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Knott's Berry Farm rises above the competition with its new WindSeeker ride

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Knott's Berry Farm rises above the competition with its new WindSeeker ride

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Southern California is an incredibly competitive market. Especially when it comes to themed entertainment.

So what with the Disneyland Resort rolling out its new World of Color nighttime water spectacular this past June and Mickey's Soundsational Parade & DCA's "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure" coming on line in 2011 ... Not to mention that "King Kong 360 3-D" sequence that just got added to Universal Hollywood's tram tour as well as that "Transformers: The Ride" attraction that will be opening on the Lower Lot in 2011 ... Well, you just knew that Knott's Berry Farm was going to have to do something in response.

Copyright 2010 Universal Studios. All rights reserved

But who knew that America's 1st theme park would go to such heights in order to tower over its competition? Pulling down its 225 foot-tall Sky Cabin attraction (which – back when it was initially built in 1976 -- was the highest structure in all of Orange County) to make way for the $5 million WindSeeker.

This 301 foot-tall structure (Which is just one of four WindSeekers that the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company will be installing at some of its North America theme parks in 2011. With the other three versions of this ride being built at Cedar Point, Kings Island and Canada’s Wonderland) will take 64 passengers aloft at a time. Where they will then experience the sensation of weightlessness as they spin around at a 45 degree angle.

Copyright 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. All rights reserved

Of course, given that so many folks have fond memories of Sky Cabin and the spectacular view that this ride gave them of Buena Park, Knott’s hopes that they’ll be able to get this Boardwalk  favorite up and running once more so that people can then get in some last rides. However, given the maintenance issues that have been bedeviling this 34 year-old attraction over the past few years (Knott’s Sky Cabin broke down back in June of 2008, leaving 24 riders stranded high in the air. Who then had to be rescued by the Orange County Fire Department with 100-feet aerial ladders) … one wonders if that’s actually going to happen.

As for WindSeeker, this ride will be designed & manufactured by Mondial, a company that's based in the Netherlands which has been creating thrill rides for the amusement park industry since 1987. Mondial is best known for rides like its Giant Wheels, which skillfully mixes safety, heights and thrills.

Copyright 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
All rights reserved

Anywho … The current plan calls for Knott’s to begin dismantling Sky Cabin sometime after Halloween Haunt wraps for this year. With the giant K that stood on top of this structure for decades then being put on display inside of this theme park as a place yet to be determined.

And speaking of Halloween Haunt … Tickets for the 38th annual edition of Knott's Scary Farm (which officially opens on Friday, September 24th and then runs for 27 horrifying nights) just went on sale.

Copyright 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. All rights reserved

If you'd like to experience the world's largest Halloween-themed amusement park event (Which will feature 3 new mazes -- Fallout Shelter (in 3D), Sleepy Hollow Mountain, and Virus Z as well as a brand-new scare zone,  Necropolis - you should probably purchase your tickets ASAP. Especially since Halloween Haunt traditionally tends to sell out as we enter the final weeks of October.

Mind you, there's another reason that you consider buying your tickets to Knott's Scary Farm early and online. Given that admission to selected nights of Halloween Haunted will only cost $33. If you buy these tickets via the official Knott's website.

Copyright 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. All rights reserved

Otherwise admission to Knott's Scary Farm will cost you $50 if you just walk up and purchase your tickets in advance at that park's Guest Relations window. And if you're thinking about waiting 'til the actual night of the event before you purchase your admission ... Well, those Halloween Haunt tickets will cost $56 apiece.

So - in this case, anyway - it pays to plan ahead. Especially if you're looking to get the maximum amount of scream out of your theme park dollar.

Copyright 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. All rights reserved

For further information on WindSeeker and/or the 38th annual edition of Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt, I suggest that you head on over to the official Knott's Berry Farm website.

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  • Sadly, it looks like Knott's Berry Farm won't be the only park to debut Mondial's WindSeeker next summer.  This morning, Canada‚Äôs Wonderland (located in Vaughan, Ontario) announced that it will also be breaking ground on its version in the fall of 2010 in preparation for its 2011 season.


