Knotts Your Typical Summer Fun

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

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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, 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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  • 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.

  • Pingback: Review: Knott's 'Boom Town' mixes cirque acrobatics, gold rush fever | Los-Angeles News()

  • Pingback: Review: Knott’s ‘Boom Town’ mixes cirque acrobatics, gold rush fever | Trampoline TV()

  • 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.