Knotts Berry Farm Prepares for New Attractions and Christmas

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in In the Parks, Knott's Berry Farm

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Published on November 08, 2012 at 5:03 am with 26 Comments

Knott’s Berry Farm has its hands full on the present, while prepping for the future. They are now in the middle of creating another charming, down-home Christmas celebration for 2012. At the same time, gearing up for new attractions and green theming to the Boardwalk in 2013.

KNOTT’S MERRY FARM 2012

KNOTT’S MERRY FARM
Knott’s has announced their plans for Christmas 2012. Suffice it to say that all the comfortable offerings you have come to know and love will be returning. In fact, as Halloween is coming down, Christmas is already going up and should be in full swing on November 22nd through January 6, 2013.

The “It’s Christmas Snoopy!” ice spectacular will be back this season in the huge Charles M. Schulz Theatre. This show is one of our favorites and never fails to warm our hearts. Can’t wait to see it again. “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” will be presented November 22-25; December 1-2, 8-9, 15-18, 20-24, 26 -31, January 1, 3-6, 2013.

We will also see the return of the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village. In the past, the Crafts Village, while charming, has more resembled a swap meet than a feast of unique shopping. We fully expect the look of the event to be far more refined this year. Adding to the unique “Village” atmosphere are live performances of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and O. Henry’s “A Gift of the Magi” in the Bird Cage Theatre. But what is interesting about this event, is that it will be free Monday through Thursdays and runs from November 22 through December 24.

The “A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade” also returns this season and includes seven themed floats featuring the PEANUTS Gang.  “A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade” will run from November 22-25; December 1-2, 8-9, 15 – 23, 26 -31, January 1-6, 2013.

The Calico stage (Halloween home of the Hanging) will play host to a nightly tree lighting with the Peanuts characters.

But what we are most excited about is the return of Elf Mountain Christmas.  The Timber Mountain Log Ride will once again been transformed, giving guests an up-close-and-personal view into the world of Santa’s Elves.  This attraction will remain open in its holiday version until Jan. 6, 2013.

BOARDWALK ADDITIONS FOR 2013

In an encouraging move, Knott’s announced plans for three new family-friendly attractions for the Boardwalk section of the park. Three new attractions will be taking up residence in the large area once home to the painfully slow loading Perilous Plunge boat thrill ride.

Additions to the Knott’s Boardwalk Area will include:

· Coast Rider The 52 foot height, 1,339 feet of track. Mad mouse style coaster.

· Surfside Glider - Flat-ride spinner

· Pacific Scrambler - Basic, flat-ride, scrambler attraction.

The attractions announced are not groundbreaking. In-fact, some might look at this announcement as a let down. But let us explain why we are thrilled with this news. To us, this this indicates that Knott’s is very interested in attracting more than just thrill-seekers. They are expanding their appeal to a wider audience, casting a larger net, so to speak, and giving guests more to do. In fact, these aren’t overly extreme attractions and are mostly fun for the whole family. But they nearly fill the void between kids attractions and thrill rides. You might say they target the tweens, though they are sure to have a much broader appeal.

Instead of a towering rust-heap with a limited audience, even lower capacity and a massive foot print, they are installing three separate rides that will churn through riders more effectively. But what has us every more excited is . . . green. Yes, Knott’s will be turning this once ugly concrete jungle into a more green space with gardens and a more pleasing look and feel. Knott’s is doing the smart thing and adding value to the park while enhancing the ailing Boardwalk theme.

What are YOUR thoughts on these additions? Do you like the idea of greening and expanding the roster of family friendly attractions? Do you think that a large roller coaster would have been a better choice?

It took them little time to remove Perilous Plunge.

This is the area now.

The leftover water area will be repurposed.

GHOST TOWN CONSTRUCTION

There are some interesting things happening in Ghost town. A few weeks ago, the area next to the school house was cleared. Now there is construction happening and structures being built. We’ve heard rumors about what this is, but are awaiting confirmation or official word.


