BUENA PARK, CA
Sasquatch never made an appearance during the 32-year run of BigFoot Rapids at Knott’s Berry Farm, but the legendary folklore beast will take up permanent residence along the rushing river this summer when the renovated water ride becomes Calico River Rapids.
“Living in the foothills of the Sequoias as a child, I was both intrigued and terrified by the Sasquatch legend,” said Knott’s vice president of entertainment Ken Parks. “As a kid, I was extremely disappointed that an attraction called BigFoot Rapids, which had Big Foot as its main focus, did not include an encounter with the creature. We’ve righted that wrong.”
An extensive renovation of the 1987 BigFoot Rapids at the Buena Park theme park debuting this summer will transform the river rapids water ride into an animated attraction with nine thematic scenes and more than 20 animatronic figures.
The new look, aesthetic and design of the reimagined Knott’s ride was inspired by legendary Disney Imagineer Marc Davis, according to Parks.
“Marc Davis was such an inspiration that I wanted to include a few nods,” Parks said in an email interview. “These are new scenes, but their sense of tone is definitely an homage to Mr. Davis.”