Knott's Announces 'Voyage to the Iron Reef' for 2015

November 13, 2014, 8:06 AM · Knott's Berry Farm this morning confirmed that Voyage to the Iron Reef will be the new dark ride that Knott's Vice President and General Manager Raffi Kaprelyan teased during the re-opening of the Mine Ride and Campy Snoopy last May.

Kaprelyan promised "more interactive and cutting-edge fun in 2015," and the new adventure will be 4D shooter ride, in the spirit of the Wonder Mountain's Guardian attraction that Knott's parent Cedar Fair opened at Canada's Wonderland last spring.

Voyage to the Iron Reef
Concept art from Knott's

According to Knott's press release:

· The Queen of the Kraken and her aquatic army have surfaced to feed on the steel of any attraction within their grasps. Their unquenchable appetite for coaster metal has turned these creatures into swimming mechanical monsters unlike anything ever seen on the ocean floor.

· Through enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, and mysterious mechanical wreckage, high definition 3-D animation will surround guests at every turn. Along the way, the submarines navigate 600 feet of track and 11 scenes featuring hundreds of media-based creatures and other special effects.

· The attraction reacts to your actions making each interactive voyage a different experience. In addition to battling the Queen of the Kraken and her hundreds-strong aquatic army, compete head-to-head with the other sailors in your submarine to see who can blast the most creatures.

· Montreal-based Triotech, the multi-sensory attraction developer that animated the popular Wonder Mountain’s Guardian at Canada’s Wonderland, is the creator behind the groundbreaking gaming system and animation for Voyage to the Iron Reef.

This will be the third dark ride Knott's has opened or reopened with a major refurbishment in the past three summers. It's a new direction for what has been for the past generation under Cedar Fair ownership essentially an iron park, dependent upon thrill rides for its appeal.

But Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet once served as president of Disneyland, and understand the market appeal of dark rides in Southern California. That Knott's would theme this new dark ride adventure as "feeding on the steel" of the park's older rides provides a delightful wink of the eye to loyal theme park fans.

With the steampunk-styled Voyage to the Iron Reef joining the refurbished Calico Mine Train and Timer Mountain Log Ride, not to mention the always impressive Mystery Lodge, Knott's next summer could be offering four-world class dark ride or show experiences that would be at home in any Disney theme park, providing a worthy addition or alternative to Disneyland for theme park fans who live in or visit Southern California.


Replies (9)

November 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM · I know I should be excited for another dark ride at Knotts, but I'm disappointed at the concept. I was really hoping it would be a more traditional dark ride, like Kingdom of the Dinosaurs or even the old Beary Tales. With Disneyland around the corner with BLAB and Midway Mania, I just can't imagine this attraction will provide an experience that feels signifacantly different. I'll ride before I give a final judgement, but I was truly hoping Cedar Fair would let Garner Holt create another masterpiece instead of having me look at screens. Still excited to see Knotts continue to evolve in this new era for the park though.
November 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM · From the looks of the concept art, it appears that this will not be a roller coaster based ride system like Wonder Mountain's Guardian. I think that's a good move to increase capacity and accessibility to compete directly with Toy Story Midway Mania at California Adventure. I don't think this attraction will match the latter's charm and re-rideability, but this should be a solid addition to Knott's.
November 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM · That looks so cool!! Haven't been to Knotts since I was 7, but I may just have to go back :-)
November 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Another shooting ride. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it is a good change. I wish I'm 15 again to enjoy it.
November 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Anything beats an empty room. Knott's needs more no-height-restriction rides with wide appeal, and a well-executed shooter could provide that. Fans didn't fall in love with the Canada's Wonderland ride, but let's hope that Cedar Fair sees that as a v1.0, learns from it, and brings a better v2.0 for Knott's.
November 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Cedar Fair's commitment to adding whole family, dark ride experiences is exciting and way overdue. I am anxious to see what the brain trust has is store for other parks in the years to come.
November 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM · It is certainly better than an empty room. I'm cautiously optimistic because this will at least have a more traditional dark ride system than WMG along with the implication that the screens will be placed within some actual three-dimensional scenery. Also, they mentioned that the creative team at Knott's is having a say in the design. While I would have loved to see what Garner Holt could have done (and hopefully will still do someday at the park) I had a feeling that Triotech was going to happen no matter what.
November 13, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Voyage to the Iron Reef sounds like a pretty good fit for the park and is pretty much what I expected: an improved version of Wonder Mountain's Guardian. Although I would have preferred something with less screens and more sets, any new dark ride is good, and I am glad this seems to be a pure dark ride and not the coaster/dark ride hybrid Canada's Wonderland got. I just worry about this losing popularity due to its similarity to Toy Story Midway Mania just down the street.
November 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM · This is great news any way you slice it. They don't have an attraction like this in their roster and if people don't have to go down the road for a high-tech 4D dark ride or a shooter, more power to them.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive