Ride and Slide into Knotts Berry Farm

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

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Published on July 25, 2014 at 2:00 am with 28 Comments

Today we take a stroll through Knott’s Berry Farm for a quick update. Visitors are clearly enjoying the affordable admission, fun rides, amazing food and entertainment at the park. Speaking of great deals, Knott’s has unveiled a new ticket option that will get you into both parks on the same day – Ride and slide! Next up we chime in on the video monitors which are appearing in the queue at the park. Good thing or bad thing?  We note some wonderful things happening in Fiesta Village too and recommend you go see the new band playing there.  We close things out with a few things on our Knott’s wish list and a tour through Ghost Town during the magic hour.  Time to hit the farm.

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Ride and Slide Ticket

This summer, guests can enjoy all of the excitement of Knott’s Berry Farm plus all of the water park thrills at Knott’s Soak City on one day. This new single day Ride & Slide ticket allows guests unlimited back-and-forth admission to both theme parks on the same day and can be purchased online at knotts.com for just $60 (all ages) through September 14. Now that’s a great deal!

Televisions in the Queue

More flat screens have been appearing in the queues.  The one below is stationed in the queue for Montezuma’s Revenge.  The notion of screens entertaining guests in lines is a little too “Six Flags” for Knott’s in our opinion.  It is also a rather outdated notion in this age of smart phones and other hand held entertainment options.
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Fiesta Village

Stopping by Fiesta Village we see that some attention is being given to the details in this areas.

The black wrought iron surrounding the classic, Hat Dance attraction appears to have been freshly painted.  Gleaming black iron, dotted with the classic incandescent lights surround the spinning hats.

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The queue and fence looks great. Now it’s time for the ride vehicles to get a little love.  All in good time.

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It sure would be nice to see La Revolucion get similar themed fencing to match the railings on Hat Dance and the Dragon Swing, don’t you think?

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OPA OPA

If you have not been to see OPA OPA in Fiesta VIllage you are missing out.  This band is wildly entertaining.  With their brassy salsa sounds and latin beats, never fail to get the crowd dancing.  GO SEE THEM.

 

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Boardwalk Blues

Now that the Mine Ride and Log Ride have been revitalized, it would be great to see Knott’s take care of some of the other parts of the park.  Things take time, we understand that.  But there are places in the park in urgent need attention as well.

Think of how wonderful it would be to see a brand new ride in the spot where the ugly boardwalk barbecue is.  Or at the very least a renovated eatery with a lush garden area.  Place making needs to happen here in Boardwalk.

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Incidentally, we saw the back door open on the old Kingdom of the Dinosaurs show building. The old show building has been cleared. It would be so amazing to see something go in up there. This park is one good dark ride away from real greatness.

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Screamin’ Swing

Another thing on our wish list; get rid of the awful Screamin’ Swing.  It is an up-charge experience that is a low attended eye sore in the heart of the park.  Time to build the Haunted Shack 2.0. Just picture a beautiful old-west mansion in this location.  A walk through experience open year round that could double as a maze location during Haunt.  It would be the perfect accent to the square and help further restore Ghost Town to its glory days.

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Silver Bullet

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Sadly, the biggest offender in the park is a fantastic attraction that just ruins the space it occupies . . . say it with us . . . SILVER BULLET.  As much as we love this coaster, it destroys the heart of the park, sets a poor first act to the park, looms over Ghost Town and the Indian Village and resulted in the loss of the central lake and Church of the Reflections.

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It would take real nerve and vision, but we would love to see this coaster moved to a different park or sold entirely. If you are going to call yourself a theme park, you need to be conscious of the “Theme.” A big steel coaster just doesn’t belong in Ghost Town. Eventually, we hope that Cedar Fair management comes to terms with that. This is the one section of the park that management should preserve at all cost.

It’s a great coaster. . . which would be even better if it were installed elsewhere!

Ghost Town during the Magic Hour

Overall, we are absolutely loving Knott’s these days. There is so much to enjoy here. A wealth of entertainment options and great value for the money. We close this update with a few pics of Ghost Town at the magic hour.  The old west at sunset is truly enchanting.

