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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Knott's Berry Farm: Kingdom of the Dinosaurs
I've never been to Knott's Berry Farm in California, but I was interested in the park, largely because of the Peanuts characters. There used to be a cereal called Dinersaurs (which did not last long) and they had this contest to win a trip to experience the new Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ride. Needless to say, I did not win.
Update 5/11/13: With the Timber Mountain Log ride at Knott's Berry Farm getting a major upgrade, folks have been talking about Kingdom of the Dinosaurs again.
Will Kingdom of the Dinosaurs return someday, or will something totally different appear in their old stomping grounds?
It would be nice if the Dinersaurs characters could get a new gig. Maybe they could have a restaurant at Knott's. Winner, winner Fried Pterodactyl Chicken dinner!
The Dinersaurs are friends with Denver, the Last Dinosaur. This character had his own animated TV series in the 1980s.
Somehow I found the three free stickers that were the prize in the box of Dinersaurs Cereal.
I think "Denver The Last Dinosaur" would do well as a "Smurfs" or "Alvin and the Chipmunks" live action movie. Not that I'm saying that would be a good thing.
A "Dinersaurs" animated series on Food Network would be off the chain! Spiky blonde Stego Stan would have to be voiced by "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host Guy Fieri.
I would cast chef Aaron McCargo Jr. (from "Big Daddy's House") as T-Rex, Emeril Lagasse as Buddy Brontosaurus, Ron Ben-Israel (from "Sweet Genius") as Terry Pterodactyl, and Paula Deen as Sara Triceratops.
Kingdom of the Dinosaurs opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1987. It replaced another dark ride called "Knott's Bear-y Tales."
Growing up in Alabama, most people I knew had never heard of Knott's Berry Farm. Relatives in Arizona and California would often save Knott's ads for me, since they knew how much I liked Snoopy and the Charles Schulz Peanuts characters.
I recognized Knott's Berry Farm when I saw the 1987 movie "Summer School" starring Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley. Remember the scene where the nerd vomits in the trash can after riding the roller coaster?
I'm pretty sure "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs" made an appearance in the Martin Short movie "Clifford" in 1994.
When Knott's Berry Farm was purchased by Cedar Fair in 1997, it opened the door for Snoopy to be the mascot for Cedar Fair-owned theme parks across North America.
Cedar Fair theme parks are known for their big roller coasters. It looked like the old school dark rides and close encounters with Bigfoot at Knott's Berry Farm would be a thing of the past. However, the 2013 upgrade to the Timber Mountain Log Ride will feature many new effects and animated figures produced by Garner Holt Productions.
Could Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ever be brought back from extinction?
I think it is time for a Wild West Cowboys and Dinosaurs Dig Roundup interactive dark ride. It would be fun to see that T-Rex wearing a ten gallon hat and shooting guns with his tiny little hands.