  • Fallout Shelter was designed by Daniel Miller, a former Disneyland restaurants cast member!

  • this whole posting sounds like an ad from Knotts.

    no word about how lame the ride is compared to what the other parks will be debuting.

    no word about the legal dispute between funtime and cedar point.

    and the rider will not feel any weightlessness at all, they will moreover experience positive Gs.

  • It does appear to basically be pasted from a press release, but it is still amusement news.

    I think it's safe to say Canada's Wonderland won't impact Knott's attendance.  This is a good addition for Knott's.  Moderate hourly capacity and family friendly thrills.  Cedar Point and King's Island are also getting nearly identical rides.  Maybe Cedar Fair got buy a three get one free special?

    The lawsuit regarding the patent for the competing StarFlyer (www.funtime.com.au/.../index2.htm) is likely to be dismissed as the Mondial ride is vastly superior to the StarFlyer since WindSeeker uses spinning arms instead of spinning swings.

  • Kings Island in Cincinnati is also putting this in for next year.

  • I don't know how WindSeeker can compete with the offerings from Universal and Disney. It's a bit of a let down. And there's no ground breaking, or at least the ground breaking is minimal since the Sky Cabin tower is already in place. It is probably worth my time to visit The Little Mermaid and Transformers next year.

  • As is Cedar Point, so basically all the big name Cedar Fair parks (KBF, CW, KI). Any word on whether Carowinds is getting it too?

  • Wow, how innovative. I'm sure it'll blow Little Mermaid out of the water!


  • I went to Knott's this year--first time in about 20 years.

    I don't think I'll be going back.  I mean, ever.  It was nice to see the Ghost Town and the Bud Hurlbut rides.  Those are beautiful--though in poor repair.  But the park is a big chunk of cement with rides fashioned from skeletal steel.  There's no way I'm getting on a swing ride that spins 100 feet in the air.  Sounds awful.

  • here's the video:


    The dumbest part: the old skycabin is next to a pedestrian walkway.  Does Cedar Fair have any idea how many cameras, video cameras, sun glasses, pocketbooks, etc., are going to be tossed to the ground, with some likely to hit other guests, from a 100-foot spinning swing ride.  I would say that the first lawsuit from a guest struck by a flying digital camera will happen within the first three months of this attraction being open.  Any other guesses?  Maybe they should ask Disney how many digital cameras fall from the Maliboomer each WEEK?  Seriously, did no one think this through???

  • To deejay - Cedar Fair sold off Carowinds and Kings Dominion a couple of year's ago.

  • CedarFair still owns Carowinds and Kings Dominion.  Both parks put in large Dale Ernhardt "Intimidator" themed roller coasters for 2010.  CedarFair has no plans to sell either park.  They did briefly put Worlds of Fun and Valleyfair! up for sale, but have since taken them off the market and plan to continue operating them as normal.   CedaFair also owns Cedar Point, Kings Island, Canada's Wonderland, Dorney Park,  Michigan's Adventure, and California's Great America, as well as Knott's.  They have an operational agreement (though don't own the property) for Gilroy Gardens.

  • Just one more example of how much Knott's bites.

    This place hasn't been good ever since Cedar Fair bought them and ruined it.

  • Sheesh. One look at the concept art is enough to get me to pass on this one!

    Anyway, this article reminded me of another attraction that used to be part of the Sky Cabin tower - the Parachute Drop. Basically, you stood on a platform with a four or five foot tall fence around it attached to a wire and a deployed parachute above the platform. They took you up to the top of the tower using the cable, then paid the cable out as the parachute slowed your fall. No seats, no restraints, as I remember.

    It was a version of a classic attraction from the early part of the 20th century - how the freak Knott's ever got that attraction past OSHA and the lawyers I'll never know. These days, I don't think that an amusement park could even propose something like that without giving their lawyers a heart attack.

  • The Windseeker is not Knott's response to all the other new SoCal additions. Knotts is building a new roller coaster for 2012.

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