Long before Perilous Plunge, Rip Tide, or Xcelerator, a very different Boardwalk existed at Knott’s Berry Farm. Shown below are pictures taken in the late 1990s.
The Boardwalk was Knott’s attempt to be more hip and edgy. Teens and tweens were the target audience, and the new names of existing attractions reflected this. Back when this last was called “The Roaring 20s”, Headache was called Greased Lightning. I never understood the wisdom behind naming an attraction after a painful and all-to-often result of riding such an attraction. Tip to theme park design staffs…stay away from “Hip and Edgy”, please. It didn’t work for the Boardwalk and it certainly didn’t work for Disney’s California Adventure. Best to stick with Classy and Timeless.
Whirlpool was a favorite of many Knott's fans, including myself. An otherwise standard Scrambler attraction, this installation was extra special because it was indoors. A great soundtrack accompanied riders as they screamed through the dim interior. In October, this building and the adjoining patio were converted into what was arguably the greatest Halloween Haunt maze ever - Dominion of the Dead. Unfortunately, Whirlpool and Dominion saw their last days in 1999 when construction began for Perilous Plunge. Whirlpool was moved throughout the park a few times - sharing space under Windjammer for a few years as "Headspin", before being moved again to the Wild Water Wilderness as the "Wilderness Scrambler". Unfortunately, the Scrambler was permanently shuttered in 2007 to make room for Pony Express.
The Boardwalk of today is a visually appealing place with loads of energy. Xcelerator is a hit with casual guests and roller coaster enthusiasts alike. Perilous Plunge continues to thrill those who are looking for a drenching on a hot southern California day. Perilous Plunge is a great S&S Turbo Drop, and Boomerang continues to thrill guests after 20 years.