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.
Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies
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 - (8/10/21) Yet another closed coaster report, this time for Knott’s Berry Farm where it has been reported that Hangtime has been closed for the past month or so. Rumor is that the closure has something to do with the lift motor or lift chain, and that while Gerstlauer is sending a replacement, it is being sent via ocean freight and will take quite some time to arrive and install. Look for HangTime to possibly reopen during Haunt season.
(8/9/21) Knott's Scary Farm - The Hanging Is No More
(8/1/21) Good news for Knott’s Berry Farm guests, the park has revealed that they will put an end to the Reservation requirement needed to visit the park (or waterpark) starting on Monday. Currently Knott’s Berry Farm has also not reinstated any kind of mandatory face mask rule, which would make it the only major theme park in the Los Angeles market still allowing this freedom after a new rule for Los Angeles County forced Universal and Six Flags to bring masks back to indoor areas, and Disneyland voluntarily brought them back on Friday.
Meanwhile Knott’s also revealed a new scare zone for this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm.
(7/18/21) An unknown man visiting Knott’s Berry Farm suddenly did the unexpected and climbed to the very top of the park’s Supreme Scream tower, 325 feet in the air, and stood there for about 90 minutes before deciding to climb back down. Police were called out at 7:30pm, shortly after he began the climb, and they say he began the climb back down around 8:50pm. He was not injured and was able to make the long climb thanks to the maintenance ladders that spans the tower.
Knott’s shut down the nearby rides and evacuated guests from that area of the park out of fear that the man was trying to commit suicide and was preparing to jump. Police took the unknown man into custody and have taken him away for a mental health evacuation. You can see some crazy video footage of the guy standing, gesturing wildly, and then just sitting on the tower taken by a local news helicopter.
(7/17/21) Knott's Posts First Knott's Scary Farm Teaser Video
(7/10/21) Scary news for guests leaving Knott’s Berry Farm last night. According to the local news reports a drive-by shooting took place just outside the theme park leaving one person wounded. The location seems in question, as I’ve seen a report claim the shot was fired from a car at the intersection of Beach Blvd and La Palma while another claims it was fired from around where Grand Ave branches out from Beach Blvd, on approach to the park’s entrance/exit area. Regardless, chaos and panic ensued both outside the park and inside the park where the sound of the gunshot caused panic in many areas who were worried that the shooting had taken place inside the park.
(6/27/21) Oh my Sugar! Knott’s Berry Farm is now promoting the SUPER FUN BUN, a giant-sized 12inch version of their popular Fun Bun, a cinnamon bun then smothered in funnel-cake batter to be deep-fried and then topped with powdered sugar and sweet boysenberry glaze (because...Knott’s). The ginormous treat is now for sale at Ghost Town Grub for $20.
Given the size, I doubt many will be able to eat this without diving head-first into a diabetic sugar coma, so if you split this between 2, 3 or 4 people, it’s actually a steal at $20 given that it's the size of a small pizza.
(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? I know fans have been wanting the park to build a Hypercoaster style ride for quite some time, but space is always a concern.
(6/17/21) SoCal theme park fans… Knott’s Berry Farm has a deal for you. From now through June 20th, the park is offering a special on their 2021 Season Passes which are just $13.50 a month for 6 months after an initial payment of $20.
(5/31/21) Knott’s Berry Farm is open once again, and we sent Rob to attend the reopening celebration and send back a report on what’s new and how the park is looking as it finally reopens to celebrate the park’s 100th Anniversary.
Knott's Berry Farm has a lot to celebrate lately.
One hundred years of operation would seem enough to justify a major commemorative celebration, but the park's full emergence after a year-long pandemic, in addition to the debut of a new attraction, warrants even more cause to celebrate. To top it off, the iconic "K" at the top of the Sky Cabin tower has been replaced by a new LED-based fixture and a family of mascots has been resurrected from decades ago.
Knott's has been open only for passholders the past few weeks, but on the eve of their public reopening, they held a party to emphasize all the new and returning additions to the park. Jon Storbeck, VP and GM of Knott's Berry Farm welcomed a select group to preview the new offerings.
Knott's Family Reunion, running through September 6th, is the park's way of commemorating the storied history of the "farm", in addition to the popular Knott's Summer Nights series.
