Knott’s Berry Farm Celebrate’s 75 years of Ghost Town

 

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town will celebrate its 75th anniversary with two major offerings next summer. The centerpiece of the summer 2016 celebration is the interactive entertainment experience, Ghost Town Alive!, which immerses guests in new stories and adventures in the familiar town of Calico. The west is about to get even wilder when GhostRider returns from a major restoration project with all new trains that will gallop along over 4,500 feet of new wooden track.

In summer 2016, Ghost Town Alive! will allow guests young and young at heart to live the west through inventive new ways to interact with characters and environments as each day, a different story will unfold throughout all of Ghost Town. From pledging one’s allegiance to notorious bandits, to saving the day alongside courageous cowboys, guests play an active role in shaping the events of the day. Every evening, the day’s story culminates with a town wide celebration of 75 years of Calico.

Walter Knott’s love for the Wild West was evident in the attention to detail that he put into the peek-ins peppered throughout town. Next summer, select peek-ins will be transformed into authentic working establishments, and guests will be welcomed to step inside. At the Barber Shop, guests can walk in and meet Calico’s trusted barber who’s rife with town gossip.

In the Sheriff’s office, guests can try their luck at a game of cards with the sneaky Sheriff and other Calico townsfolk. Here, guests can also decide whether they join the lawmen to hunt down the bandits or choose the criminal life and end up with their face on a handmade wanted poster.

In the heart of Ghost Town, the Barn will close on April 4, and when it reopens for Ghost Town Alive!, it will have been transformed into a working horse stable where guests can visit with Calico’s friendly equestrian team.

Construction is underway on a new Calico Stage, which will open across the train tracks from its current location, in the area Screamin’ Swing formerly occupied. The stage, themed after an old abandoned mine, will feature an all-new show for summer 2016. The standing viewing area for the new stage is nearly twice as large as the current viewing area, ensuring even more guests can enjoy seasonal live entertainment. The new venue is scheduled to open in Spring of 2016. When the new Calico Stage opens, the space that the existing stage and viewing area currently occupy will become Calico Park. Here, guests will enjoy a shady respite from the hustle and bustle of the Town, with a small stage for live performances, and twinkling lights adorning the trees after the sun sets. Calico Park is set to open in Summer 2016.

Adjacent to Calico Park stands the iconic Calico Saloon, which will feature a raucous new show next summer. A new western stunt show in Wagon Camp will also debut in summer 2016. Both the Calico Saloon and Wagon Camp will close in early 2016 in for renovations and new show preparations.

Ghost Town Alive! will take interactive storytelling to new heights when it debuts next summer, and for guests really seeking to achieve some heights, they should look no further than to the return of the beloved classic wooden roller coaster, GhostRider. Since 1998, GhostRider has been giving white-knuckle rides to even the toughest cowpokes. It still looms over Ghost Town as the longest, fastest and tallest wooden rollercoaster on the West Coast.In September 2015, work began to completely restore and preserve this classic wooden rollercoaster. The project is a partnership with Great Coasters International and includes re-profiling and a complete woodennre-tracking of the entire 4,533 ft. long track. All of the coasters trains will be replaced with state of the art new Millennium Flyer trains designed to look like mining cars, each with gold, silver, or copper accents. As part of the construction, the mid-course brake run will be removed, allowing riders to enjoy a relentless, ride from the moment the train descends the first 108 ft. drop to the moment it returns to the station’s new, smooth magnetic brake run. “GhostRider was the last attraction commissioned by the Knott family, and this restoration project ensures that the family’s final gift to the park will continue to thrill generations of thrill seekers to come,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s Berry Farm’s vice president and general manager. “Seventy five years ago, Walter and Cordelia Knott created a place where guests could live out their dreams of the Wild West, and I think they’d be very proud of how it continues to resonate with guests of a new generation.”When GhostRider re-opens, the queue will snake past Panning for Gold, which returns to its original Ghost Town home next summer. The return to its former location will allow for a more spacious panning experience, which means a more comfortable experience and better photo ops to capture the moment when a loved one strikes it rich! In 1940, Walter Knott looked for a way to entertain and educate hungry guests waiting for hours to dine at the iconic Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Ghost Town was born from Walter’s passion for providing restaurant patrons with unique entertainment and fondness for Wild West. The area celebrates the California-bound pioneers that crossed the desert by covered wagon, just as Walter’s family had back in 1868. Brick by brick, building by building, the old west town of Calico came to life in 1941 and has been visited by millions for the past 75 years. While reflecting on Ghost Town in a letter written in December 1954, Walter Knott wrote, “I [am] very proud of this place we have built. You know we never fully enjoy the things we love until we share them with those we love.”Next summer, Knott’s invites families to share in Ghost Town’s anniversary celebration with the ones they love, and make new memories in the old west.

