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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

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

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Really surprised at the lack of chatter on ghost rider. Went to Haunt last week and really wish we could have gone on GR more. It was running so fast and it's still incredibly smooth. I greyed out on the bottom of the first drop. Felt every ounce of airtime. Laterals were strong but not overpowering. I'm really happy with the way the ride has broken in. When I first rode it, I didn't think much of it. This last time, I would actually rank it above the likes of Boulder Dash and Tremors.

 

Go ride now while it's still in amazing shape!

 

I know this post is from a couple pages ago, but I had to reply and say how much I agree.

 

GhostRider is running so much better this year than last year. Don't get me wrong, it ran great last year, but I feel like after a year of operation, it has really "broken in" and runs crazy fast and intense while still incredibly smooth. I much prefer it to Mystic Timbers. When the ride is running this well, it makes me seriously question my stance as Xcelerator being the best coaster in the park.

 

Listen to ^this guy and go out and ride GhostRider while it's in its prime right now. Who really knows how much longer it will stay this smooth.

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I think Bigfoot is safe. If anything, they could (and should) do a total revamp in the line of what they did with Mine and Log. Except instead of restoring it, they could plus it up the wazoo by adding a *real* backstory, show scenes, enclose portions of it. You know, make it good.

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I think Bigfoot is safe. If anything, they could (and should) do a total revamp in the line of what they did with Mine and Log. Except instead of restoring it, they could plus it up the wazoo by adding a *real* backstory, show scenes, enclose portions of it. You know, make it good.

I've actually had a similar idea before. I know it would be expensive but being strapped for space Knott's has basically two options when it comes to improving their portfolio: Tearing out something old and building something new or sprucing up something into old into something new. Now Knott's and Cedar Fair have already done the later with Mine Ride and Log Ride so why not with Bigfoot? Here's my idea.

 

Construct a show building disguised as a mountain over part of the ride and queue. Add theming elements such as animatronics, lights and sounds. Part of the rapids should even be in complete darkness. Imagine the Haunt overlay they could do with this. I'm going to go draw up a diagram now.

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I think Bigfoot is safe. If anything, they could (and should) do a total revamp in the line of what they did with Mine and Log. Except instead of restoring it, they could plus it up the wazoo by adding a *real* backstory, show scenes, enclose portions of it. You know, make it good.

I've actually had a similar idea before. I know it would be expensive but being strapped for space Knott's has basically two options when it comes to improving their portfolio: Tearing out something old and building something new or sprucing up something into old into something new. Now Knott's and Cedar Fair have already done the later with Mine Ride and Log Ride so why not with Bigfoot? Here's my idea.

 

Construct a show building disguised as a mountain over part of the ride and queue. Add theming elements such as animatronics, lights and sounds. Part of the rapids should even be in complete darkness. Imagine the Haunt overlay they could do with this. I'm going to go draw up a diagram now.

This is a brilliant idea. However, Knott's isn't strapped for space at all. If anything, they still have at least 20 acres of developable land. I attached a drawing that I created showing the plot of land that Knotts could potentially use as an expansion pad. All they would need to do is build a parking structure on the lot located across Beach Blvd, and relocate some of their backstage buildings across the street to one of the dirt lots that they own.

Knotts.JPG.56da489cfd1fcef63ff122af60d2de9d.JPG

Edited by Thrillseeker321
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^ Yes, I've long thought about doing exactly that, but in order to adequately replace the parking lots they would need at minimum a five story parking garage. Such a project would cost $50 million easy. Constructing new backstage buildings is probably another $20-30 million. Then in order to really best utilize the space to the south they should construct a new hotel elsewhere on the property and that would likely be another $50 million. So basically unless they can come up with $150-200 million they are confined to the current park space.

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FYI, what you're labelling as warehouses area actually four mazes for Haunt. In fact a large portion of Haunt is now located in that area. I wouldn't look for them to remove those buildings, considering Haunt is the biggest economic driver of Knotts.

