are some tips, tidbits and suggestions based on our own experience, and
from others (including employee scuttlebutt), to help you get the most
from your trip. You might also skim our page on
, especially those that relate to visiting with small children, as some
of them could apply to any theme park in Southern California. Some are
Decide ahead of time on a place to meet if you get separated, either
deliberately or on accident. With so many unique attractions, you'll
have no trouble thinking of a good spot. Also, make sure everyone has
the ability to know what time it is or it won't matter where you decided
Check out some nice air conditioned shops in the hot afternoon; kids like the Snoopy shop across from the Marketplace shops.
might find lines at certain rides to be a bit shorter during some of
the major shows so keep your eye on the daily schdedule.
of the theme parks dress up for the holidays and Knott’s is no
exception. Starting in November, the park kicks into a holiday theme,
with decorations, shows, carolers, etc. If you plan to visit between
mid November and early January, check the official web site for specific
details on operating hours, special activities, etc. A trip to Knott’s Merry Farm can be a fun break during a Christmas visit to Southern California relatives. Soak City will be less alluring, safe to say.
Knott's Berry Farm Tips: Planning Your Knott's Resort Attack:
You’re on a mission to maximize the fun element in the few hours you
have available. Common wisdom has it that you should make a run for
Xcelerator as a first priority in the morning. This killer ride takes
you to 80 mph in 2.3 seconds; you can feel your blood separating into
plasma and platelets (or however it’s supposed to separate). A lot of
people want the thrill of such stress on their bodily fluids, but it’s a
good stress if you’re a coaster fan. So if this applies to you, get
over there. It is worth the wait.
Other rides not to be missed by thrill seekers are
Supreme Scream (245-foot drop), Ghost Rider (a rough wooden coaster—one
of the finest I’m told—that is particularly cool at night, Pony Express
(the newest cool ride) and Silver Bullet (a 2-minute-long suspended
coaster ride that will fling you silly, going upside down 6 times). So
block out time for these, not that Jaguar and Montezooma’s Revenge
aren’t also cool. You may find the lines shorter late at night; our
ex-employee notes that if you show up in line one minute before closing
they will let you on, so watch your watch for that last late-night shot
on your favorite, notably Ghost Rider.
If you’re a
true coaster fan, you absolutely must wait at least once in the longer
line to ride in the front on Xcelerator. Apparently you’re nothing if
you don’t do this.
Try to sit in the front on Silver Bullet; the very back is also considered to be good also.
Try to sit in the back on Ghost Rider.
You will get soaked on Perilous Plunge! Feels great on a hot summer day—not so good in January…
The Disneyland fireworks happen nightly during the summer at around
9:30, plus or minus 5 minutes or so. The show runs for awhile, so if
you can get on Supreme Scream at say 9:40, you’ll be lifted up the tower
with a potentially terrific view of the fireworks (try for a seat that
is not facing west or north, as Disneyland is roughly southeast of
Knott’s). Those cool pyrotechnics will be the last thing you’ll see
before blacking out…
Ghost Rider, being kinda rickety and bumpy as wooden coasters are wont to be, is especially effective at night.
for the high-profile rides first thing and later at night. In between
you can take in Ghost Town, Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village and the other
locales at a more leisurely pace. Take a break in the afternoon,
especially if you have kids. This is an advantage to staying at the
Knott’s resort hotel, as you can take a nap or hit the pool for a couple
of hours to refresh for the evening’s activities.
The park takes on a different feel at night (see Ghost Rider tip above) so do try and spend some hours after dark.
Check out the Knott’s web site
Fun Finder page
for additional Knott's Berry Farm tips to help figure out an attack
strategy, especially if you have kids of varying ages, who will want to
do different things. It’s a save environment for older children to take
off by themselves for awhile, if that will ieave Mom and/or Dad to
spend time with the little ones at age-appropriate attractions and
Kids (and adults) will enjoy panning for
gold; it’s not often that you can do something interactive like this at a
modern theme park so take advantage of it.
Disney has a boatload of beloved characters, most other theme parks
have none (Universal now has Homer Simpson, a major coup!). Knott’s has
the Snoopy gang. You can help make the visit more memorable for you
little ones by playing up Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the gang.
There are shows, rides and a nice store for Snoopy stuff. You might
watch some Peanuts videos ahead of time to get them in the mood.
