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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

P. 651: Montezooma's Revenge project terminated?

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With 50 years of frights to be celebrated, let's raise a bottle of the Devil's Elixir to Knott's Scary Farm! To every Scare Actor who has inhabited a house or roamed the streets, to all the Technicians, to all the designers, and to everyone who has helped bring Halloween Haunt alive over the past 50 years, congratulations and thank you!

Theme Park Review attended opening night of Halloween Haunt, and it was quite honestly one of the most enjoyable opening nights for the event in recent memory.

A reminder that if your priority is to go through all 10 mazes, the Fright Lane (Front of the Line pass for mazes) is the only way you will be able to accomplish this. There are a few ticket package options that include Fright Lane, so find the one one that works best for the date of your visit and your interests. 

Read the comments sprinkled throughout the pictures below for more tips and tricks!

This year, we will post our thoughts on each of the 10 mazes, ranked in order from "you can skip it" to "you can't miss it"!


Welcome back into the fog, for the 50th time!



Room 13 expands on the story from the Gore-ing '20s Scare Zone that has been popular over the past few years. 



The maze itself had a great Art Deco scenic look.



What fell flat for us was the perception that almost all the scare actors were wearing the same latex creature mask throughout the maze. It was hard for the scare actors to help "tell the story". 



Dark Entities continues to lack "heart". In a maze that is full of animatronics, it feels like you don't see a scare actor until you are 1/4 of the way through the maze.



With the maze feeling like it has the fewest number of scare actors at the event, it isn't much more than a walk-through.



Although, this nurse was one of our favorite characters of the event! She went crazy over trying to find bandages, and it was hysterical!



Wax Works is back.



It continues to be a "fine" maze for us.




The Grimoire is also "fine". 



We appreciate a gag of seemingly returning to the same "scene" within the maze, which is inventive and playful!



Bloodline 1842 is one of those mazes that makes sense and you would say is perfectly executed...if you had read the creative treatment before going into the maze. Although it is hard for the average person to understand the whole plot, the Scare Actors encourage you along your way through the town during a battle between Vampires and other creatures.





Origins The Curse of Calico returns for another year and is a nice staple for the event, focusing on the backstory of the Green Witch. It is a classic maze, and is simply "enjoyable".





This is the final year for The Depths. It had a great run over the years. 



We remember the first time we saw this laser field technique with fog in a maze, and had our minds blown. This of course is now a standard haunt effect throughout the world.



Oh there you are Mr. Creature!




Mesmer Sideshow of the Mind was fun for us! As theme park/carnival/side show people, it is a fun and nuanced theme that allows for a good amount of variety in the storyline.







Okay. So, let's talk about Cinema Slasher. This is one of the new mazes this year, and it was a blast! This maze celebrates the slasher movies from the 80s and perfectly captures the horror and the sometimes campy/over-the-top nature of those films. You will see references to many familiar movies and classic horror film tropes, and we were all for it!





Best scenic effect for the event this year (as seen in 3 pictures below):

1. A totally normal lobby snack shop.


2. A somewhat irregular looking lobby snack shop....33.thumb.jpg.2c4e9795ca633ac7792b3464006c202f.jpg


3. A totally demented lobby snack shop!



Fun reference to a past maze:



Let's go into the film, and see what happens!



...not what we had in mind, but what do you expect from a slasher film?!



And for our favorite maze at this year's event, The Chilling Chambers. Although we aren't normally fans of mash-ups mazes, or relying on the nostalgia factor, this maze was a fantastic maze mash-up and we totally fell for the nostalgia factor when walking through some of the most iconic maze scenes from the past. The creative team conceived the perfect way to find a cohesive backstory in how the mazes have been preserved over time, where they went for their eternal slumber, and why we get to see these scenes again. 





Oh hey Joey! This one's for you.



Scenes like this throughout, representing mazes from the past.



It's The Amazing Thingy! Yes...nostalgia clearly works.







Finally, a quick mention of the shows.

First is Dr. Cleaver Returns. From past videos, it looks like it used to be an irreverent comedy show. This version of the show seems to rely on what the Birdcage Theater is know for, Melodrama. This just didn't work for what we expect for a Haunt event, so if you need to skip something, we recommend this. 

Second is The Hanging: Uncancelled. After a few year hiatus, the park is giving it another try, and is smartly having it in a completely enclosed venue where guests with a low tolerance for...anything... can't just "hear it as they walk by". The show has steered away from as much political satire as possible, and focuses on self-deprecating humor, pop culture references, and theme park woes. 

