There's been a lot of noise at the back of the park in the last few months, and it's not just coming from the roller coasters! There's a whole new family friendly fun zone called the Boardwalk, and major updates to the perennial favorite, Timber Mountain Log Ride.
I recently got to go on a media Hard Hat tour behind the scenes at the popular Southern California theme park to check out all the happenings before the multi-million dollar developments open to the public. Although they didn't let us go too far into the Log Ride for safety reasons (DARN!), we did get complete access to the back lot area that will be home to the new Boardwalk.
Just beyond Boomerang is an area that has been under construction. Although boarded up for safety, there are random portholes in the temporary walls to allow curious passers by a sneak peak into the new area. Guests won't have to wait too much longer to for the big reveal at the end of the month!
On one end of this area is a 50's diner themed Johnny Rockets and on the far end, a row of carnival type games. The area in where the new rides will be had once served as a water ride, but will now include three new attractions and will complete the whole California Boardwalk "fun zone" vibe.
The best part is that this area is going to include rides that are fun for the whole family. They just thrilling enough for kids that are too big for Camp Snoopy, but who aren't really into more exciting rides just yet.
Additions to the Knott’s Boardwalk Area will include:
Don't let this ride fool you... it's a lot more of a thrill ride than it seems! It starts with a 52 foot ascent to the top of Coast Rider that will have everyone clinging to the handrails! The adventure aboard the ride gives guests the feeling of riding the California coast, but once they reach the crest, it is a harrowing journey down the 1,339 feet of track filled with hairpin turns, twists and spins.
Taking the ride into their own hands, guests will pilot their own Surfside Glider. From a height of 28 feet, these two-person aircrafts zip through the air giving the rider a bird’s eye view of the Boardwalk area as they glide over Boardwalk Bay.
Everyone will be caught in the spin of the Pacific Scrambler. This ride is a familiar family favorite and traditional Boardwalk attraction. Word of warning... keep the littlest ones closest to the center of the spin or they'll get squished!
TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE
The Timber Mountain Log Ride, or "Log Ride" as it's known to regular guests, is one of the oldest log flume rides in the country will be the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar refurbishment and restoration project that will begin this January. The classic attraction, which opened at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1969, and is still one of the most elaborate log flume rides in the U.S.
LOG RIDE LORE
The $3.5 million attraction was originally funded entirely by its designer Bud Hurlbut who had previously designed Knott’s Berry Farm’s classic Calico Mine Ride. The ride, housed in an eight-story building, includes 24,000 gallons of water that circulates free floating logs past a variety of mechanical figures and taxidermied animals culminating in a forty-two-foot free fall. The much anticipated attraction opened in July 11, 1969 with screen legend John Wayne and his son taking the inaugural ride. The Log Ride remains the most popular ride in the park, surpassing all of Knott’s other attractions in ridership.
“The Timber Mountain Log Ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it also set the bar for all themed attractions that came after,” says Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s general manager who worked for Bud Hurlbut from 1979-1983. “Bud Hurlbut made numerous contributions to Knott’s Berry Farm, but I think that the Timber Mountain Log Ride remains his crowning achievement.”
UPDATED BY THE BEST
Though the Log Ride is definitely a popular ride, the scenery had become quite dated. A marvel in its day, it has since been surpassed by more advanced animatronics and set design. In other words, it was starting to look kinda cheesy. So Knott's brought in the big guns for the revamp!
Garner Holt Productions of San Bernardino is the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of animatronics for theme parks, museums, dining and retail locations. You might have seen their amazing handiwork at another theme park in Orange County. (*wink wink*). They've built nearly 3,000 animatronic figures and hundreds of animated props and action systems. They really do know what they're doing.
One figure was on display for us at our morning gathering that made me do a double take. Actually, I had to walk right up to it to make sure it wasn't a human. I'm not kidding when I tell you that we all thought it was an actor that was going to jump out at us, it was THAT lifelike!
WIthout a doubt, the best way to take advantage of the new offerings and to experience all of Knott’s Farm Fresh Fun, is to purchase a Season Pass. The park is selling 2013 Season Passes for only $72.00. You can even make payments! For a limited time, purchase season passes to Knott's for 6 easy payments of $12.00.
Season Pass holders receive:
- Unlimited visits for the entire 2013 season
- No blackout dates (WHAT WHAT?)
- Discounts at select food and merchandise locations
- Discount on Halloween Haunt Tickets
- Early ride time on select rides during the summer (ROCKSTAR!)
- and other great Season Pass surprises throughout the year.
To purchase season passes and to get more information about all that's new at Knott's, visit Knotts.com.