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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

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

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http://www.latimes.com/travel/themeparks/la-trb-knotts-berry-farm-voyage-iron-reef-preview-20150430-story.html

 

The first thing that strikes me about the new Voyage to the Iron Reef dark ride at Knott’s Berry Farm is the long flight of stairs I have to ascend to embark on my underwater journey.

 

But once inside, it doesn't take me long to forget my lofty second-story surroundings and be swept away on a submarine battle brimming with aqua-mechanical creatures determined to destroy the Buena Park theme park.

 

During a recent sneak peek, I was joined by Knott’s creative director Lara Hanneman for a behind-the-scenes preview of the new shoot-em-up dark ride located in an old attraction space above a video game arcade.

 

Set to debut May 15, the steampunk-inspired Voyage to the Iron Reef occupies a location once home to two beloved dark rides: Knott's Bear-y Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

 

Spoiler alert: What follows is a detailed description of the ride vehicles, entry queue and first two scenes of Voyage to the Iron Reef. Consider yourself forewarned.

 

After climbing a series of stairs and navigating a Googie-themed indoor queue, riders will board the Iron Reef ride vehicles at an open-air loading platform. Dominated by an expansive hand-painted mural, the station area is covered by a wave-like canopy and framed by portal-like arches evocative of a boardwalk amusement park.

 

The tandem ocean blue ride vehicles seat a total of eight passengers and sport onboard audio, wind effects and seat kickers. The twin cars spin independently to aim riders at the 11 video screens throughout the attraction. Wearing 3D glasses, riders are armed with a freeze ray gun that registers a digital score in front of them every time they hit a target.

 

After passing through a pair of speed doors designed to block out the light, riders enter the first scene of Iron Reef where the generic ride vehicle is transformed into a miniature submarine.

 

To the right, a bit of set dressing evokes a steampunk-themed elevator mechanism with golden gears and cogs. To the left, a 15-foot-long screen is framed by rusted steel suggestive of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

 

Rotating toward a screen powered by a pair of unseen 3D HD projectors, the sub splashes into the ocean and the vessel's helm appears with a series of levers and gauges. Diving below the ocean's surface, the daylight yields to the dark ocean depths as the journey begins.

 

Moving around the corner to the second scene, riders encounter another screen, framed this time with barnacles and kelp. Opposite the screen, a hand-painted mural depicts submerged rides from Knott’s past and present, including the Silver Bullet coaster.

 

As the vehicle rolls to a stop, an underwater scene of twisted and torn roller coaster track and a seaweed-covered Ferris wheel suddenly comes to life with strange aqua-mechanical creatures.

 

Armed with a freeze ray, riders shoot at jellyfish wearing diving helmets, giant shrimp with red laser eyes and scavenger crabs walking on hinged legs. An eel adorned in decorative golden armor emerges from a crevasse in the sea floor. Successfully targeting the creatures with the ray gun causes them to crystallize and break into pieces. Miss and the freeze ray leaves a chunk of ice on the screen. Spinning gold medallions that pop up periodically are worth bonus points.

 

"You can play video games at home but with this you feel like you’re in the middle of it," said Hanneman, who also oversees Knott’s Halloween Haunt.

 

The Knott’s design team has hidden “Easter eggs” throughout Iron Reef for sharp-eyed fans of the park’s history. In the foreground, an old Knott's Bear-y Tales ride vehicle rusts on the ocean floor. In the background, the Roaring '20s neon sign that once stood atop the attraction building lights up when hit by a freeze ray.

 

Several of the attraction's other scenes - which last about 30 seconds each - feature curving screens up to 70 feet long that riders shoot at while their vehicle slowly moves forward along the track. Each scene offers new challenges and meaner creatures until you finally meet the Kraken Queen, who grabs onto the sub and pulls riders down into the ocean’s depths.

 

“She’s like a siren," Hanneman said. "She’s inherently evil. She wants to gain more power over her realm.”

 

Hanneman, who describes herself as a non-gamer, says the top score during employee test runs belongs to Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s vice president and general manager.

 

“He’s very competitive,” Hanneman said of the park's boss. “He holds down other people’s freeze rays so they can't shoot.”

 

At the conclusion of Iron Reef, top scores are displayed on a leaderboard as riders descend another set of stairs leading through the arcade to a gift shop themed to the new attraction.

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Do trains "really" travel faster on a wet track? I was thinking the water would cause more resistance and slow it down. (Like water on a road slows your car)

 

Time to break out the physics books

I've seen Roller Coaster at Lagoon go up to 10 Seconds Faster on a Cycle in a Downpour and Fire Dragon and Wild Mouse go down when they are running 5 Seconds Faster in the Rain.

