As the evening came, I had anticipated that I would be hanging out at the hotel for the night while RD & Randy would be joining Gregg and Josh on behalf of Park Journey to cover the festivities of Hang Time's Media Night. Then there was a point where I got a text message from RD that said "Get over here, we're getting you in!" as they spoke with someone who had a spare pass for the event. It was awfully kind of them to help in finding a way for me to join, and I appreciate the folks who offered their extra pass.
Having been to a couple media events for the likes of Italian Job (now Backlot Stunt Coaster) at Kings Dominion and Joker at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, this was a much bigger event than those I had attended before, almost feeling like a special premium event you would find at Disney with special themed entertainment, special food items and multiple rides open. Right upon entry to the event, Snoopy made an appearance for photos with attendees.
In the main part of the Boardwalk section, some of the park's performers were hula hooping with visitors, and the stage had a live band playing a variety of favorite beach themed music, including several Beach Boys tunes.
Something else that really stood out about this event was the variety of food options to enjoy, and they were spread out which helped spread out the crowds and prevent long times to pick up some eats. If you came here with an appetite, you'd be set!
Another aspect of the event that was different than most media events I had been to was the inclusion of Coast Rider and Xcelerator for attendees to ride while waiting for the grand opening ceremony for the star of the show.
As that hour came closer, folks gathered near the stage where the band had been playing popular beach tunes, as this would be the place for the opening ceremony of the ride.
As part of the ceremony, Snoopy and some of the park's performers had a routine set to some other popular tunes, and then members of the park's management came to share their thoughts and appreciation to those who helped in the creation of the newest thrill ride in the park that was about to have it's ceremonial first ride.
And as they finished, a countdown began as the ride's lighting package came on, and fireworks began to erupt as the first riders train completed went through the twisted layout of Hang Time.
As the confetti fell, and event attendees made their way to the ride's entrance, the band came back on stage to play more song and the performers danced the night away.
And while the entertainment, food and additional rides were great, it was time to try this new steel beast, and it did not disappoint! Being the first Infinity model coaster I've ridden from Gerstlauer, I found that it offered a really smooth ride when compared to some of their smaller Eurofighter coasters, and this ride offered a very twisted layout that seemed to keep it's pace throughout the course. While it is a little bit on the shorter side in terms of ride time and length, it pretty much goes throughout the entirety of it. I certainly enjoyed the nice airtime pop that comes from the small hill above the entrance that leads into the cobra roll about 3/4 of the way through the ride. This ride was an excellent replacement for Boomerang, and has easily become one of the best in the park! The ride lighting package also really makes it stand out.
As a fun side story, While I waited at the exit for some friends who were riding to complete their turn, I was passed by a member of the park's staff who was escorting a few folks through the exit to get a chance to hop on the ride, and it turned out that one of them was skate boarding legend Tony Hawk! While I don't have the picture to verify, considering the way he was being escorted and just how close I was to him, my former Disney Cast Member instincts sort of kicked in as I figured that they wouldn't want people asking for photos/autographs, and it would be have been a bit odd for me to take my phone out to take a picture of him since he was essentially standing right next to me, so it'll just have to remain a story of a brief moment in time of a near contact with fame.
As the event drew to a close, it was awesome to get to be a part of this special event, and to be among the first to experience this brand new coaster for it's debut. I appreciate the folks who shared their extra ticket for me to join, and to the Park Journey crew for their help in facilitating it. While I would have the opportunity to try it out the next day, it was really cool to see it and ride it at night, especially it's first night!
Next, it's one more day of enjoying Knott's Berry Farm before heading home.