Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm

Knotts-Berry-Farm-Logos

Yes. I've given you the sneak peek already, with the meal on Angel's Diner. With 5 hours, what could one actually do in Knott's Berry Farm?

Well, it was a LOT, contrary to what I had thought. But let's start even before that. Let's start from the ride to Knott's.

This school bus ride was probably one of the most interesting, as well as scary rides that I have been in. At first, it was fine. The wind was blowing, and we went sluggishly through morning traffic. Everything seemed well. Later on, we even got out of traffic. But at that point, something bad happened.

What happens when you push on the gas pedal? Acceleration right? Apparently, that was not what happened to our school bus, which was operated by Alliance (charter bus service company). Even when the driver pressed full on for the gas, the car just moved a bit. The bus started losing power, and guess what? We stopped. Right in the middle of the freeway.

Of course, the driver then started to ask for help from its other buses, as well as contacting other buses. Miraculously, the bus started to work again...not! We then had to exit, and at the exit, the bus stopped again. And then it moved, working pretty well. But then...it stopped. And this time, it would not move.

What was outside? Well, it was a great place. An amazing library.

Cerritos Library

The Cerritos Library! We've been to this place before and it was just AMAZING for a library. Fireplaces were everywhere, as well as a gigantic fish tank. Even artificial coral too. But we didn't stop to visit there. Instead, another bus, already filled with occupants, came. And then we got bunched into that school bus.

And during on that other school bus, operated by the school district, we went all the way to Knotts by driving in the city. No freeway driving! It almost seemed like we had gotten lost. The bus was just moving in subarban communities, with tons of houses. It didn't seem to be Knotts. Somehow, we found our way there. And when we did, everyone was cheering.

Our assignment was then given to us. A so called "Scavenger Hunt", which didn't seem to be too hard in the first place. It was two sided, and had questions on the rides which related to Science and History. And, you didn't really need to go on all of the rides. The science side mainly had math problems, as well as questions on forces. There was actually only three rides you were required to go on- the other parts of the scavenger hunt were examining places and things. Then, we got our tickets, and then moved on, to the front entrance.

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We also walked past by the California Marketplace while going into the entrance, and I noticed the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. It looks fairly interesting, but I have never visited it yet.

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And soon enough, it was check in time. Amazing, it felt like we as an entire group of people were a very small group. Why? Well, Knotts only used several of the entrance gates, and not all of them, and our lines per entrance gate weren't long either.

When entering, we were checked by a security officer if we had a backpack (which I did), and there were also maps of the park- at the time, they were showcasing the Pony Express, which was one of the rides that you could ride for the scavenger hunt (you have to talk about how it relates to history). The map was very nicely drawn, and a bit cartoony- any thrilling ride was drawn not to scale, looking way more scary than the ride actually was.

Flower Display

Nearby the entrance, there was also a display of flowers. Some people took group pictures there, which were taken by people at Knotts. They didn't ask me to pose though!

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After waiting for a while to meet up with other people, we moved on as a small group to the left side of where the entrance splits off to. And that was the ghost town. There were plenty of shops as well as eateries, which served things like fried chicken, pizza, and the like. But we weren't too excited, as we were trying to find our spot as for where should we go. And while walking, I noticed something was really close that, by looking at it and writing about it, would complete most Part 1 for the History section of the Scavenger Hunt- locating the totem pole, describing it, and saying where was it, and then looking at the Native American structures.

Hint hint- "Native American Structures". Ah...that must be somewhere near the Indian Trails. The map shows a totem pole. Guess what? Both ended up being there!

Totem-Poles

Indian

Both the structures and the totem poles had really nice details. The totem poles (there were several actually in the park) had lots of detailed carvings and showcased people and animals. Every "side" of the totem pole was different and talked about something different. And they were certainly very tall too- at least 10 feet or more.

The teepee however was actually made by a company, but the effect and thought was there. Nearby was a piece of leather which looked like it was being dried out. It's all something that makes Knott's Berry Farm different from other places.

