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  1. #1

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    Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    I may or may not be beating a dead horse here, but I am curious about one thing; is now the best time to bring back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs? Or at least bring back the ride system itself and integrate a new theme.

    The new Knotts management has done many great leaps and strides towards creating a much more family centered environment, with the inclusion of gentler rides and a few more entertaining shows, as well as fixing and cleaning up old relics of Knotts, like sprucing up Ghost Town, bringing back the old playground equipment as decoration, and even refurbishing old Mission models. Not to mention the whole refurbishment of the Timber Mountain Log Ride to update it to a newer age, as well as plans to do the same to the Calico Mine Ride, and the minor splashes of color through paint and greenery around the park.

    Knotts Berry Farm is becoming more family centered with it's big thrilling roller coasters for the teens and thrill seekers, the gentler rides for the younger kids or people just wanting a non-thrilling ride, and it's newly spit-shined and polished historical items from older Knotts for those people who are really into it. It is a thrilling direction I hope they keep going in, and am amazed at how fast it is all happening. A few years ago, people would rag on Knotts for it's poor management of the parks and all of a sudden, here we are with Knotts being praised by the young and old alike.

    Which brings me back to my main point. Should Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs/a totally new ride using the same ride layout return? Think about it; it's an already existing ride structure so that takes out the necessity of buying or building a whole new track layout. It's a classic slow dark ride which caters to three groups: the children who can't ride the bigger thrill rides, the people who love dark rides, and the people who just want to see a classic attraction return. I mean, it is absolutely perfect, really. And if they returned to the old Omnimover-esque type of operation they used to have where they would have the trains continuously move in and out of the station and the guests would board/disembark at the station, it would speed up the amount of people on the ride and shorten the ride's line wait time. Also, look at the track design...



    I don't know about you, but the track design is so simple you can stick almost any theme you want in there. Bears, dinosaurs, you name it. There are 5 showrooms and 1 long stretch of hallway

    Heck, you know what would still be a great idea? If the ride became a Haunt Exclusive attraction. I seriously mean it. Inside the show building, there would be no theme what-so-ever. It would be just a plain empty building with just plain platforms and what not for where animatronic figure would lay, and so on and so forth. When Halloween rolls around, the Haunt team gets together to build and repaint the entire show building to whatever theme and story they desire. Be it forest, slaughterhouse, circus, whatever. Maybe it's my over active imagination, but to me, this attraction seems very versatile to many things and ideas.

    So what do you think? Is now the best time to bring Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, or even a different attraction using the same layout but a different theme? Or has the ride's time come and gone already. Personally, I have fond memories of Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. Being born in the late 90's and seeing the ride in the early 2000's cemented it as one of my all time favorite attractions. True, I grew up with the 'junky' Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, but still nonetheless became a favorite of mine. I would love to see the attraction return, even if it was not in its Kingdom of the Dinosaurs outfit. I would just like to see the ride return in some way.

    PS: I have heard...stories...about people who have trespassed property and have had a look at the inside of the attraction. It's...unsettling...to say the least at what they have recalled what they've seen. I seriously don't want that to be on my mind every time I visit the park. To look up at the abandoned building and think of all that lies within.



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  2. #2

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Matt Ouimet, CEO of Cedar Fair, has publicly expressed interest in again using the space for a dark ride.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    KBT couldn't return fast enough! Such a classic ride and relaxing, I miss it!!!

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    My biggest concern is the condition of the building. Back in the '90s there were already areas they didn't really want us to store stuff in backstage due to 'concerns' that they'd glance meaningfully at the ceiling and refuse to elucidate further on. I've heard MANY people - including some of the bluejackets on maintenance - that the building itself is potentially unsound at this point and definitely so in some areas that have been roped and eventually sealed away that used to be public spaces.

    I'm all for historic preservation and all - but I'd be perfectly OK with them flattening the current building and redo from start. It'd be lovely to have a KBF dark ride again, and the new building would likely wind up costing less if even half the issues I've heard with the existing building are true.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    My biggest concern is the condition of the building. Back in the '90s there were already areas they didn't really want us to store stuff in backstage due to 'concerns' that they'd glance meaningfully at the ceiling and refuse to elucidate further on. I've heard MANY people - including some of the bluejackets on maintenance - that the building itself is potentially unsound at this point and definitely so in some areas that have been roped and eventually sealed away that used to be public spaces.

    I'm all for historic preservation and all - but I'd be perfectly OK with them flattening the current building and redo from start. It'd be lovely to have a KBF dark ride again, and the new building would likely wind up costing less if even half the issues I've heard with the existing building are true.
    That's quite interesting actually. I really want to know what the inside of the building looks like currently, but Google brings up no results for me. I've only heard stories and rumors, but never any visual evidence to go along with them.



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  6. #6

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Bear-y Tales is one of the most requested 'bring it back" rides at Knott's with Kingdom of the Dinosaurs and Soap Box Derby not far behind.
    At some of the other Cedar Fair parks, they have a walk-through attraction called Dinosaurs Alive!. I keep wondering if the CF executives are trying to figure out how they can bring that to Knott's.
    In the meantime, there are some resorted Bear-y Tales figures on display in The Barn store in Ghost Town.

  7. #7

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
    That's quite interesting actually. I really want to know what the inside of the building looks like currently, but Google brings up no results for me. I've only heard stories and rumors, but never any visual evidence to go along with them.
    I'd love to get actual solid info on it as well. Beary Tales was THE dark ride when I was a kid - I preferred it over any other Disney one with the exception of Alice (similar ride system I guess). My info mostly comes from friends who worked maintenance and several who worked the various clown mazes built in the place as the "useable" area inside the building shrank from year to year.