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FYI, what you're labelling as warehouses area actually four mazes for Haunt. In fact a large portion of Haunt is now located in that area. I wouldn't look for them to remove those buildings, considering Haunt is the biggest economic driver of Knotts.

Yes, they are warehouses that are used for haunt mazes. They could easily build new "warehouses" for haunt mazes.

 

I couldn't sleep last night so I figured out some calculations just for fun.

-The current theme park is 41.5 acres (approximately). This is just the park itself and does not including areas outside the park gates.

-The main backstage area to the south of Ghost Town is 11 acres.

-The south west parking lot (at the corner of Crescent and Western) is 10 acres.

-The hotel is 6 acres.

-The south east parking lot (at the corner of Crescent and Beach) is 5.5 acres.

-The Marketplace parking lot is 2 acres.

-The area where TGIFridays and the sports shop are located is 1.5 acres.

-The west overflow lot is 11 acres.

-The north overflow lot is 8 acres.

 

If I were in charge of planning (just thinking as a homer and not accounting for cost), this is what I would do.

-Remove Grand from the underpass turnoff to Crescent.

-Raze the TGIFridays and the two adjacent shops south and make that the new Marketplace/CDR parking lot.

-Construct a five story parking structure on the main parking lot next to Soak City/Independence Hall

-Raze the current hotel and build a new resort across the street at the corner of Beach and Crescent.

-Move the backstage areas and park offices to the west overflow lot.

-That would open up 29 acres for expansion to the south.

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yes, they could easily build new warehouses, but where? It really doesn't work if you have to cross the street to experience half of haunt. They did file a permit to remove the Church of Reflections off property for future park expansion, but that's right next to Soak City. I think if anything that might be where a multi-level parking lot might go, freeing up space on the main plot. They could then remove the parking lot next to the hotel and move maintenance buildings across Western. But the problem remains for haunt.

 

In my opinion, Cedar Fair is missing the boat if they aren't actually looking at ways to expand the park and exploit their location in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Market cap is what matters and Disney and now USH are both proving how high that cap can go in this region. Knott's above every single other Cedar Fair park has the potential to be an absolute giant. Disneyland has 4x's the attendance. USH has 2x's the attendance. Sometiems I wonder if CF is too wedded to Cedar Point to see the opportunities they have in other markets.

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I doubt there's room for a hotel next to Soak City. I think it makes more sense to put a new one in the lot across Grand from the current one. Also CF knows what they have in Knott's as the park already beats CP in attendance. They are also realistic. Knott's will never match Disney or Universal. But they already outperform Magic Mountain. Be assured CF and KBF do have plans for expansion and im pretty certain they are quite grand.

Edited by WestCoasterKing
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FYI, what you're labelling as warehouses area actually four mazes for Haunt. In fact a large portion of Haunt is now located in that area. I wouldn't look for them to remove those buildings, considering Haunt is the biggest economic driver of Knotts.

There are other properties throughout Knotts to place mazes. Some of the properties that they used in the past include the Whealer Dealer bumper cars (formerly the site of Dia de Los Muertos), the gravel plot of land underneath Silver Bullet (formerly the site of Gunslingers Grave), the Calico Railroad track behind Supreme Scream (formerly the site of Corn Stalkers), and the plot of land in Fiesta Village that sits directly across from Jaguar (formerly the site of Virus Z). Hence the warehouses behind Ghostrider could indeed be taken out without directly affecting Scary Farm operations

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FYI, what you're labelling as warehouses area actually four mazes for Haunt. In fact a large portion of Haunt is now located in that area. I wouldn't look for them to remove those buildings, considering Haunt is the biggest economic driver of Knotts.

There are other properties throughout Knotts to place mazes. Some of the properties that they used in the past include the Whealer Dealer bumper cars (formerly the site of Dia de Los Muertos), the gravel plot of land underneath Silver Bullet (formerly the site of Gunslingers Grave), the Calico Railroad track behind Supreme Scream (formerly the site of Corn Stalkers), and the plot of land in Fiesta Village that sits directly across from Jaguar (formerly the site of Virus Z). Hence the warehouses behind Ghostrider could indeed be taken out without directly affecting Scary Farm operations

 

The park is also able to use stretches of pathways, like the first years of Special Ops: Infected. Like new roller coasters, parks will find room.

