Knotts Berry Farm Loses Windseeker, Gains Santa and the Billies

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

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Published on December 04, 2013 at 3:00 am with 39 Comments

Welcome to Knotts Berry Farm! Which at this time of year is a MERRY Farm loaded with yule-tide cheer.  We’ve got all the details on the Christmas time festivities and what will be coming for New Years Eve.  But don’t look up.  If you do, you may recognize the growing absence of the $5 million dollar elephant in the park.  Yes, Windseeker is making its unceremonious exit.  But first, let’s focus on holiday cheer shall we?

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The front gates are adorned with red ribbon.

 

Knotts Berry Farm Christmas Crafts Village

At this time of year Knott’s opens up nearly a third of their park for free (on select days) so guests can come shop, eat, and experience some farm fresh cheer.  From Monday through Thursday, guests can enter the Christmas Crafts Village through the Knott’s Marketplace. Ghost Town is turned into a shopping wonderland filled with dozens of local artisans selling their unique wares.  Let’s take a stroll through the festive farm and see what is offered at the Christmas Crafts Village.

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Ghost Town is littered with poinsettia.

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Don’t try to sneak into the rest of the park, Free admission between Mon-Thurs is confined to the Christmas Craft Village.

 

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This is the access gate to and from the craft village near Bigfoot Rapids and Mystery Lodge.

We enter Ghost town to find that they have really upped their game in the decorations department.  Garland is everywhere.  Poinsettia bouquets adorn nearly every storefront.

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The Ghost Town Grill looks great!

 

Santa’s Christmas Cabin

This year the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town is home to Santa’s Christmas Cabin for the holiday season. It is here that St. Nick holds court and invites children of all ages to come and share their wish lists with him.  You’ll also be able to indulge in edible holiday delights. There’s Santa’s homemade cookies, a sundae bar, hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings, winter wine and craft beer tastings, and more.

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The park decor department really did an amazing job creating a beautiful, inviting environment.

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Along the perimeter of the room are the food booths.

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Just outside there are roasted corn cobs and turkey legs.

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Glass Blower

The wonderful craftsmanship of the glassblower is on full display here.  It’s so fascinating to see the artist carefully handling such hot, molten material, only to have it become something beautiful.

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Wood Sculpting

Nearby is the chainsaw wood sculptor.  If you have never seen this done it is an astounding process.

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Near the front of the park there are more booths and stalls from varied artists and manufacturers.  While the format is, admittedly temporary, it can feel a bit too much like a swap-meet in spots.  That being said, it looks far better than it has in years past.

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Ooooooo Maple Lollipops!

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Included in admission to the Christmas Crafts Village are a few notable attractions.  To begin with, we have the wonderful, vaudevillian performances inside the Birdcage Theatre.  They are performing the Christmas classics, The Gift of the Magi and A Christmas Carol.  If you have never seen these shows, do yourself a favor and sit, relax, and take in an intimate, old-school style piece of theatre.  It’s wonderful.

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You can even take a ride on what has been voted one of the most painful woodies in America, Ghostrider!

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Every evening they also stage a tree lighting ceremony.  While the best viewing is only available to paid guests, you can stand off to the side and watch, free of charge.

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While guest can explore the Christmas Crafts Village between Monday through Thursday without admission charge, it is limited to paying park guests from Friday to Sunday.  This whole arrangement will be going on now until Christmas Eve.

More Merry Farm

Guests who pay admission to get into the rest of the park get even MORE holiday hijinks!

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The annual ice show, It’s Christmas, Snoopy! returns this year and is currently being performed on Saturday and Sunday only.  It features a cast of 11 professional skaters, the Peanuts gang, and, of course, Snoopy.  We love this show, and it simply isn’t Christmas without it.

Throughout the rest of the park, the atmosphere is cheery and bright.  There seem to be far more decorations this year in every corner of the park.  It’s so good to see this.

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The front gate planters in the foreground, Camp Snoopy in the background.

Fiesta Village is all decked out too!

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Over in Boardwalk, each ride marquee has its own decorations.  IMG_3794

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The new planters near the Coast Rider have had oversized presents placed in them. A nice touch.

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Problematic are the banners on the barrier fence behind the planters.

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While the signs themselves are very nicely done, they need to be a little larger.

 

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The overall effect is not what they are intending, and really looks too temporary. A little garland around the border might fix the problem.

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Another wonderful touch is the pop-christmas music played in theme appropriate areas in the park.

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Charleston circle looks great too.

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Closer to the Charles M Schultz Theatre, banners advertise the ice show.

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Even the prizes on the games are festive.

