Knott’s Berry Farm Guide: Things to do + Top Tips for a Memorable Time

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Knott’s Berry Farm will always be in our memories as the place where Savannah rode her first upside down roller coaster.

She’s always been the more cautious in our family, and thrill rides have been a little too much for her. But as I always say to her, I didn’t ride my first thrill ride until I was 15 so she’s braver than she thinks!

Mom and daughter standing at front entrance to a theme park called Knott's Berry Farm
Entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm

She couldn’t have chosen a greater thrill ride than the Silver Bullet. She had spent weeks leading up to our Buena Park vacation watching YouTube videos of all the rides, preparing for her big debut.

After a two-minute intense ride of 55 mph, loops, cobra rolls, and corkscrews, I walked off saying, “I can’t believe that was your first coaster. That was intense. If you can do that, you can do anything!”

It’s memory making opportunities like this that keep us traveling as a family. Theme parks are a great way to discover more about your children – their level or risk taking, what brings them joy, how they handle lines and crowds.

And we found Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California a great memory making experience. If you’re thinking of visiting Knott’s Berry Farm and not sure what it’s all about, keep reading to learn more in our comprehensive guide.

We visited on a paid campaign with Visit Buena Park. This is additional content outside our scope of work that we wanted to create.

Table Of Contents
  1. A Short History of Knott’s Berry Farm
  2. Why Visit Knott’s Berry Farm?
  3. How Much is Knott’s Berry Farm?
  4. Top Thrill Rides in Knott’s Berry Farm
  5. Classic Rides at Knott’s Berry Farm not to miss
  6. Different Lands at Knott’s Berry Farm
  7. What Shows Are at Knott’s Berry Farm?
  8. Unmissable Things to Do in Knott’s Berry Farm
  9. Where to Eat at Knott’s Berry Farm
  10. Top Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm
  11. Parking at Knott’s Berry Farm
  12. Knott's Berry Farm Hours of Operation
  13. Getting to Knott’s Berry Farm & Buena Park
  14. Where to Stay in Buena Park: DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park
  15. Video: Saying YES to family fun in Buena Park
  16. Knotts Berry Farm FAQs
  17. More Southern California Travel Tips

A Short History of Knott’s Berry Farm

People lined up outside a restaurant inside a theme park

Knott’s Berry Farm began as a small roadside stand in the 1920s, when Walter and Cordelia Knott started selling berries, preserves, and pies to passing motorists.

In the 1930s, Walter Knott developed the boysenberry by crossbreeding raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries. They became so popular that they opened a tearoom where Cordelia served fresh berry pie, hot biscuits, and berry jam.

She also soon became legendary for her chicken dinners, which helped this entrepreneurial family expand even more.

girl looking at history of knotts farm on wall mural

They added attractions to the farm, including a ghost town, a narrow-gauge train ride, and a mining company simulation. In 1940, the Knotts opened their first amusement ride, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which became a model for future water rides.

Over the next few decades, Knott’s Berry Farm continued to expand and add new rides and attractions, including the Calico Mine Ride, the first interactive dark ride, and the Corkscrew, the first modern looping roller coaster.

In 1983, Knott’s Berry Farm was purchased by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, who has continued to invest in new rides and attractions.

Today, Knott’s Berry Farm is one of the most popular amusement parks in the United States, with over 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions.

It’s also known to have the lovable Peanuts gang and Snoopy characters roaming the grounds, who have been waving at families since the 1980s.

It is also home to Knott’s Scary Farm, one of the largest Halloween events in the world, and the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, which celebrates the park’s history and culinary traditions.

There is only one Knott’s Berry Farm location, and that’s in Buena Park in California.

Why Visit Knott’s Berry Farm?

Roller coaster at a theme park, Knott's Berry Farm, California
Knott’s is ready for you!

There are many great reasons to visit Knott’s Berry Farm.

Let’s start with the 40 rides including roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides, dark rides, and water rides.

