Sunday, June 26, 2011

Windseeker Up The Wazoo! - Knott's Berry Farm

Anyone want to see some Knott's Berry Farm Windseeker photos? How about a lot of Windseeker photos? The attraction is still under construction and won't be opening until later this summer, but the tower has now reached it's completed height of 301 feet. Here's how it looks from the main entrance.



This sign can be found just inside the entrance.



Knott's has finally gotten rid of the cheaper paper maps and gone back to a nice glossy version.



Windseeker is already appearing on the map.



The photo below is from a Knott's post that I did back in January. It shows the future site of Windseeker and the construction wall around the site. The Merry Go Round can be seen on the right and that green loop is the track for Montezooma's Revenge.

Incidentally, I see on the current Knott's map that now after about 50 years, they are referring to the Merry Go Round as a Carousel. I remember being told on my Knott's employee orientation back in 1982 that the difference between a Merry Go Round and a Carousel was that a Carousel has only horses and a Merry Go Round includes other animals. However, we're talking "Knott's" orientation and not Disneyland, so who knows if they even knew what they were talking about!



Here is how the site looked from almost the same angle on May 31st. Note the construction crane in the upper left corner of the photo.



Turning the camera vertically, we can see that the tower still wasn't completed at this time.



Now we'll take a peek through a hole in that construction wall, starting back in January of this year before the demolition of the Fiesta BBQ restaurant. These next two photos were also seen in my post from earlier this year.



A few days later, after the restaurant was cleared away.......



Now we see the site as it appeared in February. Note the red-flagged stakes around the perimeter of where the base of the attraction would go.



In this photo from March, we can see a hole dug into the ground for the foundation. Also note that the gray support pylon for the Silver Bullet rollercoaster has been moved several feet. This was necessary in order to fit Windseeker into this section of the park. Remember, originally the attraction was going to replace the old SkyJump/Sky Cabin Tower.



We're still looking through the hole in the construction wall, but this shot was taken in mid-May after the concrete foundation had been poured. I believe that wall in the distance is the back wall of the old restaurant, since it was still standing there after the building was demolished.



The date on this photo is May 31st, prior to completion of the tower.



We can't tell in this shot from June 21st, but the tower had been finished at this point.



Now let's take a look at the construction from the air. This photo goes back again to February. Note the square concrete pad where Silver Bullet's support pylon would be eventually be moved. We can also see a water fountain next to the Merry Go Round in the center of the photo. We'll be seeing more of that fountain in the pics below.



March 2011, the hole is dug....



Mid-May, the foundation is poured....



More aerial shots, but from a different angle....February:



March:



Mid-May:



And from yet another angle.....February:



March:



Mid-May:



Okay, now we are back on the ground.....still mid-May. The small structure under construction in the center of this next photo appears to be the control booth for the attraction. The pyramid on the left is the loading station for Jaguar. All of the photos today, give us an idea of just how close Windseeker will be to Jaguar, Montezooma's Revenge, Silver Bullet and the Merry Go Round.



Here's another angle from mid-May.



Same angle from June 21st.



A close up of the ride mechanism......hey, look at the door in the base of the tower!



I wonder if there is a ladder or staircase inside that would take us to the top? I know the old Sky Jump tower has one inside of it.



Here's a May 31st shot taken from approximately where the "Little Chapel By The Lake" used to sit. The Camp Snoopy Train still crosses that little draw bridge in the foreground, but since there is no longer water beneath it and no longer a "Walter K." Steamboat that needs to pass through, the bridge no longer raises or lowers.....it's just "there"!



This photo was taken June 21st from the same angle, but now we're having to step back quite a few yards to fit the completed tower in the frame.



Here's a "Before" pic taken from a spot near the La Revolucion attraction.



.....and an "After."



Here's another "After" shot, but looking upward at the completed tower.



In this close-up of the top of the tower, it almost appears that there is a viewing platform up there, but I don't think that is the case...at least not for the public anyway. It kind of reminds me of the New York State Pavilion's observation towers from the 1964 New York World's Fair!



And getting back to that fountain that we saw earlier.....this is a closer view of it taken at ground level.



It's the very same fountain that appears on this vintage Fiesta Village postcard. This fountain has existed in the park for over 5 decades now. It has survived the demolition of the buildings to the east and west of it, the construction of Silver Bullet on top of it and also the relocation of the Merry Go Round back in the eighties. I'm glad to see that it is going to be preserved (unless of course, Cedar Fair plans to bulldoze it between now and the time that Windseeker opens.)