A variety of photo opportunities paying tribute to rides and attractions of the past have been positioned throughout the park, lending even more of a historical context to guests' visits. Elaborate three dimensional vignettes commemorate long gone favorites such as the Sky Jump, Wacky Soap Box Racers, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, and even the Haunted Shack. That last tribute is the most interactive, inviting guests to participate by entering a newly constructed shack and demonstrating one of the best optical illusions from the former walk through attraction. Perhaps this will spur demand to construct a new such show in future years.
The former Charles M. Schultz Theatre has been renamed the Walter Knott Theatre as well. Indoor shows aren't scheduled at this time, but will most likely open up as restrictions are lifted over the summer.
Snoopy and the Peanuts gang have resided in Camp Snoopy for decades, but Knott's hasn't introduced their own mascots in some time. A new era begins this year with the return of some resurrected mascots originally seen in Knott's Bear-y Tales attraction and Ghost Town. Boysen Bear-y and Crafty Coyote will be available for meet and greets in the Charleston Circle area of the park. In addition, Whittles the prospector, first introduced in 1973, will be roaming the streets of Ghost Town. As the lore goes, the original 1973 Whittles character tended to frighten more than enchant young ones, and he quietly rode off into the sunset. Here's hoping Whittles has a more lengthy stay in his "new" home.
Since 1976, the skyline at Knott's has been dominated by the 200 foot tall Intimin-built Sky Tower, playing host to both the thrilling Sky Jump and the more sedate Sky Cabin. Atop the tower, a huge neon illuminated yellow "K" sat proudly for all to see for miles around. This year, that neon sign gives way to a more modern LED variant, capable of hundreds of color combinations and animations. This new beacon was debuted in grand fashion with fireworks launched from the Sky Cabin as it ascended to the top. An array of articulated spotlights now ring the base of the tower, adding an element of glitz not seen in these parts. This installation, visible for miles in each direction, is the metaphorical gem of the park.
If all that wasn't enough, Southern California institution Bob Baker Marionette Theater is presenting “Alegre!”, a Mexican-themed marionette show, taking place in the Fiesta Plaza section of the park. Considering the theater's history with children's programming and entertainment, including some work for Disney, it's a wonder this didn't happen sooner. The Bob Baker Theatre is one of the last and most unique bastions of postwar children's entertainment, with a long history of television and in-person shows staged for thousands of audiences over the years. The theater's namesake passed away in 2014, but one can only trust that his spirit lives on with the good folks keeping his dream alive.
Lastly, after a one year delay due to the pandemic, Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair is finally open as well. Inspired by the original Rolly Crump-designed Knott's Bear-y Tales dark ride (1975-1986), Return to the Fair utilizes a similar projection and target shooting system developed by Triotech for the previous attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef (2015-2020). Instead of shooting freeze rays, riders use jelly blasters to grab pies stolen by Crafty Coyote and his army of pups. The blasters themselves are similar to those on Disney's Toy Story Midway Mania, with a pull rope that fires them off. Players will immediately recognize the advances made by Triotech in regards to most every aspect of gameplay, compared to Iron Reef. The animation is much more fluid, and the 3-D effects feel more natural as well. The projection resolution does not appear to be nearly as high as Midway Mania, though it does not adversely affect the experience. Those riders not quite smitten with gaming will nonetheless be able to enjoy the experience. There are many things going on in the various scenes encountered throughout, with enough wry humor to warrant repeat visits. Knott's should be very proud of their latest creation, one that pays tribute to and demonstrates the progress of dark rides for contemporary visitors.
Longtime fans of Knott's Berry Farm as well as newcomers will have no shortage of new experiences to celebrate the park's 100th anniversary. It's a great time to be back.
Knott’s Scary Farm 2021 - (8/18/21) Knott’s Scary Farm has confirms a new maze for 2021 called Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind. Check out the preview video introducing the maze’s storyline below!
In other news, a release from the park confirmed the locations of some of this year’s new shows, which includes the placement of the Invitation to Terror show inside the Mystery Lodge attraction. The Timber Mountain Log Ride is also getting in on the fun again this year as it gets transformed into the Halloween Hootenanny. “The Timber Mountain Log Ride residents celebrate the Halloween Hootenanny, which adds a seasonal twist to a park favorite. Mysterious creatures of Timber Mountain that live out in the woods and caverns join the citizens as they honor the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The Ride's interior features surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town's green witch, and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns all set to an original soundtrack by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.”
