In August 2022 we heard the news that an expansion would be coming to Knott's Berry Farm in the form of Viva Fiesta Village which would be inspired by the Hispanic influence on Southern California and was slated to debut in 2023. As part of this expansion the classic rollercoaster Montezooma would be reimagined to become MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress.
Viva Fiesta Village opened at the park on May 26, however it was announced that "Due to construction delays, MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress will not open with Fiesta Village this summer. An opening date has not been scheduled at this time." This came as disappointing news to fans of Knott's Berry Farm. Earlier this week there was a rumor floated by Screamscape that things could be even worse than was originally expected regarding MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress.
We are now expecting an opening for MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress next year in 2024 but from this recent rumor, it appeared that there was an issue with the contractors who are providing the track and the trains for this reimagined attraction. The project was therefore expected to cost significantly more than was originally agreed.
In the latest update from Screamscape it now seems as if MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress is indeed back on track for an opening in 2024.
Currently, Montezooma is in pieces with the flywheel launch system having been removed along with the trains and large sections of the track. We will update you with further details on the progress of this project when they are announced.
When it does open, MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress will provide Knott's Berry Farm fans with an updated and modern twist on the classic coaster which is described as, "The new updates allow guests to be completely surprised by the direction the train will take them at the start of each ride. The randomized launch sequence will make it impossible for anyone to know their destiny until it is too late to escape the clutches of Montezooma. Only those brave enough can make it through the final challenge and find themselves at the home of the hidden Aztec treasure in MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress."
Thanks to an article on the OC Register back in September 2022, we have a clearer picture of exactly what fans will be able to enjoy. MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress is set to have:
- A randomized launch sequence making it impossible for anyone to know which direction the train will take them in at the start of each ride. Forwards or backwards, you will just have to wait and see!
- New over-the-shoulder rider restraints will replace the lap bars in order to meet current requirements by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). This has concerned many fans due to load time.
- New trains manufactured by KumbaK which are rumored to have on board lighting.
- A special effects sequence rumored to be added to the station for the launch of the coaster.
- Tell the story of the Montezuma’s hidden treasure and those who have tried to find the Aztec emperor’s riches over the years.
Viva Fiesta Village gives guests the opportunity to wander down Fiesta Mercado which has been inspired by Los Angeles' Olvera Street. There are a range of shops and dining locations including the full service restaurant, Casa California which will serve tacos and burritos. The lush landscaping adds vibrant color to the area which houses a number of flat rides.
If you haven't had the chance to visit Knott's Berry Farm and are interested in the recently opened Viva Fiesta Village then take a look at the video embedded below posted by Mouse Vibes.
Beginning April 22, 2023, Knott's Berry Farm is currently enforcing a chaperone policy meaning that anyone aged 15 years or older must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old in order to remain in the park after 4:00PM.
Are you impressed by the plans for Viva Fiesta Village? Are you excited to ride the newly updated MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress when it eventually opens at Knott's Berry Farm? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.