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.
Xcelerator - NOW CLOSED through TBD
High Sierra Ferris Wheel - 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 - (7/23/22) In the aftermath of the fights that saw Knott’s Berry Farm forced to close early last weekend, just as I predicted, all new rules went into effect yesterday that now prevent minors from visiting the park on Friday and Saturdays without a guardian being present at all times. This new policy is now in effect “until further notice”. I would expect there to be some small tweaky of the policy over the upcoming weeks as they work through what is working and parts that are causing issues, but in general this has been a long time coming.
With such a major park like Knott’s now embracing the concept, I would not be surprised to see many others begin enforcing similar policies, especially as we approach the more chaotic Halloween season.
The bottom line right now is this, all guests under 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone at all times while in the theme park on Fridays and Saturdays. Chaperones must be at least 21 years old and able to vouch for up to three minors and stay with them at all times throughout the day.
(7/17/22) Things got a little out of hand at Knott’s Berry Farm on Saturday night it seems, as social media and the local news have confirmed that after several fights broke out in the park, Knott’s decided to shut the entire park down early. For whatever reason some guests called the police to report the fights and claimed to have heard gunshots, but police on site during the event confirmed that no shots were fired.
Video footage posted to the news story had footage of some people fighting, but that footage was shot outside the park, so it sounds like any fights taking place inside may have continued outside the park for a time once Knott’s closed at 8pm, three hours earlier than scheduled.
I know I don’t have to stress how unacceptable this is, but events like this have become more common over the past couple of years at a variety of locations. I can’t speak for how things have taken place nationwide but over the past two years I know new rules banning unaccompanied minors have been put in place at many malls, mini-golf FECs, and movie theaters. The rules vary from location to location, but I’ve seen everything from complete bans 7-days a week, to bans on Friday-Sundays, to bans after 3pm.
It may also surprise some people that select smaller theme parks have also begun to implement similar bans. In fact it was just one year ago that Elitch Gardens in Colorado put exactly such a ban preventing anyone under the age of 16 from visiting the park at any time without an adult chaperone due to a problem with “unruly teenagers”. Teens aged 16 and 17 can come during the day, but if they want to stay after 3pm, they also have to have an adult chaperone with them at all times.
If incidents like this continue to be a rising trend in this country, I think we could see some of the major theme park chains begin to put place similar enforcement rules into effect before too long. I know several parks have been slowly and quietly modifying their rules to visit during evening Halloween themed events over the past couple of years, including the banning of any personal bags and backpacks unless they are made of clear-plastic, so the addition of age restrictions wouldn’t be a surprising twist.
(7/1022) Knott's Berry Farm Removes The Loop From Montezooma's Revenge
(6/12/22) Knott's Berry Farm Denies Any Near Future Plans For Hyper/Giga Coaster
(5/21/22) Has the plug been pulled on Xcelerator? The popular launched coaster at Knott’s has been down for most of 2022 thus far, starting off the year being closed for repainting for several weeks, only to be shut down again in March due unknown mechanical issues that have kept it closed ever since.
A popular rumor whispered around the park for the past few years always claimed that Xcelerator was just one bad breakdown away from being retired for good, but clearly this was never the case as Knott’s just spent the time and funds to repaint the coaster. But with sister ride, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, down for the entire 2022 season due to an incident in 2021, word has it that the Cedar Fair office is re-evaluating the long-term viability for keeping these style Intamin launch coasters in service. As such, the latest whispered rumor making the rounds at Knott’s claims that Xcelerator could be left SBNO for the rest of the busy season, leaving the park with two coasters down this year with the current Montezooma’s Revenge refurbishment taking place from now through 2023.
(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.
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 - Montezooma’s Revenge Returns / Fiesta Village Improvements - (7/24/22) A small collection of pictures from the Knott’s “graveyard” were sent in to us by ACN showing off the cut-off pieces of track from the loop removed from Montezooma’s Revenge, as well as the entire massive flywheel system that has also been removed from the ride, intact. And yes… the track for the loop that was removed was cut to be removed, so this definitely means new sections of track will be fabricated and added to the ride when it reopens. They’ve also posted a video of the scene as well on their YouTube channel that is worth checking out, so consider subscribing for future updates.
(7/11/22) With the temporary removal of the loop on Montezooma’s Revenge, I was reminded that we really haven’t gotten any firm information about exactly what Knott’s has planned for the ride. Digging a little deeper, we may finally have some possible answers, though I’ve also been told that we can probably expect the park to come forward with the details on their own sometime next month.
In the meantime… here is what I’m hearing will take place.