    They always said they'd been told it wasn't "unsafe" but it wasn't exactly "safe" either - that they weren't in danger but that the areas they were told to stay out of were that way to prevent any potential issues, etc.

    It's Haunt, they're monsters, every now and then staff just makes up something to get the temps out of their hair, but it fits with the stories friends who are older ex-maintenance guys told me.

    Personal observations from the last few times I went in to the building before they started walling off the "closed" areas was that it didn't look good. It was like an arcade built inside a half abandoned warehouse.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    New dark ride, yes. KBT or KotD, no.

    I think a Peanuts dark ride of sorts would be fitting. I'm not too sure I want a rehash of what once was though. Like someone said above, Matt O has expressed that after the Calico Mine Ride gets it's refurb they are looking into putting something back in that old building. We have a lot to look forward to at Knott's in the next few years I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    My biggest concern is the condition of the building. Back in the '90s there were already areas they didn't really want us to store stuff in backstage due to 'concerns' that they'd glance meaningfully at the ceiling and refuse to elucidate further on. I've heard MANY people - including some of the bluejackets on maintenance - that the building itself is potentially unsound at this point and definitely so in some areas that have been roped and eventually sealed away that used to be public spaces.

    I'm all for historic preservation and all - but I'd be perfectly OK with them flattening the current building and redo from start. It'd be lovely to have a KBF dark ride again, and the new building would likely wind up costing less if even half the issues I've heard with the existing building are true.
    This. I think it might have to be done in order to meet current codes as well as make sure that structure is in decent shape. It's deteriorated pretty badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
    That's quite interesting actually. I really want to know what the inside of the building looks like currently, but Google brings up no results for me. I've only heard stories and rumors, but never any visual evidence to go along with them.
    Here is an old MiceChat thread that includes some photos of the interior as it stands. These photos are from a few years back, so I'm not sure exactly what it looks like right now. Although I'd say it's probably not much different.

    Look at your own risk..

    KOD is dead.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingboy View Post
    Here is an old MiceChat thread that includes some photos of the interior as it stands. These photos are from a few years back, so I'm not sure exactly what it looks like right now. Although I'd say it's probably not much different.

    Look at your own risk..

    KOD is dead.


    I have now seen the brink of my inner nightmares skewed between the realms of dreams and reality...

    I just want to go in there, rip one of those cars off the tracks, and take it home with me. In fact, I would take several trips in there and take what I can, even if it is beat up beyond recognizability. At least my home would be a better place to be than in there...



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  10. #10

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    It would be cool for a comeback of the Bear-y Tales ride (Rolly Crump made the ride) but not likely. Imagine Garner Holt remaking it though. The ride did awesome effects/visuals that weren't done since like Icandescent Light on characters in a Blacklight setting, A strobe light effect after leaving Thunder Cave making it hard to see Weird Woods, The bakery being incandescent completely to adjust your eyes to prepare for the blacklight scenes, and alot to talk about. Unfortantely the videos do not justify this ride.

    If they can't bring it back though, I would love to see it's successor take avantage of these ideas especially with the blacklight which gave it a cartoony look. A peanuts dark ride would be pretty neat and imagine if they remade the KBT story or nod it (KOD too) with the Peanuts theme. Snoopy would be Crafty Coyote just like how in the specials Snoopy was the Great Pumpkin and Easter Beagle.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingboy View Post
    Look at your own risk..

    KOD is dead.
    That may be one of the most depressing things I've seen on this site.

    Damn.

    That level of neglect makes me believe the reports of the lower floors being unusable. Ouch.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  12. #12

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    IT'S THE PERFECT TIME!!

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    But the only thing that would be sadder than the empty building sitting there would be if they used it for Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, a Peanuts ride, or some other theme. That would mean that Knott's Bear-y Tales could never come back.

    KOD was never a great or classic ride, and there is already enough Peanuts theme in the kids area.

    As mentioned, KBT did so much with lighting and was an original and unique story/ride. It do so much with music and sounds too.

    Bust out the original plans, gather the pictures, find the soundtrack, dust off the track, repair the building and get to work!

  13. #13

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    It's a lovely thought. But the neglect has been ongoing for over a decade. The building's been losing useable space since the '90s.

    I don't believe at this point it would be possible to simply clean, redecorate, refurb and open. I am fairly convinced that the internal structural damage to the building would make that hazardous at best.

    Raze it and rebuild from scratch. It'd likely be cheaper. I'd love Beary Tales back, but ANYTHING is better than "empty and decaying". Just ask the Peoplemover.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  14. #14

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    I don't see why Knott's can't have two dark rides. A Peanuts-themed one in Camp Snoopy and Beary Tales in the back.
    I wish Knott's still had the Lagoon across the street (it's now mostly a parking lot). That could have been transformed into a Dinosaurs Alive! type attraction.
    That way everyone could be happy.

  15. #15

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    Re: Is Now the Best Time to Bring Back Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    It's a lovely thought. But the neglect has been ongoing for over a decade. The building's been losing useable space since the '90s.

    I don't believe at this point it would be possible to simply clean, redecorate, refurb and open. I am fairly convinced that the internal structural damage to the building would make that hazardous at best.

    Raze it and rebuild from scratch. It'd likely be cheaper. I'd love Beary Tales back, but ANYTHING is better than "empty and decaying". Just ask the Peoplemover.
    My fears in them rebuilding from scratch:

    1. It greatly lowers the chance of them doing it
    2. I'm guessing the cost wouldn't be cheaper
    3. I bet they would never give as much room as previously given to KBT
    4. It would be cool to have the same track/map. I bet they'd skimp and make some foolish decisions along they way. They'd never decide to "build it like it was" if going from scratch.


    Not that any of this matters since it either can or can't be done. :-) Fun to think about though...

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