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We’d like to leave you with an amazing Season Pass Podcast from the reopening of the Calico Mine Ride and Camp Snoopy. You won’t want to miss it:

With that we leave the farm and head on to more adventures. We’ll see you soon, 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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  • jcruise86

    Excellent! Thanks, Norm!

    Do the hats still spin quickly like the teacups used to? I like that the Knott’s bumper cars are fast enough have just a slight element of danger. How are the dancing women in the saloon show this summer?

    I haven’t seen them yet, but the screens as you wait in line seem obnoxious. When I’m at a park I like to enjoy the company of my friends and family. I don’t need noise in line. It the videos have cool scary clips at the Scary Farm I might change my mind.

    I agree about Silver Bullet. It stinks when you’re watching a western stunt show and that metal train screams by. And I too would like a dark ride, preferably a scary ride through that can be plussed with live actors at halloween. It’s be really cool if the track could turn into a room or three and victims rode through an area only open at the scary farm.

    How was the food?

    Is Ghost Rider still almost painful?

    • Wendygirl

      I can answer one of your questions – yes, the can-can girls are back again this Summer in the Saloon show. It is a really great show that moves along at a quick, snappy pace. The girls are wonderful again :)

    • Norman Gidney

      Yes, the hats spin just as freely as they ever did. Knott’s has kept the bite in this wonderful, classic.

      • jcruise86

        Thanks, Norm! I always feel honored when you or Dusty reply to me. Seriously. When I introduced my daughters to you two at DCA a little over a year ago she was excited as if she had met rock stars because Micechat has really improved our 80 or so trips to Disneyland.

        Glad that the hats are fast as Disneyland’s Teacups used to be,
        and that the can-can dancers are back for the summer!
        (Thanks, Wendygirl!)
        I’m looking forward to the saloon show (I might even get an overpriced beer to thank Knott’s for reminding me of the Golden & Diamond Horseshoe Revues),
        the stagecoach,
        the train held up by robbers,
        the improved log flume & mine rides,
        the Mystery Lodge,
        and most of all, the Scary Farm.

  • DannyB

    Great Update! Were these photos taken Wednesday? Because I think I see the top of my head enjoying an amazing dinner at Ghost Town Grill in one of your pics… I was there enjoying the day with two teenagers who thought the Saloon show was overrated (I myself would have preferred to stay and watch the whole thing) and who loved Silver Bullet and Ghostrider. Ghostrider, btw, is still as bumpy as ever, but I was in the front row of the 2nd car and it didn’t seem as bad. The 2nd time, in the backrow of the first car, was awful.

    I am very optimistic about a new dark ride coming next year. And I’d love to see Screamin Swing removed. But Silver Bullet? Yeah, it was a mistake, but it sure is fun. I can’t imagine Knott’s getting rid of it.

    Also, Ghost Town Grill is amazing. I still find it hard to believe that my big, delicious dinner there costs about the same as a hamburger combo meal at the park’s walk-up places…

    Finally, the screens: they aren’t as bad as I first thought the first time I saw them, except when you have clashing sounds… for example, at Sierra Sidewinder, you have the music from the TV, plus another speaker next to the TV playing Camp Snoopy music, AND (at the time I was there) music from the nearby Peanuts stage show… all those sounds clash into one great horrible NOISE. Ack!

    • Norman Gidney

      Yes, actually they were taken on Wednesday. The park looked wonderful and the folks in entertainment were really knocking it out of the park that day, no matter what the two teenagers thought of the Saloon show. ;)

      Poor Ghostrider. UGH! It used to be the most amazing wooden coaster. Now, sheesh. PAIN.

  • SpectroMan

    I can’t imagine Silver Bullet will ever get moved, but I definitely agree. I’d rather have the lake, church and nighttime shows back than that – yes it’s a good ride but it ruined the scale of the area.

