KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
Buena Park, California
Cedar Fair Entertainment
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Calico Railroad - NOW CLOSED through July 15
Mystery Lodge - NOW CLOSED Until Further Notice
Screamscape has posted our official review of Knott's Scary Farm 2017 this week. Click here to see all the details.
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 - (7/14/19) A few readers have tried to do some digging on the fate of Mystery Lodge at Knott’s and reported back. From what they’ve been told something did break at the attraction, and as this really is a custom built, one-of-a-kind, attraction the are having some trouble finding someone able to custom manufacture the needed parts.
Since this was not part of a planned maintenance closure, and that they have no idea how long it will take to obtain the needed parts to repair it, this is why there is no estimated timeline as to when it might reopen on the website. That said, they do plan to reopen it once the repairs can be completed, so for now the attraction is closed and locked up.
(7/7/19) I really had not discussed this much, but a long pending rumor has come to light as Knott’s Berry Farm quietly closed the park’s unique Mystery Lodge attraction last month. They haven’t come out to officially say it is being retired, but simply just list it as being “Closed for Refurbishment” on their website. The difference is that the other attractions listed here that are closed for refurbishment always have dates posted as well for the estimated downtime, while Mystery Lodge has no timeline at all.
Any of our insiders have any better insight as to what is going on here?
(7/6/19) Guess what today is? Apparently July 6th is “National Fried Chicken Day” and if you are lucky enough to be in Southern California, then there may be no better place to celebrate this holiday than Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant located just outside the entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm. Long before the Log Ride, the Coasters or even Ghost Town were added to Knott’s Berry Farm, the location had already become famous because of the Berry Farm itself, as well as the best place to come eat Fried Chicken. Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant first opened way back in 1934, where the chicken dinner meals cost just 65 cents!
Today the restaurant still stands, often with a line just to get in. For National Fried Chicken Day the restaurant celebrates by offering a 10% discount for fried chicken meals, plus adding on some extra photo ops and even special T-Shirts for sale.
(7/4/19) Knott’s Berry Farm’s famous Timber Mountain Log Ride will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary on July 11th, 2019. The ride’s unique themeing and ride path that travels around a fake mountain and ends with a plunge out the top made the legendary flume ride a first of its kind experience when it opened way back in 1969. While the Log Ride underwent a staggering restoration in 2013, complete with all new audio-animatronics added by Garner Holt Productions, the ride will be debuting two new animatronics for the anniversary.
Look for exclusive new Timber Mountain Log Ride anniversary merchandise to be sold at the park, featuring limited edition t-shirts, pins and one-of-a-kind signed artwork pieces from July 10 through July 14th at special booth set up next to the ride. Guests entering the park on July 11th will also be given a commemorative button to celebrate the special anniversary, while supplies last.
(6/21/19) Knott's Summer Nights
As the summer of 2019 is sure to go down as one of the most eventful for those visiting Disneyland, nearby Knott's Berry Farm attempts to differentiate itself from Galaxy's Edge just down the road. Hot on the heels of the re-opening of the Calico River Rapids ride, Knott's Summer Nights - a festival of musical acts, shows, and food - offers up a complement to the many summertime offerings on tap.
But, does it hold up? We found out.
Let's begin with the entertainment. There are simply too many options to see see in one evening, and that's a good thing. Bands playing 80s and 90's hits will be taking over the Calico Mine Stage throughout the summer. For opening night, Haitus rocked the crowds enjoying the food offerings. The audience area has been packed with tables, benches fire pits, and hi-tops, affording most attendees a decent view of the bands. Artificial turf deployed throughout evokes a grassy park as families are encouraged to play an assortment of classic fairground games of skill dotting the area.
Over at the Calico Park Stage, in front of the saloon, Doug Legacy & the Zydeco Cajun Party Band effortlessly invoked a New Orleans vibe with their catchy zydeco style, especially timely with the recent passing of Dr. John. The band also led a mass line dancing lesson, much to the delight of young and old visitors. This stage will be hosting a diverse array of musical genres throughout the summer, including mariachi, reggae, and Dixieland jazz.
One of the highlights to any visit to Knott's is Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies in the Wagon Camp. Making Knott's their home since their unceremonious dismissal from Disneyland five years ago after a 20+ year run, Kirk and the boys have been thriving in their new digs, showcasing their quirky sense of humor alongside interpretations of classic country and bluegrass standards, with a few twists thrown in for flavor. A guaranteed great time for visitors of all ages.
