Saturday, May 4, 2024

More Knott's

Going back through my Knott's Berry Farm photos, I realized I have a bunch of shots that are still worth sharing. I hope you enjoy these photos that cover some of the finer details in the park! Starting across the road at Independence Hall, I like this picture with the former Jungle Island Lagoon in the background. Judging by the hat on the left, someone appears to have photobombed this picture!
Moving into the park, I sprinted straight to the train. I was stunned by the puddles along the tracks, which show that this is still a functioning water tower. I tried telling everyone around me this fact, but they just gave me weird looks. Photoshop the thrill rides out of the background, and this would be a convincing old-west scene.
I remember reading rumors that The Western Trails Museum was going to close permanently a year or so ago, but seeing that it's still listed on the Knott's website, that thankfully appears to have not been the case.
I love that the museum also has Knott's memorabilia on display, like the "Super Bonanza" ticket books. The displays are very unpolished, and that adds to the charm.
I forget which peek-in this is, but it's super cool.
Like much of Ghost Town, I'm guessing these mannequins have been pretty much untouched for decades and decades!
Even with Pony Express overshadowing the Boot Hill Cemetery, there are still plenty of vintage delights in this area. I'm sure at one time the Barrel House was just as popular as the roller coasters that now tower over it.
Hopefully this little sliver of vintage Ghost Town remains as-is for as long as possible!
I'm surprised that these super-old-looking information signs are still here and that they haven't been rendered illegible by the California sun. I'm assuming that these signs are examples of handmade craftsmanship, which characterized the early days of Knott's.
This outcove near GhostRider is a pressed penny enthusiast's dream!
The old schoolhouse wasn't open during our visit, but I was able to get a photo of the interior.
I wonder if these posters in the Bird Cage Theater are original prints or if they're newer reproductions?
Even though some of the old peek-ins have been temporarily removed for "Ghost Town Alive," the undertaker display is still the best of the bunch!
Pepper's Ghost at its finest!
I like this picture of the mobile pianist in the Roaring 20s area, playing for an invisible crowd!
Here are some photos of a couple of Camp Snoopy features that are now history. It isn't surprising that the High Sierra Ferris Wheel was removed given Cedar Fair's emphasis on high-capacity rides, but it's a shame that it won't be replaced by a similar Ferris wheel-style ride.
The Grand Sierra Railroad will also be replaced by an electric train, meaning this genuine steam locomotive has been retired.
Sitting in front of the Calico Log Ride as the sun goes down really is a special place!
California sunsets blew my mind! The air creates an interesting effect that we don't have in Pennsylvania.
I wish I had more pictures of Ghost Town after dark with its atmospheric lighting.
The orange lights in the upper left of this picture are part of GhostRider. We had plenty of time in Virginia's Gift Shop while waiting for my mom to get her bearings (she accidentally took I-5 in the wrong direction when coming to pick my dad and me up).
The variety of vintage merchandise offered by Knott's is delightful. There is a large market for vintage items that most parks leave untapped, but Knott's and Cedar Point take full advantage of the nostalgia.
Take the full lines of merchandise for the Sky Jump and Volcano Devil, for instance!
I bought one of the Wacky Soap Box Racers flags, then realized when I got home that I had no use for it. Still cool though!
The pedestrian tunnel under Beach Boulevard has this cool mural of vintage Knott's icons.
Just for fun, I'll include the entire mural in this post.
Even Walter and Cordelia Knott receive the mural's "cutesy" treatment.
I find it interesting that the mural shows the coasters in the background and the park's characters in the foreground.
There's Montezooma's Revenge, which has now been closed for over two years but will finally reopen next year.
RIDE Knott's Bear-y Tales
I hope you enjoyed this brief post of some Knott's Berry Farm highlights!


Major Pepperidge said...

Andrew, these are fun! I always love seeing the Berry Farm.

I’m not sure why people would give you funny looks when you told them that the water tower was a real, functioning water tower. Seems like perfectly good information to me!

I’m very glad that the Western Trails Museum is still there, and would be sad if they removed it for some dumb reason.

Peek-ins, always a favorite! I still remember Wing Lee ironing a shirt so vigorously that he’d worn a hole in it.

Interesting that they actually have a sign about barbed wire!

Your photo of the schoolhouse is great, did you just press your phone up against a window??

Those Bird Cage Theatre posters look pretty fresh.

And yes, the hanged man in the coffin is my favorite peek-in!

I’m ashamed to admit that I have never set foot in Camp Snoopy, I was surprised that they have a little locomotive. Now I wish I’d been on it when it was a real steam loco.

The night shots are beauties! And it’s fun seeing the merchandise. How can you have no use for your Wacky Soap Box Racers flag?? It’s the most useful thing ever.

Thanks for the fun pix!

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, just like the Major, I also always enjoy seeing Knott's pics!

I like that mural in the tunnel. It was a good idea to do something to gussy up that long wall. I hope they will maintain that, as it needs "touch ups" over the years. Maybe it will stay "fresh" for a long time, since it isn't really exposed to the elements.

That merchandise that they got in for the Farm's 100th anniversary, really was cool. I had to buy the Volcano/Devil shirt, and the black Sky Jump shirt. Oh, and a complete set of those Bear-y Tales Magnets! They had more stuff that I really wanted, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I did think those Wacky Soapbox Racer flags were pretty nice.

I was sad to hear that they were getting rid of the High Sierra Ferris Wheel. It's an original opening day attraction for Camp Snoopy. Plus, who doesn't love a good Ferris wheel ride? I wonder what the reason was for getting rid of it?

