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It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

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  • Trip Report It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts


  • #2
    Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

    Nice read. I cant comment much as I have not been to Knotts since I was, like 11 years old.
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/michael.ebba

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    • #3
      Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

      The beating heart does still, usually, work
      Mike


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      • #4
        Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

        this is why my wife and I didn't bother with Knott's AP's. We did it with the kids for a year and watched as things at that time were sliding. The old Snoopy's Playhouse was left to rot until it was finally demolished (it smelled like a boy's locker room inside). The wonderful Camp Snoopy Bridge is no more. Everywhere you look it's steel, screams, and pop music. Even the last little traces of what was a wonderful unique park are slowly vanishing.
        "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

        sigpic

        "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

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        • #5
          Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

          What a great post, and it really sums up my feelings about the park.

          I love Roller Coasters, and most of them at Knott's are "ok" with Xcelerator and Montezooma's Revenge being the best (IMO).

          But a park can't just be about Roller Coasters, and sadly, much of Knott's is just that.

          It's probably true that if you look at a map from the 80's and a map from today, you may see "more" rides. But then again, maybe not since there are no longer the parachutes, Beary Tales/KoD, etc.

          But back then, even though it wasn't as "thrilling", you could easily spend a full day at Knott's and not felt like you'd seen everything.

          We were there a few weeks ago, and within 3 hours we were done. This is more typical of Knott's with us this past decade.

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          • #6
            Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

            Originally posted by sir clinksalot View Post
            But back then, even though it wasn't as "thrilling", you could easily spend a full day at Knott's and not felt like you'd seen everything.

            We were there a few weeks ago, and within 3 hours we were done. This is more typical of Knott's with us this past decade.
            What bothered me most was the removal of history. Things like the Berry Stand, the chapel, and the missions. I remember being the 4th grader tasked with building a CA Mission... and wanting it to be "better" then Knott's. Little things like that are what I miss most. The Cordelia and the Walter K, one on the bridge the other in the middle of the lake. Sure there weren't as many thrills "back then" but the place had history, it had an identity beyond just steel and screams.
            "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

            sigpic

            "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

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            • #7
              Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

              I went to Knott's back in July for the first time since '99. While it was ok to visit after all these years, I can't say I would be heartbroken if I didn't go back. The real highlights for me were riding the Calico Mine Train and Timber Mountain Log Ride. They're classics and they're fun. The park lacks a lot of green, so the heat was worse here. You really treasure shade if you find it. Food was overpriced for the quality you get. The food prices were higher than Disneyland and the quality was lower than Disneyland. The park could use some cleaning. The restrooms need help!! They're at the same level if not lower than a rest stop you find along the interstate...

              The park seen last summer:

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              • #8
                Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                Originally posted by techskip View Post
                What bothered me most was the removal of history. Things like the Berry Stand, the chapel, and the missions. I remember being the 4th grader tasked with building a CA Mission... and wanting it to be "better" then Knott's. Little things like that are what I miss most. The Cordelia and the Walter K, one on the bridge the other in the middle of the lake. Sure there weren't as many thrills "back then" but the place had history, it had an identity beyond just steel and screams.
                thanks for the feedback guys!

                and yes, the loss of the history i think is what got me down the most. for me, its telling of history was the parks identity; and in a sense, helped showcase our identity as californians, OUR history. (and i mean even charles schultz made california his home so the peanuts gang arent even out of their element in the california theme. xD)

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                • #9
                  Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                  I work there during Haunt and, even though I'm still a huge fan of the park (maybe like the love you have for a three-legged asthmatic dog that just won't give up?), I can't argue with any of the points you bring up. It's a shadow of its former self.

                  If you haven't already, you may want to turn this post into an actual letter and send it to Knott's management. They need to hear this (oh, man, especially the part about the music).

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                  • #10
                    Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                    I live in Orange and grew up in Huntington Beach and although I didn't go to Knotts that often as a child, I do have fond memories of the place. AND I agree with about 95% of what was said here.
                    The only thing I think I disagree with is your comments about Pony Express. With this roller coaster, Knotts put some effort into it. MUCH, MUCH more than they have with any of their other coasters. They tried to preserve some history (by not removing the graveyard), they themed it 1,000% more than ALL of their other coasters and it fits into the overall theme of Knotts.
                    I especially agree with the comments about the price and quality of food at Knotts. Although on my visit in Dec 2010, the food wasn't horrible, it was VERY expensive. EVERYTHING there is VERY expensive. But when you let everyone in for free (or almost free), you have to make it up somewhere else.
                    The thing that frustrates me the most with Knotts is, it doesn't take 100 of millions or billions of dollars to make a quality theme park (and we ALL know that Cedar Fair doesn't have that kind of capital). Legoland is a good example of this, but they try harder than Knotts does. Sometimes I think that Knotts is an elaborate haunted house that operates as an amusement park sometimes. Because Knotts Scary Farm is the ONLY time that Knotts puts any effort into anything.
                    My one ray of hope is Matt Ouimet is now the new CEO of Cedar Fair and has said that Knotts is the crown jewel of the Cedar Fair chain. Let's hope that he can bring back some of what made Knotts a special place. Although I think that the BIGGEST and BEST change would be to remove Silver Bullet, but that will probably never happen.