Now we'll take a look at the new tower and how it appears from different spots within the park. Windseeker really dominates the landscape at Knott's now, but I guess that's nothing new at Knott's after the opening of Supreme Scream and Xcelerator.

This view is from the edge of what used to be Reflection Lake. Does the shallow pond that replaced the lake even have a name now?



This was taken from the Stagecoach and Train crossing on the backside of the Log Ride.



This is the view while standing in front of the Log Ride (which is out of view and just to our left).



And last up for today, we see how the Windseeker tower looks from Calico Square.




Well, that was "Windseeker Up The Whazoo"....probably more photos of Windseeker's construction than anyone out there ever wanted or needed to see!

***UPDATE*** August 16th, 2011 - I just posted an update on Windseeker which includes current photos and some video footage of it being sent through a test run. To see that update, click here: Windseeker Update & Video

10 comments:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

There can never be too many construction photos, thanks for you detailed report.

That thing is WAY to high for me, I still have nightmares from my one ride on the Sky Jump tower in 1976. Speaking of, did they demo the old tower and why isn't this new one in the same spot as the old one?

They had better leave that fountain and the Merry-Go-Round/Carousel right where they are, they can change its name, just leave it there!!

TokyoMagic! said...

VDT, The old Sky Jump tower is still standing. They were supposed to demo the old tower and build Windseeker in that spot. They ended up changing their minds last year and stated that they are going to keep the tower and refurbish the old Sky Cabin observation car that travels up and down it. I hope this is true. So far, nothing appears to be happening with it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, lots of great pix! Good news about the Sky Jump tower too. Maybe now I (or somebody more proactive) can take some "then and now" photos to compare to the ones I posted a while ago.

I kind of wish Knott's maps weren't so "cartoony". The old ones from the 50's and 60's were nice, but perhaps a bit dull; the new ones go too far in the other direction. But what the hell do I know!

Love the beautiful train; the rectangular number plate (or whatever it's called) is a bit weird, can't they manufacture an authentic-looking round one with raised numbers?

I thought the difference between a merry go round and a carousel is that the merry go round just goes around, while a carousel has horses that go up and down.

TokyoMagic! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I have some aerial photos of the park that I took from the Sky Cabin in 2007, but since the widows were majorly scratched up, it looked like the pictures were taken in a dense fog. I'm hoping that they do refurbish the Sky Cabin, and that they replace all of the windows. I also hope that they post an employee inside the cabin on every trip up and give them a gun so they can pistol whip anyone that attempts to mess with the glass!

I just checked out several sites on the internet (Answers.com, Wikipedia, Theme Park Review and TheCarouselMuseum.com) to see if I could find a difinitive answer to our Carousel/Merry Go Round question. They all suggest different answers including a new one that I hadn't heard before which was the direction that the ride turns (clockwise vs. counter-clockwise) It seems like the consensus might be just that "Carousel" and "Merry Go Round" are synonymous.

A Snow White Sanctum said...

That is some thorough coverage! Nice work. Knott's should hire you or at least pay you for your images. I'm sure they have not documented the progress on this new attraction as well as you have. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Those photos made me sick to my stomach. What a bloody mess! Another tall eyesore that further destroys the farm's landscape even more than before. Now, when looking at the log ride from School Road, it'll look even worse with this tall, multi-colored abomination sticking out behind it. What's next, a giant 300-foot barrel that spins in front of the Bird Cage Theatre?

TokyoMagic! said...

SWS, Thank you!!!

Anonymous, I actually agree with you, 100 percent! I was only documenting the "bloody mess", but I don't agree with the direction they have been taking for the past 20 years or so. I think the Log Ride looks horrible with Supreme Scream sticking up behind it. And Boot Hill was ruined by having the Pony Express built literally on top of it. I enjoyed the park much more when it had more family attractions like the Haunted Shack, Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, the shooting gallery and the petting zoo. Now it's just an ugly jumbled mess of tall towers and rollercoaster track.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

Ugh. It even blocks the Log Ride on the map. RUDE!

Has the fountain survived?

TokyoMagic! said...

BIWATW, Yes, the fountain did survive the construction! It can be seen by clicking here: Knott's Berry Farm - Windseeker Update