Knott's Berry Farm invited members of the online and other media outlets to the park today for a special behind the scenes tour of both Camp Snoopy and the Calico Mine Ride. In addition, we were told all new details about both additions as well as an anticipated re-opening date for the Mine Ride.
Before we continue we want to send a special thanks to the entire staff at Knott's for having us out today. We are still pretty amazed at the generosity bestowed upon us sometimes. For such a new site it's truly an honor to even be included with the group that was there today.
The update will contain both pictures taken today and some great photos provided by the park.
We'll start off with the Calico Mine Ride. Not only did we get a special treat when Bill and Garner from Garner Holt Productions presented some details about the refurbishment, but we also got a walk-through of a portion of the attraction.
Garner and Bill speaking to the assembled guests
Below is some concept art that was provided by the park, truly remarkable.
They also provided us with some historical pictures of the mine ride including this one of the ride under construction
One of my favorites featuring Bud Hurlbut on one of the trains in 1960
We even got a sneak peek at some of the animatronics Garner Holt Productions is working on. As you'll recall, they did the Timber Mountain Log Ride animatronics last year and we all know how awesome that turned out.
Calico Mine Ride Animatronics > The entirety of the new Robocop movie
Once the presentation was complete we were led over to the Mine for our tour
The work being done both inside and outside the mine is staggering.
Portions of the exterior have been completely sandblasted and repainted
They also had one of the refurbished and repainted trains out for us to see
Time to head into the mine
Our tour guide Kelley. Like most people at Knott's you can tell he loves his job.
We got to see the first cavern and long time fans of the ride are going to be quite happy. After a long absence, the steam in this room is back. And you can feel it thanks to an all new boiler.
A peek down the track towards the maintenance bay
And lastly, a look at some of the guys working on the Glory Hole (insert joke here)
The tentative date for the Calico Mine Ride is June 14. Once the reopening is officially announced we will be sure to let you know.
Next, lets take a look at what's coming to Camp Snoopy. The area is getting a complete overhaul and it's going to look better than ever. The park is taking the time to turn the area back into it's original theme which was High Sierra. So gone are the race cars and giant skateboards because, as the park said, what's so High Sierra about that?
Just like with the Mine Ride, the park has provided some great artwork and history of Camp Snoopy. The picture below might be one of my all-time favorite pictures. It's Charles Schulz with Marion and Virginia Knott.
And Charles Schulz with Snoopy 30 years ago.
There's so much going on in Camp Snoopy right now, hopefully I'll be able to place all the pictures with the proper artwork from Knott's.
The first thing that really makes the refurbishment of the area stand out is all new signs for the attractions. Gone are printed signs and in their place are all-new hand made and hand painted ones.
I think this one was my favorite. Snoopy looks fat and tired after working out, kind of like me. =)
GR8 Sk8 has been removed and in it's place will be a complete meet and greet area for the Peanuts Characters. Great idea!!!
In addition to the new rides, the Grizzly Creek Lodge is getting a complete makeover for the first time since it opened.
Below is what Grizzly Creek Lodge looked like 30 years ago
Let's take a look at the other improvements for Camp Snoopy and the three new rides
The biggest news from today was that the Grand Sierra Railroad is going to feature Peanuts characters and will be narrated by none other the Linus. We got to catch a bit of the new narration and there were smiles all around.
A look at the Franklin, Sally and Woodstock figures. The big circle things they are holding will be butterfly nets. These are also being created by Garner Holt Productions.
Let's take a look at where the three new rides are going, starting with Linus Launcher. I'm going to be 100% honest, I'm not sure what exactly is going where but I think this is a pretty good guess.
In addition to the new ride in this area a new ADA ramp is being made for the Balloon Race.
The construction area for Pig Pens Mud Buggies and Charlie Brown's Kite Flight
Lastly, Lucy's Tugboat has lost it's tugboat theme (because what's so High Sierra about a Tugboat) and has been renamed Rapid River Run. Looks great!!
I have to admit, even though my children are far older than the target demographic for Camp Snoopy I'm truly excited about the amount of love and care is going into this project. I can't wait to see everything done this summer!!!
Around The Park
Just a couple of pictures completing our Berry Bloom coverage from Monday. We spent so much time eating we missed a couple of things.
Great Boysenberry Festival shirts!!
A look at some of the other merchandise available. I thought I was buying a magnet, turns out it was a coaster (I thought it seemed kind of heavy). Now I have a new coaster for my desk!!!
I wish I could take credit for this, but it's all Dan from Westcoaster. I did ask for permission to steal the idea. ;)
Apparently there are giant topiary's at the topiary wine tasting garden. ;)
Lastly, the Bumper Cars have been renamed to Bumper Bugs for the spring, cute idea.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. Thanks again to Knott's for inviting us to their event. We are hoping to make it out to Berry Bloom one last time before the even is over, but don't forget, the event runs only until April 27, so make sure you go!!!