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America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 10 Knott’s Berry Farm

In 2017 Knott’s Berry Farm was the tenth-most-visited theme park in North America. Knott’s Berry Farm is also the most-visited theme park in the Cedar Fair chain.

Amazing Parks Knott’s Berry Farm

Nearly 100 years after opening as a roadside stand to sell berry products, the park has grown to be an amazing park welcoming close to 6 million visitors annually.

The main park is full of roller coasters and family friendly rides. There is also a water park, hotel and a very famous chicken restaurant.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry

Photo via Orange County Archives

History of Knott’s Berry Farm

The theme park dates back to the 1920s when the Knott family began selling berry products at a roadside stand in California. By the 1940’s, a restaurant, several shops, and attractions had been added to entertain the growing number of visitors.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry

Photo via Orange County Archives

The site continued to transform into a modern amusement park over the next two decades. An admission charge was added in 1968. Over the years the park grew to include close to 160 acres of thrill rides and family friendly attractions.

In the late 1990’s the children of the original founder decided to sell the family business.

In 1997, they sold the amusement park operations to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. The family was  given an opportunity to sell the park to The Walt Disney Company. The park would have been a sister park to Disneyland and converted into Disney’s America, which had previously failed to be built near Washington, D.C. The Knotts refused to sell the park to Disney fear most of what Walter Knott had built would be eliminated.

Knott’s Berry Farm Today

Knott’s Berry Farm has found a good balance of rides and attractions. The park allows a family with younger or older kids to have a great day. Whether you are looking for an extreme roller coaster, a kiddie ride, a family ride where you can join your kids or something in between, Knott’s Berry Farm has something for you.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry

Photo via Orange County Tribune

The park is made up of different themed lands.

Ghost Town is the land where Knott’s Berry Farm started. Modeled after an 1880s California “Boom Town,” Ghost Town is the home of the world’s first log flume ride, one of the longest roller coasters in the world, and a host of other themed attractions. The best part of this land is the opportunity to go “panning” for real gold!

Fiesta Village is a tribute to the Spanish heritage of California. Colorful rides, mariachi bands and dining on Mexican favorites can be found here.

The Boardwalk area reflects Southern California’s seaside amusement piers. Here you’ll find  the world’s steepest, tallest, and wettest water ride; bumper cars and a Wild Mouse-style ride. You can play laser tag, arcade games, and visit a theater to see Broadway-style productions performed by talented actors, singers, and dancers.

Wildwater Wilderness is home to one of the park’s most popular rides, Big Foot Rapids, an outdoor raft ride that will get you soaking wet as you shoot the rapids on the longest man-made whitewater river! 

The Indian Trails area doesn’t contain any rides but there are some unique dining and shopping experiences as well as demonstrations of Native American dance and music. You can browse authentic tee-pees, hogans, and big houses, representative of a number of different tribes of the American Southwest. Don’t miss the world’s largest totem pole, whose story traces the growth of the park.

Camp Snoopy is based on all the delightful Charles Schultz Peanuts characters. This land is home to more than 30 kid friendly attractions that are just the right size for your little guys. Snoopy and the gang can regularly be seen throughout this area and pose for photos with the kids.

Annual Events

The park hosts five different events each year. The Seasons of Fun kick-off in the beginning of the year with the Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, uniquely dedicated to celebrating the beloved PEANUTS characters.

Every spring, celebrate Knott’s delicious roots during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite boysenberry food, drinks and dazzling family-friendly entertainment!

During the summer the interactive Ghost Town Alive! experience returns to the park complete with bandits, cowboys, robberies, judges, a good ol’ western hoedown, and much more! The summer also brings fireworks, special entertainment and extended park hours.

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In the fall, the annual daytime, family-friendly Halloween celebration, Knott’s Spooky Farm, brings “spooky” activities geared for ages 3-11, including trick-or-treating, themed rides and live shows.

End the year with the merriest of seasons as the park wondrously transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm, a Christmas celebration for all ages. Knott’s Berry Farm harvests great special events in Buena Park all year long. No matter what the season, you will always find the most things to do in Southern California at Knott’s Berry Farm!

The Water Park – Knott’s Soak City

Knott’s Soak City Water Park is open on select days mid-May through early-September. Orange County’s largest water park boasts a total of 22 speed, tube and body slides plus a giant wave pool, lazy river and interactive kids area.

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The Hotel – Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel

The full-service 320 room hotel features a SNOOPY-themed wing, fitness center, pool with children’s activity area, lighted sports courts and many other amenities.

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Dining options include Amber Waves specializing in All-American fare and hotel room service. A variety of affordable family vacation packages, including admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, are available year-round with special early admission into Knott’s Berry Farm during the summer.

The Famous Chicken Restaurant – Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant first opened in 1934 with Mrs. Knott and her children serving the first customers in their tea room. The restaurant has grown over the years into one of the largest in California, but the classic fried chicken dinner is still made the same way using Mrs. Knott’s recipes. 

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Every complete chicken dinner includes handmade biscuits, side salad, choice of cabbage or cherry rhubarb, three pieces of fried chicken and mashed potatoes smothered with gravy.

For dessert: your choice of boysenberry pie or boysenberry sherbet. Many other dishes are also available including grilled chicken, salads, open-faced sandwiches and a number of appetizers. A full-service bar, serving signature boysenberry-infused cocktails, is also available.

Child Safety

Before you start your day at Knott’s Berry Farm, stop by guest services and register for the KidTrack program. You provide your telephone number and name and they will write that on a wristband for your kids to wear. Tell your kids that if they get lost they should tell a Knott’s employee who will call your number  on the wristband.

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss:


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