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  1. #1

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    Sad Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    Everyone (Mainly us 90's kids) remembers what may be one of the best-themed dark rides in Southern California: Kingdom of Dinosaurs, a somewhat elaborate dark ride located at Knott's Berry Farm. In this classic ride, guests boarded time machines in 1920's LA where they were introduced to Dr. Wells (An obvious nod to H.G. Wells, author of The Time Machine), the man responsible for building the time machine. Although he encouraged guests to turn back, guests rode right into a wormhole traveling back to the Ice Age by mistake. Ancient paintings led the way to a caveman village in the middle of a dark forest, complete with a glistening night sky, terrifying dire wolves, a giant elk, and howling winds. A brighter forest introduced guests to a giant ground sloth munching on leaves and a pair of woolly mammoths, one calling to its mate, the unfortunate mate stuck in tar. A saber-toothed cat was the last thing guests saw (Unless you count the backside of a mammoth) before traveling back in time to a giant insect-infested jungle. Afterwards was an early dinosaur-filled swamp followed by a trip to a late dinosaur-filled forest. Brontosaurs, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and a humongous Tyrannosaurus inhabited the area, bidding guests farewell as they traveled back to 1920's LA. The ride was an excellent experience, even when it began to deteriorate in the early 2000's when the ride closed.

    Today the show building remains, queue (Although the queue is no longer themed), loading area, set pieces, and all. Various sources claim to have journeyed through the abandoned show building. If their stories are true, I would be more than terrified to take a walking tour of the dark scenery...

    The mural in the loading area remains and is apparently in good condition. Inside is where things get creepy. Remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Submarine Voyage at WDW? When it closed down all the props and characters in the outdoor portion of the ride were removed. But the props and characters on the inside remained, slowly rotting away over time. How creepy is that? Imagine swimming and hitting your foot on a giant, motionless sea serpent. Well Knot did the same thing Disney did. Every scene from the beginning to the Ice Age scene was actually removed. At least they tried cleaning it up (The ride vehicles are gone as well). Supposedly the set pieces still remain, but the animatronics don't. A few of the Ice Age creatures were moved to the log ride, mainly one of the wolves (Nasty-looking wolves mind you) and the large elk. The elk can be seen on the log ride right after a rather dark tunnel. I forget where the wolf is but it is visible at one point. I'm going to Knott's tomorrow so I can confirm its location. I don't know what happened to the other figures. It wouldn't surprise me if they suffered the same fate as some of the Bear-y Tales figures: Recycled for Scary Farm's mechanical characters.

    Every following scene is still there...that just sends chills up my spine. Broken electronic pieces are everywhere along with graffiti (Caused by other guests brave enough to tour the abandoned ride), motionless animatronics, and general terror. I can only imagine what the larger animatronics look like now. The T-Rex always seemed to slouch over. By this time it's probably lost its head - literally. It's really sad thinking about how such a great attraction went to crap after it closed. They could have at least cleared out the show building for a future attraction. It's just a waste of space now.

    My question now is what will Knott's decide to do with it? Will it remain as a haunting reminder of the past? Or will it be torn down in favor of a roller coaster? Or...will they put in a new (Or old) dark ride? Keep in mind that Kingdom of Dinosaurs replaced another well-themed ride: Knott's Bear-y Tales, designed by legendary Imagineer Rolly Crump, the man responsible for the ill-fated Museum of the Weird concept. Crump's unique ideas (Not from Museum of the Weird) eventually surfaced in Bear-y Tales, a ride he designed to the fullest detail. This ride (Fondly remembered by my dad and many other classic Knott's fans) was a very Disney-like adventure centered around a family of bears (Can't think of their last name. It's probably "Bear-y") on their way to the fair to sell their boysenberry pies (The entire ride smelled like boysenberry). Unfortunately Crafty Coyote, a pie-hungry maniac stole their pies, running across the 1920's wilderness with them. Guests then journeyed through Frog Forrest, a swamp overrun by dancing frogs, a Gypsy Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weirdo Woods, a place where all things weird lived in "peace." The grand finale consisted of a trip through the fair where cute little animals celebrated by playing games, eating pie, and riding the few rides present. Dr. Fox, a relatively advanced animatronic was located here, attempting to sell his humorous goods to guests. The bear family themselves bid guests farewell before reentering the load area (Which featured a colorful mural, just like Disney's famous dark rides).