In the space of the old playground, near the school house.

Also, the Haunt museum has remained intact, and, when staffing permits, it has been kept open and operating. We’d really like to see Knott’s keep it open year round and perhaps tease concept artwork for the coming season in this space. What do you think? Close it until next Halloween or keep it open?

PLEASE STAY OPEN YEAR ROUND


Never miss a chance to catch a gunfight in Ghost Town. Always a hoot.

WINDSEEKER CLOSED

Windseeker is still down and collecting dust, literally, as Cedar Fair works with the manufacturer to figure out how best to resolve some quirky bugs in the safety system which has repeatedly stranded passengers.

It’s a shame to see all of the Windseeker attractions sitting empty across the country, but better safe than stuck in the air.

KNOTT’S PUTS OUT HELP WANTED MESSAGE

Knott’s recently announced on their website that they are doing a tremendous amount of hiring.  There are opportunities within the parks, in the hotel, and in entertainment.  If you are looking for work, what better place to apply? Knott’s is a great place to work and creates a family atmosphere.

DEALS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS

Knott’s annual tribute to our Military, past and present, starts November 1st. FREE admission for Veterans or current serving military personnel and one guest with proper I.D. presented at turnstile. Plus purchase up to six additional tickets for just $19 each from November 1-21 and for $25 each November 22 through January 6. Military personnel may also purchase additional tickets at their local MWR ticket office.

Veterans and Active Military Personnel can also stay at the Knott’s Hotel at a discounted rate through January 6, 2013. Simply select the Military Tribute option when making your Reservations.

 

And that should do it for news from the farm for this week.  We have a lot to look forward to for the holidays and even more next Summer. What caught your imagination this week? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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26 Comments

Comments for Knotts Berry Farm Prepares for New Attractions and Christmas are now closed.

  1. I think there plan for the boardwalk is better then a Hyper-Coaster. It’s got theming!!!!

  2. We really liked the modest, but well-acted (and free with admission!) productions of “A Christmas Carol” and “The Gift of the Magi” last year in the Birdcage Theater.

    And Knotts’ Christmas parade did really capture the spirit of Christmas with excited and well-rehearsed kids marching in it. It seemed to me to have one 25th the budget of Disney’s Christmas parade, but (to me) made Disney’s feel cold and corporate by comparison.

    I’m disappointed in the three new off the shelf rides. I particularly hate that Goofy-like coaster, though my kids loves those rides. I’m glad there will be some green gardens there, but I really wanted a cool dark ride in Knott’s, preferably a high-capacity haunted house that could be plussed for the Scary Farm.

    Scramblers are fun
    (like merry-go-rounds, bumper cars, spinning teacups/hats, and swing rides),
    but if you’re going off-the-shelf, at least theme it well. Here, guest should enjoy flower gardens during the day and impressive lights at night. Music will be key.

    • There’s not much theme (if any) to these rides, but the area will look MUCH better and more inviting than before. I’m actually quite pleased with the change considering what was there before. Though, now that this project is set, I’d like them to do something well themed next.

      I think a dark ride is on the way for the future. It’s something I’ve heard many folks in the company talking about that they all know they need to do. But I don’t think they’ve decided what to do, where and when on that project. Which is probably for the best. Now that Matt Ouimet is finally in charge of the company, let’s let him push this project in the right way and with the right budget. Had they gone with the previous administration, we’d probably have ended up with some off the shelf Sally shooter dark ride.

      The winds are blowing in a very positive direction for Knott’s.

  3. I am disappointed in Knott’s move. While I don’t think Knott’s needs another steel mega-coaster looming over Ghost Town, adding a few carnival rides doesn’t seem like a big enough draw for Knott’s to compete in the SoCal theme park wars. I would be happy with this if this was a part of a bigger project, say, the return of Knott’s Bear-y Tales? I still believe Boomerang is a bigger waste of space than Perilous Plunge and should have also been removed with this “upgrade”.

