Last week was the grand opening and media day for the all new Ghostrider at Knott's Berry Farm as well as Ghost Town Alive and the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. .
All are AMAZING additions to this already amazing theme park. Be sure to check out all of our pictures, video and reviews of Ghostrider.
Pictures and Video by Matt Nelson and Gregg Condon (additional pictures by Knott's)
Written by Gregg Condon
Oddly enough, we didn't get too many pictures of Ghostrider as we were busy riding and making sure we had a decent review of the ride. Yeah, that's it. =)
We'll start off with some amazing POV provided by the park.
And of course our reverse POV of Ghostrider that we posted last week.
Gregg's review of Ghostrider 2.0:
Let's travel back to 1999. A new wooden beast opens at one of the best theme parks in Southern California. At the time I had only ridden coasters in Southern California. And no wooden coaster (even mid-80's Colossus) could live up to the amazing ride's you could have on Ghostrider. Even after travelling in subsequent years and riding coasters in parks like Knoebels (Phoenix) and Six Flags Great Adventure (El Toro) wouldn't compare to the amazing rides on Ghostrider the first few years it was open. It would have still been my #1 woodie.
Unfortunately the ride was tearing itself apart. The park did everything it could to continue to provide a solid ride, but through the years the ride greatly deteriorated to the point where it was all but un-rideable.
For the past few years there had been rumors about a makeover to the ride. Would it be RMC? In House? GCI? Last year we got the answer, GCI would come in and not just re-track the ride, but reprofile the ride along with new trains. While many were upset it wouldn't be an RMC those of us who still enjoy classic woodies were ecstatic.
Still, we wondered if the ride could live up to the amazing ride Ghostrider once was.
So how is the ride? It's amazing. Is it as insane and intense as it was in 1999? No. This is very much a GCI coaster, with a CCI layout. The ride has been reprofiled to give it a smooth and exciting ride. So while the original Ghostrider would still be my #1 coaster, Ghostrider 2.0 would probably rank #3 behind the aforementioned Phoenix and El Toro.
That's not a dig at Ghostrider, not by a long shot. That's high praise and that's what this ride deserves. A ride that ranked at the very back of wood coaster polls in 2015 should be back in the top 5 or 10 in 2016. THAT is how much work has gone into this ride, how much they have improved it, how much they have made it amazing.
So go, ride, have fun. You won't regret it. We rode in every section of the train and it gives a great ride all around. We also were riding in the morning when it was in the mid-60's. We can't wait to get to the park on one of those hot summer nights, when the ride is broken in, warmed up and see just how awesome it can really be.
The day also marked the re-opening of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant which recently reopened after a major refurbishment.
Unfortunately some of the earlier reports coming out about the makeover compared it to a Cracker Barrel or other similar restaurant. We didn't get that impression AT ALL. They've done a great job preserving the history of the restaurant while giving it a much needed makeover.
The original dining room still looks amazing and has a very homely feel
And of course, the awesome new bar
If that wasn't enough, it was also our first time to check out "Ghost Town Alive" and let us tell you, it's absolutely amazing and charming and totally works.
Don't be an ass ... =)
Some of the citizens of Ghost Town
Lots of great little details
The all new Town Hall
And the Fire Dept ...
The new stage is also done and looks amazing!!
In a kind of unexpected development, the amazing locomotive "Green River" came out from it's 5 year refurbishment (yes, 5 years) and is now on the tracks. It's absolutely gorgeous.
And with that, Engine 41 is now undergoing a 5 year refurbishment. Love the attention and care Knott's gives their trains.
We are going back to the park this Sunday for Fathers Day and we're very much looking forward to spending more time in Ghost Town and experiencing all of Ghost Town Alive.
In addition to Ghost Town Alive we were able to get some video of The Log Ride, our first attempt at a 360 video and an HD POV of the Log Ride. Enjoy and let us know what you think of the 360 video, and if we should try and do more.
Lastly, there was a re-dedication of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant attended by the parks former and new GM and members of the Knott's family.
Our day wrapped up with a great presentation by Charles Phoenix about the history of Knott's and a panel discussion with some Knott's historians.
Last but certainly not least, a new piece of original artwork was unveiled for the 50th which you can purchase at the park or at the Marketplace.
As you can see it was a pretty packed day full of events, which is what you'll have at Knott's 75th anniversary of Ghost Town.
Have you experienced Knott's 75 or the new Ghostrider yet? If so let us know your thoughts below.
