This past weekend, we were invited out to a special launch event for Knott’s Berry Farm’s newly-renovated Calico Mine Ride. The mine ride opened in 1960 and was the brainchild of veteran ride designer Bud Hurlbut. Hurlbut also designed the train ride which ran at the now-defunct Santa’s Village amusement park as well as the Timber Mountain Log Ride also found at Knott’s Berry Farm. Over the course of time since its launch, the mine ride had slowly been showing its age – with a plethora of effects simply not functioning anymore.
Knott’s Berry Farm teamed up with audio-animatronics and effects creators Garner Holt Productions and worked for six months in updating the ride. Garner Holt Productions has worked on a whole host of attractions – including Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Holiday and Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic Park ride. The six month process saw updates to all of the mine ride’s effects and animatronics – even adding several new elements to the ride experience.
After getting the chance to ride it, I can safely type that the wait was worth it. Knott’s Berry Farm and Garner Holt have done an outstanding job in making the ride feel new while, at the same time, keeping its original charm. I highly recommend you get over to Buena Park, CA and hit Knott’s Berry Farm. You will not be disappointed.