This beloved attraction carries riders aboard ore cars, on a realistic adventure through dimly lit tunnels of a working gold mine. The winding journey takes passengers to underground lakes, waterfalls, caverns filled with thousands of mysterious formations, chambers filled with steaming, bubbling pots, and geysers.
At several points in the trip, riders find themselves along the rim of a sixty-five foot deep and ninety-foot wide scene filled with dozens of animated miners trying to strike it rich.
Height Requirement: 46 inches or accompanied by a supervising companion
A Legendary Attraction
The Calico Mine Ride, Knott’s first major ride, opened in Ghost Town in November 1960 and was quickly recognized as one of the world’s most immersive “dark rides.” The beloved attraction, designed by industry pioneer Bud Hurlbut, carries riders aboard ore cars on a realistic adventure through dimly lit tunnels of a working gold mine. The winding journey takes passengers to underground lakes, waterfalls, caverns filled with thousands of mysterious formations, chambers filled with steaming, bubbling pots and geysers. At several points in the trip, riders find themselves along the rim of a sixty five foot deep and ninety foot wide scene filled with dozens of animated miners trying to strike it rich.
The attraction’s rustic wooden loading platform has been refreshed and now includes a “peek-in” similar to those found throughout Ghost Town, offering guests windows into the rich mining history of the 1850s on their way toward boarding the mine train car.
Preserving a Classic
Knott’s Berry Farm’s Design Team, in partnership with Garner Holt Productions, Inc., has elevated Hurlbut’s 1960 design while preserving the original mining experience. Nearly fifty animatronic humans and dozens more animals populate the updated adventure, with more than 120 characters spread through classic and re-imagined scenes. New denizens of the mountain include an old miner just inside the first tunnel who will welcome guests into the Calico Mine and warn them of dangers that lie along the rails ahead. Despite the massive mining operation depicted inside the Calico Mine, since the attraction first opened, no character has ever actually found gold in the mountain. As part of the renovation, one lucky miner will be seen striking it rich with gold in-hand!
The twisting, turning tunnels and expansive caverns were completely repainted, including a brilliant new color scheme in the spectacular “Heaven Room.” Here, guests will thrill to the glorious sight of the thousands of spectacular stalagmite and stalactites accompanied by the original musical score, which has been digitally re-recorded. Original special effects have been lovingly re-created, like real steam in the Bubbling Pots scene with its surprising steam geyser and tipping barrels and other effects in the Explosion Room finale.
New Exciting Effects
In January 2014 the attraction closed for a comprehensive five month restoration by Knott’s Berry Farm’s design and production team. The project was another partnership with Garner Holt Productions, Inc., the team that brought award winning new enhancements to the Timber Mountain Log Ride in 2013 with lifelike animatronics and stunning show scenes.
The renovation of the iconic attraction includes the addition of over 50 new state-of-the-art animatronic figures, all new audio and theme lighting system, and special effects that will capture the imagination of would-be miners as they journey deep into the winding caverns of the attraction.
Rider Safety Information
- Min Height Accompanied
- Min Height Alone
- This is a family ride where guests take a train ride into the Calico Mine and view the mining process as it was done in the early 1900s.
- Proceed to the ride exit located on the north side of the attraction next to the shooting gallery. Follow the trail until you reach the second set of stairs that lead to the unload area. Please wait at the bottom of the stairs for a Guest Service Associate to direct the guest to a seat.
- Each rider must be able to remain sitting up straight, keeping their head upright, their back and shoulders against the seat back, or be accompanied by a supervising companion to assist them. Riders must have a minimum of two functioning extremities. Please review all restrictions listed on the sign at the attraction entrance.
- Please ask the operator for assistance with the elevator.
- Riders must be able to transfer out of the mine cars at any point within the attraction. The maximum step down is 18”.
- Guests who are afraid of the dark or are claustrophobic are not recommended to ride.
- Service animals can accompany the guest on this attraction.
- This attraction uses strobe lights.
- Visit our Guest Assistance Guide for additional Accessibility information.