So if you like variety and thrill rides more than spinning tea cups and selfies with Disney characters, you may like Knott’s Berry Farm as an alternative to Disneyland. (It’s also more affordable)

But it doesn’t have to be either, or. Many visit Knott’s Berry in addition to Disneyland as they are only 15 minutes apart. 

Knott’s Berry does have characters from the Snoopy and Charlie Brown World and the 57-acre park is spread across four themed areas, which pay homage to the history and culture of this region: the 1800s Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, and Camp Snoopy.

All of this fun can easily be had in one day. If visiting in the summer, you can split the day, or tack on an extra day, to enjoy Knott’s   across the road. 

And the beauty of its Buena Park location, is you can add in more fun things to your itinerary like day trips to the beach!

How Much is Knott’s Berry Farm?

girl wearing cowgirl hat posing to camera

Ticket prices fluctuate depending on popularity and seasonal events, so always do your due diligence to ensure accurate prices before booking. 

They start at $59.99 but go up on weekends to around $74-89 depending on what festivals are happening. You can also pay extra for the fast pass Knott’s Berry Farm ticket, which allows you to skip the queue.

The Knott’s Berry Farm fast pass costs $74.00 for a one day admission ticket, or $675 for a season ticket.

Top tip! You can save up to $32 on gate price tickets when purchasing in advance through Undercover Tourist. Click here to see prices and availability now. 

Is Fast Lane worth it at Knott’s Berry Farm?

people on a spinning ride

If you’re only visiting for one day and you’re someone who gets tired of waiting in lines, the fast lane is worth it. It’s especially worth it if you’re visiting on a weekend where the park is busy.

The fast pass not only allows you to skip the queues but you can also ride on a ride multiple times, whereas on the standard ticket you have to queue up again.

We hear that it’s less crowded on Tuesdays to Thursdays, so you might find you don’t need a fast pass on those days. If you’re visiting in the summer, it won’t matter what day of the week you visit, it will always be packed!

Top Thrill Rides in Knott’s Berry Farm

We didn’t get to experience all the rides on our day at Knott’s Berry Farm, but we did most of the thrill ones. Check before you visit Knott’s Berry to see what rides are closed for maintenance. 


Large wooden rollercoaster surrounded by trees
The Ghost rider

I thought this ride was going to be just another wooden roller coaster. What a surprise we got as it went flying through the course up and down steep drops and zipping around corners. 

GhostRider is the longest, tallest, fastest Wooden coaster on the West Coast and a firm favorite of visitors. We lined up for nearly an hour. It was worth it! 


Vertical drop at the start of a Rollercoaster
Just Hanging Time!

There is something about a slow vertical climb up a thrill ride that scares you know what out of me. 

I think I cussed several times during the 15 seconds until we hung for a few seconds over the lip, before plugging 150 feet down a beyond vertical drop. Then the speed took over and led us through a course of five inversions and mid-air suspensions. 

Only the bravest will say yes to this coaster. It’s the first and only dive coaster in California and is now in my top 10 coasters across the country. 

Silver Bullet

Rollercoaster going over a loop
The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet was Savannah’s first upside down roller coaster and thrill ride. Wow! What an introduction:  two minutes of intense speed, inversions, corkscrews, cobra rolls, loops and a 109-foot drop!

Sierra Sidewinder 

People riding a rollercoaster
Spinning around up and down

I’m not much for spinning rides, so I passed this over to Kalyra and Savannah. It’s a roller coaster that spins as it dips, banks, and nose dives? In hindsight, it didn’t look as bad as I imagined, and I could have done it without the dizzies. 

Pony Express

people with hands in the air on the pony express roller coaster

While incredibly short, this ride will launch you 38mph in less than 3 seconds. My tip is to do this ride first upon opening hours. It’s a slow turn over ride so wait times can be long. 

Supreme Scream

supreme scream dropping down tower

You can’t have a theme park without a giant drop ride.

The Supreme Scream gives you spectacular views over Buena Park from 312 ft high, and guaranteed stomach drops as you suddenly drop from those heights. 

