Knotts Berry Farm: Calico Mine Ride Will Be Your New Favorite Dark Ride

Knotts Berry Farm has some truly iconic attractions. The Calico Mine Ride is a perfect example of that. It only took me one go around, but I can safely say it’s my new favorite dark ride.

There’s just something special about a classic dark ride. It’s not all about the fancy animatronics or flashy visuals. Sometimes the ride itself is just so good, they never seem to matter. And Calico Mine Ride isn’t one of the flashy and fancy rides you’ll find a few miles up the road at Disneyland. It’s a lot better.

The standout of this ride is the immense themeing. Not only on the ride itself but the exterior as well. This is the crowning jewel of all Cedar Fair parks, even beating out Wonder Mountain at Canada’s Wonderland. The mountain itself, the loading station, and the trains all add to the experience of this amazing attraction.

Now, the actual ride is just as good, if not better than the exterior themeing. With the setting being an underground mine, it’s the perfect opportunity for some incredible designs and animatronics. And again, these aren’t new age Disney animatronics, yet they hold up well to today’s standards.

The coal mining train takes you throughout this mine. You’ll see different scenes and even go through a fantastically set up mining area that spans the entire mountain. You weave in and out of the various scenery. There’s even a brief outdoor section which passes you right next to a beautiful waterfall.

The finale is quite explosive to say the least. Using a lot of projections, sounds, lights and smoke effects you really do feel like the mine is set to blow at any point. It’s the perfect way to end a fantastic ride, that lasted a good 10 minutes.

It’s safe to say that this is my new favorite dark ride. I’ve been to Walt Disney World many times as a child, and Calico Mine Ride just blew me away. For something that opened in 1960, it sure has aged well. Of course, there’s been some renovations, but it’s still a beauty.

Knotts Berry Farm isn’t your typical amusement park. In fact, some would say it’s a theme park. The latter is probably true. With rides such as Calico Mine Ride, this is the park to go to in Southern California. I’ll guarantee this will be a new favorite for anyone who gives it a try.

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