After taking the notes for that part of the scavenger hunt, we were debating on having lunch next, or actually going on a ride. Eventually, we picked the ride. What ride was it?

Timber-Mountain-Log-Ride

The Timber Mountain Log Ride, which fulfilled the first part of the Science part of the Scavenger Hunt. This ride also taught us a lesson on scavenger hunts at Knotts. What was that lesson? Well, you can not ask any Knott's staff member about anything in the Scavenger Hunt. Not even if it is just a word you don't understand, or you don't understand the question the scavenger hunt.

This ride was pretty boring at first! In the beginning, it brought you up the ramp and then you started seeing people cutting things and preparing things. But after that, you got outside and saw a nice view of Knott's for about a minute or two. Things started to get interesting when we entered a dark tunnel which showcased more people. The water started to get more rough, and suddenly, without notice, we went downward!

There was yet another drop near the end, and the water was pretty much rough from the first fall onward. Still, no comparison to California Adventure- this was a bit tamer. The people in the front of the "log" were really wet. However, people in the back were barely soaked at all. So...now you know! All in all it was a great, in total, 5 minute ride.

After that we ate lunch at Angel's Diner (click HERE for the post), which for me was a giant crispy chicken salad for lunch, and burgers for my friends. And after that, we looked around near the Boardwalk. But the first thing was to record the Perilous Plunge's time it took from the beginning of the plunge to the end of the plunge.



And the plunge was really fast and amazing! There was nothing that supported the car other than the water and the ramp. Something easily could have occured that would be negative, but luckily that didn't happen. For people who are interested in actually riding the ride, remember to line up EARLY at its opening time (I think it is 12 or 1 PM) so that you'll get your spot. The lines are very long, and there is only one car running. Even with one car running, they have to make sure you are safe, which also takes plenty of time. So...be early or else be prepared to wait!

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Nearby the Perilous Plunge as the Xcelerator, another ride which looked very scary. People were screaming, and the car went very, very fast.

Basketball

Another nearby attraction was the 3 Point Challenge, where many kids were at. The basketball players at our school obviously took a part in this, and some were pretty successful, but none got a big prize. There was obviously a lot of pressure, due to a person which kept describing the player's actions in a very monotone voice. For many people, the person would say this, "Another try. Oh...didn't make it. He goes up for another shot. It didn't go in." So on and on. It almost felt like that person was trying to embarrass the person who had to pay money to play the 3 Point Challenge!

After looking at these different attractions at the Boardwalk, we moved downward towards the Fiesta Village and Camp Snoopy. And nearby the Supreme Scream, I spotted a car display.

Car Display

A Toyota Venza!? Why would a car manufacturer put a car at an amusement park? It's the first time I've ever seen an actual car display in an amusement park. Has anyone seen a actual car display in an amusement park? If you have, please tell me :).



We moved on further down to the Camp Snoopy area, and saw a handful of rides which were not too thrilling, but still were fun. This was La Revolucion. At first, it didn't look bad at all. The thing twirled of course, and moved around like a see-saw, but it didn't go 90 degrees up into the air from its starting point.

But it did eventually, gaining in momentum and acceleration. The people looked horrified! And, the people in my group decided not to go. And interestingly, they picked a very easy ride instead (which was unexpected because medium thrill factor should be the norm for the people I know). And that was the ride right next door.



The Hat Dance! Mainly, the fun part of the ride was just turning around- a lot- in circles, and then seeing how things look when you are all moving around in circles. See, at the bottom, you moved in the circle. On top of that moving circle, there was a series of three circles which your "hat" was on one of them, which also moved in another circle. Lastly, your own "hat" moved in circles. Dizzifying it can be! If you weren't looking up though, it was really just boring. My friend proclaimed, "I can read and write on this ride! No problems." Of course, he was bored of these easy rides. We had wished to go on something more interesting anyway.

