An exciting expansion, renovations and new additions are coming to Knott’s Soak City Water Park next summer.
Orange County’s largest water park will debut two water slide towers featuring exhilarating attractions geared for families and thrill seekers. Shore Break will tower over seven stories and offer six different thrilling water slide experiences. Four of the slides on the 60-foot tall tower will start with guests climbing inside an Aqua-Launch chamber where they will wait anxiously for the floor to drop out from underneath their feet, sending them into a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through a series of flat loops and S-curves in a translucent flume. Shore Break will also feature dueling tube slides that will zip riders through an enchanting series of drops and turns. The height requirements for Shore Break slides are 48 inches.
The Wedge slide tower will take the location of the current Pacific Spin and will be an open air family raft ride. Up to six guests at a time will descend down navigating twists and turns and surprise drops. The height requirement for The Wedge is 48 inches or 40 inches when accompanied by a supervising companion. Guests will be able to experience both water slide towers when Knott’s Soak City Water Park opens for the summer season in May 2017.
The expansion project will also include updated shaded seating areas, cabanas and a remodeled Longboard’s Grill to the water park. Construction is set to begin on September 12 and a grand-reopening is scheduled for summer 2017.
A 2017 Knott’s Gold Season Pass is the best way to experience all of the new additions coming to Knott’s Soak City Water Park next year. 2017 Gold Season Passes include one free admission during the 2016 season to Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, unlimited visits in 2017 to both parks with no blackout dates, discounts on select food and merchandise, and access to exciting year-round seasonal events. 2017 Season Passes will be available beginning August 26 at the best offer of the year for a limited time on soakcityoc.com
Picture (c) Knott's Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm’s first Soak City expansion project in 10 years will feature a 165-foot water tower feeding four new slides and another 150-foot tower with two slides sure to keep guests cool during warm summers. “This expansion is really to enhance what we have at the park,” said Jeff Gahagan, Knott’s vice president of maintenance and construction. “We’ve turned into the local park that everybody can call home.”
Expected to begin later this year, construction on the 1.8-acre expansion will eliminate some parking.
To compensate for lost spaces, Knott’s will demolish two buildings along Beach Boulevard it recently purchased from Buena Park for $250,000 and replace them with a 130-space parking lot.
Soak City’s newest towers and slides are expected to open in May.
Knott’s Celebrates Ghost Town’s 75th Anniversary With New Entertainment and the Re-launch of GhostRider
In 2016, Knott's Berry Farm’s Ghost Town will celebrate its 75th anniversary with two major offerings next summer. The centerpiece of the summer 2016 celebration is the interactive entertainment experience, Ghost Town Alive!, which immerses guests in new stories and adventures in the familiar town of Calico. The west is about to get even wilder when GhostRider returns from a major restoration project with all new trains that will gallop along over 4,500 feet of new wooden track.
In summer 2016, Ghost Town Alive! will allow guests young and young at heart to live the west through inventive new ways to interact with characters and environments as each day, a different story will unfold throughout all of Ghost Town. From pledging one’s allegiance to notorious bandits, to saving the day alongside courageous cowboys, guests play an active role in shaping the events of the day. Every evening, the day’s story culminates with a town wide celebration of 75 years of Calico.
Walter Knott’s love for the Wild West was evident in the attention to detail that he put into the peek-ins peppered throughout town. Next summer, select peek-ins will be transformed into authentic working establishments, and guests will be welcomed to step inside. At the Barber Shop, guests can walk in and meet Calico’s trusted barber who’s rife with town gossip.
In the Sheriff’s office, guests can try their luck at a game of cards with the sneaky Sheriff and other Calico townsfolk. Here, guests can also decide whether they join the lawmen to hunt down the bandits or choose the criminal life and end up with their face on a handmade wanted poster.
In the heart of Ghost Town, the Barn will close on April 4, and when it reopens for Ghost Town Alive!, it will have been transformed into a working horse stable where guests can visit with Calico’s friendly equestrian team.
