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  1. #1

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    Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    My picture threads consist of images I have taken that focus on the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, and theming of the facilities highlighted. They may also contain short descriptions and commentary, but will not focus on construction progress or special events or memorabilia or food selections or my traveling companions. Hopefully these threads are a good introduction for those who have not seen these places yet. All killer, no filler!

    Knott's Berry Farm photographed in January 2008:
    'America's 1st Theme Park' is indeed a unique attraction that retains much of its home-spun charm despite becoming part of a much larger theme park chain some years ago. It is a park with a long tradition of entertaining Southern California and is divided into 4 main areas that in some way celebrate the Golden State.

    California Marketplace:
    The oldest part of the park is actually outside its gates. It grew up around the Knott family's farm in Buena Park, where they grew crops including Boysenberries (a breed of berry bred by a man named Boysen) for which they would become famous for preserves, and a roadside berry stand. The berry stand is gone but Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, opened in 1934 during the depression, remains. A large cluster of shops and a steakhouse grew around this restaurant in similarly styled low stucco buildings, and these still exist today, next to the entrance to the park.





    Ghost Town:
    The original area of the theme park is this area, started in 1940 as a way to entertain waiting diners for the hugely popular Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Admission was not charged until 1968. It is composed of a grid of streets formed by authentic relocated buildings from Western ghost towns, especially from California and Arizona, and matching rustic structures filled with shops and dining and exhibits and a few show halls. On its periphery were added still-existent attractions such as the Butterfield Stagecoach (1949, 6 years before Disneyland's stagecoaches), Calico Saloon (1951, 4 years before Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue), Calico Railroad (1952, 3 years before Disneyland Railroad), Calico Mine Ride (1960, 4 years after Disneyland's Rainbow Caverns Mine Train and the same year that it was rethemed to Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland), and Timber Mountain Log Ride (1969, 20 years before Disneyland's Splash Mountain). There is also the Wagon Camp, a scenic outdoor amphitheater for the Wild West Stunt Show (1974). Several sub-areas have also been added over the years, including Wild Water Wilderness with the Bigfoot Rapids ride (1988, 13 years before California Adventure's Grizzly River Run), Indian Trails with an outdoor Native American show circle (1992, 37 years after Disneyland's Indian Village), and Mystery Lodge with a unique Native American indoor show (1994). Unfortunately, Ghost Town has also been surrounded and dominated on three sides with three rollercoasters that do little to help the theming, including Ghostrider (1998), Silver Bullet (2004), and Pony Express (2008).







































































    Fiesta Village:
    This Mexican themed area opened in 1969 with four spinning rides and a childrens automobile ride. The Carousel remains (1955, the same year as Disneyland's King Arthur's Carousel) and one of the spinning rides remains: Hat Dance (1969, 14 years after Disneyland's Mad Tea Party). Montezuma's Revenge, a rollercoaster, was added in 1978. Four new spinning rides to replace some of the old ones were opened in 1987, and two of these remain: Dragon Swing and Waveswinger. Another rollercoaster, Jaguar, was built in 1995. In 2003, spinning La Revolucion opened to replace two spinning rides.





















    Boardwalk:
    This area celebrates Southern California seaside culture and is a thin retheming of the original area's Roaring 20's theme that opened in 1975-76; in fact, a large sign is still mounted on one of the rooftops from that era. A very large indoor show theater from 1971 was incorporated into the new area, and today remains as the Charles M. Schulz Theater in recognition of a long association with the cartoonist since the 1980's. One end of the Roaring 20's was more architectural and urban, while the other end was more open and themed to a 1920's airfield. It opened with a rollercoaster appropriately called the Corkscrew, a unique dark ride called Knott's Bear-y Tales, and nine other rides, mostly spinning. Of all these, only the Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars and the Sky Cabin (a rotating observatory that climbs a tall tower) remain. The area was rethemed to Boardwalk in 1996. Changes and closures in this area were numerous, but today the following are present: a rollercoaster called Boomerang (1990), a tall tower drop called Supreme Scream (1998, 3 years before California Adventure's Maliboomer), a spinning ride called Wipeout (1999), a giant waterdrop flume ride called Perilous Plunge (2000), a huge rollercoaster called Xcelerator (2002), Two spinning rides called Riptide and Screamin' Swing (2004).





























