Theme Parks

Knott’s Timber Mountain Log Ride – Part 1

First built in 1969, and completely refurbished in 2013, the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm is a wonderful thrill, and an important piece of American Amusement History. The whole CoasterDad Team was lucky enough to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of this American Treasure. In Part 1, we start upstairs with a tour of the animatronics that make the ride such a wonderful experience.

CoasterDad Team Upstairs At Log Ride

Glenn Shows The CoasterDad Team Log Ride Animatronics

What you may not (Knott) know is that the so-called props in this ride are genuine pieces of American Mining History. Real steam engines have been refurbished and brought to life through the brilliance and creativity of the Knott’s Animation Team. The spinning gears of the millwork are actually made of wood patterns once used to forge real steel gears for mills and mines.

Glen, who was kind enough to show us around, has worked at “The Farm” for 36 years, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re ever in Southern California, make sure to enjoy at least a day at Knott’s Berry Farm. Definitely a CoasterDad favorite!

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Our Very First “Lyle Chat”

Every Saturday, Lyle and I hop in the car and I drive him to Parkour. It’s a wonderful time for us to catch up, tell jokes, ask questions, tell stories, explore ideas. This Saturday, I put up a camera to capture some of the fun. My job as a Dad is to be there for the kids, and to listen. I know I’m totally biased, and it’s entirely possible – likely, even – that this video isn’t much more than a glorified home movie. But, I thought I’d put up this “Lyle Chat” just the same, and ask your opinion.

Lyle Chats are where most of the CoasterDad ideas and experiments come from. As you know, I pretty much do what my kids want, and I try to guide, encourage, protect along the way.

In today’s Lyle Chat, Lyle and I are talking about a possible trip Atlanta where I may finally get to meet a childhood Champion of mine, and while we’re at it, visit Six Flags Over Georgia.

You also may notice that this video is the first time we’ve shared Lyle’s Periodic Table of Roller Coasters. As you may know, Lyle is no stranger to The Elements.  So, when he adapted the periodic table to better explain the world of roller coasters, you can bet he did an amazing job.  Each coaster in the table is there for a reason, and is organized in a way that would make Dmitri Mendeleev himself proud.

We’ll have a lot more talk about the table in the next few days, and we might even put it on a t-shirt! Wouldn’t that be cool!

Stay tuned, and come back often, because we’ve got some really cool stuff coming down the pike. Our next experiment is guaranteed to amaze and delight you. I look forward to knowing what you think of our first Lyle Chat. Hopefully, you’ll find it as engaging and fun as I do!

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Knott’s Berry Farm Review – Here’s What’s Best

Did you know that Walter Knott invented the boysenberry? Well, he did. He spliced together raspberry, blackberry, dewberry, and loganberry plants, and came up with boysenberries. He’s also said to have invented the American Theme Park, although another Walter might disagree. Today, all the berry products I found were made by another berry-related company founded by one Jerome Smucker. The true sweetness at Knott’s Berry Farm today springs from steel and wood coasters.

Lyle and I officially began the CoasterDad Project SoCal Park Tour today. Lyle made sure we were first in line, and had the whole park map committed to memory. We didn’t waste a minute. By lunchtime, we had ridden just about every coaster in the park. Then, to be sure, we rode them all again.

Here are Lyles Ride Rankings for Knott’s Berry Farm, starting with his faves:

1. Xcelletator

2. Silver Bullet

3. Pony Express

4. Ghost Rider

5. Screaming Swing

6. Sierra Sidewinder

7. Boomerang

7. Coast Rider

8. Jaguar

We also rode Timber Mountain Log Ride, and Bigfoot Rapids. But, Lyle is purist. Those are not coasters or, in his view, thrill rides. They are wonderful good fun, though. Montezooma’s Revenge was closed, although Lyle felt sure it would have made the top five.

Knott’s Berry Farm is beautifully themed and impressively clean. The staff are friendly, approachable, and dressed in costumes to match the whole vibe. All told, I’d say Walter Knott made the right call leaving the berry business to Smuckers.

See you tomorrow, when we bring you our Magic Mountain Review!




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