Towards the end of the ride, it was really funny. People started to want to get out, and the employee running the ride had to tell the passengers multiple times to sit down! It's almost like how some people start to stand in planes when the plane is still moving, or about to take off or land. Unsafe that is for sure.

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Several of my friends decided to go onto the Dragon swing, leaving half of my group behind unexpectedly. So, with nothing to do other than taking photos of them and the like, I looked at the stuff nearby. And there was a water fountain which was nicely decorated. It's yet another thing which I wasn't expecting from Knott's.

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Finally, we got our fair share of fun...on a roller coaster that is! This was the waiting line for Jaguar. However, the entrance is much more interesting. You have to go through a TON of dark areas, which then lastly arrive to what you see in the photos. It took us at least 3 minutes to walk all the way from the entrance to the launch pad. Talk about long lines that can happen during vacation time! But for us, it was empty. Lucky us!

The ride was very good and was what I was expecting and a bit more. There were no big dips or falls on the ride which I liked, and the car moved at a pretty fast pace. What was exceedingly silly was that some people just started screaming when nothing exciting was happening. We were just going up the ramp at the beginning of the ride, and they were screaming like they were going down the Perilous Plunge!

What I would say was the scary part were just the trees. They were very close to the track (especially the branches), and sometimes it felt like you would hit it (like how it felt on the Orange Bowl at California Adventure). Otherwise, it was pretty much easy, with a great view of what was going around in Knotts.

Afterwards, we visited the Fiesta Village, where there was a performance going on at the Fiesta Plaza. Kids from other schools were singing and there was a small crowd watching them. At the Fiesta Village, there were also some Mexican food options, as well as an arcade with games costing 1 dollar each (for most of them).

The-Old-School-House

After visiting the Fiesta Village, we went to the Old School House, which fulfilled the last part of Part 1 of the Scavenger Hunt. The Old School House actually was built in 1879 by a group of Iowa farmers who settled in Central Kansas near Beloit, Kansas. The school house filled 8 classes at a time, from the first through 7th grades. Schools usually had only one or two of these school houses, due to the lack of heating and limited resources. Mr. Knott bough the school, the outhouse, and the playground in a auction, and then he asked them to be dismantled, and it was brought to Knott's Berry Farm in 1952. Then, they reconstructed the school house using the drawings and photographs of the school, and the final product was a duplicate of the old schoolhouse, with a change of colors from white to red, and a new addition of a bell tower. The Knott's grandchildren also used the building in the 1950's for kindergarden.

Schoolhouse-Interior

You definitely could tell that it was a very detailed duplicate of how it was in the past. Look at those tables, and the heaters! All original. The paint even is tattered and old. What is the most amazing though is the bottom right photo. It is amazing how such old of a sign would still be in the schoolhouse! But the tape...I am not so sure about that. Was tape even invented that long ago?

Punishments-and-Rules

The most interesting part was the punishments and rules the kids had in the past. Kids would get punished by lashes if boys and girls played together, or if they played cards at school (which would affect many people at my school!). Misbehaving to girls was another big consequence.

Teachers also had interesting jobs too, like needing to maintain the classroom, and having to fill lamps, trim wicks, and clean the chimney. Most teachers today probably wouldn't have these types of jobs (other than maintaining the classroom).

And if you are so interested in these rules and stuff, you can also buy them (see the small sign on top?). There is a Knott's employee who is dressed up like how teachers dressed up back then which sells the stuff in the school house (the items allowed to be sold anyway).

Bigfoot Rapids

The next attraction we went to was the Bigfoot Rapids. This ride was probably one of the most popular rides at Knott's Berry Farm, with a gigantic line which we waited almost half an hour for. We took a big chance with this ride- it was almost time to go by the time we reached the point we would be able to go onto the ride. However, we were lucky, and we had 10 minutes left of time when we went on. Lucky us. (not really...you'll find out in just a minute)

Anyway, the ride was similar to California Adventure's Grizzly River Run, but without the huge falls. There were barely any big falls at all. Instead, what was the highlight of the ride was getting wet. At the beginning, it felt like nothing- almost like the beginning of the Timber Mountain Log Ride. However, right away, the waters started to get rougher, and plenty of water actually went into the raft. The ending was the best part. Unexpectedly, there was a new flow of current, which caused a giant splash onto the entire raft. We were all pretty much soaked.