 

Xcel goes down in even light rain, because wet track = rollbacks. I haven't found anyone who knows exactly what the deal is... apparently, it went up for a little while today and then back down.
Can you explain to me how wet track can cause a Roll Back when Trains Travel Faster on Wet Track?

 

I don't know the physics behind it, but that's what happens apparently.

 

I heard from a friend who is a team lead that whatever part / system they were working on failed and now they have to basically redo everything they just did. There was also mention of potential overheating of the launch system.

Water lubricates the Track and Causes less Friction resulting in Trains Traveling Faster. Many Coasters will shut down when traveling too fast in the rain.
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There's also a huge need for a new marquee coaster and I'd love to see a B&M Hyper/Giga at the park. That would give them something unique to the SoCal market and would really complement their current coaster collection.

As much as I agree about how much I want this, I find it so difficult to imagine how on earth they'd fit such a large coaster into the park. I mean, look at Silver Bullet and how hideously that was placed. Just plopped right down above everything having to take approximately three stories-worth of stairs to get to the station.

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Dominated by an expansive hand-painted mural, the station area is covered by a wave-like canopy and framed by portal-like arches evocative of a boardwalk amusement park.

 

This part caught my eye. Glad they kept this tradition within that building alive. The mural on the wall of KoD might have been the best part of the ride (besides its appearance in Beverly Hills Cop III).

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There's also a huge need for a new marquee coaster and I'd love to see a B&M Hyper/Giga at the park. That would give them something unique to the SoCal market and would really complement their current coaster collection.

As much as I agree about how much I want this, I find it so difficult to imagine how on earth they'd fit such a large coaster into the park. I mean, look at Silver Bullet and how hideously that was placed. Just plopped right down above everything having to take approximately three stories-worth of stairs to get to the station.

 

Idk how feasible it is in real life, but they do have quite a bit of open air in Boardwalk and fairly large parking lots surrounding the park on all sides. Maybe a short out and back that does some kind of turnaround in the South lot, or crossing Western Ave? Maybe if they finally gave up on Riptide, that could be the station?

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Idk how feasible it is in real life, but they do have quite a bit of open air in Boardwalk and fairly large parking lots surrounding the park on all sides. Maybe a short out and back that does some kind of turnaround in the South lot, or crossing Western Ave? Maybe if they finally gave up on Riptide, that could be the station?

 

Crossing city streets is out of the question and has already been denied by Buena Park. IF a hyper coaster gets built and does "go out of the park," it will be towards the the back of Bigfoot Rapids and then to the south lot and back. Issue then will be the park's neighbors on Western.

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I know Im being a squeeky wheel on this issue, but I still think the park would be better served with giving GR an extensive upgrade as well as a refresh for fiesta village which would include a few thrill rides and perhaps a reshuffling of their other current rides in the area. Giga/hyper/major coaster would be great for 2017

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Are thrill rides of any kind really part of the park's future? As much as I'd love a new coaster, I can't help but feel the park is being positioned as a cheaper, family-friendly alternative to Disneyland, and I don't see a new hyper/Giga coaster being part of that plan.

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:lol: I know Im being a squeeky wheel on this issue, but I still think the park would be better served with giving GR an extensive upgrade as well as a refresh for fiesta village which would include a few thrill rides and perhaps a reshuffling of their other current rides in the area. Giga/hyper/major coaster would be great for 2017

 

I think it's very very likely that GR's refurb will be next year's big project. The park seems to be on a schedule of alternating new attractions with fixing up existing ones, and even Matt Ouimet has acknowledged that GR's refurb is on the list of projects for the park.

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I'd love for an RMC conversion on GR, but if that is happening, it won't be until at least 2017. Is there any knowledge on when/if GhostRider is scheduled to go down for a refurb anytime soon? If so, we may be seeing something other than RMC. Honestly though, if they are going for a major refurb from somebody other than RMC, new trains NEED to be a part of it, because purely trackwork will not improve the coaster in the long-term.

 

I somehow doubt the KBF is getting anything major in 2016.

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Yeah I just checked the website and it says it's down from yesterday until May 22. That's not nearly long enough for an extensive refurb. If an extensive refurb were happening for 2016, the coaster would have to close after summer for a while yeah? Why would they close it now? Scheduled maintenance?

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park is being positioned as a cheaper, family-friendly alternative to Disneyland

I would hope not, they can't compete with Disneyland on any level IMO. Knott's has always been successful BECAUSE they were not Disneyland nor did they ever try to be. I think thrill rides are an integral part of Knott's success and I hope they don't lose sight of that.