    Personally I wouldn't mind seeing either of them return.





    Knott's used to be the best when it came to indoor rides with dense wilderness in them. Timber Mountain keeps this awesome theming alive, even though it is pretty cheesy.
    Theatrical Roles: Various Roles (The Laramie Project), Fred (Oklahoma!), Oberon (Shakespeare in Hollywood), Hero (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Valere (The Miser), Moonface Martin (Anything Goes), Thenardier/Laborer/Army Officer/Ensemble (Les Miserables), Franz (The Sound of Music), Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), Tinman (The Wiz), Elles Dad/Winthrop/Ensemble (Legally Blonde), William Barfee/Leaf's Dad/Jesus Christ (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Fiddler on the Roof (Rabbi), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Muff Potter/Ensemble), Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad)

  2. #2

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    Thanks for this. I have been wondering a lot recently as to its current state. Sad to hear its just rotting away. Always wished I had taken a walkthrough of this when I worked at Knott's, it was always my favorite attraction there.

  3. #3

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    What a damned shame to lose these two rides. Knott's would be so much more popular if they had kept both these rides instead of building so many coasters and flat rides. And bring back the Haunted Shack as well. This is why Knott's used to run neck and neck with Disney in the annual attendance figures. But in the past few decades the Knott's management did a 'great' job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  4. #4

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    My understanding is that a lot of the animatronics and props were recycled for Haunt.

    The thought of a family dark ride for Knott's isn't dead. They are still kicking it around. And with Matt Ouimet (former President of Disneyland) now in charge of Knott's, I think we'll see something good happen to this spot sooner rather than later.

    Aren't those videos of the two attractions great? Which do you folks like better . . . The bears or the dinosaurs?
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  5. #5

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    i would like to see the dinosaurs brought back to knotts.

  6. #6

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I took a trip to the park today and took a good look at the show building. Sure enough the loading area and mural are still there along with the two gaping holes leading into the show building. Pretty scary thinking about what lies in there. I can also confirm that two of the animatronics from the former dark ride now reside in the Timber Mountain Log Ride: The giant Ice Age elk stands at the beginning of the final forest scene while one of the dire wolf animatronics (Now motionless) stands in one of the earlier woodland scenes (The one that has bears in it). It's really sad seeing them in such poor condition. Hopefully they'll receive some TLC one of these days.
    Theatrical Roles: Various Roles (The Laramie Project), Fred (Oklahoma!), Oberon (Shakespeare in Hollywood), Hero (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Valere (The Miser), Moonface Martin (Anything Goes), Thenardier/Laborer/Army Officer/Ensemble (Les Miserables), Franz (The Sound of Music), Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), Tinman (The Wiz), Elles Dad/Winthrop/Ensemble (Legally Blonde), William Barfee/Leaf's Dad/Jesus Christ (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Fiddler on the Roof (Rabbi), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Muff Potter/Ensemble), Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad)

  7. #7

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    thanks for the update.

  8. #8

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    No problem! And now the ever-eerie Scar-y Tales overlay.



    Thanks to althegamefreak for all the Bear-y Tales-related videos.
    Theatrical Roles: Various Roles (The Laramie Project), Fred (Oklahoma!), Oberon (Shakespeare in Hollywood), Hero (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Valere (The Miser), Moonface Martin (Anything Goes), Thenardier/Laborer/Army Officer/Ensemble (Les Miserables), Franz (The Sound of Music), Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), Tinman (The Wiz), Elles Dad/Winthrop/Ensemble (Legally Blonde), William Barfee/Leaf's Dad/Jesus Christ (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Fiddler on the Roof (Rabbi), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Muff Potter/Ensemble), Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad)

  9. #9

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I love both these attractions, I wish they'd bring them both back. Plus the Haunted Shack and a Snoopy dark ride. Refurbish other parts of the park (including replacing those cheap looking plastic garbage bins with metal ones) and Knott's would be a must-see destination again.

  10. #10

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I bearly remember the bears. I do remember going on them though on my first trip in 85. I do miss the dinos. I also miss the soapbox racers (my favourite ride that was there) and the antique cars. They really messed up that end of the park. There were some really great family attractions there.

