California Theme Park Reportedly Scrapping Iconic Roller Coaster

in Knott's Berry Farm, Theme Parks

Guests riding the Jaguar roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm

Credit: Knott's Berry Farm

According to reports, a beloved California theme park will be completely scrapping a historic, one-of-a-kind roller coaster, and enthusiasts are trying to save it.

Guests enjoying a ride on Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Jeremy Thompson via Wikimedia Commons

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Whether you prefer a wooden coaster like El Toro or a steel titan like Kingda Ka, one thing cannot be denied: roller coasters are awesome. From Coney Island in New York City to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California, amusement park guests have had a marvelous time experiencing some of the best thrill rides North America has to offer.

One theme park known for its history is Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Founded in 1920, the road stop founded by Walter and Cordelia Knott has grown from a fake volcano and a chicken dinner into one of the most beloved amusement parks in the country.

Rendering of the new entrance for Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

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Knott’s is home to historic attractions, including the Calico Mine Train, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, its old west ghost town, the annual Knott’s Scary Farm event, Soak City, and the wooden roller coaster Ghost Rider.

One area that received a significant update is the Fiesta Village section, which received improved dining options, theming, and live performances. However, its most prominent change was to come with the new coaster MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress, taking new immersive technology and applying it to the classic Monetzooma’s Revenge shuttle loop. Unfortunately, rumors are spreading that this historic roller coaster may be gone forever.

Knott’s Berry Farm May Scrap Historic Montezooma’s Revenge Roller Coaster

A giant snake on the entrance sign for Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Jeremy Thompson via Wikimedia Commons

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Knott’s Berry Farm is a theme park built on history, and one major piece of that history has been Montezooma’s Revenge. A simple coaster, Montezooma’s Revenge utilizes a unique cable and flywheel set up to launch the coaster cars forward into a loop, and then gravity would take the vehicle back through the loop again.

Originally designed by famed coaster designer Anton Schwarzkopf and built at Knott’s in 1978, Montezooma’s Revenge is the longest-standing shuttle loop in a single location. And while Cedar Fair had plans to keep the coaster around for years in its new form, MonteZOOMA: The Forbidden Fortress, it looks like it may not come back at all.

The plaque in front of Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

According to a post from the Facebook group Historic Coaster Foundation, the historical thrill ride is “in grave danger of being scrapped and lost forever.”

“Knott’s Berry Farm announced that the ride would be renovated and reimagined and would reopen in the summer of 2023 and renamed MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress,” said the foundation. “More than a year later, our faith has not been returned. The ride’s loop and a few small sections of track were removed in the summer of 2022. Since then, there has been no progress made on the ride’s renovation, and besides a quick announcement saying that the ride was delayed, the park has remained silent. No updates whatsoever.”

The launch part of the Montezooma's Revenge roller coaster
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

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The Historic Coaster Foundation went on to detail some rumored details regarding the issues plaguing the development of MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress, including the original designers of the renovation bowing out of development, leading to a massive lawsuit between them and Cedar Fair, the company that owns Knott’s Berry Farm.

On top of that, the foundation noted that this would be the third American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) landmark that would be torn down in a year’s time and the second ACE landmark destroyed by Cedar Fair.

Guests enjoying a ride on Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Jeremy Thompson via Wikimedia Commons

Related: Knott’s Berry Farm Delays Return of Fan-Favorite Roller Coaster

“These are very bad signs. The potential loss of this ride would be a huge blow to the park that I don’t think can ever be forgiven, no matter how good its replacement is, and it would be a huge tragedy in roller coaster preservation. I can’t speak for Anton Schwarzkopf, but if I were him, I wouldn’t want this ride to fade into history in such a way.”

The post ended with the Historic Coaster Foundation imploring fans of roller coasters, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Anton Schwarzkopf’s son to contact Knott’s and let them know how much Montezooma’s Revenge means to them. And it makes sense. As one of the final standing shuttle loops in the world, it would be a shame to see such an important part of amusement park history disappear without a trace.

Do you think Knott’s Berry Farm should try and go through with the renovations for Montezooma’s Revenge? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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