It's time for a Holiday event in the snow!! This year is the first year for the amazing WinterFest at Canada's Wonderland. Nick and Jeff got a sneak peek of the event a few weeks ago and this past weekend were there to take in the event, and had an absolute blast.
The event runs select nights through December 31st and obviously is subject to weather restrictions. =)
Let's head in for some fun!!
Doesn't look too cold yet ...
No fake ice skating here!!
Ready for the Tree Lighting
Check out a quick highlight video we put together
Ice Skating in front of Wonderland Mountain was so much fun
Lots of amazing sights and sounds all around the park
Be sure to check out Winterfest this season!! You won't be disappointed, and we'll for sure be back.
This past Friday it was time for our first Holiday event of 2019, Knott's Merry Farm.
After a 3 1/2 hour drive (gotta love weeknight traffic in SoCal) we made it to the park and were ready to have a merry time.
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Merry Farm
The projection also snows
Our first stop was the ice show as there was only 1 showing for the rest of the evening when we arrived.
This is always a favorite.
Shockingly enough, we actually got some decent pics of the show.
We've put them in a slideshow below. Sadly no video was allowed at the show.
No more pumpkin, but lots of pretty lights on the fountain.
Absolutely love this tree above the surf shop
As well as the big bulbs at coasters
All of the ride entries got huge wreaths. And because the park was not busy at all, we literally walked on every ride we wanted to.
Oddly, we found the decorations in Camp Snoopy to be rather minimal
Ghost Town is always one of our favorite places during Merry Farm. The Crafts fair is always fun.
And of course the ever-popular Snow and Glow is back.
If you like the smell of cookies, well, this is the place!!
Also home to the cookie shots, which are seriously amazing.
Forget that other Yoda, it's all about Wooden Yoda.
During our media reception, we got to take a look at some of the amazing food and merchandise available.
One of the new shows this year for Knott's Merry Farm is "Home for the Holidays".
It's a great holiday sing-along that features all the singers at the farm.
Literally all of them. =)
Alright everybody, that wraps it up for our coverage of the opening weekend of Knott's Merry Farm. We will most definitely be back.
You can find out more information about Knott's Merry Farm here.
Knott’s Berry Farm Celebrates 100 Years in 2020 and Welcomes Back the Beloved “Bear-y Tales” Story in an All-new 4-D Interactive Dark Ride
Buena Park, Calif. – Southern California’s original theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm, will commemorate its 100th anniversary with its largest celebration ever, all paying tribute to the Knott family’s rich history and legacy of family fun for all. Kicking off May 15 through August 30, “A Knott’s Family Reunion,” will bring together old classics with new favorites, which includes the return of the beloved Bear-y Tales story in an all-new 4-D interactive dark ride, bringing to life a continuation of the classic attraction initially commissioned by the Knott Family and created in 1975 by the legendary attraction designer Rolly Crump.
“Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair” is a new 4-D interactive dark ride that will take guests on an exciting journey through reimagined show scenes that are reminiscent of the original dark ride, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weird Woods, culminating in a celebration at the County Fair. The story takes place 34 years after the original adventure and will follow Boysen Bear and Girlsen Bear as they travel to the Country Fair to earn the blue ribbon prize for their famous boysenberry pies, but Crafty Coyote is back along with his mischievous pups intent on stealing all the pies for themselves. Guests will climb aboard ride vehicles equipped with jelly blasters to try and recover the stolen boysenberry pies as they travel through whimsical and beautiful environments while competing for the highest score.
“The return of Knott’s Bear-y Tales is perfect for the 100th anniversary because it brings back one of the park’s most nostalgic and beloved attractions in an innovative 4-D dark ride format that will delight an entirely new generation of fans,” said Jon Storbeck, Vice President & General Manager of Knott’s Berry Farm.
Additionally, Knott’s will be celebrating its 100th milestone anniversary by immersing guests in new and nostalgic experiences throughout the park, delighting guests of all ages.
The 100th celebration would not be complete without an Old West adventure. Ghost Town Alive! will return with a new interactive storyline for guests to explore and unravel alongside the characters of Calico. And the summer fun will continue long after the sun goes down when a special 100th Anniversary edition of the popular nighttime party, Knott’s Summer Nights returns with new live music, unique summer food offerings, Instagram-able photo opportunities, interactive experiences, and family-friendly games. Both Ghost Town Alive! and Knott’s Summer Nights will be offered on select days starting May 15 – August 30, 2020.
The Knott’s Family Reunion celebration will serve as the backdrop to the park’s entire 2020 Seasons of Fun events, which brings back all the fan favorites starting with Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, a unique event dedicated to the beloved PEANUTS characters, taking place weekends from January 25 – March 1, 2020.