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The shop windows have been changed over too!

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If you haven’t been out to Knott’s for Christmas yet, this really seems like the year to do it.

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies

Well, it seems that you can’t keep a good act down.  Even though Disney has decided to part ways with the crowd pleasing antics of Billy Hill and the HIllbillies, front man Kirk just posted something wonderful on Facebook.

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The Hillbillies will be performing one night, on New Years Eve at Knott’s Berry Farm to help ring in the new year.  This will certainly be a great opportunity for the Billies to strut their comical, musical chops for a brand new crowd, and a few loyal fans. And if they prove popular with the crowd, perhaps we’ll see even more of the Hillbillies in the park after their Disney gig ends in January.

We might just be spending New Years Eve at Knott’s this year instead of Disneyland to support the Hillbillies and enjoy the down home atmosphere of Knott’s.  Who’s interested in joining us?

WINDSEEKER

We all know by now that Windseeker is being moved to Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun and being renamed Steel Hawk.  That being said, nobody was certain when the move would happen.  Well, it’s happening now.

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The 5 million dollar misstep started coming down earlier this week.  While a perfectly safe attraction, it just didn’t seem to meet the particular requirements demanded by California state law.

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As other rides raced through the paces far below, Windseeker was quietly being taken down.

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Behind the construction walls, the safety barriers that stood between guests and riders were removed so as to allow removal of the short lived attraction.

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The Carousel butts up agains the construction walls. But guests can still make their way to the Silver Bullet lagoon this way.

As the ride is disassembled, the pieces are then being staged behind the park, next to the fire station on Western Ave.

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 Supreme Scream will once again hold the title as tallest ride in the park.

We look back now, at the one season that the ride operated and the fun we had on it.  Godspeed Windseeker, and a flight of angels sing thee to thy next stop, Kansas (Dusty’s boyhood park).

Read the Full article here on the Windseeker opening in 2011.

Season Passes

Don’t forget to renew your Knott’s pass this year.  Right now they are charging only $78 for a full year with no black out dates.  Wow huh?  They are even letting you make payments for 6 months. It’s a great deal.

A 2014 SEASON PASS INCLUDES:

  • UNLIMITED VISITS to the park during the 2014 season with no black out dates
  • NEW RIDES SUMMER 2014 – 3 new rides in Camp Snoopy & the Grand Re-opening of the Calico Mine Ride
  • EXCLUSIVE RIDE TIMES on select rides during the summer
  • DISCOUNTS on select food and merchandise
  • SEASONS OF FUN – Knott’s Berry Bloom, Summer Fun, Camp Spooky, Knott’s Merry Farm, and New Year’s Eve

UPGRADE to Gold for 2 PARKS IN 1 – includes Soak City Orange County Waterpark If you BUY NOW you get one free admission through Dec. 31

Not a bad deal if you ask us.  But did you notice that little nugget in the New Rides section?  3 new rides for the refurbishment of Camp Snoopy as it celebrates 30 years.  That along with the newly refurbished Calico Mine Train.  That’s fantastic news and echos this past summer’s three new rides in the Boardwalk and refurbished Log Ride.

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.

 

Well folks, that wraps things up from the farm.  We hope to see you during the holidays as we have a few wonderful events we are cooking up that we will be announcing very soon!  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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  • lynxwiler

    I just might see ya’ll at Knott’s for New Year’s Eve as well! I think it’s a great idea!

  • Not My Real Name

    Am I the only one who noticed that the Marine Corps Toys For Tots campaign is not to be this season? What happened?

  • Hakuna Matata

    Tonight my wife and I went to the Season Passholder party at Knotts and we had a great time. While the Tree Lighting show in Calico Square was a bit cheesy, we has a blast at the Snoopy Ice Show. I haven’t seen the show in something like 15 years, so I have no idea what it has been like recently, but tonight it was great. They has clips from the Charlie Brown Christmas playing on screens between musical numbers, and towards the end of the show Linus came out and did most famous two minutes of that special where he tells the true story of Christmas. I was happy to hear the loudest ovation of the whole show when he finished quoting the scripture. I also took in the Ghost Town Miners band. They sounded great. All in all I had a great time, and will be back to enjoy the Christmas stuff at least one more time before it’s over for this year. My only complaint was every Santa I saw was skinny and had a fake beard. When I was a child, Knotts was always known as the place with the best Santas in SoCal, and they always had real beards.

  • lynxwiler

    I attended the Season Passholder party last night as well and really enjoyed it! I ate my way across the park and caught the Calico Saloon show and the Railroad show which was really adorable. It was a great night!