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Knott's previews HangTime roller coaster, does daytime test run

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  • Knott's previews HangTime roller coaster, does daytime test run

    Knott's previewed the HangTime roller coaster for members of the press and bloggers yesterday, running the first daytime test run of the roller coaster train.

    Here's the article from the Orange County Register by Michelle Mills. A view looking at the first drop of the HangTime roller coaster inside the construction area at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. (Staff photo by Michelle J. Mills).10 COMMENTS
    By MICHELLE MILLS | | San Gabriel Valley Tribune
    PUBLISHED: March 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm | UPDATED: March 2, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    In August, Knott’s revealed plans for a new roller coaster, HangTime, and now, a little more than six months later, the track is completed and train testing has begun.

    The surrounding area is currently a construction zone, but by the end of the month the state is set to begin its testing and commissioning inspections.

    “When the state arrives on their first day, you’re basically saying the ride is ready to open to the public,” Knott’s vice president of maintenance Jeff Gahagan said. “Everything has to be in place.”

    At that time, fencing will be put up around the ride, the concrete, walkways and signage will be added, along with landscaping and any touch-up painting. Training will also begin for operators and maintenance staff.


    Once the ride gets the state’s approval, HangTime will still not open immediately, as there will still be final finessing and staff training.

    “There is also ‘burn time,’ what we call it, where we want to put more hours onto the ride so that when you open the first day you don’t have any issues that you didn’t expect. We’ll be constantly cycling it with the water dummies on there to simulate actually being open and busy all the time,” Gahagan said.

    A water dummy is formed like a human torso with a head and thighs, but no extremities. They are placed in the ride’s seats as passengers and filled with 250 pounds of water to simulate real riders during the testing period.

    The process of constructing HangTime has gone smoothly, according to Gahagan, unlike some attractions in the park. For example, a Ford Model T automobile was found when digging was done to put in Supreme Scream. Also, when he was working on a project for Sierra Sidewinder, a concrete box was unearthed big enough for a man to stand in. It had been a planter for a pine tree before it was buried.

    On opening day of HangTime, guests will see surfboards and wood beach fencing at the ride’s entrance. The queue will be covered by sailcloth tenting and flanked by sand and a view of 60 different specimens of plants, including palms and beach grasses. The train station will be a wooden structure with a lifeguard stand and the maintenance shop will be themed as a surfboard shop where boards are being made. On the way out of the attraction, the HangTime shop will boast early ‘60s nautical stylings.

    “Opening day is always my favorite, because for me I’ve been working on this attraction for three years and to finally see the guests’ reaction …to actually see the guests that are coming on here every day, that’s my favorite day,” Gahagan said.

    Gahagan plans to be the first one in line to ride HangTime and shares his tip as to the best place to sit.

    “It varies on the ride, so this ride I want to go in the front seat first because of the fact it’s holding you at that 60 degree angle and the track disappearing,” Gahagan said. “On a lot of other coasters, I want to be in the back to get that whipping and all that feeling.”

    HangTime is currently on schedule to open early this summer