Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Elf Mountain - The Ride, "Omen Rudolph" and "Scary" Mary Poppins

Well, the holidays are over....and Halloween has LONG been over, but are you ready for some scary stuff today to start off the New Year? We will start with something not so scary......the cover of a Knott's Berry Farm Employee publication from 60 years ago! I wonder where this baby is today?

Now for the scary stuff. Did anyone know that after Halloween Haunt, Knott's changes the Haunt overlay on the Timber Mountain Log Ride to an even scarier Christmas overlay? Okay, maybe I'm being a little over dramatic.

It's Elf Mountain Christmas - The Ride. By the way, that structure beneath the sign is an original ticket booth for the attraction. It remained vacated for years, but now acts as sort of a "snack shack."

Here we go into the saw mill.....uh, I mean the Elves Workshop. Keep Hands Inside. No Splashing.

These figures are all static. It would be nice if they had some kind of movement.

Letters to Santa.....

Now we're passing the Paint Department.....

And the reindeer stables.

This little guy has Santa's list.

Elf carolers.....

Now at first glance, this train contained what I thought was a very cool audio-animatronic figure of a cat on top of one of it's freight cars. However at second glance, I realized that it was a real cat just sitting there with it's legs tucked under itself watching as our log passed by. I got right back in line to try and get a photo of it, but it was gone on the second time through, darn it!

This guy was located just before the first drop. Note the Christmas tree in Calico Square off in the distance.

Snowball fight!

I will haunt your dreams tonight......

This guy was actually moving. You can see the wear marks and the red dye that has come off of his clothes during his perpetual attempt at making a snow angel. Okay, who's the litterbug that tossed a candy bar wrapper next to his foot?

Here's one of Bud Hurlbut's original taxidermied critters. Oh the indignity of it all.....doomed to spend an eternity with Christmas lights draped over you, a ribbon in your mouth and a Christmas stocking on your foot. Well maybe not an eternity, but a couple months out of the year, anyway. That's sad.

Frosty and family!

This way to Mrs. Claus' Kitchen. Hmmmm, what is that secret ingredient in her meat pies?

Unfortunately, Mrs. Claus is another static manikin. Marsha? Marsha? And I don't mean Marcia Brady....otherwise I would have said it three times and with an exclamation point. I mean Marsha White from "The After Hours" episode of "The Twilight Zone." Rest in peace, Anne Francis!

Well, we're almost to the end of this strange watery journey. Mrs. Claus is located just before the conveyor belt lift at the end of the ride. Just across from her, is another elf that was making or baking something (not pictured). A little ways up the lift, we see Santa himself flying over a snow covered village (think Department 56 miniatures with plenty of cotton.)

There was a Christmas song sung by "elves" (think David Seville played at 78 rpm) that was running on a continuous loop throughout the ride. Thankfully, the song was not as infectious as "It's A Small World." I do think that small children would like this attraction and some adults would as well. I have to admit that I did enjoy seeing SOMETHING added for Christmas. And I must mention that the scenes look better going past them quickly in a floating log and dimly lit, without my camera flash illuminating them. I would have just liked to see some more motion to the figures. I know, I know.....Cedar Fair does not have Disney's budget! All I have to say is, those "Little Mermaid" characters in California Adventure's new attraction better be moving like crazy!

Since Elf Mountain ends with Santa and his reindeer, I thought that would be a perfect segue to a video I discovered online. It's a re-imagined trailer for the Rankin/Bass "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" TV special, using sound bites from "The Omen." The embedded clip seen below is widescreen, just a tiny bit of it is cut off when inserted here on the blog page. If you would like to view the clip on YouTube in full screen click here: "Rudolph The Omen"

And as long as we're "going there", here's a re-imagined trailer for Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. To view this on YouTube, click here: "Scary" Mary Poppins.

I watched a lot of these movie trailer parodies on YouTube, but I thought these two were the best. Most of the others didn't quite seem to pull it off.

Happy 2011, everyone!


A Snow White Sanctum said...

Tokyo- Those are pretty scary elves. And movement would be much more entertaining!

In regards to scaling your embedded videos to fit your blog, it's fairly easy to re-size them. When you copy the code from youtube and then paste it on your page (within the edit HTML tab), simply read the code. You will see 2 sets of "width" and "height" numbers.

For a video like this, a re-sizing to around 500 x 320 should make it fit and look good on your page.

Major Pepperidge said...

At first I thought you were kidding, but it sure looks like the real thing! I guess they were trying anyway.

The moving elf with the clothes wearing away reminds me of the Chinese guy in the "peek in" whose iron has gone right through the shirt he was pressing.

Connie Moreno said...

Hey, thanks for all the shots. I had no idea they did this. Darn, see? Now I HAVE to go get a Knott's pass. I know, I know, I keep threatening the Major that I'm going to do it. Guess I'll wait until I'm unemployed and have time on my hands. (Make sense? No, but that's me!)

TokyoMagic! said...

SWS, Thank you so much for the technical help. It made a big difference!

Major and Connie, I was surprised to stumble across it. I had no idea Knott's did this and when I asked an employee if it was something new, he said that they do it every year after Haunt.

Darrin.. said...

Went to Knott's during my trip to Cali before x-mas!! Unfortunately, they don't run many rides when it's raining (Like Disney) but I did get to hit the Calico mine (my fave ride as a kid). Oh... and I had possibly the best fried Chicken I've ever eaten at Mrs. Knott's!!

Dan Alexander said...

Elf Mountain looks interesting. It reminds me of a Christmas Santa Castle display in a local mall from my childhood. I remember being horrified because there was an elf figure stuck in the chimney, with his little legs flailing in the air.

Loved the parody videos--I had seen the Scary Mary Poppins one, but not the Rudolph one. Very clever!

TokyoMagic! said...

Darrin, I guess your lucky that the park was open. When I worked there, they would call us at home and tell us the park wasn't opening or was closing early when there were heavy rains. Was the Log Ride open when you were there?

Dan, You are right. Now that I think of it, some of the sets also remind me of a Christmas display that used to be set up around a miniature train ride at a local mall here. The Log Ride actually had an elf upside down in a bag of sugar or flour in the Mrs. Claus' kitchen scene and his legs were flailing! (that was another figure that was animated) I just didn't get a good photo of him!

Alicia said...

That is so much fun... Elf Mountain looks so fantastic. It reminds me a lot of my childhood memories. Actually, I love scary stuff. I am not brave but I just enjoy being surprised, trilled and scared at the same time. Amazing idea and great way to enjoy the new year.