Knott’s Taste of Calico 2020 Review
UPDATE: Knott's Berry Farm has added dates to Taste of Calico because of it's high demand! They have added:
Saturday, July 25: 12 PM - 9 PM
Sunday, July 26: 12 PM - 8 PM — SOLD OUT
Friday, July 31: 12 PM - 9 PM
Saturday, Aug. 1: 12 PM - 9 PM
Sunday, Aug. 2: 12 PM - 8 PM
Friday, Aug. 7: 12 PM - 9 PM
Saturday, Aug. 8: 12 PM - 9 PM
Sunday, Aug. 9: 12 PM - 8 PM
With theme parks shut down since March, it was nice to finally step foot inside once again. Knott’s Berry Farm hosted a “Taste of Calico” event that let us step back into Ghost Town and eat some amazing food and do a bit of shopping. The event had wonderful live entertainment which consisted of the Blacksmith, The Mayor, and A Gunslinger (Sheriff?).
Upon entering the security line, you are met by a team member asking if you feel any COVID-19 symptoms on a board. Once you make it through there you are in a line to get your temperature taken. This was extremely quick compared to Universal and Disney because they have 4 separate lines with a temperature camera instead of team members individually scanning each person. We then head through the metal detectors where the only item you put on the table is your bag.
Before we get into food and the park, I’d like to talk safety. I felt safer at Knott’s (inside a theme park) then I did at Downtown Disney with their reopening. I also have to take into account that I went to Taste of Calico when people were still at work and the crowd levels were low, but I did feel super safe. I was able to locate sanitizing stations and safety signage throughout the park without having to try and that was an amazing difference for me. The only downfall was certain areas getting overcrowded due to lines exceeding expectations. Though if you know how to navigate throughout the park and get to your destination, it shouldn’t be an issue. At Sutter’s Grill, there were team members walking the line to spread out guests if they were standing too close to each other in the queue. Every 10-15 minutes or so there would be a “safety regulations” announcement throughout the park. Also we noticed Knott’s Team Members wiping down food locations and other highly touch areas around the park. Visually, this makes us and other guests feel much safer for sure!
Knott’s also created “Relaxing Areas” where guests can go to take off their masks. These are designated areas, so you cannot just take off your mask anywhere around the park. One area being Mystery Lodge, right next to Calico River Rapids.
Now, THE FOOD! The Adult tasting card is $25 for 5 tastings and $15 for the Kids tasting card with 3 tastings. Throughout Ghost Town, there were food locations to offer you your taste of Calico and in case you were lost or confused which stand or location was which, they had mining pans with letters to inform you where you were. All of Ghost Town was open for us to mosey through.
We even got to go towards the Berry Farm fountain near the Calico stage to check out the new “Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair” sign!
The menu ranged from pastrami sandwiches and sausages to boysenberry funnel cakes and bread pudding. I got 3 items at Sutter’s Grill which were the Boysenberry Chicken Wings, Pork Sliders, and Basil Lemonade. To begin with the cons, the wings were extremely cold and I’m not quite into leafy drinks, but they did compliment each other extremely well. The pros were the pork sliders were nice and warm with a beautiful spicy kick to round things out and (again) the wings amazing flavor and the basil lemonade worked beautifully together.
My next location was Mix-It-Up which is closest to the Calico stage and across from the Saloon. There I got the Boysenberry Jam Ice Cream Cookiewich and Boysenberry Ice Cream Float. What were the cons of these items? Absolutely nothing! The cookie was amazingly sweet with boysenberry flavor and the boysenberry ice cream was extremely soft and delightful. The only thing was just needing to deconstruct the cookiewich since biting into it whole would make ice cream spill out of all sides. So make sure to have some napkins at the ready if you decide to partake in this delight. The Boysenberry Icee Float was cool and refreshing, but took a little bit of time to melt to fully enjoy!
One issue that popped up through the weekend, lines became over an hour long for many food locations. More locations would help alleviate this problem, especially for the most popular food items. (UPDATE: Knott’s extended the event and will be adding more locations to shorten lines
The “Taste of Calico” event was well worth the $25 and I would love to attend another event like this in the future. The food was extraordinary and being back into a theme park was much needed to feel like we are back to normal. As many say, the only X factor in being safe is people. Knott’s can continue to provide excellent customer service in terms of guest safety, but it’s up to every single person to do their part to keep others safe. With that being said, there were times were areas got a bit too crowded. So lets hope that Knott’s is able to address this in the coming weeks so it doesn’t continue to hinder experiences.
If you want to learn more about Knott’s Berry Farm, Taste of Calico or any other Knott’s Event, head on over to Knotts.com