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I'd love for an RMC conversion on GR, but if that is happening, it won't be until at least 2017. Is there any knowledge on when/if GhostRider is scheduled to go down for a refurb anytime soon? If so, we may be seeing something other than RMC. Honestly though, if they are going for a major refurb from somebody other than RMC, new trains NEED to be a part of it, because purely trackwork will not improve the coaster in the long-term.

 

I somehow doubt the KBF is getting anything major in 2016.

 

As much as RMCs are awesome, I'm actually really against GhostRider becoming one. I think it needs to stay all wood.

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As much as RMCs are awesome, I'm actually really against GhostRider becoming one. I think it needs to stay all wood.

Agree with you on that. GhostRider was such an iconic, outstanding coaster when it first opened. I believe the layout still kicks all kinds of butt but the cars track like a truck with square wheels. If Knott's were to bring in RMC, they should really only install topper track on the entire ride. The coaster could return to the likes of what it once was! Maybe RMC could add a little bit of their flair here and there. Maybe make the double up on the second trip out a little bit more pronounced and add some better banking here and there. Now that would be the formula for making this classic coaster become phenomenal again.

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park is being positioned as a cheaper, family-friendly alternative to Disneyland

I would hope not, they can't compete with Disneyland on any level IMO. Knott's has always been successful BECAUSE they were not Disneyland nor did they ever try to be. I think thrill rides are an integral part of Knott's success and I hope they don't lose sight of that.

 

Totally agree with this, Knott's has a long history of being on the cutting edge of thrill rides and it would be a mistake to abandon that. Starting with Corkscrew (the first inverting steel roller coaster) and Montezooma (first Schwarzkopf flywheel coaster), and then continuing with rides like Surpreme Scream (tallest drop ride when it opened), Xcelerator (Intamin's first accelerator coaster), and Pony Express (first motocoaster in the US). Knott's has never been shy about pushing the ride envelope and bringing new experiences to the park. The great thing about Knott's is that the park appeals to such a wide demographic from families with small children to thrill seekers. Most of the park additions over the past decade have been focused on new family rides and renovating classic rides. I think it's time to shift focus to the thrill side of the park.

 

Refurbing GR with topper track and new trains should be priority #1. It doesn't need a full RMC makeover like Twisted Colossus as the layout is still great, it's just gotten extremely rough over the years. Priority #2 should be a new thrill coaster as the last new thrill coaster was Silver Bullet over 10 years ago. I would love to see something unique to the SoCal market like a B&M hyper, a winged coaster, or even a mini-hyper like Lightning Run. Priority #3 should be a new slide tower or even a water coaster for Soak City. Priority #4 would be replacing Boomerang/Riptide with a launched coaster like Superman/Tempesto. I'm a big Knott's fan and we get season passes every year, but I think additions like these will continue Knott's history of thrill rides and keep them competitive in the crowded SoCal amusement market.

Edited by VegasBaby
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I agree Ghostrider needs to stay completely wooden, just topper track and getting rid of those awful PTCs.
I'd love for an RMC conversion on GR, but if that is happening, it won't be until at least 2017. Is there any knowledge on when/if GhostRider is scheduled to go down for a refurb anytime soon? If so, we may be seeing something other than RMC. Honestly though, if they are going for a major refurb from somebody other than RMC, new trains NEED to be a part of it, because purely trackwork will not improve the coaster in the long-term.

 

I somehow doubt the KBF is getting anything major in 2016.

 

As much as RMCs are awesome, I'm actually really against GhostRider becoming one. I think it needs to stay all wood.

 

As much as RMCs are awesome, I'm actually really against GhostRider becoming one. I think it needs to stay all wood.

Agree with you on that. GhostRider was such an iconic, outstanding coaster when it first opened. I believe the layout still kicks all kinds of butt but the cars track like a truck with square wheels. If Knott's were to bring in RMC, they should really only install topper track on the entire ride. The coaster could return to the likes of what it once was! Maybe RMC could add a little bit of their flair here and there. Maybe make the double up on the second trip out a little bit more pronounced and add some better banking here and there. Now that would be the formula for making this classic coaster become phenomenal again.

 

Outlaw Run says hello.

 

I think a total overhaul, turning GR into a fully RMC Wood Coaster is whats needed. No topper track, just tear out the old track and install new Wooden RMC Track.

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I'd love to see a legit B&M airtime machine in the park coaster. Now just a thought, I know there is some talk for a 200 foot tall dive coaster at the point, what if that really is for KB? the lift hill and drop would be contact enough to work and then the rest of the elements could probable fit someone in the park.

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