Other thrill rides

the loop on xcelerator the ride

We did not get to ride on the following either due to time constraints or closures. 

  • The Jaguar! is a family roller coaster that sends its passengers on an exciting tour around Fiesta Village® and through the loop of Montezooma’s Revenge.
  • La Revolución swings riders an astounding 64 feet in the air (over 6 stories high!) to 120 degrees in both directions, while the passenger vehicle spins continuously at up to 9 RPMs. (This was simply a “I do not do spinning rides” choice.)
  • The classic Montezooma’s Revenge is reopening Summer 2023 in a new imagined way. Previously it was an exciting ride that catapulted passengers out of the station at 55 miles per hour, up through a 76 foot, 360° loop, and then to the top of a 148-foot tower. Lmk in the comments if you experience the new version and what it’s like. 
  • Xcelerator The Ride launches 0-82 mph in 2.3 seconds, 205 feet into the air before immediately hurtling 90 degrees straight down.

Classic Rides at Knott’s Berry Farm not to miss

wild mouse track in the air
Coast Rider

At Knott’s Berry Farm you’ll find your typical theme park rides like (Calico) river rapids, mouse traps (Coast Rider), swinging chairs and spinning rides, ferris wheels, bumper cars, and kid-size versions of them all.

There are a couple of classic Knott’s Berry Farm Rides you don’t want to miss:

  • Entertaining theme park goers since 1969, the Timber Mountain Log Ride goes through an 85-foot-high by 330-foot-long mountain range themed to a nineteenth-century lumber camp. Of course, there’s a couple of water drops to keep you refreshed and feeling alive. 
  • Sky Cabin is the gentle ride for 360-degree panoramic views of the OC and LA. The cabin moves slowly as it ascends 180 ft.
  • Step back in time on the Butterfield Stagecoach, dating back to the 1800s. The trail travels around Fiesta Village and Camp Snoopy.
  • Opened in 1960, The Calico Mine Ride was Knott’s first major ride. The winding journey takes you to underground lakes, waterfalls, caverns and chambers replicating life in the gold mines. 
  • The Calico Railroad has been in operation at Knott’s since January 12, 1952, and is an authentic Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge train used in the early 1900s. Be on alert for Ghost Town bandits who may hold you up! 

Different Lands at Knott’s Berry Farm

The different lands at Knott’s Berry are all about paying tribute to the history of California and its cultural roots. You may spend more time with others depending on the age of your kids, thrill ride levels, and interests. 

Old West Ghost Town

people walking through the old ghost town in knott's berry

The Old West Ghost Town is the oldest section of the theme park.

 Wandering around will be cowboys, townspeople, blacksmiths, and all kinds of characters from the 1880s Old West Boom Town. They’re always up for a chat and tell you a little of the history of Calico.

The Ghost Town is the heart and soul of the park, and our favorite place to be. It was classy, more than kitschy with plenty of cool things to look at and do with their recreated wooden buildings on the street, shacks showcasing blacksmith skills, old schoolhouses, and graveyards randomly in the narrow streets. 

graveyard in front of building in ghost town knott's

You’ll find the Wild West Stunt Show and the Calico Saloon serving up boysenberry beer.

It’s also where you’ll find the park’s most famous and favorite rides: Ghost Rider, Calico Mine Ride, Timber Mountain Log Ride, and the Silver Bullet.

The Boardwalk

flowers inf ront of roller coasters at Knott's
The Boardwalk prettiness!

I love this land at Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s bright and so much fun with a Southern California beach lifestyle vibe. 

All the rides are beach and surfer theme: HangTime, Surfside Gliders and Coast Rider and are a few! There are live stage shows in the 2,100 seat Charles M. Schultz Theater. 

Camp Snoopy

Kids ride at a theme park, model planes swinging around in a circle

The kids never have to miss out at Knott’s Berry. The six-acre kid’s area is designed to reflect a summer camp in the California High Sierras. It has over 15 kid-friendly attractions including Kite Flyers, Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies, and Sierra Sidewinder for the older kids.

