Knott's Berry Farm

Rideguy70

Member
Feb 17, 2016
896
Los Angeles
True, but Knott's management in the past sounded pretty determined to keep this open for as long as it's working. When asked about if Montezuma would be going away in the future (again, this was a few years ago), their reply was, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,661
Orlando
But, when the ride's manufacturer has been out of business for 35 years, parts are scarce or expensive to produce, and they have a corporate parent who is always looking to cut costs, decisions may be beyond their control.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dhdhddh

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,945
No man's land: SoCal
This is more for the more realistically distant future (Like, 3-5 years at least) but I recently rode Pegasus Express at Parc Asterix in France. It’s a really solid family coaster! I think something like this could make a descent replacement for Pony Express. Maybe something in between this or Firechaser Express at Dollywood.

 

Ron101

Member
Apr 9, 2018
519
California
The Knott's pass prices always go down significantly when its time to renew for the following year. They're at the highest price for the year during the summer.

Regarding Montezooma's Revenge, even if it did cost more money to operate due to parts and a defunct manufacturer, I'm positive Knott's gets a higher budget for their operations due to being the highest attended in the chain and the fact they can't/don't need to build expensive giga coasters every other year like CP, KI, and KD to maintain attendance.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,945
No man's land: SoCal
The Knott's pass prices always go down significantly when its time to renew for the following year. They're at the highest price for the year during the summer.

Regarding Montezooma's Revenge, even if it did cost more money to operate due to parts and a defunct manufacturer, I'm positive Knott's gets a higher budget for their operations due to being the highest attended in the chain and the fact they can't/don't need to build expensive giga coasters every other year like CP, KI, and KD to maintain attendance.
Well, I was talking about Mystery Lodge, but if this was Monty, I’m sure they would. Monty is old, but it’s an extremely underrated coaster. I would be really gutted if they even considered closing it. It doesn’t take up much space so there’s nothing they can replace it with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rideguy70

Fallow

Veteran Member
May 26, 2010
3,103
Forgot to report in. I visited last Saturday (main park) and Sunday (Soak City).

Gotta say, I was really disappointed, and probably won't be back.

