Knotts Your Typical Summer Fun

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

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Published on June 15, 2013 at 3:00 am with 51 Comments

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, is a park in transition. Since the Knott family sold the park to Cedar Fair in 1997, the focus had moved steadily from family attractions to high thrills. However, the pendulum is now swinging back to family friendly fare. Last year, while other parks were launching massive new attractions, Knott’s focused on bring its iconic Ghost Town back from the dead.  Getting the details right and building a solid foundation for improvements yet to come. This summer, while Disney and others seem to be taking a break, Knott’s is rolling out the best new line up of offerings in Southern California.  With three new Boardwalk attractions, a re-imagined Timber Mountain Log Ride, two brand new shows and expanded area entertainment, Knott’s is going all out to earn your business back!

TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE

By far the most popular ride in the park, the Timber Mountain Log Ride has enjoyed long waits and iconic status since 1969. Today, after a big renovation which can be described as a loving re-imaging of the original ride, the attraction is literally better than it has ever been and the MUST SEE “new” attraction of summer 2013.

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When visiting the park this past Wednesday, we noted that the Log ride was commanding a healthy 45 minute wait throughout the day.

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As we walked through the park, we also overheard four separate groups, one after the other, talking about wanting to head over to the log ride.  It was almost like a commercial.

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The kids that would normally be making a bee-line for the extreme coasters were all psyched to get on this ride.

The attraction sparkles as if it were brand new.  You can read our full review here, but it must be mentioned that, while this was a refurbishment, the entire attraction has been recreated with all new show scenes, sets and special effects. And not in a bad way! They didn’t do anything to make us think that the refurbishment was done in a “we’ve forgotten our heritage” sort of way, but instead, one that embraces the home-spun charm and story telling that was absent from the original, but always hinted at.

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In the queue, brand new lighting fixtures line the tunnels.

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The log pick has been fully refurbished too!

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The paint on the walls was fresh and clean… for now anyway.

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The ride itself takes on a new storyline, as loggers crawl the mountain around you while you journey to the Hootenanny.

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The little touches, like the white clouds billowing from the smoke stacks, really add to the kinetic energy of the attraction.

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The show scenes are richly lit with saturated tones. The new animatronics are exceptional and strike just the right balance between old and new.

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The exterior animatronics are fluid, brilliantly animated and were constructed with special materials to withstand the elements.

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The animatronics are extremely well articulated and fully animated, unlike the figures of old which were single motion or none at all.

It’s kind of unbelievable that they took this past its prime (but still great) ride and turned it into something so fresh and new.

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Fun gags and surprises await around every corner.

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We applaud Knott’s for taking the time and care that this ride needed. Congratulations Knott’s, you did this one right and deserve every bit of praise you are getting from your guests and fans.

Show Knott’s that you appreciate the loving attention they’ve given to the Log Ride by visiting this summer (and bring your family and friends with you). If all goes well, we could see a refreshed version of the Mine Train next year!

SNOOPY UNLEASHED

Premiering today is the new Ice Show, Snoopy Unleashed!  The ice shows are always one of the highlights of the summer season and this one is no exception.  With some inventive staging and fun music, they have really outdone themselves this time.

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BOOMTOWN

Also new this summer is Boomtown, an acrobatics stunt show held on the Calico Stage twice daily.  A kind of Cirque De Soleil type show with a Gold Rush theme, Boomtown makes perfect thematic sense and fits in well with Ghost Town.

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Though a worthy effort, the show is a little long and could stand to have a few minutes trimmed from its run time.  While the group stunts, featuring the entire cast seem to work well, the solo and duet stunts bring the show to a crawl.  The work is lovely, it’s just set at the wrong pace for the hyper stimulated theme park guest.  In all fairness we did see a preview, and the show is still working out its bugs.  Let’s hope things get paced properly.

 SNOOPY’S STARLIGHT SPECTACULAR

Returning this weekend is the wonderful Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular.  We simply can’t get enough of this fabulous kaleidoscope of crazy colors and infectious music.  If you have never seen the Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular, you need to go this year.  It’s cute, it’s fun, and free with admission.

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CHAIN MILL

The Windmill above Ghost Town has been chained to prevent it from spinning.  We hope they fix whatever is wrong with it and get it spinning again soon.  It always added a bit of vitality to the area.

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PLAYGROUND PLANTINGS

One nice touch is that they have created some plantings in the area near the old School House.  Once home to a real playground that guests could play on, they have created a new area of visual interest and an homage to the past with this lovely flowerbed.

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CHARLESTON CIRCLE

Another wonderful touch that we recently noticed were the real flowers in the flower baskets at Charleston Circle.  This is a flourish that is greatly appreciated as the baskets last year were filled with plastic flowers. Keep it real!

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WAVE SWINGER

Over in Fiesta Village, the old Wave Swinger attraction is still down for refurbishment.  This is the longest refurbishment we have seen them undertake on this attraction. Disneyland’s Silly Symphony Swings is the same type of ride and also had an extended refurbishment this year.

