Written by Garett Simcox. Photography by Gabriel Montoya
2016 is going to be a big year for Knott’s Berry Farm. The announcement of a multi-million dollar restoration of Ghost Town has gotten many people excited. This restoration will mark the 75th anniversary of the park, which will bring much needed life back into the streets of Ghost Town. You can’t get much more alive than Ghost Town Alive. Live actors are set to be scattered through the streets of Ghost Town as well as throughout the park’s look-ins.
This is the area for the new Calico Square Stage. It is already bulldozed and ready for concrete. This was formerly occupied by The Screamin’ Swing, an upcharge thrill ride manufactured by S&S. This new location of the Calico Square Stage may be strange to some, but it should help with the pedestrian traffic.
As we head outside the park, we can see the progress made on Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The quaint establishment will be receiving a face lift for 2016. A much needed renovation on the aged décor of the restaurant.
The place has basically been gutted down to the studs and concrete. We are talking a floor to ceiling restoration here. No more tacky wallpaper or oak accents for this joint. It’s all gone.
Even the area outside of the restaurant is under construction. This little courtyard is located catty corner to Virginia’s Giftshop.
Heading inside the park again, we find the new Panning for Gold exhibit. This area is the former Extended Queue of Ghostrider (see what I did there?)..
This is actually the orginal location of the Panning for Gold exhibit. The rocky entrance to the wooden roller coaster was once the entrance to the gold panning. When Ghostrider was added to the park in
1998, the gold panning exhibit was moved to the location it is in today. It currently sits over by the school house.
Speaking of Ghostrider…
Ghostrider is well into its restoration by Great Coasters International. All 4,533 feet of track have been completely replaced, most still awaiting metal topper track. The roller coaster is set to receive brand new Millenium Flyer Trains. These should really amp up the coasters 2:40 minute layout. This will also cut out the need for the mid-course brake run, adding even more thrills to the last half of the double out and back coaster.
As you can see, the crossbeams, track and side rails have all been completely replaced. That fresh new wood stands out like a sore thumb compared to the old grey wood from before. Id call it a glimmer of hope for this once rough Woodie.
New wood! New wood everywhere! This is located on the over pass of Grand Ave:
This is the second return of the double out and back layout. All the wood has been installed and now awaiting metal topper track.
Everything from the pre lift to the break run has gotten some TLC. This restoration is exactly what the doctor ordered
As it looks now, everything is on course for the Memorial Day deadline. There is so much to look forward to for the 75th anniversary of Ghost Town. Ghost Town Alive will bring magic to the streets. The new Calico stage will rock the socks off of the people of Calico Square. Ghostrider will finally be enjoyable again! It’s just wonderful that Cedar Fair it taking the time and money to preserve the most iconic parts of Knott’s. After all of this work, Ghost Town will ready to enjoy for generations to come.
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