How Rosco Fog Turns The Berry Into Scary At Knott’s

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Knott’s Berry Farm has been transforming into Knott’s Scary Farm for over 40 Halloween seasons. Each year, guests that visit the park are surrounded by more than 1,000 monsters found roaming the park and lurking in the thick billowing clouds of fog. It takes a team effort to create that much creepy, crawling fog inside the 160 acres of scare-zones, mazes and Halloween-themed attractions.

Knotts1The men that make the fog at Knott’s Scary Farm: Michael Boyce (L) & Mike Jacobsen (R)

Allow me to introduce you to Mike Jacobsen and Michael Boyce, or Fog-1 and Fog-2 as their known during Knott’s Scary Farm. I recently found an article from the Orange County Register that gives a peek behind the scenes at Knott’s annual Halloween haunt. It specifically focuses on how these two make enough fog to blanket the entire California amusement park. Below are some details from the article, plus a few other facts about the fog at Knott’s that I thought were worth sharing.


An interview of Mike Jacobsen telling his foggy of Knott’s Scary Farm story

The park deploys approximately 75 fog machines park-wide that consume about 1,800 gallons of Rosco Fog Fluid during the run of the event. “We really like it when it’s hard to see,” says Jacobsen.

Knotts2Me, posing with Knott’s order of Rosco Fog Fluid just before it departed

How much fog they make on a nightly basis is dependent on the weather. “It’s my biggest friend or my worst enemy,” reports Jacobsen. “When the wind is calm, and there’s some humidity, then the fog will sit there and make it an easy night – but when it’s hot and dry, we have to crank [the foggers] up as it dissipates real fast.”

#ScaryFarm opens tonight at 7 PM! Share your scare with us all night by using #ScaryFarm! 💀🎃👻

A photo posted by Knott’s Scary Farm (@knottsscaryfarm) on

For the better part of a decade, the team over at Pacific Coast Entertainment has provided Knott’s Scary Farm with the Rosco Fog Fluid they’ve required. Ryan Steidinger, PCE’s CEO, acknowledges that Rosco Fog Fluid is a premium fluid with a higher cost – but Knott’s is willing to pay extra for it. I asked Ryan why the fog team at Knott’s chooses Rosco, and he responded that it’s mainly because of these three reasons:

  1. Its HUGE hang time. The Rosco fluid delivers the thick, billowy clouds of fog that Knott’s needs – no matter what the weather conditions may be.
  2. Rosco’s water-based glycol mixture smells better than the glycerin fluids they’ve tried in the past. They get fewer visitor-complaints about the smell of the fog when they use Rosco.
  3. Risk management. Rosco’s fog fluid has not only been proven to be safe time-and-time-again, but their fog fluid MSDS’s are also published on their website for easy access should anyone at Knott’s ever need them.

Knotts3

In order to disperse the fog throughout the park, Mike and Michael have determined a number of strategic areas to place their foggers. Each machine is placed in a custom-made, vented, wooden box to protect them from the elements. Knotts4The boxes also lock, which keeps them safe from guest-tampering as well. As we learn in the OC Register article, “many of the machines in ‘fog alley,’ as Main Street in Ghost Town is called, have to be refilled around 10 p.m. to keep the streets filled with the ghostly fog. Others, used in the mazes and stage shows, are triggered at appropriate times to create a desired effect, and usually are filled at the end of the night.”

The Timber Mountain Log Ride and the Calico Mine Ride both get re-themed during the Knott’s Scary Farm event. Both rides feature fog elements during normal, non-haunt, days of the year that are generated by our Intelligent Fog System. In fact, you can read this blog to learn more about the IFS that was installed inside the Calico Mine Ride as a part of its restoration two years ago. As a part of the Knott’s Scary Farm re-theming, the fog output in both rides is turned up to 11!

With four decades of experience under their belts, Knott’s Scary Farm knows what it takes to create a stimulating, safe and supernatural haunt experience for its guests. A key component to their success over the years has been, and continues to be MORE FOG! We are thrilled to be a key component of their success.

If you’ve ever visited Knott’s Scary Farm – we’d love to see any photos you’ve got of yourself enveloped inside the #RoscoFog! Either tag us (we’re @rosco_labs on both Twitter & Instagram) or email them to us. To read the original Orange County Register article, click here. Planning your haunt for next year? Or perhaps you just want your house to be the foggiest on the block? Be sure to visit the Rosco Fog Products web page to see our complete line of fog machines and fluids.

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Matt Delong

About Matt Delong

Entertainment Lighting Market Manager: Matt DeLong has been at Rosco for 10 years, having started his career at Rosco in Technical Support and Customer Service. Matt later moved into Sales covering the North Atlantic Region before the opportunity came for him to work in Product Management for Rosco's Floor and Fog product lines. Matt has a background in Lighting Design and Technical Theatre and has functioned as a Technical Director, Lighting Designer, and Moving Light Technician. Matt's stories will reflect the changing market place behind-the-scenes of theatrical productions and themed environments.