Navigational note: There is a bonus for getting to now sit down for this show, since it is being presented at the Wagon Camp Theater! The downside is that there is only a fraction of the viewing area that was previously available at the Calico Stage. Priority entrance to this show goes to patrons with Fright Lane. It was suggested that we line up 45-minutes before the show. At 20 minutes to the show start, the audience was full with what appeared to be entirely folks with Fright Lane. If this show is a priority for you, you may not get into the theater if you don't have Fright Lane.


...hey Jeff Tucker, we love you!



And finally, in the Walter Knott Theater is a dance revue and comedy show called Music, Monsters, and Mayhem. It is a high-energy show with good production value.


This show is not for the average Halloween Haunt guest. In general if you are a "theater person", you will find something within the show to enjoy!




Be sure to plan your visit to this historic year of Knott's Scary Farm! https://www.knotts.com/events/scary-farm/tickets

Thank you to the Knott's PR team for once again inviting Theme Park Review to the opening night; here is to a great haunt season!






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Thanks for the report!  $149 sounds nuts for a Fright/Fast Lane (which does include rides too), that $199 all-inclusive ticket is a pretty good deal for non-passholders.

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Just got back from my own trip out to KSF for opening weekend.
We went on Thursday night as part of the press preview. My thoughts:

The Bloodline house USED to give guests toy guns to shoot the vampires. Without this key element, there was a lot of dead space between scareactors.

Loved the Cinema Slasher house, BUT they should have stopped with a double feature. The first two slasher send ups (babysitter and camp) worked great, but the third one was confusing. I still could not tell you what it was about.

The Music, Monsters, and Mayhem show. As a 35+ year veteran of theme park shows (I have been playing them since 1986 and writing and directing them for decades as well), I speak from a place of experience.
The dance numbers were great. High energy, great costumes and lighting, and the required finale with dancers in the rain getting soaked.

The MC/host. We saw the first show on Thursday night. He was NOT funny. Now I am all about pushing the envelope and adult humor. Making ONE joke about jerking off (with an audience member named Angel) and then referencing it back over and over and over again was like beating a very dead horse. The joke wasn't clever, wasn't funny the first time, and the bit grew VERY old. It was the lowest of the low and lacked any kind of creativity. And his "impressions" weren't that great. I don't know what Elvira would think of his impression esp when he pulled out his fake boobs to show to the audience. 

I am hoping the show gets overhauled or at least 10-15 minutes trimmed out of it. Cut the MC/Actor, use voiceovers or the witch videos, and pick up the pace. I really miss the far superior improv show Puppet Up which was WAY more entertaining and had built in repeat viewing value. I cannot see anyone watching this MMM show more then once. 

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I wasn't offended just disappointed. Anyone can say "Hey, this guy jerks off." 
It doesn't make it clever or funny.
There are a MILLION other ways to say that or imply it which would give the joke a double entendre.

Instead, they aimed for the absolute lowest common denominator.

And as far as the "satanic drag show," I have seen much worse on TV.
Plus they warn people over and over that the show is NOT for children.

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On 9/25/2023 at 12:23 PM, coasternut said:

I see people have been posting about Scary Farm. Any news on Xcelerator? Rumor had it, to be opening for the Haunt. I guess that hasn't happened right?

Also, I'm very worried about Montezooma's Revenge...

It was not running on Thursday/opening night of haunt. I don't live in the area but from my understanding based on what I've found in different groups is that it hasn't been running or testing at all other than a short amount of time a few weeks back when they released the teaser but rumor has it something happened during testing that "broke" or will require more parts. So don't expect it any time soon. Missed it yet again lol.

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^ This is according to another source. Sad developments...

"So what has happened to Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm? After many witness accounts of seeing crews on site, the ride making empty text runs, and crew members apparently being brought over for re-training ahead of reopening… all has gone SILENT.
    According to a source  during testing an issue arose with one of the coaster’s brake units. Like any major theme park ride, there are redundant systems in place, so nothing bad happened and the train stopped as it should, but Knott’s is not going to reopen Xcelerator until it is 100% and now they are waiting on parts (once again) to fit the brake.
    This is obviously disappointing to everyone, Knott’s included, as they had been planning on having Xcelerator reopen intime for Knott’s Scary Farm and now clearly that isn’t happening."


Also some other bad news about Knotts. They maybe giving up on the Monte project. I really hope that's wrong! I really miss that ride...

