Ghost Town comes Alive once again this summer at Knott’s Berry Farm!
For three years, Knott’s Berry Farm has put on their Ghost Town ALIVE! (GTA) event during the summer. Each year, it seems to get better and better. With a continued narrative, wonderfully distinctive characters, a plethora of puzzles and light hearted atmosphere; Ghost Town Alive continues to bring guests into the world of the wild west!
We were lucky enough to be invited for the Media Day event this past Sunday and needless to say, we had a blast!
The moment you walk into Ghost Town, the energy is electric! Characters are roaming, plotting and planning with guests. Everyone welcomes you to Calico and says “Happy Founders Day!‘. It was so infectious that we even started saying it to people we briefly talked too!
Let’s touch upon the characters of Calico. First, we have to say that these are some of the best actors we’ve seen in an event like this. These actors have to be prepared for any and all situations with guests, and trust us when we say they are amazing at it. Their improvisational skills are off the charts!
I think one of the most wonderful parts of GTA is how it slows things down in the most wonderful way. Spending a day at a theme park can be extremely stressful at times. Especially when you feel like you have to cram your day full of every ride and experience possible, to feel like you’re getting the most bang for your buck. GTA makes you switch to a slower pace for a while, while still filling your day with an entertaining experience for everyone. One of the most memorable parts of the day was when we sat down with the Sheriff of Calico and played cards. This would have NEVER happened if we so worried about getting on all the rides. I simply can’t remember having that much fun at a theme park without going on a ride. It’s moments like these that help create memories for everyone in the family.
The story that is being told, progresses through the day. You can tell by the newspapers that are posted throughout town. It’s rather fun to start off at GTA, leave to go on a few rides then come back to see what had transpired while you were gone.
Just like the previous years of the event, there are plenty of tasks, riddles and puzzles to solves to keep everyone busy. We found ourselves running all around Ghost Town trying to solve riddles in order to obtain the correct numbers for a safe. One portion of our little hunt lead us through the museum that sits in the middle of Ghost Town. I absolutely LOVED that this was incorporated into the event. I feel like the museum isn’t noticed by many people who visit Knott’s. Nobody goes to a theme park to visit a museum. But this one is jam packed full of Knott’s history and wild west history alike! So to see it being utilized makes me a happy camper.
Beach Blanket Beagle
In recent years, Knott’s has been turning out amazing entertainment offerings during all of their events and celebrations. Beach Blanket Beagle is no exception. It’s probably one of the best shows (outside of Elvira at Haunt) that I’ve seen in the Charles M. Shultz Theater. It’s funny, it’s cute, and the show is written so well.
I think I was most impressed with the design of the stage and it’s decor. We were sitting rather close, so it was hard to notice, but the stage actually moved to reveal water that the actors interacted with. On top of that, we absolutely loved the beach theme of the show. We are suckers for tiki’s and lucky us, there were two huge ones on either side of the stage.
The actors even made their way into the audience at one point and danced with kids and adults alike! Really love when shows do this because it become a much less passive experience.
I don’t think anyone would dispute that the fire dancer was the highlight of the show.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the opening of Hangtime, so this visit was our first encounter with the new coaster. I am happy to say that this coaster packs a punch and is incredibly fun.
The most thrilling part of the coaster is being held before the drop. Your feet are dangling, you’re leaning against the restrains and it slowly lets you down. My heart was nearly pounding out of my chest! The rest of the coaster was also fun, but nothing tops the vertical lift and stall.
At night, Hangtime’s lighting package brings a much needed vibrance to Boardwalk. In fact, it’s so good that the rest of Boardwalk almost pales in comparison. I would love to see all the other rides get unique lighting packages to really bring it all to life.
The daily finale of GTA is the hoedown! All the characters, through the day, invite you to the hoedown and make sure to reference it a lot. Even to the point where you start to talk about the hoedown outside of the GTA story.
All the characters meet in Calico Town Square and finish the days story. Eventually leading to the characters inviting park goers to dance all together. It’s actually really fun, even if you are a yellow belly unwilling to dance.
Watching the interaction between the GTA characters with the many children in attendance really put a smile on our faces.
After the characters of Ghost Town vacate Calico, the sun sets and the Jamboree show begins! It’s a combination of multiple stunts and acts like many shows in the past. Without taking away from the wonderful performers, it would have been nice to see something fresh and new. We’ve seen multiple theme park shows that are very similar to this one, with regards to the acts that take place.
Personally, we are not very big country fans. That being said, the entire show’s soundtrack is country music. Unfortunately that makes us slightly less interested in the show, but we know plenty of people who adore that style of music. For those who like it, this is a fun show.
Like we mentioned, we have seen these type of acts and stunts many times in shows. But it does not take away from the complete insanity and jaw dropping moments they produce. These acts alone are extremely entertaining, and reason enough to stop and enjoy the show.
The tight rope walker was our favorite. Before and after getting on the tight rope, he acted rather drunk!
Knott’s entertainment offerings are rarely bad, if not ever bad. They are always ranging from Good to Great! If Beach Blanket Beagle was great, this show was just good. It had the makings of a awesome show, but not all the pieces seem to come together correctly to make it feel cohesive and to the high standard that we have come to know from Knott’s. But if you love jaw dropping acts with some great country music, this show is for you!
Over this past year, something had dawned on us, especially after experiencing Ghost Town Alive. We like Knott’s Berry Farm WAY MORE than Disneyland. We never thought we would say that! The way that Knott’s is able to incorporate unique entertainment offerings, amazing coasters, and incredibly fun events through the year (like Haunt, Merry Farm, Boysenberry Festival, Peanuts Celebration, etc), it is a force to be reckoned with in our opinion. We love how we can relax while having a blast at Knott’s instead of stressing about fast passes and seeing fireworks at Disneyland. The fun is sucked out of a theme park experience when crowds and stress run rampant. With another successful year of Ghost Town Alive, we are so incredibly excited to see where the event goes, and how Knott’s will keep evolving and improving on the already impressive event. Who knows! Maybe next year we can ACTUALLY get a hair cut in Ghost Town from the Barber. Or maybe Hop Wing Lee will actually make his return. Regardless, we will be at the gates of Knott’s Berry Farm next year for Ghost Town Alive.
For more information regarding Knott’s Berry Farm or Ghost Town Alive, go to Knotts.com