KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
Buena Park, California
Cedar Fair Entertainment
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
GhostRider - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Xcelerator - NOW CLOSED through TBD
High Sierra Ferris Wheel - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Merry Go Round- NOW CLOSED through TBD
Montezooma’s Revenge - CLOSED through mid-2023
Screamscape has posted our look at the Knott’s Berry Farm 100th Anniversary Celebration - Click Here
Screamscape has posted our review of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Taste of Fall-O-Ween - Click Here
See the official review of 2019’s new Calico River Rapids - Click here
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 - (3/25/22) I was sent some bad news for Knott’s Berry Farm this week, as it seems Xcelerator is down, yet again. I’m not sure of what the issue is this time, but I don’t believe this was scheduled downtime as Xcelerator was down prior to the closing of Montezooma’s Revenge for painting.
While I’m not saying that Xcelerator is done by any means, we had previously heard that Knott’s was getting somewhat tired of all the downtime issues they have with the coaster and some in the company feel that the year-round operations of Knott’s may just be too much stress for Xcelerator.
Now if only that rumored Giga coaster would arrive to pick up the slack…
(2/18/22) Knott’s Berry Farm has dropped the requirements for vaccinated guests to wear face covering while visiting indoor locations at the theme park. Unvaccinated guests however are still “required to wear face coverings indoors”.
(2/4/22) Knott’s Berry Farm fans please note that the park has now confirmed that Montezoom’s Revenge will be closed starting February 7, 2022 to begin the park’s major renovation plans for the classic shuttle loop coaster. So you’ve got this weekend as your last chance to ride before they reopen the ride in 2023.
(1/16/22) Knott's Berry Farm Shows Off New Italian Restaurant Concept Art
(1/14/22) Knott’s Berry Farm apparently has realized that they dropped the bomb about closing Montezooma’s Revenge a little too “last second”. As such, Knott’s apparently opted to reopen Monte on Tuesday, one day after it closed in order for fans to get their rides in before it shuts down for the long rehab. No new officially date has been set to close the coaster for the still-planned refurbishment however. Knott’s only confirmed that the project timetable has been adjusted and Montezooma’s Revenge will be able to stay open for a few more weeks.
So you’ve been warned… get to Knott’s and get your last rides in on this classic coaster while you can, otherwise you’ll be waiting until 2023 like the rest of us.
(1/8/22) Knott’s Berry Farm just made a surprise announcement that I had not even heard a whisper about ahead of time. As of January 10, 2022, Montezuma’s Revenge is closing down to undergo “major renovations”. Monty was the first Flywheel-launched coaster of its kind “and will be upgraded with exciting changes while keeping the ride’s unique charm that our guests have loved for generations.” More details about just what Knott’s will do to the coaster won’t be coming until later this year, but they did say that Montezooma’s Revenge will not reopen until 2023.
I would imagine that the goal is to have it reopen no later than the start of Summer 2023, which means Monty is going to be down anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The question is, just what kind of upgrades are planned for it? Will the Flywheel Launch be upgraded to something magnetic? I would imagine modern magnetic braking might be added, but what about the roller coaster train? Would they refurbish the existing trains or has the time come to have all new trains created? We know Six Flags hired out to have new trains built for two of their classic Schwarzkopf coasters (Revolution at SF Magic Mountain and now Riddler at SF over Georgia) and Hersheypark hired Gerstlauer to create all new trains for their Sooper Dooper Looper. So new trains are always a possibility, though Knott’s has always kept the original trains in pretty good shape through a constant maintenance rotation program. As far as other things that could be done, one has to look across the Atlantic to Walibi Belgium where the park transformed their original Flywheel coaster (Siricco/Turbine into what is now called Psyke Underground by enclosing the entire coaster. It is worth noting that this was only done due to noise complaints the park had received for years from their neighbors. While the all indoor setting is unique, in the case of Psyke Underground they also purchased new trains from Gerstlauer along with changing the launch system to a quiet LIM based system. Let us hope that Knott’s has studied what happened to Psyke, as the new magnetic launch has long been criticized as being far too slow and gentle in comparison to the original thrill of the flywheel launch.
(1/7/22) Knott’s Berry Farm will host the PEANUTS Celebration starting January 22 through to March 6 with daily events at the theme park. “The limited-time event welcomes fans of all ages to join in on the excitement with family-friendly options for guests to play and interact with the PEANUTS Gang throughout the park. The celebration features a new stage show, a new Charles Schulz exhibit, plenty of new PEANUTS-inspired food items, and last but not least, a brand-new walk-around character to join in on the fun.”