(8/13/21) Knott’s Scary Farm released a new video showing off all of the haunts returning to the Farm for this year’s Halloween Haunt. The list includes Pumpkin Eater, Origins: The Curse of Calico, Dark Entities, The Depths, Dark Ride, Wax Works and Paranormal Inc.
(8/9/21) *DING*DING* Bring out your dead! *DING*DING*
I’ve got some bad news to share for Knott’s Scary Farm fans… THE HANGING IS NO MORE! I had not heard this at the time, and did not attend myself, but the finale of the 2019 version of The Hanging had a last second swerve to the plot. In the final moments of the show, instead of the expected ‘hanging’ of the Jeffrey Epstein character, he is dispatched another way and the hangman’s noose is quickly wrapped around the neck of the Lawman character who is then dispatched in an act of revenge for the events that took place in the early days of The Hanging.
According to the history that I’ve read, the very first version of The Hanging simply was a recreation of what an actual hanging might have been like in the old west. The people of Calico gathered to watch a couple of captured desperados get hauled up onto the gallows, read their last rights by a priest, and given a chance to utter their last words before being hung by the neck until dead in front of the live audience. It was all simulated of course, but the following year Knott’s knew they had to up their game and do something different instead of the same old show.
The next year they decided to do something crazy for the time, they were going to hang a woman this time who was being accused of being a “witch”. The woman was named Sarah Marshall, and for the performance it very much seemed as if she was truly innocent and being accused of ridiculous things that simply were not true. Kicking and screaming, Sarah Marshall was hauled up onto the gallows while the audience watched in horror.
Here lies the twist, because just as the hangman put the noose around her neck and prepared to drop her, Sarah Marshall transformed into The Green Witch character and used her final words to curse the town and people of Calico for all time. The hangman pulled the lever, the witch dropped… only to vanish in a cloud of smoke and a cackle of laughter in the air.
Over time, the story of the hanging of the witch had been mostly forgotten as The Hanging turned their attention to other creations worthy of being hanged, eventually landing on the idea of finding the worst popular celebrity or icon of the year who would be dispatched by the end of the show instead. But over the last few years of Knott’s Scary Farm, the threat of the Green Witch returned once again, which eventually led to a maze in 2019 called Origins: Curse of Calico that retells the story of Sarah Marshall and The Green Witch who cursed the town so many years ago.
So back to the finale of 2019, A coven of witches actually succeed at hanging the Lawman himself at the end of the show in revenge for the killing of Sarah Marshall so long ago. As his body drops, flames ignite all over the gallows, and The Green Witch is seen at the top of a nearby building, breaking out into a cackle of laughter before she vanishes into a puff of smoke once again, which sort of brings the story behind the origin of The Hanging full circle.
I don’t know if it was included in the first performances of The Hanging in 2019, or just in the later dates, I’m told that when the lights came on and the show ended, a tombstone graphic was put on the video screens that listed The Hanging with a date of birth and date of death listed as 2019. Many didn’t see it, and many of those that did took it as a joke. After all, during late 2018, we had just seen South Park go through the entire 22nd season of the show with the ongoing gag of a hashtag #CancelSouthPark graphic being used, as South Park asked their own viewers to demand that the show be canceled.
Unfortunately it seems very much that this was not the case, and that 2019 was indeed intended to be the ultimate finale of The Hanging. With COVID canceling any chance of Knott’s Scary Farm taking place in 2020, the finale tease went mostly forgotten as well… until now. While some Knott’s Scary Farms fans came to detest the show, I always enjoyed it over the years when I was able to attend. To me, “The Hanging” was not only wondrous at times, but essentially seemed to serve as the irreverent soul and spirit of Knott’s Scary Farm. Unafraid to poke the bear, The Hanging would make good fun of Disney as well as flip the collective bird at society as a whole for all the stupid things done over the previous year. No target ever seemed to be off limits, which was wildly refreshing over the years. So with a heavy heart, we will have to bid a fond adieu to The Hanging.