Park (which has the very accurate reproduction of Independence Hall
complete with Liberty Bell) might seem out of place, but remember that
Walter Knott was a patriot who took pride in this exceptional recreation
of the original structure. So after you’ve hit some of the more
exciting attractions, check this out as it will enrich the day.
We’ve talked about thrill rides; that’s one part of the appeal of
Knott’s. The original appeal was to attractions like the Calico Mine
Train and the Ghost Town Calico Railway (and, of course, the chicken
dinners and pie). The mine ride is not the latest technology, but it is
still a lot of fun. The railroad is a good way to rest your bones; you
can’t help but smile when “visitors” jump the train (they do this like
dozens of times daily; you’d think that park security would know they
are coming and be able to stop them).
You can cool down by taking a break and wandering through the couple
dozen shops in the park. Especially notable are the Marketplace shops
where original Knott’s jam and jellies are available.
get some cotton candy; it’s as good here as anywhere.
Knott's Berry Farm Tips: To Enhance Your Safety and Convenience:
Try and stay away from weekends, as they get very busy (true of all
SoCal theme parks). One employee suggested Tuesdays and Thursdays as
being better for lighter attendance. Early summer is better, say by the
first week of June although you may find school groups in the park
then. This is also true after Labor Day. Operating hours are reduced
but so are the lines.
The thrill rides attract
older kids, and some adults dealing with certain ares of arrested
development. The ride operators feel a bit of joy when they can toss
out a line crasher. So don’t be afraid to inform on some idiot who cuts
in line; it’s not OK and the Knott’s folks don’t like it either.
Parent Swap, where two parents with one or more small children can take
turns riding a height-restricted attraction. One parent stays with the
kids as the other rides, and then they swap places without standing in
The height restrictions are not dumb
rules to be broken. People have gotten hurt by not being tall enough to
fully engage the safety systems on these dynamic thrill rides.
Parents, don’t encourage your shorter children to walk on tiptoes or do
things with their hair. The employees can get in a lot of trouble if
they miss a short guest, even if no harm results. This is one of the
more important, if less fun, of the Knott's Berry Farm tips and advice.
Speaking of thrill-ride safety, there are some rides where you
really, really don’t want to have your glasses or cell phone in your
pocket. Get straps for prescription glasses if possible. We heard that
a stagecoach horse was killed by a falling shoe or something from
Silver Bullet. The ride operators will tell you when you should not
carry something with you; believe them!
ice water from food places in the park. Or if you get a soft drink, you
can likely get a free refill on ice. You then fill up at a drinking
fountain or let the ice melt.
There is a
Walgreen’s pharmacy and store just outside the south end of the park,
within walking distance. It is open 24 hours, so keep that in mind for
that unexpected late-night cough or lack of sunscreen. Also near the
Walgreen’s is a Ken Crane television and appliance store, for purchasing
those last minute souvenirs such as a 48-inch flat-screen TV.
if you have found these humble pages to be helpful, it would be really
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box below; it can help you find all the best deals.
Knott's Berry Farm Tips: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck:
the reduced entry fee for arriving later in the afternoon, especially
if you have a very busy vacation schedule. You can get in a lot of fun
in 5-6 hours, particularly if you go on a weekday evening.
is more inclined than Disney to offer discounted tickets. Do not buy
your admission tickets way in advance unless you get a really great
price. Local stores such as Ralphs (supermarket) and Del Taco (fast
food) may offer discount tickets. First check the
Knott’s What’s Hot web page
, and then do a Google search for discounts.
employee says the best food value in the whole park is the Kid’s Fun
Bucket at All-American Fries and Burgers near Xcelerator. Enough food
for an older kid at a lower price.
Consider walking down to McDonald’s, Subway or IHOP for a meal rather than eating in the park. It’s not that far.
staying in one of the moderately priced hotels that are a few blocks away from the park;
they are not within easy walking distance, but the bus line runs up
Beach Boulevard and you can take a taxi for a very modest fee if you
can’t wait for the bus schedule. Of course, you might find the cost to
stay within walking distance is less than the cost of bus transportation
for a family.
If you’re staying within walking
distance, you can buy some food and keep it in an ice chest in your room
(or in your car if you’re driving). Grab your picnic lunch and eat at
the tables provided for that purpose. Save your dine-out budget for
As you probably know, the major theme parks must shut down rides and attractions from time to time for maintenance or major renovation. Usually they won't have much effect on your vacation planning, b…