Knott's is continuing it's upswing that has been taking place over the last few years with some offseason refurbishments and a full re-do of Camp Snoopy for it's 30th Anniversary.
The Calico Mine Ride is receiving a complete refurbishment with the help of Garner Holt similar to what the Timber Mountain Log Ride received last year, so we know it will be great.
Ghostrider is also receiving a lot of work this offseason and hopefully it will return this ride to some of it's former glory.
Calico Mine Ride
Unfortunately we can only see what is going on outside of the ride, but if the amount of work being done outside is any indication, the ride is going to be fantastic when it re-opens this spring.
Lots or rock work being done at the front of the ride.
Camp Snoopy 30th Anniversary re-do
Camp Snoopy is being fully re-done in celebration of it's 30th Anniversary. The amount of work being done in this area of the park is staggering.
Due to all the work being done on the pathways, the entire space in front of Sierra Sidewinder is closed off.
The queue for the ride is temporarily located near the FastLane entrance.
A look from the other side of Camp Snoopy. During this portion of the work being done there is only 1 entrance and exit for Camp Snoopy.
On the other side of Camp Snoopy, the area near Timberline Twister is getting the most amount of work in preparation for it's refurb and the new rides that will be coming to the area this spring.
The queue and station for the coaster is being completely replaced to fit the new theme.
It's nice to see the park taking the time to preserve so much of the natural setting unlike some other parks that find it easier to build over trees instead of preserving them. This really is a change in the way Knott's would have done things a few years ago and it's great to see.
Work continues on the other side near Lucy's Tugboat . Lucy's Tugboat was open during our visit (2/1) but was closed as of Monday. Be sure you are following the park on Twitter as they list all of their closed rides every morning before the park opens. It's a great resource.
Snoopy's Bounce House is still open ... for now.
The entire area should look brand new when construction is done later this spring. We look forward to bringing more updates on it's progress in the months ahead.
Ghostrider is closed for it's yearly refurbishment but the amount of work being done on the track seems to be more extensive than in years past.
Lots of work being done on the turn around area and the section heading over Grand Ave.
Hopefully the ride will be rideable again when it reopens.
Grand Avenue Parking
As we first shared with you on our Facebook and Twitter pages last week, the parking in front of the Marketplace stores has been removed and it looks like planters are taking their place.
While we think minimizing traffic on Grand Ave. is a good thing, one consequence of losing these parking spots is less 3-hour parking.
Beginning March 1st the park will only have a 1-hour parking area (in the lot between TGIFridays and Ghostrider) with guests being able to validate in the Marketplace to get 3-hours of Free Parking.
What this means is that the loophole that many Season Passholders would use to spend a couple of hours in the park is now gone. Park guests will now have to pay the $15 to park, upgrade to the parking pass for $55 or make sure you get validation at one of the Marketplace restaurants or shops to get your free 3-hours.
The strangest part is if you miss your 3-hour window by even 1 minute you will have to pay $25 to park.
While I think much of this is a good idea (passholders should have to pay for parking to enter the park) being so strict and going from $0-$25 in a minute is a bit harsh.
I think a happy compromise would be to have a 2-hour Free Parking window, 4-hours with Validation and then an incremental fee (say $5 an hour) for hours 4-6. Then the park can feel free to charge $25 after that. It would seem to make the most sense especially when the wait for the Chicken Dinner Restaurant can exceed an hour on some days.
Maybe offering another level of pass that includes parking would help as well. Currently only the Platinum Pass includes Free Parking.
It will be interesting to see how this is implemented in March and how much flack the park will get or if it will just become the norm.
Around the Park
It was truly a beautiful day to be out at the park. Even though it's early February it was like an early spring day.
One of the benefits of being at the park for early morning events is Ghost Town pictures with great light and no people.
For those that don't know, Windseeker is now fully gone and replaced by a planter.
The fences and queue are still there so I'd guess that this area won't be empty for long, especially considering all the work that had to be done on the nearby rides in order to fit Windseeker in this spot.
Jaguar had recently been closed for some work, not sure exactly what was done but I'm guessing it was just offseason refurbishments. I didn't ride because after a few years of Coasting for Kids with Give Kids The World I don't ever need to ride Jaguar again. =)
Silver Bullet and Xcelerator looking great on a beautiful Southern California day.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. If you missed our coverage of the "Knott's For The Cure" event yesterday you can find that update here.
We are hoping to get back to the park sometime in early March to check the progress on the Mine Ride and Camp Snoopy refurbishments.
We'll also have a Universal Studios Hollywood update for you tomorrow.