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  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiceMan
    That is really sad .... I still remember the Wacky Soap Box Racers ... I miss those ... I miss the whole ambiance that Knotts used to have and it makes me really sad that they are losing that. If I want roller coasters I will go to six flags, not Knotts. But if I wanted a good park with lots of historical theming and more thrills than Disneyland then I would go to Knotts, but it sounds like Knotts is turning into another Six Flags.

    I miss the Soap Box ride too. Seymour Dud's Fireworks Factory and the Spike Jones music. The only competitive ride out there. Me think at best they've become a 5 flags.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by melmel
    I wanna go and try some boysenberry pie!!
    You're in for a treat! It's sooooooooooooooooo good! Mrs. Knotts restauant is one of my favorite places to eat, and the biscuits literally melt in your mouth. *salivating*

  3. #18

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    It's amazing listening about this park how once the founder died and the family eventually sold it to "Cedar Fair" thats everything changed.... Some of the things mentioned sounds like what Anheuser Busch does for their Theme park employees... (thought employee night has yet to be announced for SheiKra...) they get free Halloween shorts every year... 2 free 6 pack of beer a month (after they finish beer school for responsible drinking..) and much more...

    They respect the older rides as well as the newer ones.. (and rarely remove anything unless it is not doing well... or has become obsolete such as the brewery closed when lakeland expanded it's brewery and people stopped taking the tour.... but still enjoyed the gardens.. The monorail was removed due to matinence nightmare and the enhancement of the Vivelt to allow for mostly free roaming animals and only a few fences...)

    I hope Knotts gets restored... or Cedar fair sells the park to someone who will restore and respect the park's new and older rides...

  4. #19

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    Wow. It's just so sad. Growing up in AZ, we were much more of a Disneyland family than a Knott's family, but I do remember going there occasionally. And when I lived in SoCal I would try to go once a year or so. The last time I was there was 1999.

    I just don't get how the execs make these decisions. The thing that makes all the different parks fun and interesting is their uniqueness. I mean, why is that so hard for a suit to comprehend. It sounds like they're draining all the personality out of Knott's for the sake of a quick buck.

    Inconceivably wrong.
    "George Bush... is only for now."
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    Just because it's gone doesn't mean I changed my mind!

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986
    Some of the things mentioned sounds like what Anheuser Busch does for their Theme park employees... (thought employee night has yet to be announced for SheiKra...) they get free Halloween shorts every year... 2 free 6 pack of beer a month (after they finish beer school for responsible drinking..) and much more...

    They respect the older rides as well as the newer ones.. (and rarely remove anything unless it is not doing well... or has become obsolete such as the brewery closed when lakeland expanded it's brewery and people stopped taking the tour.... but still enjoyed the gardens.. The monorail was removed due to matinence nightmare and the enhancement of the Vivelt to allow for mostly free roaming animals and only a few fences...)
    Unless you count the Van Nuys park, which doesn't exist anymore. They needed the space for a distribution facility.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyJCA
    It sounds like they're draining all the personality out of Knott's for the sake of a quick buck.

    Inconceivably wrong.
    I wouldn't exactly call it a quick buck, I think it is more about survival. The crowds just aren't there anymore. It would have been interesting to see what Disney would have done with the place.

  7. #22

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    It is disappointing to see Knott's slowly vanish into a Six Flag style park. It truly is. I remember riding Beary tales for the first time in the 70's.

    I still have postcards of the Bear family getting there picture taken on the ride.
    When I went in November 2004 it was quite dead and also the park was really run down. We saw the Theater where many famous actors got there start. I just didn't find it as exciting as it used to be.
    Thanks Melmel for sharing with us. I have to agree.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  8. #23

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    The biggest mistake the Knott family made was hiring Terry Van Gorder, the former GM of Magic Mountain, to run the park. They allowed him to terminate Bud Hurlbut's contract. That's when the Lagoon went, the organs stopped playing, and slowly but surely the details that made "The Farm" special started to disappear. The spiral started long before Cedar Fair came on the scene. IMHO the Knott family's own actions lead to the sale of the park.

  9. #24

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    wow that was the most depressing thing ive ever read! i pretty much grew up at Knotts and DL when i was little i used to hear my brothers and sisters tell about the park and how my mom used to take her poodles walking there when it was free to get in i too remember the candles and getting soo excited with my little vial of gold dust from the panning..the soap box racers were awesome and i loved the mexican hat ride..a spanish version of the teacups! having horses, we used to watch the stagecoach come in and used to go across the street to the stables and watch the horses get ready for their day and i remember the train robbery scared the crap out of me when i was little but i had to do it everytime we went.. and now that i think about it i think i still have my blue checked fronteir bonnet around here somewhere! and i always wanted to get married in that pretty church by the lake..and the log ride was my favorite! then the log ride and big foot rapids were tied for my fave!

    then when i got older i worked for 4 years in a row at halloween haunt.. that to this day is my most favorite job ive ever had! im actually wearing one of my haunt t shirts! its so old you can hardly read the front and back and its so old its getting kind of holey and see thru but i love it so i will never throw it out! the biggest perk was my friend worked the funnel cake stand in ghost town so she would have us come to the back door to get our cakes...god im wanting a funnel cake SOO bad right now!!! and the other haunt perk was getting in free during the haunt..i remember jumping out of my spot in which ways maze and scaring the crap out of elvira!