Today we have a LONG overdue update from Knott's Berry Farm where a lot of work has been going on in preparation for the 75th Anniversary of Ghost Town and of course the major refurb of Ghostrider.
There's also lots more going on around the area including the reopening of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant which looks AMAZING.
Written by Gregg Condon
It was a beautiful spring day at the park. Sadly two of the major coasters were closed during our visit.
Let's start off with a look at the Wagon Camp and all the work going on.
Lots of work going on for the Wild West Stuntshow.
Ghostrider looks closer and closer to being done and the trains should be on-site by now.
A peek in the station, no sign of trains.
Some kind of platform has been added beneath the turnaround.
Still working on stuff
Pan For Gold is back at the front of the park where it belongs and it looks great!!!
Should be much more popular in a more visible location.
A look at the previous location.
Last week the Chicken Dinner Restaurant reopened and it looks amazing!!!
Lots of outside seating towards the back, will be a nice spot to spend some summer evenings.
A peek inside
We've seen a lot of complaints about the restaurant looking too "modern" or non-original, we didn't get that impression at all. It looks amazing in person.
One of the more popular locations is going to be the bar of course.
Lots of work still going on for the 75th Anniversary of Ghost Town
Work going on for the living peek-in's
The Barn is getting set to host live animals
The new stage is springing up rather quickly
The show area for the new stage is supposedly going to be bigger which will be nice
No word on how Pony Express is going to impact the shows
Lots of random things going on at the park as well.
Some work in the games area near The Log Ride
Xcelerator was closed, the purple train was on the break run so not sure if it was just down for the day or is in refurb.
Jaguar is also getting some TLC as the supports have been repainted to their original color.
From the lift hill of Sierra Sidewinder it looked like the 2nd train for Jaguar was receiving a pretty extensive refurb, but of course we can't take pictures from the ride.
New Guest Relations area is open near Ghostrider.
The area where Riptide was has now been redone to a nice park. It looks really nice but hopefully a new ride will return to this area for 2017.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We had lots of stuff to cover so we apologize for it being a bit too long. We do hope you enjoyed it though.
Once we get word of testing going on with Ghostrider we will for sure be doing another update.
This past Saturday was the opening day of the Boysenberry Festival so we were of course out at Knott's to partake in all the boysenberry goodness.
It was a pretty busy day at the park since along with media day for the festival it was a Saturday, the start of Spring Break and there was some kind of Cheerleader event going on.
Even with the crowds we had an amazing time at the park as always.
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Berry Farm!!
Knott's always puts on great media events
Did you know that Knott's now has park-wide free WiFi? We used it all day on Saturday and even with the large crowds had no issues at all.
We'll start off the update with a quick look at Ghostrider. We also have a quick video update below.
Even from outside the park you can see the difference between the old and new wood.
Not too many changes from our tours a few weeks ago. If you missed that update you can see it here.
Inside the park, not a whole lot has changed since our tour a few weeks ago.
As you may have heard last week the opening has been pushed back from Memorial Weekend until sometime in June. As soon as we get a specific date we will let you know.
The MCBR-less turnaround.
Even though it was a Saturday they were still working on the ride to get it ready.
You can see below they are starting to put the lighting back on the pre-lift.
The pan for gold is looking great and it will be nice to see this back at the front of the park.
But of course the main reason for our visit was the Boysenberry Festival.
If you missed our preview of the festival from last week be sure to check it out here.
Panna Cotta and Cannoli
The Alligator Bites were back this year. And we have to say, these were great the first year but the last two years they just haven't done it for us. I think it's time for them to retire this item after this year.
Of course, no Boysenberry Festival is complete without yummy beer and wine. For a real tasty treat have them mix the Boysenberry Beer with the Berry Cider. Very refreshing.
Also new this year the Cinnamon Chips with Boysenberry Dip. Really nice treat.
Hot Dog with Boysenberry Relish. You can get it on the side too.
The Fun Stick and Boysenberry Flautas.
The Boysenberry Festival runs through April 3 so be sure you check it out. It's a lot of fun.
The Calico Saloon also reopened from it's refurb and it looks absolutely fantastic!!!
We'll get back in with the good camera soon to get some better pictures to share.
So much more room up here now which is awesome.
The new chandelier's look great!!!
Just a couple of quick notes:
Anybody know what's up with the crane backstage? This was from the Mystery Lodge line.
Love spending the evening in Ghost Town
Until our next Knott's update ... moo.
