Knotts Berry Bloom, Log Ride news, and Coast Rider Progress

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

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Published on April 03, 2013 at 3:57 am with 18 Comments

Knotts is celebrating spring this year with an all new event, Knott’s Berry Bloom, which includes a mini food and wine festival. The park is impressively awash in large swaths of color, blossoms, and foliage that really liven things up.

KNOTT’S BERRY BLOOM

An animated photo op at the front of the park was a popular place to pop a pic.

Cleaver flower arrangements.

Spring Break has also brought in some healthy crowds too.

Colorful touches like this dragonfly on the gun shop are all around the park.

The mine cart in Ghost Town has been embellished with oversized blossoms.

Lady bug on the Sheriff’s Office

Large butterfly on the windmill.

More blossoms at the base of the windmill.

LOOK OUT! BUGZ!

Throughout Ghost Town are little decorative touches.

A humming bird on the Hotel.

Overall the decorations are a lovely touch.  Some of them even on par with Disneyland.

PEANUTS PARTY IN THE PARK

Another refreshing surprise is Knott’s new show, Peanuts Party in the Park.  The song and dance show is performed in the round, outside in Charleston Circle.  A group of high-energy performers dance and sing along with Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy to a non-stop barrage of pop music while engaging the crowd to get involved. This is a REALLY good show folks.  In fact, we would go so far as to say that this is one of the best shows to come out of Knott’s entertainment department in years.

What makes it so good?  Let’s start with the performers.  Each one of the singers/dancers engages the crowd.  They actively try to involve viewers with smiles, eye contact and direct interaction.  There isn’t a single minute in the entire show where any of them is standing still.  These folks give it their all and it comes across as infectious.

Another thing that works is the music.  They have selected music that is fun, upbeat, and danceable. While the songs fall short of being memorable, they work because they exude fun and promote a toe tapping good time.

We are so happy to see Knott’s taking the time to create original shows like this.  It is fun, bright, and quite simply a lot of fun to watch.  While this show is scheduled to end with the springtime festivities, word on the street is that it may stay around a little longer.  Let’s hope they keep it through the summer.  Don’t miss this fun little dance party.

A good time indeed.

 

General Manager, Raffi Kaprelyan, really enjoyed the show too.

 

TOWERING TOPIARY TASTING GARDEN

Another  new seasonal offering is the wonderful, but poorly named, Towering Topiary Tasting Garden.  Also known as Knott’s version of a Food and Wine Festival, the tasting area is staged indoors at the Wilderness Dance Hall, near Pony Express and Bigfoot Rapids.

 

Inside the dance hall guests can purchase a tasting card for $15 and enjoy 6 tastings for that price (amazing deal).  Along with each wine, a small hors d’oeuvre is offered.  Outside is the namesake of the event area, where several large topiary are on display.

If you were a fan of the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, you need to get a season pass and get over here right away.  For the very small price, guests are offered very healthy pours of some remarkable wines and beers.  All of the offerings, both alcoholic and otherwise, were hand picked by the park food and beverage manager, Russ Knibbs.  This man knows food, and even better, he knows good, approachable wine.  There is none of the pretentious feel of other wine tastings here as you are encouraged to explore and enjoy.

While the little snacks were adequate, the pours were impressively healthy.

Knott’s does a spectacular job with their first foray into the food and beverage event arena.  But, as with any first attempt, there are just a few minor adjustments that could make the event better.  Next year, instead of using the Wilderness Dance Hall for tastings, they might do well to use the hall for lectures from prominent wine makers, perhaps even food demonstrations and winemaker dinners.  The wine tastings should be moved outside in the sun, under the trees, amidst the beauty of Ghost Town and the White Water WIlderness areas. We’d recommend that Knott’s set up decorative tents with signage promoting the event. Get the product in front of the maximum number of people and create a festive atmosphere at the same time.

Non alcoholic beverages are also offered. Nice!

Overall, Knott’s did a great job with their first tasting event.  We had a wonderful time, REALLY enjoyed the wine and found the staff to be super friendly and fun to spend time with.  Let’s get the word out and support this event. Our hope is that a bit of success this year will lead to a much larger event next year.

COAST RIDER

Knott’s recently announced the completion of track installation on their newest family style coaster, Coast Rider.  The Mac ‘n Cheese yellow track and white supports have left some scratching their heads.   But, really, it looks fine. But the attraction isn’t complete yet, so there’s now telling what the final result will look like with landscaping, etc.