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Moving those warehouses across the street without also constructing a vehicle bridge would be a logistical nightmare for the park. No way Haunt would open on time without a lot more labor being thrown at it.

 

Building parking garages and moving backstage facilities across the street would likely cost what cedar fair spends in an entire year for the whole company.

 

That doesn’t even take into account the neighbors, who I am sure would be thrilled to have 24/7 operations closer to their backyards.

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Moving those warehouses across the street without also constructing a vehicle bridge would be a logistical nightmare for the park. No way Haunt would open on time without a lot more labor being thrown at it.

 

Building parking garages and moving backstage facilities across the street would likely cost what cedar fair spends in an entire year for the whole company.

 

That doesn’t even take into account the neighbors, who I am sure would be thrilled to have 24/7 operations closer to their backyards.

 

Agreed - parking structures are expensive and even Disney asked for financial help with their's. And the logistics of moving most of their backstage operations off site would be incredible.

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Went to Scary Farm last night to complete the trio of SoCal’s major park haunts. Scary Farm was the clear winner of the year, trailed by a slightly underwhelming Universal Horror Nights and, of course, Fright Fest. The park was pretty packed, but the crowds were scattered and unpredictable beyond a couple of key draws. Upon rope drop, we legged it to Ghost Rider and were rewarded with a 20-minute wait (about five trains) that, in the 20 minutes it took us to board, transformed into 2 hours. Other commenters have noted that Ghost Rider has broken in more now, but we felt it to be largely the same as when the newly-tracked version first opened. It’ll never be anything other than a fantastic coaster (even when it was rough as hell, it was mostly worth a ride, and it’s still running both fast and smooth today). Unfortunately, that was our only ride of the night (aside from the log ride) as the major rides were seeing significant waits all night long. We did catch the Elvira show — which was largely entertaining. I’m allergic to musical theatre, but Elvira is such a national treasure that it was important to see her one last time. The show ended with a standing ovation from a jam-packed theatre, but it was hard to tell if the ovation was for her or for people trying to make their way to the exits.

 

Consistent with other haunts this year, scare zones were notably dialed back, both in terms of fog and scare actors. The one part of ghost town that’s always fogged out was indeed foggy, but that was really the only heavily-fogged spot. Areas over by Camp Snoopy saw some blasts here and there, but nothing like in the past. It seemed as though the park had invested more in decorated areas than in designated scare zones this around, and it kind of worked (although it wasn’t very scary as the result). The roaming actors were all very good (lots of sparks flying this year), but it did seem like there was an end-of-season lack overall in terms of staff.

 

Despite the crowds, we were able to hit all the mazes. We started with Trick or Treat which, according to the sign outside, was a 30-minute wait. 80 minutes later (!!!), we finally entered the maze. Despite its age, it’s always been a very good maze, and the set design is one of the best in the park. The flashlights added to rather than subtracted from the experience, and although they weren’t as interactive as the flashlights in Fright Fest’s abysmal Dead End, they made certain scenes far more creepy.

 

Shadow Lands (20-minute wait) was much better this year, with a new opening sequence that utilized the original maze’s final head-chopping scene. The sets looked great, and the maze was more meditative than frightening (it was a bit understaffed). There are some great scares, but it's such a stylish maze that the horror becomes secondary.

 

Dark Ride (5-minute wait) was next, and despite the fantastic concept, we found the maze to be a bit of a letdown. We must have caught it on a break as there were significant sections with no scare actors at all. Even though it wasn’t crowded, we still ended up conga-lining through, and so many of the scares were ruined as the result. In fact, one member of our group found it “boring.” I thought it was just a bit too incoherent and overdone — more breaks between the scenes might have helped, like a few more dark corridors or walkways. Too much of it felt overcooked and heavy-handed. Having said that, the concept is really great (the passion is evident in the details) and I hope it sticks around for a few more years to see some tweaks.

