Thursday, March 15, 2018

Back to Knott's, Pt. 4: Calico Mine Ride



When we last visited Knott's Berry Farm together, I left you at the entrance to the Calico Mine Company. Today, it's time to board the train!



Designed by Bud Hurlbut, this attraction has been entertaining guests since November 1960. And yes, guests of today need a simple common sense reminder:



Lighting can make all the difference:





These scenes with the animatronics look huge and are so impressive; would they be if the lights were on? Probably not, but that's all part of the illusion.



One of the almost fifty animatronic figures in this attraction:





My favorite scene: The Cavern/Heaven Room with the ethereal music playing in the background:





A brief trip back out into the sunshine:



Those vultures are just waiting for a snack:



And then back into the darkness...



for an explosive finale!



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3 comments:

Fifthrider said...

I'm glad they restored that a few years back. It doesn't get nearly half the recognition it deserves. Disney's mine train had flat land and plateaus to build around, but I always figured if they were forced to build into a smaller footprint, this would have been what it would have looked like. This is completely in par with any Disney attraction of that original Imagineer era. Bud knew what he was doing.

Matthew said...

@Fithrider... completely agree. That Bud knew what he was doing. One of the unique things is the attraction is primarily gravity driven. The engines had a battery that would put the drive wheels into motion to start the train moving... but then it was all downhill and the "engineer" had to spiel and ride a break to keep the train until you reached the "Chain hill" at the bottom (where we spoke of Philip Deidesheimer who created Square Set Timbering). You rolled into The Cavern/Heaven Room where it was relatively flat. The chain gave the train forward momentum and then you brought it to a stop, spieled, and then put the train into drive again as there was a slight uphill until you were reached the mid point of the upper view of the Glory Hole on your way toward that outside view/waterfall and trestle. Once mid way over the trestle it was really down hill from there and you could build up speed for the Dynamite Room and Cave-In Room.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Anonymous said...

A great attraction back when...a great attraction today. Always a favorite of mine! KS