Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Knott's Berry Farm Postcards, 1970's

It's time once again for more vintage postcards from the collection of Ken Martinez! This time he is featuring cards from Knott's Berry Farm from the 1970's - so they are near and dear to me. Here's Ken:

Knott’s Berry Farm – After the Gate and into the 1970’s

It’s time for another vintage visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, this time just after Knott’s erected a fence and started charging admission to enter the park.

The Calico Log Ride (now known as Timber Mountain Log Ride) opened in 1969 with John Wayne being on hand for the festivities.  The Bud Hurlbut funded and created attraction still remains popular today.  It’s a true Knott’s classic.  The attraction’s animatronics were revamped by Garner Holt Productions in 2013. 

Fiesta Village opened the same year as the Calico Log Ride in 1969.  It was the second theme area constructed and opened after Ghost Town.

Here’s another postcard featuring the Fiesta Village.  Perhaps a reader can chime in as to what the boats were used for.

Pictured here in this split-scene postcard are some of Fiesta Village’s attractions like “Montezooma’s Revenge”, the “Antique Merry-go-Round”, the “Happy Sombrero” (now Hat Dance) and the “Auto Ride/Tijuana Taxi”.  Other past attractions in Fiesta Village included “Fiesta Wheel” a Chance Trabant, “Mexican Whip” a Sellner Tilt-A-Whirl and “Tampico Tumbler” a Fireball ride.

Montezooma’s Revenge which opened in 1978 was Knott’s third roller coaster.  It is now significant in that it is the only Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop roller coaster still standing and operating in the United States.  Let’s hope the current management of the park keeps it running and operational for some time to come.

Here’s a long gone but not forgotten Knott’s classic.  Knott’s Bear-y Tales was designed by Disney Imagineer Wally Crump and opened in 1975. It was replaced by “Kingdom of the Dinosaurs” in 1987.  I believe this postcard features the Bear Family Raz, Elder, Boysen, Girlsen and Flapper Bear-y.  The “Voyage to the Iron Reef” dark ride now occupies the building that “Knott’s Bear-y Tales inhabited. 

The “Roaring 20’s Corkscrew” which opened in 1975 was the world’s first modern inverted roller coaster.  Apparently Knott’s thought a Vekoma Boomerang was going to refresh the area so they removed the Arrow Corkscrew to make room for it.  If you still want to ride this historical rollercoaster you can visit Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho.

Here’s another split-scene postcard featuring some of the attractions from the Roaring 20’s Airfield area.  Featured here is “Propeller Spin” a Hrubetz Super Round-Up ride, the “Sky Jump” an Intamin parachute drop ride and the “Loop Trainer Flying Machine” an Enterprise ride.  The Roaring 20’s area was replaced by The Boardwalk.

Hope you enjoyed another visit to Knott’s Berry Farm of the past.

Thank you Ken! I have the feeling this is going to be a popular article.


Nanook said...


Love these wonderful views of some of Knott's more-remembered attractions. Those boats we see at Fiesta Village kinda remind me of the [less 'showy'] boats one might see on the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, in Mexico City

Great post once again, Ken. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I believe the "boats" are static, and had tables in them. Knotts Beard Tales was designed by Rolly Crump, Wally Crump was his goatee wearing evil twin.


Chuck said...

I can't believe I beat TM! to a Knott's comment!

Eric is correct - the boats were really boat-themed seating areas that extended out into the water. I remember being disappointed as a 7-year-old to step into one and find that it wasn't floating. I also remember my parents being slightly annoyed that I kept pestering them until they finally let me climb into one. I guess they'd have been more amenable if I'd climbed in from the land side.

Knott's Bear-y Tales was simply wonderful. I can remember wondering why they had run the ride through the Knott's canning facility and how that affected operations.

Interesting to see the rockwork cropping up in the background behind the "Pilots Rec(reation) Area." Disney apparently doesn't have the corner on theme park puns.