 

Log Ride (20-minute wait) had the Halloween overlay, but it was fairly minimal and nowhere near as frightening as in the past. It added to the ride, but was really more funny / cute than scary. It really just consists of some extra props, projections, altered music / dialog, and a few scare actors. It’s the Knotts log ride—possibly the best log ride in the world—so you really can’t go wrong.

 

Pumpkin Eater (5-minute wait) was a real surprise for us, and much more effective than Dark Ride. It’s a combination of other themes and ideas that Knotts has done many times before, but the long and very interactive layout, combined with genuinely creepy and atmospheric scenes, worked very well indeed. Not the most original in terms of concept, but an excellent addition to the event in terms of execution.

 

Voodoo (no wait) holds strong as one of Knotts’ best-designed mazes. Flipping the direction of the maze this year gave it a surprisingly effective boost that, in terms of narrative, made more sense than the original. Like years past, the maze itself isn’t that frightening in that much of it is an open set and immediately visible, but it’s hard to top the level of detail in this one. The new snakey ending scene inside the house sealed the deal.

 

Paranormal Activity (5-minute wait) is as strong as ever. Whereas Dark Ride didn’t quite work for us due to how hectic and overwrought it seemed, Paranormal Activity has become kind of a classic in the few short years that it’s been around. The design of the maze, combined with the various effects inside, are incredibly effective from start to finish. Consistently excellent with good pacing and scares throughout. However, the big animatronic monster at the end wasn’t working.

 

Tooth Fairy (5-minute wait) is as disturbing as ever but is starting to feel quite tired. It’s still a very good maze, trouncing many of the competition’s mazes, but it’s showing its age. There were a few changes this time around, specifically a new ending scene that borrowed from Universal’s loud noise-and-strobe approach. Although it stands out because of how ridiculously gory it is, it’s probably time to retire this one and come up with something new.

 

Red Barn (no wait) was business as usual. Coherent narrative and consistent theming, it’s a solid maze, but overshadowed a little now by Pumpkin Eater which draws on many of the same themes and ideas. It’s an effective maze in that it has a long, complicated layout and several great scenes, but it does feel a tad redundant these days and might benefit from joining Tooth Fairy in an overhaul.

 

Infected (30-minute wait) is still a huge crowd draw, largely due to the interactive nature of the maze. Nothing’s really changed in this one from last year, and you have to motor through it at a fairly quick pace limiting how much of the detail you can take in. Given how fast you’re pushed, though, it’s long enough a course to hold your interest, and the set design is pretty stellar throughout. It’s a bit of a gimmick — one that I’d personally prefer to do without as the gun doesn’t seem to actually do much of anything — but it’s always worth a look as long as the line’s not too hellish.

 

So, as others have already stated, while there are significant differences in approach and intent, Knotts finally caught up (and, I would say, surpassed) Universal in terms of maze quality. Scary Farm was already in the lead in terms of overall ambiance, but Universal had always dominated in terms of general maze design and execution. This year, Universal dropped a bit in our perspective, with mazes showing little variation or innovation, relying too heavily on the same jump-scare effects across the board. Knotts, however, upped their game by taking some of their already-solid mazes (Trick or Treat, Voodoo) and making them even more noteworthy. Add in new mazes like Pumpkin Eater and Dark Ride (willing to assume we just caught the latter at a bad time), and Knotts takes the overall lead. While Knotts has always done a fantastic job of their Halloween event, its clear that they don’t rest on their laurels, demonstrating each year that they’re willing to push the envelope and raise the bar even higher.

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Moving those warehouses across the street without also constructing a vehicle bridge would be a logistical nightmare for the park. No way Haunt would open on time without a lot more labor being thrown at it.

 

Building parking garages and moving backstage facilities across the street would likely cost what cedar fair spends in an entire year for the whole company.

 

That doesn’t even take into account the neighbors, who I am sure would be thrilled to have 24/7 operations closer to their backyards.

-No one is talking about moving Haunt mazes across the street. There are plenty of other places within the park to place mazes. Or they could just as easily build new "warehouses" to house the mazes.

