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Observation for those that haven't been to Knott's for a while or ever...

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  • Observation for those that haven't been to Knott's for a while or ever...

    I hadn't been to Knott's Berry Farm since the early 90's. Back then I remember it being pretty rugged and not in the old west theming kind but just the neglected and not very finished kind of rugged. I remember being able to see the surrounding streets and you definitely knew you were in Buena Park and not some magical land. Now though... my hats off to the park management as they have taken something that was a small step above a county fair and made something that truly feels like a legit theme park. I have read that several Imagineers had grown frustrated with DLR's accounting over creative and went to Knott's, if that is the case I believe it. Many areas are themed and completed at levels you would find at DLR not all but many. The trees have all grown in and at times I even forgot I was in Buena Park. In short, I was truly impressed coming from my memory of the park in the 90's.

    I remember the rides were meager in numbers. You had basically Montezumas, The Corkscrew, The Parachutes, The Log Ride, and Soap Box Racers everything else was a spinner and or a slow dark ride or train. Now though...WOW there are coasters all over the place, I think I counted 8 or 9 if you like roller coaster this place has them in all shapes, style and lengths. They are all knotted ( no pun intended ) in and out of each other and as you walk around the park hearing the rumble and having guests zoom by over head is common place. Knott's is really dense with attractions and we found ourselves often passing rides to see what the next ride was all about just to then go see the next one. etc. It was actually a lil overwhelming coming form years as a DLR AP holder and being used to things more spread out and less true coasters.

    Knott's staff were very impressive, I often watched their interactions with guests and they truly were top notch and well trained in guest relations. I would say on par or better then the DLR staff in recent years.

    We went from around 11:30- 7pm and though we did have a sit down lunch and also had dinner at Knott's Chicken Restaurant (super good but way but too much food, sharing a meal is ideal unless your a huge eater) and we went on 7 rides but walked around a lot trying to get our bearings and figure out the park layout. We are excited to go back soon and next time we will know what to expect and in what order to do things.

    Is Knott's better than Disneyland? Honest answer... No, I think DLR still is the top shelf of overall experiences and each ride at Disneyland has been far more thought through and fleshed out (Jaguar at Knott's for instance has a miserable queue that is hot dark and muggy.) But is Knott's a better value than DLR...absolutely it is, not doubt in my mind. We got 4 Annual passes in May before the cut off and they are good until May 5th 2022 and cost less than a single Day at DLR. (even on the mystical $104 dollar days) If I was a teen or 20 something I might consider Knott's over DLR if it was just down to rides alone as Knott's has far more thrill rides and involves less walking to get to everything.

    In short here is my Pro's Con's list:

    Pro's:
    - Tons of Roller Coasters
    - Densely packed
    - Huge Value for your entry fee
    - Great Food
    - Awesome Staff

    Con's:
    - A lil bit of a maze that takes learning to get your bearings.
    - Not a lot of well themed dark rides.
    - Not a lot of open space in some of the areas.
    - Erratic theming and levels of set dressing.

    In short as much as I am waiting to hear what DLR does for an Affinity/Membership Program (AP) in the meantime I am more than happy with our Knott's AP's and feel we are getting a great value overall this next year.

    Last edited by Starcade; 06-29-2021, 03:12 PM.
    Disneyland Fan since the 70's

  • #2
    I'm glad you're enjoying your pass!

    Despite being an Orange County native, Knott's Berry Farm was never really on my radar. My most recent visit was for this year's Boysenberry Festival, and I have to say it was a very well done event (I was originally going to go to California Adventure's food event, but when I saw the price Knott's was suddenly more appealing). I love the entire Ghost Town/Calico Mine area of the park; there's so much information and details in that area and you can tell it was really a passion project for Walter Knott (I wish we had more visionaries running theme parks these days). The shops there have a different vibe than Disney too, with more independent vendors and craftsman hawking their goods (they were very friendly when I was there). And the Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride are Disney-quality attractions in my opinion.

    I'm not a huge fan of the other half of the park though. I enjoy rollercoasters, but I do wish Knott's had either hidden the tall coasters or themed them out more, because they currently stick out like a sore thumb throughout Ghost Town. The boardwalk/fiesta village area could use some work. But for the relatively low price, I think a good half-of-a-park is pretty good.

    Overall, the park has grown on me.
    Brian the Pooh

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Brian PieGuy View Post
      I'm glad you're enjoying your pass!

      And the Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride are Disney-quality attractions in my opinion.
      They are Disney quality because Knotts hired Matt Ouimet from Disneyland and brought in a GM that really cares about the park. I think his first job as a teenager was sweeping it. Also, they hired Garner Holt to do these renovations. GH does a bunch of Disney's projects too and did Radiator Springs Racers.

