Knott’s Berry Farm Gets Ready for Drop-In Business

E. Scott Reckard covers tourism for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at

Orange County is famous for its plunge into bankruptcy, for native son Richard M. Nixon, who plunged from the presidency into Watergate disgrace, and for Disneyland.

So if you think about it, it’s fitting that the county’s tallest structure is a 300-foot Knott’s Berry Farm ride that plunges thrill-seekers 30 stories straight down. Descent time: about three seconds. Top speed: more than 50 mph.

Supreme Scream, a Knott’s offering billed as the world’s tallest descending thrill ride, has its grand opening Friday. (A miniature version also opens at Camp Snoopy, the little-kids section of the theme park.)

Thrill-ride fans know that Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia still has the nation’s hairiest roller coasters. They include tallest and fastest regular coaster (Superman the Escape, 100 mph speeds, height of 415 feet), tallest and fastest stand-up coaster (Riddler’s Revenge, 65 mph, 156 feet) and tallest looping coaster (Viper, 186 feet).


But Knott’s marketing manager, Bob Ochsner, said the longest straight-down drop is now in Buena Park (it edges out a similar ride operated by Knott’s owner Cedar Fair LLP at its Cedar Point park in Sandusky, Ohio).

Dropping in for the grand opening will be former astronaut Wally Schirra, who’s making a habit of these appearances. Schirra was one of more than 40 astronauts who turned up in May for the opening of Disneyland’s updated Tomorrowland section.