You’ll also find plenty of interactive entertainment at the Camp Snoopy Theater and with characters wandering around.

Fiesta Village

Paying tribute to California’s Hispanic roots is Fiesta Village. You’ll find Mexican-style architecture, food and works of art.

This was closed for renovations on our visit. Here is where you’ll find Montezooma’s Revenge, La Revolucion, and Jaguar. It’s reopening in the Summer of 2023. 

What Shows Are at Knott’s Berry Farm?

Characters singing on stage at a theme park
The Snoopy show

It wouldn’t be a theme park without shows and Knott’s Berry Farm has -plenty of them to entertain you as you take a break from thrill rides and clocking up your ten thousand steps.

All ages are catered to with shows that range from live bands, musicals, comedy, and stunt shows. Many of them will feature the stars of Knott’s Berry – and those younger kids will want to see – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and the world’s most popular beagle, Snoopy.

We didn’t get to see a lot of shows at Knott’s Berry Farm. As our girls are a little older now, they tend to want to do the rides more than watch shows, which I totally understand.

But we saw snippets as we walked around stopping to watch Snoopy, Charlie Brown and a few other characters dance and sing on stage with the band.

Snoopy came out dressed as Bob Marley for a special performance of Three Little Birds (my favorite Marley song) which I thought was cute.

We listened to some bluegrass music as we ate dinner at Friedman’s BBQ. And we also saw a jazz band playing as we lined up for Sky Cabin, which closed before we got on it due to windy conditions. 

native american dancing with hoops at knotts

And we loved watching the Native American hoop dance at the Indian Trails Stage. It was a captivating performance as the Native American man wearing traditional dress spun with the hoops adding rings around him in a complex interwoven pattern before unwinding again.

There are native drums and lights and a voiceover explaining the tradition of the hoop dance from the Potawatomi Nation

There are character meet and greets and various other performances around the park in smaller venues such as the Can Can and singing in the Calico Saloon, melodramas in the Bird Cage Theater, a Wild West stunt show, and the recently renovated Walter Knott Theater has popular seasonal shows like Snoopy ice skating and the Peanuts Celebration.

Check the app for an updated list of daily shows for when you visit! 

Unmissable Things to Do in Knott’s Berry Farm

girl standing next to character cut out

It’s not just all rides and shows! There are plenty of things to do in Knott’s Berry farm to keep you entertained for the day. As it’s a pretty park with lovely gardens and bright, California vibe, just walking around is fun.

But here are a few other iconic things to do.

Have a slice of Boysenberry Pie

As it’s the place where the boysenberry was created, you’d be remiss if you did not have a slice of boysenberry pie! (We’re remiss. We make the mistakes to help you avoid them!!)

Head to the Ghost Town Bakery, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant (outside the park gates) or the Ghost Town Grill to try a slice of history with a pie made from the berry original to Knott’s Berry.

You’ll also find all manner of boysenberry treats in the park, from cookies to ice cream, coffee and funnel cakes.

Visit for a Seasonal Event

Merchandise for sale inside a PEANUTS store

There is something fun happening year-round at Knott’s Berry to tie in with seasonal events.

  • SPRING: About to start is the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival (every Spring). That’s right! You guessed it. It’s dedicated to celebrating the berry that started it all. Throughout the park will be a line up for savory foods with a boysenberry twist, specialty desserts and drinks including a variety of wine and craft beers only available at Knotts for this special festival.
  • SUMMER: Ghost Town Alive has immersive and interactive experiences with characters throughout Ghost Town. They also have summer nights with live music, food and games AND later opening hours.
  • FALL is the popular Knott’s Spooky Farm focused on Halloween cheer rather than fear through the day. But at night, 13+ can enjoy Knott’s Scary Farm where monsters prowl the park!
  • WINTER: Knott’s Merry Farm is on every Holiday Season with festive décor, an ice show, grafts village and nightly snow!

