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  1. #1

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    Sad It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Don't know if anybody caught it being discussed elsewhere, but it definitely deserves its own thread. Knott's has updated its website and has changed the header from "America's 1st Theme Park" to "California's Best Amusement Park!" Throughout their site, you will see they have carefully scrubbed any reference to KBF being a theme park or even a "themed amusement park" (a designation they have used before).

    While I give KBF kudos for some of the refurbishing they've done to their themed elements lately, I wonder what will happen the next time those elements need some TLC.
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  2. #2

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    I think it's just some truth in marketing. There are VERY "few" theme parks.

    In fact, Disneyland really isn't a "Theme" park. It has "Themed Lands".

    If you really think about it, DCA is actually more of a "Theme" park than Disneyland as they keep with one uniform theme "California" more than Disneyland does.


  3. #3

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    Don't know if anybody caught it being discussed elsewhere, but it definitely deserves its own thread. Knott's has updated its website and has changed the header from "America's 1st Theme Park" to "California's Best Amusement Park!" Throughout their site, you will see they have carefully scrubbed any reference to KBF being a theme park or even a "themed amusement park" (a designation they have used before).

    While I give KBF kudos for some of the refurbishing they've done to their themed elements lately, I wonder what will happen the next time those elements need some TLC.
    So after all the renovations the park has made, inlcuding adding props along Ghost Town, preserving old buildings/peek-ins, and even repaving the ground to look like wood planks, you think all is lost because Knotts changes its header? Do you seriously think that there is no alternate explanation for changing the header other than Knotts giving up theme. None at all?

    There's nothing official at all. In fact you made a conclusion based on no evidence at all. It's a little disrespectful, IMHO, to diss an organization when they clearly are putting in a ton of effort to do the exact opposite of what you are claiming.
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  4. #4

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    If Disneyland is locals park, Knotts is even moreso. IMO this is a marketing tool to remind the locals that Knotts is a viable alternative to Disneyland and other area attractions that they may want to go to.

  5. #5

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJM View Post
    So after all the renovations the park has made, inlcuding adding props along Ghost Town, preserving old buildings/peek-ins, and even repaving the ground to look like wood planks, you think all is lost because Knotts changes its header?
    These things aren't done out of the blue, you know. Knott's previously referred to itself as a themed amusement park and dropping the word "theme" from that appellation shows which way they've chosen to lean. Don't forget the dismissive comments their GM made about "theme people" versus "fun people."

    There's nothing official at all. In fact you made a conclusion based on no evidence at all. It's a little disrespectful, IMHO, to diss an organization when they clearly are putting in a ton of effort to do the exact opposite of what you are claiming.
    Come now, Six Flags does as much, especially recently.
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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Well, now we know the direction that Knott's will be heading in. Changing the park's tag line on the entire website is a deliberate decision made from the top of management, and is an indication of the park's future. I expect the sign in front of the park will soon change as well. Amusement parks are not the same as theme parks, and I have little interest in the former.
    Goodbye Knott's, you were once great. It's good to have confirmation of the trend we've been witnessing for the past couple decades, but still a damn shame.

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    These things aren't done out of the blue, you know. Knott's previously referred to itself as a themed amusement park and dropping the word "theme" from that appellation shows which way they've chosen to lean. Don't forget the dismissive comments their GM made about "theme people" versus "fun people."



    Come now, Six Flags does as much, especially recently.
    I disagree on the latter statement. SFMM comes off as dirty and expensive. After my last trip this year I will not be returning in the foreseeable future. In regards to Knotts, I made a visit and immediately decided to buy a season pass. My story is anecdotal but there seems to be a huge difference in quality between the two parks at this juncture.
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  8. #8

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    I love Knotts a new slogan is not going to push me away
    Im here for fun and info not be a bully! Carsland here I come

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    The Ghost Town music is Raffi's Viet Nam. Like LBJ, he's dug in and burying himself.

    Just kidding, I swear.

    Maybe the "America's First Theme Park" slogan immediately makes some people ask, "What is the best theme park?" Hydrox cookies came before Oreos, but there's no way in he-- I'm subjecting my taste buds to the second best chocolate sandwich cookie out of my love for history.

    So I get trying to differentiate itself from Disneyland, but as a Disney freak I'm a little disappointed because to me one of the primary purposes of Knott's (especially under Matt Ouimet) was to have been to inspire Disney to improve. And this new name seems a bit like a wimpy retreat by Knott's out of an Orange County Alamo. I wanted to see a heroic competition with exceptionally clean parks, a variety of
    western music in Ghost Town, and blood--or at least spilled Boysenberry punch quickly cleaned up.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 05-05-2012 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    I just took a look at the website, and it still mentions "themed lands." Seems as though they've sorta reshuffled how things are organized, rather than changing anything major about the park itself. As long as they don't get rid of the Ghost Town and all the Calico Old West attractions and Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinners (not to mention the boysenberry jams and other tasty goodies), I'm okay with a rewording change on the website. Heck, they've already got a ton of thrill rides and rollercoasters there. I doubt any of those are going away anytime soon. But Knott's was never really intended as a theme park anyway, other than the original Ghost Town. It just sort of grew from its humble beginnings as a time-occupier for hungry folks waiting to eat a chicken dinner. To go to Knott's and NOT eat at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is kinda missing the whole point.

  11. #11

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    As long as they don't get rid of the Ghost Town and all the Calico Old West attractions and Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinners (not to mention the boysenberry jams and other tasty goodies), I'm okay with a rewording change on the website. Heck, they've already got a ton of thrill rides and rollercoasters there. I doubt any of those are going away anytime soon.
    I keep going back to Raffi's comment where he drew a line between "theme people" and "fun people" and firmly planted himself in the latter camp. I'm not saying they'll tear down Calico; in fact, I don't think they will. It will be preserved as a sop to bring in the "theme people."

