In a region known for world class theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm stands out in Southern California as the oldest California theme park. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair (which operates many other parks in the US), Knott’s Berry Farm offers thrill rides, Camp Snoopy, delicious food, festivals, a ghost town, a separate ticketed water park, and much more.
This post contains affiliate links. A click through/purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us. All opinions are my own. My visit was included as part of the conference ticket I purchased for the AWEsome Retreat. I also paid for my own stay at the Knott’s Berry Farm hotel.
Guide to Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm
Location of Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm is located in Buena Park, California, within Orange County. It’s about 20 minutes from both Long Beach Airport and Disneyland Resort. There are lots of hotels in the area, as well as the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, located adjacent to the resort.
You’ll have several airports to choose from when you book your tickets. LAX, John Wayne Airport (SNA), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), Long Beach Airport (LBG) and Ontario International Airport (ONT) are all options. I flew in through Long Beach Airport and out through LAX. With this many options, it can be relatively easy to find a reasonably priced flight that works with your plans – especially if you are willing to go in and out of separate airports.
Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets
You’ll find several options for Knott’s Berry Farm tickets, including ticket add ons. Pricing varies by the date, although a “good any single date” ticket is also offered. Soak City, when it’s open, has a separate admission. Expect to pay more for busier times.
In addition to standard admission tickets, you can also purchase season passes, and add ons such as the FastLane (where you can skip the line to popular attractions), all day or all season dining, and stroller rentals.
If you are visiting Southern California on vacation and want to visit Knott’s Berry Farm, you can definitely get away with just single day tickets. You can do just about everything in one single day.
You can save money on tickets by purchasing through Get Away Today. These tickets are offered at a discount, and may also contain coupons and other offers. You can also purchase a Southern California vacation package through them, which will contain tickets and hotel. Use the code FTM10 for $10 off a package of two days or more.
Read more about Southern California theme parks here.
Knott’s Berry Farm Rides
As you enter the park, you’ll first walk through the California Marketplace, a row of shops and restaurants that don’t require admission to visit. Then, when you walk through the front gate, you can enter the Old West Ghost Town, where you’ll find a working blacksmith and other old west buildings. Younger kids are likely to appreciate the quaintness and old world charm of these buildings.
Thrill seekers will love the number of thrill rides and world class roller coasters at Knott’s. During our visit, we went on several, including the Silver Bullet. I was so impressed with how smooth that ride is. We also went on Supreme Scream, which goes up 252 feet for a fantastic view and super-fast drop. Other thrill rides include the following:
- La Revolución
- Montezooma’s Revenge
- Sol Spin
- Xcelerator The Ride
For many of these rides, you won’t want to take on bags or any sort of loose shoes. Cubbies are available to hold these things, but they aren’t secured. If a member of your party isn’t riding, it’s probably best to leave cameras and handbags with them.
A new ride, Calico River Rapids, will be opening in summer 2019. This ride replaces BigFoot Rapids.
Younger kids will absolutely love Camp Snoopy, where they can ride Peanuts’ gang themed family rides. While I didn’t go on any of these rides, they looked like lots of fun for little ones. There are also character interactions and shows that take place on a regular schedule within Camp Snoopy. We stopped to watch one of these shows and it was so cute and fun. My kids would have loved it when they were younger.
While little ones will enjoy Camp Snoopy, and older kids will love the thrill rides, I noticed that there aren’t as many attractions that appeal to kids in between those two ages. There are a few slower coasters, but there aren’t tons of them. If you’ve got kids that are too young for the Peanuts gang but too old for thrill rides, you may want to hold out for a few years before visiting.
One important note: I’d recommend checking the scheduled ride closures before your trip. During our visit, several of the more popular rides were closed for maintenance. You’ll want to make sure that you can do everything that you want to do during your vacation. I would be disappointed if I’d visited and a few of my must-ride attractions were closed.
Knott’s Berry Farm Food
For me, at least half of the theme park experience is the food. Luckily, Knott’s Berry Farm has loads of delicious food options to choose from. Arrive hungry so that you can try the full selection.
Most popular is the Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. It first opened in 1934, and features a delicious, iconic chicken dinner that includes biscuits, fried chicken, salad, mashed potatoes with gravy, and pie.
While I didn’t dine at the restaurant, I was able to try the chicken dinner during the conference I attended. The food is delicious, and is definitely worth trying. The restaurant is located in the California Marketplace, and reservations are accepted via OpenTable. Because of the location, you don’t need Knott’s Berry farm tickets to dine there.