Shop Local at Knott’s California Marketplace 

Mom and two daughters walking across a street to the entrance to a marketplace
California Marketplace

Outside the front gates to this California theme park is Knott’s California Marketplace. It’s a collection of stores and restaurants that offer those visiting a chance to purchase some Snoopy-themed souvenirs, local jams, and jellies.

You can eat at the place that started it all – Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. It’s been serving up Cordelia Knott’s original fried chicken recipe since 1934, as well as famous boysenberry pies!

Lady standing in front a large mural sharing the history of Knott’s Berry Farm

Be sure to stop in at Virginia’s Gift shop to see the large mural on the walls sharing the history of Knott’s Berry Farm and the Knott Family story. I purchased a beautiful red summer dress here.

The Marketplace emporium is another place for clothes shopping – heavy on the country theme – as well as a year-round Christmas store, and a mini-Candy Parlor!

Girl standing in front of candy for sale in a store

The largest store in the marketplace, PEANUTS Headquarters has exclusive Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Gang clothing, plush toys, books and even dog ears to wear into the park.

And what Aussies could not resist picking up a few Billabong items from Knott’s California Shop?

Jars of Boysenberry jam for sale

The most popular souvenirs for visitors to purchase at the California Marketplace are the berry market preserves, especially the boysenberry, homemade fudge, and berry market syrup! And you can devour some boysenberry funnel cakes from Cable Car Kitchen. 

You do not need a theme park ticket to visit Knott’s California Marketplace, it’s free and open to the public, making it one of the best free things to do in Buena Park!

There are also plenty of stores for shopping inside the theme park.

Get Wet at Knott’s Soak City Water Park (Seasonal)

People enjoying a steep Waterslide at Knott's Berry Farm
Splash landing on Perilous Plunge at Knott’s Berry Farm.

As we visited Buena Park in the winter, Knott’s Soak City Water Park, the 15-acre water theme park, was closed. 

But, if you’re visiting from May through early-September, you may want to incorporate a day into your Buena Park vacation cooling down on their speed, tube, and body slides, or in their Tidal Wave Pool, and relaxing Sunset River float.

For the little kids, you’ll find Gremmie Lagoon, a hands-on water playground with  a miniature submarine and interactive octopus.

We also hear the cafeteria serves delicious boysenberry pie, so be sure to check it out if you happen to visit in the summer.

Soak City is across the road from Knott’s Berry Farm and requires a separate ticket. 

Learn at Knott’s Independence Hall 

Replica of Independence Hall in Buena Park, California
Independence Hall

Out the front of Soak City is Buena Park’s very own Independence Hall. It’s the only place in the country to have an exact brick-by-brick replica of the place where American signed their Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

So, if you can’t make it to Philadelphia to see the real thing, this is your next best option. Inside is also a replica of the Liberty Bell.

There is a small room that has recreated what the signing of the Declaration of Independence experience would have been like with recorded voice reenactments of the forefathers debating over the document and plans for independence from Great Britain.

Where to Eat at Knott’s Berry Farm

patio lined with flower pots of the ghost grill
The Cute Ghost Town Grill

I was surprised by the variety of food options in Knott’s Berry. It’s probably one of the better ones that I’ve seen in a theme park.

If you’re gluten free like me, you’ll feel like you’re seen and cared for with several places having gluten free options. Each dining place will indicate via the app if they do. The app will also indicate what meal plan tickets they accept.

people sitting in beer garden at Firemans BBQ in knotts berry
Fireman’s BBQ

You’ll find your typical fast-food type of establishments, plus a few others worth mentioning.

