KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
Buena Park, California
Cedar Fair Entertainment
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Sky Cabin - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Xcelerator - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Sierra Sidewinder - Aug. 28 through Sept 1
GhostRider - Sept. 5 through Sept 21
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 - (8/17/17) Hangtime, an all new coaster, is coming for 2018. Click here for details!
(8/9/17) Would you believe that Knott's old Boomerang coaster isn't done thrilling guests yet? According to a post on the MOST Amusement Rides Facebook page, pieces of what sure look like the former Knott's Boomerang have arrived at their facility in the Netherlands and will undergo a "total refurbishment". Looks like the old Boomerang will be fixed up and shipped to a new park somewhere in the world to continue to thrill.
(8/5/17) Surf's Up! Knott's Posts New 2018 Attraction Teaser!
(8/3/17) The first details about this fall’s Knott’s Scary Farm have been announced, so click here for more. In other news... while the parks initially closed down their own similar style rides after the accident in Ohio on a “Fire Ball” ride took place, Cal/OSHA has approved three similar rides to reopen this week:
La Revoluction at Knott’s Berry Farm
Delirium at California’s Great America
Beach Blaster at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
(7/28/17) I'm not sure what has happened, but Knott's Berry Farm has updated their list of rides currently or scheduled for rehab, and for some reason Xcelerator has now been listed next to the Sky Cabin as being currently closed until "TBD".
It goes without saying that this is an unusual thing to happen in the middle of the Summer season, so anyone know more about what's gone wrong?
(7/25/17) Good news for Knott's Berry Farm fans... I'm told that not only did the new Boardwalk BBQ restaurant open at last, but the new Sol Spin attraction which had been closed for a couple of weeks has also reopened... now with a new and longer ride program.
(7/22/17) Knott's Berry Farm is set to make a big announcement regarding their 2018 project on August 16th.
(6/28/17) According to notes from the Buena Park city council meeting that took place on May 9th, 2017, the park is looking into options to "donate" the park's Church of Reflections in order to allow for future expansion of the park. Here is a copy of the meeting notes sent to me:
"21. DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION REGARDING THE CHURCH OF THE REFLECTIONS LOCATED AT KNOTT'S BERRY FARM Present for the discussion was Jim Vanderpool, City Manager City Manager Vanderpool reported that Knott's Berry Farm is desiring to relocate its Church of Reflections in anticipation of future park expansion. Knott' s is proposing to donate the church to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Buena Park on Crescent Avenue. The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is desirous of taking ownership of the Church of Reflections and keeping it available for public enjoyment as well as private events. An effort is underway to raise funds to relocate the Church of Reflections using the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee (a 501( c)3 non - profit) as the entity to accept the donated funds. Michael Schneider, pastor of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church spoke about the history of the Church of the Reflections and Good Shepherd' s commitment to create a suitable, natural environment for the building, including a reflection pond. Baron Night, Treasurer of the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee, spoke in opposition to the manner in which the fundraising efforts are structured. Following discussion, the City Council directed there be no official City involvement in relocating Knott' s Berry Farm' s Church of Reflections to a private location; however, in sentiment, the City Council supported the efforts of private entities to do so. Mayor Pro Tem Vaughn and Mayor Swift dissented, favoring non - monetary support by the City to preserve the historical building for the benefit of the public."
Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 - (8/11/17) Knott's Scary Farm has announced one more maze returning for 2017... The Tooth Fairy is back for a 4th year.
(8/3/17) The first video teaser for Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 has been released showing off an all new edition of the park’s Trick or Treat maze, this year it is called “Trick or Treat: Lights Out!” where it will be much darker than before… so a few in the group will be given a flashlight to help you see… which is great, except that those flashlights seems to have some kind of faulty wiring and keep going on the fritz. Don’t be surprised if they conk-out on you at the worst possible moment.
This year’s Knott’s Scary Farm event will take place from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31st on select nights and will feature a live show starring Elvira who will grace the stage for the final time ever this season. Stay tuned, it probably won't be long before the rest of the details about this year’s haunts starts to trickle in.
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 - (7/25/17) Good news for Knott's Berry Farm fans... I'm told that not only did the new Boardwalk BBQ restaurant open at last, but the new Sol Spin attraction which had been closed for a couple of weeks has also reopened... now with a new and longer ride program.
(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.
(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.
(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. 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.
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.)
2018 - Hangtime - Confirmed - (8/21/17) While we heard the announcement from Knott's Berry Farm about their new Hangtime coaster coming in 2018, for whatever reason the park has no preview animation footage of the coaster to show off yet. As I'm on the East coast, the announcement came in at the last second before I retired for the night, so I was light on the details and stats at the time.
That said, here is everything you need to know about Hangtime. As rumored, this will be an Gerstlauer Infinity coaster standing 150 feet tall. The 16 passenger trains will go over the top, slide down slightly and pause for 2 seconds before going over the edge and diving to the ground at a beyond-vertical 96º angle. For this, the park is referring to Hangtime as the only Dive style coaster on the West coast... an interesting thought to be sure. So does the extra height and pause at the top help qualify Hangtime in the same category as a B&M Dive Machine style coaster? It just might, but that's a discussion for another time.
