Knott’s Berry Farm Announces Ghost Town’s 75th Anniversary Plans

 

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

In 2016, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town will celebrate its 75th anniversary. GhostRider will be refurbished and receiving new GCI Millennium Flyer trains, a new stage is coming, Ghost Town Alive is coming and much much more. In addition to the Ghost Town offerings, a complete refurbishment of the legendary Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant will be completed in 2016.

Here’s a video announcing all the new additions:

Ghost Town Alive!

In summer 2016, Ghost Town Alive! will allow guests young and young at heart to live the west through inventive new ways to interact with characters and environments as each day, a different story will unfold throughout all of Ghost Town. From pledging one’s allegiance to notorious bandits, to saving the day alongside courageous cowboys, guests play an active role in shaping the events of the day. Every evening, the day’s story culminates with a town wide celebration of 75 years of Calico.

Walter Knott’s love for the Wild West was evident in the attention to detail that he put into the peek-ins peppered throughout town. Next summer, select peek-ins will be transformed into authentic working establishments, and guests will be welcomed to step inside. At the Barber Shop, guests can walk in and meet Calico’s trusted barber who’s rife with town gossip.

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

In the Sheriff’s office, guests can try their luck at a game of cards with the sneaky Sheriff and other Calico townsfolk. Here, guests can also decide whether they join the lawmen to hunt down the bandits or choose the criminal life and end up with their face on a handmade wanted poster. In the heart of Ghost Town, the Barn will close on April 4, and when it reopens for Ghost Town Alive!, it will have been transformed into a working horse stable where guests can visit with Calico’s friendly equestrian team.

NEW STAGE

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

Construction is underway on a new Calico Stage, which will be moved across the train tracks from its current location. The new stage will be in the area where Screamin’ Swing was. The stage, themed after an old abandoned mine, will feature an all-new show for summer 2016. The standing viewing area for the new stage is nearly twice as large as the current viewing area. The new venue is scheduled to open in spring of 2016.

Calico Saloon and Park

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

When the new Calico Stage opens, the space that the existing stage and viewing area currently occupy will become Calico Park. There will be a small stage for live performances, and twinkling lights adorning the trees after the sun sets. Calico Park is set to open in Summer 2016.

Adjacent to Calico Park stands the iconic Calico Saloon, which will feature a raucous new show next summer. A new western stunt show will also debut in summer 2016. Both the Calico Saloon and Wagon Camp will close in early 2016 in for renovations and new show preparations.

Panning for Gold

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

Panning for Gold returns to its original Ghost Town home next summer. It will be near the Ghost Rider queue line!

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant Refurbishment

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant will receive a complete refurbishment in 2016. The project will refresh and preserve the original “tea room” dining room and bring cosmetic and thematic upgrades throughout the restaurant’s other dining areas. The restaurant will close on January 4 until the grand re-opening in spring 2016. During construction, Chicken To Go, the counter service take out dining location that serves staples of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant menu will remain open.

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

Throughout the restaurant’s four main dining rooms and two banquet rooms, all furniture, flooring, lighting, and décor will be renovated. The large dining room to the right of the main entrance will be remodeled with a look inspired by Mrs. Knott’s kitchen pantry, as the room will be adorned with a potbelly stove and nods to Cordelia’s home kitchen, evoking themes of warmth, family, and togetherness. The main dining room accessible from the courtyard entrance will be divided into two smaller dining rooms, with a theme inspired by farmhouse motifs.

Also, a new outdoor seating area on the restaurant’s north side will be added. Guest will be able to see beautiful and unique views of the Marketplace fountain, the park’s Ghost Town, and the newly restored GhostRider roller coaster.

The busy kitchen that services one of the most popular restaurants in the world will also be modernized, while the culinary team carefully preserves the recipes and techniques that make the restaurant so special. The restaurant will feature a new, welcoming lobby area, where diners who provide a cell phone number will be sent a text message when their table is ready, allowing more time and flexibility to explore the Knott’s Marketplace or to grab a drink around the restaurant’s new full service bar, which will replace the restaurant’s Garden Room.

Were it not for Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, Knott’s Berry Farm would not be the beloved, world class theme park it has become over the past 75 years. To entertain the long lines of guests waiting for a seat at his wife, Cordelia’s, popular restaurant, Walter Knott began erecting a collection of modest old west buildings that established the basis of Ghost Town. As Ghost Town looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in 2016, the land that celebrates the old west, and the fried chicken that made it all possible resonate with guests as much today as they did in 1941.

And the most important news….

GhostRider’s Refurbishment! 

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

People have been really wanting this for a long time! From 1998 to around 2002, Ghost Rider was many people’s #1 coaster. But since 2003, the ride has been known for being rough. Since September 2015, work has been in progress to completely restore and preserve this classic wooden rollercoaster. The project is a partnership with Great Coasters International and includes re-profiling and a complete wooden re-tracking of the entire 4,533 ft. long track. The layout will remain the same.

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

All of Ghost Rider’s current PTC trains will be replaced with  new Millennium Flyer trains designed to look like mining cars, each with gold, silver, or copper accents. As part of the construction, the mid-course brake run will be removed, allowing riders to enjoy a relentless, ride from the moment the train descends the first 108 ft. drop to the moment it returns to the station’s new, smooth magnetic brake run. GhostRider was the last attraction commissioned by the Knott family, and this restoration project ensures that the family’s final gift to the park will continue to thrill generations of thrill seekers to come.
Here’s a look at the front of Ghost Rider’s trains. I do have to say, they look like the best Millennium Flyers out there!

photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

Here’s a look at the side of GhostRider’s trains:

Photo: Knott's Berry Farm

Photo: Knott’s Berry Farm

With a refurbished Ghost Rider, a renovated Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant and more, 2016 will definetly be a GREAT year at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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