Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas In Ghost Town

Here is some of the wonderful Christmas décor in Ghost Town and on Grand Avenue:

This is the North Rock Garden, located on the north side of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Multi-colored poinsettias below the windmill and next to the Catawampus

Looking down Main Street

Old Betsy

The windmill at the end of Main Street with a snowflake projected onto it. In previous years the snowflake was stationary; now it spins in the opposite direction in which the windmill is spinning, creating a neat effect!

A nighttime shot of the Catawampus with the poinsettias in the background

The Birdcage Theatre and the calliope. Until January 6th, the incredibly talented cast is performing “A Christmas Carol” and “The Gift of the Magi.” I highly recommend seeing both shows!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous new year!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Calico Mine Ride 52nd Anniversary

Happy 52nd anniversary to the Calico Mine Ride!

I have had a digital camera for 10 years now, and from comparing photos that I have taken of the miners over the past decade I have observed that the miners have had a few wardrobe changes over the years! Let me show you what I mean…

Here is one of the miners panning for gold in the Lake Room. Although he has worn the same outfit for the past 9 years, you can see that he has changed his hat a couple of times!

Here is another miner operating a crank in the shoring room. Although he has worn the same outfit for the past 8 years, you can see that he has changed his hat a few times as well!

Just a little further along in the shoring room is a miner driving a stake with a hammer. As you can see, over the past 8 years he has worn the same outfit, but he has changed his hat a few times as well!

Just before the mine train exits out the opening to go outdoors and across the bridge, there is a miner to the right. As you can see he has had a wardrobe change!

Here is an exterior photo of the Calico Mine Ride that I took during Knott’s Scary Farm of 2012. The interior and exterior were illuminated in green, and the ride was themed to the green witch!

This is one of Bud Hurlbut’s string bow ties that he often wore.

Hope you enjoyed!

“If you will just raise the little seat by the door…”

Thursday, September 6, 2012

40th Halloween Haunt Museum

This year for the 40th annual Halloween Haunt, Knott’s has opened a museum that pays tribute to the first 40 years of the world’s largest Halloween party! The museum is located on School Road in the building which used to be Mrs. Murphy’s Boarding House. It is open during every night of the event, in addition to regular park hours!

On Friday, August 31, a ribbon cutting was held for the new museum. In attendance were many Haunt creators and designers, along with many important people behind Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Scary Farm!

The museum features many props, artwork, souvenirs, costumes, and décor from past Haunts! All are welcome to visit the museum, and I highly recommend it!

At the same time I realize that many of my readers do not reside near Knott’s Berry Farm and/or may not be able to visit the museum. I created a video with those of you in mind. This video features several photos that I took at the ribbon cutting and also photos that I took of several of the items on display inside the museum. Enjoy!

My highest praise to all those who have created, planned, designed, illustrated, built, decorated, scared, entertained, promoted, or contributed in any way toward Knott’s Scary Farm over the first 40 years! May there be many more!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Timber Mountain Log Ride - Illuminated Exterior At Night

A couple of weeks ago we watched the last logs drop down the flume on the Timber Mountain Log Ride. A few moments after the very last log dropped, the water pumps were shut off and the water in the lake below began to calm. I took this photo just moments after the water pumps had been shut off:

A few minutes later the water in the lake had calmed to the point in which it was as smooth as glass, allowing us to see the reflection of the mountain in the water:

Thank you, Bud Hurlbut!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Windseeker 1-Year Anniversary

Knott’s broke ground for the Windseeker ride in January of 2011. The ride was originally going to replace the Sky Cabin ride.

Although the iconic Sky Cabin was spared, there was one nighttime element of Knott’s that was sacrificed; the gorgeous colored light bulbs that were strung over the eating area of La Cocinita Restaurant in Fiesta Village. Here is a photo that I took in December of 2009 of those lights:

Here are a few photos that I took during the construction of the ride:

I took this photo on May 28, 2011 from the Buena Park Post Office on La Palma Avenue. This photo was assurance that Windseeker was not replacing the Sky Cabin! To the left you can see sections of the mast and to the right you can see pieces of the hub.

This photo was also taken in May 28, 2011. Four of the mast sections had been assembled so far. You can also see “Mr. Crane” which was used a lot during the assembly of the ride.

I took this photo on June 8, 2011; further assurance that Windseeker was not replacing the Sky Cabin! The red crown on the top of the mast had not yet been attached.

I took this photo on July 16, 2011. The mast assembly, the hub assembly, and the outrigger assembly had been completed. The gondola beams had been attached; however the gondolas had not yet been attached.