  • Fireman’s BBQ: We enjoyed ribs for dinner and sat at some picnic tables while listening to bluegrass. I thought it was a great experience and the food was of decent size and quality. Just follow the smells into Ghost Town. There is also a boardwalk BBQ with your smokehouse favorites in The Boardwalk Land.
  • Ghost Town Grill:  I especially loved the cute tables on the patio of this small table service restaurant. . But you will have to get here early or be prepared to wait as table turnover is slow and the space small. They had a great menu with plenty of gluten free options. As the line was long, we opted for Johnny Rocket’s for lunch instead.
  • Calico Saloon only has snacks for eating but, if you want the signature drinks of sarsaparilla, calico soda, or boysenberry punch, you won’t want to miss a drink and a show here.
  • Calico Tater Bites: Pile those little potato gems high with all kinds of toppings.
  • Johnny Rockets is an American classic diner serving burgers, fries, and shakes. Coasters Diner has a similar 50s diner vibe with burgers, dogs, and shakes.
  • Amber Waves is another full-service restaurant specializing in American food, including a boysenberry chicken pizza.
  • If you want fish & Chips, head to Longboard’s Grill! They have burgers, wraps, and hot dogs as well.
  • Prop Shop Pizzeria. Savannah got a pretty decent pepperoni pizza from here. Sutter’s Pizza is another pizza place.
  • Ghost Town Bakery has you covered with all things baked and sweet. They have a famous chili in a sourdough bread bowl.
  • If you’re a coffee lover, I recommend getting one from Coffee Code across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm before you enter the theme park. Inside the park is expensive and not very good.

Some of the best things to eat in Knott’s Berry Farm

plate of bbq pork ribs and roast potato
BBQ pork ribs

Knott’s Berry does have a food bucket list with guests. These are the mots popular items people love to eat. As we’re

  • Funnel Cakes, so popular you’ll find them at many eateries in the park (and outside) Topped with Boysenberry is the Knott’s Way
  • Mrs. Kott’s famous Chicken Dinner. You’ll try the original recipe that got tongues wagging and people flocking.
  • The Fun Bun is part cinnamon roll part funnel cake infused with boysenberry (only available during the Boysenberry festival)
  • Calico Soda which can be found in the Calico Saloon. Basically, it’s a boysenberry cream soda.
  • Snoopy cookies for the devout fans who want to chomp on his head They also sell the polar sarsaparilla soda.
  • Boysenberry meatballs for those who want to try a savory version of the berry.
  • Loaded tater tots from Calico tater bites. Top it with pulled port, chili, mac & cheese and more. Just ask them to hold the heart attack on the way out. I joke. I’m a fool for loaded tater tots.
  • We’re putting the BBQ pork ribs on the Knott’s Berry farm bucket list for you. I was impressed.
  • Boysenberry soft serve or ice cream sandwiches. Speaks for itself. 

Top Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm

water running through garden

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of your visit to Knott’s Berry Theme Park and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

1. Purchase your ticket online before you go

Tickets are cheaper if you buy in advance online. Plus, if you avoid purchasing at the gates, you can avoid starting your day in long lines.

2. Buy Fast Lane Tickets

If your budget allows for it, you may want to purchase Fast Lane tickets. On our visit, we didn’t see too many people using them, but I was envious of those who were. 

They were getting straight on all rides, while we were waiting for up to an hour for the popular thrill rides.

The Fast Lane tickets are expensive, starting at $79 per day per person and so may be unreachable, especially for large families.

Our longest wait time was 60 minutes for the Ghost Rider, possibly the Park’s most popular ride, so it wasn’t too bad. 

3. Avoid weekends, if possible

Of course, weekends and school breaks are going to be the busy days in Knotts Berry Farm, so plan your visit outside of these if you can.

Also, check to see if there are any events or visiting groups planned for your dates. There was some cheerleading convention during our visit, so the park was busier with groups of cheerleaders having fun together – all dressed in their cheer outfits.

Weekend prices are also slightly higher than weekdays.

4. Get to the park for opening hours

The park really starts to get busy by lunch time, so the earlier you arrive, the less waiting time you’ll have in long lines.

A 10am opening time means you still get to sleep in and have plenty of time for breakfast. Check our post on things to do in Buena Park for breakfast ideas and other attractions. 

5. Go to the slow-moving ride lines first

prams lined up outside the sierra sidewinder coaster

Enter at 10am and head straight for those lines that are slow moving. They’re usually slower because only one track runs with a small group of people on each ride. OR, they’re hugely popular. 