While Fiesta Village offered up DJ Cruz, playing salsa, another DJ dished contemporary club hits in Charleston Circle later in the evening. This space is a bit cramped, as it's situated just outside the exit of the HangTime roller coaster. Crowds tend to congregate just below the DJ booth, causing a bottleneck that could probably be remedied by relocating to the open area next to Johnny Rockets.
Food and drink offerings are plentiful and of a general higher quality than that of many parks during the summer season. These particular items are only able to be purchased using food cards ($35, for eight tickets) from nine different vendor stands, and we attempted to sample most of the items. First off was chicken skewers, with squash, peppers, an onions. The tastefully seasoned chicken was robust and just juicy enough. Next up, fish tacos...well, shrimp actually; it seems the fish wasn't ready for prime time tonight. Again, nicely done, in a white corn tortilla with a lime slice on the side for some added zest. A small bowl of esquites (toasted corn) provided much needed sweetness. A boysenberry sausage on a bun tastes much better than it sounds. We topped ours with mustard.
The drink offerings are right on theme too. Our hands down favorite was the Ace Berry Cider, a sweet, fruity blend; and Knott's berry beer is available as well. There was a wine offering this evening, though we were served a very sweet juice that definitely was not wine. Evidently real wine wasn't ready for the big show tonight either. A nice feature is the option to purchase either a half or full size drink from stands. Much appreciated for those who want to remain within their limits, financial or otherwise.
As expected, the dessert offerings are plentiful. Kettle corn, fruit salad, churro loops, shortcake, and peach crumble all round out the county fair theme. Some very tasty ways to wrap up dinner time.
One aspect of Knott's Summer Nights that can't quite be communicated in a review, the atmosphere of a night at Knott's Berry Farm is friendly and fun, with a very local vibe. Entire families and groups converge upon the park to enjoy an evening of food, music, and fun. It doesn't feel touristy, more like a small town, or at least as small as a town can feel while situated in the sprawling landscape of the Los Angeles metro area. That's certainly something to be valued.
Knott's Summer Nights is running nightly from 6pm to close now through August 7th. Be sure to check the Knott's Berry Farm website for performance schedules.
(6/20/19) I have to send congratulations to good old Monty at Knott’s Berry Farm. According to this report the park’s classic Montezooma’s Revenge coaster will be honored on Thursday morning with a ceremony presentation by ACE granting the coaster with ACE’s “Landmark” status. The award will recognize Montezooma’s Revenge as the last operating ride of its kind in the United States.
2019 - Calico River Rapids - (6/1/19) Had a little technical snag and didn’t get this right away, but we’ve now added a new POV video showing off an opening day run (actually two, back-to-back) on the new Calico River Rapids ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, as Rob was accompanied along his journey with some local Calico natives to show off some of the new features. (Watch through to the second run to see the new Bigfoot!)
(5/19/19) Knott’s Berry Farm opened their new Calico River Rapids and we sent Rob out to check it out! You can read his report below.
The latest "splash" onto the scene at Knott's Berry Farm has arrived, in the form of a revamped Bigfoot Rapids, now renamed Calico River Rapids. Like a great rug, the new contributions really tie the whole south side of the park together.
Though Bigfoot Rapids' arrival in 1988 was warmly, if a bit soggily, received, it always could have used a bit more in the theming and narrative department. As with both the recent mine train and log ride renovations, Knott's again wisely enlisted Garner Holt and crew to enhance the attraction with their trademark blend of realism and humor through their proven visual style. The result is a wide assortment of animated scenes that bring the experience up to pace with its bigger brethren, the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride. The new bits set the scene for explorers of the frontier of the untamed west, a very logical thematic extension of the gold rush culture depicted in Ghost Town.
All varieties of critters, from mischievous raccoons to a literal fox in a henhouse add humor and action to a ride that for many years had little going for it other than a forested nook of the park. Rattlesnakes, bears, chickens, and a howling wolf are only some of the wildlife to be encountered during the expedition. Perhaps the biggest triumph for this ride is the answer to the question, "What happened to Bigfoot?" Well, without spoiling things, the answer comes once riders venture into a dark cave near the end of the journey. A thrilling touch.
Though the queue path was always a pleasurable jaunt into the forest on the way to the loading platform, a rustic cabin housing supplies for intrepid explorers now serves many of those in line before they board. The ride itself is far from the wettest rapids ride, but it is satisfyingly long and now rewards repeat visits.