 PACIFIC SCRAMBLER and SURFSIDE GLIDER

 The platforms for the two flat rides that are being installed near Coast Rider are also coming along.  Just think, in less than two months, there will be two new rides here.

The bases for the Pacific Scrambler (top-left) and Surf Glider (center) with Coast Rider on the right.

The base for the Pacific Scrambler.

 

The base for the slightly larger Surf Glider.

 

TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE

The multi-million dollar refurbishment of the Timber Mountain Log Ride is coming along rather nicely.  As we can see throughout these pictures, the entire mountain is getting a repainting!

Notice the top half of the mountain is painted. The bottom half is still waiting.

You can also clearly see that the flume has also been repainted a dark brown, with the interior of the flume a forest green.

Work on the waterfall was completed and paint is being applied.

More of the repainted flume

All of the nappy looking trees have been removed and will soon be replaced with new foliage.

Work is also being accomplished on the first lift hill.

Can’t wait to see this ride back in action when it reopens on May 25th.

MYSTERY LODGE

The Mystery Lodge has returned after the repaving project out front and the surrounding area is looking great.

Can you see Bigfoot?

BIGFOOT RAPIDS

The wonderful Bigfoot Rapids has reopened after an annual refurbishment.  The ride looks wonderful too as does the vegetation that is growing in.

During the renovation, they leveled the gift shop that used to be in front of the ride and moved the body dryer into its place.

A brand new gift stand is being constructed directly opposite of the ride.

Still no waterfall. So bummed. Who would like to see this feature return to the ride?

You still get wet though.

THE DETAILS

It needs to be noted that, with the recent park-wide improvements, the details have been given attention.  Most notably the flowers and landscaping have really improved.  Case in point, the flowerbed under Boomerang.  Two weeks ago there was a fresh-looking arrangement of pansies and other annuals here.  Then, suddenly, an explosion of petunias was planted.

This is just a really nice thing to see.  Please folks, let management know what a good job they are doing. Let’s keep this ball rolling.

That wraps up our coverage of Knott’s Berry Farm for this week.  If you do have the chance, go grab a season pass and check out what they have going on for Spring.  You will be glad that you did.

 

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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18 Comments

Comments for Knotts Berry Bloom, Log Ride news, and Coast Rider Progress are now closed.

  1. I like all the improvements and attempting to create new Events. But if its after the Disneyland style crowds which it seems to suggest from your pictures it might be then its going to have to do much more then a Food & Wine style event. It needs to start addressing its weak attraction offerings. A lot of these rides including the newer ones are not appealing to the same crowd that would enjoy Knotts Berry Bloom. But the people that would enjoy it on the other hand won’t visit the park because it hasn’t got many rides to make a full day out of a visit. It really needs to start working on these promised dark rides before trying anymore seasonal events. Teens are not the sort of people who would enjoy food and wine samples. Its a nice idea and I wish them luck. But just feel its the wrong time to be trying these kind of events. MiceChat seems to want to rally support for Knotts which is great to see. But the fan comunity needs to see more then steel coasters and carnival rides. The refurbishment on the Log Ride is a good start however.

    • You are 100% right here with regards their ride offerings. Instead of yet another steel thrill coaster that would only appeal to teens, or a simple kiddie ride that would only be at home in Camp Snoopy, they need more family experiences, more family rides. This means, of course, a new dark ride, a walk through, or anything that the family can do together. But that would require far more time and money than Knott’s has at the moment.

      Both Matt Ouimet and Raffi Kaprelyan have both gone on record stating that they are aware of this problem. But Knott’s is kind of behind the 8 ball here in that dark rides take more R&D and expense than a steel coaster. Dark rides can literally take years, and certainly millions of dollars. But Silver Bullet, for instance, only cost them a mere 16 million and put them in the record books by giving them the longest inverted coaster on the west coast and an immediate boost in attendance. Cedar Fair is used to a quick investment of a few million every few years to maintain attendance levels. Knott’s Berry Farm, however, is a unique member of their theme park family that needs to be run in a different way as it is in a very competitive market. Ouimet and Kaprelyan seem to finally be the ones that are able to drive that point home with Cedar Fair.

      But how do you invest in a park when you have a fraction of the money that Disney has?How do you do that without taking the easy way out and throwing down another steel thrill ride? Knott’s is tackling the issue by building up what they have. They are currently spending 5 million to renovate one of their best dark rides, the Timber Mountain Log Ride. Then, after that, they plan on taking care of the Calico Mine Train. I expect that, after the Calico refurbishment, we may finally see something return to the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs/Berry Tales space.