Visit the official website for all the details.
(12/22/21) Knott’s Berry Farm has announced a whole list of special events that will be coming to the Farm in 2022. This includes the Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration (Jan. 22 to Mar. 6), Knott’s Boysenberry Festival (Mar. 18 through Apr. 24), Summer at Knott’s (May 20 through Sept. 5), Knott’s Scary Farm (Sept. 22 through Oct. 31), and Knott’s Merry Farm (Nov. 18 through Jan. 1, 2023).
(12/19/21) In addition to the COVID related changes to the LA County theme parks we reported on yesterday, it seems the state of California is also now requiring all guests to wear a face covering when visiting any indoor location once again, regardless of vaccination status, according to a tweet from Knott’s Berry Farm.
For those wondering, I believe Disneyland already had this rule in place on their own anyway.
(12/7/21) The ongoing repainting of Xcelerator at Knott’s is still taking place, except it looks like the coaster is going to have several new colors this time around. Instead of just red track, sections of what look like orange, yellow and grey/black track have also been spotted.
(11/19/21) The repainting of Xcelerator has officially begun. You can see the progress they’ve made already as the faded pink is being turned into a nice deep red.
(11/14/21) Knott’s Berry Farm announced on social media this week that starting on Nov. 15th the theme park would be going entirely ‘cashless’, accepting only credit cards, debit cards, as well as mobile payments via Google Pay/Apple Pay. This has been a trend we’ve seen slowly spread throughout the rest of the Cedar Fair theme park chain over the past year, but no fear, they’ve made it easy for everyone to use.
For those without cards or able to use mobile payment systems, Knott’s will have free to use “Cash-to-Card” kiosks that will transfer your cash onto a card for you to use instead. But this isn’t a cheesy card only good at Knott’s, or some shameless cash grab, they are putting the money onto what is actually a pre-paid style credit card that you can use anywhere major credit cards are accepted.
The only limitations I can find is that a maximum sum of $500 can be loaded onto each card, and if you use it, the cards are not ‘reloadable’, so a new card will need to be obtained if you wish to add more cash to your card. Also, as long as the card is used on a regular basis, no fees are charged. If for whatever reason the card sits idle for 92 consecutive days with no transaction activity, only then will a $3.95 fee be charged each month it is idle.
Once the new system is in place, cash will only be accepted at the parking lot booths, inside the “Christmas Crafters” shop inside the park, in the California Marketplace just outside the theme park, and at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.
(11/10/21) A Screamscape reader who dropped into Knott’s Berry Farm earlier day confirmed that as of Thursday, Hangtime is now reopen and was running two trains during their visit.
(11/7/21) Knott’s Berry Farm fans, keep an eye on Hangtime. We’ve been told that the ride was spotted testing, which means the part they’ve been waiting on for so long has arrived and been installed. If testing goes as planned, Hangtime could reopen any time now.
We’ve also heard reports of a long-awaited project to repaint Xcelerator started last week. No telling how much downtime may be needed to accommodate it all when the time comes, but so far you can find a picture of the turn from the brakes into the station where the track has either been painted a grey color, or had a grey primer coat spotted on Nov. 4th, along with workers power-washing the launch track. From what I’ve heard, Xcelerator may not have had a track repaint since it opened in 2002 and the California sun has not been kind to the ride’s original paint job. The track is actually not intended to be that Faded Flamingo Pink color it is now, instead when it opened the track was actually more of a red with a shade of pink color.
Elsewhere in the park, the Pony Express coaster also got a fresh coat of paint, turning the former orange track into the same brown shade used on the supports.
Also, don’t forget our 2023 Giga Coaster Rumor Update.
2022 - Internal Improvements - (1/16/22) Knott’s Berry Farm has posted concept art of a new Italian themed restaurant coming to the park this year that will replace the former Hollywood Hits location. The restaurant will feature an art deco design and offer pasta, salad, breadsticks and pizza when it opens in Summer 2022.