On the shore, visitors who want to steer clear of the water factor can set off TNT water "explosions" which drench riders as they round a bend about half way through. Additionally, many of the onride scenes can be seen from the shore, better integrating the ride into the existing area and adding some participatory fun for guests.
With Calico River Rapids, Knott's Berry Farm has bolstered their Ghost Town area of the park and reasserted it as one of the most well-loved theme park environments.
(5/13/19) A fun video about the changing of Bigfoot Rapids to the new Calico River Rapids ride can be seen below. You wont have to wait long to see more however, as Calico River Rapids will open to the public on May 17th, following a media preview the day before.
(4/18/19) The OC Register reports that the new Calico River Rapids attraction at Knott’s will not only serve as a dramatic overall to the former BigFood Rapids attraction, but also include a storyline that will tie it into the other Ghost Town attractions. They report that the revised attraction will feature nine different scenes and over 20 animatronic figures along the route, including the arrival of BigFoot himself somewhere along the way.
One awesome idea is also mentioned… you know those stations you see along the pathways near water rides where guests drop in coins to trigger water streams and geysers to soak the guests on the boat as they pass by? Well… Calico River Rapids is going to have those, but with a twist. Every so often these stations with backfire on those using them, and send a much unexpected soaking to those who wished to remain dry and on land. You’ve been warned!
(2/3/19) Westcoaster heads over to Knott’s to check out the Peanuts Celebration event this week. Keep on scrolling down and you’ll also get a look at the construction progress taking place on the former Bigfoot Rapids ride as they prepare it to reopen in 2019 as Calico River Rapids. Below that… something a little weird… a Spike’s Silent Disco? You’ll just have to see this one for yourself.
(11/14/18) Knott’s Berry Farm has just released the details about their 2019 attraction, where the former Bigfoot Rapids will now become Calico River Rapids when it reopens in Summer 2019. The attraction is undergoing a major renovation that will see new animatronics and special effects added (from Garner Holt Productions) to create new show scenes to create, “a new story overlay and plenty of dynamic water effects.”
Guests will journey in search of a new land on the outskirts of Calico where they will encounter roaring rapids, indigenous wildlife and some “peculiar homesteaders” along the journey inside six passenger rafts.
Knott’s also confirmed the return of the Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration on weekends from Jan. 26 to Mar. 10, 2019 as well as the popular Knott’s Boysenberry Festival from Mar. 29 through to April 28, 2019. “Ghost Town Alive!” will also return to the park daily with a brand new storyline from May 25 through to Aug. 18th, and then on weekends from Aug. 24 through to Labor Day weekend.
(10/24/18) During the summer a few Cedar Fair parks released some odd posters that seemed hint about future attractions to come, and now Knott’s just tweeted out one of their own, claiming that a great discovery awaits in 2019. A call to adventure if you will to visit the “Unspoiled Wilderness” of the “Calico River Territory” known for “Mining! Timber! Homesteads!”
So… exactly what does this mean? Calico is home to Ghost Town of course, along with the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Train. But… and here comes some guesswork, but technically Bigfoot Rapids is within the Calico area and features the only real “river”.
So could Bigfoot Rapids be going under the knife to be transformed into something new for 2019? It’s also worth mentioning that on the Knott’s official list of attraction rehabs, Bigfoot Rapids is now closed and has no official reopening date, just a generic “TBD”.
2020/2021 - New Attraction - (3/3/19) Screamscape sources tell us that some future plans to develop Knott’s Berry Farm into the future are being settled that may see the park expand a little bit more, taking over some of the backstage land. The site of the later may involve an expansion of Ghost Town into the nearby backstage area that could be ready sometime between late 2020 and 2021. The early rumors suggest the new section would incorporate a new coaster of some kind as well as a new flat ride or two. The coaster side of things is said to still be very much in development with no one design (or designer) in the lead yet for the project, though we did hear an interesting concept for one of the flat rides could be to bring one of those Gerstlauer Sky Roller kind of attractions to the park, possibly even with some kind of loose “homage” to the park’s former XK-1 as part of the themeing.
Again, this is all just talk at this point, so nothing is confirmed. That said… it may be worth keeping an eye open when traveling through Ghost Town over the year for any sign of construction surveying markers, stakes or paint.
(6/6/18) While it is too early to tell what is going on at this point, I've been told that Knott's Berry Farm's next BIG project will come to life in 2020. From the sound of things, this could possibly be the park's next big coaster and if so, I'm hearing that it could go somewhere south of GhostTown, near GhostRider.