Thursday, April 22, 2010
Knotts Preserved: What it took to get me there, pt. 3
Yup—more Knotts today! At this point in the day, Tokyo Magic continued to give me his personal guided tour of Knotts inside the park. The attraction I was most excited about riding was the Calico Mine Train, as it’s probably the closest thing to being back on the old Nature’s Wonderland from Disneyland. First photo for today is a vintage 1961 view showing the exterior.
Our driver did a fantastic job with the spiel; entertaining and totally in character.
It was a little difficult to shoot on this attraction, as the majority is inside the mine and fairly dark. Still, I did my best to capture the “wonders” of what the guests could see. The “glory hole” was pretty cool—staring down deep into the mine and seeing all the workers trying to find gold.
My favorite part was the Rainbow Caverns:
Even though it wasn’t a “thrill” attraction, this ride still has its charm and is a lot of fun. The Log Ride was up next, and it was very fun, too. It actually moves at a faster clip than Splash Mountain. I have to say I didn’t really miss the singing animals, either!
Continuing to savor the older parts of Knotts, I took a ride on the train.
We were hijacked by these unsavory characters from the Wild West (I love that kind of stuff!)
Loved the depot, too!
I continued to snap a few more in the park; this fountain was originally a prop used in the movie “Hello, Dolly”:
The saloon was very cool too. In the inevitable comparison to Disneyland, I have to say that Ghost Town (despite the plastic trashcans) has more of an authentic vintage flavor because of its dilapidation than Frontierland, which often appears too squeaky clean. Heck, Knotts even has a house of ill-repute!
The next part of the day was a presentation by Chris Merritt at the Bird Cage, featuring a multi-media show that was edited down from its original 3 hour length (heck, I wish i could have seen that version!). Outside the Bird Cage theater, Bob Gurr, Rolly Crump, and Chris Crump were being interviewed.
Next door at the schoolhouse, vintage multi-media legend Charles Phoenix was being chastised by the local schoolmarm:
More bloggers showed up for Chris’ presentation (included Ken from Outside the Berm):
Chris & Eric’s presentation was hijacked by some shady varmints from Ghost Town:
Chris and Eric promised to be good, so they were able to move ahead with the rest of the program:
Before the show began, Marty Keithley (Knotts GM) presented both Eric & Chris with a beautiful framed memento with a montage of Knotts attraction posters:
After Chris’ entertaining show and q&a session, everyone moved over to the restaurant for the famous Fried Chicken dinner. I am happy to report that it was fantastic! Love the chicken and especially the boysenberry pie! Heck, I even enjoyed the berry punch—so what if it meant I overdid my annual quote of high fructose corn syrup?!?
Still more to come!
More Knotts photos at my main website.
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