(8/13/21) According to a release from Cedar Fair regarding 2022 plans for the park, “Knott’s Berry Farm’s full Seasons of Fun lineup will return in 2022, kicking off with the return of the Peanut’s Celebration, an extended Boysenberry Festival in the spring, the return of Knott’s award-winning summer experience, Ghost Town Alive!, and the festive Knott’s Spooky and Merry Farm closing out the year. The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel will also undergo a major renovation to its 300+ room onsite resort.”
2023 - New Roller Coaster - Planing - (5/17/22) Sad news for Knott’s Berry Farm, but not entirely unexpected either. Many have been waiting for some kind of sign that Knott’s was ready to move ahead with their impressive Giga coaster project. Unfortunately the sign that has now been discovered seems to indicate that Knott’s was forced to give up on that concept, likely due to complaints from the neighbors on south side of the property.
An all new layout concept has leaked out, showing the coaster’s new starting point to be essentially across the pathway from GhostRider’s station. Trains will depart and turn eastward to head out over GhostRider’s turn from the station, up over the marketplace, where it will then take a first drop that will run underground through a tunnel below Beach Blvd, parallel to the existing tunnel that leads from Grand Ave to the North parking lot. From there it will rise ahead, head over to run past the picnic areas towards the entrance of Soak City, but quickly turn north-east towards a grassy lot what looks like a hammerhead u-turn. From there it will head back exactly along the same general path, dive under Beach Blvd again, over the Marketplace and back past GhostRider and into a brake run.
While this is just a rough estimate, my best guess is that the new Knott’s layout may only be about 4,200 to 4,400 feet in length. For comparison’s sake, this is about 1,000 feet shorter than Orion at Kings Island, which has a length of 5,321 ft. While we don’t know the height, I’m can only guess they’ve given up on thee dream of a Giga coaster at this point, otherwise this is going to be the shortest one on record.
Rather than waste track on height, Knott’s may be better served trying to make this a Hyper Coaster airtime machine instead. They’ve made some really fun 200 ft sized coasters in the past, such as Mako at SeaWorld Orlando (200 feet tall and 4,760 feet long), Apollo’s Chariot (210 foot drop and 4,882 feet long), Hersheypark’s Candymonium (210 ft tall, 4636 ft long) or Golaith at Six Flags over Georgia (200 ft, 4,480 ft long). So far the two shortest such coasters from B&M have been Goliath at La Ronde (174ft tall, 4,038 ft long) and Flight of the Himalayan Eagle at a Happy Valley park in China (157 ft tall, 3,923 ft long).
You can see the layout that was leaked over on Reddit, and someone has overlaid it over an aerial image of the property here.
(12/30/21) It appears that the long standing rumor of bringing a Giga-Coaster to Knott’s Berry Farm is indeed true, as a couple of different proposed layouts for example that kind of coaster were leaked online (see below) with one drawn up back in May 2021 and a second dates October 2021. As we previously posted in our rumor, the layouts are somewhat similar but put the station in different locations, with one placing it in the area for the former Mystery Lodge attraction sits and has the lift crossing over the Calico River Rapids. The other layout actually allows for an expansion of Ghost Town to happen into the backstage area of the park, providing a new pathway that would go south from the GhostRider station, move west into a new themed street that would also serve as the entrance plaza to the new coaster and then move north again to reconnect with Ghost Town where the entrance to the Bird Cage Theater is.
Speaking of the Bird Cage Theater, there are notes in place to build a new “Theater Facade” elsewhere and demolish the building behind it to make way for the large new entry plaza to the new street and coaster that will also add in more shops and themed building facades along the way. If you look at the overlay image I created, you can see just how HUGE this coaster is in size compared to nearby Ghostrider!
While also having a roughly L-shaped layout (or more like an upside 7 in this case), like Ghostrider, it also will cross over Grand Ave and back at the far end of the layout. Scanning over the plans you can also see that Knott’s will recover the lost parking spaces by building a large parking structure behind their hotel.
Looking over the layout, you will notice height’s marked out along the run, which maxes out with a labeled 403.3 ft height at the top of the lift hill. Now before you get too excited, this is not a Stratacoaster. From what I’m told the heights on the layout are listed as true above sea level altitude, which according to Google Earth is about 20 to 21 meters throughout most of the layout, which converts to a change of 65 to 69 feet for the posted height. So keep in mind there will be some fluctuation for all the height conversions, but at best guess this appears to make the lift hill around 335 to 338 feet tall. The lowest point of the first drop in the tunnel is listed as 56.4, which would give this coaster a first drop height of 346.9 feet, allowing this coaster to surpass Fury 325 at Carowinds in both height (325ft) and first drop (320ft). If I had to estimate the length of this coaster, I’d put it around 5,800 to 6,000 feet, which means it will be a shorter than Fury 325 (6,602ft) and Millennium Force (6,595ft) , but longer than Leviathan (4,386ft) or Orion (5.321ft).