Construction is underway on a new Calico Stage, which will open across the train tracks from its current location, in the area Screamin’ Swing formerly occupied. The stage, themed after an old abandoned mine, will feature an all-new show for summer 2016. The standing viewing area for the new stage is nearly twice as large as the current viewing area, ensuring even more guests can enjoy seasonal live entertainment. The new venue is scheduled to open in Spring of 2016.
When the new Calico Stage opens, the space that the existing stage and viewing area currently occupy will become Calico Park. Here, guests will enjoy a shady respite from the hustle and bustle of the Town, with a small stage for live performances, and twinkling lights adorning the trees after the sun sets. Calico Park is set to open in Summer 2016. Adjacent to Calico Park stands the iconic Calico Saloon, which will feature a raucous new show next summer. A new western stunt show in Wagon Camp will also debut in summer 2016. Both the Calico Saloon and Wagon Camp will close in early 2016 in for renovations and new show preparations.
Ghost Town Alive! will take interactive storytelling to new heights when it debuts next summer, and for guests really seeking to achieve some heights, they should look no further than to the return of the beloved classic wooden roller coaster, GhostRider.
Since 1998, GhostRider has been giving white-knuckle rides to even the toughest cowpokes. It still looms over Ghost Town as the longest, fastest and tallest wooden rollercoaster on the West Coast. In September 2015, work began to completely restore and preserve this classic wooden rollercoaster. The project is a partnership with Great Coasters International and includes re-profiling and a complete wooden re-tracking of the entire 4,533 ft. long track.
All of the coasters trains will be replaced with state of the art new Millennium Flyer trains designed to look like mining cars, each with gold, silver, or copper accents. As part of the construction, the mid-course brake run will be removed, allowing riders to enjoy a relentless, ride from the moment the train descends the first 108 ft. drop to the moment it returns to the station’s new, smooth magnetic brake run.
“GhostRider was the last attraction commissioned by the Knott family, and this restoration project ensures that the family’s final gift to the park will continue to thrill generations of thrill seekers to come,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott's Berry Farm’s vice president and general manager. “Seventy five years ago, Walter and Cordelia Knott created a place where guests could live out their dreams of the Wild West, and I think they’d be very proud of how it continues to resonate with guests of a new generation.”
When GhostRider re-opens, the queue will snake past Panning for Gold, which returns to its original Ghost Town home next summer. The return to its former location will allow for a more spacious panning experience, which means a more comfortable experience and better photo ops to capture the moment when a loved one strikes it rich!
In 1940, Walter Knott looked for a way to entertain and educate hungry guests waiting for hours to dine at the iconic Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Ghost Town was born from Walter’s passion for providing restaurant patrons with unique entertainment and fondness for Wild West. The area celebrates the California-bound pioneers that crossed the desert by covered wagon, just as Walter’s family had back in 1868. Brick by brick, building by building, the old west town of Calico came to life in 1941 and has been visited by millions for the past 75 years.
While reflecting on Ghost Town in a letter written in December 1954, Walter Knott wrote, “I [am] very proud of this place we have built. You know we never fully enjoy the things we love until we share them with those we love.” Next summer, Knott’s invites families to share in Ghost Town’s anniversary celebration with the ones they love, and make new memories in the old west.
For more information on Ghost Town Alive! and GhostRider’s comprehensive restoration, visitKnotts.com or download the Knott's Berry Farm app for your smart phone. Join the conversation using #GhostTown75.
Knott’s Berry Farm announced plans for a spectacular new interactive 4-D attraction for 2015, Voyage to the Iron Reef. Opening spring 2015, Voyage to the Iron Reef adds high-tech fun for everyone as guests save Knott’s from mysterious creatures emerging from the seas beneath the Boardwalk in a cutting edge media-based battle.
Ever since construction crews finished expanding the Boardwalk Pier in 2013, guests have happily enjoyed the many new attractions like Coast Rider and Surfside Gliders. But all that activity on the Boardwalk shores has reawakened a mystic lair in the depths below, filled with creatures who have risen up to wreak havoc on the classic So Cal theme park.
