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Knott's Berry Farm

tacalert

Rookie
Dec 24, 2017
462
If they had to make it a shooter ride, I wish it could have been in an Astro Blasters kind of way instead of the 3D. One downside here is there is a decent amount of actual set pieces and you might miss out on some of the details because of the glasses and 3D effect.
Agreed. We rode it twice and the second time I just took in the ride. Don't know why they didn't mount the guns like Toy Story or like you said, just do it Buzz Lightyear style.
 

DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
995
That trip report was really helpful and has made me hopeful! I decided to get a ticket for early June since a lot of the weekends were booked up already. [Looking now, it appears they must have upped capacity, because now NONE of the days are sold out -- which is another frustrating part of this whole pandemic experience with reservations when the days that would be infinitely way more convenient to go open up after you already bought tix for another day -- same thing happened to me for Disney.] I haven't been to regular operations Knotts in about 4 years, so I'm hoping the crowd levels stay how you mentioned.

Would you happen to know if the Geode Shop was open?
 
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Reactions: tacalert
Aug 1, 2018
1,195
Los Angeles
went today and had a 10:30 reservation. Got to the park at about 10 and was able to get in but as Clive said they are checking so 30 min early is OK. The morning was lovely. Had 2 back row rides on Ghostrider in about 15 min of waiting. It got busy about 12:00 and I didnt do a ton of stuff today but had a great time. Waited for Bear-Y Tales for 30 min and the ride broke down right as we were loading. Saw a post where an employee said it might be down the rest of the week. Overall the park was clean and the social distancing was being followed for the part. Knott’s is a great park that offers good value to pass holders.

Went yesterday - think there must've been some cancellations, because we were able to snag a coveted 10am reservation just a week out.

Overall, had a great time. Park looked great, rides were mostly running well, employees were doing their best.

Some observations:
  • Expedited security was excellent and needs to continue to be a thing post-COVID.
  • They're having issues with season/annual passes created/used prior to the pandemic. Expect a short delay while they work it out. They just issued me a new pass, but then it claimed I didn't have a reservation until 11:30am. No idea how that happened, but I was able to show them my scannable reservations and was let through.
  • Worth emphasizing: They are enforcing reservation times. Your ticket won't scan if you're not within a grace period of your reservation.
  • Park gates were open by 9:30 or so. Ghostrider was actively running during the "pre-opening" period, while Silver Bullet opened just before 10am.
  • I think distancing between rows on the trains is tremendously stupid when real crowding and transmission risk is happening elsewhere. However, Ghostrider is probably handling it best: Entire parties are loaded in adjacent rows, a row is skipped, and then the next party goes. Means trainers are mostly full, especially when there are large parties.
  • No idea if it will last, but like with Six Flags (the only other park I know of with timed entry?), the first several hours of park operation are magic. We walked directly on to something like 10 rides, including all of the major coasters. If we were moving more aggressively, we probably could have done even more. Even Bear-y Tales was a walk-on around 11:30am or so.
  • Crowds didn't really start to form until noon, and even then, it was hit or miss. Xcellerator, Montezuma's Revenge, and Jaguar (from my observation) remained walk-ons until our lunch reservations at 1:15.
  • Log Ride was apparently down for most of the first day but was up for pretty much all of Friday. However, loading is a disaster, so expect any line to move at a snail's pace. One party for log (fair enough), but only loading one side of the station, and they have some convoluted "rapid drying" tube at unload - not sure what it's supposed to accomplish. Empty logs were sent through for no apparent rhyme or reason (no, it wasn't because people's masks were down). Not enough logs in the flume in general.
  • Log ride's show scenes mostly looked great. A few missed triggers, and the cave after the drop was darker than I remembered, but all in all, those terrifying Garner Holt humans were hitting their marks.
  • Bear-y Tales is a delightful addition to the park and, while I liked Iron Reef, is probably more charming. The two-hand guns are a bit painful. They are really struggling to load the thing efficiently, however, and we cascaded by the time we hit the thunderstorm caves. There are a fair amount of physical elements that were nice, and it's telling that they were the highlights. It is a bit difficult to see where you're shooting - the jam splatters could be more apparent. They also need to communicate that you won't earn points while you're "paused" (i.e. how Midway Mania does it). I'm not sure if there was meant to be a motion profile during the final scenes where you're zooming around, but we stayed static - possibly due to the repeated pauses. In any a case, it felt a bit off. Those criticisms aside, it's got a lot of heart and makes for a nice indoor break.
  • Knott's wisely has chosen not to use Fast Lane while capacity is limited - and I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference this masks. All coaster lines move really consistent without a constant interruption of priority guests filling the minimal seats available. I know they won't, but Six Flags should take note - it made our day infinitely more enjoyable.
  • Also worth noting that lines that appear long are deceptive. We sort of know this by now, but it's especially true at Knott's because they're using every other switchback. This meant that Ghostrider, which looks like it's spilling out to the outdoor pathway toward the end of the day, was in actuality only a 25 minute wait.
  • Bizarrely and frustratingly, the operation of many flat rides was nothing short of a disaster. Many rides only had a single, overworked employee who have apparently been instructed only to fill something like a fifth of a ride's capacity. I understand that some distancing is required, but there is no scenario where only 3 parties should be allowed on the Sky Cabin or the Merry-Go-Round should have three-fifths of its mounts unoccupied. These were the slowest-moving and least efficiently-run rides in the park. If you want to get on them, you'll have to do it in the morning.
  • Loved the entertainment sprinkled throughout the park. Great improv performers who added a lot of life to each area. Thrilled the blacksmith was doing his thing and that the stables were open, too.
  • Did the Mine Ride get a tune-up? The animatronics, effects, and audio system all looked and sounded excellent. One of our favorites of the day. Really efficient loading, too - a very long line only took something like 20 minutes.
  • They did eventually get the Rio Grande train up and running after a day and a half of downtime. No robbers on the train due to distancing concern, but they do harass passengers from outside before departure. Staffers did a great job of making sure every available seat was filled, too.
  • Masking and distancing were very much on the honor system, and I would not recommend showing up unless you are vaccinated. Tons of noses out, masks pulled down, the works - minimal enforcement. We're fully vaxxed, so it was fine, but it did feel a bit obnoxious that people couldn't pull off the bare minimum.
  • Food and service at the Chicken and Dinner Restaurant were stellar.
  • Not sure how much of it is new, but we loved the Boysenberry and 100th Anniversary lines of merchandise rolled out in the stores. Had to pick up one of the adorable shot glasses with a textured boysenberry on it. Great price, too, even before the discount.
 

