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Knott's Voyage to the Iron Reef Media Day!


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Wednesday was the media day for Knott’s Berry Farm’s new ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef, and TPR was there to check out all the action! This interactive, 4-d shooting ride brings another family-friendly, entertaining dark ride to the Farm. The ride is as expected - a decent 4-d shooter with a customized story and artwork to make it interesting and unique to Knott’s. To address the elephant in the room, inevitably this more budget-conscious ride doesn’t live up to its neighbors - The Calico Mine Ride and The Timber Mountain Log Ride, or its predecessors - Knott’s Beary Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. However, it brings an interactive element that Knott’s lacked, and is clearly better than having the building sit vacant, as it has for many years. Overall, we expect it to go over pretty well with the GP, and feel it’s definitely worth visiting Knott’s to check out. While it won’t make our “favorite rides” list, it will be a ride we expect to experience at least once on every Knott’s visit. It's a “good” ride, just not a “great” one. But enough talk, check out our report below to learn more about the ride. And be sure to see it in-person at Knott’s!

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We’re at Knott’s for the opening of Voyage to the Iron Reef!

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As usual, Knott’s has tons of awesome food ready and waiting.

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Ice sculpture and all.

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Mmmm, breakfast!

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But enough food, it’s time for the opening celebration!

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Jason Soyster, Director of Communications at Knott’s, stepped to the mic and welcomed everyone to the event.

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Raffi Kaprelyan, VP & General Manager at Knott’s, spoke of the history of the ride building, and how this new ride fits into that history. He said that with Knott’s Beary Tales in 1975, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs in 1987, and now with Voyage to the Iron Reef, Knott’s has a proud history of showcasing the latest theme park technology in the unique space.

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Bob Gurr, famous Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend who also oversaw the creation of the creatures in Kindom of the Dinosaurs, came on stage to reflect on his memories of Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, and share his excitement for Voyage to the Iron Reef.

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Finally, Captain McCallister came on stage to christen Voyage to the Iron Reef and officially open the ride.

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With a burst of streamers, the ride was officially opened!

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As bubbles filled the air, we made our way to the ride entrance.

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The queue is decorated with backlit cutouts.

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Monitors hanging throughout the queue play a pre-show video to introduce guests to the theme.

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Captain McCallister narrates the video.

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Darn those pesky steampunk animals.

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Sign enthusiasts rejoice!

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The Knott’s haunt designers seem to be enjoying the ride.

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Spears has donned her 3-d glasses and is ready to ride!

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Each “submarine” consists of two connected cars that seat 4 people each.

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This display shows your score as you play.

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Each “freeze ray” gun has a different color gun-shot. These graphics indicate what color your gun is.

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Here’s the freeze ray gun. It doesn't tire your arm out like Midway Mania does!

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As the left icon indicates, please don’t slouch or hover over the seat when pooping on the ride.

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And we’re off!

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Dive! Dive! Dive!

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The submarine goes through a fog screen with bubble projections to give the illusion of diving underwater.

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The ride is pretty much what you’d expect. Lots of screens with lots of creatures to shoot. Nothing too groundbreaking in that sense, but the steampunk art style looks nice and is different than any other shooting ride I’ve been on.

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Quick, shoot him!

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Knott’s rides and artifacts are strewn throughout the background.

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There are some neat things to see if you look closely!

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Fire away!

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Knott’s did a good job of creating physical scenes in-between the projection screens.

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There’s interesting stuff to look at as you transition from screen to screen.

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Ooooh, pretty tunnel.

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It’s the Queen Kraken! Shoot her!

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Talk to the hand, because the face ain't listening.

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At the end of the ride each rider’s score is displayed with their photo. Our scores aren’t bad considering we were shooting photos instead of bad guys for most of the ride!

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Here’s the unload area.

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And a shot of the track and wheels for the super nerds.

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This is the mural you walk past as you exit.

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There’s one final room with screens that display the latest scores and top scores. This wasn’t functioning 100% yet, but hiccups are inevitable on the first preview day of a ride.

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The ride exits into the downstairs arcade which has been tidied up and updated with many new, modern games. The arcade also connects to the gift shop.

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Nautilus is the gift shop for the ride.

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Here’s a peek at the store window display.

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There’s lots of cool ride merchandise!

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Custom shirts...

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Coin jars and tins...

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Steampunk and ocean themed trinkets...

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This cool display is in the center of the store...

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Oh no, Gertrude got eaten! It’s so sad! Her funeral is next week.

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Just kidding! Gertrude is fine. Here she is admiring herself in a Voyage to the Iron Reef pocket mirror.

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So yeah, there’s a bunch of neat branded ride merchandise and ride-related merchandise.

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The tentacles are my favorite item.

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There are mugs...

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A cool limited edition season pass-holder pin...

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Even a bunch of the stuff that looks like it’s just “for decoration” is for sale. This spider is for sale.

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Steampunk fans will be in heaven here.

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Even this thing is for sale. There’s a bunch of neat stuff!

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They had to draw the line somewhere, so the steampunk-themed water pipe is not for sale.

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Knott’s also gave us ERT on all the boardwalk rides! Awesome! A ride on Xcelerator, front seat, with no wait? Yes, please! Make that 3 rides! Xcelerator is still one of the best coasters around.

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The boardwalk was totally empty!

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Yay for ERT!

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You could have the entire ride to yourself!

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Spears borrowed someone’s bubble gun for some bubble ERT.

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Back at Voyage to the Iron Reef, we snapped a pic with Captain Snoopy and crew before taking a couple more spins on the ride.

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Thanks to Knott’s for inviting us to this event... we had a great time! And thanks to you for checking out our report! Now go experience Voyage to the Iron Reef - it's NOW OPEN at Knott’s Berry Farm!

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All the old Necropolis costumes brought back out for this event...makes me wonder if that area will return to take over the boardwalk this year for Haunt.

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Outstanding TR that definitely puts a much better perspective and light on the attraction. It seems way better done than some have reflected upon and I look forward to checking it out later today. I'll take the quirkiness over yet another Super Hero themed ride any day.

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Great trip report, not the ride for me. If I had a family I am sure my children would get a kick out of it however the ride is a great use of space and Knotts looks like they spared no expense in planning and marketing the ride. Id go to a park with you two any day, you two make it look so fun!

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Nice to see Bob Gurr giving a speech. He's a good friend of mine. I love getting him to tell me all about the days with Walt Disney.

As one of the original Imagineers, he had a lot to do with the creation of Disneyland!

I used to work valet at the Grand California Hotel and he would frequent the spot. Never shied away from small talk. Pretty cool experience to chat to a legend, even if it was just about his day and how he's doing.

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This seems like a solid addition for Knott's! However, I'm still not sure how well these would go over in some of the other Cedar Fair parks, especially the ones with shooting rides already. If other parks such as CP, KI, and KD add them I'd like to see more of a half family coaster, half dark ride attempt made.

 

In all though, it looks very good for only the second attempt by Cedar Fair - I'm interested to see where they go from here!

 

Thanks for the entertaining report.

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Awesome report. I'll be visiting Knott's in June with my family and my son is 3 1/2. Do you think he's too young for that ride? Are there scary elements or the typical crazy height requirements for this ride? It sure looks like a lot of fun but I don't want his first shooting dark ride to scare the living crap out of him.

 

Jimmy "I want the free food NOW!" Bo

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Looks like a solid addition! I can't wait to see what direction the other Cedar Fair parks take with their respective dark rides. I can never really complain about new family attractions like this, even if it is mostly screen based. The theme seems quirky enough to guarantee some charm, and that Snoopy costume alone just won me over!

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Awesome report. I'll be visiting Knott's in June with my family and my son is 3 1/2. Do you think he's too young for that ride? Are there scary elements or the typical crazy height requirements for this ride? It sure looks like a lot of fun but I don't want his first shooting dark ride to scare the living crap out of him.

 

In general, the ride isn't scary. But 3 1/2 is pretty young, so it may not take much to scare him. My advice would be to watch a POV of it (The TPR Youtube will have one up soon) so you can see it for yourself and decide if it's ok, and maybe have your son watch it so he'll know what to expect.

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OK so the ride looks good but it also looks just like an rails shooter that you'd find in any arcade, like house of the dead. Its a bit uncanny and a tiny bit off putting. I do quite like these type of rides because i think its a real social ride but there's also something about them that feels like a computer game.

 

Don't mess with the first person shooter!

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Don't mess with the first person shooter!

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Seems like a great ride! I have an opportunity to go to Knott's tomorrow, and I will definitely ride this one. Plus, they really did a great job with the gift shop, keeping the theme throughout the experience. Overall, it seems like a great addition to the park!

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