July 9, 1999
Buena Park, CA -- The venerable Timber Mountain Log Ride in Knott's Berry Farm's Old West Ghost Town -- recognized as the world's first theme park log flume attraction -- celebrates its 30th anniversary July 11 during an anniversary ceremony and reunion of past "Loggers," the park's nickname for past and present Log Ride operators.
Opened July 11, 1969, by actor John Wayne and his son, Ethan, the Timber Mountain Log Ride was built by Walter Knott at a cost of $3 million and remains among Knott's three most popular attractions ever. The ride has carried more than 150 million guests in its 30-year history and still competes with GhostRider and Supreme Scream for the highest "ride counts" at the park.
In it, guests board hollowed-out logs for a journey deep into 75-foot-high Timber Mountain, passing through a working sawmill and animated forest scenes before taking the 38-foot plunge to Timber Mountain Lake below. The ride's revolutionary "free-float" movement -- developed by Knott's in 1969 and since copied at theme and amusement parks worldwide -- enables the 450-pound logs to float freely down the 2,100-foot waterway, recreating the loggers' practice of riding their logs back to camp after a hard-day's work.
During the July 11 private reunion, "Loggers" will gather backstage in Timber Mountain to exchange stories, old photos and collectors' pins. A 30th anniversary plaque, presented by park employees, will be unveiled during a small, 3 p.m. commemorative ceremony at the ride's entrance.