After the first drop it looks like the coaster will enter a large B&M style 180º overbanked hammerhead turn that rises 202 feet in the air at the highest point and then dives to a low of 14 feet at bottom, followed by a 79 foot tall airtime hill, then up into a 191.6 foot tall hill, a 78 foot tall hill where the track appears to be banked sideways to the right before dropped into a 540º helix that will be 151 feet tall at the peak and around 17 feet at the low ends. From there the ride starts the return journey back hitting airtimes hills standing 75 feet, 117 feet, 90 feet, 84 feet, 65 feet, 62 feet, and 56 feet tall before hitting the brake-run.
Again, all these are just rough calculations to give you a general idea, but overall the layout seems to be going for a high speed run like Fury 325, where the highest point after the first drop on fury is 190 feet, and the proposed Knott’s Giga will do the same, rising only to 202 feet after the first drop, then keeping all the other elements low and fast, with the exception of the 540º helix spiral in order to maximize speed and airtime.
All said and done, if you enjoy Fury 325, then this coaster is going to dominate the west coast for years to come, as there is simply going to be nothing like it anywhere to compete. Barring any further delays, I’m being told this new coaster is planned to open in Spring 2023. This means the early demolition and site-clearing work is expected to begin between February and March 2022, including work for the parking structure, excavation for the tunnel, parking lot changes, plus all the backstage changes.
(11/7/21) According to a Screamscape source, the rumored Giga Coaster plans for Knott’s may have been given approval to move forward with an intended timeline of opening the coaster in 2023. Keep an eye on the Mystery Lodge area for possible signs of prep work, as this is where the entrance / station is expected to go, with the rest of the coaster expected to be contained mostly in the southern parking lot area, towards the Hotel. If the rumor holds true, early work to prep the site may begin sometime between Q1 and Q2 of 2022.
(8/8/21) Easily one of the longest rumors for Knott’s Berry Farm has been the persistent rumor that the park has been looking to add a Giga-Coaster of some kind over the past 10-15 years. According to the rumors, the park has looked at different manufacturers over the years and more designs, layouts and locations than you can shake a stick at.
So with all that in mind, please take this latest rumor with more than a grain of salt. Not that it doesn’t stand a chance of being true, but because Knott’s and Cedar Fair have gone over this time and time again and in the end, they have failed to pull the trigger every time. The need is there, but space is always limited, and this is Knott’s we are talking about, and the park is deserving of adding something truly spectacular.
Now… according to this latest rumor sent my way, the park may have been looking at another B&M design, and just maybe… they might have even decided to go ahead with it. If true, this could be a new Giga that just might take the height record from Fury 325 at Carowinds. A coaster that size will take up a lot of space, and if the rumor is right, the plan would put the station somewhere on the South side of the park (personally, I’m eyeballing the closed Mystery Lodge site) with the majority of the coaster to head south, outside of the park and take up space around the southern parking lot and hotel area, with the goal of keeping it high enough so that they only need to put supports where needed in the lot to cause minimal loss of space out there.
Of course, the other benefit of sticking the coaster mostly outside the traditional park borderline would allow for it to cause a minimal disruption to the theming on the south side of the park for guests in Ghost Town and Wildwater Wilderness. While hardly scientific, a quick measurement of the distance from Fury 325’s station, lift hill, drop and rise to the next hill does match up very closely with the distance Knott’s has available to go from the area behind Mystery Lodge and move straight south to Crescent Ave. Again, not saying this is the location, but if I were looking to put something in, this is where my mind starts to look. Another location idea may be to put the lift right next to GhostRider’s lift, but I think the Mystery Lodge site would be preferable.
So had Knott’s time finally come? 2023 might be Knott’s year to shine and add a world-record breaking new coaster.
(6/24/21) I haven’t heard much about this yet, but a screen capture of what looks like work permits for a new B&M roller coaster for Knott’s Berry Farm were posted and dated as April 3, 2021 for the arrival of “Material for Installation of an Amusement Park”. Anyone know more? Does Knott’s have something up their sleeve for 2022 or 2023? I know fans have been wanting the park to build a Hypercoaster style ride for quite some time, but space is always a concern.