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MONTEZUMA’S REVENGE

Montezuma’s revenge is also down for its yearly maintenance.

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FREE TICKETS TO KNOTT’S!

It is with regret that we must inform you that, due to a scheduling conflict, Fox News will not be shooting a live feed from the new Boardwalk section of Knott’s this Friday morning.  Consequently the Knott’s ERT event that was to take place on Friday, June 21st has been postponed indefinitely.

A Knott’s representative informed us of the change, mid-day yesterday as we were going through the list of entries and notifying those that qualified.   Knott’s is not able give us a reschedule date at this time.  Fox News, who was asking for riders to fill the early morning shoot, has not returned any of Knott’s calls for a new date as of this posting.
Again, we could not be more sorry for this change but that is simply how show business works.
Thank you again for your understanding and your patience!
-Norm
(Fishbulb)

 

 

That’s it for Knott’s Berry Farm this week.  We will see you In The Parks!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, has produced and edited many of the articles on MiceChat over the years.

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  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Norm!
    My favorite ride at Knott’s is the Jaguar coaster!

  • DannyB

    Definitely the log ride. I can’t wait to ride it again for the first time! 🙂

  • ajw273

    My favorite is Calico Mine Train.

  • unclemike

    I was just there yesterday and the Log Ride is definitely worth the trip. It looks amazing! (I just hope they have the budget to maintain it year after year…)

  • TheHopper

    Log Ride is my favorite!!! My sister took me to Knotts 20 years ago and we went on this ride together after having corn dogs across the way…it was a memory I will never forget!

  • jdicarlo003

    My favorite ride is the TIMBER MOUNTAQIN LOG RIDE!!! I wanna take my 4 yr old on it!! She’ll love it!!! I can’t wait to see it refurbished!!! Oh, maybe my daughters fav will
    Be coast rider!!!

  • PJdisney

    My favorite ride at Knotts is Jaguar! 😀 brings back childhood memories

  • Disneykin Kid

    I’m impressed that Knott’s has animatronic human figures outdoors, it would be easy for them to keep them indoors away from the punishing sun. Also real flowers in the planters! Kudos to Knott’s and Matt Ouimet. When he is done bringing Knott’s up to par, we really need him back at Disney.

  • mratigan

    Great update! My favorite attraction is the Timber Mountain Log Ride, love the new figures!

  • ralzap

    Keep it up Knott’s. Thanks for the report.

  • thisisusandme

    Great update! My favorite ride still has to be Silver Bullet, first coaster I ever did ride…

  • thisisusandme

    Great update! My favorite ride has to be Silver Bullet, great coaster.

  • MikeK

    My favorite ride at Knott’s is The Timber Mountain Log Ride. Great update.

  • carbocoaster1

    Great update! My favorite ride at Knott’s would have to be Silver Bullet!!! My favorite retired ride at Knotts is both the Soap Box Racers and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

  • Ryan120420

    I got to ride the Log Ride this past week and I agree, what Knotts did was fantastic! Its not even the same ride anymore. Almost all the figures are animated, with moving arms, mouths, eyes, ect. The new show scenes are rich with detail and funny, my favorite being the spinning log scene.

    My only complaint is that you fly past the scenes extremely fast. Wish Knotts could figure out a way to slow the ride down.

    They turned a ride that I would ride every once in a while to a must ride for me now. THIS is the ride they need to be advertising, not the crap they installed on the Boardwalk! This is a Disney/Universal caliber ride in a Cedar Fair park!

    I really, REALLY hope that the Mine Ride is next in line for a refresh. Riding the Log Ride then the Mine Ride back to back really exposes the stark contrast in quality between the two.

    If the Log Ride is any indication of the type of quality we can expect from a potential dark ride in the old Kingdom of The Dinosaurs building, then I have full confidence that Knotts will build a great ride!

    Great job Knotts on the Log Ride!

  • mickeyfan90

    My favorite ride at knotts is the log ride.

  • eicarr

    Definitely going for a day during my next DL trip.

  • I Bet Churros

    It has been years since I’ve been – I’d have to say the log ride, followed by a chicken dinner!

  • pulse

    AWESOME! My fav Knott’s ride is The Log Ride.

  • Wendygirl

    Let’s not forgot some other entertainment coming back this Summer, beginning today June 15 – The Ghost Town Miners! They will be playing Blue Grass music Thursday to Monday evenings beginning at 6:15 PM. They play on their own stage on the trail that takes you to Ghost Rider across from Spurs patio restaurant (which is open at the same time). And who are the Ghost Town Miners? – Remember the Miner 49ers over at DCA? That’s them! When Disney let them go Knotts made the smart move to swoop in and snatch them up.

  • kshanteler

    Thanks so much, Norm! My favorite ride at Knott’s is and always has been The Timber Mountain Log Ride! Such great memories there!!! <3

  • DannyLand

    I NEVER went to knotts this year and LOTS has chaned. I would love to ride my favorite ride. GHOST RIDER. My first ever roller coaster. I ride it first thing and last thing at Knotts. I loved it as a kid and love it as a TEENAGER!