GhostRider MF Train Render 1 GhostRider MF Train Render 2 GhostRider MF Train Render 3 GhostRider MF Train Render 4 GhostRider MF Train Render 5 Knott's Ghost Town Calico Stage_Rendering

This time we actually talk about horror nights

The guys are back (and the show doesn’t cut out for a half hour) to talk all about HHN 25, 4D rides coming to Cedar Fair parks and prices going up while things close down at Disney Parks.

Hallween Horror Nights: Universal Studios Hollywood Opening Night

Universal Studios Hollywood Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Celebrate

“Halloween Horror Nights,” Kicking Off Today and Continuing on Select Nights

Through November 1, 2015

Universal City, CA, September 18, 2015 – Universal Studios Hollywood marked the opening of the highly anticipated “Halloween Horror Nights” with a celebrity-laden red carpet premiere, as Southern California’s most extreme horror event brought together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror.  “Halloween Horror Nights” continues on select nights through November 1, 2015.

Attending celebrity guests included actors Tyrese Gibson, David Arquette, Barry Bostwick, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Frankie Grande, Tara Reid, Dylan Minnette and Ty Simpkins as well as recording artist Travis Barker, who were joined by Insidious cast members Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye and Stefanie Scott, and members from the award-winning hip hop-dance crew Jabbawockeez, who will debut an all-original show as part of this year’s event.

“Halloween Horror Nights” 2015 features a slate of new mazes, an exciting hip-hop dance show, a new cutthroat Terror Tram experience and terrifying Scare Zones, including “Guillermo del Toro Presents Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness,” inspired by the visionary filmmaker who directed, co-wrote and produced the upcoming Legendary and Universal Pictures feature film; “The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far,” inspired by season 5 of AMC’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series; “This is the End 3D,” the first-ever 3D horror-comedy maze, based on the hit movie starring James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill; “Insidious: Return to the Further,” based on the bone-chilling Insidious film trilogy; “Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home,” inspired by the original classic slasher film, Halloween, directed by renowned horror filmmaker John Carpenter; “AVP: Alien vs. Predator,” back by popular demand and inspired by Twentieth Century Fox cult sci-fi franchise; and an all-new backlot experience “Terror Tram: Survive the Purge,” inspired by Universal Pictures’ popular franchise film series. An electrifying all-new show featuring the highly-accomplished, hip hop dance group, Jabbawockeez, universally recognized as America’s best dance crew also debuts.

Adding to the event’s intrigue, Universal’s most popular rides and attractions also will be open to guests, including “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” “Transformers: The Ride-3D,” “Jurassic Park–In the Dark,” “The Simpsons Ride” and “Revenge of the Mummy–The Ride.”

A unique element to the this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” is the premiere of the demonic short film One Night in Hell, featuring an original soundtrack by Brian May, legendary guitarist and songwriter for rock group Queen. The video will be screened for guests in the queue lines as they await entry to the mazes.

Tickets to this year’s event are available for purchase at www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/hollywood, including a Front of Line ticket option that enables guests to enjoy priority access at each “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, Terror Tram and theme park attraction.  Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out.

For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.  Join the “Halloween Horror Nights” conversation using #UniversalHHN on Facebook at Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood and Instagram; Twitter and Periscope @HorrorNights.  Add username HorrorNights on Snapchat for nightly live content, and watch the terror come to life on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube.

Halloween Horror Nights” dates are: September 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, October 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, and November 1, 2015.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense “King Kong 360 3-D” attraction and the all-new “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride as the Studio Tour’s grand finale.  Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride-3D,” “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride,” “Jurassic Park® —The Ride” and “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour” which runs on select evenings.

Halloween Horror Nights: Universal Studios Hollywood 2015 Review

 

Yesterday we visited Universal Studios to once again visit Halloween Horror Nights. This year boasting 6 mazes, 4 scare zones and a Jabbawockeez show, it was bound to be a great night ahead. The crowds for the evening were absolutely massive with the inevitability of them only getting longer as we progress closer to Halloween. Most mazes were between 80-110 minutes most of the evening. If visiting prepare yourself for a lot of hanging out with your friends in line.

There was some improvement from last year as far as the heavy amount of walking that took place last year. They had added a tram to the back lot where Alien Vs Predator and Crimson Peak is now located. This helped take the walking out of the event a little bit. There was also no shortage of walking for the Purge Terror Tram either. Bring comfortable shoes, something to stay hydrated, and be prepared to hoof it again this year, but not as much as last year fortunately.

Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home

This maze was located in the upper lot by Mels Diner. You enter into the Halloween house and then wind your way through the Halloween story. This maze was of course well done as far as sets and costumes go. Michael looked as Michael as ever and also even had some appearances of the ghostly costume Michael wore for part of the film as well. there are some fairly graphic scenes in here and will satisfy those looking to feel they are being hunted by Michael himself. I have never been a fan of the Universal Studios trick where they hit a button, a sound effect and strobe light goes off, followed by the talent jumping out at you. This maze had a lot of those but to my surprise had some legitimate scares with out the gimmick. There is also a semi finale with a maze room full of Michaels which is surely going to fool most of the maze visitors. Overall I give this maze a Solid 9 out of 10. 

Insidious: Return To the Further

This maze was created and inspired by the Insidious 3 film. I am not personally familiar with the 3rd film but I am a big fan of the first film. This maze definilitly had the creepy vibe of the movies. This maze even possesed one of my favorite maze scenes I have ever seen involving a long dark hallway, a creepy speaking topless over weight man speaking in a not so welcoming voice. Sure to give most visitors a good chill, or to horror fans, a huge smile in appreciation of how great this paticular part came together. There was a really smelly room (Universal loves this gimmick) with what I believe was an our door dirt scene. The smell will absolutely choke you. Its dreadful. There are some great jump scares and a violent disturbing scene involving choking and violently thrashing around the victim. Not for the weak at heart. There once again were alot of those Push button scares with minimal non strobe light sound effect scares. Over all I give this maze a Generous 8 our of 10

This Is The End: 3D

This maze was inspired by the the film, This Is the End, a Horror Comedy film. Now when this was announced everyone’s initila reaction what “how in the world is this going to work”? I stayed optimistic to see a maze that was thinking out of the box. When I arrived to the maze I was greated by a Michael Cera skewered to a street light and asking “Who took my F&*#$@ cell phone man”. They had played real audio tracks from the movie. Once I saw this I got pretty excited and knew that this was going to be fantastic. What I forgetting is this maze is going to be in 3D. This is where I think it went wrong for them. The maze looked like pretty much every single 3D clown maze we have seen before, and was lightly themed to This is the End. I was delighted to see that in deed do a great scene with the posession of Jonah Hill. Sad to see there was not a Backstreet Boys finale though. I was told by the Creative Director, John Murdy, that this was due to Copyright Restrictions. I will not give away anymore spoilers but this maze to myself was a bit of a disaster. I see what they were trying to do and it would of worked MUCH better without the 3d gimmick and all the florescent paint. I am sad to report I give this maze a 6 out of 10.

