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Silver Bullet

Inverted Coaster, Knott's Berry Farm, California

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

Silver Bullet Knott's Berry Farm picture

Knott's Berry Farms Silver Bullet coaster throws riders for a loop.

©Arthur Levine. Licensed to About.com.
Silver Bullet is a slick inverted coaster that is light on airtime, but really pours on the positive Gs. It maintains its faster-than-a-silver-bullet ferocity pretty much until the end. Compared to other inverted coasters, the ride is good, but not great. I give it 3 stars (out of 5)--with a bullet.

Up-front Info

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7
    Powerful positive G-forces, lots of inversions.
  • Coaster type: Inverted
  • Top speed: 55 mph
  • Height restriction: 54 inches
  • Height: 146 feet
  • Drop: 109 feet
  • Ride time: 2 minute, 30 seconds
  • Silver Bullet Photo Gallery
  • Silver Bullet Video

G-Whiz

The aptly named Silver Bullet resides in the park's Ghost Town area, and its ride ops wear cowboy hats and red-checkered bandanas. Like much of the schizophrenic park (the Old West meets high tech rides meets...Snoopy?) however, the theme gets a bit muddled. What does a sleek coaster with a bright teal, yellow, and orange color scheme have to do with rootin'-tootin' gunslingers? Beats me. But, most coaster fans don't really care about themeing and incongruous design anyway. They want to know whether Silver Bullet delivers the coaster goods. My assessment: It's a decent coaster, but there's nothing particularly special about it.

For the uninitiated, the train of an inverted coaster hangs beneath the track and has no floor. Like a ski lift gone haywire, it navigates its dips and turns while leaving passengers' feet dangling. It also soars through inversions, such as Silver Bullet's 105-foot vertical loop, on the outside of the track. It's a wild sight to see 32 pairs of legs flailing upside down as the ride reaches the loop's apex.

The first drop is a satisfying 109 feet. Instead of hitting a second hill and delivering a dose of airtime, Silver Bullet goes into its vertical loop and lays on some rib-crushing positive Gs. In fact, I didn't experience any discernible negative G-forces (also known as airtime) throughout the entire ride--a coaster no-no in my estimation. The over-the-shoulder harnesses momentarily squeeze riders, who are all the more disoriented in the head-over-heels loop.

This Bullet Spends a Lot of Time Upside Down

From there, Silver Bullet throws all kinds of inverted elements at riders, including a Cobra Roll and a corkscrew. At one point, the ride makes a dramatic swoop down close to the ground near the front entrance of the park. For its finale, it performs a double spiral over a lagoon. The first overbanked spin sends passengers skimming just above the surface of the water; while it's an illusion, riders instinctively pull up their feet to avoid being submerged. Even though the ride is nearly over, the second spin still manages to deliver a surprisingly potent dose of positive Gs.

To its credit, Silver Bullet manages to avoid the head banging that plagues many inverted coasters (such as the Mind Eraser clones at some Six Flags parks). And if you like intense positive G-forces, you'll like this coaster. But its lack of airtime, plus its lack of anything especially noteworthy takes it down a notch. For a great inverted coaster experience, head over to Raptor at Cedar Point in Ohio or try out Dueling Dragons at Islands of Adventure in Florida.

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