2017 season.
The park’s 2017 makeover includes lots of new landscaping, the park (though lacking shade in many places) has a wide variety of tropical plants scattered throughout.
We found nothing but beautiful new landscapes with a strong tropical/Hawaiian influence, which included a wide variety of swaying palm trees, Birds of Paradise flowers, and succulents.
The slide complex that houses Old Man Falls (three high-speed body slides) and Malibu Run (four inner tube slides) looked very vibrant with its new paint job and refurbished landscape.
It was so peaceful being able to walk around and enjoy looking at all of the crystal blue water and old attractions given new life.
Ahh, beautiful pre-season waters…
9:30am rolled around and it was time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which would be the grand opening of Soak City’s seven new water slides! Vice President Jon Storbeck was joined by mayor Elizabeth Swift, two members of the city council, and of course, everyone’s favorite beagle: Snoopy!
The ribbon has been cut! Time for a nice dose of adrenaline!
FIRST UP: Shore Break! A slide complex that includes four body slides all equipped with White Water’s Aqua Drop technology, and two new inner-tube slides that both end with significantly long drops.
The Aqua Drop slides were nothing short of terrifying and awesome. White Water took this technology a step further to make the anticipation more intense as the entire drop floor is completely clear, allowing the rider to stare down into the slide before your body flies into it. The ride attendant will ask if you’re ready, you’ll hear, “three, two, one…” and before you can even have a second thought, you’ve dropped into the slide already completely soaked and flying up onto the sides of the tube before blasting back into the sunlight.
Knott’s also added nozzles periodically throughout the slide’s runs to insure the fiberglass stays wet in order to keep things moving quickly and let us tell you, it works. We found that these slides actually give for a longer ride time than expected; all four of them have a solid amount of turns and helices following the initial drop, which makes for an overall great experience. So far, so good, Knott’s!
As mentioned previously, there are also two inner-tube slides on this complex that offer more thrilling options for those who aren’t huge body slide junkies. We kept noticing how large the drops at the end of each slide were, and how they seemed to be significantly larger than those of many other slides similar to these, as you may have read in one of our latest construction updates. The first half of the ride is very enjoyable, as you do seem to pick up a good amount of speed through the turns. The enclosed sections of these slides are also almost pitch black, giving a very dizzying and disorienting feeling as your tube flies unpredictably up both sides of the slide.
You see light approaching and before you know it, you’re hauling down a massive drop. The slide on the right with the long drop offers a shockingly large amount of speed, as you feel slightly weightless the entire time. If you’re riding the left slide, you can still expect some speed but the best part is the second drop on the way down that offers a lovely moment of airtime as you’re yanked back down into the pool.
On a separate complex, we have a family raft style slide titled The Wedge. This massive blue and teal slide has a long series of winding turns throughout its duration. Each raft can hold up to six people, making it great for families and for those not ready to take on the more intense body slides.
This slide uses a conveyor lift to bring the rafts to the top of the tower due to their weight and size, allowing people to simply walk to the top and board their raft upon arriving at the loading pool.
The ride is longer than your usual family rafting slide you may found at Californian water parks, and is optimally compact, fitting a lot of turns into a relatively small space. Nonetheless it is not quite wild as slides such as Lost Temple Rapids at Hurricane Harbor or Thunder Rapids at nearby Raging Waters Los Angeles. Nonetheless, The Wedge fits more riders and is of great length, definitely an amazing new, solid stand-alone attraction at Knott’s Soak City
In addition to this new area of Soak City, new cabanas have also been added if your party wants a more secluded and VIP experience for an additional charge. They included shaded as well as sunny seating, tables, food and beverage service, and each is equipped your own personal safe to lock your valuables in while enjoying the attractions.
Many other areas of the park have been fixed up as well, offering plenty of seating around the park to relax. The entire park looks very clean, much like Knott’s Berry Farm itself.
Sunset River is always a crowd favorite as it offers a lovely, relaxing float around the newly renovated water park. We took it for a spin to cool off and to get a better look at the new landscaping work that had been done. We passed by a plethora of palm tress and Mediterranean foliage while listening to the soft beach tunes played throughout the park.
Banzai Falls was up and running as one of the more popular slides, especially for those who enjoy some good competition. This ride is also fairly short and does allow up to six riders at once, making it a high capacity slide.
The Laguna Stormwatch Tower slide complex has three different inner tube slides: Typhoon, Tornado, and Cyclone. They are now a variety of different shades of blue and have fully functioning special effects inside.
RK’s Beach House interactive water playground is always a good time for everyone wanting to cool off as there is virtually water spraying in every direction as well as the massive bucket the dumps water on guests every few minutes.
Yesterday, Buena Park, CA hit about 90 degrees, but luckily Knott’s has the drinks on lock as they’ve added extensive drink stations periodically throughout the park, that offer a wide variety of Coca-Cola products as well as Icees.
We’re going to end this article with the classic shot of the Tidal Wave Bay wave pool with the vibrant slides in the background. We’re very impressed with what Cedar Fair has done with Soak City for the 2017 operating season and cannot wait to head back to enjoy some more fun in the sun!
Thank you for checking out this Knott’s Soak City report! We advise you check out this newly renovated water park, the bright colors and stellar line up of water slides are perfect for a day of fun! Now water park season has begun, stay tuned for more water park coverage soon! For now check out some of our recent CCK and CCCK posts that I know you’ll LOVE: