Friday, April 30, 2010

Jungle Island - Woodimals or Woodniks?

With the exception of April Fool's Day, Easter Day and Tax Day, April has turned out to be "Knott's Month" here at Meet The World. Today we have some souvenirs from Jungle Island which was located across Beach Boulevard at the Knott's Lagoon area.

I think the wooden creatures over on the Island were usually referred to as Woodimals, but this ticket that I saved from childhood lists them as Woodniks. I wonder when the name change occurred? I like that tag line, "Where Adults Enjoy Exploring and Children Love to Play." Sounds like a Walt Disney philosophy, "Where children and adults can have fun together."

Here are two postcards featuring the Island. The first one shows the covered bridge at the entrance. On the far left is a Woodnik/Woodimal that looks like it could have been related to the original Ghost Town "Catawampus" (not the one that resides there today.)

In the postcard below, that little girl is riding a Woodnick rocking horse that would spit water out of it's mouth when you rocked forward.

This next pic is from an amateur slide. Those kids are riding on a Woodnik Merry-Go-Round.

I miss Jungle Island and the entire Knott's Lagoon Area! (I'll try and make this my last Knott's post for a while!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knott's, 30 Years Ago - Part 2

This is the second half of the Los Angeles Times ad supplement for Knott's 60th anniversary from 1980. The first half can be seen (here) in my previous post.

Interesting info on Bud Hurlbut........

When I rode the Log Ride last week, it seemed like some of those vignettes featuring the animals had been removed or covered up. Interesting that it was Hurlbut's uncle that shot the bears that were "arranged so realistically" in the ride.....or at least the ones that used to be in there.

I wonder if the Buena Park Mall still has the rocks for kids to climb on.....uh, probably not. They were still there in the seventies.

Virginia Knott's gift shop originally started out as a card table in the Chicken Dinner Restaurant with a few items on it for sale.

The article below states that, "Burros, one of the earliest forms of transportation carry happy children around a foliage-lined track." It's refering to when the Burros were over at the Lagoon, and that foliage-lined track was actually the dry, dug-out waterways that sat next to Jungle Island for years. As mentioned in the book, "Knott's Preserved," it was all part of Bud Hurlbut's unrealized North Woods Fur Trapper boat ride. Those dry waterways can be seen in the aerial shot on page 109 of the book and artwork for the proposed attraction can be seen on pages 110 and 111. According to the description in the book, the attraction was going to be "a tropical cruise with tiki overtones" (a Knott's Jungle Cruise?), but "the theme was changed to fur trapping which seemed more fitting to Knott's Berry Farm." I wish this attraction had been completed! As a kid, I always thought the area looked like it was supposed to be filled with water.

Anyone tired of Knott's yet?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Knott's, 30 Years Ago - Part 1

Well, I went digging through my collection of Knott's memorabilia to try and find more info on the conversion of the Camp Snoopy Funhouse into the Beary Tales Playhouse, but I couldn't find the employee newsletter that I had mentioned in my last post. However, while looking through things, I did find some other cool stuff to post so hopefully nobody is tired of Knott's right now!

Thirty years ago, Disneyland was celebrating it's 25th anniversary and they started out the year with a special advertising supplement in the Los Angeles Times. But it just so happpened that Knott's was having an anniversary that year as well. Knott's was celebrating it's 60th anniversary, and six months after the Disneyland supplement came out in the L.A. Times, Knott's had a special supplement of their own. I remember wondering if this was just in response to Disneyland's year-long advertising campaign. Maybe Knott's felt like they had to do something too? After all, I don't remember Knott's doing anything special in the park that year (no parades, special merchandise, etc.) Anyway, here is that L.A. Times insert from 30 years ago!

Hey, John Wayne's "block" is loose! Oops, wrong tourst attraction......

Hey, whatever happened to Security Pacific....and Crocker Bank, and First Interstate, and American Savings, and Great Western? All swallowed up by the giants, I guess.

Knott's had given a nod to Disneyland in their supplement earlier that year ("The Place Next Door Has Mice!"), so Disney returned the favor.

WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL BERRY STAND??? Okay, okay...I accept the fact that the one that was torn down for Silver Bullet wasn't actually the ORIGINAL Berry Stand. But shouldn't the park have some sort of representation of it?

Note that the train station isn't next to the tracks yet. It would not be moved over until 1985.

At the "Knott's Preserved" event on Sunday, Eddie Soto showed us his artwork (including the sketch seen below) for the conversion of the Motorcycle Chase attraction into the Wacky Soapbox Racers.