That peek-in that you liked, is located behind the Bank building and the Ghost Town Candy Parlor. It used to house the Mrs. Murphy's Boarding House figures (in their second location). Unfortunately, they got rid of that classic scene, in the early 2000s. The current figures and some of the props came from Doc Walker's Cabin. That cabin had been located across from the Church of Reflections, and next door to the Original Berry Stand. It had been a real residence and dental office (combined), moved to Knott's from the Ozarks (I think). Most of the cabin was the living space for the doctor and his family, but one room contained his dental office, with a separate door to the outside. You could walk around three sides of the cabin to look in and see all of the scenes. When they demolished the cabin to make way for Silver Bullet, they moved the figures and some of the furniture and props over to their current spot. That is why "mom" is cooking in the kitchen, and "dad" is treating a patient just on the other side of the same room. It worked better when the doctor had his very own room/office to do his drilling and extractions. But hey, at least they saved and relocated certain parts of the original scenes. I just wish they had also been able to keep the "Mrs. Murphy's Boarding House" figures/scene.

Thanks for sharing more of your California trip with us, Andrew!

Andrew said...

Major, my dry sense of humor strikes again! The thing about the water tower was a joke, but that isn’t clear at all from what I wrote!

Most of the classic peek-ins were missing because of Ghost Town Alive, but I believe that they do come back when that event is not happening. Yep, I just pressed my camera against the window of the schoolhouse to get that picture. I’m surprised you've always missed out on Camp Snoopy. I think we just walked through the area once during the day.

Maybe I’ll put the Wacky Soap Box Racers flag on the roof of my car or something! :-D Thanks for commenting!

Andrew said...

TokyoMagic!, I can’t tell if the mural is hand-painted or if it’s vinyl. I’m guessing the latter. If it’s hand-painted, I could see people chipping away sections of it over time. You could’ve bought everything in the gift shop that your heart desired, but they really had such an amazing selection that I’m sure it was hard to choose!

They could be removing the Ferris wheel for any number of reasons, whether that’s capacity, insurance, or consistency with other Cedar Fair parks’ Peanuts areas. Somebody probably knows!

Ooh, I remember seeing a picture of the Mrs. Murphy’s Boarding House figures. I wish I could find a video of that scene when it was animated! Thanks for the history on this particular peek-in. Hopefully they put the Boarding House figures into storage instead of pitching them, but I know how those types of things usually go…

Thanks for the comment, TM!

JB said...

Wonderful pictures, Andrew! Which we have come to expect. Our family was at Knott's in 1975, but only for a few hours. We were at Disneyland for most of the day (part of a three-day trip to DL). We didn't get to Knott's till late afternoon, and stayed till sometime in the evening. I only remember doing two of Knott's attractions: The Corkscrew Coaster and the Haunted Shack. The queue for the Corkscrew was rather long and it took us about 40 minutes to finally get on the ride. The coaster had been open for only a few months at the time.
Thanks for the Knott's pics, Andrew.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Andrew, I'm really enjoying all these pictures and information. Like JB, I haven't been to KBF since the mid-70s, and I see that I'm missing out on soooo much.

In the Bird Cage Theater picture, I think I see Steve Martin's photo under the "Birds Who Have Flown" back wall section. I believe that's him in the top left photo.

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing more of your trip with us. I never tire of your California (and WDW) trip photos. Keep 'em coming!

K. Martinez said...

I'm sad they are removing the High Sierra Ferris Wheel. I love the old Eli 12 and 16 Ferris wheels. They are a midway classic. Knott's had a nice one.

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk used to have an Eli 16, but unfortunately, they got rid of it as well. The Boardwalk Eli 16 was originally cable driven, but later changed to rim driven. I operated the Eli 16 when it was cable driven back in the 1970's. It was a bit more complex than loading other rides due to weight factors. Sometimes the motor would smoke if the wheel was out of balance and strained.

Camp Snoopy always felt like the lushest area of the park with its flowered walkways and green foliage. Beautiful on a warm summer day.

Always enjoy your pics and updates, Andrew.

Much thanks!

Andrew said...

JB, somehow I missed your comment! How cool that you were able to visit Knott’s in 1975, the year of the Roaring 20s! I would say that 40 minutes for the brand-new Corkscrew isn’t really all that long given how revolutionary it was. I love how you have that memory.

Andrew said...

Sue, a return visit might be in order! However if you don’t enjoy roller coasters you might only want to spend a half-day or so there, and the operations are not quite up to Disney standards. Good eye, I see Steve Martin! I’m unsure about the other pictures around him. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

Andrew said...

K. Martinez, we think alike on the importance of the classic Eli wheels! I’ll miss the lights in the shape of a flower the most—I think that was unique to Knott’s. I would’ve loved to have operated a cable-driven Ferris wheel! Idlewild had one until recently, and you could tell it was a ride for only the most experienced operators. They wore hard hats. Thanks for the comment!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue & Andrew, if you look at that block of photos in the Bird Cage Theater's foyer, and go down to the third row, on the far right is Lauren Tewes, "your cruise director" on the Loooooove Boooooat"! To the left of her is Kim Lankford from one of the greatest shows that ever existed on television, "Knots Landing" (not Knott's Landing!). To her left is Lorna Patterson, the singing stewardess from the movie, "Airplane! and she was also "Private Benjamin," in the television series, based of the film. And finally, above Kim Lankford (second row, second from the right), you have Dean Jones, star of 10 classic Disney films!

The photo of Dean Jones shows him chatting with Walter Knott, in Calico Square: