Knott’s Berry Farm will overhaul its white-water raft ride with animatronics and water cannons

Knott’s Berry Farm plans to overhaul Bigfoot Rapids, changing the name to Calico River Rapids and adding a “skunk ape” and water cannons.
(Knott’s Berry Farm)

Bigfoot Rapids, the white-water raft ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, will undergo a name change and overhaul that will include new wildlife and human animatronics and interactive water effects.

The Buena Park theme park said the attraction, which closed in September, will reopen in the summer of 2019 with the name Calico River Rapids, and include a new theme and story line featuring a creature that the park is calling a “skunk ape.”

The old version had raft-borne riders gliding past rocks, grass and trees. The overhaul will put riders on an exploratory excursion through the backwoods behind the fictitious town of Calico, Knott’s Berry Farm spokeswoman Diana Bahena said.

In addition to adding animatronic animals and people, the ride will let parkgoers who are standing along the riverbanks use several simulated detonator plungers to trigger water cannons that soak the riders on the raft, she said.


Theme park industry insiders say it is common for theme parks to overhaul attractions every few years to spark new interest and spur return visits. The last major overhaul at Knott’s Berry Farm was in 2016, when the park renovated its popular wooden roller coaster, known as GhostRider.

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