I'm still looking for those 1970's Hoffy Hot Dog commercials filmed at Knott's with Pat Boone. I've only been able to find a couple references online that even mention him being the Hoffy spokesperson. I wonder why those commercials wouldn't be on YouTube? I thought EVERYTHING could be found on YouTube!

I'll post the second half of this supplement in my next post. In the meantime, if you would like to see the entire Disneyland L.A. Times supplement from that same year check out Vintage Disneyland Tickets' posting of it (HERE) and scroll to the bottom of the post for the link to the pdf file.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Little Bit O' Knott's (Preserved)

Well, I'm still on a Knott's "high" after Sunday's "Knott's Preserved" event. The day was truly wonderful. I would love to see Knott's do more events like this in the future. Unfortunately, after arriving at the Farm that morning, I realized I had left my camera's memory card at home, so what I was left with was just the camera's internal memory which allowed me to take only a few photos. In a way it was kind of liberating. I just gave up on the idea of being able to photograph the entire day, and relaxed and enjoyed the tours, panel discussions and most importantly...meeting and hanging out with fellow bloggers! For me, that part was almost surreal. These are the people that inspired me to start my own blog almost two years ago and now I was actually meeting them in person!

Rather than give a detailed description of the days events without photos, I am going to refer everyone to Daveland for a fantastic, multi-part photo tour of the day (and check back with him because I believe there are more parts still to least I'm hoping!), and also Vintage Disneyland Tickets for a complete posting of the day's handouts and paper items. I'm going to go ahead and post the six photos that I did take that day......and here they are:

The sign above was posted outside of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant for the event's "all you can eat" buffet dinner (which actually came later in the day.)

First up on the agenda was getting to meet Chris Merritt and Eric Lynxwiler and have them sign their book! Chris Merritt is on the far right, and that's Steve Knott (Walter & Cordelia's grandson) in the middle. Tony Baxter (far left) wrote the forward to the book and he was also signing that day.

These three figures from the old Knott's Bear-y Tales attraction had recently been brought out of storage and restored. They now reside in the old barn at the end of Main St. We were told that sometimes the old Knott's Bear-y Tales theme song plays too. I didn't hear it playing that day, but I might just have to go back and check it out again. I wish they would put more of the old Bear-y Tales Figures out on display! In the late eighties, the Camp Snoopy Funhouse was actually converted into the Bear-y Tales Playhouse and used quite a few of the Bear-y Tales figures. I'm not sure how long that attraction lasted, but I may have an employee newsletter with more info and photos. I will have to go digging for that!

Here are close-up shots of each figure.

I miss Knott's Beary Tales! The panel discussion that day included Rolly Crump and his son, Chris Crump talking about the designing and building of that great little dark ride. That certainly was a treat!
Well, that's it for today. I may need to do another Knott's post (or two) just to get Knott's "out of my system"!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Knott's "Berries" Pack a Punch

Yep, they still serve the Berry Punch at Knott's! They even sell the bottled concentrate now, so you can make it at home. The photo below was taken in the Berry Market on Grand Avenue, just a couple weeks ago. I don't know how long this product has been available to the public, but they weren't selling it when I was working at the Farm back in the eighties. I was very happy to find that the punch tastes exactly how I remember it tasting, twenty years ago!

Take a look at this vintage menu posted yesterday on "Stuff From The Park" and note how it was actually listed as "Boysenberry" Punch, back then. For the past twenty-plus years now, it has been listed on park menus simply as "Berry" Punch. Just as blogger "Lets Talk Knott's" speculated yesterday, I do believe at one time it might have been a better product. Perhaps it was once made with real boysenberries (Boysenberries are not one of the listed ingredients today.) I do know that back in the day, most of the older customers would tell us how it used to taste much better. Funny how at the time, we would always just smile at them and say, "Really?" We didn't know if that was true, or if maybe their memories were just fooling them. Now I believe each and every one of them!

Maybe they'll be serving Berry Punch at the "Knott's Preserved" buffet dinner tomorrow!!!

