Knott’s Berry Farm announces new roller coaster, HangTime, where riders will reach 57 mph

BUENA PARK – Sixteen riders will ascend 150 feet at a 90-degree angle.

At the roller coaster’s apex, they will pause to catch their breath.

Then the track will seem to vanish  – sending thrill-seekers plunging down what is billed as California’s steepest roller coaster drop.

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, in concert with National Roller Coaster Day, Knott’s Berry Farm revealed its newest attraction, HangTime, the first coaster of its kind on the West Coast, park officials said.

“We haven’t had any big expansions, though we’ve (added) family rides in the past few years,” said Jeff Gahagan, Knott’s vice president of maintenance and construction. “We felt it was time to go back and put thrills back into the park.”

  • On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Knott’s Berry Farm revealed plans for its newest roller coaster, “Hangtime.” An artist rendering shows the ride during the day. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

    On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Knott’s Berry Farm revealed plans for its newest roller coaster, “Hangtime.” An artist rendering shows the ride during the day. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

  • The official logo for Knott’s Berry Farm’s newest roller coaster “Hangtime. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

    The official logo for Knott’s Berry Farm’s newest roller coaster “Hangtime. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

  • On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Knott’s Berry Farm announced plans for its newest roller coaster “Hangtime.” An artist rendering shows the ride at night. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

    On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Knott’s Berry Farm announced plans for its newest roller coaster “Hangtime.” An artist rendering shows the ride at night. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

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HangTime, a surf-themed coaster with a moniker fitting of its placement in Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boardwalk area, is expected to open in the summer of 2018.

Called a “dive” coaster for its 96-degree drop, the ride replaces Boomerang, which closed in April after 27 years. Before Boomerang, the Roaring ’20s Corkscrew thrilled visitors on the Boardwalk for more than a decade.

“It’s a spot we like to say has a history of thrilling roller coasters,” said Cherie Whyte, a Knott’s spokeswoman.

HangTime will last 2 minutes and 30 seconds, park officials said, and reach a top speed of 57 mph. There will be five loops, a cobra roll and stretches where the track crosses over itself.

“Just like Space Mountain at Disneyland,” Gahagan said.

At night, the track will light up, meant to resemble waves in the ocean.

“Even if you’re not a roller-coaster fan,” Whyte said, “you can sit back and watch it as a light show in and of itself.”

Wednesday’s announcement comes a few months after Knott’s Berry Farm opened new water slide towers and water slides at adjacent Knott’s Soak City Water Park.

Staff Writer Mark Eades contributed to this report.

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