The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby jazma » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:52 am

Yes, they will scan the barcode from a mobile device.

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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby Arthur_Seaton » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:11 am

I went to Scary Farm last night, figuring that it’d probably be less-crowded. For the most part, it was. The only rides I rode were Supreme Scream (no line plus view of the park) and the log ride (10-minute wait). Ghost Rider, Xcelerator, and Hang Time all had fairly long lines, so I skipped all three as I ride them enough on slow days. Overall, it was a good night, but a number of changes at the event do seem to have impacted the overall feel, even though it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what that is. Scare zones were solid, yet seemed tamer; and although I didn’t watch any shows (I find most of them insufferable), Elvira’s absence was felt. Wait times were way off all night, and most of the “45-minute” advertised times were actually 15 minutes. Several of the mazes had no line at all. Only Infected and Trick or Treat sustained long waits with Paranormal Inc. following behind — and that’s largely due to the way these mazes are operated. I hit Trick or Treat first, so I only had to wait about 10 minutes, and did Infected toward the end of the night, so that was only about 20. A few thoughts on the mazes, ranked in order of personal preference:

Paranormal Inc.:
Kind of the park’s classic at this point, even though it’s only been around for a few years. The narrative’s great, and the maze is surprisingly frightening. It’s not as effective as when it first opened as some of the more elaborate effects no longer work, but that doesn’t really detract too much. The ending has changed quite a bit, and the weird “other side” type scene from previous years has gone (I think those sets ended up in The Depths), but they retooled some of the original’s final scenes in a creative way. Moving through squishy-black inflatables only to pop out into a well-lit and functioning asylum from the past was very effective, and the new hallway that lights up to reveal the old monster cavern from the last version worked well, too. Despite its changes, Paranormal remains one of Knotts’ best. (2X)

Pumpkin Eater:
Understaffed and underfogged, but also underrated I think. I think this one of the better mazes at the park, but it did fall a bit flat tonight as it was so quiet. Effective theming throughout, but also lacking some of last year’s effects (one room was clearly designed to hold props or a scene, yet there was nothing in there). The set is elaborate, and, while the narrative is as elementary as half the others at the park, the set maintains a kind of narrative consistency throughout. There are some decent scares, but this one works through atmospherics. I know my opinion is not shared by most, but I think it’s one of the best at the event. (2X)

Trick or Treat:
Same as other years, only the failing-flashlight sections weren’t dark at all. The witch was buried further inside the maze this time, complete with a Universal-style scare noise (I saw several of these throughout the park). It’s a great maze with fantastic sets, but the throughput is kind of miserable. It feels like it could use a refresh or perhaps some new scenes / effects, but the concept and execution are top notch. It’s the line that’s the most scary (1X)

Special Ops: Infected:
The queue for this one is mind-numbing and kind of a turn-off, but it moved very fast last night. The maze remains the same, only I suspect it’s been shortened and scaled back from when it first opened (although I may be misremembering). It’s always been fast-paced, but jogging was in order tonight it seems, obviously to move through the crowds faster. It’s very effective overall, as running through a maze is kind of the opposite of what most feel compelled to do, especially when you stand a good chance of running straight into a nest of zombies. It works well and continues to be popular, plus the original version through Camp Snoopy was just unsustainable. (1X)

Red Barn:
Different this time, and not quite as good. I’m not sure why they changed this one as it was pretty solid before. For the most part, it just seems like they cut the route short and took out the cage / crawl sections. Having said that, even though this one doesn’t seem that popular, I’ve always thought it was one the strongest at the park. It’s really just farmers and pigs and whatnot jumping out at you. It’d benefit from more chainsaws, given that that’s part of the concept. There was one at the end on my first walk-through, but my the time I went through again, most of the actors had left, taking the chainsaw with them. (2X)

Dark Ride:
Same, but decent. Last year, it seemed like a big deal, even though it was totally understaffed when I went through it. This time, it didn’t feel quite as innovative but was better staffed. The concept is great, and it’s one of the more developed narratives at the park. Having said that, I wonder if more could be done to signpost to the average GP what’s happening in the storyline? I think it’s clear to theme park nerds, but I suspect most other folks just see it as a few randomly connected scenes with a kind of cheesy carnival feel and miss the “broken down dark ride” aspect completely (2X)