    As I said before, several other coaster/amusement parks have a small themed land, but it's more of a sideshow rather than the main draw. Perfect example: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom up here in Vallejo started as a Sea World type park and added a bunch of rides. For a year or two, they were an animal park w/ rides. Then SF took over and now it's a SF w/ animals. Or take Cedar Fair's own flagship park in Ohio. They have an Old West area, which even has a stage show not unlike the Calico Saloon. No one, however, would call it the main attraction.
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  12. #12

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    This appears to be a piece of a larger corporate-wide Cedar Fair "re-branding"/"market repositioning" effort. If you look at each of the individual Cedar Fair park websites, they've all tried to create a unique market "position statement." To their credit, it does seem like there is an attempt at putting something out there that is somewhat defensible, whether it's Cedar Points (Best Amusement Park in the World) to the humble Valleyfair (Upper Midwest's Largest Amusement Park). The overall language of all of theme does seem to steer clear of the world "theme park," which to me is a recognition by Matt Ouimet (current Cedar Fair head and former Disneyland President) that these are regional parks in a different class than Disney and Universal. In the day and age of Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Carsland, I just think that Cedar Fair is being honest that they (and Six Flags) are in another class than true "theme parks."

    Not that I agree with this strategy. Knott's co-existed in a symbiotic manner for decades with Disneyland on the strength of its "special sauce" (or jelly). Like Dollywood today, it was in its own class for its homespun mix of Americana, nostalgia, food, fun, and authentic/immersive environments. There is still (barely) enough critical mass of that historic fabric to be the anchor for a world-class attraction, rather than just the low-budget "value" proposition for locals. It seems to me that international visitors from Europe and Asia want that come to the West would be compelled to visit the best experience that offers the "Best of the West" in a way that is authentic and relevant for today.

    My word to Knott's / Matt Ouimet: keep up the good work of plussing/maintaining the treasures that you've got. Aim higher though.You've never had to be better than Disney, but you've got to make sure that your difference is based your own great American story, DNA, and one-of-a-kind mix.

    I just hope they didn't pay too much for the consultant that wrote this horrible (not too convincing) copy at the bottom of their splash page:
    "Looking for California’s best amusement park? Look no further than Knott’s Berry Farm. One of the best amusement parks in California, if not the best amusement park in California."

  13. #13

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    My local park (Canada's Wonderland) lost almost all it's theming when it got bought up by Cedar Fair. An entire ride (The Itallian Job) lost all of it's themeing and now doesn't make any sense.

    That being said, they run the park a thousand times better than Paramount ever did. Hasn't CF run KBF for a while now? I wouldn't worry about it, your park will be fine.
    Last edited by mess98; 05-13-2012 at 01:18 AM.

  14. #14

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.

    All the former Paramount Parks lost their theming , because , well Paramount owned the rights to it and they wanted too much for them. Considering that Cedar Fair paid too much for the parks it's not surprising that they didn't pick up the usage rights.

  15. #15

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    Re: It's official--Knott's is dropping theme.



    Howdy Pards,

    I first visited Knotts Berry Farm...well...way, way back. And, much the same as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter these days, back then it was "a completely immersive environment".

    It's safe to say I rode my very first stagecoach at Knotts...ate one of those famous Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinners...had a slice of Boysenberry Pie...and brought home a jar or two of that famous Boysenberry Jam. I remember seein' that wagon camp in twilight...and wanderin' the streets of Ghost Town discoverin' wonderful stuff with Mom and Dad. Memories I'll never forget.

    But...Knotts didn't seem to understand one of the basic things that Walt Disney did. Over in Walt's park you didn't have some spaceman walkin' the streets of Frontierland, you didn't park a car down by the Rivers of America...Disneyland was a show just like a movie was a show...it wouldn't help the story
    none if there was a Greyhound Bus in the background of a Zorro story now would it?

    Well, what started happenin' is Knotts forgot about the theme and started installin' these new fangled steel, cement, and chain link fenses around roller coasters smack dab in the middle of the thing that made Knotts special to begin with...the Ol' West. It destroyed the feelin'...

    Today when you visit Knotts all that twisted steel looks an awful lot like modern urban blight...
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FZd-LcLkiw...Berry-Farm.jpg


    So...for many of us old timers Knotts lost it's heart...in favor of cheap modern thrill rides. What once was a beloved theme park became...well...something far less...far cheaper...kinda like a carnival...

    Even the chicken didn't taste as good as it once did...because the atmosphere around it changed.

    Why I remember a time...

    http://uptake-blogs.s3.amazonaws.com...IMG_0421-1.jpg

    ...when there weren't no huge plastic bottle in the foreground...or huge modern steel tower in the background to destroy this image of the Ol' West.

    Now, you could call that a detail I suppose...and you'd be right. But, twas back when they started
    forgettin' about the heart of what made Knotts famous in favor of cheap thrills and plastic recyclin' bottles...yep...that's when the nature of the place started changin'...

    So...a journey on the Ol' Mark Twain down the Rivers of America...or a visit to the Golden Horseshoe...
    felt a whole lot more comfortable than Knotts did.

    I still love my memories of Knotts in the good ol' days...I'll never forget wanderin' the Old West with Mom and Dad...nope...I'll never forget what it was like...back then. Twernt nuthin' like the early evenin' in that wagon camp...

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    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    Last edited by penguinsoda; 06-20-2012 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Hotlinked images.

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