tacalert

Rookie
Dec 24, 2017
462
That trip report was really helpful and has made me hopeful! I decided to get a ticket for early June since a lot of the weekends were booked up already. [Looking now, it appears they must have upped capacity, because now NONE of the days are sold out -- which is another frustrating part of this whole pandemic experience with reservations when the days that would be infinitely way more convenient to go open up after you already bought tix for another day -- same thing happened to me for Disney.] I haven't been to regular operations Knotts in about 4 years, so I'm hoping the crowd levels stay how you mentioned.

Would you happen to know if the Geode Shop was open?
Yes, it was open.
 

Stryker

Member
Feb 22, 2018
741
So Cal
Went today with a 12:30 reservation and was let in at 12:05. No more temperature checks. Security was a breeze. Just walked straight through the metal detectors. Didn't have to take phone, wallet and keys out like before. Didn't have any issues scanning our passes, but noticed some others having issues with theirs.

Went straight to Fireman's just in time before the line started to get really long. Turkey legs were very dry today. Chicken was very tender, moist and fall-off-the-bone. Exactly as I remembered it.

Waited in line for Bear-y Tales and after 20 minutes of barely moving and hearing that the ride was down, we decided to leave and try again later. Tried again over an hour later and the line was backed up to HangTime's entrance so didn't bother. Tried again later and it took over an hour to ride from the ride's entrance. I'm sure it broke down a few times since there were periods of stagnant movement. They're pulsing groups through the indoor portion of the queue to keep indoor queuing to a minimum. It's fun, but my hands were so tired near the end. Not sure what "Bonus" means as your score still stays the same. Will try just enjoying it as a dark ride and not a shooter on my next ride. Definitely better than Iron Reef, but still suffers from the same downtime and slow dispatches.

HangTime was doing one party per row and not skipping rows so that helped with relatively low wait times throughout the day. Calico River Rapids was doing one party per raft so that also had relatively low waits. Calico Mine Ride was doing one party per car. The wait times in the app are very inaccurate, even during pre-pandemic times and doesn't seem to refresh as often as it claims. You just have to see the lines in person and judge for yourself.

The Pastrami Sandwich at Sutter's is just like the one they had at the Taste of events with the pretzel bun, except now a full-sized round sandwich. I felt it was pretty greasy in its fuller form, but still tasty.

Had dinner at Boardwalk BBQ. They no longer offer baby back ribs (bummer) and whole corn on the cob, but have 3 types of mac 'n' cheese for sides, as well as grilled vegetables and creamed corn (way too creamy with more sauce than corn) and served in such a tiny cup.

Didn't try the jambalaya at Wilderness Broiler as part of their seasonal rotating menu item, but will on a future visit. Nice that they're doing that as there will be something new to try every few weeks.

They didn't seem to enforce social distancing as much as during the Taste of events. They only asked guests walking around to pull up their masks if it's not covering their noses. There was no real distancing enforcement within the queues. There were some guests eating in line. Only time I heard of any mask enforcement was at Calico River Rapids when it was announced over the PA to wear your masks in line and I think it was directed towards guests they were able to see unmasked from the security videos.

I recognized the faces of some employees even with their masks on so it was great to see them return to their old positions.

