Wags wrote:The thing is they are not competition for Disney, even Matt Ouimet said that he never considered Knott's competition. I have friends with kids who drove past Knott's to go to Medieval Times during a recent trip to Disneyland. That's sad, IMO. At its peak, Knott's was pulling in 5 million guests per year with far less attractions and they weren't giving away annual passes like they are now.
The market and competitive landscape have changed a lot since the "good old days" of KBF. Six Flags and Universal also "give away passes," and Disney introduced the payment plan options to make their pass seem like a better deal. Plus options like Medieval Times, the Pirates show, and countless other means for people looking for a "value" when spending their extra cash.
Knott's held a hard hat tour to show off the new Boardwalk expansion and the updated Timber Mountain Log Ride, and TPR was there with David and Spears! Check out our full report below...
Knott's is going all out this year with a massive Boardwalk expansion as well as a full renovation of the Timber Mountain Log Ride. They invited TPR to attend a presentation and hard hat tour of both projects, so read on to get the scoop on both of these new additions!
In typical Knott's fashion, they pulled out all the stops. We were greeted with an awesome breakfast before the tours.
Knott's never disappoints!
Jennifer Blazey welcomed everyone and then introduced Raffi Kaprelyan, the General Manager of Knott's.
Raffi was the first of four presenters who gave us a ton of information on the new additions. I have deemed them the Fantastic Four!
First up, info on the Boardwalk expansion. Knott's is adding 3 new rides to the Boardwalk this year! They're adding a family roller coaster and two flat rides in the space once occupied by Perilous Plunge.
The family roller coaster is a Mack Wild Mouse coaster named "Coast Rider." They showed us the logo, images of the ride vehicles, and a drawing of the entrance marquee.
The coaster is 52 feet high with 1,339 feet of track. The ride lasts 2.5 minutes. This is a sample of what it will look like once it's finished and running!
The second ride Knott's is adding is a Larson Flying Scooters ride named "Surfside Gliders." It's 28 feet high and will make 10 revolutions per minute.
The third and final ride Knott's is adding to the Boardwalk is "Pacific Scrambler." This Eli Bridge Scrambler has run in various locations at Knott's in the past, but has been in storage since Pony Express was built. They're bringing it back out and sprucing it up to round out the new Boardwalk additions.
They're going to be installing Windseeker-esque lights onto the flat rides, which should add a nice glow to the area, and will look great in photographs. They said they want the area to look great in both the daytime and the nighttime.
Moving on from the Boardwalk Expansion, here are details on the Timber Mountain Log Ride renovation.
This is Bud Hurlbut's original Log Ride sketch from 1969. Knott's is in the process of a multi-million dollar upgrade to the attraction. They're working to bring it into the 21st century while maintaining the aspects of the ride that have made it a classic. I'm a huge fan of this ride, and I'm happy to report that it appears the changes Knott's is making to it will not disappoint!
Here is a drawing of a scene from the updated attraction. The new scenes will involve animation, warmth, humor, and new characters while maintaining the ride's original charm.
Knott's is working with Garner Holt on the project, one of the most reputable names in the business. They're building all new human and animal figures, nearly all of which will have subtle motion to bring life to each scene. The animals will now be made of man-made materials, with synthetic eyes, teeth, and fur.
Existing face sculptures will be replaced with silicone masks, but the same art style will be preserved. Many of the masks are molded from the existing figures.
A sampling of the many molds Garner Hold is making.
A photo of an employee working on the animals. It's surprising how life-like they're able to make the artificial creatures look.
An employee working on making hands for the characters in the ride.
The new props and scenery pieces are being detailed by the guy who painted the props and scenery for the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland.
Knott's set up a display of objects from the ride to show off the quality and attention to detail going into each piece.
The new figures are amazingly life-like!
It's hard to believe that wasn't a real owl!
I'm glad he's not real - far less stinky!
I wanted to walk up and pet the dog, it was that realistic!
Oh no, I've been axed!
Even worse, he's going after Spears!
There were a few boards set up with more images from the attraction.
A closer look...