I'm certain I've commented on this before, but's interesting to note how theme park designers take inspiration from each other. The first time I rode Splash Mountain, I noted obvious influences from both the Calico Log Flume (which, apparently, was not made from real Calico fabric) and Knott's Bear-y Tales (which, apparently, was not made from real bears, either). The old Big Thunder Trail had echoes of Cedar Point's Frontier Trail, and, of course, both Knott's and Cedar Point took earlier cues from Disneyland. With all of the inbreeding in the theme park biz, it's no wonder we've started seeing genetic anomalies like Pepto-Bismol pink castles.

Jimmy Stevens said...

Just a reminder that your posts are always appreciated. Have checked in faithfully for years. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying these, Ken and Major. These are edging out of my KBF era, but no less welcome for all of that. I remember the opening of the log flume very clearly and we were disappointed that we missed John Wayne by only a few days.

Beary tales, Fiesta Village, Roaring 20's etc, never saw those, so this is very interesting.

Thanks everyone.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, man, these postcards really make me miss the Knott’s of my youth - it had so much charm. Arguably the Fiesta Village took away from some of the “Ghost Town” vibe, but I found it very pleasing.

Eric, I agree, those boats had tables for eating. Uh oh, I better check and make sure that “Wally Crump” wasn’t my own mistake in retyping Ken’s info. Meanwhile… “Knott’s Beard Tales”… an entirely different attraction!

Chuck, now I am worrying about TokyoMagic! Where is he? I am sad to say that I NEVER saw Knott’s Bear-y Tales. And I agree with you, so many theme park designers hop from company to company, project to project, that they all start to feel alike in a way. Of course they will be based on a unique IP, but other than that, the ideas seem to be very simiilar.

Jimmy Stevens, thank you!

JG, this was right around when I moved away from California for a while, so I missed a lot of Knott’s stuff. Then I returned to CA, but for some reason didn’t go back to Knott’s for years and years. I feel bad about it now!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco definitely comes to mind when I see these boats.

Eric, thanks for that bit of info on the boats. I just don't remember them well enough to recall what they were. I was kind of hoping it was an actual boat ride, but I've never seen pics of them floating in the middle.

Chuck, I too can't believe you beat TM! to the punch on a Knott's post. It's true, the theme park designers surely seemed to borrow from each other. The first time I rode Splash Mountain, I thought WTH!!, didn't I go on this ride before? Yep. I sure did. I still prefer Knott's Log Ride over Disney's Splash Mtn.

Jimmy Stevens, I'm glad you enjoyed today's post and glad that you chimed in. GDB surely is an awesome place where even readers share their collections and interests. Nanook, Dr. Goat, Chuck,the Devlins and Mr X among others have all contributed greatly to this blog. I don't know of another blog with such reader participation. And of course it's all thanks to Major.

JG, While I remember the pre-gated era at Knott's, I have to admit it's the 1970's that really stood out strongly for me. The cool thing about Knott's is it has a very long history as an attraction, having even been around longer than the Mouse down the road. I always thought it would be cool to hear from someone who had been to Knott's in the 1940's.

Hope you all enjoyed! More Knott's to come!

K. Martinez said...

Major, Ha, ha! I didn't know what Eric was referencing until I read your comment. I just checked my back up docs and that was definitely my error. Guess I was dreaming of a trip to Wally World.

As far as Fiesta Village vs. Ghost Town goes, I have a special fondness for the 1970's theme park era so Fiesta Village and the "Roaring 20's" Area I find charming in that 70's theme park sort of way.

Again thanks for allowing me to share with your readers.

TokyoMagic! said...

Here I am! Yes, beat me! And thanks for worrying about me, Major! I have never seen that postcard of the Log Ride before! I agree with Chuck about the influences from the Calico Log Ride on Disney's Splash Mt. I was actually very surprised and also disappointed that Disney would even do a "log" flume attraction like so many of the other parks already had, let alone have it look just like the one at Knott's. As far as the front view is concerned, Splash Mt. is much too similar to the Calico Log Ride.