The slowest we encountered (with the rides that were open on our day) in order:

  1. Pony Express
  2. Ghost Rider
  3. Sierra Sidewinder

Then you can go back and take your entrance photos, say G’day to the characters, see a show, and go on other thrill rides. By midday the lines really start building. 

6. Use the Knott’s Berry Farm app

The Knott’s Berry Farm app is a great resource for helping you plan your day at Knott’s Berry Farm. 

It includes a map, ride wait times, and information on shows, fun activities taking place, and dining options – and even allows you to see your Funpix snaps! 

Plus it tells you the fastest route to get to each ride from where you are.

It was glitchy a few times for me, but it was better than most other theme park apps I’ve used. 

We found the ride wait times were quite out for most rides we went on. EG. It has the Ghost rider at a 2 hour wait time all day, and we only waited for an hour.

It will also tell you if any rides close down due to any sort of issues, which happened a lot for the Silver Bullet, much to our dismay as we wanted to ride it again.

7. Eat outside of main lunch and dinner hours

people walking outsie johnny rockets

We regretted walking up to Johnny Rockets for lunch at 12:30pm with its long line! This was after standing in line for the Ghost Grill small table service restaurant for 15 minutes before realizing “this is not going to work” 

But, the line did move fairly quickly. Look at the menu while on the queue so you know what to order when it’s your turn. 

8. Buy an All-Day Dining Plan or Meal Ticket

Do your research to consider how much food you will consume in a day and what that may cost, bearing in mind you cannot take food in. You can reenter the park, however (but not the parking lot).

I’d recommend eating a large breakfast before entering to keep your tummy full and costs lower. 

It may be cost effective for you to buy an all-day dining plan especially if you want to indulge in all the delicious boysenberry treats.

With the dining plan, you pay $31.99 and can eat an entree and side at any of the participating 16 locations throughout the park. You only have to wait 90 minutes between meals. There is an upgrade to $42.99 that includes unlimited snacks and treats.

There is a $16.99 drink pass with free refills all day. You can take your own water bottles inside and just refill them which is what I recommend. It’s best for your health, wallet, and the environment.

You can also get a single meal deal ticket for $16.99 that includes one entree, side and regular size fountain drink. It’s only at select locations so check first. 

The meal ticket is good value, especially if you want to eat the BBQ Pork ribs that we did, which cost $20 normally.

9. Check the menu for food intolerances before lining up

If you have any food intolerances, be sure to check the menu before lining up.

The app will note if restaurants have gluten free options, but for two of those restaurants I went to, the servers had no idea what I was talking about. 

You may have to go to the front of the line to see the menu. Just be sure to let those standing in line you’re not cutting, you just want to see the menu so you don’t waste time.

I think it would be a great feature of the app to include menus for the restaurant to avoid some of these issues for guests.

10. Chaperone your children.

On Saturdays, it is required that all children 17 or younger must be accompanied by adults 21+ in order to enter the park. You must stay with them for the entire visit. The chaperone can take care of 4 youngsters!

11. Leave your cash at home.

Knott’s Berry Farm is cashless!

12. Go on the Rides at Night

hangtime roller coaster lit up at night

We recommended arriving early to reduce your wait time, we also recommend staying late to enjoy the thrill of a coaster at night. That was when I sent Craig to ride Hangtime with Kalyra!

Many of the YouTube reviews Savannah watched said night riding was one of the best things to do at Buena Park.

13. Save money with Season Passes

Californians, or anyone planning to visit Knott’s Berry Farm several times a year, may want to get a season pass to save money. 

