Saturday, June 1, 2013

Knott's Berry Farm Timber Mountain Log Ride Re-Open after Complete Renovation

Knott's Berry Farm Timber Mountain Log ride is, with the Calico Mine ride, Knott's most legendary ride and it has re-opened yesterday after many months of complete renovation and with new audio-animatronics from Garner Holt, the company also producing AAs for Walt Disney Imagineering.

                         Above: Knott's Berry Farm Timber Mountain Log Ride circa 1970's

With all its animatronics, and although the ride has a totally different theme, Timber Mountain Log ride is to Knott's Berry Farm what Pirates of Caribbean is to Disneyland - the ride opened just a few years after POTC, in 1969 - and was design dby Bud Hurlbut, on the picture below in 1967 with Walter Knott, showing him the ride model.

Bud Hurlbut did several renderings for the ride, and you know how much we love renderings at D&M, don't you?, so here are some of them.

Below, some pictures of the ride original scenes with animals and loggers animatronics.

John Wayne, who was a friend of Walter Knott, was there with his son Ethan when the ride had its 1969 Grand Opening and the opening was a tremendous success.

For those of you who are not familiar with the ride history here is a great first video from Knotts which will tell you more about the ride and its creator Bud Hurlbut. And you'll also see in the video legendary WDI Imagineer Tony Baxter, a great fan of Knott's and who created Disneyland's first log ride, the beloved Splash Mountain.

The ride had its first major renovation since its 1969 opening and it's to Garner Holt Productions that Knott's asked to create new Audio-Animatronics as you will see in this next video which will take you for a private tour inside Garner Holt Productions.

The rendering below shows one of the new scenes created by Garner Holt Productions.

In this next video, Bill Butler, creative director at Garner Holt Productions explain you what has been their work on the ride renovation.

Last Thursday was the big day for the new opening and on that same day Knott's celebrated too the opening of the Boardwalk Pier. Some technical problems avoided the ride to re-open on that day but you'll see both grand openings on the video below as well as some views of the Timber Mountain original model in the excellent exhibit which celebrates the ride history along with 1969 original artworks.

And the new ride itself, you ask, how is it? Well, you're will see it by yourself with this great video filmed by ThemeParkHD last friday when the ride finally opened! The log is sometime going a bit quickly but the new audio-animatronics looks great anyway!

Picture: copyright Knott's Berry Farm - Garner Holt Productions

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