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!!!
This past weekend the online community was invited out to Knott's Berry Farm to check out this years version of "Berry Bloom". The event has expanded in it's second year and features a great mix of entertainment, food and even a great wine tasting event in the Wilderness Dance hall.
We arrived in the early afternoon and checked in at the front of the park. The park provided us with coupons to check out some of the food options and the wine tasting event.
The decorations added for the event are great.
There was so much to see we actually missed some even though we were at the park for over 9 hours. We'll be sure to report on the rest when we get back to the park soon.
Over in the Boardwalk area the park has placed some oversized flowers and some fun games for kids to play.
Is it just me or does this look like a Schwarzkopf coaster?
Sally playing some "Big Boardwalk Games" seemed to be a very popular thing.
Charleston Fountain has also been converted into a stage for the "Bloomination Dance Party" that begins after sunset.
Most of the Berry Bloom activities take place in Ghost Town and you can spend hours eating your way through the area.
The park has also recreated the original Berry Stand where you can buy and take home your own Boysenberry plant.
Let's take a look at some of the food options that are available for Berry Bloom. This isn't all the food the park has to offer and we'll be sure to try the rest when we are back at the event. You can only eat so much in one day. =)
We'll start off in the Calico Saloon
The absolute best value is the "Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card" which allows you to try 6 of the special treats for only $20.
Events like these give you a chance to try some food you wouldn't normally try and I'm happy to announce that all of the treats at Knott's were a hit!!!
Below some Chocolate covered Boysenberry Glazed bacon and a Chocolate Covered Jalapeño stuffed with Boysenberry Cream Cheese. Both were excellent and the Jalapeño was an unexpected treat.
Next we tried the "Deep Fried Boysenberry Ice Cream" balls. We were thinking they were going to be the size of a golf ball.
As you can see they were the size of a softball and were absolutely delicious.
Flank Steak with Boysenberry Sauce
This was our first opportunity to taste the specially made Boysenberry Glaze that is on many of the food options at the event. I've had a lot of good BBQ sauces, I've tried to make homemade BBQ sauce, but this sauce is honestly one of the best I've ever tried.
Everything we tried with "The Sauce" was absolutely amazing. I'm generally not a fan of things smothered in sauce but I didn't mind at all.
The employees working the food booths not only did a great job preparing the food but also were very outgoing and actually knew a lot of the history of the Boysenberry. They added a lot to the experience.
Wings smothered in "The Sauce". This was probably my son's favorite thing of the day.
Corn on the Cob with Boysenberry Butter. It really brought out the sweetness in the corn.
Waffle on a Stick. This was VERY good but turned out to be the longest line of the day (almost 40 minutes). The process they were using to make them "fresh" was appreciated, but when you have a line of 15 people, making 1 waffle instead of 4 at a time (which they can do) isn't worth it.
Being the first day of the event we're willing to give them a pass here but hopefully they'll come up with a better process for these.
One of the things we were most interested to try was the Deep Fried Alligator Bites with Boysenberry Aioli from the Calico Fry Co.
It was actually VERY good and tasted a lot like Fried Calamari. My son actually wanted more.
This was one of the very few things at the event that you could walk around or wait in line while eating it. We had ours while in line for Ghostrider.
The last thing on our list was the Turkey Leg with "The Sauce". You could either get the sauce on the side or over the top of the Turkey Leg.
After all that food what's one to do except head over for some wine tasting.
The set-up inside is great and has about 9 different wineries each with about 4 or 5 different types of wines.
This is one of those things were you need multiple visits to try everything. The price for the tasting also includes an appetizer plate that includes crackers, cheeses, olives, strawberries, pecans and of course boysenberries.
After you purchase your card you are allowed 6 tastings and you get to pick which ones you'd like to try.
For those that don't drink wine there is also a beer booth outside that is included as well. You can also bring your kids in as they have lemonade, soda's and berry punch.
As the sun starts to set the event is still going strong as some of the entertainment kicks into gear including Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.
I can't think of another park that looks so great at sunset.
Coast Rider at Sunset
Even Boomerang looks good at sunset. =)
Still the best log ride anywhere
After the sun goes down the Bloomination dance party kicks into gear
The Boardwalk area looks great at night
Thank you to Knott's for inviting us out to Berry Bloom, we had a great time and we will definitely be back soon. For more information on Berry Bloom check out www.knotts.com
Berry Bloom runs until April 27.
We'll have a general update from Knott's later this week. Stay tuned!!