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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread


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^In all my years of HHN, that would be the first time I've ever waited or heard about an actual 3 hour wait time. The park does wait time trackers at every maze throughout the night and none of them have ever come back as 3 hours. Two hours is usually the actual maximum.

 

But anyways...back to the discussion of Haunt. The point is that IMO they are doing more damage to the event by trying too hard to be like HHN rather than trying to improve upon what they are good at. In the case of Haunt, what they are good at is harnessing the passion of their workforce and fans. People enjoyed the fact Haunt had so much to offer, which meant crowds were spread out and fans had a chance to see their favorite mazes for a few years before they were replaced.

 

As I said earlier, HHN is a $77 event if you had to pay full price at the gate (if tickets were even available). Even with the AP discount, on some of the busier nights a ticket was $67. Meanwhile Knott's had to resort to offering a $75 annual pass to try and retain visitors.

 

It's almost like Knott's management is OVER thinking it. "Let's try everything Universal does (auditions, nicer sets, staggering monster schedules, acting)...it works for them, so it HAS to work for us too!" instead of looking for ways to improve their already successful event. Have 13 mazes with the quality of their newer mazes, let monsters scare instead of act, put shows back in the birdcage (seriously...those improv shows were HILARIOUS) and Wild West (Marty Putz was AMAZING), and I'm guessing they'd find the would have no trouble selling out without the need to offer an annual pass.

 

I LOVE Haunt, but this year I had the least fun I have ever had. It just didn't feel like the event had the same energy it's had in the past. It certainly didn't help a rides manager called me a line jumper for having the audacity to ask for tickets to infected for my party without them being there despite there being no signage or anything mentioning your whole party had to be there for the tickets, but you can just tell that the monsters are less about the scare and having fun now and more about the act.

 

Gone are the days you could take an electric wheelchair, cover it in cardboard, and then drive around in it mocking people on Scion night...

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Here's some random night shots from Taste of Merry Farm.   Camp Snoopy looked the best at night, imo.  I guess I like the lights up the trees thing the best.      The Bear-Y Tales

The rumor was they also wanted the county to be in the "yellow category"  OC is still far away. Source for below: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

Rumor is there are some high up California government peeps out in Florida, checking out the parks, and putting something together for your terrible governor who hates parks!

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^In all my years of HHN, that would be the first time I've ever waited or heard about an actual 3 hour wait time. The park does wait time trackers at every maze throughout the night and none of them have ever come back as 3 hours. Two hours is usually the actual maximum.

 

But anyways...back to the discussion of Haunt. The point is that IMO they are doing more damage to the event by trying too hard to be like HHN rather than trying to improve upon what they are good at. In the case of Haunt, what they are good at is harnessing the passion of their workforce and fans. People enjoyed the fact Haunt had so much to offer, which meant crowds were spread out and fans had a chance to see their favorite mazes for a few years before they were replaced.

 

As I said earlier, HHN is a $77 event if you had to pay full price at the gate (if tickets were even available). Even with the AP discount, on some of the busier nights a ticket was $67. Meanwhile Knott's had to resort to offering a $75 annual pass to try and retain visitors.

 

It's almost like Knott's management is OVER thinking it. "Let's try everything Universal does (auditions, nicer sets, staggering monster schedules, acting)...it works for them, so it HAS to work for us too!" instead of looking for ways to improve their already successful event. Have 13 mazes with the quality of their newer mazes, let monsters scare instead of act, put shows back in the birdcage (seriously...those improv shows were HILARIOUS) and Wild West (Marty Putz was AMAZING), and I'm guessing they'd find the would have no trouble selling out without the need to offer an annual pass.

 

I LOVE Haunt, but this year I had the least fun I have ever had. It just didn't feel like the event had the same energy it's had in the past. It certainly didn't help a rides manager called me a line jumper for having the audacity to ask for tickets to infected for my party without them being there despite there being no signage or anything mentioning your whole party had to be there for the tickets, but you can just tell that the monsters are less about the scare and having fun now and more about the act.

 

Gone are the days you could take an electric wheelchair, cover it in cardboard, and then drive around in it mocking people on Scion night...

The time trackers can be off by as much as an hour because it doesn't take into account how many Front of the Line people cut in front of the regular line, thus increasing wait time. When I got in line for AVP this year, the sign said 1 Hr 20 Min. My actual wait time was 2 Hrs 10 Mins.

 

I do agree that having a lot to do was one of Haunt's biggest strengths, but I understand the desire of the park to not kill themselves trying to put up 13 mazes every year. I think 9 plus Trapped would be a good number (one more than this year).

 

Knott's didn't "have to resort" to selling a pass to retain visitors, it was something that fans of the event had been asking for. $75 was a bargain. And, it allowed the park to get more money from people who otherwise would have only come once and paid $40. So, there wasn't a big loss of revenue there, since most of those people wouldn't have purchased another ticket anyways.

