Changes coming to Knotts Mine Train and Camp Snoopy

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

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Published on November 20, 2013 at 3:00 am with 34 Comments

Welcome back to Knotts Berry Farm!  We last left them in the soupy fog of Halloween.  But now, the park is transforming from scary to merry as they prepare the park for their annual Christmas celebrations.  What’s more, Knott’s recently announced big changes coming to the park next summer. It’s amazing news folks,  let’s get right to it.

Calico Mine Train Refurbishment coming for 2014


Yesterday, Knott’s Berry Farm announced another major restoration of a classic ride.  The Calico Mine Train will close early January of 2014 and undergo an extensive upgrade that will last until early summer.  Garner Holt, the company behind the brilliant Timber Mountain Log Ride refurbishment in 2013 will be returning to lead the charge of another Knott’s classic.


“It is our company’s top priority to preserve and enhance the original story of a working gold mine deep in the heart of the Old West” said Garner Holt, GHP’s founder and president.  “The Calico Mine Ride will be filled with lifelike sounds and motion, while maintaining the uniquely authentic feel of the attraction as designed by Knott’s and industry legend Bud Hurlbut.”  The renovation of the iconic attraction includes the addition of over 50 new state-of-the-art animatronic figures, all new audio and theme lighting system, and special effects.  Does this mean a fully redone dynamite room? We sure hope so!

We took a ride on the Mine Train yesterday to check out its condition.  Despite the ravages of time, it is still an enjoyable ride.


Leftover bird from Haunt? LOL.


The scope of this attraction, when it was first constructed, was unlike anything seen before.  Water features spilling over the facade, trellises precariously stretched over tall precipices, this was a massive attraction for its day.




The centerpiece of the ride is the glory hole scene.  This is a vast, 5 story scene stretching floor to ceiling, filled with animated figures.  Just imagine what Garner Holt will do with this huge space.






According to a Knott’s Berry Farm representative, while the interior of the attraction will be receiving attention, they intend to keep every bit of the charm.  In fact, no major changes will be made to the history-making “hidden” queue. It will feature the same intimate feel as before.

It is wonderful news that the two crown jewels of the park, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, and now the Calico Mine Train, are being made BETTER than new.  These two attractions were what helped Knott’s Berry Farm become a world-class theme park back in the day.  Under the leadership of Raffi Kaprelyan and Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair has rediscovered Knott’s heritage and is lovingly restoring the very heart of their park.

Camp Snoopy


In other news, Knott’s announced the refurbishment of an entire land!  Camp Snoopy, opened in 1983, will receive a full refurbishment.  This will include enhancing the High Sierra’s theme throughout and really bringing the place back to its former glory.

No real details have emerged just yet aside from a more enveloping theme, and new rides.  That being said, we do have a few things we are hoping for.

  • Full resurfacing with leveled walkways.
  • More wandering paths through nature.
  • A new dark ride.
  • Leave Huff and Puff alone!
  • Build the originally intended mountain to hide the Sierra Sidewinder track.
  • New Food offerings.
  • New Snoopy Club house.


Knott’s Merry Farm

Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, November 28th, Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm.


The decorations are already being placed now and all is coming together.  This year they have planned a wonderful assortment of family fun.

-It’s Christmas, Snoopy! Featuring a cast of 11 professional skaters and performed in the 2,100-seat Charles M. Schulz Theatre, the show is a feast for the eyes with dazzling sets and colorful costumes as Santa Snoopy and the PEANUTS Gang take to the ice in search of the true meaning of Christmas!


-New for 2013, the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town will be home to Santa’s Christmas Cabin for the holiday season. Here, the young and the young at heart can share their wish lists with jolly ol’ St. Nick and take home a picture of the occasion. You can also indulge in holiday delights like Santa’s homemade cookies, sundae bar, decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings, winter wine and craft beer tastings, and more.

-Also new for 2013, the Ghost Town and Calico Railroad celebrate Christmas on Engine 41.  Climb aboard a vintage railcar and meet an ever-changing group of Ghost Town residents eager to share their Christmas plans with you.


-Christmas Crafts Village, Ghost Town is transformed into a shopping wonderland filled with dozens of local artists and artisans selling their unique wares including a chainsaw sculptor and glass blower. Entrance to the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village is free Monday through Thursday and is included daily with theme park.


Knott’s is setting up the craft village now.


Christmas is also being applied to Ghost Town’s many structures.




The Glass Blower will be returning this year.

The nightly tree lighting ceremony will also be featuring a Babes in Toyland-like theme.



Knott’s Offers Free Admission to Veterans,
Retired, and Active Military

Once again, Knott’s keeps up the tradition of honoring the men and women who serve our country by offering them Free Admission. This includes one guest and a further discount of $22 per ticket for up to 6 additional people in their group.

This offer is good through January 5th.

Go to Knott’s for Thanksgiving November 28, 2013 9AM – 6PM

Knott’sThanksgiving themed menu offers  home-cooked dishes for you and family to enjoy. The buffet includes items from Knott’s pantry and salad kitchen; three hand-carving stations with slow-roasted beef, turkey and ham; holiday classics including Mrs. Knott’s fried chicken, country apple stuffing; a South of the Border station with cheese enchiladas and tamales; pasta station; dessert station and much, much more. Thanksgiving Holiday Buffet prices are $39.99 for Adults, $26.99 for Seniors (62+) and $17.99 for Children (3 -11). Call (714) 220-5055 for reservations.

Reservations are strongly suggested as they will sell out.


Oh-kay that about wraps things up from Knott’s Berry Farm.  Now, who’s excited about the news from the Farm?

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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  • janvincent_1313

    It makes me very happy to see that some effort and money is being invested into Knott’s. I’m excited to see the changes.

  • scarymouse

    Awesome ! I love that they are putting in the effort and money in preserving the past. Garner Holt will no doubt do a great job and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.And a new dark ride in the works, even better. I really like the way Knott’s is moving…

  • JulieMouse

    I’m so pleased to see Knott’s putting in even more effort into making their park better and better! I’ve enjoyed having a pass this year and plan on renewing next year, it’s a nice (and much less expensive) addition (or alternative for many people I know) to Disneyland! I have many happy memories from my childhood at this park as well as Disneyland and it’s nice to have both offering quality attractions and entertainment again! I’ll definitely be planning a group outing for all my friends with Knott’s passes while the holiday offerings are available!

    Thanks for the great update!

  • jcruise86

    I wish Matt Ouimet had been made head of all Disney’s theme parks after he improved Disneyland for its 50th anniversary. Instead we have Meg Crofton & Thomas Staggs.
    And a shop at WDW with unique movie memorabilia replaced with a MyMagic+ center.

    But I’m glad Matt will keep making the affordable Knott’s even better!

  • manifest

    So stoked. The Calico Mine Ride is one of the greatest attractions in theme park history, and given how amazing of a job Garner Holt did with the Log Ride, this is a slam dunk for Knotts.

    I love how the underdog is killing it right now. Knotts has been on such a roll lately. I can honestly say I’ve been more excited about what’s going on at Knotts than I’ve been with anything that Disney has done in the past 20 years with the obvious exception of the DCA revamp.

    I will continue to support Knotts with my wallet. Ouimet for President.

    • lynxwiler

      Here, here! I second that.

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