  • The regular season pass offers unlimited visits, 1 Free bring-a-friend ticket when you renew and (and discounts for friends) and 10% food and merchandise. $145
  • A Gold Pass is the next level up which includes Knott’s Soak City Waterpark. $185
  • A Platinum Season Pass if for regular theme park visitors across the country. You change unlimited visits and parking to all Cedar Fair Parks for $280
    • California’s Great America (Santa Clara, California)
    • Canada’s Wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario, Canada)
    • Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    • Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)
    • Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
    • Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virginia)
    • Kings Island (Mason, Ohio)
    • Michigan’s Adventure (Muskegon, Michigan)
    • Valleyfair (Shakopee, Minnesota)
    • Worlds of Fun + Oceans of Fun (Kansas City, Missouri)
    • Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort (New Braunfels, Texas)
    • Schlitterbahn Waterpark (Galveston, Texas)

Parking at Knott’s Berry Farm

cars driving into Knotts berry farm

There is a huge parking lot across the road from Knott’s. Parking is $25 or $30 for busses and RVs. The parking lot opens about an hour before park opening. Don’t leave anything valuable in your car!

The California Marketplace offers complimentary parking for up to one hour. It’s then $10 per half an hour with a daily max charge of $35.

We were grateful our hotel was in walking distance to the theme park, so we did not need a rental car while in Buena Park not have to worry about parking

Knott’s Berry Farm Hours of Operation

Check Knott’s Opening Hours as it changes throughout the year and with special events. Typically it’s

  • 10am – 10/11pm on weekends
  • 10am – 10/11pm in April and the summer, and Christmas Holidays
  • 8am – 5pm in October where it changes over to 7pm -1am for Knott’s Scary Farm
  • 10am – 8pm November
  • 10am-6pm all other months

Getting to Knott’s Berry Farm & Buena Park

Large street sign saying Buena Park surrounded by palm trees

Due to its central Southern California location, there are several easy options for getting to Buena Park.

Long Beach (14 miles) and John Wayne airport (18 miles) are the closest to Buena Park with LA airport only 25 miles away.

We flew into John Wayne airport from Raleigh via Chicago (look at the scenic flight we got!) It was about a $30-$40 Uber ride from the hotel (depending on traffic).

As mentioned, Disneyland is only a 10–15-minute drive and Huntington Beach and the OC Beaches 30 minutes. Check car rental prices and availability here.

It may be a good idea if you want to incorporate some beach time in your trip as Huntington beach (our favorite in SoCal) is only 10 miles away straight down Beach Boulevard that runs through Buena Park.

Once in Buena Park, it’s easy to get to Knott’s Berry Farm, and hard to miss with its main street central location.

Buena Park is small, so it is easy to walk to all attractions. 

You can catch an Uber or Lyft to the front door from your hotel and save on parking costs and hassle, or long shuttle bus lines (they won’t be bad like Disney though).

AND, your Buena Park hotel may have shuttles, not just to Knott’s but also Disney! That way you can stay out of the Anaheim chaos but still have easy access to Mickey Mouse.

There’s also a Metrolink Station with Orange County buses and trains.

Where to Stay in Buena Park: DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park

Pool area of DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park (2)
Double Tree Hilton

We loved how our hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park, was within walking distance to all the Buena Park attractions. This meant hiring a car, and worrying about parking, was not necessary.

Knott’s Berry Farm was under a 20-minute walk, and we usually broke that up with a croissant from Porto Bakery along the way, or a Pirate themed dinner of an evening.

The hotel was everything you’d expect from a DoubleTree – warm cookies upon arrival, modern double queen rooms, a large inviting foyer, heated swimming pool, fitness center, and free shuttles to both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm (you must book in advance).

Knott’s Berry Farm also has its own hotel next door to the theme park.

Video: Saying YES to family fun in Buena Park

Knotts Berry Farm FAQs

silver bullet taking a loop

Here’s what people usually ask us about visiting Knott’s Berry Farm…

What Are the Knott’s Berry Height Requirements?

For thrill rides, you need to be between 32 to 54 inches tall. Some of the scarier rides require the rider to be over the age of 10 years old.

What age group is best for Knott’s Berry Farm?

Knott’s Berry Farm is suitable for all ages with rides that range from mild to scary. Most rides aim at older kids, so we think any child over the age of 10 will love it.

Do kids need to be chaperoned at Knott’s Berry Farm?

Yes, any child under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21.

Does Knott’s Berry Farm Have WiFi?

Yes, Knott’s Berry Farm has WiFi which you can access from anywhere in the theme park!

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