Calico River Rapids is a themed river rapids ride that opened on May 17, 2019 at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.
The ride is a reimagining of Bigfoot Rapids, the park’s original white water rollercoaster. Calico River Rapids is a new Ghost Town backstory that takes place during the early days of Knott’s Ghost Town. Furthermore, the ride’s storyline introduces two new characters in the fictional village of Ghost Town, Potts and Colter. Both of these characters played actual personalities during Knott’s summer Ghost Town Alive season and served as the central background tale of Ghost Town. Calico River Rapids gives visitors the opportunity to experience the Calico River, which Potts and Colter explored, leading to the discovery of the Calico River Territory. The coaster, formerly known as Bigfoot Rapids, first debuted in 1987 and was built by Intamin. Knott’s Berry Farm, in collaboration with Garner Holt Productions and Chrestensen Design, redesigned the attraction into a full new themed experience before the end of 2018, with over 20 new animatronic figures as part of the major refurbishment. Calico River Rapids has been warmly received by park visitors since its opening, in part because to its considerably enhanced theming from its former incarnation (Bigfoot Rapids), and has become one of the park’s top family rides.
Calico River Rapids was formerly known as “Bigfoot Rapids.” Bigfoot Rapids debuted as part of a new section at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1987. The ride was previously located in a section dubbed “Wild Water Wilderness,” but it was never technically a part of the well-themed Ghost Town. The ride’s surroundings included trees, but there was little theming. Previously named as Bigfoot Rapids, the attraction was never themed or featured any Bigfoot appearances. It served as a major critique of the attraction because there was little to no theming concerning bigfoot. The age of the ride, as well as Knott’s Berry Farm’s commitment to returning to its theme park beginnings, were important factors in the retheming of the previous Bigfoot attraction. Ken Parks, Knott’s Vice President of Entertainment, persuaded the park to close the attraction for substantial restoration near the conclusion of the 2018 season, then rethemed and reopened it as Calico River Rapids for the 2019 season. Calico River Rapids reopened to large crowds on May 17, 2019.
Next Point of Interest: Montezooma’s Revenge