Thursday, December 3, 2009

Charleston Square

I am not sure if it is still considered Charleston Square or not but today’s post features the area that leads from ghost town into what was the old Roaring 20’s section.

After learning of Cedar Fair’s plan to relocate an existing freefall ride to the former spot of the haunted shack (see for more info on that) I decided to get some photographs of this area as I suspect it will be in danger once the Bulldozer is fired up.

A closer look at the fountain

The old Roaring 20's sign on the roof of the former Knott's Beary Tales Building.

Looking back toward Calico Square

The Screamin Swing on the former site of the Hanunted Shack

To the right of the Screamin Swing is this fire station mural. It is actaully the stage door for the Good Time Theatre.

I believe this firetruck used to be parked on the side of the Haunted Shack where the fire station mural is now. It now operates shamefully as the 10 buck firetruck.

The ride that is coming to Knott's is called “Demon Drop” and is identical to a ride that was at Magic Mountain for 20+ years called “Freefall”. It is a tower drop ride that takes you up 10 stories and drops you down a track that curves at the bottom extending out several hundred feet from the tower to allow the ride vehicle to come to stop.

I do not know for certain that this area and most notably the beautiful fountain that is the centerpiece are in danger but by judging from the aerial photo below it seems that either this area or the area between Calico Square and the Mine Train will soon have the runway ramp from the newly installed “Demon Drop” running through it.

Not only will the tower be yet another steel eyesore on the skyline of ghost town but the shear size of it will certainly affect the sense of scale in that area making it seem even smaller and more a part of the outside world than it already does now. Add to that the fact that the runway ramp on this thing is going to have to go somewhere (either Calico Square or Charleston Square) and it seems destined to do some damage.

As a final note I noticed that the horse drawn hearses that used to sit across from the current location of Roy Bean’s Saloon have gone missing. I noticed this right before haunt started but did not get a picture until now.

Here is a shot of the Hearse’s before their removal. The larger hearse had an animatronic “stiff” that would raise it’s head periodically in an attempt to startle onlookers expecting the passenger to be “dead”. Just one of the good old fashioned Knott’s Berry Farm tricks that reminded me of the old days. Hopefully they are being refurbished, but I somehow doubt it.

These horse drawn hearses had been at the farm as long as I can remember. The smaller white one was for a child (kind of morbid, but classic)

I hoped that they were going to be given a more prominent location for the haunt but after looking around for a couple of months I have not been able to locate them.

That's all for today! Thanks for Readin'


Anonymous said...

Plans to install Demon Drop has been canceled

Anonymous said...

The hearse’s were relocated near Silver Bullet.


Let's Talk Knott's said...

Great news about Demon Drop! Also glad to see that the hearse is still there. Not sure how I missed it.

Chris Jepsen said...

Good for Knott's for finding a new home for the hearses. Now, of course, we have to wonder what will take their place in the old location. Actually, I'm kind of happy with the adobe wall.

TokyoMagic! said...

Knowing Cedar Fair, they'll probably stick a roller coaster in the spot where the hearses were. I know it's such a small space, but I'm sure they could make one fit...if they can stick one on top of Boot Hill, they can stick one anywhere!

I was saddened when I heard about Demon Drop because I was also fearing how they were going to make that work (again, they'll stick anything anywhere) I hope it's true that the plans have been canceled.

They told us during Knott's orientation that the fountain in Charleston Square was used in the movie, "Hello Dolly" I've never heard that anywhere else though. Anyone know if it's true?

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Remember when the fountain just sat there as a sculpture in the middle of a small planter? At some point in the 1980's they decided they wanted it functioning as a real fountain.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the fountain is the movie prop from "Hello Dolly". In 1981 when the Knott family brought in the GM Terry Van Gorder, one of the first things he did was to bring the fountain back to life.

outsidetheberm said...

Thankfully, plans to bring Demon Drop to Knott's have been shelved -at least that's the word for now. Thank God for small favors.

And according to 20th Century Fox, the current fountain is a replica of their 'Dolly' fountain - the original having been returned to them years ago. *Shrug*

Chris Merritt said...

Hmmm - interesting about the fountain. I always thought that was the original. Why would they return it to Fox?

I too am sad to see the hearses relocated - that was a spot that was very evocative of the original Farm.

Thanks for the update!