Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
Happy Monday, folks! We have a bit of a break from our Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coverage (don’t worry, there will be a lot more) to zoom over to Disneyland’s neighboring theme park down in Buena Park. Today is a bit of a catch-up post, because we’re going to be taking a look at the reborn Calico River Rapids over at Knott’s Berry Farm. The ride recently reopened a few weeks ago after a thorough refurbishment, but literally all of us were not free that weekend to cover the media event. As such, we’re belatedly walking through this charming expansion of Ghost Town for you now.
Longtime Knott’s aficionados will recall that this used to be known as Bigfoot Rapids and was located in an area of the park called Wild Water Wilderness. Over the years, the land faded away, loosely becoming a part of Ghost Town, but the attraction remained the same. All of that changed last year when it went down for an extended refurbishment that would see the new name, theme, and storyline. Made in conjunction with animatronic specialists, Garner Holt, Calico River Rapids is the third of Knott’s recent refreshment of classic attractions, following the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride. In each case, Garner Holt has come in and installed new animatronics and helped spruce up the attraction, restoring it to its former charm using modern day advancements to smooth animations and increase character sophistication.
Although most of the animatronics for Calico River Rapids aren’t quite as complex as in the Mine Ride and Log Ride, the results for Calico River Rapids have nonetheless been lovely. Calico River Rapids establishes an origin story for Ghost Town, setting the attraction timeline to prior to the town’s founding. Touching upon the early pioneers of the area who would eventually settle and consolidate to found Ghost Town’s alter ego—the sleepy town of Calico—this attraction features a more rustic and less developed ambiance, while retaining a few touches to the ride’s former identity.
Follow along in today’s photo essay, which guides through the redone attraction. We think you’ll agree, the ride is another transformative hit for Knott’s!
If you liked what you saw, then make your way over to the Farm this summer to experience in person! Along with the return of Ghost Town Alive! and the debut of Summer Nights at Knott’s (more on that later this week), there’s plenty of fun to be had at the Berry Farm the next few months. Knott’s continues to add nice little improvements that enhance its smaller scale attractions and entertainment, and Calico River Rapids is no exception!
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