      Okay so we are getting a refurbished Log ride. But, you can’t build a 2013 summer campaign on a 50 year old refurbished ride. So, they took what they had left over and built the three family rides. Yes they are off the shelf. Yes, one of them has literally been in storage for four years. But what they are doing is finally attempting to make a large investment in building up the family experiences.

      Let’s be honest. Knott’s should have done this years ago. But they ARE doing it NOW. We want to be the ones cheering them on when they are taking steps in a positive direction.

      • Great insights, Norm. Well said.

    • Really? I would think many, if not most, teens would love wine samples if they could get them. I know, moot point, but still…

  2. Basically a mirror image of the longer wild mouse found at other Cedar Fair parks. Nothing to get that excited about.

    I agree with Malin. Knott’s is lacking in quality dark rides or even shows. Without Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, the Haunted Shack, and, heck, even that old Gasoline Alley car ride, etc., Knott’s is limiting itself to thrill rides and odd shows. Gotta diversify to attack the family market.

  3. What ever happened to the annual Country Fair event? Knott’s used to be in a class of its own; not a Disneyland and not a Magic Mountain. It seems like it is starting to get some of its old identity back…but not with more steel dominating its horizon. I say, bring back Bear-y Tales, Haunted Shack, Tijuana Taxi, and the burros!

    • The Country Fair event was something wonderful, you are right. But it was a change in management that killed that idea off years ago. They are attempting to create something new here with the Berry Bloom event with park-wide decor, wine tastings, food offerings and new shows. We just hope that they see a return on their investment so it returns and doesn’t go the way of Country Fair.

      • Thank you for all the pics and info (always great!!!) Bummed we missed the food and wine this year @ Knott’s (sure do miss it at Disneyland) but hopefully Knott’s will do it again next year and we’ll see you guys there. :)

  4. Great Update Norman

    I hope the festival has more advertisement, as it looks really good, but I don’t think people know about the tasting barn.

    CoastRider is looking good, and I can’t wait for it to open and see it in person.

    Thanks Again Norman

    Trumpet

  5. Had the best time at Knott’s Berry Bloom. Great job by the Knott’s team. But let’s expand that Food and Wine element and make it more visible!

    The park looks really good right now.

  6. Great update. When does the Food and Wine thing end? I didn’t catch it in the article.

    As for the mouse, I kind of have to agree with LoveStallion on this one. I’ve never been able to get remotely excited for Coast Rider. I’m ALL FOR another family coaster in the park and even a mouse coaster wouldn’t have been a bad choice. But this is the same exact layout and design as the one at Legoland 70 miles to the south. It will be a fun ride but I would have much rather seen something original in this spot.

    The one positive is that this ride will be infinitely more reliable than the ride it’s replacing.

    • Sorry, the Berry Bloom runs until April 7th.

      I’m not excited for Coast Rider per-se. I’m excited for the expansive investment in family attractions. With the three rides being installed in the back, and the investment in the log ride, they are moving things in the right direction.

  7. The foliage around the park looks amazing. Seaworld should take a cue from Knott’s landscaping department and apply that to Manta.

  8. Wow , Its the best the park has looked in years. Its nice to see them pay attention to the smaller things like landscaping. I completely agree with everyone they need a few dark rides in their mix, it seems the Haunt is their main moneymaker, It would be nice to have a dark ride with this motif. That said It appears they are moving in the right direction, refurbishing ghost town and log ride and the new offerings in boardwalk,still they need dark rides to improve attendance.

  9. I enjoyed reading this article! Its nice to see the park improving little by little. Will it make me go back? No but its nice to see a nice lil transformation!

  10. The waterfalls will never come back because since it doesnt cover the entire boat, too many people were standing up to avoid it. So unless they get new seats belts preventing people from standing up or have the whole waterfall cover the entire boat so that standing up doesnt help, it wont come back

  11. For those interested the Extreme wheels show is not slated to return this summer according the all wheel extreme face book page. The Summer Ice show will be returning with new additions.

  12. Very lovely to see the renovation of the Timber Mountain Log Ride. Thank you Knott’s for re-investment in this piece of theme park industry history (and STILL one of the best log rides around)! Also a pleasure to see all the attention to details, flowers, fresh paint, etc. I suspect we may owe a nod to our old friend Matt Ouimet for these items? However they were made possible, thanks Knott’s!!!