As for the rest of the stats, Hangtime will feature 2,198 feet of track and a total of five inversions, including being only the second coaster in the world to feature the unique "negative-g stall loop" inversion that is supposed to give riders the sensation of floating. What's really cool is that Hangtime will feature a new innovative lighting package from KCL Engineering that allows the track lights to change color and seem to track the train as it runs around the track at night. While this sounds similar to the impressive system installed for The Monster last summer, Ride Entertainment mentioned that the one coming to Knott's Hangtime could would be a "Next level" edition.
Screamscape sent Robert down to be there first hand for the announcement of Hangtime and he's sent in his own comments from the announcement as well as a bunch of great pictures and graphics, so lets switch over to his impression:
In a move possibly meant to completely erase the debacle that was the Windjammer Surf Racers from the public's memory, Knott's revealed plans for another surfing-themed roller coaster, to be built on the former site of both Boomerang and Corkscrew.
The new ride, named Hangtime, will be a 2,198 foot long variation of the Guerstlauer Infinity class coaster, with a 150 foot height and a top speed of 57 mph. With capacity of 800 riders per hour, Hangtime will send 16 riders at a time through a tangled mess of track, including a 96° beyond vertical drop with a two-second hold at the top, and five inversions. A single train will run the course at a time, while a second and third train will load in the station.
Knott's worked with Gerstlauer from the beginning, and went back and forth a few times before settling on the final design. An early design had only three inversions, which wasn't enough for Knott's. After creating a larger footprint, Gerstlauer was able to revise the initial designs and throw in two more inversions. A few structures had to be razed to create the space to accommodate the new ride.
This will be the first dive coaster on the West Coast, a feature that will certainly thrust Knott's back into the spotlight for thrill seekers in the region. It's been quite a while since Knott's has built a major thrill ride, and park representatives acknowledge it's the right time to do something about that.
Hangtime will look equally as impressive during the evening hours due to an extensive lighting package. An LED system will be affixed to the structure that allows for relatively simple adjustments for seasonal or event-specific lighting. The lights will also "chase" the coaster cars through the route, a fun feature that further enhances the Boardwalk area of the park.
Hangtime opens Summer 2018.
Additionally, Knott's used the opportunity to give attendees a taste of the newly refreshed Boardwalk BBQ, located near the base of the Sky Cabin. The new building, sporting a combination of Googie and modernist visual themes, is a nice complement to the area near the Xcelerator. With an extensive menu of items such as pulled pork, roasted chicken, ribs, and salad, this eatery offers something for everyone. Of special note is the boysenberry BBQ sauce and the Ace berry cider on tap, a nice option from the typical apple or pear flavor. All items sampled were of a quality far better than that of most theme park fare. It's great to see parks paying more attention to their cuisine lately.
(8/17/17) Knott’s Berry Farm has confirmed that Hangtime will be coming in 2018, a large Gerstlauer roller coaster with several inversions and a beyond vertical first drop. More details to follow!
(8/5/17) Knott's has posted a brief teaser video clip ahead of the August 16th announcement on Instagram which you can see here. It's a pan of the rides on the Boardwalk area leading to someone picking up a drink cup an drink cup and under it is revealed to be a drink-coaster that says "2018" and features a silhouette of a surfer on his board in the position one would take when having just dropped into a nice wave from the top of a huge wave.
This pretty much confirms the rumors that the new ride would feature a Surfing theme to it and will likely either be called Hangtime or The Ledge, as both names have been trademarked by Cedar Fair this summer.
The latest rumor also suggests that this could be some kind of new compact coaster that will pack a lot of track and thrills into a very small space... with this source leaning towards it being a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster style design that would feature a vertical lift hill, beyond vertical first drop and a large number of inversions, twists and turns. I've added a great video showing off the fantastic looking "The Monster" that opened last summer at Adventureland that really shows off what Gerstlauer can create in a compact park space. Just take a look at the car dropping over the top of that lift hill... kind of the same looking idea as a surfer dropping down into a huge wave, don't you think?
That isn't the only train option for this coaster type however, as the infamous "The Smiler" at Alton Towers is also part of the "Infinity Coaster" line and features a bigger train featuring 4-across seating and 4 rows of seats for 16 riders per train operation which would fit the needs of a big park like Knott's a little better.
(6/21/17) I’ve no word yet on if this latest rumor is any more true than some others presented thus far, but we did hear an interesting claim this week that the rumored new Knott’s coaster could actually be a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster project.
(6/12/17) A guest reported in from Knott's Berry Farm that the construction walls around the former Boomerang coaster location has been extended to run down to where Riptide was, and then around the corner until it stops right where Calico Mine Train begins. Looks like they intend to use the entire site for whatever new attraction is being planned.
(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.