Tomorrow the Knott's Boyselberry Festival begins it's 3rd year and the other night we were invited out for a preview of this years event to try some of the new food, some of the wine vendors and talk with the people who put on the event.
Be sure to check out all of the info on the Festival here.
Written by Gregg Condon
Pictures by Scott Linder and Gregg Condon
Before we get started we also put together a little video of the chef's talking about the new food for this year, which was all excellent.
After a 3 hour drive it was nice to see this sign and know that good food was close. (Stupid LA Traffic)
I think one of the most underrated things about the invention of the Boysenberry Festival has been all of the Berry Market goods that have come along with it. So much stuff to choose from.
The Salsa is new and the Boysenberry Chipotle is amazing.
The Boysenberry Butter and Mustard are new. Will have to try them tomorrow.
Lots of great wine vendors. Being a red wine man myself I didn't try any of the white wine's. I'll have my wife try some of those tomorrow. She'll be heartbroken. =)
Before we get started on the food, I just want to commend Knott's and their entire food team for the amazing culinary turnaround they've made the last few years.
For those of you long time fans of the park you'll remember that 5 or 6 years ago most of us would actually leave the park to eat. It was typical "theme park food". And now there are just so many great things to eat whether it's Boysenberry Festival or a Tuesday in October.
New for this year ... The Fun Stick!!! Boysenberry Cheesecake dipped in Funnel Cake batter and fried ... on a stick. Amazing.
Wings with "the sauce".
Pulled Pork with "the sauce" and cold slaw. Amazing.
Chicken sandwich with Boysenberry Mayo
The Boysenberry beer is back, or as seen below, Boysenberry Beer mixed with Berry Cider.
Boysenberry Meatballs. They actually had these at a few media events last year and they are pretty amazing. They'd be great on a sandwich.
The Boysenberry Lemonade is VERY tart, but I loved it.
The Alligator Bites are back this year
And lastly the Boysenberry Panna Cotta which was probably my favorite "dessert" thing that was new this year. It's perfectly made and very creamy and delicious.
Next week we'll have our full Boysenberry Festival report including more food, entertainment and more and since we'll be at the park I guess we'll take a look at Ghostrider construction. Don't forget, as the park announced yesterday, Ghostrider will now be opening in June. We do not have a specific date yet.
Also don't forget that there will be a Boysenberry Eating Contest tomorrow featuring Joey Chestnut at 2:00pm.
Thanks for checking out our Boysenberry Festival preview and if you happen to be going tomorrow let us know, we'd love to say hi.
This past Friday we had the great opportunity to get some great backstage tours at Knott's Berry Farm for their 2016 additions including Ghost Town's 75th Anniversary, the Chicken Dinner Restaurant re-do and of course Ghostrider.
Check out all the great pictures and video below.
Pictures by Matthew Nelson
Videos and Written by Gregg Condon
UPDATE:: Ghostrider opening has been pushed back to June. We will update when we have a new opening date.
Let's start off with a great tour of Ghostrider. Be sure to check out the video below.
We got to get up close and personal with the ride and take a look at all the great work they are doing on this amazing coaster.
The drop after the mid course brake run has been re-profiled and raised up a bit (you can see the old spot in the below picture)
Under the station
They've removed some of the steel supports they'd been putting up on the ride the last few years because due to re-profiling of the turns (to give them more banking) they simply don't need it.
In addition the Pan for Gold is looking great back in it's original location.
Ghostrider will re-open in June. We can't wait!!
Opening on May 27th is Ghost Town Alive. Be sure to check out the video below to hear all the great stuff that's coming. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Is there a more awesome place to get theme park pictures than Ghost Town?
The Barn will feature horses and mules over the summer.
The bank will also be back and interactive!!
The theater is also getting a lengthy refurb.
Moving on, the Calico Saloon is getting a very awesome looking rehab. Again, be sure to check out the video to see and hear all the details on this awesome refurbishment.
A look at some of the things they are planning for the inside.
An all new bar, sound-system and additional seating.
Work is also continuing on the new stage.
Lastly, the Chicken Dinner Restaurant ... you can see how much work is going on below.
There's also a few other things going on at the park. Riptide has been completely removed.
The Flyers are closed for rehab
And we'll leave you with some great pics of Knott's, because we can. Enjoy!!
We hope you enjoyed this update of some fantastic tours the park was great enough to hold. We can't wait to experience all the great things the park has in store for this summer.
But don't forget, the Boysenberry Festival begins in just a few weeks on March 19. We hope to see you there!!