This summer, guests visiting Knott’s Berry Farm will have the chance to discover Calico River Rapids, a reimagining of BigFoot Rapids. The attraction overlay was inspired by the work of Disney Imagineer Marc Davis and will feature nine thematic scenes, more than 20 animatronics, and yes, Bigfoot himself.

What’s happening:

  • The Orange County Register recently spoke with Knott’s Berry Farm’s VP of Entertainment, Ken Parks, about the reimagining of their BigFoot Rapids attraction.
  • The ride is currently being renovated and is set to open this summer as Calico River Rapids.
  • One of the attraction’s new features will have guests encountering the legendary Bigfoot himself.
  • While the ride included the name BigFoot, the creature never appeared, something that Parks found to be disappointing. He told the Register that Knott’s has “righted that wrong” with the new iteration.
  • When Calico River Rapids reopens, guests will discover not only river rapids, but an animated attractions that features nine scenes and over 20 animatronic figures.
  • Parks notes that this reimagined version was inspired by Disney Imagineer, Marc Davis. Davis worked on several of Disneyland’s iconic attractions including:

  • With the debut of Calico River Rapids guests will discover a connection between the backstories of the rapids ride and the Ghost Town area of the park.
  • Additionally, the theming will connect the rapids to the Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride.  
  • The new backstory for Calico River Rapids and Ghost Town follows real life explorers, John Potts and John Colter who were part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
  • According to Parks, “Walter Knott made a point to include real life, historical figures into his fictional Ghost Town and we are continuing the tradition.”
  • For the full story behind Calico River Rapids, check out the Orange County Register’s interview with Ken Parks and Bill Butler of Garner Holt Productions.

What they’re saying:

  • Knott’s vice president of entertainment Ken Parks: “Living in the foothills of the Sequoias as a child, I was both intrigued and terrified by the Sasquatch legend. As a kid, I was extremely disappointed that an attraction called BigFoot Rapids, which had Big Foot as its main focus, did not include an encounter with the creature. We’ve righted that wrong.”
  • Ken Parks: “Marc Davis was such an inspiration that I wanted to include a few nods. These are new scenes, but their sense of tone is definitely an homage to Mr. Davis.”

  • Parks on Calico River Rapids: “Calico River Rapids tells the story of the expansion of the Western territories, which can be found just outside of Calico. The territories are wild, untamed and largely untouched by settlers and civilization. Calico and the area surrounding it exist in the same world. Riders will see that the Calico Mine Company is at work within the wilderness as well as the Timber Mountain Logging Company.”
  • Bill Butler, Garner Holt Productions director of creative design: “All of the pioneers that founded the city came through here. This is 15 to 20 years before the rest of Ghost Town.


  • The 2019 Knott’s Boysenberry Festival is going on now! Guests can enjoy unique flavors and treats during this annual event. Check out Mike’s recap of the all the goodness available at the park.