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.
When visiting the park this past Wednesday, we noted that the Log ride was commanding a healthy 45 minute wait throughout the day.
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.
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.
The ride itself takes on a new storyline, as loggers crawl the mountain around you while you journey to the Hootenanny.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Montezuma’s revenge is also down for its yearly maintenance.
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.
That’s it for Knott’s Berry Farm this week. We will see you In The Parks!