While I know there is an audience and place for that style of park, my plan for Knotts (a) focused on its history and original spirit by resurrecting and updating its more unique sights and attractions; and (b) made it a more park-like setting, rather than a visual cacophony of track, tower and pylon. This meant removing every naked steel coaster and skytower from the park and adding berms and green areas to account for sightlines. My goal was to create a compelling Sense of Place in each of the lands, to minimize reminders to the visitor that they are in an amusement park, and do more to sell the illusion that the visitor has stumbled upon an Old Western town, a colonial Mexican village, an overgrown Mayan capital, etc. I have this idea that if a theme park is well-planned to be timeless, executed at the highest level and impeccably maintained, it reduces the capital-intensive need to constantly update/re-imagine areas with newer, bigger rides.
Meeting the above goals with the current KBF required major reconstructive surgery. The first thing I did was bury HWY 39 that cuts through the middle of the property. Large parking structures take up the lower right (in this view) portion of the property, with underground access ramps from the new HWY 39 tunnel. The opposite corner of the park (upper left) is where employee parking and Back of House logistical areas are located.
The Calico-Ghost Town Railroad now encircles the park via a planted berm, providing the feel of traveling through wilderness (and city) and serving as transportation to the four corners of the park (stops at the themed resort hotel, Whitewater Wilderness, Fiesta Village and Reflection Lake).
OLD WEST GHOST TOWN
The existing hotel is demolished in favor of a highly-themed Calico Springs Hotel that has direct park access via foot and train and supports the theme park both visually and story-wise.
Two of the main attractions of this area are intact (Bigfoot Rapids and the Spirit Lodge), but berms, trees and additional rockwork are put in to insulate the area from visual intrusions and evoke the feeling of the being in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. I added a showscene cavern to the raft ride where perhaps an AA Sasquatch could lie in wait. A new version of the Indian Trails and dance circle from Ghost Town are put in here, taking up and foresting land currently used by the Pony Express. Finally, I added a Mack Twist n Splash themed to NorthWoods fur trappers.
ROARING 20s BOULEVARD
This quiet area is a romanticized Mexican/Spanish Colonial village, focusing on ambiance over intense rides. An outdoor family boat ride (Storybook Canal Boats meets El Rio del Tiempo) adds a lot of greenery to the area and returns a waterside feel. The train station is on the second level of one of the courted fountain plazas and there is an indoor Mexican puppet theater. The four low flat rides are attractively detailed (see above pic of Happy Sombreros) and blend into the landscape so as to compliment the environment versus overwhelm it.
KNOTTS BEAR-Y WOODS
The idea here is to expand on the original Adirondack/National Park-style theme-ing (waterfalls, stream, caves, lodge) of the original Camp Snoopy, but remove all references to the Peanuts comic strip and replace it with a set of original characters first invented for the extinct Knotts Bear-y Tales darkride. I like the idea of theme parks as creative origin points. The main attraction is a new Hunny Hunt-scale Bear-y Tales adventure, marked by a large tree where the main family dwells. There is also a bumper boats attraction, a balloon spinner, a challenge course and several flatrides.
MAYAN WATER KINGDOM