KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
Buena Park, California
Cedar Fair Entertainment
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
GhostRider - NOW CLOSED through May 26
Coast Rider - May 15 through May 19
Sky Cabin - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Screamscape has posted our official review of Knott's Scary Farm 2016 this week. Click here to see all the details.
You can read Screamscape’s full review of the Knott’s Scary Farm 2015 Halloween Haunt. Check it out here.
Park News - (5/15/17) California Coaster Kings takes a look at the latest changes taking place at Knott's Berry Farm this week, including new Boomerang demolition photos.
(5/8/17) New pictures of the Boomerang demolition were sent in this week, where it looks like all that is left is the framework of the station, the two tower sections and a few random supports. They also included a shot of the new Boardwalk BBQ restaurant's framework that is now in place nearby.
Meanwhile the rumor mill about what could possibly be the new attraction to replace all this next season is hitting overdrive, with a ton of emails coming in to say that they really do believe that Knott's could end up being home to RMC's first Raptor track coaster project. Is this possible? Well sure, anything is possible, but I'm not sure I buy this rumor yet, as a single Raptor coaster would be a bit too low capacity for a park as big as Knott's in my opinion. But it gives me some ideas to think about.
(5/4/17) Thanks to a reader who sent in a pair of new photos showing off the Boomerang demolition site. They also shared a thought that the combined Boomerang the Riptide location is quite large, but think of how much bigger it would be if they also demolished the SBNO Sky Cabin. Just a thought...
(5/2/17) A new video from Theme Park Connect shows off the latest progress on the demolition of Boomerang this week. Unfortunately it doesn't look like much more has been taken down since the pictures I posted last week.
Also a reminder, Ghost Town Alive will return from May 27 through Sept. 4th.
(4/28/17) Even thought Knott's Berry Farm just closed the Boomerang coaster for the last time on Sunday, they have already made rapid progress on the coaster's removal it seems. A reader sent in a collection of photos taken at the park a few hours ago where it seems that the station is already removed along with the first half of the first inversion. From the look of things, it is being taken down piece by piece, which is a clear indication that they have probably sold the ride to a new owner, who is eagerly awaiting shipment.
(4/15/17) For everyone wondering just what those new "shin guards" added to the Coast Rider look like, a reader has sent in a couple of great pictures showing of exactly what they've done. Anyone who has ridden a Mack mouse would know that the cars are not the most roomy of vehicles for adult sized riders. It's been awhile, but I seem to recall often having to cross my legs when sitting down just so I could fit my knees under the lap bar far enough for it to come down properly. With those new ankle/shin guards in place, I can see that maneuver would now be impossible.
(4/14/17) While Knott's hasn't commented on why they added shin bars to Coast Riders, we believe we have found the most likely answer. It seems that a family is now suing Knott's Berry Farm after their 10-year old son was injured during a ride on Coast Rider when his "leg became trapped between the cart and the deck".
Yep... we're dealing with another unfortunately incident where a rider failed to either pay attention or follow directions, and somehow stuck his foot out of the car before it had stopped in the unloading area. I'm not going to get into details about what they claim the extent of the injuries area (you can read that part for yourself), and while it is unfortunate when anyone is injured on a ride, especially a child, the unfortunate side-effect of today's lawsuit happy society (especially when things happen in California) is that we all get to suffer as ill-thought out new hardware are added to rides that were never intended to have them in the first place. I'm sure anyone who was bashed in the head by the addition of the over the shoulder restraints on Revolution at Magic Mountain in the 90's would agree. There simply has got to be a better way to handle situations like this.
I do have one big problem with this story however... they claimed that their son tried to exit the ride because he thought it was over, but the car lurched forward again into the station. My problem is this... typically the lap bars on coasters don’t ever release until the cars are safely stopped in the station at the designated unloading area. If this is the case, as it should be, there would be no reasonable way that he should have stuck his foot out of the car to get caught while he was still tightly restrained into his seat by a lap bar. Besides, who sticks their feet out before they can even stand-up? This screams deja-vu to the old lawsuit against Disneyland where a kid stuck his foot out of the Big Thunder Mountain coaster car right before it came into the station and got injured. There just isn't a proper reason for that body part to be in that location if you are following the standard universal rule of “keep your arms and legs in the car at all times” until your car comes to a complete stop in the station.
(4/8/17) I'm not sure why but several alarmed reports have come in this week about the Coast Rider mouse style coaster at Knott's Berry Farm. While I have yet to see a photo of it, it is with great regret that I have to inform everyone that the park gone ahead with an ill-conceived plan to add "shin guards" to the lap-bar restraints on Coast Rider. The results of which have resulted in what is being reported as being not only the single most uncomfortable and painful restraint system ever devised, especially if you are a large adult or very tall, but also a good number of guests who have ridden in the past with no issues are now no longer able to fit into the new restraint system and are being turned away in record numbers.
I don't know if the blame goes on someone at Cedar Fair for this, or if this is the result of some official change set in motion by Mack Rides. Since a good number of other Cedar Fair parks also feature Mack mouse coasters, including nearly identical models at Canada's Wonderland and Kings Dominion, the later of which just opened for the season, I've yet to hear similar stories from anywhere else yet. Anyone know more about why this has happened?
