EntertainmentTheme Parks

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopens Calico Mine Ride

Buena Park, CA - Knott’s Berry Farm welcomed young and old miners to explore the new and improved Calico Mine Ride as it welcomed eager visitors to explore the renovated design since its first opening on November 22, 1960 and is ready to explore just in time to kick off summer.

The project was led by Lara Hanneman Director of Technical Production for Knott’s Berry Farm. Hanneman is the project designer for the renovation of Camp Snoopy and the project manager on the Calico Mine Ride refurbishment and enhancements to the classic Knott’s attraction. Her team that consisted of lighting designer – James Sidler, art director – Jeff Shadic, audio – Lawrence McCoy (re-mastering) and the attractions maintenance department Glenn Miyoshi and Kelley Roberts have worked hard on bringing new life one of the parks first attractions.

In addition to their hard work Knott’s enlisted the talents of Garner Holt Productions on brand new animatronics for the attraction. Both the teams from Knott’s and Garner Holt worked relentlessly since January to revamp the beloved and historic attraction while preserving California’s history of the great gold rush which includes numerous richly-detailed animatronic figures, state-of-the-art lighting, audio, and one-of-a-kind special effects.

An old miner greats you inside the tunnel just as you embark on your journey through the mountain as he forewarns you of looming dangers along the rails inside the mine. Even a caged yellow animatronic canary is seen as you reach the “chain lift” as well as other wildlife including a donkey to carry the miners’ loot, bats, and a faithful dog to accompany you along the way.

Inside the cave you come across an eerie lake full of blind fish and glowing puddles and small pools of water illuminating the pitch dark train ride and into a beautifully lighted and celestial scenery of the growing stalactites and stalagmites. Vultures await passengers at the top of the mountain but not for long as once again you enter the cave but soon explosions create a chaotic exit as you escape the explosive dynamite and back into safety to the unloading dock.

The eight minute journey aboard fully refurbished, hand painted mining cars featuring new speakers and a digital amplification system, pulled by beautifully-detailed locomotives. Another new feature to the train cars to enhance the guest experience was the installation of  an all-new on-ride narration and audio effects as you travel exploring the depths of the mine. The ambience of the ride helps you to drift back in time of the great California gold rush and plants a slight hope to strike it rich.

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Silvia Pereida

Silvia Pereida is a Cal State Fullerton graduate with a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Latin American Studies. She enjoys traveling including trips to Mexico, Colombia and South Korea. She currently contributing to M.U.S.E. a multimedia digital magazine as Executive Producer, Writer, On-camera talent, Reporter, Field Producer, Assignment Editor, Graphics, plus more.

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