During the hour-long van ride, riding shoulder to shoulder, Carson tried to convince the three girls in his group -- Krystal, Helen, and Crystal -- to ride the thrilling roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm. Before arriving at the theme park, this group decided that they would start off with the kiddy rides in Camp Snoopy and slowly work their way up to the intimidating thrill rides.
Over sixty international and domestic students from Arrowhead Christian Academy were dropped off at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. Almost immediately, the chaos began. While most of the other students headed over to the larger rides, Carson, Krystal, Helen, and Crystal made their first stop at Camp Snoopy. After a few of the kiddy rides, Carson started to get bored. “Since we are already here we might as well go on the roller coasters, nothing awful can happen!” The girls agreed and left Camp Snoopy and went straight for Supreme Scream.
Supreme Scream is a 252-foot tower that raises its passengers up and drops them straight down over and over. This was quite an upgrade from Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer. When they first got on the ride and it began to lift up, Krystal was already expressing her regret. When the four of them were raised to the top and plummeted down, they surprisingly enjoyed every minute. They even got back in line to go again! Supreme Scream wasn't so scary after all.
The group then found themselves face-to-face with the most feared ride of all, Xcelerator. Going from 0-82 mph in 2.3 seconds, Xcelerator launches its passengers hundreds of feet into the air before immediately hurtling 90 degrees straight down. “I felt like I couldn't breathe. I almost cried,” said Krystal. “After the ride was done, I felt like my soul wasn't there!” Clearly, the Xcelerator won them over. They felt they had conquered the scariest and most intimidating ride at Knott’s, and were relishing their newfound confidence. “We survived Xcelerator!” Krystal exclaimed. “Those other rides will be nothing to us!”
At lunch the group met up with some of the others. Some of the students were trying to strategize their food choices because they knew that they were getting Korean barbecue later that night. Isaiah Han noted, “For lunch my group shared one Panda Express plate so that we’d have enough room for dinner.”
After lunch, the new thrill ride conquerors explored more of the rides like The Sidewinder. Isaiah's group rode as many as they could as well. “We rode on all of the crazy rides like Boomerang, Ghost Rider, and Pony Express. I didn't really like Pony Express though. The seats were pretty sketchy,” Isaiah remarked.
Having experienced most of the rides in the park, Carson, Krystal, Helen, and Crystal knew there was still one more challenge for them to conquer: Silver Bullet. The Silver Bullet climbs 146 feet, and whisks you through loops and spirals while your feet dangle below. “This was our final ride of the day, so we decided to ride in the front row,” said Krystal. During the ride, the girls were terrified, so they tried their very best to keep their eyes open the entire time. When the ride was finished, the group had enough time to ride in the front row a second time.
When it came time for the students of ACA to leave the park, they were prepared to eat a massive amount of Korean barbecue. The students had their pick of Korean dishes containing chicken, beef, and pork. They could also choose side dishes like sushi, kimchi, and japchae. Everyone stuffed their faces and ate way too much, but it was worth every bite. “We ate a big lunch and a big dinner, so I felt sick,” said Selena Park.
After chowing down it was time to head back to Redlands. Students and chaperones wearily climbed into the vans, exhausted from the long day full of facing fears, making memories, and eating way too much Korean barbecue.