Coast Rider and Surfside Glider will focus on family fun, not extreme thrills, a Knott’s spokeswoman says. It will also bring back an old ride, Pacific Scrambler.
–By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, November 2, 2012
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park sat out the theme park arms race last summer, when Disney’s California Adventure and Universal Studios unveiled new multimillion-dollar attractions to entice visitors.
But Knott’s showed Thursday that it is still in the chase for new visitors, announcing the addition next summer of two rides and the reintroduction of an attraction that has been in storage for four years.
The focus of the new attractions is family entertainment, not extreme thrills, Knott’s spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey said. The new rides will be added to the Boardwalk area of the park, a section designed to evoke a beach-side ambience.
“These are rides that families can ride together,” she said, declining to say how much the park plans to spend on the attractions.
The biggest will be the Coast Rider, a 1,339-foot-long roller coaster with a 52-foot summit. Also included will be the Surfside Glider, a ride with vehicles that hang from raised spinning metal arms.
The third attraction will be the Pacific Scrambler, a classic midway attraction that spins riders in opposite directions. It operated at the park for years but was put in storage in 2008 to make room for a small, steel roller coaster. Now it will be installed in another area of the park.
Knott’s last big addition, WindSeeker, a gondola ride that lifts riders 301 feet in the air, opened in summer 2011. But the ride malfunctioned in September, leaving 20 riders dangling in the air for almost four hours before maintenance crews lowered the gondolas. The ride remains closed.
Meanwhile, Knott’s Berry Farm’s bigger competitors opened their checkbooks wide last summer to keep visitors rushing through their turnstiles.
Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim opened Cars Land, a 12-acre expansion that the theme park hopes will boost slumping attendance at Disneyland’s sister park.
Universal Studios Hollywood unleashed its latest tourist magnet, Transformers: the Ride 3D, to capitalize on the popularity of the “Transformer” movies.