There are other restaurants located within the theme park and the California Marketplace. These include quick service locations, as well as Starbucks, Panda Express, Fridays, and Johnny Rockets.
As a nod to their roots, Knott’s Berry Farm also offers different Boysenberry flavored snacks. These include Boysenberry pie, Boysenberry Corn Dogs, and Boysenberry Soft Serve, and you can find these throughout the parks at various quick serve locations. I tried the Boysenberry soft serve (as pictured above), and it was delicious.
Knott’s Berry Farm Festivals
The park hosts various popular festivals throughout the year. These include the Boysenberry Festival, which takes place from late March through most of April. During the festival, you can experience live entertainment and delicious food, including over 75 Boysenberry dishes.
There’s also Knott’s Scary Farm, which takes place around Halloween. This festival isn’t necessarily kid-friendly, but has lots of scary and thrilling haunted attractions. It’s best for older teens and adults.
The much more kid-friendly Knott’s Peanuts Celebration takes place on weekends at the beginning of the year. It includes Peanuts gang character encounters, entertainment, and more.
Other festivals happening throughout the year include Knott’s Spooky Farm (a more kid-friendly event) and Knott’s Merry Farm over the Christmas holidays.
Knott’s Berry Farm Ticket Add-Ons
Stroller and wheelchair rentals are available at the park, if you need them. They can also be pre-purchased online to save time.
You can also choose to add on FastLane, which lets you skip the line at the most popular attractions. We didn’t have it, and didn’t wait in lines for too long. However, if it’s an especially busy time, it may be worth purchasing so you can save time during your visit.
FunPix is another add on you can purchase. With FunPix, you can receive digital images for all of the pictures taken of you during the day. Photos are taken on select attractions, as well as character meet and greets. This may be worth it if you are going on the attractions where it is used.
In addition to the rides and entertainment, you’ll also find other things to do in the parks, including midway games offered for an additional fee.
Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel
During my stay in Buena Park for the conference, I stayed at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, located adjacent to the park. It’s extremely convenient if your plans include some time at Knott’s Berry Farm because its a quick walk over to the park.
The hotel offers a number of different room types, including a wing of Snoopy themed rooms. These have to be booked separately, and include a tuck in from Snoopy. These rooms come with plush Snoopy toys and have two queen beds. If you have little kids, these would be lots of fun to stay in.
Other room types include king rooms, standard queen rooms, and single queen rooms. Adjoining rooms are available if you’d like to get separate rooms for your kids. Because I was alone for this trip, I got a single king room.
Before arriving, I received an email that included options to update my room to a higher level and/or a pool view. Note that the pool is open late (11pm during my visit), so if you go to bed early, you probably won’t want a room overlooking the pool. It can be pretty loud.
My room had a pull out chair that would accommodate one person, but didn’t have a refrigerator or microwave. The room also had a safe. One issue I did have was with noise in the adjoining rooms.
On the first night, I went to bed early because I was jet lagged from my East Coast flight. A few hours after going to sleep, I woke up with the voices of my neighbors overnight. However, I discovered that putting the fan on in the room provided a nice white noise, and I didn’t hear noise any other night.
The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel also offers a full service restaurant on property called Amber Waves. Although I didn’t eat there, I did receive a coupon for 20% off a lunch or dinner there when I checked in. Snoopy regularly visits the restaurant to greet guests. We were able to see him as we were walking out of the hotel, and he posed for pictures with us.
Package deals are sometimes available at the hotel that include tickets to the park and/or the park festivals. Other than proximity and these deals, there aren’t necessarily any other specific benefits to staying on property when visiting the park.
The hotel does also offer a complimentary shuttle to Disneyland. That needs to be booked in advance for capacity reasons. I booked the shuttle when I arrived at the hotel, but canceled because I took a ride share with some others.
Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City
From mid-May through part of September, the Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City is open (check the calendar for specific opening dates – it’s not always open daily). It’s the largest water park in Orange County, and features 25 water rides and attractions.
Because my visit was in March, I wasn’t able to visit Soak City. But, if you are planning to visit in the summer, it looks like the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. I’d probably plan for a separate day at the water park.
Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm
- Get your tickets in advance through the Get Away Today link listed above.
- Consider the FastLane if you are visiting during a busy time.
- Arrive early in the day to avoid lines for the more popular rides.
- Consider a visit if you have thrill seeking kids or Snoopy loving children. Kids in the middle may not enjoy their visit as much.
- Make a reservation for the Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
- Enjoy some of the Boysenberry treats available at the park.