In spring, the much-anticipated Knott’s Boysenberry Festival returns with an array of one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired food and drink items created by the Knott’s culinary team. The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival will offer a month of deliciousness from March 20 – April 19, 2020.
For fall, the spooktacular family-friendly daytime Halloween event, Knott’s Spooky Farm, will invite families with little ghouls ages 3-11 to celebrate the spooky season exclusively on weekends starting September 26 – October 31, 2020.
As winter rolls in, the feeling of Christmas will be discovered at Knott’s Merry Farm, where joy will be in season from November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021.
The best way to enjoy all of the fun offered during the 100th-anniversary celebration at Knott’s along with all of the other exciting Seasons of Fun events is with a 2020 Season Pass. A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2020 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2020 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Knott’s Season passes are now available at the lowest price of the year. Regular Passes are $99 or nine easy payments of $9.50 after an initial payment, and Gold Passes are $120 or nine easy payments of just $11.50 after an initial payment. These offers end on January 5, 2020. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.
For more information about next year’s milestone celebration, the new Knott’s Bear-y Tales attraction and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation about the newly announced event at Knott’s this year by using #Knotts100 or #AKnottsFamilyReunion.
About Knott’s Berry Farm and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company:
What began as a roadside berry stand and chicken dinner restaurant in the 1920s has evolved into Knott’s Berry Farm, one of Southern California’s most popular theme park destinations combining world-class thrill rides with traditional family favorite attractions and entertainment. Knott’s is also home to Knott’s Soak City Water Park, Knott’s Marketplace, and the full-service Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. Knott’s Berry Farm is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world, is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. Focused on its mission to make people happy by providing fun, immersive and memorable experiences, the Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Texas and Toronto, Ontario. It also operates an additional theme park in California under a management contract.
Today we have the first of a few updates from this years Knott's Scary Farm.
We attended all 3 nights of opening weekend and we are pretty confident when we say that this is one of the best years of Halloween Haunt ever (yes, we know it's not called that any more).
Let's head into the fog and check out this years event.
Written by Gregg Condon
After our almost 3 1/2 hour drive down on Thursday afternoon (yeah) it was nice to check into the Knott's Hotel and enjoy some relaxing time at Amber Waves prior to media check in.
We ran into some friends
Amber Waves looks great all decked out (and the service was amazing all weekend)
Technically taken Friday morning, but we have to share the entrance. =)
We're all checked in and ready to get our scare on
The fountain display is amazing this year
Let's start our walk-through of the mazes, because they were amazing this year.
Origins: The Curse of Calico
I honestly don't have enough adjectives to describe how amazing this maze is. It's got everything. Amazing talent. Incredible sets. A stellar story. Easter Eggs galore.
This maze tells the story of Sarah Marshall (not that Sarah Marshall) and the curse she set on Calico with her transition from human to, well, the green witch of course.
Even the queue line looks amazing
Picture slide-show of Origins
In ANY other year, Wax Works would have been the maze of the year, probably even moreso than my beloved Dark Ride during it's first year.
I've always been a fan of Daniel Miller's work, and I think it's safe to say this may be the best maze he's ever done. It's creepy, exciting, tells a great story and has so many hidden things in it that you have to go through multiple times.
We will be posting a tour we had of this maze in a couple of days.
Now in it's 3rd year, Dark Ride shows no signs of slowing down on the amazingness. Quite a few new things this year, including our favorite on-ride photo ever. We really do wish this was something we could buy.
Also waiting to see if there are any complaints on this yet.
Now in it's second year, Gus Krueger's Dark Entities is setting itself up as one of the strongest mazes of 2019. In fact, our last trip through this maze on Saturday night was easily our best time through this maze ever. And may be the most fun we've had in any maze so far this season.
Don't sleep on this maze, the talent is finding it's stride and there are a lot of great new lighting effects this year.
In it's second year, the stand-out new maze from 2018 is also not showing any signs of letting up on the fun and scares. Some new additions this year including a pre-show that may make waits a bit longer than they normally would be. So get to this maze early.
In fact, later in the night on Saturday they were skipping the new show scene altogether. So it will be interesting to see if it makes it through the season.
There are some mazes that are instant classics and yet others that kind of take a bit to hit their stride. Pumpkin Eater is one of those that really took about half way through it's opening season to hit all cylinders. But when it did, wow. This is a maze that has gotten better each and every year.
We didn't go through Paranormal on media night so no video this year (we'll post last years below). There weren't any additions this year but the amazing ending from last year is more than enough to keep this maze one of our favorites.
Still, we wouldn't be surprised if next year was the last go-round for this one.
Now in it's final season, Shadowlands is still one of the most visually stunning mazes at the farm. This one suffers from being the first of the "new wave" of mazes that have taken over the past few years. Still, it's a lot of fun and we look forward to getting our last tours of this maze on upcoming visits.