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After the ride, we visited Ghost Town (after finding out our time was extended by another 30 minutes!), where there were again plenty of food and shopping options. You could also buy some of Knott's Berry Farm's jams (which we like). Some of the people in my group decided to buy slushies at a overly expensive price of 7 dollars (with a souvenir cup- only option at "Mix it up"). The architecture of the place was like a real ghost town. Compared to the cartoonish map, it looked entirely different!

Calico-Mine-Ride

Due to the extra time, we also visited the Calico Mine Ride, which was a tour into a mine with again, fake people doing mining chores, as well as having a view of the mine (water, gold, caves, etc). We actually had to wait a very long time for this ride as well. It was almost 10 minutes, and the ride itself took another 8 minutes. It didn't leave us much time left at Knotts.



Above are some parts of the ride (not all). It was really dark in the mine and so my camera couldn't take in all the light. Basically, in the ride, it was a lesson of how the mine was and what people did in the ride. Sorry about the random talking from other people!

Calico-Mine-Ride

Lastly, we were stopped by the Calico Railroad after finishing the Calico Mine Ride. The Calico Railroad was just departing on its journey, and so... I took another video of it.



Some other people in my school also took a video of the ride. They got the conductor to actually honk just for their video!

After watching the Calico Railroad depart, we had to leave, and so, here's the last departing photo, which was taken on the bus (which didn't break down) at the Knott's parking lot:

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Thanks for reading!

9 comments:

Mochachocolata Rita said...

waw! i wanna play all those games. while sous chef hop onto hat dance and whimper hehehe...

look at the Xcelerator! he definitely won't play THAT!

joanh said...

you didn't have funnel cake? i haven't been to Knott's in at least 10 years, but i remember the best thing about Knott's was the funnel cake!!! mmm

EatTravelEat said...

Mochachocolata Rita,

That would be interesting :). But sous chef probably would get so angry and maybe sleep on the Hat Dance as it is boring.

joanh,

I wished I did! I remember going to Seaworld for funnel cake, but I wasn't able to eat funnel cake. The stuff my friends were interested in were only just candy, burgers, and ice cream. Nothing else.

Now I should visit Knott's again for the funnel cake :).

dessertobsessed said...

FUN! great review; i love all the details! btw, how can you make different pages up top with blogger? i used to use blogger and i wanted to make different pages so i had to switch to wordpress!

EatTravelEat said...

dessertobsessed,

Thanks! The pages thing is basically linking. I created a gadget at the side bars of the layout page an then put the links and words I wanted to put in, and then I moved it right below the header and it worked. But also, I did switch the layout with this three column, which also added some additional functions to the layout for the blog.

burumun said...

I love all the "travel" components like the videos of the rides you have here :)

I remember the Xcelerator ... I didn't realize how fast it was gonna so - thought I was gonna have a heart attack. But it was a lot of fun

EatTravelEat said...

burumun,
Thanks! Travel is one of my favorite things to do, and I just like to post about it :).

Looking at the Xcelerator scared me already. It looks like a great ride but the people in my group probably would not want to go on it!

Anonymous said...

Hmm... well you did talk about the old school house but if you didn't know there is also a California Historical Landmark which is ANOTHER school. It is now part of Pony Express. It was the first school in The Rivera District constructed in 1868. I find it kind of degrading because this school was originally built in Southern California and should be presented to the world. I'm not sure if they are trying to protect it from vandalism but it still needs to have some credit and not put away in a corner, I, myself couldn't even find it.

EatTravelEat said...

Anonymous,
Nice to know! I would have not expected to know that there were two schoolhouses. Maybe I did see it while I passed by Pony Express...but due to lack of knowledge I probably did not care about what was there.