    Knott’s has a history of failed attractions, such as Windjammer and Whacky Soapbox racers. If you want to bring something into the mix for the ‘tweens, how about the return of the Tijuana Taxi or Haunted Shack?

    And as for “greening”; Charleston Square looks very concrete these days. I also miss getting wet in the fountains of Rip Tide. That ride is nothing without the water element.

    I am sorry to be so negative, but I have grown up with Knott’s in my back yard and saw it blossom with the first modern looping coaster only to be turned into concrete parking lot.

    • I agree with your post 100%. I want Knott’s to succeed because the park can be quite charming and has a great history, but they have had continuously made such poor decisions in the last 20 years.

    • Great comments and I don’t think overly negative. You are being constructive about what Knott’s means to you. That’s how you, as a fan, can help a park improve in a meaningful way.

    • The soapbox racers were one of my favorite rides. I still miss that.

    • Yeah, but Soap Box Racers was great. I still miss it.

    • Wha? Yes, the Windjammer was technically a failure as its cars could hardly make it from begining to end without a breakdown. However, I totally disagree with you about the Soap Box Racers. Perhaps you’re thinking of the short-lived Motorcycle Chase which preceded it?
      Here’s a quick YouTube clip featuring the Wack Soap Box Racers:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUnyPAnkttk

    • I agree. How can you call the Soap Box Racers a failure – at least in the same vein as Windseeker? I also disagree about Tijuana Taxi being for tweens – I think it was for a much younger set. Not that they shouldn’t bring it back, just about the age group. And I really can’t see them bringing the Haunted Shack back, at least in its original form. ADA wouldn’t allow it.

      • I loved the original concept of the Cycle Chase and Gasoline Alley Auto Race. Knott’s made good use of land by combining the two attractions. I just think that after all the alterations to Cycle Chase/Soap Box Racers, the ride and theming deteriorated. And the Knott’s Airfield concept also faded away in the process. I am sure with today’s computer design of coasters, a better experience could be made of the old idea.

        Interesting, though, that the Roaring 20′s was supposed to represent Hollywood in the 1920′s, and the Airfield was supposed to represent rural LA. And now we have Buena Vista St…

  4. I’m disappointed in the three new rides. The spinners are forgettable and can be found at the county fair. But the wild mouse is especially disappointing since it will be the same layout and track as the Technic coaster at Legoland. At least they could have gotten a new style wild mouse and not a copy of an existing one in the same market. That makes no sense.

    But most important what Knott’s needs is a Peanuts dark ride with holiday overlays for Halloween and Christmas. It’s such a no-brainer that will drive turnstile clicks way up. Hire Sally Corp. to make one already! The Peanuts IP is one of the best because it appeals to everyone from grandparents to little children. Instead Knott’s tore down the Peanuts Playhouse and replaced it with nothing. What a missed opportunity…

    • Be careful about the Peanuts ideas; that’s one franchise Disney has not acquired. Yet.

    • I agree with the dark ride idea. More carnival rides won’t be enough.

      I wonder why Knott’s doesn’t have a permanent Haunt maze. They should have at least one Haunted maze attraction that offers a more tame experience. Such an attraction will be cross promoted with the regular seasonal Haunt attractions. Knott’s is a master of these attractions. It is a shame that many people will not enjoy the fun haunt environment for the rest of the year.

      • The year round haunted house is something I’ve mentioned to the Knott’s folks on multiple occasions. It’s something that really NEEDS to happen. Nothing overly gory, but just a fun creepy spook house which pays homage to the Haunted Shack and which allows for a scarier overlay every Halloween.

        It would also allow them to fix the part of Ghost Town which has been ruined by that huge ugly swing thing.

  5. I was excited to read that they were working on family type attractions, then disappointed to learn that they were all spinning around or coaster type rides. They need rides both grandma and the baby can go on, like Knott’s Beary Tales (I loved that ride) or Kingdom of the Dinosaurs were. Right now, the Log Ride and Calico Mine Train are the only ones I like. Not enough to get me down there, anymore. Too bad.