I'm excited to see all this stuff in real life.
Another drawing of a scene from the ride.
"En route to a sensational inspirational celebrational HOOTENANNY"
But enough talk, lets see some of this stuff in person! Everyone was given a hard hat to protect our fragile heads.
Whoa! Look who was hiding in Spears' hard hat! It's Gertrude!!!
Gertrude is totally excited for the new rides.
We walked down the train tracks to get to the construction site.
Here we are!
The platform in front is for Pacific Scrambler, the second platform back is for Surfside Gliders, and in the back is Coast Rider.
Spears is demonstrating how Pacific Scrambler will work.
Gertrude wanted to experience what Surfside Gliders might feel like, so she hopped in a wheelbarrow and instructed a construction worker to push her around.
I think he's testing a new nighttime water spectacular!
The world is a Carousel of Color!
Coast Rider's track is now complete, so testing should begin soon! Or in Gertrude's case, testing begins now.
This is the operator's booth for Pacific Scrambler.
Look what Gertrude started!
Random bit of info: the old light blue paint showed every speck of dirt, so they'll be painting the pool a darker color. It's nice to see them considering all these little details.
Random bit of info #2: Coast rider's height limit will be 44" with an adult, or 54" without an adult.
Look who showed up! Snoopy in a construction hat!
He totally struck a manly pose!
Snoopy is quite the ladies' man.
Thanks to Mike, Snoopy, and Jeff for showing us everything, answering all our questions, and posing for photos!
Bye, bye Snoopy! Nice seeing you!
As we leave, here's one last look at the Pacific Scrambler platform.
And here's one last look at the Surfside Gliders platform.
It's still very much a construction site, but not for much longer! The new Boardwalk rides are currently on schedule to open Memorial Day Weekend.
A couple shots of Coast Rider on our way to the Timber Mountain Log Ride.
Track is complete, but they're still doing lots of work on and around the ride.
Here's Spears under the first drop.
The lift hill is on the left in this photo and the drop is on the right.
And here's the ride behind the construction walls.
The Sky Cabin looked pretty this morning with the sun shining around it.
One more Sky Cabin photo.
Over to the Timber Mountain Log Ride, there is still lots of construction going on.
Gertrude was disappointed to see that there weren't any logs.
Spears is getting ready to go into the mountain!
Here's a photo of the log ride layout.
Scene #6 is where we're headed.
The ride is still under construction so there wasn't much to see in the way of characters or theming. It's scheduled to open May 30th, so things will likely start getting put back together pretty quickly.
There were lots of ladders, wires, and exposed materials.
A few bits of information we found out: The lighting and audio for the ride are both being completely re-done...
The logs will be the same as before, and are currently in the process of being refurbished...
There aren't plans to theme the ride for Haunt or Christmas anymore...
The support poles in the room are normally themed as trees, which is why you've probably never noticed them before!
Oh no! Gertrude put the "logs" back in the log ride.
Ew! Maybe Gertrude needs to wear a diaper from now on.
Well there you have it! Hopefully you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the awesome projects currently under construction at Knott's. The Boardwalk Expansion will create more of a family atmosphere and a finished look in the back of the park, and the Timber Mountain Log Ride renovation seems like it will strike the perfect balance between new and old - bringing the ride into the 21st century while maintaining its classic story and charm.
Thanks Knott's for inviting us to attend this event! We had a great time, and can't wait to ride these new additions this summer!
Last edited by ILoveRides on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:15 am.
I'm rather impressed with what Knott's is doing, epecially in the Log Ride remodel. Heck, I'm more excited about the 2013 Boardwalk expansion and the new Log Ride than YOLOcoaster.
1: Lightning Run, 2: El Toro, 3: Maverick, 4: Xcelerator, 5: Voyage, 6: TTD, 7: Gold Striker, 8: El Loco (Vegas), 9: Millennium Force, 10: Kingda Ka Coaster Credits: 110 (89 steel, 21 wood); Last Coaster Credit: Raptor (CP) [8/22/14]; Last Park Credit: Waldameer [8/21/14] What a season pass??
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