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Xcelerator being closed is frustrating but at least we know there is progress and some things are out of their control. The REAL question mark right now in my opinion is Montezooma. They never really officially announced what they're doing to the ride in detail, never released any concept animation outside of new station theming and a glance at the trains. Nothing has visibly changed in a year and the park has hardly acknowledged the project aside from saying it wouldn't open this summer. I have to wonder who they hired for that project, and I'm even more baffled why it wasn't Gerstlauer given their history with refurbishing Schwarzkopfs and a presumed relationship with the park after adding HangTime.

It's a good thing the park has GhostRider, HangTime, and Silver Bullet operating reliably. Two of the parks' Top 5 coasters have been down for almost 2 years with no end in sight.

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It's rather pessimistic, but part of me wonders if the park just decommissions Montezooma completely and says "whoops, we tried, but here's some new stuff in Camp Snoopy instead!"

At least with Xcel, there were occasional statements about waiting for parts and whatnot.  With Montezooma, it's been near total silence.

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On 10/3/2023 at 11:41 PM, CedarFlags said:


I am guessing we will not hear anything unless it is good news.   Knott's kept people hanging for a while with the Sky Cabin news until they had a fix and we have heard nothing about Mystery Lodge.  People in So Cal bitch too much if something is removed.  Knott's either needs to fix it, replace it with something better, or just pretend it never existied and hope everyone forgets about it.

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At this point just remove Xcelerator and put a modern version of Monty in it's place. Give it a beefy launch, huge vertical loop, and 200ft (or more) spike.

I was seriously considering a trip to SoCal for Scary Farm's 50th this year, but with two great coasters DOA and the park charging absurd amounts for the haunt I couldn't justify the cost.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was at Knotts today and noticed (from Supreme Scream) 5 or 6 new large wooden crates in the Xcelerator work area. One train is in the station, and the second one is disassembled. Let's hope these are parts to fix the ride so it can finally open, and not just "new stuff" for the train. Possibly encouraging news I hope. So sad to be there without Monte and Xcelerator. 🤬

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On 11/1/2023 at 9:54 PM, coasternut said:

I was at Knotts today and noticed (from Supreme Scream) 5 or 6 new large wooden crates in the Xcelerator work area. One train is in the station, and the second one is disassembled. Let's hope these are parts to fix the ride so it can finally open, and not just "new stuff" for the train. Possibly encouraging news I hope. So sad to be there without Monte and Xcelerator. 🤬


They sent a few test cycles on Xcel today right after the park opened. 

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  • 2 weeks later...


Knott’s Merry Farm has returned from now through January 7th, and the park has transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland!

Knott's own vocal quartet, the Calico Carolers, transports guests back in time to a Victorian Christmas as they perform the season's songs throughout the streets of Ghost Town.



Christmas in Calico continues as the Snow and Glow experience fills the buildings and paths with thousands of lights dancing to the beat of Christmas music while “snow” gently falls throughout Ghost Town. 



Over at the Walter Knott Theater, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang take to the ice in Snoopy's Night Before Christmas. This guest favorite returns with the Knott’s Ice-Skating Ensemble and Snoopy retelling the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” re-imagined Peanuts style.




It’s not a holiday celebration without festive food. Throughout the park, guests can indulge in traditional holiday classics with a twist! Below are four of the items we tried.

We loved the Classic Turkey Sandwich with all the Trimmings (all inside the bun)!



Chicken Tamales Fries



Rudolph's Chicken, Artichoke, and Spinach Dip Pizza



Garlic Truffle Mayo and Mushroom Burger



Be sure to visit knotts.com to plan your visit to Knott's Merry Farm!

Thank you to the Knott's PR Team for once again inviting us to ring the the merriest season of them all!

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Thanks for the photos! Wow, it's like my childhood visits all over again! That was right around the time I started getting big enough to ride things and my family would take me quite often. The park has changed so much over the years, mostly for the better, unless you count their bad operations or them destroying Monte!

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  • 1 month later...

Took a quick spin through the park last night, mostly so family could see some of the holiday stuff. Obviously, the park was very busy, and we knew that getting on/in any of the attractions would be out of the question. The walkways were mostly accessible with just a few areas of heavy congestion. The curfew was in effect, which is always a good thing. It was also very cool to see Xcelerator finally back up and running again. Lines were pretty much all spilling out into the walkways, with bigger attractions averaging 120-180 minutes. I'm preaching to the choir here, but the week after xmas remains the craziest time to attend.

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