I remember those boats in Fiesta Village. As Chuck pointed out, they didn't float.....they were just static. The left (west) half of that building behind the boats is still standing today. The Merry Go Round was moved in 1987, and now sits to the right (east) of the building.

The Dragon Swing (in that split-scene Fiesta Village postcard) had it's ship's mast removed, for some reason and now it just has an ugly metal plate covering the hole where it used to be. I would love to know why decisions like that are made.

The crashed airplane was also removed from the roof of the arcade games. It's little details like that that used to separate Knott's from park's like Magic Mt. Knott's as an amusement park, has unfortunately become more and more "generic" over the years.

I still miss Bear-y Tales and the Corkscrew.......and even the Loop Trainer and Propeller Spin. I do hope they leave Montezooma's Revenge alone! As short as the ride is, I still enjoy it! Boomerang can leave any day's much too rough and I never understood why someone thought that was a good replacement for the Corkscrew. Boomerang is actually shorter in track length (935 ft. of track compared to the Corkscrew's 1,250 ft.) and they already had a coaster that went backwards. Plus, Corkscrew had that distinction of being "the world's first modern inverted roller coaster" as Ken pointed out. You would think they would want to hang on to that piece of history.....THEIR history. Who makes these decisions???

Thanks for sharing more of your vintage Knott's collection with us, Ken!

K. Martinez said...

TM!, glad you chimed in. You're the Knott's expert around here and your detailed information is always amazing. I too miss Bear-y Tales and Corkscrew. I was also saddened to hear they removed the old "Roaring 20's" marquee from the show building now housing "Voyage to the Iron Reef". Another small detail taken away. Bummer!

Unknown said...

Life and its timing is funny (peculiar more than ha-ha) since just yesterday I was chatting with a neighbor about how long it had been since either of us had been to Knott's, and then lo and behold here's the good Mr M. and his lovely input for the day. I was in a fool's paradise to think I might be the first to mention the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, Ha! Here? I think not. Or I think Knott. I sure did like that log ride and I'm happy it'll be there when I get around to a visit. I remember the directions: go to the bottom of the hill and turn right; drive 70 miles and then turn right on Beach Blvd.; then turn right into the parking lot.

Sunday Night said...

I never quite got the Fiesta Village. Nice quiet spot to rest though. Does anyone remember the building that showed a "wrap around" film of a roller coaster (located near Fiesta Village)?

Ber-y Tales was great. Kind of an old fashioned dark ride for the entire family! Lots of colorful things to see inside.

I liked the Roaring 20s section but as I remember it had very few trees and thus seemed rather sterile.

Of course the old Ghost Town will always be my favorite. Give me the button collection and Tiny TV over a coaster any day!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, thanks! Yeah, not only have they gotten rid of many of the unique attractions, but they have removed little details like that wonderful Roaring 20's sign. It's pretty much "Six Flags Over Buena Park" now.

Patrick, I'm curious. Which hill did you have to drive to the bottom of, before driving 70 miles to reach Beach Blvd.?

Sunday Night, The film that you are talking about was called "El Cinema Grande" and it was located in a domed theater on an island in the middle of Reflection Lake (the lake pictured in those two Fiesta Village postcards). Guests accessed the island and the theater by crossing over a concrete bridge. "El Cinema Grande" was added the same year as Montezooma's Revenge (in 1978), but I'm not sure when it was taken out.

Unknown said...

TM! up just up the hil here in Encinitas from 101. I'd probably cheat in there somewhere with a quick shortcut on I5 through Camp Pendleton, but not too far from the old days...

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh thanks, Patrick! I was just curious!

walterworld said...

Back in 1980 during my only visit to Knott's as a kid, I was bummed to find that those 'boats' in Fiesta Village did not float but were seating for the restaurant! Another reason that Disneyland is better I thought...

As memory serves, my Mom and brother enjoyed some Mexican food sitting in one of those boats while Dad, my other brother and I rode Montezuma's Revenge.

Thank You Ken and The Major!