It’s incredibly hard to wrap our heads around the idea that Knott’s Berry Farm has been around for 100 years. Not too long ago, Disneyland celebrated its 60th anniversary, and that seemed so tremendous. But 100 is such an impressive milestone for a park of such humble beginnings. We here at TPD aren’t shy in saying we are MASSIVE Knott’s Berry Farm fans and love learning the detailed pieces of information about how it turned from a berry farm into what we know and love today.
So when we were invited out too Knott’s to enjoy a night of celebration, we felt so honored and incredibly excited to see what the 100th Anniversary held in store for us in the coming year. As we entered the park, day guests were on their way out and the sun had just begun to set. Across almost every single structure, there was signage or decorations to help celebrate the 100th.
As we approached the Calico Mine Stage, we found out spot to enjoy the nights festivities. Before we knew it, things were underway!
To open the show, celebrities such as Tony Hawk, Vanessa Hudgens, Terry Crews and many more (via pre-recorded videos) shared their favorite Knott’s Berry Farm memories and congratulated the park on its milestone.
With a wonderful musical introduction by Crazy Kirk and the Hillbillies; Jon Storbeck, the Vice President and General Manager of Knott’s Berry Farm took the stage with Snoopy to introduce the exciting additions to the park for the 100th Anniversary. This includes Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, the return of Whittles, changing the theater name from The Charles M. Shultz Theater to the Walter Knott Theater, and the return of Knott’s Summer Nights.
Before we knew it, dancers dressed in the costumes of the different areas of the park entered the stage and area and started the 100th with a bang! They played the brand new song for the 100th and it was truly a beautiful and touching moment that we are so happy we got to experience.
We’ve included the recording we took during the event so you can hear first hand from John Storbeck what you can expect from Knott’s during it’s 100th celebration. We HIGHLY suggest listening to it because the ending is such an incredible moment filled with excitement and emotions.
As the opening ceremony ended, we headed straight to Ghostrider to get one good coaster in that night. In fact, it was Nikki’s first coaster since the beginning of the pandemic. Then we headed over to Bear-y Tales to get in our very first ride. Of course our brisk walk over to the ride was stopped by a great photo op with Snoopy!
Oh man, what can we say about Bear-y Tales…it was a blast! We reviewed this ride on our bonus episode that you can listen to here! But overall, this attraction is a far superior attraction than Iron Reef. Trust us, we thought some of the nods to Knott’s history in Iron Reef were fantastic. But overall, it just missed the mark. Bear-y Tales makes up for those missteps with a wonderful homage and sequel to the beloved Knott’s Bear-y Tales attraction. With your Berry Blasters in hand, you head back into the colorful and zany world that Rolly Crump helped create back in 1975! From the sound design, music, scenic and game elements; Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair excels. It’s also so nice to have Knott’s utilizing characters that are unique to the park and play such an integral part of its history.
After our ride aboard Bear-y Tales, we had the privilege of speaking to some wonderful people from Knott’s and Triotech. We spoke to Producer Eric Nix, VP of Entertainment Ken Parks, and the Executive Chairwomen of Triotech Lou Murray! If you want to hear these interviews, make sure to have a listen to our episode below!
With the rest of our night, we took in the sights and sounds of the Farm. There were some really fun photo ops set up throughout the park celebrating rides from the past. And even the massive K from atop the Sky Tower. This K was recently replaced with a K with LED lights and it is magical. But being able to see this iconic K up close was almost emotional. For many people, it was a beacon letting people know they were so close to the park. For us, growing up in SoCal it was the landmark we always looked for.
It’s no surprise that Knott’s Berry Farm has left a lasting legacy for so many people over the past 100 years. Whether it was your very first coaster, a first date, your first time at Haunt or even the first time you took your kids on the Calico Mine Train to see the Glory Hole; there is so much history and wonderful memories at the Farm. Knott’s seems to have found the perfect balance of history, nostalgia, heart, and optimism to make this milestone work so damn well. It’s hard not to get a little misty eyed thinking about the incredible change that’s happened at the farm since Walter Knott set up his berry stand. We were sure emotional during our visit and we cannot wait to get back to experience all that can be had for the Knott’s Berry Farm 100th Anniversary.
If you want to purchase tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm to experience the 100th Anniversary, make sure you head over to KNOTTS.COM