  11. #11

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I always thought of a hybrid of the two attractions which would feature with Boysenberry blasters; the story behind it would be they are trying to still get to the fair, but this time, professor fox has stolen the pies and gone back in time, so the bears follow with their genius cousin rolly building the time portal & the Boysenberry blasters...


    ...Never mind, just look at this link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/a-n...rk-attraction/


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    Last edited by Timekeeper; 08-05-2011 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Because, something has got to go in that building
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  12. #12

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I always loved Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

    We went to Knott's this year with our Disneyland vacation. While it was nice to be back after a long absence (previous visit was 1999), I feel Knott's isn't as good as it used to be. I'm happy I can still go on Timber Mountain Log Ride, Bigfoot Rapids, and Calico Mine Train, but I can't handle all these big coasters clogging the airspace and land that was once home to other classics like the Soapbox Racers. I remember there was also a dolphin show in the past. I bet a lot of people don't know this was once possible, but Knott's did used to have a parade. Camp Snoopy was part of the parade route. And being an adult, I can't say I appreciate Camp Snoopy the same way a child can appreciate it. I'm happy to see Peanuts characters, but Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba are out of place here. This isn't their park.

    The bad things about the visit are many. The place is looking run down in a lot of areas. The bathrooms are gross and are cousins to the interstate rest area. For the rides that are there, many lack charm and are pretty much described as xtreme. Food is expensive. Churros are more than Disneyland's. Sodas are $4, though buying the souvenir sipper with $2 refills seemed worth it. A cheeseburger is $6.50 (add $8 if you want to make it a meal with fries and drink) and is quite bland. At least our tickets only cost like $30.

    I, like the rest of you, hold out hope Matt Ouimet, rescues my childhood at Knott's.
    Last edited by Koutesu; 08-06-2011 at 07:23 AM.

  13. #13

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    Out of all honesty I think the only reason why I keep coming back to Knott's is because of the log ride, mine train, Bigfoot Rapids, and Mystery Lodge. Being epileptic my doctor suggests not to ride any thrill ride that goes upside down, meaning the only coasters I can go on are Ghostrider, Jaguar, the one at Camp Snoopy, and that's about it (Correct me if I'm wrong). The rest of them are sadly too much for me. If Kingdom of Dinosaurs was still there I would probably be able to ride that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Of course I would have to close my eyes during the strobe effects.
    Theatrical Roles: Various Roles (The Laramie Project), Fred (Oklahoma!), Oberon (Shakespeare in Hollywood), Hero (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Valere (The Miser), Moonface Martin (Anything Goes), Thenardier/Laborer/Army Officer/Ensemble (Les Miserables), Franz (The Sound of Music), Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), Tinman (The Wiz), Elles Dad/Winthrop/Ensemble (Legally Blonde), William Barfee/Leaf's Dad/Jesus Christ (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Fiddler on the Roof (Rabbi), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Muff Potter/Ensemble), Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad)

  14. #14

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    sorry if this is an obvious question and everyone already knows it.... but, WHY did they close Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?!?! i loved that ride and have always wondered why the decision was made. was it costs? what was the problem? it's just a waste of space now, it's like they decided "eh, let's kill off.... the dinosaur ride" for no reason....

  15. #15

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    Re: Kingdom of Dinosaurs - A Ride in Ruin

    I worked at Knotts Berry Farm a few years ago and I am fairly sure that the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ride is now a lasertag area, or the Snoopy on ice rink, I forget. People would come in daily and ask where the ride was and I was sad to report that it was no longer around.

    I remember that ride as my favorite as a kid. I'm really upset that it's not around anymore. A lot of Knott's original attractions are in sad shape, they're really shifting their focus to be more like Six Flags since they can't compete with Disneyland. The whole place needs a scrub-down and renovation, but they severely lack funds.

    Walter Knott and Walt Disney were good friends and I'm sure they would both be sad to see what a sorry place Knott's Berry Farm has become.

    I definitely agree that the place is dirty and overpriced. I always did my best to keep my storefront clean, but I saw a lot of other employees who would rather just ignore the mess and do the bare minimum at work.

    I'm happy that the Mystery Lodge is still around! That was another of my favorites.

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