The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far

I was not impressed with last years The Walking Dead maze at all so I did not have much faith in this years. It seems as though they have once again learned from their past mistakes and brought them back into this maze. I believe they said this is their largest and most monster filled maze. There were zombies in every corner waiting to pounce. there was a mix of Push button scares and real life jump scares. I was really impressed with this years. The zombies looked like zombies as they always do, but there were some really well put together scenes that were impressive. Particularly a woman that appeared to be a pile of goo, cadavers hanging on hooks, feeding frenzies, and creepy. Of all the mazes this was my favorite maze. This is the highlight of the mazes this year and I urge you to brave this new maze. You will not be disappointed.I give this maze a Celebratory 10 out of 10. 

Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness

This maze was inspired by the new movie from Guillermo Del Toro. This movie has not yet been released. This was great because the only thing we have seen of this movie has just been movie trailers. Its pretty much the freshest, non familiar IP that the park had this year. This maze was a haunting, creepy, Gothic maze filled with creepy characters I would only assume to be from the first film. There were bloody covered women in dresses, a spooky/creepy lady that was murdered in a bath tub that will give you the eebie jeebies. I don’t want to give away to much about this maze but it is a great addition to this years event and is a well themed maze. I give this maze a Creepy 8 out of 10.

Alien Vs Predator

This maze is themed based on the film. This is a returning Maze from last year. It is a highly themed maze with Predator costumes that are almost dead on and some pretty good Alien creatures. I was really happy with this maze last year with this year being no exception. Great maze as always all though again, I cant stand the boring button push scares. I think there is only a small hand full of scares that is 100 percent the character in the maze. With that said its still a fun maze for fans of the film. I give this maze an 8 out of 10

Terror Tram: Survive The Purge

This was maybe the worst thing at the park. Its a misleading attraction. This has always been true. I wish they would do something with the actual Tram. They stick everyone in the Tram, take you back to the Bates Motel, drop you off, and then you find yourself on what seems like a 2 mile foot long trek. There are LOTS of dead spots on this walk where absolutely nothing is going on. Its just too much out in the open. This was almost exactly the same as The Walking Dead Terror Tram from last year. Even some of the props were reused.  It doesn’t feel scary, or spooky. It just feels almost like a waste of time. I really really really hope they do something about this attraction at some point. Overall I give this a 5 out of 10

 

Scare Zones

This year Universal had 4 themed Scare Zones. The best zone of them all is again Dark Christmas , followed up by the Purge Scare Zone. The other Zones this year were Corpz and Exterminatorz. The problem I have always had with Universal Scare zones is they just are way to small. They call them Zones when infact they just be called “Scare Spots”. They are really short and do not really spread over a far distance with the exception of The Purge. The Purge you must walk through to get to the lower mazes. This was the longest of the mazes and the best Scare Zone of the 4 that they had this year. Dark Christmas is a twisted evil Christmas Scare Zone, the Exterminatorz Scare Zone is like bugs gone bad. Humanoid bugs roaming the area by the front of the park with flame throwers over head as you enter the park. Corpz looked as though it is a themed military area with dead mutant soldiers running around.

Coprz 6 out of 10

Exterminatorz 7 out of 10

The Purge 8 out of 10

Dark Christmas 9 out of 10

 

Jabbawockeez

The Jabbawockeez have joined Halloween Horror Nights this year. The excitement of having the dance group at the park was definitely heard through out the park. The show was a fun show that was a Dream Sequence of one of the dancers who goes on a journey through some random and odd adventures who inevitably returns back to where he started from. The dancing was great, entertaining and worth the wait, I just think that it does not fit a Halloween themed event at all. Fun show but its a bit out of its element at this event. 8 out of 10. 

Out side of all of the main attractions one big complaint I have about this event is there just is a lot of walking in the park. Nothing going on. No monsters, No themeing. Just dubstep and heavy metal playing. I am a fan of this music so its not the music that is the problem. It is the lack of Halloween going on. Lots and lots of walking around in empty unthemed areas of the park.

Over all I Give this event a 7.5 out of 10 this year. I do enjoy this event and I think it is a must due to anyone who is a fan of Halloween Events, I just feel this year was not their year.

 

-B