Analyzing Knott’s Berry Farm’s Newest Slogan

15 08 2013

Knott’s Berry Farm has long sold itself as the America’s First Theme Park — and they have a point. The historic ghost town area opened up in 1940, a good 15 years before Walt Disney revolutionized the theme park industry forever. We could talk for days about how much Knott’s inspired Disneyland and vice versa (or about their obvious collusion in the early days), but Robert and others have already done a much better job of that than I could. Read the rest of this entry »


Design a Monster for Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Contest

14 06 2013

397189_10151162842314512_1393077469_nHalloween Horror Nights Hollywood has been one of my favorite parts of the theme park industry for several years, both because the event is phenomenal (it is, you should go. Please stop going to Knott’s Scary Farm) but also because the creative director, John Murdy, does a great job interacting with fans via social media. This contest is (another) great example of that.

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The “One More Day” Theory and Busch Gardens Tampa

13 06 2013
Cheetah Hunt

Photo by Roller Coaster Philosophy.

My wife and I are in the midst of planning an early-October trip to Orlando. This will be our third time in the sunshine state and we have yet to stray from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. While Walt Disney World will still be our main focus, we have one open day for a park not at either of the main Orlando theme parks.

After some debate we decided on Busch Garden Tampa over SeaWorld Orlando for a variety of reasons. We feel Busch Gardens gives a little more bang for our buck, we’ve been to an (admittedly inferior) SeaWorld park in San Diego and the allure of Sheikra, what will be my first dive coaster, pushed us towards Busch Gardens. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Knott’s Berry Farm Recover From Five Bad Years?

12 06 2013

To begin: I have no idea. I can only speak from my position based on my experiences and opinions which may or may not be shared by the general public. That being said…

Photo by Brent Schmidt

Photo by Brent Schmidt

Good God has Knott’s Berry Farm been disappointing ever since Cedar Fair took over the park in 1997. I know, I know, the title only mentions five years when Cedar Fair has owned the Berry Place for over half of my freaking life time. That’s incredible. You’re old, probably. Sorry. That being said, the past five years is my primary exposure with bad Berry Place and is when everything seemed to come to a head in the concrete expansion company era. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Going Under the Knife

12 12 2012
Photo by Loren Javier

Photo by Loren Javier

In an announcement that surely has many Disneyland fans thinking, “It’s about damn time,” Disneyland has announced via their park blog that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will go down for a major refurbishment on Jan. 7 and will reopen in Fall 2013.

The most exciting part of this refurbishment is that the wildest ride in the wilderness will be getting new trains in addition to track being replaced. Cosmetic enhancements will also be made, most likely in the same vein as the new paint job the Matterhorn just received. The attraction is in bad need of repainting and if the trains are indeed new, and not just carbon copies of the current trains, there’s reason to be excited for this news.

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Walt Disney World is Not in as Much Trouble as You Think

10 12 2012

IMG_1568Something happened among theme park fans over the past two years. I like to call it competitive pearl clutching. It all started when it turned out that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure was not just good, nor was it just great, it was perfect. Now an expansion to the popular area of is being constructed in the neighboring Universal Studios park along with a clone of the very, very good Transformers attraction that already exists in Hollywood.

The line of thinking goes something like this: “OH MY GOD WALT DISNEY WORLD IS DOOMED THEY CAN’T COMPETE WITH THIS.” Which is hilarious and completely untrue. Read the rest of this entry »

Indiana Jones is Back, But You Probably Won’t Notice the Difference

7 12 2012
Photo - Bradley Jones

Photo – Bradley Jones

MiceChat reported the soft opening of Indiana Jones: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland today after a lengthy refurbishment. The attraction is scheduled to re-open full time tomorrow and will likely be swamped, broken down and then swamped again.

The biggest beneficiary of the refurbishment is the fleet of ride vehicles that have taken a heck of a beating since the attraction first opened in 1995. The MiceChat article talks about some other cosmetic improvements to the attraction, though it does not appear that anything was done to improve the god-awful Indiana Jones animatronics inside the temple. Still, the new paint and lighting will be a welcome sight to those who spend more time at the park than a family of nine spends at the grocery store. Read the rest of this entry »

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