The 43-year-old log flume ride at Knott's Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park will be shut down this month until the spring as workers revitalize it, the amusement park announced today.
The Timber Mountain Log Ride opened July 11, 1969, with John Wayne on its inaugural run, according to Jennifer Blazey of Knott's Berry Farm. It is the amusement park's most popular ride, she added.
It was initially called the Calico Log Ride and, as it does today, took thrill seekers through a 330-foot-long mountain range with a 19th century lumber camp theme, Blazey said. The ride is housed in an eight-story building that includes 24,000 gallons of water and climaxes in a 42-foot free fall.
The ride was designed and funded originally for $3.5 million by Bud Hurlbut, a pioneer in theme park attractions, Blazey said.
Garner Holt Productions of San Bernardino will help with the revitalization project, which is expected to take five months, Blazey said. The company designs and manufacturers animatronic attractions for theme parks, museums and other businesses.
The work will include an upgrade to the figures in the ride and sets, but the improvements will remain faithful to the original storyline, Blazey said.
"The Timber Mountain Log Ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott's Berry Farm, but it also set the bar for all themed attractions that came after," said Raffi Kaprelyan, the amusement park's general manager, who worked for Hurlbut from 1979-83.
"Bud Hurlbut made numerous contributions to Knott's Berry Farm, but I think that the Timber Mountain Log Ride remains his crowning achievement."