Knott’s Berry Farm
America’s 1st Theme Park
When Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the once sleepy community of Buena Park in 1920 it was to farm 20 acres of rented land. That land today is now part of the 160-acre Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park.
Knott’s Berry Farm is the place to go for family fun! With over 165 rides, shows and attractions, as well as five themed areas, there is something at Knott’s for everyone. Soar over 300 ft. in the air on the all new WindSeeker, thrill to Silver Bullets, the park’s first-ever suspended coaster, or try out Sierra Sidewinders, the spinning coaster that offers a 360-degree panoramic view! Be sure to experience Pony Express – The Rides, delivering a horseback relay at speeds never imagined in the Old West. For something a bit different, detour to the Park’s Old West Ghost Town® or visit Camp Snoopy, home of the PEANUTS gang and filled with dozens of kid-sized adventures. (714) 220-5200 www.knotts.com OCTA bus routes 29, 38, 42
The Ghost Town area is based on the actual ghost town of Calico, California and other real ghost towns in Western United States (such as Prescott, Arizona). Walter Knott bought the actual Calico ghost town in 1951 and restored it. In 1966 he “donated” the town to the corporate-municipal County of San Bernardino. However, the County made the entire town into an actual park which is literally called “Calico, California”.
More recently, the GhostRider wooden roller coaster was added to the area. In late 2004 Knott’s opened the longest inverted roller coaster on the West Coast, called the Silver Bullet. The first Screamin’ Swing (a newer version of the Banshee) was also opened there.
In 2007, Knott’s Nature Center The summer of 2007 the Knott’s Nature Center building and exhibit was relocated from the Wild Water section of the park to Ghost Town. The historical building was once the Rivera, California one-room school house. “Knott’s Nature Center” is what the park calls their insect mini-zoo.
The Ghost Town area has a few other notable historical structures. The Bird Cage Theater (which is only open during Halloween Haunt and the “winter holiday” time) was the starting place for many small-time actors, as well as that of Steve Martin. The Calico Stage – a large open-air stage in Calico Square – has hosted a variety of shows and acts, big and small, from those of elementary school students, a locally-known band called Gallagher, and summer-spectacular “All Wheels Extreme” stunt show featuring youthful performers demonstrating aerial tricks on ramps riding skates, skateboards and bikes to popular music.
Fiesta Village was built in 1969. It only has carnival-like rides, such as Montezooma’s Revenge roller coaster and Jaguar!. Other rides include the Dragon Swing, A Merry-Go-Round, La Revolucion, a teacup ride, and a Wave Swinger. Fiesta Village has a pop-culture Mexican theme.
Originally themed as Gypsy Camp, and later re-themed to the “Roaring ’20s”, “Knott’s Airfield”, then “The Boardwalk”, this area is home to most of the park’s major thrill rides. It is also home to the Sky Tower. The Sky Tower was built to support two attractions, the Parachute Sky Jump (now closed) and the Sky Cabin. Parachute Sky Jump boarded one or two standing riders anticipating the thrill of the drop into baskets beneath a faux parachute canopy. From the top, eight arms supported the vertical cable tracks of wire rope which lifted the baskets. The Sky Cabin ringed the support pole with upper and lower levels of seats that are enclosed behind windows. The Sky Cabin ring revolves slowly as it rises to the top and back offering a pleasantly changing vista. Sky Cabin is very sensitive to weather and passenger motion, such as walking, which is prohibited during the trip. During winds 25 mph+ or rain it is closed. When built, Sky Tower was the tallest structure in Orange County (a distinction now held by nearby Supreme Scream.)
Current Boardwalk attractions include:
- Perilous Plunge
- Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars
- Sky Cabin elevated view.
- Screamin’ Swing extra charge harness drop.
- Supreme Scream collection of three drop towers, at 312 feet (95 m) in height, Supreme Scream is the tallest structure in Orange County.
- Boomerang (roller coaster) a launch shuttle of one vertical loop and two halves of dragon curve which, with forward and return trips, invert riders six times. Boomerang replaced the 1975 “Roaring ’20s” Corkscrew roller coaster which was notable for being the first modern-day roller coaster to perform a 360-degree inverting element, with two barrel rolls. The Corkscrew is currently located at Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho.
Boardwalk Games include physical challenges such as a rock wall and a rope ladder crawl. A variety of traditional pitch three balls and win a prize type games, such as squirt gun into clowns mouth, knock off milk bottles, pitch a quarter onto a plate are pitched by hawkers along the Boardwalk Games midway.
The world’s largest Johnny Rockets restaurant franchise is located at Knott’s Boardwalk, featuring over 5,900 square feet (550 m2) of indoor dining space for more than 260 guests.
Camp Snoopy is targeted towards younger visitors, with many of the rides and attractions being built specifically for children. Its theme is Charles M. Schulz’ “Peanuts” comic strip characters. Snoopy has been the mascot of Knott’s Berry Farm since 1983, and the characters can now be seen at all of Cedar Fair’s parks, except Valleyfair and the former Paramount Parks bought by Cedar Fair in 2007. The 14 rides include a mini roller coaster called the Timberline Twister, a mini-scrambler called the Log Peeler, and a Zamperla Rockin’ Tug called Lucy’s Tugboat.
Knott’s Berry Farm also built the Mall of America’s indoor theme park, which itself was originally called Camp Snoopy. (In fact, Charles M. Schulz hailed from St. Paul.) However, save for some relics, today the park is no longer affiliated with Knott’s or Cedar Fair, and is now called Nickelodeon Universe.
Wild Water Wilderness
Wild Water Wilderness is a small area that features two major rides: the Bigfoot Rapids river rafting adventure, and Pony Express, a horse themed family roller coaster installed in 2008. Nearby Bigfoot Rapids is Rapids Trader, a small merchandise stand. It is also home to Mystery Lodge, a multimedia show based on an Expo 86 pavilion featuring a Native American storyteller.
Located near Reflection Lake, Indian Trails is a small area sandwiched between Camp Snoopy, Ghost Town, and Fiesta Village which showcases Native American art, crafts, and dance.
Click here for a map to Knotts Berry Farm.