For starters, the park is said to be getting an all new train for the coaster. While Monty can only run one train at a time, I believe they actually have two trains, always keeping one in perpetual refurbishment and when finished they swap them out to refurb the other train. At this time I’m not sure if they are getting a completely brand new train from someone, or if they sent out the spare train to be transformed into something new. Of course a new train can also mean new restraints, but we can only hope they continue the tradition of only trains with lap bars only.
Track… we have heard over time that it is likely that sections of track may be replaced. The removal of the loop this week seems to confirm that particular rumor.
New theming is coming and not just in the queue. From what I’m told the queue and station will be re-themed to that of an “exploration camp”. Special effects are also rumored to be added to the station that will likely enhance the launch sequences. And yes… sequences… as in plural. I’m a little fuzzy on the details but we are hearing something about the new version of the ride rotating through three different possible launch profiles. This along with the update of the old Flywheel launch system to a new modern magnetic launch system means that the new Montezooma’s Revenge could become a multi-launch coaster. Imagine the surprise in store for riders while they wait for the launch, not knowing if the coaster will launch forward or backwards at first. Talk about adding a re-rideability factor, and if that wasn’t enough, there is also a rumored special 4th launch sequence rumored to take place only upon every 100th launch.
The possibilities are kind of interesting when you think of it this way. Lots of work left to be done here ahead of the rumored May 2023 re-opening.
(7/10/22) While Montezooma’s Revenge has been closed for a few months now to under-go a massive restoration and upgrade project whose scope is still unconfirmed, we really haven’t seen a lot of visual work reported to be taking place. Until now, when guests visiting the park this weekend noticed that workers had actually removed the top of Monty’s loop.
(5/21/22) For guests visiting Knott’s Berry Farm, start to keep your eyes open when walking around the park’s Fiesta Village area. From what we’ve started to hear, in addition to a relaunch marketing effort for the revised Montezooma’s Revenge in 2023, the park is planning on making a number of improvements around the Fiesta Village area as well. I don’t know if this might mean a new flat ride, or if they are looking to upgrade the food offerings, or simply improve the overall decor, but changes are said to be coming.
As for Montezooma’s Revenge, the park has still not really confirmed exactly what kind of changes or upgrades they have in store. The popular rumor that has been around from the start would be to retire the old Flywheel launch system in favor of a modern Magnetic launch system, but again, this has not been confirmed. We’ve also heard rumors of possibly enclosing the launch track to create a dark tunnel effect, but again… nothing confirmed. As work on the upgrades is expected to begin and become visible to park guests over the coming months, I assume it won't be long until we have a better idea of what is going to happen. One thing that does seem for sure is that some kind of upgraded queue experience with some added theming elements is expected for the relaunch.
(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.
(1/14/22) 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.
???? - New Roller Coaster - Rumor Denied - (6/12/22) According to a new update from the OC Register, Knott’s officials have gone on record to confirm that they have “no plans in the near future to add a Giga or Hyper coaster” to the park. The legitimacy of the the various “leaked” plans posted to social media over the past several months (3 of which we’ve seen so far) has also been called into question, with Knott’s officials also stating that "the Giga/Hyper coaster plans that have been circulating online did not come from Knott’s or parent company Cedar Fair".
Previously we’ve also seen a statement from the city of Buena Park confirming that Knott’s has not come to them to present any such plans either, though if a proposed attraction concept was still very much in the design phase, the park would not officially present anything until they had settled a final design they were prepared to go ahead with if approved.
So with all this in mind, until something more firm shapes up, it looks like the 10-15 year dream of Knott’s adding a massive Hyper or Giga coaster will simply remain as a dream.
(5/19/22) Having a few moments to think over those latest “leaked” plans for the Knott’s coaster project, there are a few things that don’t quite add up. For starters, apparently the city of Buena Park has responded to several comments on Twitter (see below) to say that Knott’s has not presented the City with plans for a Hyper or Giga coaster.
Then one factor on the revised plans has been bugging me, I just couldn’t put my finger on it at first. Now it seems clear as day… the tunnel. I think most of us just saw the tunnel under the road and didn’t think much of it, because there was a similar tunnel in the previous plans. But there is a big difference in sending a roller coaster through a tunnel that only passes through Knott’s own parking lot, and this new tunnel that would be dug under Beach Blvd., perhaps the most busy road in all of Buena Park. Granted, Knott’s already has a tunnel that goes under this very same road to send cars to the old parking lot, but that was built a long-LONG time ago. Somehow I don’t think the City is going to allow that.
While the old leaked plans, if those were legit in the first place, may not get approved either, I’m really thinking this latest plan actually may not be legit at all. Since the earliest a new coaster this size is likely to happen is now 2024, there is still plenty of time.
(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