  6. Personally, I am absolutely thrilled about what Knott’s is doing these days, and what is to come in the near future! What they’re doing is moving forward and green-lighting a lot of positive moves. And with each little step they take to enhance the experience while at Knott’s is surely something to be grateful and thankful for!

    And yes, I would LOVE to see a dark ride put in where Knott’s Berry Tales used to be. And I do believe in time that will happen…we just need to be (more) patient. And having a permanent haunted maze in Ghost Town would be so ideal and a great move!!

    It’s a wonderful feeling to finally see Knott’s putting money into this classic and iconic theme park to make it look and feel more welcoming for everyone! And to be honest, there are many days I prefer to visit Knott’s over Disney. Just because I sense more charm and hope for this once deteriorating park. It seems less corporate to me than Disney and it’s definitely not as crowded when I go each time.

    If I had to make any judgement call on what to improve with at Knott’s (sooner than later), there are only two things I’ve noticed for a while now. First, they need to completely refurbish and enhance the Charles M Schultz Theatre. As much as I love their ice shows (it’s the main reason I have a pass to Knott’s), that theatre needs major work! Secondly, they need to get rid of that Screamin’ Swing thingy near Ghost Town. I never understood why you have to pay extra to ride that thing, and the fact they ruined that section of Ghost Town when they replaced it with the Haunted Shack. Infact, that space would be perfect for a year-round haunted maze or haunted dark ride. And when that happens, then going to the old graveyard won’t be such an eye sore. Somehow taking a photo next to a gravestone with that Screamin’ Swing in the background just ruins it for me. Of course, so do those horrible steel rods from the Pony Express ride that are planted right in the middle of that graveyard. (sigh)

    But hey, Knott’s is moving forward, and I still have hope!! =)

  7. Looks like some serious paint and finish ageing has happened at Knott’s Ghost Town? That’s a good thing. What happened to the old gold panning single stamp mill that used to add great vintage sound to the park as the hammer dropped and pounded away?

  8. I was hoping they would put in a more unique family style ride like the wacky soap box racers was. I remember riding that as a kid with my whole family. It seems like most spinning rides make at least one person in the group feel sick and they have to sit out.

  9. I’m torn on the new Knott’s additions. I don’t mind that they are family rides, but I have some issue on “what” family rides they are, especially the coaster.

    The Scrambler: Not technically new but they are always fun. Glad it’s coming back.

    The Flyer: The first “major” park in Southern California to get one (Castle Park has some and they are always fun.

    The Coaster: Here’s my issue with it. It’s a Mouse Coaster. The same type of coaster that is 5 miles away at DCA and this appears to be the EXACT same ride that’s at Legoland California only 60 miles away. I’m fine with the “family coaster” but there are many other “types” of family coaster they could have brought in other than this one.
    The addition of this almost makes me think that one of the other Cedar Fair parks is closing one of their mouse coasters and Knott’s is getting a used one.

    I honestly think a better use of funds would have been to get new trains for Jaguar which would allow them to bring the height requirement back down to 42″ (where it was when the ride opened) and not the current 48″ which makes it unavailable for many families. With new trains they could make the trains adaptable for 42″ kids and their parents while making the load/unload procedures for the ride quicker. This is a no brainer IMO.

  10. Yippee. They are bringing back Whirlpool without the fun of psychedlic lights. Boring.

    Really, the whole Roaring 20s thing made so much sense for so long, and the ill-advised transition to a Boardwalk with Wind Jammer just started this inexorable decline.

    Knott’s has often been at a natural disadvantage in many ways, especially the physical imprint of the park. There just isn’t much space to play sandbox with the park, which results in Silver Bullet flying around over everything (don’t get me wrong. I love it.)

    I don’t think the common Cedar Fair extended wild mouse will make much difference in the area. It’s bad enough having Goofy’s Sky School nearby. Mack Rides continues to laugh their way to the bank.

