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All things Knotts Berry Farm

Kram Sacul

Well-Known Member
I agree, but attendance counts said otherwise. Yeah, it sucks. But so was the closure of Soap Box Racers and Knott's Bear-y Tales.
That’s pretty lame. For an attraction in the corner of the park with no real advertising or push I think it does pretty well.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, the Expansion has to go somewhere. As they say in the end of ride recorded spiel on Calico River Rapids, thanks for visiting the Western Territories.

But it is a shame it got closed so early. But the school group tours have ended for the year.
That is sad. I guess Mister Owl came for the old Indian or maybe it's just Raven playing a trick on us?

The school groups may have ended, now the summer camp kids are there. Fortunately most of them spent time at Camp Snoopy.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster


Same girls but in 1974 with my sister and me on them. I don't think they are there anymore. I'll have to look for them.

 
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Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Does anyone remember Jungle Island at Knotts?
This is basically the picnic area between the main parking lot and LibertyHall/Soak city now. It featured a large collection of animals carved out of wood called the Woodniks. It was kind of fun area to run around in as a kid in 70s.










 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Jungle Island: was not part of the gated admission to Knott's, but a separate attraction at the long gone Lagoon amusement area behind Independence Hall... In the early 60's, Knott's expanded across Beach Blvd. by building an underpass leading towards the future site of Independence Hall. Around this time, a Mr. Forrest Morrow, of Illinois (77 years old at the time) - came out to the Farm & convinced Walter Knott to let him build a haven for his "Wood-imals" - naive art carved from pieces of wood he found in the forest.

Under construction in March of 1964. It opened later that year.
But Jungle Island was more than just the Wood-imals scattered about. It was a dense, Jungle-like area where a kid could get lost, dirty & be adventurous with minimal parental supervision. My fondest memories of Jungle Island are in the 1970s, when my brother & I would get dropped off there when my folks were too cheap to pay for Knott's. It was kinda like Knott's lite.

Crossing through the back end of Independence Hall, you would come across a very Jungle-y area, with a moat, and about 1000 chickens running around - screaming their heads off. Coming upon an old covered bridge, you'd notice various alligator-like Wood-imals that would shoot water at you (controlled by gleeful kids already on the Island). It wasn't actually an island - it butted up to the back end of Bud Hurlbut's Lagoon amusement area - but the illusion was convincing if you were a kid.

You would buy a ticket from the old lady usually at the booth and cross over the rickety covered bridge. Once inside, it was easy to get lost (at least if you were 8 years old). There were many areas, and hundreds of the Wood-imals, poking out from the brush. Some of the more memorable creations were this "Rollo-saurus" and the afore mentioned Natives with a tourist in a pot. Albiet, very lo-tech by todays standards (I can't even imagine today's House Of The Dead playing kids going for this) - Jungle Island was a convincing exotic playground for kids in the 60s & 70s.

So, what happened? Well, back in October of 1982, Terry Van Gorder had successfully wrested artistic control from the rest of the Knott family. As the newly appointed C.E.O. of the Farm (a position that had never existed before) - he took one look at Jungle Island, and saw an opportunity to create a entertainment area, for corporations who needed event space.

So it became an outdoor patio, with facilities for eating & entertaining.

What happened to the Wood-imals? A few were saved - last time I was at Knott's, I saw them near the swings by the Peanuts Playhouse.. That was a few years ago though. I heard that Jim Webb, Mr. Morrow's son-in-law, had saved a few of them - but I have never been able to track him down (admittedly, I haven't looked that hard). I was told he's now a poet (!) in the Orange County area.

Thus ends the tale of Jungle Island.
 
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