Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knott's Update: Part 1 - Totally Eighties, Mine Train Ticket Booth & More

ROCK The Ghost Town, or BURN It Down....or just BE NEAR It! During a recent visit to Knott's Berry Farm, I was surprised to see.....or should I say hear, that they have replaced the themed music for each section of the park with top 40 hits from the eighties. Why? I don't know, but it was odd walking through Ghost Town and hearing, "Rock The Casbah", "Burning Down The House" and "Be Near Me" blaring away instead of fiddles and banjos playing! Now don't get me wrong, I love music from the eighties, and it might not be that bad hearing it play in the "Boardwalk" area of the park, but in Ghost Town and Fiesta Village?

There have been some other changes made at the park recently, some good and some bad. Here's a good one.....Claude Bell's "Marilyn and Cecilia" figures are back! They have reappeared in Calico Square after a very long absence.

This is where "Marilyn and Cecilia" sat for many years. The over-sized and out-of-place Calico Stage was built in that spot back in the nineties.

The stage towers above Calico Square and covers up part of the original buildings that used to face the square.

Here's a vintage postcard of Marilyn and Cecilia years before the stage displaced them.

And here's a 1959 shot from Gorillas Don't Blog, used here with permission (thank you, Major Pepperidge!) Note the names on the trunk in front of them. This is back when they were known as "Nell and Belle."

Also note the popcorn wagon to the left of them. These wagons used to be located throughout the park, but have slowly disappeared over the years. There was also a popcorn wagon located outside the park across from the Cable Car Kitchen (I used to work in that one sometimes!) The one in Camp Snoopy is still there, but it's kind of hidden and I haven't seen it open in years. Well, I was glad to see that one of these vintage wagons has returned to Calico Square.

The wagon replaced a row of ugly outdoor vending stalls that had been built across the front of the Calico Mine Train. Good move!

However, do you notice something missing in the photo above? The original ticket booth for the Mine Train is now gone! It was recently demolished after sitting in the same spot for over 50 years! Let's move in a little closer.

And even closer.....

I had no idea that it was going to be torn down, so I'm glad I had taken a picture of it in the past. What a shame that someone didn't care enough to try and protect this structure.

This postcard dates back to when it was a functioning ticket booth.

A wooden arch went up in it's place very recently. I think I like it better with just nothing there!

In real life, aren't these kind of beams supposed to be holding up the ceiling of a mine and not just free-standing? Weird!

Meanwhile, the original Log Ride ticket booth still remains....for now anyway. It was converted into a snack shop years ago. I hope there aren't any plans to demolish it!

Check back for Part 2 of my Knott's Update and to see what vintage Knott's attraction from the seventies has made a return to the park! (No, it's not Knott's Bear-y Tales, darn it!)


Dude said...

Knott's New CEO is Matt Ouimet, who was the President of Disneyland during its very successful and well-received 50th anniversary celebration.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for the info, Dude! I knew it was a former Disney person, but I couldn't remember who it was. Hopefully he will return the individual theme music to each section of the park....and bring back the Haunted Shack in some form....and also put a dark ride back into the Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs space....oh and stop tearing things down!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great post! So sad to see the ticket booth disappear, lets pretend its in "safe storage" along with the original berry stand!

See my post today, its full of Knott's early 80's goodness...

Matt seems like a good addition to Knott's, not sure about the 80's music, but it could be worse I guess..

Connie Moreno said...

Great post! I believe that they might listen to fans/guests if they complain about the music. I haven't been there for several months but I do NOT want to listen to 80's music while walking through Ghost Town. I plan to email the company. Come on, people! EMAIL!

Major Pepperidge said...

UGH, your news about the music change makes me sad. It proves that folks who run amusement parks don't necessarily understand what makes those parks special. (Strangely, I feel that the Knott family made the same mistake when they introduced the Peanuts characters into their own park). I am looking forward to hearing "Keep Feeling Fascination" the next time I am watching Wing Lee ironing a shirt.

The girls are still Nell and Belle to me! And they are shinier than ever, something that I admire in a woman. Why did that ticket booth get torn down? I'm sure some genius said, "Rip it out, who even notices it?". Meanwhile, folks who loves Knott's DO notice details like that. The new arch is strange; maybe if it is weathered and aged it won't be such an eyesore.

Whoa, Matt Ouimet made those decisions? I heard nothing but raves about him when he was with Disney; folks practically wept when he left. So far I am not impressed.

TokyoMagic! said...

VDT, yeah safe storage....that's it! The Haunted shack is in that "safe storage" place too.

Connie, Good idea! Maybe they would change the music back if enough people complained about it. Even the employees didn't seem to like the change. They have to be careful what they say, but they all kind of sigh and role their eyes when talking about it.

Major, yes I also feel that the Knott family made many mistakes. People say to me, "oh, you worked there when the Knott family still owned it, I hear it was much better back then" NOT MUCH! I was thinking the same thing about that arch getting a little weathered. Who knows, maybe they're going to put a sign on it. I think it will still look weird though. Oh, and I hear that Wing Lee actually is a Human League fan, but Goldie likes Blondie and Sad-Eye Joe prefers Talking Heads!

Dan Alexander said...

I wonder if Knott's is watching what the Six Flags parks have been doing with atmosphere music. Six Flags (the one in Georgia, at least) seems to blast current music (like Fergie songs) all over the park. Maybe Knott's is putting a spin on that... At least people can get their classic Knott's fix at Meet The World!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks, Dan! I'll try to keep supplying a vintage Knott's (and Disney) fix for anyone out there that's interested!

JG said...

This post makes me sad.