Did a few of the Taste of events, but It was nice to finally go on some rides after over a year and using my dining and drink plan again. Had fun first time back in a while.
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
2,648
I mean, we are not using thousands of Vaccines everywhere

If you want the Vaccine you have the first shot now...and in 5ish weeks you can go anywhere. USA will not meet immunity so either get it and have fun or go without it and risk it. At this point not really an inbetween
 
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Reactions: Freak
Aug 1, 2018
1,195
Los Angeles
Someone mentioned they are not using fast lane but starting May 21, season pass holders can use fast lane. No date on single day purchases of fast lane. This of course sucks because lines are going to get long.
 

Stryker

Member
Feb 22, 2018
741
So Cal
I think what contributed to the long wait for me on Bear-y Tales was the use of the elevator line on the left of the entrance was always full, yet no one was in a wheelchair. I get invisible disabilities and all, but I couldn't help feel that line was getting abused. They were also letting people up the stairs on the back wall. I thought that was supposed to be for Fast Lane so I don't know why they were running 3 different lines.
 
Aug 1, 2018
1,195
Los Angeles
Exit line was for people who were about to board but the ride broke down. They take you name and say come back to the exit. That ride has been breaking down a lot. I also agree the disability program gets abused and it’s not a recent development.
I think what contributed to the long wait for me on Bear-y Tales was the use of the elevator line on the left of the entrance was always full, yet no one was in a wheelchair. I get invisible disabilities and all, but I couldn't help feel that line was getting abused. They were also letting people up the stairs on the back wall. I thought that was supposed to be for Fast Lane so I don't know why they were running 3 different lines.
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
2,648
I dated someone with an invisibly Disability, so its hard I'm sure most people thought we were "lying" as well which to be fair I have nothing to clam but most parks give you a pass for 4-6 people to use with it so to not split up we both used the line for that at Any Park we could but for sure some people just make it up. I knew a friend who lied because he didn't want to wait in line...so its really hard to call out. Its even more awkward when a CM does, I remember a woman asking for proof and she had it but man don't envy those CM's
 

Stryker

Member
Feb 22, 2018
741
So Cal
Here's a video showing more angles. I wonder if they'll be using this as the entrance to the Wilderness Dance Hall maze.

 

Stryker

Member
Feb 22, 2018
741
So Cal
I'm hearing inside the Haunted Shack is an actual Ames Room (optical illusion where 2 people standing on opposite corners switch sides and one appears to grow taller while the other one shrinks). When I visited the actual Calico Ghost Town in Calico, CA in December 2019, the Ames Room was moved to just outside the Mystery Shack and out in the open so the effect wasn't as effective as before. Nice to see they brought it back in an indoor setting. Will be there tomorrow to check it out in person.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,672
No man's land: SoCal
Did Knott’s today and also did Bear-y Tales. First half of the day was great! Short lines, smooth sailing....last half was a little rough having the Log Ride and River Rapids break down when we were both in line for them. Fun day, but could’ve been better if they would stop distancing rows. Like, there is no point in this at all and it needs to stop. It’s all theater at this point. Hopefully they’ll stop after June 15th. Also, do NOT get me
started on those obnoxious middle schoolers who kept line cutting. Forgotten how bad it was before Covid when I would go to Knotts.

But I did do Bear-y Tales twice! To put it simply: good ride. Much, MUCH improved from Iron Reef and a much more worthy placement of that space. The scenic in there was really nice. The shooters were more precise but more tiring; but best of all, the shooters actually WORKED. That alone makes it significantly better than Iron Reef. I also liked how they finally learned to “distort” the image on screen to give the scenes more depth. There was also some clever use of digital mapping in a couple of scenes. Great balance between making a “classic” dark ride and a more modern one, all while sticking with the charm of the original. The queue and exterior is also nice. Also the ride smells GREAT.

I guess my biggest qualm is how the screens still “black out” when the scene is finished. It ruins the show and it’s annoying when the inevitable stacking happens on the ride. Would’ve been nice to address that. Also the “simulator bits” make it feel like it was trying to make the ride into something that it’s not. It’s a midway mania-style ride shooting berries at coyotes stealing lies, not the next Spiderman ride. Better to keep the ride simple and not overdo it.

But yeah, overall, I would’ve much rather have seen an entirely practical shooter ride with only real sets and AAs, but for what it is, I’ll take it. It’s a MUCH better predecessor to Iron Reef. Glad to see a decent dark ride in that space. Very well done. If this turns out to be better than WEB at DCA, I will LOL
 

deadbydawn

Member
Mar 23, 2015
611
Orange County, CA
I got to return back to the park on Saturday. It felt great to be back in a theme park that was fully operational! Now that they've dropped the reservation times we got in around 1 PM and stayed until they did the big lighting of the new K on top of the Sky Cabin. The park itself felt empty which was nice. Lines move slow but that is expected between the social distancing markers and the way they are loading ride vehicles at the moment. All in all for a holiday weekend it was manageable and a good time. The park looks fantastic and it's very neat to see fans embracing the 100th anniversary offerings.