The Queen of the Kraken and her aquatic army have surfaced to feed on the steel of any attraction within their grasps. Their unquenchable appetite for coaster metal has turned these creatures into swimming mechanical monsters unlike anything ever seen on the ocean floor.
Guests who have what it takes to become brave deep sea navigators will climb aboard four-person submarine-inspired ride vehicles and embark on the four-minute gaming adventure into the Iron Reef. Equipped with an interactive freeze ray, guests will aim for ballooning puffer fish, an iron clad octopus and other exciting 3-D creatures as they attempt to blast the most sea life and save Knott’s from a watery doom.
Through enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, and mysterious mechanical wreckage, high definition 3-D animation will surround guests at every turn. Along the way, the submarines navigate 600 feet of track and 11 scenes featuring hundreds of media-based creatures and live action special effects.
Altogether, it’s an interactive voyage that features a different experience every time and reacts to the actions and accuracy of the guests onboard. Following the thrilling finale, the number of creatures taken is digitally displayed onboard and in the undock area.
Montreal-based Triotech, the multi-sensory attraction developer that animated the popular Wonder Mountain’s Guardian at Canada’s Wonderland, is the creator behind the groundbreaking gaming system and animation for Voyage to the Iron Reef.
“Triotech is thrilled to cooperate with Knott’s team and bring our media-based interactive dark ride to Southern California, an area with a rich attraction and entertainment heritage. We feel that guests of all ages will enjoy this unique attraction,” said Ernest Yale, Triotech’s President and CEO.
Knott’s is well prepared to integrate new technologies into traditional dark ride experiences. Next year will mark the third consecutive year the park has reintroduced spectacular and unique family attractions. Both the Timber Mountain Log Ride and
Calico Mine Ride recently delighted guests after both underwent extensive technological and special effect upgrades, reestablishing Knott’s as a destination renowned for premier theme park experiences.
The future home of Voyage to the Iron Reef is hallowed ground for Knott’s enthusiasts. In 1975, the show building was originally the site of the wacky and whimsical Knott’s Bear-y Tales. Designed by legendary theme park designer Rolly Crump, Knott’s Bear-y Tales transported guests to a county fair filled with anthropomorphized frogs, owls, and bears. In 1987, dinosaurs once again ruled the earth as Knott’s Bear-y Tales transformed into Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, capturing the imagination of a new generation of fans.
“The same commitment to storytelling and dedication to incorporating the most cutting edge ride technologies that made Knott’s Bear-y Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs so popular is what has driven the Iron Reef creative process,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, vice president and general manager of Knott’s Berry Farm. “The technology showcased in Iron Reef will honor the legacy of the attractions that preceded it, and propel the on-ride experience into the 21st century.”
Voyage to the Iron Reef is the centerpiece of an exciting 2015 at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Thursday, June 12, 2014, Knott's Berry Farm kickstarted their summer operating season with the opening of an expanded Camp Snoopy children's area, and the newly-refurbished Calico Mine Ride.
The Camp Snoopy expansion comes following the area's 30th year of operation. It originally opened in 1983 as the first entirely child-centered section at an amusement park. Under the supervision of Charles Schultz, creator of the classic "Peanuts" comics, the land was constructed.
This year's additions to the camp include Charlie Brown's Kite Flyer, Linus Launcher, and Pig Pen's Mud Buggies. Jeff Gahagan, Camp Snoopy Project Manager, noted that it was important for the park to reclaim Camp Snoopy's original High Sierra theme. Joe Cool's GR8 SK8 was removed and Lucy's Tugboat was accordingly re-themed, while much of the fencing and paths were redone. A lot of emphasis was put on the little details as well as the new additions.
The grand reopening ceremony for Calico Mine Ride was a success, and media day attendees, as well as hundreds of excited season passholders, were among the first to experience the refurbished mine ride.
The enclosed attraction, originally opened in 1960, was completely gutted following the 2013 operating season. Everything, from the props to the electrical wiring, was removed and replaced by newer, functioning replacements.
