Huff and Puff mining cart kiddie ride in Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm. (Courtesy of Knott’s)
I remember cramming my 6-foot frame into the little Huff and Puff mining cart at Knott’s Berry Farm and huffing and puffing as I very slowly chugged around the miniature track under my own strength.
I’m sure I looked like an idiot cranking the hand pump back and forth — but I was determined to tackle the human-powered one-of-a-kind kiddie ride.
Knott’s Berry Farm will close the Huff and Puff ride in Camp Snoopy at the end of the day on Sunday, Jan. 7. The Buena Park theme park will hand out “Last Ride” merit badges to riders on the final day.
Get ready to earn your first merit badge!
This Sunday, January 7, marks the last day guests will get to ride the Camp Snoopy classic, Huff and Puff! To commemorate the event, guests can “earn” their Huff and Puff Last Ride merit badge. pic.twitter.com/L9ZLE5gEzT
— Knott’s Berry Farm (@knotts) January 3, 2024
It turns out I should not have been allowed on the Huff and Puff ride, which has a 52-inch height maximum. Maybe the ride operator overlooked my height that day — or more than likely simply wanted to see me try to get in and out of the Huff and Puff cart.
Either way, I’m happy I got to ride Huff and Puff before it disappeared forever from the theme park landscape.
It’s possible the miniature mining cart can still be found at a few other theme parks — but it’s definitely a rarity. In a few days, Huff and Puff will be relegated to the Knott’s history books and reside only in the memories of visitors fortunate enough to have taken a spin on the novel kiddie ride.
The 1983 Huff and Puff was built by Long Beach-based Bradley & Kaye Amusement Company. Bradley & Kaye also made the 1983 Timberline Twister kiddie coaster that’s also being removed as part of the latest Camp Snoopy makeover.
The ride maker was co-founded by Beverly Park owner David Bradley — who played a crucial role in theme park history.
Walt Disney was a frequent visitor of Beverly Park with his daughters in the 1940s.
Disney showed Bradley his plans for Disneyland in 1950 and soon after hired him as a consultant for the fledgling park, according to KCET.
Bradley’s wife, Bernice, a story researcher at Disney Studios, worked double duty as Beverly Park’s treasurer and box office manager.
“Our park was very tiny. There was a carousel, a little train ride and another little boat ride for children,” said Bernice Bradley, according to MousePlanet. “Walt was out there almost every day, sitting on the end of the bench watching how children enjoyed the rides.”
In 1953, Walt dispatched his Imagineers to the small corner amusement park in Beverly Hills “for inspiration and general reconnaissance,” according to the DisneylandForward EIR.
Bradley & Kaye was best known for the Little Dipper kiddie roller coaster built in partnership with the Allan Herschell Company. The 1971 Magic Flyer coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain is a B&K model.
The original Balloon Race at Knott’s was built by Bradley & Kaye — and since replaced with a redesigned ride. Similar B&K balloon rides can be found at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia and Hersheypark in Pennsylvania.
Bradley restored classic carousels and made fiberglass molds of famed horse carvings used to reproduce new highly-detailed figures for refurbished or modern merry-go-rounds.
Chance Rides purchased Bradley & Kaye Amusement Company in 1986.