Bigfoot Rapids is getting its makeover at Knott's Berry Farm

November 13, 2018, 1:39 PM · Knott's Berry Farm's Bigfoot Rapids will become the Calico River Rapids next year, as the California theme park transforms its water water rapids ride.

Knott's teased the change last month, and today's reveal confirms that the ride will be getting new animatronics, show scenes, and water effects in support of its new narrative overlay. From the park's press release:

Calico River Rapids will take voyagers on a search for new land through the outskirts of Calico, the richly themed area in Knott’s esteemed Ghost Town. Guests will journey through the authentic setting with the help of legendary frontiersmen who have plotted the path for settlers to explore. Rafters will encounter a variety of wild surprises along the way such as roaring rapids, indigenous wildlife, and peculiar homesteaders.

Garner Holt Productions will provide the animatronics, as it did for Knott's previous refurbishments of the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride. Calico River Rapids will open next summer.

Calico River Rapids setting
Concept art courtesy Knott's

Calico River Rapids interaction

Calico River Rapids animatronic

In addition, Knott's announced today that its annual Boysenberry Festival will expand again, running from March 29 – April 28, 2019. And the interactive, role-playing experience Ghost Town Alive will return, too, running May 25 – August 18 and weekends from August 24 through Labor Day, September 2 next year.

Replies (10)

November 13, 2018 at 1:48 PM

Please oh please do the same thing to the rapids at Carowinds!

There are rays of hope Cedar Fair is adding more theme back to Carowinds. The presently under construction Copperhead Strike coaster appears to be a major step forward in the theme department. Let's hope this trend continues.

November 13, 2018 at 1:49 PM

Nice, it's always been one of the best raft rides about and this just looks to make it better.

November 13, 2018 at 2:49 PM

What is the bridge over the river? That looks like the tunnel and track from Pony Express. While the rides are next to each other, they do not cross each other.

November 13, 2018 at 3:54 PM I think it's just non-precise work on the part of the concept artist. While the Pony Express tunnel doesn't go over the water path, they are fairly close to each other. It was probably a way to make the concept art look more exciting.

November 13, 2018 at 6:43 PM

Actually, the track for Pony Express does go over the Bigfoot Rapids course, thus the need for the tunnel/bridge.

Take a look at these photos:

November 13, 2018 at 9:42 PM

*insert obligatory Yeti joke here*

November 13, 2018 at 11:34 PM

It would be great to see the Grizzly River Run at DCA get an overlay like this! Hopefully, DCA can actually add Grizzly animatronics and scenes to its River Run like Knotts is doing.

November 14, 2018 at 12:41 AM

If the Mine Ride and Log Ride refurbs are anything to go by, Knott's is about to turn Bigfoot Rapids into what Grizzly River Run should have been. Knott's has been very good about budget-friendly investments with a huge payoff, and this looks like yet another in a string of successful overhauls. Looking forward to it, and perhaps it will encourage me to ride the rapids more than once or twice a year.

November 15, 2018 at 1:23 PM

I'm a bit unclear, and have never experienced Bigfoot Rapids, but is the idea to change the name AWAY from Bigfoot Rapids to Calico, but then add a Bigfoot figure? Or is that in the current ride? I looked at a few POV videos and didn't see a Bigfoot. Just wondering. Either way, I'm glad for Knotts to be pursuing an upgrade. They had huge success with the Log Ride upgrade as far as I understand it. That used to be a favorite as a kid as was glad that they kept the flavor of the original.

November 16, 2018 at 8:33 PM

I hope we the riders still get wet, that's the best part......

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