The Depths:
There’s a great lighthouse facade with a loud crashing-ocean soundtrack that’s surprisingly effective. Inside, there were some cool effects, but not that many scares. The narrative was beyond muddled (a mine followed by a boat?), and I’m not quite sure the character interaction worked that well (most just stand there looking creepy). Of course, everyone loved the laser swamp scene (Dark Harbor had a less-crowded version of this last year), but I personally found the rocking-boat section to be the best. It really did feel like being on a boat on the waves. I went through this one three times and came to appreciate it a bit more, but it does feel a tad incoherent to me. (3X)

Shadow Lands:
This also seems to have been fiddled with since last year. It seems like they changed the path a bit, but much of the maze content remained the same. It’s pretty decent overall, but also somehow feels past its sell-by date. The final scene — what was once an elaborate throat-cutting effect — remains intact, only without the throat cutting, and a samurai floating around on a cable. It’s a decent maze, but does seem like it’s been simplified since the opening year, and I distinctly remember the original had a pulley-based effect similar to the ghost at the opening of Paranormal. (2X)

Dark Entities:
Perhaps due to placement (or lack of popularity), this had no line all night. As such, I went through it four times. It replaces the Tooth Fairy maze — a maze I’ve always loved, largely based on just how over-the-top and gross it is. I don’t think this one was much of an improvement, though. It’s mostly competent but relatively simplistic — nothing but space ship sets that mostly look the same (pipes, grates, electronic panels, glass pods), some (very bad) mannequins, and a few giant prop monsters that look borrowed from other mazes (I noticed that some of the monsters at the end of Infected are gone, so maybe this is their new home?). There’s potential here, and there are at least two Universal-style scares (strobe / noise / monster attack), but it just didn’t quite come together for me and I much preferred Tooth Fairy. The narrative seems to be “Uh oh! There are creatures on a space ship.” (4X)

So, overall, a good night to attend. Crowds were average, but wait times weren’t bad. I think that if you go on a weekend, fast past is inevitable. And if you do want to ride the rides at all, the same is true. The mazes are all solid, but there was a distinct feel of something missing or lost this year that was hard to pinpoint. Also, having just returned from Six Flags’ Fright Fest, I’d say that their new maze, Condemned, is getting closer to Knotts’ efforts these days.
Facade of The Depths.
Entering the mine / boat.
Hang Time sure looks great at night. The clowns congregated by the ride's exit and were scaring folks in hilarious ways.
Dark Ride remains the same, and is a major improvement on that mediocre ice-forest maze that preceded it.
Some of the Camp Snoopy decor. I took several second to get a well-focused and close-up shot of what I thought was a prop, only to find out it was indeed a scare actor. They held still for the picture, only to give me a near heart attack soon after.
Camp Snoopy s worth walking through as it's one of the most atmospheric areas of the park. The new scare zone by Silver Bullet wasn't up to much, but the costumes there were excellent.
Good old Paranormal.
Gives you a sense of how quiet some areas were.
Last edited by Arthur_Seaton on Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:46 am.

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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby joelwee » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:40 am

^Great report! I've never been to Scary Farm, but it sounds like it's worth a trip down there. (I live near Magic Mountain, so it's a 1.5-2.5 hour drive down there.) I'm hoping to head down there next weekend.
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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby Guy T. Koepp » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:37 am

I am so looking forward to next Friday. :lover:

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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby tanthonyam » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:30 pm

The cam is not working for Ghostrider.

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Re: The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

Postby The Great Zo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:45 pm

Just put up a trip report from WCB at Knott's!
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Trip Reports: 2013 BG/KD -- 2013 TPR -- 2014 KI -- 2014 TPR -- 2015 TPR
Trip Reports: 2015 CP -- 2017 FL -- 2017 CP -- 2017 TPR -- 2018 FC -- 2018 CA


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