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  1. #16

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    That Jungle Island outside of Knott's was a fantastic place for kids to play. i wish it was still there. Actually I read that part of it is there, but used for private events only. Independence Hall was boring though educational. No animatronics as I recall, just recorded voices.

    The antique car ride and soapbox racers were fun, but you could see outside the park and ordinary cars driving down La Palma, something you never would see in Disneyland except on the Monorail.

    i loved the Pan For Gold attraction and kept walking through its entrance which was a mine cave, until the man working there told me to stop.

    They had a neat little church by the lake with a panel that opened up showing a statue of Jesus and as the white lights slowly dimmed the face of Jesus slowly became illuminated by a black light. It seemed like he came alive.

    I was afraid to go to the Ghost Town as a kid because I thought there were ghosts there. And there was a haunted shack,but it was stupid, just optical illusions and a tour guide with corny jokes.Not scary at all. But neither was Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

    What did scare me were the fake "train robbers" who "robbed" the train while you were on it.

    Calico Mine Train was my favorite ride although it was still not as good as Disneyland's Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland.

    In later years they had a Kingdom of the Dinosaurs dark ride which was for kids, but it was really well-done - a long slow ride, many good effects, sounds and animatronics. They should have kept it.

    After that it seemed like all the new rides were just thrill rides with very little "show" and the whole place lost its "farm" and old-fashioned character.

    Overall we liked Knott's OK, it had its charm and fun, but it was always the poor country cousin to the glamourous, Hollywood, upscale Disneyland and I guess it still is.

  2. #17

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    That Jungle Island outside of Knott's was a fantastic place for kids to play. i wish it was still there. Actually I read that part of it is there, but used for private events only. Independence Hall was boring though educational. No animatronics as I recall, just recorded voices.
    The Jungle Island lagoon is still there. The area opposite Independence Hall across the lagoon is used for private events and school functions. Some years back my high school had it's senior luncheon back there. Being that I never had the chance to experience Jungle Island, I am sure that it's just a shell of it's former self because I wasn't very impressed.

    They had a neat little church by the lake with a panel that opened up showing a statue of Jesus and as the white lights slowly dimmed the face of Jesus slowly became illuminated by a black light. It seemed like he came alive.
    The Church of Refections is still around as well, although it has been moved from the Knott's side of Beach Blvd to the Independence Hall side. I am pretty sure it's exclusively used for weddings and other events now, though. I don't even think you can get back to it to be honest. I do know that you can still see it from the overflow parking lot.

    Knott's Berry Farm Church of Reflections

    Overall we liked Knott's OK, it had its charm and fun, but it was always the poor country cousin to the glamourous, Hollywood, upscale Disneyland and I guess it still is.
    I try not to compare the two as much as I can. Knott's went down a funky path when Cedar Fair took over and the family was no longer involved, substituting some of the great theming and charm for large thrill rides. There are still some great parts of that park though.

  3. #18

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I was born in 1979, but during the mid 80's into the early 90's we went to Disneyland and Knott's per year, as a kid I always had fun, wasn't until they started adding all the roller coasters that I stopped going as I dislike those sorts of rides.

  4. #19

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I grew up in Southern California so we would go to both almost every year. I have similar memories of Knotts as Bob Weaver. Every year we would pan for gold. I remember the log ride. I remember the train robbers as well. I seem to remember the stage coach being robbed too.

    Did Knotts have a mule ride at one time. I remember riding the mules at Knotts. I know that Disney had mules at one time. But in my memory it was Knotts and not Disney where I rode the mules.

    I remember when the Corkscrew opened. Was that Knotts or Magic Mountain?

    When I was in 5th grade (1978 or 1979) my school went to Independence Hall and then Jungle Island. I didn't know the name of the "island". We ate lunch there and played for the afternoon. I remember more about the island than Independence Hall.

    When in high school, I remember my friends and I saying that Knott's was more fun, bigger rides, but Disney was a better place to bring a date. (None of us were speaking from experience of course)

    My last time to Knotts was in 1985, it was our Senior breakfast just before graduation. I haven't been back since. Now We live in Utah. My kids have been to Disneyland many times but never to Knotts.
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  5. #20

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    It's been a long time since I've been to Knotts. This is largely due to the changes and lack of immersion and quality that they used to have, IMHO. I loved the theming, which made the park more like Disney, than Magic Mountain. Even if it wasn't as high a quality as Disneyland, it was still a great escape and allowed me to lose myself in another time and place - especially the Ghost Town. In fact, I would say the Ghost Town was superior to Frontierland as a western-themed area. I especially loved the historical buildings that were there. Even the relatively small Calico Saloon had an authentic-feel in its intimacy. And they kept the pretty saloon girls longer than Disneyland did.
    The last time I was there in the 90s the whole place seemed hurting. Not least of all was it seemed to become more of a hangout for some unsavory type kids. I remember they had to stop the Dinosaur ride halfway through each time to go through and check each vehicle with a flashlight to make sure no trouble was going on. This happened every time I went on it. I was told this was the reason from a couple of employees. It's really a shame since the park was a wonderful alternative to Disneyland which complimented it well. I keep hearing about the park improving, and I hope it continues to do so, so I'll have the desire to go back without being disappointed.

