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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

P. 639: Montezooma's Revenge major renovations announced!

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Bud Hurlbut’s legacy will remain at theme parks in Southern California and around the world, but his company and his workshop have entered their final days.

 

Hurlbut was a theme park innovator known for creating the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, attractions that inspired imitation across the country and even caught the attention of Walt Disney.

 

He died in January, leaving behind a company with five employees still filling orders to create small-scale trains. Bud’s wife, Lou, died several years ago and they had no heirs.

 

Hurlbut’s shop, its contents, and his possessions from his home will be sold; once the shop crew completes their current projects, the shop will be shut down. That’s likely to happen before the end of the year.

 

Philip Coulson, a friend of Hurlbut’s and the executor of his estate, said the proceeds of the sales will go Hurlbut’s beneficiaries, mainly charities, which stand to receive millions.

 

“He believed in these things,” Coulson said.

 

Sitting as inconspicuously as a bright-yellow barn can just off of La Palma Avenue near Knott’s Berry Farm, the interior of the building is best described as a Santa’s workshop for machinists.

 

Walking inside, it’s difficult not to notice the gleaming, painted and polished trains just itching to get out on the track.

 

There are five locomotives and cars to go with them that are up for sale, pieces of the passion that made Hurlbut a name in the amusement industry in the 1940s and 50s. Each is hand-made, mainly from parts that were hand-cast at the shop. Even the locomotive’s wheels carry the name of Hurlbut’s shop and its location: Buena Park.

 

The trains are each valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, Coulson said.

 

The tiny shop carries a faint coppery smell from the tons of metal and machinery that populate it.

 

There are artifacts everywhere, like a tiny model of the mine cars that carry passengers on the Calico Mine Ride. It was one of the props that Hurlbut used to sell the idea of the mine ride to Knott’s Berry Farm founder Walter Knott.

 

The workshop contained what seemed to be a stable of carousel horses in different states of repair. One corner of the shop holds bags stuffed with pennies, as well as coffee cans overflowing with other coins, like Mexican pesos and British pence. Those were the coins that visitors tossed into the pools and faux lakes that were part of the décor at the log ride and other attractions that Hurlbut managed until the 1980s.

 

Hurlbut’s attention to detail was so acute that the shop’s machinery was painted with U.S. flags, eagles and different designs resembling those found on carousels.

 

Historian Chris Jepsen arrived at the shop on Friday morning with an enormous van. He took two loads of photos, papers, and artifacts bound for the Orange County Archives. Jepsen’s haul included design models of the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride encased in glass. They both took four men to carry away.

 

Among those papers is a letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior, detailing the metal composition of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. When Walter Knott wanted to show his patriotism by constructing a copy of Independence Hall in Buena Park, Hurlbut spent weeks in Philadelphia examining the bell and asking National Park Service officials endless questions.

 

When Hurlbut crafted the Liberty Bell replica for Knott, he worked for two weeks to ensure the bell’s crack exactly matched that of the original.

 

Source: OC Register

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^Thanks for posing this. Very cool stuff!

 

It's nice to know that the models are finding a good home, though I kinda wish that they could somehow remain on display at KBF. Something like the city hall at CP. (Is that even still there?)

 

 

JJ

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Alright, its time to breathe some life back into this thread......

 

As of today, the painting on Xcelerator has FINALLY begun once again. Gezz, it only took them almost a year to start again...Anyway, they have worked all the way up on the backside and maybe a bit on the front of the North tower of Xcel. Hmmm, anyone want to take bets on when it'll be finished?

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Alright, its time to breathe some life back into this thread......

 

As of today, the painting on Xcelerator has FINALLY begun once again. Gezz, it only took them almost a year to start again...Anyway, they have worked all the way up on the backside and maybe a bit on the front of the North tower of Xcel. Hmmm, anyone want to take bets on when it'll be finished?

 

I was at Knotts on Friday too and noticed the paint work starting. What a bunch of idiots! The ride was down for maintenance for almost 3 weeks, that would be the time to paint. They must be painting in the morning and or evening I guess.

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Alright, its time to breathe some life back into this thread......

 

As of today, the painting on Xcelerator has FINALLY begun once again. Gezz, it only took them almost a year to start again...Anyway, they have worked all the way up on the backside and maybe a bit on the front of the North tower of Xcel. Hmmm, anyone want to take bets on when it'll be finished?

 

I was at Knotts on Friday too and noticed the paint work starting. What a bunch of idiots! The ride was down for maintenance for almost 3 weeks, that would be the time to paint. They must be painting in the morning and or evening I guess.

 

So KD's not the only park that's slow on the repaints?They still havn't touched anaconda from where they started before the opening of the 2010 season & it's the ride's 20th anniversary no less.

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Well at least it's getting done. Yes the ride may have been down for three weeks, and on the surface it may have seemed like an ideal to paint it. I'm sure however that most people (including a bulk of us enthused coaster peeps) would have liked to see a three week rehab with a spotty paint job than a two month rehab and a nice looking bird perch.

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I'm visiting the park all day wednesday and hoping to get my first ride on Perilous Plunge. It should be really hot that day.

 

Perilous is still in rehab. I wouldn't expect it to be open until Mid-may

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Yeah Perilous Plunge was closed along with Pony Express. I went yesterday and today, and it was very hot. My one complaint is that the park pretty much decided to rehab all the coaster's second trains, which resulted in long lines from having only one train operation on everything except Ghostrider and Sidewinder. I can now say I have waited 40 min. for Jaguar. It seemed funny that Xcelerator still only had a 10 min. wait the whole day though. I rode almost everything possible both days with the exception of riding Xcelerator twice and Montezooma 4 times today. And for a Windseeker update, the hole from WCB has been filled in and a concrete slab with poles sticking out now exists there, with millions of trenches surrounding it. Also, Xcelerator paint is coming along nicely.

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