We didn't go through Infected on media night so no video on this one either. Infected is also in it's final season and again represents the first of the new wave of technological advances Knott's Scary Farm has implemented the past 5 or so years.
When we went through on Saturday it just didn't seem like there were enough zombies in the maze. We walked out with 8 and 9 kills respectively.
Our favorite video of Infected remains our "Gun POV" that we did a few years back.
We'll start off with the Hanging, the proverbial "love it or hate it" show every year.
I'll be honest, we're kind of in the middle this year. Unlike the last 2 years they didn't hang a "YouTube" or "Influencer" that 75% of the audience had to ask "who is that". So that was good.
But this years show in particular has produced some interesting discussions as to what the ending could mean for the future of this show. We'll just have to see.
Lastly, we want to take a second to talk about Puppet Up.
I'll be honest, we had no idea what to expect from this show and even on media night we basically just wanted to sit down and take a rest so we decided to do it in the theater. We really aren't "theme park show people".
So when we found ourselves back at the show the next 2 nights that should pretty much tell you how much we loved this show.
Basically it's "Who's Line is it Anyway" but with Puppets, complete with dirty language.
We love that Knott's has allowed the show to go all out. Hopefully there haven't been any complaints about the content because word is spreading about how good the show is. The crowds were bigger on each subsequent night.
On media night here is a great improv on an audience suggestion of a "Tiki Bar Fire at Disneyland". You can tell the cast truly understands Disney culture as this has reference to Annual Passholders, Pin Trading and much more.
The show also features some classic Jim Henson puppet acts. They seem to switch it up at each show, the early show is typically "I've grown accustomed to your face".
A highlight of each show is a performance of "Windy".
So that's what we've got from our first Scary Farm update. We'll be putting together more pics and video from outside of the mazes and shows for our next update in a couple of weeks. The scare zones are amazing as always and deserve their own time in the spotlight.
California’s Great America Makes Waves with Completely Transformed Waterpark, “South Bay Shores”
New attractions, cabanas and food anchor the expanded coastal-themed area, opening in 2020
SANTA CLARA, CA – Northern California’s premiere amusement park is getting bigger and better in summer 2020, when California’s Great America debuts the new South Bay Shores waterpark. Guests will be immersed in a completely transformed waterpark experience featuring seven new water attractions including four drop slides, two tube slides, and a new lagoon area. Guests will also enjoy new and upgraded food and merchandise locations, upgraded cabanas and a sandy beach play area – all richly themed to reflect the excitement and fun of the Northern California coast and South Bay regions.
This significant transformation:
New attractions coming next summer for water lovers of all ages will include:
For food lovers, the new Pier 76 Cafe will cook up delicious new offerings like fried shrimp and fresh fish tacos, plus park favorites including hand-breaded chicken tenders, sliders and waffle fries. Shaded outdoor seating will offer guests the perfect spot to enjoy a meal and cool off.
The waterpark’s top-to-bottom transformation into South Bay Shores will also bring a brand new entrance, new family changing/showering areas, more lounge chairs, additional shade and lush landscaping with native plants. The waterpark’s existing slides and attractions will receive makeovers as well, and will receive new names highlighting coastal theming of South Bay Shores.
Updated cabanas located near the Breakers Bay wave pool and new Tide Pool lagoon will be the perfect places for families and groups to relax. Upgrades include free Wi-Fi, charging stations, ceiling fans, TVs and dedicated food and beverage service.
“South Bay Shores represents the newest phase of a multi-year revitalization of California’s Great America, building on our nearly 50 year heritage of giving Bay Area residents even more reasons to call the park their favorite destination for fun,” said Manny Gonzalez, vice president and general manager of California’s Great America. “Along with the waterpark, recent investments such as the innovative RailBlazer roller coaster, new dining venues, and general park improvements are showing guests and the community that the park’s transformation is fully underway here in the South Bay.”
Construction on South Bay Shores is already in progress, and will continue throughout the winter.
Guests who want to get the most out of their summer with repeat visits to South Bay Shores will want to purchase a 2020 Gold Season Pass, which will be on sale on August 15. The Gold Season Pass includes unlimited visits to California’s Great America and South Bay Shores on every public operating day for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020, including Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, plus passholder-only perks like free parking, special events, early ride times, in-park discounts and more.
About California’s Great America and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and waterpark located in Santa Clara, Calif. As Northern California’s premier amusement park, featuring thrill rides, live entertainment, and in 2020 the new South Bay Shores waterpark, California’s Great America is the top destination for thrill-seekers and families alike. California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. Focused on its mission to make people happy by providing fun, immersive and memorable experiences, the Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor waterparks, an indoor waterpark and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. For more information, visit www.cedarfair.com.