Knott’s Berry Farm Announces “MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress” for 2025

The reports of the demise of Montezooma’s Revenge at Knott’s Berry Farm may have been greatly exaggerated. (okay, we’re absolutely a guilty party here, and we’ll own that.) Earlier today, Knott’s Berry Farm announced that reimagination has “re-zoomed” on MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress, and the attraction will open in 2025.

“The legend surrounding the whereabouts of Montezuma’s gold has beguiled treasure hunters far and wide,” said Knott’s in the description of the above video. “Many have dredged Mexican rivers, even plunged into the Pacific in search of the riches. But alas, a handful of the clever scavengers have found themselves in the true resting place of the infamous gold – just outside a small village in California, Fiesta Village.

“The time has come to see if new adventurers can succeed in extracting the gold and break the curse that has fallen upon many who have tried and failed. But, beware the way forward might not always be as expected. Introducing MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress, a new twist on a revered classic coaster experience that may alter your ability to escape with the treasure once and for all!”

Last month, when we speculated if it indeed was “the end” for the classic coaster, it looked bleak. The attraction had been removed from a mobile park map, and an SEC Filing had noted the cancellation of a capital project. However, with the release of this new teaser video, that definitely doesn’t seem to be the whole and final story. However, if we’re reading tea leaves, we did notice something in the above video that may be worth keeping an eye on.

In the video, we get a look at what we’re assuming is the new train for MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress. While the front of the train is ornate and appears to feature LED eyes – absolutely a sharp and modern look perfect for a revitalization of a classic coaster  – but it’s not where we’re focused. Look closely at the seats.

Formerly a classic Schwarzkopf train with ratcheting lap bar restraints when the coaster was known as Montezooma’s Revenge, these new trains feature new seats that resemble something frequently seen on trains from Premier Rides – comfort collars. Which leads us to wonder one of two things:

Is Premier Rides working with Knott’s and Cedar Fair to refurb MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress?

This wouldn’t be the first time Premier was involved in the restoration of a classic attraction. In recent years, they have assisted Kennywood with the refurbishment of their classic Kangaroo flat ride, provided new trains for the Togo-built “Manhattan Express” at New York, New York in Las Vegas, and are currently working with Busch Gardens Williamsburg on a re-tracking of the classic Loch Ness Monster roller coaster. (This is not an exhaustive list.) In each case, Premier has come in to aid in a project where a long-defunct manufacturer is no longer available to provide parts and assistance – and Premier Rides’ extensive catalog of services is ideal to restore old rides to their former glory.

What if (we’re speculating here!) MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress is an all-new coaster altogether?

Maybe we’re reading too far into the tea leaves here, but no social post or information we’ve seen has the words “rebuild” or “reconstruction” used in it. Knott’s Berry Farm is using “major renovations” on their website, but that copy could also have been a carryover from the previous project. If simply rebuilding Montezooma’s Revenge proved to be harder than originally expected, or even impossible (which could explain the cancellation of the project in the SEC filing) – a new coaster in the “spirit” of the original could be an interesting replacement.

In the YouTube video description, we’re (again, probably reading too far into it) keying on the words “a new twist on a revered classic coaster experience.” If the classic coaster experience can be defined as “forward and backward with a launch and inversion” – who is to say that a “new twist” on that couldn’t be a coaster model like a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II (where that inversion is indeed a “twist”), or something more custom like Ice Breaker that has a swing launch that could also interact with Jaguar like the original Montezooma’s Revenge did? Technically, it would be the first time Cedar Fair opened a Premier Rides Coaster – as Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion and Kings Island and Backlot Stunt Coasters at KD, KI, and Canada’s Wonderland all opened while the parks were under Paramount’s ownership.

Given Cedar Fair’s recent history with Zamperla and Wild Mouse/Top Thrill 2/Snoopy’s Tenderpaw Twister, what if the first ever “Double Heart” model was built in the narrow footprint formerly occupied by the shuttle loop – giving Knott’s its long awaited Hypercoaster? Anything is possible at this point, and that’s what makes this hobby fun. We’re just glad that MonteZOOMa – in some capacity – will continue to thrill Knott’s Berry Farm guests for years to come.

What do you think is happening? Let us know in the comments below