  • asoc

    My favorite ride at Knotts is definitely the Log Ride. It’s such a charming attraction! I haven’t ridden the new version yet though.

  • Fernando Mendez

    My all time favorite ride at Knotts Berry Farm is Ghost Rider something about a shaky old wooden roller coaster makes it so much more exciting.

  • GhostHostJeff

    Great article. So glad to see that Knotts is stepping up! My favorite ride would have to be Ghostrider!

  • bellechick

    Hi I have to say I have 2 fave rides. They are the Log ride and Supreme Scream. Log ride for begining a classic ever since I was little I loved getting on this ride with my dad. And also Supreme Scream for its exciliration factor. Love the drop! I even had my wedding in the park at Wilderness Dance Hall. Fun times and memories!
    I love Knott’s 🙂 Can’t forget the scrumptious chicken too mmmmmmm………

  • bluesky28

    Love the Log Ride and always will!

  • Dono

    I always liked the Parachute jump…

  • MaxTheDog

    Sierra sidewinder is my favorite ride cus it’s a fun ride that doesn’t look scary but really is

  • kidcontra

    The Log Ride without a doubt. It’s the first ride I ever fell in love with. Your first love always has a place in your heart.

  • Damien Nguyen-Tran

    My favorites are Boomerang,Coast Rider,and the 2 other attractions in the boardwalk pier

  • [email protected]

    Great Article. I am so glad to see Knotts moving with the times, and keeping the past alive. My favorite ride is Montezumma’s revenge. It was the first time I went upside down on a rollercoaster. Great memories. With the Log Ride a very close second. I would love to attend with my Wife and my nine year old Daughter. Thanks again for a great article.

  • [email protected]

    And yes all 3 of us can be there. Thanks again.

  • PozEmerald

    Oh please tell me you have room for 2 more , my fav ride was always the stage coach ride.. And the train.. Its just too bad the views arnt always that nice

  • twinmama28

    We are a family of six and would love to show up.for the Boardwalk event!!! We are driving from AZ.and were planning on Disney that day, but we love miceage and Knotts so much we would be more than willing 🙂 we are annual Knotts scary attendes and would love our kids to see what Knotts offers!!!

  • MerriMouse

    In the upcoming heat, Log Ride!!!

  • twinmama28

    Ps our fav ride is the log ride!!!!

  • QuiGonJ

    E-mail sent for me, if there are tickets still open. 🙂

  • scawelti

    Knotts is tremendous! Love the Calico Mine Ride Hope I can get tix to the awesome sounding event!

  • stevemcgarrett

    My favorite ride is Montezooma’s Revenge!

  • Mngydog

    I haven’t been to Knotts in over 10 years but with all the new rides and updating I would love to go again. My favorite ride was the Timber Mountain Log Ride.

  • DannyLand

    Did the emails get send out already ???!
    I’m waiting to see if I got the tickets or not

  • Rex Dopey24

    loved seeing those pictures. thanks.

  • iamchristopherr

    In regards to the windmill:

    We were there on May 30th for the grand reopening of the Log Ride. We walked past the windmill in Ghost Town and saw security guards blocking off the area with chairs. One of the blades from the windmill was laying on the ground. I hope nobody was hurt. Maybe they’ve chained it for safety reasons.

  • tofubeast

    So happy to see Knott’s embracing what made it Knott’s! I hope to ride the log ride soon (might still be a couple years though-sigh). How’s the music in the Ghost Town? I remember that was an issue, and then it seemed to get rectified. Curious if it stayed that way.

    I would also kill for a piece of boysenberry pie right now. I want to go to Knott’s!

  • Big D

    The new log ride looks great. I’m dying to see what they do with it for Haunt. I hope that the redesign took that into consideration and they made it easily convertible for whatever Haunt overlay they want to do.

  • DannyLand

    Did anyone get emailed yet??? cus I guess I didn’t win any tickets. no email for me. oh well. I really wanted to ride the new rides.

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  • glowman

    The Timber Mountain Log Ride has never looked better. The Knott’s people and Garner Holt’s creative team have made Bud Hurlbut’s masterpiece look even better with their loving refurbishing of this historic attraction. I feel Bud would be pleased with the upgrade. Modern technology was not available when Bud built and opened the ride in 1969. Knott’s and Garner Holt have now taken advantage of the new advances in animation and the resulting show is truly a work of art. True, the logs move at 5 feet per second, but you will find that on repeated rides you will keep seeing things you missed before. Also, I think they are still adding and adjusting the show, so keep checking on the ride when you visit the Farm. It’s a good year to invest in a Annual Pass so you don’t miss any of the fun.

  • glowman

    Thanks for the great article and photos, Norman. Your work and and Dusty’s together with all the MiceChat volunteer staff is really appreciated.

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