On August 18, 2011, Windseeker opened to the public, and I was there on opening night. The LED lights on the outriggers and gondola beams light up in sequence and create patterns, making for great opportunities with long shutter shots!

I took the next three long-shutter photographs on opening night:

Enjoy as always!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Kissing Couple at the Calico Saloon

An elegant detail in Ghost Town was recently restored! When the sun goes down, take a look at the little window on the side of the Calico Saloon. You can see it from Stage Road.

Inside of the window is an animated silhouette of a couple kissing illuminated by flickering candlelight!

Here is a short video that I shot of the kissing couple:

Many thanks to Christopher Merritt, author of “Knott’s Preserved” for the next two photos!

This photo was taken from Market Street in Ghost Town in the early 1950s. If you look down the street you will see Stage Road running perpendicular and the very same window on the side of the Calico Saloon:

This is a close-up of the same photo, and you can see the kissing couple in the window! This couple has been around since at least the 1950s!

Enjoy as always!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Corkscrew Before the Airfield Expansion

This is my first post in which I am sharing some of my vintage Knott's photos. Although I was born in the mid ‘70s I did not have the pleasure of going into the main park until 1984. I have been purchasing vintage photos and slides at garage sales, swap meets, etc., for years now; long before I had even heard of Charles Phoenix! I will admit that I am much more of an observer than a historian. If any of you would like to share any information about these photos please feel free to do so, and I will gladly make updates!

Both of these photos of the Corkscrew either had to have been taken in 1975 (the year in which this ride and the “Roaring ‘20s” themed area opened) or early 1976 (the year in which the “Roaring ‘20s Airfield” area opened. Many thanks to Tokyomagic! who observed that the Sky Jump is not in these photos, which was part of the Airfield expansion.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"If You Will Just Raise the Little Seat by the Door..."

The next evening that you ride the Calico Mine Ride, let the other guests exit down the stairs before you. When you do walk down the stairs, take a moment and look off to your left…

Proceed about 10-15 feet down the path and take a moment to look up…

Thank you, Bud Hurlbut!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy 43rd Anniversary to the Log Ride!

Happy 43rd anniversary to the Timber Mountain Log Ride!

I have had a digital camera for 10 years now, and from comparing photos that I have taken of the loggers over the past decade I have observed that Knott’s has the best-dressed loggers! Let me show you what I mean…

Here is one of the loggers operating the two-man crosscut saw in Scene #1, near the end of the conveyor belt. As you can see he has had quite a few wardrobe changes over the years!

Here is another logger operating a two-man crosscut saw in Scene #2 (the room that has that wonderful woodsy smell!). He has had a few wardrobe changes, and if you look in the background you can see that the train engineer has had a few changes as well!

On the right side of the photo above dated 2011 you will see a lady in a purple and white dress. That is Shaky Sadie from The Haunted Shack!

Scene 9: “Hey, you on the log! Hold on tight! Rough water moving fast!”

Not only has this logger had wardrobe changes throughout the years, but sometime around 2010 his voice recording was changed. Here is a short video of footage that I shot in both 2003 and 2010:

Many thanks to Flickr.com member “jericl cat” for submitting this next photo from a vintage Knott’s guidebook! Here is a one-in-a-million shot of John Wayne and his son, John Ethan, who were the first two guests to ride the Log Ride on July 11, 1969!

Here is an exterior photo of the Log Ride (or should I say “Sleepy Hollow Mountain”) that I took during Knott’s Scary Farm of 2011. The exterior was illuminated with green, blue, and purple lights that evening:

Hope you enjoyed!

“Sit down!”

Monday, July 2, 2012


Welcome to my first post of “Knott’s After Dark”! If you have a blog and would like for me to add you to my list of favorite blogs, please let me know, and if you could do the same for me that would be wonderful! I am an enthusiast in the rich history of the Knott family and of the park, and I visit the park often. I collect and sell vintage light bulbs and I also enjoy nighttime photography, so this blog will mainly focus on the park when it is lit up at night!

I really enjoy going to Knott’s in the summer! The park is open later, and we visit the park in the evenings. The temperature is cooler and I can take nighttime shots!

I took this close-up shot of the bottle house on June 28. I am on the outside of the building, and the interior lights are illuminating the bottles. This is a long-shutter shot, and I also enhanced this photo in Photoshop.

If you have this 1984-1985 Knott’s Berry Farm 18-month calendar, you can reuse it now, beginning on July 1st through the end of 2013!

The days of each month will correlate from now until the end of 2013; however some holidays will vary. For example, Easter Sunday of 1985 was on April 7th, while Easter of 2013 will be on March 31st.