Why yes, we went to “the other park” in Orange County! For us, this was our first time at Knotts in decades. While I’ve been to Knotts during Scary Farm last year, I have not attended the regular park since 2007. Knotts tends to have the reputation as the lesser park of Southern California. However, the past few years have shown Knotts to improve and compete with the giants at Disney and Universal. Knotts does have a unique element in keeping their Old West traditions; there is something so pure and unique to it that words can’t describe. Ghost Town Alive was brought in to revitalize this concept. Over the past few years, we’ve heard good things about Ghost Town Alive, especially from the interactive side of it. Guests can go on quests for the townspeople of Calico.
Ghost Town Alive has an interactive aspect to it that involves taking side quests for the townies of Calico. Because of the side questing nature, Unlimited Bound Works decided to do something Japanese Role Playing Game (JRPG) related. Because Jared and Deb are super into Final Fantasy, we decided to bound from Final Fantasy 15
Jared as Ignis Scientia
Most of these were found items from Jared’s closet on the day of. The shirt is from Uniqlo.
Deb as Noctis
Deb used her cosplay jacket for Noctis for this bound. This is her first time bounding in a theme park. She was between wearing a tank top or a shirt for Noctis.
Eri as Lunafreya
I admit, I’m not really familiar with Final Fantasy 15, but my friends were nudging me to cosplay as Lunafreya. The peignoir is from Fan Plus Friend. The skirt is from Heart of Haute. The blouse is from Rockin’ Bettie I wanted something that I wouldn’t die in the summer heat in. Posing for this character was a challenge – sad and concerned are her main traits.
Ghost Town Alive
One of the best parts of bounding during Ghost Town Alive was calling each other by our character names and also acting in character while taking on quests.
Unlimited Bound Works registered as townies at town hall.
And we registered under these names:
The basic story line for Ghost Town Alive 2018 was there was a squabble about who owns the deed to Calico. It starts with a bank robbery and there’s mysteries that need to be solved. Other than the main story, there’s also quests that guests can choose to be a part of. Deb helped a poor sap write a letter to some gal he had a thing for. We also proceeded to do errands for the bank and for the dress shop.
I won’t go into too much spoilers, but this was a fun surprise. I’ve heard good things about Ghost Town Alive, but it was really fun getting involved in the story. You get so immersed into the town of Calico by being a part of the story that you forget that there’s modern day theme park attractions around. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon running side quests for the townies as well as visiting the stables and reading up on Knotts’ history.
Knotts: Decades After…
After checking out Ghost Town Alive for most of the afternoon, we ventured to see what we’ve missed in the past 10 plus years. Deb wasn’t really into thrill rides, so no Hangtime for us. We went on some of the more classic park attractions like the Calico Mine Train, the actual Calico train that goes around the park, etc. Jared wanted to check out the Wild West stunt show for laughs. Deb wanted to see if Mystery Lodge holds up. I also wanted to see what became of Kingdom of the Dinosaurs; it’s now a 4D first person shooter ride. Of course, Deb being Noctis, had to get her score up every time we went on. Pony Express was a different experience, but unfortunately was too short of a ride.
We went on a Monday during the summer. Thankfully, it wasn’t as crowded as Disney, but there were still a few waits. The wait for Ghost Rider wasn’t as bad as it was listed. It was listed as a 60 minute wait, but we clocked in at about 30 minutes to wait time. While I do like the immersiveness of Ghost Town Alive, other parts of the park kinda take you out of that immersion. For example, Ghost Rider’s queue has video screens playing modern music videos and it kinda takes you out of the element. I’m also not used to the whole seat-yourself thing, whereas at Disney parks, ride operators will tell you where to sit, this one is first come first serve.
One can wonder why the base camp for the robbers is next door to the bank
I’m really glad we did Ghost Town Alive. We’re curious to do it again one more time. It seems with the way things play out, there are multiple ways the story can go. Plus, we haven’t interacted will all of the characters. It was fun running quests for the Calico townies and also understanding the overall story that something else might be going on behind the scenes of Calico. It was also fun that we bounded as quest based characters from one of our site’s favorite JRPG’s. Kudos to Deb for playing main character for most of the day.
We would consider getting Knotts annual passes for next year. Knotts doesn’t do a year to date to year to date purchase for passes. We’re considering trying out Boysenberry Festival next year and maybe doing Ghost Town Alive once or twice. The price we paid for Knotts for this visit was $45 per head. About another payment of that would pay for an annual pass. Deb found a lot of things she liked; atmosphere, food, and good places to chillax with friends. Jared really likes the history of Ghost Town and feeling like he’s in his element; he has a soft spot for the Old West. Compared to the other park down the street, I liked Knotts’ authenticity and there’s a certain kind of realness to preserving the history of Old California in a theme park. I don’t really care much for other sections of Knotts, but exploring through Ghost Town is worth the price alone.
Ghost Town Alive runs throughout the summer. I highly recommend it, especially if you need a break from the park down the street.
Cheers and Boysenberry,
Unlimited Bound Works