TASTE OF FALL-O-WEEN AT KNOTT’S BERRY FARM
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With the massive success of Knott’s Berry Farm’s pervious ‘Taste of…” events, it was a no brainer that they would create something for the spookiest season of them all…HALLOWEEN! I think the spooky kid in all of us wanted some form of Scary Farm to take place, but that’s just not in the cards for 2020. But, I am personally very thankful that Knott’s was able to put something together for the Halloween season. In fact, I think out of the three “Taste of…” events so far, this one has the most characteristics of Knott’s; Incorporating many of the interactive characters from the previous events, but while expanding on offerings. More on this a bit later!
As you approach the main entrance, you’ll notice a giant spider that adorns the Knott’s Berry Farm sign, welcoming guests as they enter the park right below the large arachnid. Inside, like many of Knott’s events, you’ll find a rather phenomenal fall photo op!
The main focus of any event at Knott’s is going to be the food. As we talked about in many reviews and on the podcast; Knott’s Berry Farm food is out of this world good! We are always pleasantly surprised by the inventive creations conjured up by the Knotts culinary team. Especially for this fall seasonal event, they don’t pull any punches and offer up some delicious offerings.
As many know, to enter the event, you must purchase a tasting card. This tasting card has every single item available at the event and where you can find them. Similarly to Taste of Knott’s, not any one food item can be found at a single location. Each item has multiple food locations, which really helps spread out crowds around the park.
Each locations is identifiable by a Letter and by its design. The signs at the food locations in the different themed areas all look different.
Unfortunately we forgot to snag a photo of the signs in Fiesta Village because we were too busy shoving our faces full of food! But, above is an example of what we mean.
Since we both had a tasting card, we were able to taste 10 different food items. These are pictured below:
The highlights of these items were the Pastrami Tater Tots, The Headless Meatball Sandwich, Orange Sugar and Chocolate Fudge Cookiewich with Pumpkin Soft Serve Ice Cream, and the Hocus Pocus Float (Orange Fanta and Vanilla Ice Cream). These were the items we wished we could eat multiple servings of during our visit. As per the usual, the serving sizes really varied, but never did we feel like we got cheated out of a good amount of food. In our experience, the Pastrami Tater Tots were a massive portion, enough to share with another person. So maybe plan around possible splitting some and stretching your tastings during the day.
The items that we had that fell to the bottom of the list were the Hot Cheetos Corn Dog with Nacho Cheese dipping sauce and the Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese. With the Corndog, it was still the Boysenberry coated version, (on it’s own is amazing) which lends a good amount of sweetness, but the Hot Cheetos were just dusted on top with a side of cheese. It didn’t feel too complete and the flavors didn’t really go well together for us. Possibly in the future, they could remove the Boysenberry Flavor and incorporate the Hot Cheeto flavor into the batter itself. And the Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese actually tasted great, but the texture and visual really put us off. When we looked at it, it almost looked like Tuna mixed with Mac and Cheese, which we simply couldn’t get out of our heads while eating.
And of course, no trip to Knott’s Berry Farm would be finished without a cold cup of Boysenberry Beer…the nectar of the Gods! As usual, the food is a huge hit at this event, offering plenty of interesting combinations and flavors. Although some are hit and miss for us, we still think the food offerings are better than most theme parks we visit.
HINT: Do not waste your tastings on the beer, just buy it outright and use them on food. It will go a long way if you do so!
ENTERTAINMENT & DECOR
Given the unfortunate circumstances surround COVID-19 and what the park is capable of creating, we never expected for Knott’s to have the same level of entertainment that it’s had in the past. But with each event and especially Fall-O-ween, we were pleasantly surprised by how much entertainment is scattered around the park to keep guests entertained.
Specifically for Fall-O-ween, the towns folk of Calico have turned into family friendly ghoulish forms. Similar to what you’ll see at any Knott’s Spooky Farm event, but a bit elevated…literally.
As you walk through the streets of Calico, you’ll run into plenty of characters that are either in windows, on balconies or resting on their stoops.
We honestly do not miss the rides at all when we have interactions like this. We won’t remember the 1:30 ride where everyone was screaming, but we will remember an fun interaction with a “ghost” playing poker or asking you to go find 9 Black Cats in the windows of Calico. There’s something to be said about these simple yet intrinsic interactions that help Ghost Town feel like it’s alive (or dead). We personally had a really funny interaction with the ghoul in front of the Court House!
Aside from Characters, the park is completely decorated from head to toe in Halloween decorations! The beautiful colors of orange and black can be found through the park whether it be the orange on a pumpkin or the blackness of the cracks on a skeleton. In fact, if you’re a Haunt Nerd (Knott’ Scary Farm Nerd) like us, you’ll have fun spotting decorations throughout the park that have been used in previous years of Scary Farm. Actually in Camp Snoopy, you’ll find A LOT of those decorations. In Fact, you’ll actually find ALL of Foresaken Lake!
In Camp Snoopy, friendly Halloween spooks have gathered to entertain family’s with a fun Halloween Treat Trail! The entrance to this is on the Fiesta Village side and the exit is on the Main Entrance side. When you approach, guests who plan on Trick or Treating line up on the right and guests who just want to walk through, line up on the left. There seemed to be some major confusion for guests and the way things were laid out, the poor Knott’s TM had to keep telling people where to go and why. Taking people out of the wrong line to enter the correct one. A simple sign at the entrance of this experience would alleviate a lot of the pain and suffering this poor TM experienced.