2017 - VR Showdown in Ghost Town - (3/9/17) Knott's Berry Farm has confirmed the name and released the details about their new VR experience, said to be "the first permanent free-roaming virtual reality experience at a U.S. theme park". As mentioned, it is called "VR Showdown in Ghost Town" and it will be ready to open April 1st, exclusively at Knott's Berry Farm.
The experience will invite guests on an interactive time-travel adventure, not to the past, but to a futuristic version of Knott's western town of Calico where you will be met by robotic creations and embark on a daring mission with other groups of players to defend the town.
"The one-of-a-kind immersive experience perfectly combines virtual reality and a competitive gaming realm that will captivate guests. Armed with state-of-the-art wireless virtual reality headsets and futuristic blasters, multiple players will compete against one another for the highest score and bragging rights, as part of this immersive adventure, while striving toward shared team goals. At the end of the VR competition, guests will be able to view and compare scores with their fellow opponents." VR Showdown in Ghost Town will be available to guests to experience at the "introductory price" of just $6, in addition to park admission of course.
While there has been a little controversy over the addition of VR to existing thrill rides and how it slows down throughput, I am very interested in this unique experience which can build on the unique theme of Knott's Calico Ghost Town, obviously has no impact on the throughput of any existing attraction, meanwhile it can add on to the unique mythos of the park's themes. Plus the free-roaming technology really makes the possibilities sound limitless.
(2/20/17) During the Cedar Fair conference call I believe the name of that new "untethered" Free-Roaming VR experience previously announced for Knott's Berry Farm came up. During the call they referred to a new VR experience coming to the park this year as being called "Showdown in Ghost Town". So now we have a theme at least to attach to the project.
(2/1/17) Knott's Berry Farm has announced that they will open a new VR based attraction this summer. This will be a new upcharge experience attraction, built in association with VRstudios, and is promoted as being the "First Permanent Free-Roaming VR Installation at a North American Theme Park". The expectation is that this new "untethered" VR experience will truly be a one-of-a-kind experience. We hope to find out more soon.
While they don't say anything more, I'd expect that if this is successful at Knott's, it wont be long before it starts to roll out to other theme parks in the Cedar Fair chain.
Note: While I wasn't able to try out the VR upcharge experience that was offered to guests at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando part-way through the seasonal event in 2016, it too was created under a partnership with VRstudios.
2017 - Sol Spin - (4/23/17) The new Sol Spin opened at Knott's Berry Farm sometime over the past day or two and looks to be a hit, but they're also running it on a much more gentle and short cycle that how you typically see a Mondial TopScan run on the fair circuit. The Knott's cycle looks to be about 2 minutes long, start to finish, and only rotates the big arm around four times.
By comparison the portable version I rode at the Florida State Fair several years ago moved MUCH QUICKER and had a more intense program (see video in link) that saw the large arm rotate 8.5 times around in the first 60-80 seconds alone, then switch gears to begin spinning the riders on the disc in the opposite direction, including a pause at the back (highest point) to just spin the riders around sideways once, and then reverse the direction of the big arm to spin them around 8.5 more times in the opposite direction before lowering them back to the ground for a total ride cycle of about 3:30.
While perhaps the longer ride program may be a bit much to handle in a theme park environment where you are going to have long lines, I've also seen a slightly shorter version of the same intense program that just makes a few less rotations in each direction by the big arm, but still includes all the forward and backwards action that lasts at a more reasonable 2:30 in length, closer to what Knott's is shooting for here. Just something to think about. By comparison the new version that just opened at Carowinds (Electro-Spin) a few weeks ago looks to be running a program that goes forwards and backwards about 2-3 times in each direction, but again, slower movement overall, and now sidespin spinning pause moment at the top, so the Knott's program may evolve into something better as they break it in and see how the crowds respond. If you want a wilder ride program on Sol Spin, be sure to let the park know... nicely of course.
(4/11/17) A video clip showing off Sol Spin at Knott's Berry Farm starting to make slow test rotations was posted online this week. Check it out below.
(3/30/17) So what's up at Knott's Berry Farm this week? According to an update posted by California Coaster Kings, it appears that the park has now fully installed their new Sol Spin ride hardware and as seen in the concept art, has a very bright color scheme to it. Mixed with an extensive lighting package, this thing should look crazy after dark as well.
(3/13/17) A collection of new construction photos from Knott's Berry Farm and Soak City have been posted to CoasterChitChat this week that look over the sites for the new Sol Spin ride and waterpark expansion.
(1/26/17) A reader visiting Knott's this week sent in a couple of pictures showing off the Sol Spin construction site as well as a look at the former Wipeout site which has now been cleared for the Boardwalk Barbecue restaurant.
(11/2/16) Knott's Berry Farm surprised everyone today with the announcement of a new ride coming to the park for 2017. They call it Sol Spin, and it is a big one... a Mondial Top Scan flat ride which is one of the most intense flat rides that I've ever ridden before, coming to Fiesta Village in or near the location where Windseeker was previously located. Look for Sol Spin to open in Spring 2017.