    I’m not one to always whine and get nostalgic, but remember as kids, when the dolphin show, Greased Lightning, and other simple attractions nicely padded out the area? They also hid Western Avenue, which I think was important for atmosphere.

    And I TOTALLY agree on the need to get rid of that swing thing that killed the Haunted Shack. That area of Ghost Town is sad and barren now, especially with the Pony Express also tearing away at any surviving ambiance. It’s just so open and soulless now.

    I think Boomerang’s time has long since passed. I’m frankly amazed it has survived for this long.

  11. It’s hard to not be happy to see this. I hated Perilous Plunge and the insane amount of concrete around it.

    But frankly, I’m not seeing that much “Greening” in the concept art. I’ll give it some time, though. Glad to have Scrambler back, but really wish they had enclosed it again. That made an off the shelf carnival ride special and unique. The other two – well, 12 years old will like them and that’s fine. We can wait on the Giga coaster.

    The dark ride building is sitting there ready to be used once again. Let’s not delay any longer! And while you’re at it, restore that beautiful 20′s neon sign regardless of the fact that the area’s name has changed. It doesn’t matter – it’s there and it’s paid for. Use it!

    Love, a longtime fan

  12. I miss the nostalga of the Parachute drop ride and the Corkscrew coaster. I remember the corkscrew being the signature logo for Knotts brand. The Boomarang which is is an exciting attraction, doesnt have much of an visual appeal from the back of the ride as the corkscrew did in that space. I enjoyed the haunted shack, and the roaring 20s theme as well. I guess we will see how this Boardwalk concept will come together soon enough.

  13. I am not really excited about the rides they are adding I wish they would start doing more darkrides. That piece of land would have been ideal for a couple nice dark rides that the whole family can enjoy.

    The one thing i do like is that the concept art shows the area much more inviting than what was there. I do worry how well they will translate the art into reality. All that green area looks great next to the water, although i would have added a themed beach as well, but once they are done will all that grass actually be in the final product as well as the boardwalk?

    It would not be the first time that they add extra landscaping to art to make things look more pleasant. Just like the dissapointment of large hills of nothingness when they added Manta to Sea World or worst yet Magic Mountain when they show their coaster on nice green landscaping only to see them sometimes build them directly on top of old supports or parking areas that are still visible.

    Hopefully Knotts does it right and makes the area pleasant

  14. I really like people are talking. KBF is a family park, and ghost town is the anchor. Get rid of the pony express, and build a buffer and a dark ride for ghost town….You really have to aplaud the changes, and keep encouraging the park’s CEO. KBF is a great deal, and the chicken is still good.

  15. I will always <3 Knott's Berry Farm (sure, their Christmas time gets probably a 1/4 of the budget that Team Disney Anaheim gets for Disneyland / DCA – but they put a lot of heart into it without letting corporate greed get in the way of delivering the Winter Holidays Spirit) ….

    I <3 seeing Ghost Town get a needed rehab (& to complete that rehab, it sure would be nice to get rid of any ride / attraction that isn't adding to the Ghost Town vibe). I'm all for a Knott's Berry Farm Museum (with various displays featuring the History of the Theme Park – including a separate section for the Halloween Haunt) …

    While using Peanuts Characters wherever Knott's they can is a "no brainer", I <3 the fact they use "traditional holiday" elements wherever it can be used without interfering with the Knott's Berry Farm experience (as much as I <3 the ITS CHRISTMAS SNOOPY ICE SPECTACULAR, I agree that the Charles M. Schultz Theatre needs tlc). I actually prefer their Parade vs Disneyland's (Knott's doesn't last long, but it's long enough to deliver Holiday Cheer) ….

    The addition of any landscaping throughout all of Knott's Berry Farm (to eliminate any concrete emptiness) is a plus. I really hope that Matt Ouimet pays attention to what Knott's Fans want (another dark ride that's family friendly, more family friendly attractions – rides, less wasteful Windjammers, more tributes to "old Knott's and please don't raise admission prices to where Knott's becomes less affordable) ….

    C J