In The Parks – Knotts Revitalizes Log Ride

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in In the Parks

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Published on January 13, 2013 at 4:01 am with 14 Comments

With the back to back Halloween and Christmas crowds now a memory, Knott’s Berry Farm is gearing up for a banner summer with three new attractions and a major refurbishment.  The world famous Timber Mountain Log Ride is receiving a multi-million dollar refurbishment and the fan community is eager to know what enhancements are on the way to this beloved local attraction.

TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE REFURBISHMENT

After breaking the news nearly a year ago during a MiceChat interview with Park Manager, Raffi Karprelyan here, Knott’s finally announced the 5 month refurbishment of the Timber Mountain Log ride. One of the oldest log flume rides in the country, the attraction will benefit from a 3.5 million dollar refurbishment and restoration project.

The attraction was originally funded entirely by its designer, Bud Hurlbut, who had previously designed Knott’s Berry Farm’s classic Calico Mine Ride.  Hurlbut, a pioneer in the theme park attraction industry, wanted his flume ride to be a completely immersive experience.  The Calico Log Ride, as it was originally named, takes guests through an 85-foot-high by 330-foot-long mountain range themed to a nineteenth-century lumber camp.  The ride, housed in an eight-story building, includes 24,000 gallons of water that circulates free floating logs past a variety of mechanical figures and taxidermy animals, culminating in a forty-two-foot free fall.

The attraction opened in July 11, 1969 with screen legend John Wayne taking the inaugural ride. The Knott’s Timber Mountain Log Ride remains the most popular ride in the park, surpassing all of Knott’s other attractions in ridership.

The waterfalls and flume are dry for now

No pics today.

The Timber Mountain Log Ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it also set the bar for all themed attractions that came after,” says Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s general manager who himself worked for Bud Hurlbut from 1979-1983.  “Bud Hurlbut made numerous contributions to Knott’s Berry Farm, but I think that the Timber Mountain Log Ride remains his crowning achievement.”

The world’s largest designer and manufacturer of animatronics for theme parks, museums, and MiceChat contributor, Garner Holt Productions of San Bernardino, will assist in the revitalization project that is expected to take five months. The aim is to restore and upgrade the existing figures and sets while at the same time maintaining the original theme and storyline.

The classic attraction, which opened at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1969, remains one of the best log rides in the country. We will be following the reconstruction closely and hope to have more info for you soon.

 

CANNED FOOD DRIVE (January through January 31)

Get out to Knott’s and contribute to a good cause, and you can get into the park for $31 less.  What do you have to do?  Simply bring two or more cans of food per person at the front gate, near guest relations, to get admission for $28.99.

The collected food will be used by the Orange County Food Bank to help meet the needs of Southern California’s underprivileged families and to provide needed donations beyond the traditional holiday period when the demand is great and food supply is low.

For more information on assisting those in need throughout the community, please contact the Orange County Food Bank at (714) 897-6670.

WINDEEKER STILL GROUNDED

After stranding riders 300ft in the air for nearly four hours back on Sept 20th, 2012, the Windseeker attractions across the nation, including the one here at Knott’s, remain closed.  Cal OSHA and Cedar Fair are still hard at work inspecting the possible cause of the malfunctions that caused brakes to freeze up, stranding riders, but safely halting the ride.

Both Cedar Fair and the ride manufacturer, Mondial Rides, are keeping tight lipped about the towering white elephants in five of their parks.

NEW BENCHES

On to lighter news, Knott’s has begun installing some beautiful hand carved benches into various areas of the park.

This bench in Camp Snoopy features two large bears.

While over near Spurs Steakhouse we have this western style bench.

These little bits of charm are what Knott’s does well. Wonderful work here.

SUMMER 2013

We round out this Knott’s update with a look at the progress in the Boardwalk section of the park.  Coming this summer, three new family style attractions will open here.

While the old scrambler attraction and another spinner flat ride will be installed above the existing water feature, a mad mouse style coaster is being built on solid ground.

They are pouring footers now.

