Yee-haw! Fans of the beloved theme park Knott’s Berry Farm and its ever-evolving Ghost Town area (which dates all the way back to 1940, nearly eighty years ago) have a lot to cheer about this summer: not only is the fantastic “Ghost Town Alive!” full-day immersive theater event returning to the park, but Knott’s has also completely overhauled its former Bigfoot Rapids attraction to become the wonderfully reimagined Calico River Rapids.

This past Thursday night, Knott’s Berry Farm held a grand opening ceremony for Calico River Rapids, complete with the mayor, sheriff, and citizens of Calico celebrating the arrival of two big celebrities: Potts and Coulter, the fictional explorers who traveled alongside Lewis and Clark and discovered the land on which the great western town sits.

Watch Calico River Rapids opening ceremony at Knott’s Berry Farm:

After the ceremony, guests and media were given the opportunity to experience Calico River Rapids, which has been completely overhauled with new scenery, greenery, cabins, animatronic critters, a trigger-happy trapper, an even an appearance by the cryptozoological creature known as Bigfoot.

Watch Calico River Rapids full on-ride POV at Knott’s Berry Farm:

Present at the opening event were animatronics pioneer Garner Holt, Knott’s Vice President of Entertainment Ken Parks, and Character Designer Tayler Brown, who were all kind enough to tell us about why Knott’s chose to overhaul the Bigfoot Rapids attraction into Calico River Rapids this year, how Garner Holt Production set about creating the characters and creatures for the ride, and the future of the Calico Ghost Town at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Watch Calico River Rapids queue tour and interviews at Knott’s Berry Farm:

As a longtime fan of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town and someone who has been repeatedly bowled over by the recent refurbishments of and additions to the park’s Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride, not to mention the yearly implementation of “Ghost Town Alive!,” I was thrilled to see Knott’s devote money and time into turning Bigfoot Rapids into something much more heavily themed. It’s terrific to see the attraction incorporated into the Calico Ghost Town area, and the work done on the animatronics, set design, and landscaping is nothing short of breathtaking.

Calico River Rapids is now open at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. For more information and advance ticketing resources, be sure to visit the park’s official website.