 

Most of those things you mentioned (auditions, staggering monster schedules, acting) are things that have been happening for years, without influence from Universal. Having 13 Voodoo quality mazes isn't even remotely practical. Voodoo took over 3 months to build, with a crew working 50 hours per week. The labor needed to build a park full of Voodoo's would be staggering and would kill a huge chunk of the profit of the event (which the park counts on for its yearly budget). I actually MUCH prefer the Knott's style of scare acting, and characterization to Universal's "push button, loud noise, jump out, reset" method (and have since before I worked for Knotts). I think being forced to interact with the monsters and become immersed in the action of the maze ups the fear factor for a lot of people. People miss the shows now that they're gone, but... when was the last time you heard "Hey, we totally need to go to Knott's this year to see the improv show in the Birdcage Theater!"

 

As far as Infected... it was an experiment that had kinks in it. It was a learning experience for the park, and if it comes back next year, things will be different.

 

Tbh, THANK GOD that gone are the days of Scion Night.

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Three weeks would be Thanksgiving, so I'm guessing the beginning of that week or sometime the previous week would be the announcement. It will probably be accompaniend by a Christmas related promo for 2015 season passes. As for other additions, I could possibly see a new flat in Windseeker's spot but that's about it. Since Knott's already has Surfside Gliders, I've got no idea what would be likely to go there.

 

I'd really like to see a new slide complex for Knott's Soak City, but I doubt that would happen next year. I'm hoping for a new slide complex in 2016 and a major new coaster in 2017.

 

I agree that Knott's next three additions should be a dark ride (which is likely happening in 2015), a major coaster, and a new slide complex for Soak City. They've done a good job of honoring the past in updating the TMLR and Mine Ride, and I think the Boardwalk and Camp Snoopy additions were excellent. However, now it's time to focus their attention on other areas. It's been 10 years now since Silver Bullet and 8 years since anything was added to Soak City (Pacific Spin in 2006).

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The time trackers can be off by as much as an hour because it doesn't take into account how many Front of the Line people cut in front of the regular line, thus increasing wait time. When I got in line for AVP this year, the sign said 1 Hr 20 Min. My actual wait time was 2 Hrs 10 Mins.

 

By trackers I meant that they give guests papers to turn into the grouper so they can know the actual waits and adjust accordingly. Wait times are not a science, there is always going to be discrepancies. Especially during Halloween, where there's no way to predict 100% accurate guest flow because of things like front of line passes, people who get extra scared and ruin the flow of the maze, and so on.

 

Knott's didn't "have to resort" to selling a pass to retain visitors, it was something that fans of the event had been asking for. $75 was a bargain. And, it allowed the park to get more money from people who otherwise would have only come once and paid $40. So, there wasn't a big loss of revenue there, since most of those people wouldn't have purchased another ticket anyways.

 

Most fans (myself included), visited more than once already as it is. Even on the cheapest nights with the best discount, just two visits would be $70. A premium product like a Haunt annual pass shouldn't be considered a bargain. I can only assume that Knott's was hoping that pass holders would come in the park and drop extra money on food, drinks, trapped, etc. on every visit to offset the ticketing revenue. Judging by Disney's AP issues in this market, I am going to guess that was probably not the case.

 

Most of those things you mentioned (auditions, staggering monster schedules, acting) are things that have been happening for years, without influence from Universal.

 

That's not true at all. Auditions were gone from the event for MANY years and only returned after HHN. The hiring process was as simple as camping out overnight to ensure you got an interview, a quick interview with a talent captain, and then you getting to chose an open spot at a maze if they liked you. Getting on streets was as simple as kissing Craig's ass while working build or being friends/family with a veteran in Craig's good graces. Varying shift lengths were also most definitely not around until HHN returned. Same with Scare School and character acting.

 

Voodoo took over 3 months to build, with a crew working 50 hours per week. The labor needed to build a park full of Voodoo's would be staggering and would kill a huge chunk of the profit of the event (which the park counts on for its yearly budget).

 

That's my point. Knott's should stop pretending to try so hard to be like HHN since they don't have the resources of HHN. What the design, build, paint, FX, etc. department do is incredible considering it is all in-house, and I have no doubt that given the same resources as HHN could easily make something that exceeds HHN...but since they don't have those resources, the park needs to stick to what they are good at and known for.

 

HHN will keep growing. In nine years, HHN has gone from 2 mazes+Terror Tram to 7 mazes+Terror Tram. Meanwhile Knott's has decreased the amount of mazes.

 

I actually MUCH prefer the Knott's style of scare acting, and characterization to Universal's "push button, loud noise, jump out, reset" method (and have since before I worked for Knotts).

 

Ironically, that same scare made it's debut at Haunt in Voodoo....

 

Here's the problem with trying to force characters at Haunt: It's a pretty safe assumption that the majority of the monsters are NOT actors by trade. But many them are people who enjoy getting to put on masks/makeup so they can be an asshole and do stupid things they would otherwise not do. THAT's what set Haunt apart in terms of scares.

 

People miss the shows now that they're gone, but... when was the last time you heard "Hey, we totally need to go to Knott's this year to see the improv show in the Birdcage Theater!"

 

I went on a Thursday and finished all the mazes in a couple of hours. Then saw the Hanging. Since I don't care for Elvira at all, my group didn't want to to trapped or wait in the standby line for infected...I would have LOVED for that show to have been there. We left at 10:30, and that was with doing some of the mazes twice.

 

That's the whole point of those shows. And more mazes (even if they are older and not as high quality). They help spread crowds around. And keep people in the park longer.

 

Tbh, THANK GOD that gone are the days of Scion Night.

 

My post was referring to the antics we used to get away with to entertain/scare the guests. Doing that now would most likely get a monster fired...

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There is an annoucement with Triotech and Cedar Fair on November 18th at IAAPA.

 

2:30 - 3 p.m.

Triotech and Cedar Fair Entertainment

Booth: 1062

Confidential announcement.

 

Linky: http://www.iaapa.org/expos/iaapa-attractions-expo/press-office/schedule-of-press-events/press-events-tuesday

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There is an annoucement with Triotech and Cedar Fair on November 18th at IAAPA.

 

2:30 - 3 p.m.

Triotech and Cedar Fair Entertainment

Booth: 1062

Confidential announcement.

 

Linky: http://www.iaapa.org/expos/iaapa-attractions-expo/press-office/schedule-of-press-events/press-events-tuesday

 

Interesting. I wonder exactly what the new dark ride will be like. I was hoping for an interactive dark ride using animatronics provided by Garner Holt, but this sounds like it will probably be more along the lines of a non-coaster version of Wonder Mountain's Guardian. Hopefully Knott's is able to improve the experience as that ride has gotten mostly mixed reviews.

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Was anyone so enthralled by Wonder Mountain's Guardian that we should be looking forward to this announcement? ha I haven't been on Guardian, so please interject if you feel differently, but I'm pretty unimpressed by the attraction based on the reviews I've read and POV's I've seen. (I understand the attraction is hard to capture via POV, but still, it looks like a subpar video game.) A dark ride would be great for Knott's, but I don't get the sense that CF / Triotech know what they're doing on this front yet...

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It's more than likely going to be Wonder Mountain's Guardian with a new theme and will be tweaked a bit to make it more engaging. The two largest complaints I heard for WMG was that the coaster section was a joke and that one half of the ride got shafted on the whole "world's longest screen." They seemed to throw together the ride to claim two titles (longest screen, combo coaster and dark ride) and just really half-ass it.

 

Hopefully Knott's will give it a longer coaster section and the screens used won't be different. Also, that's only if they still use back to back cars. They might change it so everyone is facing the same way.

 

In any case, I'll definitely be there a bunch and will ride it with a huge grin on my face!

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^yup...only one side of the ride has a continuous screen (all left turns minus the right turn into the drop track). I rode WMG and I can tell you the cars move so fast that it is extremely hard to hit a target on your first shot so I hope they slow it down with KBF.

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^yup...only one side of the ride has a continuous screen (all left turns minus the right turn into the drop track). I rode WMG and I can tell you the cars move so fast that it is extremely hard to hit a target on your first shot so I hope they slow it down with KBF.

 

I completely agree. The first time I rode WMG, I couldn't really tell exactly what was happening...or if I was even hitting targets. The speed of the vehicles is really a big problem because it hinders the ride experience. I would imagine the Knott's version will include improvements in many areas. We'll have to wait and see.

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So, I hear the Roaring 20's sign is being dismantled today?

 

I saw photos on facebook showing that the "Roaring" part of the sign is gone. No word on what's going to happen to it, but I'm guessing it's getting refurbished. At least that's what I hope is happening!

 

EDIT: Also saw that the candy store window near Cordy's Corner is getting a paint job that matches the rest of the Boardwalk area (looks similar to the operator booths at Pacific Scrambler and Surfside Gliders), which is why I'm guessing that the Roaring 20s sign is getting refurbed. Makes sense to restore that whole area of the park with a (speculated/unofficially announced as of yet) new ride coming!

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It's an interesting piece of Knott's history, but i can't see where they could display it in the park. I doubt they would keep it on top of a new attraction.

 

I definitely get your point, although I believe I read somewhere that Raffi said it wouldn't be removed (don't have the source handy, unfortunately). Of course, that's not to say that plans don't change! Or that my mind possibly made it up completely and he never said that.

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