-A bridge would not be necessary for access between the backstage areas and the park. The stagecoach already uses a signaled crosswalk and it has never been an issue as far as I know. But a two lane underpass would be cheaper than a bridge if they wanted to go that route.

-But I actually don't think they need to relocate any of the backstage area across the street. If they just build a new administration building and the costume shop in the area to the south of the main warehouses that would only cost maybe $10 million, and it would still open up 17 acres for expansion. That's still a good chunk of land. To give you an idea how big that is all of the real estate encircled by the railroad is a little more than 13 acres. Then a five story parking structure would cost between $30-50 million. Plus a new hotel (which is actually much needed) would probably be another $25 million. Yeah that's a high price tag but sometimes you have to invest in the future. If Knott's can't expand they will NEVER compete.

 

I were in charge of planning I'd design something similar to one of these...

 

And yes, that is a giga hyper coaster in the north parking lot. Just an idea for when they finally do remove Montazooma's Revenge.

983944510_Knottsexpansionmaster1.thumb.jpg.958211e19814eec3bdbbfa18d6bdb43b.jpg

OR

736397889_Knottsexpansionmaster3.thumb.jpg.3179dbf4ee16dfa0aba28cdf767c1d2a.jpg

OR

1733966561_Knottsexpansionmaster3.thumb.jpg.d20390fb7309fb90d76f4a3adcf43bff.jpg

This one leaves the hotel but requires moving all backstage areas across the street.

Edited by WestCoasterKing
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By the way, that's a lot of footings. And does anyone know what those two dark circles are on ground just outside the fence? They look like holes but they aren't actually holes because I just watched those two girls walk right over them. And another question, the footings themselves look like they have a hole down the center of each one. What's up with those?

679038404_Screenshot(10).thumb.png.76f8e75317a8950e50d18678fcc26896.png

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Dark Harbor uses its setting to its advantage, but the detail is nowhere close to Knotts. The best thing about Dark Harbor is the ship and all makeup on the talent.

 

-No one is talking about moving Haunt mazes across the street. There are plenty of other places within the park to place mazes. Or they could just as easily build new "warehouses" to house the mazes.

 

It was being discussed a page ago.

 

-A bridge would not be necessary for access between the backstage areas and the park. The stagecoach already uses a signaled crosswalk and it has never been an issue as far as I know. But a two lane underpass would be cheaper than a bridge if they wanted to go that route.

 

A few stagecoach trips is a whole lot different than moving entertainment event stuff...which is what those warehouses house when not home to a maze. They had to be built because warehouse P (the main warehouse) was full. The entertainment department is responsible for Haunt, Berry Farm, and now Ghost Town Alive and the Boysenberry festival decorations---all of that stuff has to live somewhere when not in use.

 

-But I actually don't think they need to relocate any of the backstage area across the street. If they just build a new administration building and the costume shop in the area to the south of the main warehouses that would only cost maybe $10 million, and it would still open up 17 acres for expansion. That's still a good chunk of land. To give you an idea how big that is all of the real estate encircled by the railroad is a little more than 13 acres. Then a five story parking structure would cost between $30-50 million. Plus a new hotel (which is actually much needed) would probably be another $25 million. Yeah that's a high price tag but sometimes you have to invest in the future. If Knott's can't expand they will NEVER compete.

 

So even using your math of $10mil+$30mil+$25mil, that would 40-50% of Cedar Fair capital expansion budget for the entire year. And that is not even factoring in the cost of whatever hypothetical expansion actually is. But you are not likely going to get a 320 room 3* hotel demolished and rebuilt for $25 million.

 

Also, most importantly...the park drew 4 million guests last year with an expanded Boysenberry Festival, Ghost Town Alive, and a flat ride that has barely been open as the new additions. They don't need a massive expansion to stay profitable. They get what their place is in the local market and do a fantastic job capitalizing on that.

 

Comcast or Disney have enough cash on hand to buy every outstanding share of Cedar Fair stock ($3.52B) if they chose to do so---Knott's isn't competing with them.

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