Oh, and for those of you wondering what the ingredients of the Berry Punch Concentrate are, here you go: Corn Sweetener, Water, Orange Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Red & Blue Dye, & Sodium Benzoate (a preservative.) It doesn't even list ANY type of berry as an ingredient! Unless that's what the "Natural Flavor" is. And remember, the most prevelent ingredient in any food product, is always listed first. Mmmmmmm, cooooooorn sweetener!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Knott's - Hot Dogs, Trees and Attraction Posters

This is a follow up to my Knott's post from last week. In that post, I had mentioned that the fast food counter at the former Cable Car Kitchen had been transformed into a Pink's hot dog stand. Well, I've been back to the park to check it out and now I have some photographs. The photo below is actually of the original Pink's on Melrose and La Brea in Hollywood. I wonder if Hoffy still makes Knott's hot dogs? They did when I was working there in the eighties, but Pat Boone was no longer doing those "Hoffy, the Official Hot Dog of Knott's Berry Farm" commercials. Does anyone else remember those? I tried looking for them on YouTube, but nothing came up.

Here's the new Pink's sign out on Grand Avenue at Knott's. The Hot Dog rotates! By the way, we sold "Foot Long Hot Dogs" at Knott's back in the day, but they were actually only ten inches. If a guest complained that they weren't really a foot long, we were supposed to tell them that was their size before being cooked and that they shrink....but that wasn't true.

Here's a pic that I had posted previously, but now I have an "After" shot to post with this "Before."

They have added a dining room onto the side of the building. It extends out to the edge of the old patio roof. Yes, that pink Crepe Myrtle that I mentioned in my last post seems to have just disappeared. I wonder if it was able to be dug up and saved?

Here's another "Before" shot. There's the Crepe Myrtle again, and the tree that is hanging overhead in the photo is gone now too. We'll see more of it in a minute.

Here's the "After" shot.

This "Before" shows a close up of the old counter.

And this "After" was taken while standing in the new indoor dining area. Note the ceiling and the two posts are the same.

This "Before" was taken while standing just outside the Ice Cream Parlor doors, looking towards Grand Avenue. Virginia's Gift Shop can be seen on the right....and there's that Crepe Myrtle again. I'm obsessed, I know. Hey, I almost titled this post, "The Tree Murderers of Knott's." Go ahead and call me a tree hugger. Just gets worse.

This "After" was taken standing in almost the same spot as above, but just a few feet further to the right.

Here's another "Before." Now take a good look at that large tree on the right.

Gone! (But the tree behind the "turret" is still there.)

Here's the same tree from a different angle.

Gone! It has been replaced by a new sapling.

Not to beat a dead horse...or tree, but here is that 1967 pic again from Major Pepperidge of Gorillas Don't Blog.

Here is the "After" pic taken last August.

Here's an even closer shot taken on the same day. Count the trees.

Here's the "After" shot minus the tree on the end. That tree had been there at least since the sixties and I'm guessing it could have been planted when the Cable Car Kitchen was built in 1959.....maybe even earlier since it was already pretty tall in that 1967 pic. Why did it have to be sacrificed? Anyone that grew up with Knott's and has been back in recent years, knows that they have removed MANY of the trees inside the park. I've told this story before, but I'll relay it here again. Upon visiting Knott's a few years ago, one of the saloon bartenders told me that right after Disneyland had a very large tree branch fall on top of a popcorn wagon back in 2001, Knott's management had over thirty of their oldest trees cut down. Now the park is very open and sunny, and there is lots of concrete! Okay, okay....I'll try and get over it and move on.

That yellow building in the pic above is Virginia's Gift Shop. The display windows currently have some intersting artwork in them.....vintage Knott's attraction posters! I wish these were for sale!

Here's a current shot of the inside of Virginia's. Compare it with this Before shot posted recently on Gorillas Don't Blog. The Cable Cars used to travel right between Virginia's and the Cable Car Kitchen and one of the cars can actually be seen outside the window in the vintage pic.

Here's a close up of the same window from 2007. I'm not sure when those shelves were put up, but they were there in the early eighties and they remained there at least up until 2007, and they were always filled with colorful glass items. I wonder if anything was ever lost during an earthquake?

Oops, back to trees. This tree is located just outside of Virginia's and across from the Cable Car Kitchen Ice Cream Parlor. I had previously posted a different shot of it and stated that I didn't know what kind it is. Well, it turns out there is a plaque labeling it as a Chinese Flame Tree....AND IT IS STILL STANDING!!! (Hey, where'd the Volcano go?)

I'll leave you today with two more pics of "The Old Mill Stream" and "George Washington's Mount Vernon Fireplace." These photos have better lighting than the ones I posted previously.

I hope to see everyone on Sunday at the "Knott's Preserved" event! (And I promise I won't be handcuffed to the Chinese Flame Tree!)