That wraps up our visit to Knott’s Berry Farm for this week.  Don’t forget, If you’d like to save some money and help those in need at the same time, take 2 cans of food to Knott’s through the end of the month and have a good time.

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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14 Comments

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  1. There would be no Splash Mountain without this ride. I’m happy to see that all the love and heart that made this attraction so unique and beloved is continued by a new generation with this refurb. This ride set the bar so high it left many Californians bored and unimpressed by DCA’s Grizzly Rapids with memories of this fun packed adventure partially to blame.

  2. So happy about the Log Ride refurb. There is a huge white light shining on the final drop that ruins the atmosphere in the entire lower area, probably there to enhance the on-ride photo. I hope that gets fixed. Also hope the inner portion, where way too much is currently visible, gets restored to it’s original darkness.

  3. FishBulb, Thanks for the update and I enjoyed the history I didnt know that about the designer funding the attraction. Glad it is getting some TLC. Knotts is definitely affordable and fun!

    • Most of the early attractions were actually concessions. Bud Hurlbut was so successful with his that Walter Knott allowed him to have lots of them. Some of Bud’s most famous rides were the Mine Train, Log Ride, Dragon Swing, Tijuana Taxis, Carousel and more. Bud Actually owned his own park as well, Castle Park.

  4. The log ride was the very first ride at a theme park back in 1973. I am very happy that they are putting money into the classic ride.Can’t wait to ride the new improved version, also love the new benches.

  5. Let’s also remember the work of Karl Bacon on this ride. His study of fluid dynamics led to the development of the flume ride being a viable ride system, not only at Knott’s, but throughout the world.

  6. What a contrast between what was then and what is now. The wonderful log ride still holds the guests attention today, while the piece of crap Windseeker shows the continued missteps of Cedar Fair Inc. And the new Boardwalk area will be no better. Another reason I just don’t go to Knott’s much anymore.

  7. I didn’t know he owned Castle Park. I went to the arcade and mini golf often when I was young. I still stop by Castle Park and the Galleria in Tyler. Alot of Nostalgia there. Those magnificent buildings are layered within tjhe area. You can always catch a great view of it east of the fifteen freeway via the 91.

    I have really been ejoying the sky cabin the last few visits, but the log ride is my favorite. It’s right next to the sky cabin and the Mystery Lodge which is ranked very high on my list of attractions. I look forward to Garner Holt’s take on the showrooms with the moon and the beautiful taxidermied wolfs.

    In defense of Windseeker though, I did enjoy the ride. I got to ride last chrismas with Camp Snoopy lit up bellow. Bt what Irealy miss was the LED lighting at night. That alone is worth Cedar Fair’s effort to bring it back.

    Thanks again Fishbulb for the Knotts update. Knotts is like the small and peacefull village outside the Disneyland Kngdom and I’ll always remember it more from my visits with the rest of my family during Thanksgiving.

  8. We visited knotts as a side trip last october when we went to halloweentime as DLR. I can honestly say i was totally let down in every way imaginable. This place is like the state fair and the flea market went into business together. Ghetto people, ghetto rides, ghetto park. Never again. I should have known by the sign at the door that advertised you could get your annual pass for six easy payments of 11 dollars. Keep this ” treasure” cali, never again.

    • Sounds exactly like the type of visitor that should stay far away from Knott’s…and none of us will cry about it!

    • “Ghetto people, ghetto rides, ghetto park.”

      Do I assume correctly that you’re caucasian? And what do you mean “Ghetto”? Since when has any part of Orange County ever been deemed “Ghetto”?

  9. Great update as always. So excited about the Log Ride refurbishment.

    A trip out to Castle Park is a treat, we really enjoyed our visit last year.

  10. It’s great to see Knott’s getting some love!! The Log Ride was my first thrill ride I ever rode and I’m so happy that it is getting the attention it deserves. I only hope that Calico Mine train is next on the list. Knott’s was becoming too much like Six Flags and losing its charm. I’m glad that they are investing in preservation of these attractions so my kids can experience them in the condition I experienced them.

  11. I am so glad Knott’s is undertaking this project. I would love to see them return Knott’s Bear-y Tales!