Some thoughts:
  • I know it's a Cedar Fair staple and the park is very Americana-oriented, but something about the Star-Spangled Banner playing when the park opened felt strange. Maybe it was the multiple kids in MAGA hats or the kid doing a Nazi salute (no, I'm not joking). This sort of behavior needs to be dealt with, and it wasn't... a theme for the weekend.
  • We stayed at the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel, which is in a great walkable location for both parks. The room was inoffensive and fine. The early entry perk it gets you is amazing - we rode Hangtime and Xcelerator twice each, front row, without getting off, then hopped on Coast Rider before any real lines started to form.
  • Xcelerator is still my favorite ride of its type due to the extra banked turns. Dragster & Kingdom Ka don't do it for me.
  • Hadn't done Hangtime before, and wow, what a winner for the park. A world class, excellent coaster with a nicely-executed theme. Really dug it - and such smooth inversions!
  • It's the Log Ride's 50th Anniversary, I guess, but boy did they not bother to maintain the animatronics. They were in a sorry state, and the lighting was almost as bad as Splash Mountain. I had heard they were adding two new animatronics this week, but I didn't notice them. The new restraints make it very hard for tall folks to get out of the log in the front row, FYI. Thought I was stuck for a moment.
  • Mine Ride looked much better and was in good shape. A real classic.
  • Voyage of the Iron Reef (or whatever) was actually in good shape, and our group really enjoyed it. However, they're having real trouble with cascading vehicles, meaning you're stalling in nearly every scene with the generic, score-less objects floating about. The ride's plot kind of depends on momentum, so this soured the experience a bit.
  • Pony Express was down for most of the day. I saw it running once or twice.
  • Silver Bullet was also inexplicably down all weekend despite its closure not being announced on the website. Park really could've used that draw/capacity. Big disappointment for the group.
  • The new Calico Rapids were a ton of fun. Great length, good level of splash, and fun scenic. Line also moved really quickly, I was impressed with how many rafts they had running - this should be the gold standard for the entire park. The Bigfoot was overpromised in concept art, but what's there did look good in-person. Somewhere between the old and new Yetis on the Matterhorn.
  • Didn't engage much with the Ghost Town Alive stuff as it was a bit too crowded, and the performers seemed swamped by kids. Still one of the park's greatest assets, though, and it looked fun.
  • RIP Mystery Lodge? Was a bummer not to experience that. Everything's still up.
  • First time in the Birdgage Theater seeing the Musical Revue, and I was really impressed! Some very talented performers. Wish the theater space itself felt less like a tent, but I guess that's part of the aesthetic of the era...
  • Lunch at the barbecue was very good but $3 overpriced, even by theme park standards.
  • The real problems started mid-day. This park has been absolutely, possibly irreparably, broken by a trifecta of poor operations, Fast Lane users, and abusers of the Guest Assistance pass. I can't tell you how many people I saw using them, and while I know you can't always "see" a disability, there is no way every single one of these groups had a legitimate issue that required skipping the line. Knotts's lackluster operations team means they simply can't handle even a moderate crowd, as every other train is inundated with Fast Lane and Guest Assistance abusers, slowing the line to a halt or crawl. There's also no groupers assigning rows at the station, which makes it even harder for guests with larger parties to all ride together (especially when some, but not all, rows are being consumed by abusers). It's a mess that made riding many of the park's rides next to impossible. We eventually got on Jaguar & Montezuma's Revenge after many unnecessary cycles of waiting. It doesn't help that it was taking them two minutes (!?) to dispatch trains.
  • Basically, something has to give here. Either they need to have more ops, actually limit Assistance Pass abuse (see HHN on how to do that), and/or eliminate Fast Lane.
  • Ghostrider had a 180 minute wait all week, and with aforementioned guest assistance abuse & Fast Lane, I believe it. We used the single riders line for our first ride (about 45 minutes) and waited in the regular line at park close, which ultimately took about 75 minutes even without interruptions to the standby line. This was the only ride that was dispatching trains effectively, with someone grouping people at load. It did help. (And man - what a fantastic ride. One of the best wooden coasters out there.)
  • We didn't engage much with the Summer Nights festivities, but they brought out the crowds and looked entertaining enough. I worry they oversold season passes; it feels like Disneyland at its worst before they started raising prices and increasing blockouts.
  • I've had great experiences at the Chicken Dinner restaurant, but this was a total disaster. We had a reservation and were seated on-time toward the back of the restaurant. Our server was clearly a bit... odd and didn't speak very clearly. We ordered drinks and our entrees all at once, but drinks didn't arrive until our main course. Some did not arrive at all, or arrived incorrectly. One main course arrived without proper prep, while another main course simply did not appear. These are all manageable problems, but our waiter literally disappeared after our first interaction. He was around - he checked on other tables - but seemed to actively avoid us, and outright ignored us when we attempted to flag him down. Asking other members of the waitstaff for help led to no solutions. Finally, we had to ask for the manager at the host stand, a last resort I hate doing. We had a bubbly and kind manager come help us, got us our entree (it had never been put in), comp'd us extra deserts, finally got us our drinks, and threw in 30% off our meals when we asked. She was great, but man, what a disaster for the restaurant. The food was good, but not worth the 2 hour debacle, even with the discount.
  • I'd never been to Soak City, and I can't say I'll be back. It's a concrete wasteland and just feels a bit ramshackle. The slides were all fine to very good, and the new slide tower was excellent (and somehow had low lines well into the day, probably due to its remote location). Again, though, operations were a disaster. Poor dispatching and pre-loading of slides. Not filling rafts on the raft ride, leading to an unnecessary 90 minute wait. Not enough chairs, inconvenient location of lockers, not enough tubes for the rivers or slides (a deliberate choice, seeing as you could pay to rent one). Rampant line cutting almost led to a physical altercation in the queue. It wasn't good.
I'll probably try and come back for Scary Farm, but otherwise, I can't say I'll be back for any sort of daytime adventure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dhdhddh

Rideguy70

Member
Feb 17, 2016
896
Los Angeles
As I read your report, it sounds like you actually had more good things to say rather than bad. Maybe you should give them another chance! It is a great park, usually. But every park has a bad day now and again.

I haven't really noticed a huge abuse of GAP personally, but if you had bad timing, I could see how it'd be a problem. We once had an out of town guest who had never been to Knott's and we got a Fast Lane to make sure we'd get on everything (this was during the Boysenberry Festival, so the park was insanely mobbed... the most crowded I'd ever seen it, in fact), and I can't say I was impressed with how Fast Lane was handled. It was as if no one really knew what was going on. But I gave them some slack, because it was probably one of the most crowded days ever... I'm sure everyone was overwhelmed.

Sorry to hear about the poor server. But again, that may have been bad luck... I've never had a problem with service there, so give it another try someday. Or just do Chicken to Go a few doors down.

I do agree about Soak City... it's there, not a lot of theming. Colorful, but barren concrete as you said. Also, I hated their policy on the drop slides to have NOTHING with you... that included my prescription glasses. They made me take them off, and I'm more or less legally blind without them. That was fun to stumble up all those stairs. That left a very bad taste in my mouth. It's serviceable, but I'd prefer even Hurricane Habor to this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ron101
Aug 1, 2018
792
Los Angeles
Knott's Operations are pretty bad. I am surprised anyone gets on Ghostrider. That thing just does not cycle fast enough for the demand. People hate being assigned rows but it is the best way to efficiently get people on rides but most rides at knotts do not do this. I like Knotts but I tend to go early or when it is not so busy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fallow

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
19,026
Orlando
  • We didn't engage much with the Summer Nights festivities, but they brought out the crowds and looked entertaining enough. I worry they oversold season passes; it feels like Disneyland at its worst before they started raising prices and increasing blockouts.
This seems like it's likely a case of Knott's benefiting from the continued increase in Disneyland pricing.