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Cannot recommend Boo-fet anymore

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  • Cannot recommend Boo-fet anymore

    Sadly, this will probably be the last time do the Boo-fet dinner at Knott's.

    Several aspects of our experience had deteriorated from last year.

    Food: I feel, subjectively, that there was a greater selection last time. I noticed that this year more items were out when I visited the buffet, and I had to wait on things more frequently. Food service items, such as bowls for soup and chili, were not available and I had to ask for them. Also, the carved beef I sampled was tough as leather, although the turkey was pretty good. The fried chicken was not hot or fresh, but still eatable, especially with the gravy.

    Seating: This year, they had us seated in the Ghost Town Grill, and it was a fair trek to the food, squeezing past tables, other guests, and through a long, narrow corridor along the way. Last year, we were seated outside in front of Spurs. a short walk to the food.

    Extras: last year, we received free refill souvenir cups, which were good for the rest of 2016. A welcome perk that I was looking forward to this year. Unfortunately, although Knott's advertised that we would again receive free refill souvenir cups, in the fine print it was noted that they were only free refill for the day of purchase! Hence, you could only get free refills during Knott's Scary Farm that same night. After which, refills cost $1. Knott's really cheaped out on us this year!

    Early Entry: One valuable perk for Boo-fet guests is 1/2 hour early entry to the park. Sure enough, they allowed us in at 6:30, and we made a beeline to Dark Ride...only to find that it wasn't open yet! And we waited, and waited. It eventually opened a few minutes before 7PM, at which point they started allowing all the accumulated Fastlane guests to enter before allowing us in. We saved some time, but not 30 minutes in my opinion.

    Another thing my child discovered, to her (and our) dismay was that there is only one little toilet for all the guests in the Boo-fet area, and a predictably massive line to get in. We asked around, and there didn't seem to be any other options available, so plan accordingly.

    What a difference a year makes! It was always somewhat overpriced for what you get, but at least we were seated in a pleasant location, and the free refill was a nice perk that we used for the rest of the year. This year, on balance, I cannot say it is worth it. So, like Elvira, we won't be returning again next year. What a pity: another yearly tradition is now history.

  • #2


    I agree with everything you wrote about the dramatic decline in the quality of food at the Boo-fet. It was so good the first year I went about 8 years and has been mostly going downhill ever since. They need a new head chef!

    And the restroom was out of paper to dry your hands both times I used it.

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    • #3
      yes knotts food does suck makes me go bathroom sometimes after i eat it

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      • #4
        And there wasn’t anything themed about the food, either. The most seasonal thing on offer was the pumpkin soup, which is usually pretty good while fresh and hot. Although it does tend to develop an unappetizing skin.

        At th end of the day, it was a fairly unremarkable and mediocre effort. The best I can say about the buffet is that I was probably cheaper than what Disney might have charged. But, Disney would have been cleaner, the seating and ambience would have been superior, and the presentation would have been more creative and themed.

        For example, instead of boring, bog standard chocolate cookies and brownies, Disney would have done some decorated parfaits, pies and cakes. With cute and evokative names. I’ve gotten so used to th high bar set by Disney, I almost take it for granted, but Knott’s head chef needs to spend some time there to get some new ideas (new for Knott’s, anyway.)

        I mean, I love Knott’s boysenberry pie, in principal...but it’s the same pie, every buffet, year after year. And in their restaurant, of course. Knott’s has proven to us that they know how to make other stuff with boysenberries...so, why don’t they?

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        • #5
          I have only done BooFet once, and I thought the quality of the food was equal to something that came out of a can of Chef Boy r Dee. I hear so many people rave about how great it is, and I thought maybe I was just nuts.

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          • #6
            I was glad Knott's sent me an online survey of Scary Farm where I could praise the things Ioved (like Dark Ride & the Sleepy Hallow Scare zone), and exact written revenge upon the Boo-fet. It was so excellent the first time I went to Scary Farm about ten years ago, and SOOOOO much worse this year. I really think they need some new people running it. How did they cook the roast beef that badly? It was the worst I've ever had. Did Knott's food secretly get turned over to Magic Mountain's? Or to Sizzler? Or Hometown Buffet? (I've only eaten there ONCE.) Was bad food supposed to be scary? Does ANYONE at Knott's eat this garbage? (No offense, turkey, you were good!)

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            • #7
              I actually asked someone from food services about the declining quality of the Boo-fet food, and she pointed out to me that they weren’t just selling food, but the whole “package.” And most people probably didn’t go for the food, but rather to get a head start on their Scary Farm experience. With the ambiance, monsters and early access to the park.

              I guess, in some respects, it’s kind of like Fantasmic Hungry Bear upsell: most people probably don’t buy that for the food, either.

              Put in that context, it does kind of make more sense. They also do buffets for other holidays, such as Easter and Thanksgiving, and the quality has so far held up pretty well. But, obviously, one has plenty of other choices where one can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner, so Knott’s has to be good enough to compete with that.

              And, probably, the first year they tried to introduce Boo-fet, they just naturally carried over the same level of quality, value and choice as their other buffets. It was a great experience and a fantastic value.

              But, unfortunately, some “marketing genius” realized “you know, I’ll bet we could basically serve people Kennel Ration dog chow out of the can, and we’d still pack them in every night.” And, sure enough: now the food has become the scariest part of the whole experience...

              Obviously, Knott’s is still capable of putting on a good Boo-fet. But they’ve learned they don’t have to, so why bother if their customers don’t demand better? It is sad, however, that a local institution, which was originally founded due to the quality of their food, with a tradition of putting on great holiday and Sunday buffets, is now allowing the quality of one of their holiday buffets to decline by degrees. Basically, to exploit a captive audience. Such a pity.
              Last edited by whiteness; 10-01-2017, 11:34 AM.

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              • #8
                So, Whiteness, we seem to agree that the low quaity of this year's Boo-fet was Scary Farm's biggest flaw. I went to the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor and their annoying things was charging every car $40 to park! But (and I know I'm off topic), their monsters were in theiw own league. They weren't just about variations of "Boo!" many were creepy actors & dancers. So Scary Farm's leaders should really check this out and emulate their monster actors.

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                • #9
                  The buffet hasn't really ever been that great. I've been doing for six years, and feel like junk afterwards. Only reason I did it this year was because of the all inclusive ticket.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by christianlyons View Post
                    The buffet hasn't really ever been that great. I've been doing for six years, and feel like junk afterwards. Only reason I did it this year was because of the all inclusive ticket.
                    Well, at least it used to be Circus Circus level of quality and value. Not something that I would actively seek out, but I at least didn't used to hate myself for eating there.

                    Now...*sigh* If I was Snoopy, I would have thrown my dog dish away in disgust.

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