    Camp Snoopy:
    The park's primary children's ride area is a large nicely detailed character-themed area set in the Sierra Nevada. It opened in 1983 and although some of the children's rides have come and gone it still appears similar to its opening day. The largest addition has been a small rollercoaster called Sierra Sidewinder in 2007.





















    Independence Hall:
    Built in 1966, this reproduction of Philadelphia's famous building features a show and exhibits about the Declaration of Independence and is not in the park; it is across the busy Beach Blvd. on land owned by Knott's and that once held a motley collection of other Knott's-built attractions but is now mostly occupied by their separate waterpark, Soak City U.S.A. Independence Hall remains a free-admission attarction.









    Enjoy!
    Last edited by geomorph; 12-13-2009 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2

    • The 'Big Dreams' Kid
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Cool pics!


  3. #3

    • www.JonAutopsy.com
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Great pictures. As a Halloween Haunt monster, it's nice to see the park outside of all the Haunt decorations.

    Still, maybe it's just me but it's heartbreaking to see all these pictures and the obvious lack of people in them. I can't imagine how the Farm isn't struggling with the lack of attendance. People can say anything they want about the economy but when I work Halloween Haunt one night to a half-capacity crowd, then go to Disneyland the next night (on a Sunday, no less) to see an almost full parking structure, it makes me think that it's more than just people with a lack of money to attend an event.
    "NATURAL BORN KILLERS"
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  4. #4

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    • Skeevy Ray Vaughan
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Wow! Nice to see so many pictures. Thank you!

  5. #5

    • Circle of Ancients
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Very cool pictures, thanks for sharing.


  6. #6

    • Disappearing/Reappearing
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Great pics! I always wondered what Knotts looked like. Our theme park here TRIES to be Western themed. But, looks like it could take lessons from Knotts. Thanks for sharing!




  7. #7

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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    The area where Independence Hall is was referred to as the "Lagoon". It had train ride, boat ride and a Dentzel carousel, all owned and operated by Hurlbut Amusement Co. It was a pay as you go operation, and lasted untill Bud's contract expired and the Knott family,(taking some very bad advice) didn't renew it.

  8. #8

    • Hukuna Matata!
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    I have been to knotts once in my life and that was in october during the Haunt, I had no idea that knotts had all of these neat attractions, I will definitly be planning a trip to knotts very soon, thank you for your pictures.

  9. #9

    • Beach Expert
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Great pics! I sure do miss the Wacky Soapbox Racers and the Haunted Shack!

    I do like your comparison with certain attractions at Knotts and Disneyland attractions. I think too many people underestimate the influence that Knotts has had on the development of Disneyland. Imagine if Knotts had never been around. I'll bet anything that Disneyland and all other MK style parks would be different to this day!

    Oh and DIP Jr is in the 5th grade now which means he's taking American History. His class went on a field trip to Independence Hall last month. Did you know that the Independence Hall scenes in National Treasure were filmed at Knott's?

  10. #10

    • Minion
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Wow, your photos make me want to go to Knotts, and Im not a fan of that place at all! What kind of camera did you use?

  11. #11

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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Bibbidi, thank you! I use a Canon Powershot S2IS which I have had since early 2006, its a small SLR, bulkier that most of the small digitals but smaller than many of the large SLRs. I use it because its larger lens means I can get decent non-flash interior shots over a smaller handier pocket camera.

  12. #12

    • Goofy
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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    great pictures.

  13. #13

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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Thanks! Like DisneyIPresume, I also appreciated not only the pictures, but the comparisons and reminders of what the Knott family did, consciously or not, to help Disneyland become what it did.

    I haven't been back in a long time, since it seemed like the modern-day owners cared more for the big thrill roller coasters, which really aren't of much interest to me.

    But your pictures remind me of the days when the Knott family ran things, and their attention to theming and detail was so obvious.

    I remember going on a field trip with my sixth grade class, back in the spring of 1968, and they told us that admission wouldn't be free, much longer. Sure seemed like a big change back then.

    As a child I loved the boysenberry pie they served at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  14. #14

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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    RadioBarry, do you remember the sidedish of rhubarb they used to serve with the meal too?

  15. #15

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    Re: Knott's Berry Farm - Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by geomorph View Post
    RadioBarry, do you remember the sidedish of rhubarb they used to serve with the meal too?
    Vaguely. But not nearly as well as the boysenberry pie!
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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