  6. #21

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett240 View Post
    Did Knotts have a mule ride at one time. I remember riding the mules at Knotts. I know that Disney had mules at one time. But in my memory it was Knotts and not Disney where I rode the mules.
    I believe they did, but hopefully Lynxwiler or someone else can clarify.

    I remember when the Corkscrew opened. Was that Knotts or Magic Mountain?
    Corkscrew was at Knott's. It was there until 1989 and then Boomerang replaced it.

  7. #22

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    Corkscrew opened at Knott's in 1975, then Great American Revolution opened at Magic Mountain in 1976. The Corkscrew that was at Knott's is now at Silverwood Park in Pennsylvania.

    Both Knott's and Disneyland had mule rides. Here's a photo of Knott's:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #23

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I barely remember the mule ride at Knott's. I thought it was on jungle island but I could be wrong on that. does that jog anyone's memory?

  9. #24

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by OCCOBRA View Post
    I barely remember the mule ride at Knott's. I thought it was on jungle island but I could be wrong on that. does that jog anyone's memory?
    From what I've read, there was a mule train over on Jungle Island temporarily. I could be mistaken, however.

    EDIT:

    Here is an excerpt from the History of Knott's Berry Farm Wikipedia. I know Wikipedia isn't a source really, but at least there is some more info on the mules. Looks like they left the Calico Mine Train area and were relocated over to the Jungle Island side of Beach.

    Along the front was an overhang built to cover the Mule Train boarding area. The Mule Trail was relocated east across Beach Blvd, and then removed entirely when those shallow canyons were converted to the picnic grounds.
    Last edited by explodingboy; 06-20-2014 at 10:27 AM.

  10. #25

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I'd say it was better in the '60s. What I miss the most is the Candy Palace where they made their own licorice and other treats. I also miss the way you went to the old general store to buy candy (before the place was stuffed full of cheap souvenirs). At the general store the person behind the counter pulled off licorice from a big roll and placed it in paper bag for you.

  11. #26

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    The mule train wasn't *on* Jungle Island, but it was *visible* from it along one of the "canyon" paths.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  12. #27

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I always thought Knott's had a certain amount of charm. It wasn't the far-reaching "class" act that Disneyland was (and it is even less so today), but it had a certain quality to it. Again, not at the level of Disneyland, but certainly more so than Magic Mountain.
    I really liked the Roaring 20s section after it was added to the park. It was well-themed and fit in with the overall feel of Knott's. It added some white-knucklers, but kept it nicely themed and there was still a certain charm about it.
    I was there last year for the first time in decades, and don't really like the turn it's made. I think it's lost some of its mojo. I can see why the teenagers would like it, but it's not my thing anymore.

  13. #28

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    I remember that part of the path the mules took was behind the Calico Mine Train attraction, which was just a huge, smooth, curving brown wall on the back side, not shaped into rock shapes or other natural-looking shapes. Sort of spoiling the illusion that it was a mountain.

  14. #29

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    Re: How did a day at Knotts in the 1970's/1980's compare to a day at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    I always thought Knott's had a certain amount of charm. It wasn't the far-reaching "class" act that Disneyland was (and it is even less so today), but it had a certain quality to it. Again, not at the level of Disneyland, but certainly more so than Magic Mountain.
    I really liked the Roaring 20s section after it was added to the park. It was well-themed and fit in with the overall feel of Knott's. It added some white-knucklers, but kept it nicely themed and there was still a certain charm about it.
    I was there last year for the first time in decades, and don't really like the turn it's made. I think it's lost some of its mojo. I can see why the teenagers would like it, but it's not my thing anymore.
    Knott's has definitely had some not-so-great decisions made for itself in terms of theming. Cedar Fair took it down the "thrill ride" route and in the process destroyed part of the charm it had. Thankfully Matt Ouimet and the team are making some pretty impressive strides to improve the current condition. The Log Ride, Mine Train, Camp Snoopy and Boardwalk area that have all been restored in the last year or two look great. Not to mention the news about getting another dark ride soon, too.

    All good steps in the right direction for Knott's in my opinion. It may not replace that classic charm that the park once had but they are all definite improvements.

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