(8/6/21) Knott’s Berry Farm has posted another video about what we can expect from this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm, showing off six live entertainment options to enjoy this year, including the return of Puppet Up. The rest of the list includes Invitation to Terror, Wicked Drums, Doce De La Noche, Carnaval Du Grotesque and Into the Fog.
Curiously there is one major omission here… I see no mention of The Hanging, which is a staple of every Knott’s Scary Farm experience. I’m really hoping they did decide to do away with it after all of these years.
(8/1/21) Knotts’ revealed an all new Scare Zone coming to this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm, the Gore-ing 20’s, a dark underworld full of gangsters, illicit hooch, good times and violence.
(7/24/21) A new video from Knott’s Scary Farm follows the conductor to a park map that shows off the various Scare Zones that guests will have to walk through at this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm. This list includes Ghost Town Streets, Forsaken Lake, The Hollow and CarnEvil. Near the end the camera zooms in on the Walter Knott Theater, and then we see the conductor head to the entrance of the Blind Tiger, a sort of faux entrance to what is supposed to be a speak-easy apparently located near the theater. Guests can push the doorbell to hear various messages at the park during regular hours if you can find it. Makes me wonder if the messages have been updated to have something to do with this year’s Haunt. If you can find the entrance to the Blind Tiger, check it out.
(7/17/21) Knott’s has released their first teaser for this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm, featuring a mysterious train conductor character.
2021 - Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair & 100th Anniversary Celebration - (4/28/21) You can catch a full POV preview ride on the all new Knott’s Bear-Y Tales dark ride in the video below.
(4/23/21) Knott’s Berry Farm has released a new sneak preview video of their new dark ride, Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair. According to the video, the ride’s grand opening will take place on May 21, 2021.
(9/28/20) More decor has been added to the entrance area of the new Knott’s Bear-Y Tales dark ride. Now if only Knott’s were allowed to reopen as a theme park, we could all ride it.
(8/25/20) One of our readers was able to grab a photo of the new ride sign installed outside of the new Bear-Y-Tales attraction building while enjoying the new Taste of Knott’s event. Check it out below.
(11/9/19) I love it when I have a hunch and it turns out to be right on the money. Knott’s Berry Farm confirmed my hunch this week with the announcement that Voyage to the Iron Reef will soon be no more and will be transformed into the new “Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair” 4-D interactive dark ride for 2020.
The new dark ride experience will take guests on a trip through “reimagined show scenes that are reminiscent of the original dark ride, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weird Woods, culminating in a celebration at the County Fair. The story takes place 34 years after the original adventure and will follow Boysen Bear and Girlsen Bear as they travel to the Country Fair to earn the blue ribbon prize for their famous boysenberry pies, but Crafty Coyote is back along with his mischievous pups intent on stealing all the pies for themselves. Guests will climb aboard ride vehicles equipped with jelly blasters to try and recover the stolen boysenberry pies as they travel through whimsical and beautiful environments while competing for the highest score.”
This is perhaps the best news to celebrate the park’s 100th Anniversary, opening in Summer 2020. Long time fans who fondly remember the original Knott’s Bear-y Tales dark ride have understandably been upset that it was ever removed in the first place back when the park chose to close it back in 1986 to reopen the following year as Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. The Dinos didn’t last and shut down in 2004 and the building sat empty until Voyage of the Iron Reef opened in 2015.
(10/24/19) According to a post at the OC Register, Knott’s Berry Farm and Triotech will make a surprise announcement at IAAPA on November 19 regarding a new attraction coming to the park in 2020. For those not in the know, Triotech is the company responsible for the park’s Voyage to the Iron Reef interactive dark ride. So what could this announcement be?
While I’ve heard no rumors yet, I want to hazard a guess of my own as a fan of Knott’s Berry Farm. Since 2020 is the park’s 100th Anniversary, and the fact that Voyage to the Iron Reef sits in the location of the park’s beloved but retired Knott’s Bear-y Tales dark ride, wouldn’t it be neat to somehow bring the world of the Knott’s Bear-y Tales dark ride back to life via a new interactive dark ride adventure? Perhaps even one that replaces the Voyage to the Iron Reef, but is able to purpose much of the existing technology.
Just a thought…
2022 - Internal Improvements - (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 - RUMOR - (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.