    Saddened to hear that the dark ride building was gutted instead of rehabbed. The ride system in there was unique and had a great layout – oh well.

    The Magic Hour photos were wonderful; thank you!

  • Tshaman

    Completely agree about Silver Bullet. Great ride but it ruins so much of the park’s look and feel. Reflection Lake was one of Knott’s gems. Moving that coaster to another section of the park would be wonderful.

    Pony Express ruined the other end of Knott’s too. Except that is an awful ride which I don’t believe would be missed.

    • stevek

      Agree on both. Nothing worse than the intrusion Silver Bullet makes on both the look of the entry to the park and more importantly, during the stunt show.

      As for Pony Express, it’s an ok ride but would be much better if it was longer. Way too short, was jammed into a place where it didn’t belong. At least you can somewhat argue that the horse theming fits with the overall old west theme.

      • jcruise86

        When we’ve gotten to Pony Express at the start of the day, we were allowed to go around twice, which makes it worth while. They should always let if to around twice, stopping only to let off a kid who is obviously hating it.

        At one lap, this ride is kind of a joke. With two trips around I really like it.
        Do Matt Ouimet & (Raffi (SP?) read Micecdhat? If so, keep up the great work!

      • jcruise86

        ^ ^ And now in English: “Do Matt Ouimet & Raffi (SP?) read Micechat? If so. . .”

  • Wendygirl

    I agree with so many of the suggestions you have made. I really hate what Silver Bullet has done to the place. No matter where I turn in the area to get a nice photo, those awful pillions are in the way! I really hate they got rid of the beautiful lake and church for that!

    I love the Saloon show this Summer. It is the same as last year but for some reason the actors just seem to have more energy this year. I think it is really well done. Now, if they would just add more seating in there!

    Also agree about the Screamin’ Swing. One of the bigger mistakes Cedar Fair did back when they were tearin’ things out and ruining the history of this Park, was the removal of the Haunted Shack. It’s the one thing I hear the most about in what people want back (along with the dark ride). It is my understanding it will never come back in it’s old form (something to do with CalOsha) but why couldn’t they build something new that would meet standards! Your idea is a good one. They should hire you as an idea man :) And you could work with Garner Holt – then we’d really have something!!!

    I don’t think I like the TV screens.

    • Marko50

      Actually, not CalOSHA. ADA. It wasn’t accessible to everyone. But it would be cool to see a haunted…um…something-or-other in the park.

  • ejw

    Knott’s Berry Farm has a special offer going on today, Friday, for 1 day only. $30 (plus tax and fees) tickets for everyone. “Tickets are only available online today, July 25, and are valid for one single day of admission from July 28 – August 17. ”

    https://www.knotts.com/?promoCode=CAMPSNOOPY

  • stevek

    I agree with your recommended changes i.e. removal of the swing, Silver Bullet and attention to the boardwalk. These are all things, among some others, that have kept me from coming back to Knott’s on a regular basis. I love the work they’ve done with Calico and Timber Mountain but am not in love with the 3 new Boardwalk rides, 2 of which are off the shelf carnival rides. I sincerely hope they do something great with the old Bear-y Tales building as the park will benefit greatly from a nice dark ride. And 1000 times yes, bring back a new version of the Haunted Shack.

  • DarthSavage

    Rumor is a interactive shooter dark ride is coming to the old Kingdom of the Dinosaurs building in 2015.

    • Timchat2

      I’m fearful that Knott’s will be getting something similar to the decidedly underwhelming and VERY screen-based Wonder Mountain’s Guardian at Canada’s Wonderland. While it seems that Cedar Fair is proud of itself for thinking outside the box a bit with that attraction I hope they realize the truly wonderful team they have with Garner Holt Productions. It seems so obvious to most theme park fans and hopefully it is as clear to Cedar Fair management.

      • LoveStallion

        My thoughts exactly. This will definitely be in the vein of Wonder Mountain, but minus the coaster elements.