Throughout the experience, there are stands where guests (who are Trick or Treating) can stop and get a piece of candy!
As you enter the Treat Trail, you are greeted by a large stilt walking scarecrow. Which, for smaller guests, could be rather intimidating. But for us, we could only wish that he would scare us!
The Treat Trail is a wonderful combination of Camp Spooky and Scary Farm decorations that really work well together. Lending a bit of a sinister vibe along with the friendly Halloween experience. This might actually be the first time certain guests are seeing some of the Scary Farm decorations, which is rather cool to think about. For us, this was about seeing decorations and finding out where we’ve seen them before. Which was a fun, unofficial scavenger hunt. I do admit, it did make us a bit sad seeing so many familiar Scary Farm items and not being able to see all our monster friends. We just kept dreaming that a slider would come out and scare us half to death.
The Treat Trail in Camp Snoopy was probably the highlight of the trip. Between spotting Scary Farm references, meeting Kevin (look at the skeleton’s name tags), seeing the cute Peanuts Halloween cut outs; the Treat Trail really immerses guests into the Halloween spirit. When we left, we couldn’t wait to walk back through, but at night!
Speaking of Scary Farm, let’s get a bit scary in here with the Into the Fog Art Show. This can be found on Boardwalk inside Cordy’s Corner. Right in front of the ALL NEW Knott’s Berry Tales attraction.
Here you will find a myriad of different art pieces, all celebrating Knott’s Scary Farm! You’ll also find official Knott’s Scary Farm merchandise here as well. There are so many different styles and types of art on display, that it does take a moment to truly take it in and see it all.
All pieces in the show are for sale, and almost all of them have Prints/Copies you can purchase at the front desk. We actually have a piece in the show called “Death Card” and prints are only $5! But there are some absolutely beautiful pieces to drool at in the show and we highly suggest you take some time away from the food to really enjoy these one of a kind creations. If you go to the front desk of the store, they have a booklet of prints that you can choose from. But, we never saw a sign that said this and it can easily be missed or be confusing for guests. Last years event had the prints up on the wall behind the cash register so guests could visually see the prints and know what was available. We hope that if they continue to have art shows in Cordy’s Corner, that they improve the way they communicate to guests that they can purchase prints of artwork.
As the sun began to set, the park begins to change. Spooky green lights and fog fill the streets of Calico; REALLY making us miss Scary Farm. So much in fact, that we just stood in Fog Alley (Main Street) and just soaked in the vibes.
Imagine the vibes of Scary Farm, but without the monsters. But we did see a few people get scared by some of the friendly ghouls, still around Calico. Which of course, got us to laugh pretty hard.
HINT: Take a peek inside the window to the left of the weapons store in Ghost Town and you might see someone or something very familiar. Just reminding you that, although Scary Farm isn’t happening, this particular Calico resident is never far away. Also, hang out inside the Boot Hill Cemetery for a small projection show that happens on the sides of the buildings. This is an unlisted piece of entertainment that guests can find when wandering around.
We also went back through the Treat Trail at night to get a sense of what it would be like with thematic lighting and fog. Needless to say, it did not disappoint!
COVID-19 SAFTEY MEASURES
Similarly to the past two events, Knott’s is taking every single step it can take in order to guarantee a safe and fun experience for all guests. ( We covered the entry screening in our last article) This includes fun themed announcements throughout the park, hand washing stations, hand sanitizer stations, signs, stickers on the floor for social distancing and most TM are keeping people informed and asking guests to fix their masks if they aren’t following the rules.
We actually witnessed multiple times, Knott’s TM asking guests to fix their masks or ask them to sit in a designated area if they were eating or drinking. This really put our minds at ease while traveling the park. Of course, regardless of the rules, there will always be the X factor…and that is the guests. Sometimes guests are just simply determined to bend and break rules regardless if it’s putting peoples health on the line. We did witness people take their masks down after being specifically asked to put them on correctly.
There are only a couple moments that we encountered that had us a bit worried. Because this event allows guests to exit and re-enter throughout the day. A lot of guests left after finishing their tasting card, then returned at night to see the park. Throughout the day, there was never a moment where we felt unsafe or questioned the operations in how they were managing people. Night was slightly different. There were two specific locations that felt more packed than they should have been. This was Calico Town Square and Fiesta Village; both almost felt like a Haunt night where crowds are just gathered together. Now, we understand that once large groups start forming like this, it’s extremely hard to break up. But, there should be some protocol in order to prevent situations like this from happening.
Knott’s has once again created another phenomenal food and retail event for the Halloween season. Everything about this event exudes the Halloween spirit and we couldn’t get enough. It was exactly what we needed to start the Halloween season and get us in the mood for other events. From the balance of scary and spooky, to the tasty foods; we love everything about this event that is undeniably Knott’s. More so than the last two events. Of course, no event is without its flaws. And we look to Knott’s to address these issues in their next event. Constantly evolving in order to continually give and create a great product for kids and adults alike during these uncertain times. Unfortunately, it seems as though this event is completely sold out at the moment. But keep you eyes peeled on Knott’s Berry Farm social media channels, because they’ve released extra days in order to meet demand. Who knows, they might have some more planned!
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