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Knotts Berry Farm’s Windseeker leaves riders hanging at 300 feet

A view of the Windseeker operating normally.
A view of the Windseeker operating normally.

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Typically, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park isn’t at its most frightening until Halloween, when it transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm.

But yesterday, some patrons of the amusement park got an early overdose of fear. Riders on the Windseeker attraction, a carousel that takes people around in a circle at about 300 feet in the sky, got a thrill when it malfunctioned. While a few fits and starts are common at theme parks, this was more than just a bump in the road. In fact, it took three hours before the ride started again, and patrons were stranded at the very top of the ride with their legs dangling in the air.

No one ended up getting hurt, and the ride itself is back in working order, but how often do things like this happen? What’s the protocol for preventing and fixing such a problem? How do Knott’s and other parks deal with the public fallout? Do those Windseeker riders now have lifetime passes to ride whatever they want? If they do, will they even use them? Have you ever experienced a similar situation on a ride at an amusement park? How amusing was it?


Robert Niles, Editor,