The refurbished Calico Mine Ride boasts over 120 characters, three all-new narrations, a refinished queue, updated cars, and special effects using lights, fog, and smoke. The attraction was re-imagined by Garner Holt Productions, who were also responsible for last year's remodeled Timber Mountain Log Ride. In fact, as revealed by Jeff Shadic, Manager of Park Décor, that it was the success of the log ride that inspired the park to go forward with this latest project.
Both Camp Snoopy and Calico Mine Ride are now officially open, completing the park's collection of 52 rides.
When the calendar turned over from 2012 to 2013, many made their New Year’s Resolutions, and the same could be said for some parks. Just before the calendar turned, Knott’s Berry Farm announced its New Year’s Resolution: to give the old Timber Mountain Log Ride a major overhaul. According to the park’s press release, the renovation will be a multi-million dollar restoration project that will begin in January.
The old Timber Mountain Log Ride opened at the park on July 11, 1969 as just the second log flume ride in the entire US. Designed by Bud Hurlbut, the attraction cost $3.5 million and was originally called the Calico Log Ride, to go along with the Calico Mine Ride already at the park. Running around and through a huge mountain with 24,000 gallons of water and countless “animals,” the ride ends with a 42-foot drop.
Raffi Kaprelyan, General Manager of Knott’s, said of the ride in the press release, “ 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.” The park will be getting help renovating the ride from Garner Holt Productions, one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of animatronics, and plans to be done by the middle of 2013. The ride should maintain its original theming and storyline, but will have all its figures, animatronics, and sets upgraded, while introducing a few new ones to the fray.
The reopening of the Timber Mountain Log Ride will follow alongside the park’s work on its boardwalk section. For the 2013 season, the park will be expanding its “California Boardwalk” theme by adding in new attractions to bring that part of the park’s popularity back up after the loss of Perilous Plunge. Coming later this year before the renovation of Timber Mountain is completed are the Pacific Scrambler, Surfside Glider, and the Coast Rider family coaster.
Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm is scheduled to reopen Monday, May 3rd, seven months after an accident in which two riders suffered minor injuries. Since September, OSHA officials have been investigating the accident and have just recently stated that the ride is safe to operate.
In the accident, a cable snapped during the 0-80mph launch, and shrapnel showered the two riders in the first row of the train. The 12-year old boy, who was seated on the right side of the train, sustained a cut leg, while his father, who was seated on the left, received back injuries. At the time of the accident, Knott's Berry farm had on-ride cameras that captured video of the riders, that they could purchase after getting off the ride.
The manufacturer of the ride, Intamin AG, has had previous issues with its cables before. Notable accidents include a similar yet less serious incident in 2004 on Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster and the June 2007 cable snapping of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom’s Superman Tower of Power, where a 13-year-old girl lost both of her feet. The Kentucky Kingdom accident as well as the Knott's accident were both attributed for the most part to poor maintenance on the parks’ part, rather than any errors made by Intamin.
OSHA’s California Division has placed the blame on both Knott’s for poor maintenance, and on Intamin AG for not making the maintenance instructions clear enough. The state considered the manufacture’s maintenance instructions self contradictory and confusing and could not determine if the cable was supposed to be inspected every month or every six months. Knott’s was inspecting the cable every six months and at the time of the accident, was 19 days overdue for inspection. The state has required Knott’s Berry Farm to “put into place additional safeguards to determine cable viability and to work with the manufacturer to revise maintenance instructions,” according to the park.
New details have come to the surface for Knott's Berry Farm's Bolliger and Mabillard inverted coaster which is now confirmed to be set for an opening on December 24th, 2004.
Named Silver Bullet, the third B&M inverted ride for the Cedar Fair park chain will course through a custom-designed multi-inversion layout from a height of 126 feet containing a 105-foot vertical loop and other elements including flat spin and zero-g roll inversions.
The two minute and thirty second ride experience of Silver Bullet will take riders through a total of 3,125 feet of box track with a portion of the layout extending over Knott's Berry Farm's Reflection Lake.
Knott's is still in the process of relocating the historic Church of Reflections to a site adjacent to the park property to make way for the inverted coaster.