    so many memories...its really sad to hear that Knotts is going down the tubes...i wish there was something we could do about it!! im sitting here crying over the park dying!!

    hey i got one for ya does anyone remember the old time horse drawn hearse in ghost town that had the aninmatronic body in the back that if you watched it..it would brethe (sp?) and eventually sit up??? oh and i remeber the music at the fire that had the covered wagons in a circle!! and having wooden plaques burned at the outside shop for our horses stalls..geeze i need to quit this is getting way long..oh heres another one LOL my brother worked in the wild west show in the 60's he was the one that would do the tricks with the bullwhip putting out candles etc. he was taught by the really old bullwhip guy in the show and he used to be in the shootout part as well well now that im totally depressed and homesick im gonna quit now lol

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman
    The biggest mistake the Knott family made was hiring Terry Van Gorder, the former GM of Magic Mountain, to run the park. They allowed him to terminate Bud Hurlbut's contract. That's when the Lagoon went, the organs stopped playing, and slowly but surely the details that made "The Farm" special started to disappear. The spiral started long before Cedar Fair came on the scene. IMHO the Knott family's own actions lead to the sale of the park.
    ABSOLFINGLOOTLEY! Mr Potatohead. What a dope. If you look at Camp Snoopy it looks just like Spillikin Corners (the 70's folksy craft village) in Magic Mountain. That was his big contribution, and brought the Magic Mountain design team with him. The soul of the place began to change into a generic shadow of itself. The was NO creativity in that guy, and as luck would have it, the Camp snoopy thing was well done by KBF standards and took market share from DL as it opened against the New Fantasyland. So he became a blithering, sweating God to the Knott Family. You got that one right Dutchman.
    Bud Hurlbut (creator and operator fo the Calico Mine ride and the log ride)was the only genius on that property left and they blew him off. Dorks rule.

    The Knott Family deserves to have their legacy raped and pillaged, but we don't!!! we supported that place.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Orville
    The Knott Family deserves to have their legacy raped and pillaged, but we don't!!! we supported that place.
    Everyone but the Founder.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DifrntDrmr
    Unless you count the Van Nuys park, which doesn't exist anymore. They needed the space for a distribution facility.
    It was an investment.. and think of this.. a few years later they founded the Williamsburg Brewery and Busch Gardens Williamsburg... which is regularly one of the most beautiful parks in the nation... (and has great rides...) Does any of that old park still exist????

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986
    Does any of that old park still exist????
    No, it is all parking lot and buildings now. When I first moved out here (about 18 years ago), a small portion of the monorail track was still sticking out of the brewery, but now even that is gone. I recently found an aerial photo, which was very fascinating, as I now live less than a mile away. It was amazing how green the area was.

    http://themepark.sitesbyrob.com/galleries/busch.htm

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by groomer_4_u
    hey i got one for ya does anyone remember the old time horse drawn hearse in ghost town that had the aninmatronic body in the back that if you watched it..it would brethe (sp?) and eventually sit up???
    I remember this too, and my dad used to make me take a picture with it every time and it would scare the crap out of me!

  14. #29

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    Thanks for your post MelMel!! It's funny, because I was just thinking about the demise of Knott's history yesterday when I saw pictures of Silver Bullet. They just plopped that ride right into the old lake, and now it is turing into a non-themed rollercoaster mecca. I used to love panning for gold too, and anyone remember the water show they played on the now extinct lake where Silver Bullet is. We always took field trips to Independence Hall in elementary, and the highlight of our trip was always riding Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride. I was so depressed when I found out that Cedar Fair was taking over Knott's Berry Farm, and I knew the first thing to go would be the interesting history that made Knott's special.

  15. #30

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    IMO, I don't think the blame can be placed on Cedar Fair as a whole or the Knott Family...but rather the management staff they kept. KBF was having problems since the early 90s and it was just extremely hard for them to compete with Six Flags and Disney because they were a privately owned park and they did not have the financial backing as the other two. One of the reasons they picked Cedar Fair was union related...KBF remains non-union and that was something that many people don't understand but its was a sticking point to many employees who voiced strong opposition to unions. This was true to the maintenance staff as that was their first question. Cedar Fair is also extremely family oriented especially to its employees compared to the other park owners (ie. Disney or Six Flags). Being a former employee of Disney and KBF, I have to wholeheartedly agree to that.

    The downfall of KBF's history IMO is the management staff that remained. There were a handful of higher management people that turned in resignations during the transition. From what I saw, there was so much backstabbing and politics that Cedar Fair people took to the wrong people. And to my horror, one of them was promoted to General Mgr of KBF! I luckily worked in one dept that kept its great staff and management but I knew that they were forced to play the political game just to keep their jobs because the group of guys they didn't like rose to the top.

    I could go on and on about this but I still like KBF. I just hope that they will never ever do anything to Halloween Haunt. That remains by far the best halloween special event anywhere. I know it is so popular that people from other states make a trip just for it!

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