The park also announced that the popular Boysenberry Festival will be extended in 2017 to run for 23 days, and the interactive Ghost Town Alive program will also return over the summer, packed with all new characters and more twists and turns to the storylines as they evolve over the summer making for a different adventure each time to visit. In the Boardwalk area the park will also add introduce everyone to the newly updated "Boardwalk Barbecue" restaurant, which will offer smoked pork ribs, tri-tip, rotisserie chicken and a wide collection of craft beers. A new covered seating area is being added along with a stage for live entertainment.
On a side note, I'm told that the park's Wipeout flat ride (A Chance Trabant) is now no longer listed on the website. Given the location in the Boardwalk area, it may be removed for the Boardwalk Barbecue expansion as it was located next door, or possibly relocated. Anyone know more?
2017 - Soak City Expansion - (5/22/17) California Coaster Kings was on-hand for the opening of Knott's Soak City for the season, including a look at the expansion and reviews of the 7 new slides and other changes. Check it out.
As predicted, the multi-slide towers is very similar in design to the one added to Carowinds and Kings Island this summer, modified to remove one of the tube slides in favor of adding a fourth drop pod slide instead to the mix.
(5/4/17) Knott's has announced that the opening of the newly expanded Knott's Soak City Waterpark will take place on May 20th with the opening of seven new slides on two new slide towers along with the fully remodeled Longboard's Grill.
(4/18/17) Coaster Chit Chat has posted a construction update from Knott’s Soak City where they check up on the status of the park’s big expansion with a collection of new pictures taken over the weekend.
(8/18/16) As we saw leaked earlier this summer, Knott's has confirmed that Soak City will be expanded in 2017 with two new slide towers.
Shore Break will stand over 7-stories tall and offer six different slide experiences, four of which will begin with a dramatic vertical trap-door drop from an AquaPod. The other two slides will be tube slides that end with some large drops to the pool below.
The Wedge is the other new addition, which is taking the place of the soon to be removed Pacific Spin. The Wedge will use large family rafts, able to hold up to six riders, and will feature twists, turns and surprise drops.
Other new additions will include new shade areas, new cabanas and a remodel to the Longboard's Grill.
(6/30/16) An assortment of images were sent in to Screamscape showing off the planned expansion of Knott's Soak City waterpark in 2017. According to the layout you can see that a new slide tower featuring four drop pod slides and two tube slides will go into a space that is currently used for parking, while the park's Pacific Spin funnel slide will be removed and replaced with a WhiteWater Constrictor Python style family raft slide.
From what I'm told Pacific Spin will be entirely removed from the park and not moved to a new location. Best guess, as long as the 10-year old slide is still in good shape, I wouldn't be surprised to see if drop in to one of Cedar Fair's other waterparks. (Carolina Harbor at Carowinds would be a nice home and they've got room to expand.)
(6/11/16) According to this article the expansion of Knott’s Soak City will involve building two new slide tower attractions, as well as the expansion of the park’s main restaurant (Long Board Grill) as well as the addition of more cabanas. If they follow along with what the other Cedar Fair parks have been doing they one of the new slide towers will likely be a copy of the one added to Carowinds and Kings Island this summer, which has 3 drop pod slides and 3 tube slides.
(6/10/16) I’ve been told that Knott's announced during the reopening of Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant that they would be expanding the Soak City waterpark for the 2017 season. No details were released however about what the expansion would entail. With this in mind, there is a good chance that we may have to wait until 2018 to see another major attraction added to the main park.
2018 - New Large Attraction or Coaster - Rumor - (4/5/17) With Boomerang ready to go away forever very soon, the coaster fans out there have been wondering about what is next for Knott's. After all, you don't usually remove one of your park's major coasters without having something new to replace it at least in the design phase. From what we are hearing, Knott's does have something in the works, though they still need to dot the I's and cross the T's on it, but whatever it is, I'm hearing is it BIG and likely looking to open sometime in 2018 if possible because Knott's want this thing up, open and to have a serious reputation already in the public knowledgebase in time for Star Wars Land to open at Disneyland in 2019, so they can borrow all those incoming Disney guests for a day at The Farm.
(10/19/16) With a Soak City expansion planned for 2017, it seems fairly clear that 2018 should be a big year for Knott's Berry Farm itself. Adding a bit more fuel to the fire, a reader sent me an official statement about the 2017 Coaster Run event that has been taking place at Knott's for the past several years, which involves the racers running through a course that weaves throughout the entire Knott's Berry Farm theme park.
According to the statement, the 2017 Coaster Run event will be moved to Six Flags Magic Mountain because "Knott's Berry Farm told us that they had construction planned inside the park that would prevent the event from traveling through the property." With the event slated for April 2017, the timing is interesting as this could mean that Knott's has a very large project in store for 2018 if they will have construction under full swing by April 2017. Perhaps guests should keep an eagle eye out for survey markings and such to appear in the park over the next several months.