Knotts Berry Farm is currently hard at work on two major projects. What will likely get the most media attention is an expansion to the Boardwalk area of the park with three new family rides: The Pacific Scrambler, Coast Glider, and the 52 foot tall Coast Rider family coaster.  But we think our readers will be most excited by the multi-million dollar refurbishment of one of the crown jewels of the park, the Timber Mountain Log Ride.  By May 30th Knott’s will have spent a considerable amount of money on widening their appeal to families instead of the normal coaster crowd they have been going after since their purchase by Cedar Fair.

Knott’s invited us to the park to take a first hand look at the progress of all the construction as well as a bit of one on one time with the creative folks behind these projects.

Entering the Wilderness Dance Hall, we were greeted with concepts by creative powerhouse, and MiceChat contributor, Garner Holt Productions, for interior scenes of the Log Ride.

Included were some awesome signage and art for the refurbished attraction.

Also on display were some of the new animatronics that will populate the updated attraction.  Some 40 animated human figures and 11 animated animal critters will be seen along the flume route.  An impressive collection of characters which significantly expands upon the original version of the attraction.

Three of the 11 animals for the attraction
Bill Butler of Garner Holt stands next to one of 40 animatronics for the ride.

 

The big problem that Knott’s creative team faced was finding the right balance between updating and maintaining this classic.  Original ride designer, Bud Hurlbut, wanted to create a lively, immersive environment as indicated by this sketch:

But the resources simply weren’t available. . . until now. 

Inside the actual ride, work is being conducted at a frenzied pace as crews try to meet the May 30th opening date.

Bill Butler of Garner Holt surveys the scene.
Scene six, the new campground scene.
Heading into the long tunnel that leads to the lift hill for the final drop
The entire flume has been resealed.
The waterfall element in this scene will be restored!
On the way out, we spotted the track layout for the ride. COOL!
Geek out on this folks.

Meanwhile, in the back of the park, the three attractions being added to the Boardwalk are still under construction. Snoopy was there to greet us and show us around.

Shown here is a schematic over view of the area. Dark blue is the Coast Rider, Surfside Glider in yellow and Pacific Scrambler in Blue.

Out at the construction site, Snoopy was there to show us around.

In the foreground are the two cement foundations for the Pacific Scrambler and Surfside Glider.

The pillars for the bridge of the old Perilous Plunge attraction have been shaved down and are being repurposed for walkways over the water.

And now a closer look at the Coast Rider coaster…

Concept art for the signage and cars

Below we share a our trip into the construction site with Snoopy.

Overall we are truly excited to see knott’s take a different path and build and enhance attractions that will pull in a family crowd again and begin to balance out the mix of attractions in the park. If the Log Ride refurbishment goes as well as we think it will, there are plans to move on to the Calico Mine Train with a major refurbishment next. And if that also goes well. . . we could be looking at a brand new dark ride in the not too distant future.

I’m really looking forward to seeing everything finished up by May 25th. Will you come out to support the Timber Mountain Log Ride and take a whirl on the new Boardwalk attractions?