This past weekend ( June 19th), I was able to visit Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park to see what’s going on for Knott’s Summer Nights and their 100th Celebration. This was my first visit back to the park since the COVID regulations have changed dramatically. We are vaccinated, so being in and around crowds of maskless people wasn’t too troubling, but it is something that will take some time to get used too. It was an incredibly hot and busy day at the farm, but it was wonderful to see the park thriving again. There were so many happy families, laughing and screaming on rides. Although we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, it was great to see things come back to a certain level of normalcy.
Talking specifically about the new COVID regulations; like many places, the new rules are as follows: If you’re unvaccinated, you just need to wear a mask while indoors. If you’re vaccinated, you’re good to go. I misread the sign at first, but I blame that on the bolded wording. Which, might not have been a mistake in the first place.
Along with the new rules, arcades were now allowed to be open and they were packed with people playing each and every game. Admittedly, I was way more excited about this than I should have been. But it’s just been so long since I stepped foot inside the arcade that I’d frequent, that it just got me pumped!
Not only are the arcades open, but all rides are loading every row. And….self service bbq sauce at Boardwalk BBQ has returned!
SCARY FARM CONSTRUCTION
There isn’t a TON of construction you can see while in the park. But these are the areas that you’ll see most progress and change. Our first location is the maze behind Xcelerator. This unknown, new maze took the place of Shadowlands. Normally, you can get a great look at this construction when riding the Calico Railroad. Unfortunately, this attraction was closed during my visit. So you can only see this construction from outside the park. By the looks of these photos, the facade will be pretty high. Makes me wonder if it will be a show moment like its predecessor.
Speaking of outside the park, you can get a good glimpse of Paranormal Inc and The Depths from the pathway going under Ghostrider. You can also see all of this from Ghostrider, but I doubt anyone can get a truly perfect picture on that crazy bumpy roller coaster. These mazes are usually visible all year round and when you see their facade come down at the end of the year, thats a good sign they aren’t returning. We couldn’t see WaxWorks or Dark Entities, but you can bet your butt they are returning for 2021.
The next location is the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town. This is the location of Curse of Calico in 2019. There is no visible construction happening outdoors at the moment. But we are expecting to see construction begin (and go vertical) within the next month.
Our last visible location will be in Camp Snoopy, where we had Pumpkin Eater in 2019. All signs point to it returning for 2021 and we aren’t mad about it. We really enjoy this dark and twisted tale and look forward to seeing the human pies once again. This is also a maze that usually stays up (mostly) year round. So whenever you’re in the park and want a small piece of Haunt. Just look under the Wagon tracks and you can spot some Scary Farm goodness.
KNOTT’S 100th CELEBRATION
The park is completely decked out in decorations sporting it’s recognizable Boysenberry purple color. Either banners, signs, ribbons, flags, or signs are adorning almost every single building and fixture in the park. Some of my favorite places to see this pop of color was in Ghost Town. The contrasting purple color with the shades of brown were striking and gorgeous.
I also noticed some small changes though-out the park, one of my favorites was the mailbox outside the School House. Which, the mailbox looked like a miniature version of the school house itself! Inside were books that the school kids could take, but they all had very interesting names. See if you can place all the Knott’s references in the names!
Currently, Knott’s has so much merchandise for the 100th that it’ll make your head spin. And it’s not even just your typical shirt or mug. Although they do have those things, they have so many unique offerings as well.
If you walk through the park, you may notice these small signs that say “Moments in Time: Discover Knott’s History” in certain areas. On these, you’ll find QR codes that allow you to use your phone to tap into a video that tells you the history of that area of the park. It’s a really fun and smart way to allow guests to learn about Knott’s at their own leisure. We actually spoke to Knott’s Producer Eric Nix about this on one of our most recent episodes.
For the 100th, Knott’s has created some incredibly fun photo ops celebrating rides an dattractions of the past. One of my favorites is the Haunted Shack and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs! Make sure to take a photo with these on your next visit.
KNOTT’S SUMMER NIGHTS
Knott’s Summer Nights is back. We reviewed this event back in 2019 and loved every second of it. As we said in our last review “…Knott’s is capturing the feeling of quintessential americana experiences and applying it to the event.” This is true once again and it’s such a welcomed feeling after so much time stuck indoors.
Back are the fantastic original atmosphere characters playing the part of the Block Party Committee. These characters roam around the crowd, interacting with everyone making sure they are having a great time. We love this type of spontaneous and improvisational entertainment because it makes the event feel alive.
The amount of live music and entertainment for Summer Nights is astounding. Almost everywhere you go, you’ll find some type of musical act or band playing to the guests on the Farm.
The lighting of the K is the “kiss goodnight” Knott’s has always needed. It’s a wonderful moment that is set to the new Crazy Kirk and the Hillbillies songs commemorating the 100th Anniversary. I highly suggest you stick around to watch this little moment. I watched it in front of the Calico Mine Ride which has synchronized lights to the music. The only down side is the music was not being piped into the Calico Mine Stage area, so it wasn’t as present as I wanted it to be. But, it’s still a beautiful moment.
Knott’s is really setting itself apart from the rest of the SoCal parks. Utilizing what makes it special and running with it with spectacular results. We cannot wait to get back to the farm to enjoy the rest of the 100th Anniversary, Summer Nights and soon…the fog.