Take a Ride with the Calico Mining Company

The Calico Mine Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm opened on November 22, 1960 and became an industry-leading attraction. The seven story mountain, which required over 275 tons of steel, features three levels of train track, running the length of 1,080 feet. Inside, there are two bodies of water and five waterfalls. With a cost of over 1 million dollars, the ride was an instant hit with guests. Authentically designed to portray mining operations of the 1850’s, the concept and initial investment came from industry pioneer Bud Hurlbut. A handshake deal with park founder Walter Knott (who at one time worked in a mine in the Calico region) kicked off the project. For the past five decades guests have boarded one of six 19th century-themed steam locomotives for an eight-minute journey through the Calico Mine, passing several dozen “miners” hard at work. They were offered a glimpse into the mine’s Glory Hole, which is 65 feet deep and 90 feet wide. After successfully refurbishing the park’s equally popular Timber Mountain Log Ride last summer, Garner Holt Productions (GHP) was asked by Knott’s to fully restore this classic attraction. After a five month closure, the ride reopen on June 14 and now features more than 120 characters including 46 human animatronic figures and dozens of historically accurate animals. Newly imagined scenes, enhanced lighting, state of the art effects, and digital audio narration have taken the attraction to a whole new level. Once on board, you are welcomed by an old miner who warns of the dangers ahead. Passengers travel past bubbling water, near a cave filled with bats, encounter vultures and more. For the first time ever, one lucky miner will be seen striking it rich with gold in-hand! The stalactite and stalagmite cave is still there, more beautiful than ever. But, the highlight is the newly imagined end tunnel where dynamite blasting takes place. Hold on to your hats! “It (was) our company’s top priority to preserve and enhance the original story of a working gold mine deep in the heart of the Old West” said Garner Holt, GHP’s founder and president. “The Calico Mine Ride (is) filled with lifelike sounds and motion, while maintaining the uniquely authentic feel of the attraction as designed by Knott’s and industry legend Bud Hurlbut.” Join the Calico Mining Company for a journey that you will never forget. Attractions like the Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride are what make a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm a must!

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