  • Big D

    Well I for one appriciate the TV’s in the line. And who cares if Six Flags has the same thing. It’s a good idea What are the showing? It would be great if they had some kind of Ghost Town TV or something with actors doing news interviews with the “characters” that live there, or maybe even create an elaborate murder mystery that guests can solve by watching for clues on the different broadcasts. They kind of did something like that last year at Knotts Scary Farm when they had TV’s set up in the line at the Mystery Lodge showing a fake news report about what was going on in the maze that you were waiting in line for.

  • KENfromOC

    What a great, a timely for me, report as we are going to Knott’s tomorrow (after not being there for about 3 years). I agree with you on every level! The Silver Bullet, while fun, needs to go. Just try watching a show at the Wagon Camp without the annoying roaring of the coaster! A good example of this was when the Food Network did their Next Food Network Star episode there. Those poor contestants had to cope with not only cooking in front of an audience, but the Silver Bullet as well.
    But overall I am really looking forward to going! And that wonderful Chicken dinner!

    • Timchat2

      I enjoyed that Alton Brown even specifically mentioned that the coaster was meant to be a distraction to the contestants. It speaks volumes to how disruptive the ride’s presence is to the park and to Ghost Town. Unfortunately I can’t seem them removing it anytime soon. Regardless Silver Bullet still will go down as one of the most ill-advised ride placements in the history of the park.

    • jcruise86

      Have fun, Ken!

  • 22branch

    “It’s a great coaster. . . which would be even better if it were installed elsewhere!” Really? You suggest moving/relocating the best coaster at the park because of where it sits? Don’t understand the logic behind this one. Keep the ride.

    • DarthSavage

      Because, while a good coaster, it was built at the expense of Church of Reflections, Reflection Lake (and the water show and nightly summertime fireworks show that took place in it) and the original Berry Stand. Like I said it’s a great suspended coaster but it killed the ambiance. At least when they built Ghostrider they were able to build most of it into the short term parking lot.

  • dlpostcardguy

    Thanks Norman for the regular updates for Knott’s. I really love this park 2nd only to the Disney parks. I agree with all your suggestions. They DO need a quality dark ride–preferrably one with a catchy tune. Ahmmm – Berry Tales 2.0!!! I have said the same thing in the past about putting a permanent Haunted House walk through maze where the Haunted Shack used to be that’s not too scary but can be plussed for Haunt. If they plopped it up up a bit like it’s on a hill and placed the entrance on the Ghost Town side it would look great! I agree about Silver Bullet but don’t see them taking it out. Maybe a comprimise might be to paint the pillers brown so they look like tree trunks or something?? Also the Board walk does need some futher clean up mainly with those tacky games. And Fiesta Village could use some TLC. OPA OPA is great! we saw them last week. Lastly please change the music out for the different areas. Fiesta Village is a good example. Hearing Michael Jackson in that area takes you out of the zone. Last week we heard a version of some Disney song in Camp Snoopy. With all the great Peanuts inspired music out there why are they playing this?? Knott’s is moving in the right direction and all this takes time and money (execpt maybe the music part) so we’ll be patient, as long as we see progress!! :-)

  • lance richlin

    I’m not sure if it’s affordable but Knott’s has plenty of space across the street on at least 2 sides of the park that they could move Silver Bullet to. I’m not sure if there’s space but since they’re cramming it into Ghost Town, why not cram it into the roller coaster area? Right where that Boardwalk Barbeque is and have the track close to all the other coaster tracks. It does that now with 2 coasters in Fiesta Village.
    I think they’re going to add a new E ticket in the old dinosaur building and then start thinking about beauty and ambiance. E ticket first.

  • LoveStallion

    The TVs are just a Six Flags thing. Other Cedar Fair parks have TVs in the queues. Heck, at Cedar Point there seems to be a now-vacant DJ booth within the queue for many of the big attractions. Raptor and Millennium Force come to mind off the top of my head. This isn’t solely an error by Six Flags, but given the relative dearth of Cedar Fair properties out west, Magic Mountain comparisons only make sense.

    • LoveStallion

      *aren’t