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                    • #11
                      Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                      Thanks for the trip report. I share many of your feelings and observations - it's mostly about the loss of what used to be, not so much about what's offered now. Fact is, without all those intruding steel beams there probably would be no Knott's anymore. People like us would still go, but a handfull of purists don't pay the bills. That said, the classics like Timber Mountain, Calico Mine and Montezooma are still the best attractions they have. Ghost Rider has become painfully inrideable, Pony Express is a 30-second mini thrill, Perilous Plunge is a big, huge waste of space that loads way too slowly, chains like Jonny Rockets and Panda Express replace former original ideas, and so many tiny details from the past are obliterated. I should point out, though, that those dusty life-sized dioramas you viewed have been recently refurbished and some of them actually look great as compared to 10 years ago. Nonetheless, I understand your frustration, which probably began the minute you walked through that tunnel from the parking lot and noticed the colorful painting had been covered up. (and when was the last time a tram ran in that parking lot?)

                      I still go, but as others have said, it's roughly a 3 hour trip to see the ice show, ride the old favorites, mourn the locations where former great things stood, ride log ride and calico, and then go have fried chicken.

                      Please do write a letter - the worst offense in my opinion as Koutesu said is the fact that food prices are higher than Disney. Are you kidding? I realize they are trying to make up for the lower admission price by gouging us once we're in the gate, but don't think that tactic goes unnoticed.
                      Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

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                      • #12
                        Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                        I felt like most of you were seeing into my heart. I remember back when I was in high school & the few years after, that my friends would joke & say they were sending my mail to Knott's as I was there all the time. (I'm going to date myself by saying - this was in the late 70's.) We would just hang out there (the way we do at Disneyland now) & hardly ever bought tickets for the rides. We could buy general admission & occasionally an entire book of tickets, and just have the greatest time. We even did the haunt back in those days. Before the mazes & the masses took over. Wolfman Jack and then eventually Elvira were the headliners....

                        Disney became more important to us & they'd started offering annual passes. We bought those & that's where we'd end up. Knotts was changing & we were feeling like it wasn't our park any longer. The times we did go, we ate at the buffet (they used to do a different cuisine every month for brunch) and then just walked around the park, maybe riding the stagecoach, the log ride or even the train, before we left. We started going less & less, then it became years between visits, then even more years in between.

                        The last time we were at Knott's was probably 5 years ago for Veteran's day. We had scored some very discounted tickets, and had planned to spend the day. After about 3 hours, we were done, got some ice cream and sat planning the rest of our day. We decided to head to Disneyland & I remember thinking that it was probably our last visit to Knott's. What I remember as a teen, and young adult,will always be with me, but Knott's will never be that way again.

                        I remember Gypsy Camp, & seeing the country western groups like the Oak Ridge boys or Statler Brothers at the John Wayne theater. I remember the boxcar racers & the Bird Cage theater & I remember just walking through Ghost town and loving the whole area. We didn't even have to go into the park proper to enjoy ourselves. I loved Knott's Beary Tales and it hurt big time when that was taken out. I even remember thinking how much I'd love to be married in the chapel. And I'd always point out which missions I'd been to on vacations with my family.

                        There are some things in life that are true and "you can't go home again" applies in this case. I'll just keep remembering the Knott's of my youth and leave the coasters to someone else.

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                        • #13
                          Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                          I know exactly how you feel. My own earlier comment was that it looks like they dropped Magic Mountain on top of Knott's and flattened it. Those damn coasters are everywhere, looming like metal giants, ruining the once quaint ambiance of almost every spot in the park.

                          When I was young, my family used to go to Knott's all the time. I knew it like the back of my hand. When I returned, years later, after the major changes, my lasting impression was walking towards that underpass which leads from Calico Square to Fiesta Village. First, there was the shock of seeing the underpass itself. When I was last there, it was a quaint, Spanish-themed overpass for the stagecoach. All of that was gone, and it looked more like a modern box now. But that was nothing compared to what I saw when I emerged from the underpass. The once quiet, tranquil Lake of the Reflections, with its weeping willow trees, paddleboat ride, and quaint white Church of the Reflections, had been erased from the face of the earth, replaced by yet another giant coaster, sitting where the lake once was. I never quite recovered from that shock. I realized that Knott's would never again be the place that I used to know so well.

                          Oh there are moments, in Ghost Town, when I can almost recapture the original flavor of Knott's. But it isn't easy.

                          Recently, I tried to relive a bit of my Knott's past by going to the old Wagon Camp, where there used to be Western singers around a campfire. Now, it's overshadowed by another giant coaster, with its roars ruining the Western ambiance that used to exist there. And the music has been replaced by a an incredibly silly stunt show that was so pathetic that virtually every adult in attendance quickly left (if they didn't have young kids to keep them anchored there).

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                          • #14
                            Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                            My comment and response is in four words: Remove The Silver Bullet. It destroyed a lake with a tug boat and an evening show spectacular. It caused the chapel to be moved across the street right next to Independence Hall. I love Knott's and I think they could do better with a coaster around the lake (kind of like Jaguar! and Montezuma's Revenge) instead of destroying it and displacing the rest of the park.


                            Timekeeper
                            sigpicNow the Tower of Sauron has fallen
                            Also, this picture and my Avatar was taken with a Nintendo DSi System and Nyko Magnification Lens & Case for DSi.

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                            • #15
                              Re: It had been almost 10 years since my last visit, and here are my thoughts

                              We just visited Knott's on Friday, and I had not been there since about 1978.

                              After a whole day exploring the park, I was all fired up to come home and post on MC all my opinions, loves, critiques, dislikes etc., but after a week at the DLR, a day at Knott's, and 400 photos, I don't have the energy to do it.

                              The opinions I've read here seem to sum up my feelings as well, but if I may, What the bloody hell is with the horrible #%$#&$#!% music all over the park?!?!

                              I found myself walking around the Ghost Town taking pictures and trying to soak in the atmosphere, but I was constantly pulled back to reality, and wondering why the #%$! I was hearing Huey Lewis and Brian Adams!!!!!!

                              Sad, really sad.

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