Knott’s Scary Farm 2021 Review -
(10/7/21) Screamscape sent out local guy Rob out to get a feel for this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm haunt, and as usual he reported back with some great insight into this year’s event, as well as a ton of fun pictures. Enjoy!
Like just about everywhere else, it's been two full years with no major haunt event for Knott's Berry Farm. With the resumption of Knott's Scary Farm for the 2021 season, the park has seemed to have used their extra time wisely. The result: some things new, some things old, and some things gone, for now at least.
Scary Farm hosts more entertainment than any other haunt event, and it's seemingly impossible to see all the acts in a single evening. The dance group Doce de la Noche, performing in Fiesta Village is a real find, just as entertaining and inventive as Jabbawockeez, who set up at Universal Studios Hollywood. There are many similar dance crews around, and it's a real thrill to see what they pull out of their bag of tricks to ramp up the inventiveness.
Conjurers returns, bringing world class magicians to the Bird Cage Theatre, a perfect intimate space for such shows. Invitation to Terror, staged in the former Mystery Lodge, invites members to the debut of a new secret technology, as pushed by a rather familiar figure these days: a millionaire tech mogul. Things go predictably array during the course of the presentation, and it's good to see the Lodge put to good use with a new, if only seasonal, presentation. Extensive use of the Pepper's ghost effects sets this show apart.
Puppet Up!, returning for another season, remains one of the best shows around. Don't miss it just because it's not explicitly Halloween themed. It remains one of the least predictable and outrageously fun improvisatory experiences anywhere. Typically staged in at Muppet Studios in Hollywood, Puppet Up! amasses a group of genuine Muppeteers and their puppets for an unscripted series of comedic bits that never fail to surprise and delight. Just a word of warning for parents: this show is a hard 'R', based on the potential for language and conceptual themes.
One of the absolute strengths of Scary Farm is the wide cast of "scaractors" populating the grounds, awaiting any chance to pounce on unsuspecting visitors as they explore. The various scare zones, which comprise most of the park property, have returned as well, with a new addition, the Gore-ing '20s, setting up in the Boardwalk section of the park. This is a great addition, as it seems more music oriented and less typically horror themed. Roving gangsters, newspaper salesmen, baseball bat-wielding tough guys, and even a zombie band and their gang of flappers entertain and intimidate venturing crowds amidst this Prohibition-era zone. Previous scare zones such as The Hollow, CarvEVIL, Forsaken Lake, and favorite Ghost Town Streets all return in top form this year.
The long standing Hanging show is gone, possibly forever, replaced this season by Carnaval Du Grotesque, a variety show of sorts with cover bands, and side show acts performing daring physical feats.
The big draw to Scary Farm are the walk through haunt mazes of course, and many of the favorites from past years have returned with a vengeance. Returning mazes The Depths, Waxworks, Paranormal, Inc. Dark Entities, Pumpkin Eater, Dark Ride, Origins: The Curse of Calico, are joined by a new experience; Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind. This maze marks a subtle evolution in that it doesn't rely on blood and gore as much as it instills a brooding sense of unease amongst its guests. Taking the form of a sideshow hypnotist act, Mesmer leads visitors on a trippy path through the dark corners of the human mind, throwing out a bevy of visual effects and immersive soundscapes. This one is a must.
The Timber Mountain Log Ride returns as the Halloween Hootenanny. A perennial favorite, this one is worth an annual revisit. We didn't encounter any live actors during our ride, but we're hoping they will return at some point. Not widely publicized is a seasonal revision to the Calico Mine Train, billed as Calico Candy Mine Ride. New narration and lighting promise a lively tour of the Calico Candy Mine, but the atmosphere soon turns very dark as a narrative about kidnapping and eating children (including fairly graphic audio) emerges. Honestly, this turn to child torture is a bit too much, even for an edgy event as Scary Farm. I'm not surprised it wasn't well publicized and it's likely this version only runs during Scary Farm evenings. Regardless, Knott's can do better in this regard at cheap thrills.
Despite this hiccup, Knott's Scary Farm retains its prominence as one of the finest assembly of haunt mazes, enthusiastic scare actors, and wide range of entertainment options for the Halloween fan.
Knott's Scary Farm is open during the evenings of select dates through October 31st