      There was a great micechat article about this back in the day: https://www.micechat.com/68678-previ...ico-mine-ride/

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      • #4
        Another thing about the log ride at Knotts is they designed the logs to keep the water from coming into the log itself except for light drops and minor splashes. The have a notch cut out of the front and wicker bills around the seating area. Splash Mtn. is only a rarely ride for us because you get absolutely drenched and walling around a part sopping wet is not fun.
        Last edited by Starcade; 07-08-2021, 09:39 AM.
        Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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        • #5
          They need to do more to be large mammal accommodating. Had to be taken off of Supreme Scream and after trying the seat out front of Xcelerator decided to not bother waiting in line for the same thing there. I mean, I typically only do Knott's for Haunt most years as I haven't had a pass to the park itself in at least 7 or 8 years now, but just got one with my girlfriend and it did sting a bit to not be able to go on rides that I used to have zero issues with. Silver Bullet at least has the one fat guy seat and Montezooma, Ghostrider and such are fine but man...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NGW View Post
            They need to do more to be large mammal accommodating. Had to be taken off of Supreme Scream and after trying the seat out front of Xcelerator decided to not bother waiting in line for the same thing there. I mean, I typically only do Knott's for Haunt most years as I haven't had a pass to the park itself in at least 7 or 8 years now, but just got one with my girlfriend and it did sting a bit to not be able to go on rides that I used to have zero issues with. Silver Bullet at least has the one fat guy seat and Montezooma, Ghostrider and such are fine but man...
            I am large dude as well but we went for about 8 hours. Of the coasters we only rode Montezumas and Jaguar, is supreme Scream the only coaster that has size issues? I wondered about the other coasters and did not see any test seats out front like many have mentioned. What coasters are tight fitting?
            Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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            • #7
              I was a Disneyland AP for two decades until Disney suspended the program. About four of five years ago after talking to a friend was also a long-time AP and had recently gifted his parents and himself passes to Knott's, I bought my first Knott's season pass. The first few visits, I found I enjoyed the park but compared the Knott's experience to what's available at Disneyland. Of course, that couldn't be helped, being an AP for so long. Bit after several visits, I finally just told myself, "Stop it! Knott's is not Disneyland and never gonna be, so quit holding it up to it to judge it."

              I've renewed my Knott's season pass every year since, and now I love Knott's wholehearted BECAUSE it's Knott's and not because it's better or worse than any other park. In those early visits, I loved not knowing the park like I knew Disneyland like the back of my hand, so there was discovery involved during my park visits. I read "Knott's Preserved" and loved learning SO MANY wondering stories about its history and surprising connections to Walt Disney. I love it's small town charm. I love and miss Ghost Town Alive! I don't know how Knott's can make any money from it, but I love the meal plan! LOL And I'm fifty-something, so the rollercoasters aren't as much my thing these days. So I'm more than content enjoying the Cameo Kate and Dakota Dan at the Saloon, the holiday shows at the Bird Cage, and Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. I wish the park had more shade; that pavement reflects the summer heat something fierce, right? And Walter Knott and his family had always planned the farm to be a theme park, I wished they'd planned it's layout and foundation better. But they didn't.

              But I concede that it's perfectly natural and reasonable to compare Knott's to Disneyland. I personally just don't anymore.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gone2Disneyland View Post
                I was a Disneyland AP for two decades until Disney suspended the program. About four of five years ago after talking to a friend was also a long-time AP and had recently gifted his parents and himself passes to Knott's, I bought my first Knott's season pass. The first few visits, I found I enjoyed the park but compared the Knott's experience to what's available at Disneyland. Of course, that couldn't be helped, being an AP for so long. Bit after several visits, I finally just told myself, "Stop it! Knott's is not Disneyland and never gonna be, so quit holding it up to it to judge it."

                I've renewed my Knott's season pass every year since, and now I love Knott's wholehearted BECAUSE it's Knott's and not because it's better or worse than any other park. In those early visits, I loved not knowing the park like I knew Disneyland like the back of my hand, so there was discovery involved during my park visits. I read "Knott's Preserved" and loved learning SO MANY wondering stories about its history and surprising connections to Walt Disney. I love it's small town charm. I love and miss Ghost Town Alive! I don't know how Knott's can make any money from it, but I love the meal plan! LOL And I'm fifty-something, so the rollercoasters aren't as much my thing these days. So I'm more than content enjoying the Cameo Kate and Dakota Dan at the Saloon, the holiday shows at the Bird Cage, and Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. I wish the park had more shade; that pavement reflects the summer heat something fierce, right? And Walter Knott and his family had always planned the farm to be a theme park, I wished they'd planned it's layout and foundation better. But they didn't.

                But I concede that it's perfectly natural and reasonable to compare Knott's to Disneyland. I personally just don't anymore.
                I agree it is hard to compare them. It really is an apple to oranges comparison but these days with Disney being such a rotten apple and Knott's a nice juicy orange for a fraction of the rotten apple's price that orange has huge value. I also agree with how much fun it is not knowing the park like the back of your hand. We spend most of our last trip just walking around trying to get our bearings and we left a lot of rides for next time because we knew we would be back and now have a lot to look forward to on our next trip.
                Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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