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Knott's Berry Farm

PlatinumFate

Rookie
Mar 31, 2020
454
Newsom says he expects the state to be completely open by June 15th. I would say probably sometime before then (mid-May/early June) but for sure by June 15th.
Good, let's pray for no more COVID curveballs from here on out (though saying that makes me feel like I jinxed it). I really want to get back to Cali soon to experience what it has to offer.
 

Stryker

Contributing Member
Feb 22, 2018
804
SoCal
There's no mention of the rewards program with number of visits that was set to roll out last summer. Hopefully it's still happening and will be announced soon.

Also, I was looking at their calendar and it seems they'll reopen with normal operating hours (10 am - 8 pm weekdays, 10 am - 10 pm weekends and even 10 am - 11 pm Memorial weekend), which is nice since other parks have scaled back their hours.
 
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Aug 1, 2018
1,482
Los Angeles
Reservations just opened up for pass holder previews May 6 - 20 and then to general on May 21. Looks like they only have May times available right now.
 
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Stryker

Contributing Member
Feb 22, 2018
804
SoCal
I'm trying to make reservations and am in line with a wait time of more than an hour. Is this the same Queue-It system Disneyland is using or something similar? I recall many people were experiencing long wait times trying to make reservations for DLR.
 
Aug 1, 2018
1,482
Los Angeles
i waited 1 hour and 45 min. Got in line right at 10.
I'm trying to make reservations and am in line with a wait time of more than an hour. Is this the same Queue-It system Disneyland is using or something similar? I recall many people were experiencing long wait times trying to make reservations for DLR.
 

kingcooger

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2014
1,337
It has a bit more physical stuff than I expected (still not much, but more) and looks like it will be entertaining whether or not you choose to “play”.

That’s a win in my book
 
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deadbydawn

Contributing Member
Mar 23, 2015
875
Orange County, CA
I had the opportunity to ride Bear-y Tales last night a few times. It's really cute, and a huge upgrade from Iron Reef. Admittedly I don't care much for 3D shooter rides but I do think this one is pretty well done considering they built on the bones of the existing ride. It's definitely a win for Knott's and I think fans will be happy!

The new shop has some incredible old attraction merch for their 100th anniversary. Walked out spending a little more than I should have..
 

Stryker

Contributing Member
Feb 22, 2018
804
SoCal
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
5,787
No man's land: SoCal
Great news if you have the All Season Dining Plan.


Notable additions:
  • Pastrami Sandwich @ Sutter's
  • Assorted topped Tater Tots from previous Taste Of events
  • Strictly-on-a-Stick is now included with assorted Corn Dogs & Cheese Sticks
  • Steak Salad @ Boardwalk BBQ
  • Salmon, Orzo & Spinach Salad @ Coasters
Woooooof looks like I gotta get the meal pass. The pastrami sandwich alone would’ve Sold me, but the loaded tots and cheese sticks as well? Sold.
 

tacalert

Contributing Member
Dec 24, 2017
602
I had the opportunity to ride Bear-y Tales last night a few times. It's really cute, and a huge upgrade from Iron Reef. Admittedly I don't care much for 3D shooter rides but I do think this one is pretty well done considering they built on the bones of the existing ride. It's definitely a win for Knott's and I think fans will be happy!

The new shop has some incredible old attraction merch for their 100th anniversary. Walked out spending a little more than I should have..
Agree with you assessment of the ride. I just wish it was a little easier to see what and where you were shooting. I noticed the yellow color was the easiest to see on the screen.
 

deadbydawn

Contributing Member
Mar 23, 2015
875
Orange County, CA
Agree with you assessment of the ride. I just wish it was a little easier to see what and where you were shooting. I noticed the yellow color was the easiest to see on the screen.
If they had to make it a shooter ride, I wish it could have been in an Astro Blasters kind of way instead of the 3D. One downside here is there is a decent amount of actual set pieces and you might miss out on some of the details because of the glasses and 3D effect.
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
4,686
Went yesterday - think there must've been some cancellations, because we were able to snag a coveted 10am reservation just a week out.

Overall, had a great time. Park looked great, rides were mostly running well, employees were doing their best.

Some observations:
  • Expedited security was excellent and needs to continue to be a thing post-COVID.
  • They're having issues with season/annual passes created/used prior to the pandemic. Expect a short delay while they work it out. They just issued me a new pass, but then it claimed I didn't have a reservation until 11:30am. No idea how that happened, but I was able to show them my scannable reservations and was let through.
  • Worth emphasizing: They are enforcing reservation times. Your ticket won't scan if you're not within a grace period of your reservation.
  • Park gates were open by 9:30 or so. Ghostrider was actively running during the "pre-opening" period, while Silver Bullet opened just before 10am.
  • I think distancing between rows on the trains is tremendously stupid when real crowding and transmission risk is happening elsewhere. However, Ghostrider is probably handling it best: Entire parties are loaded in adjacent rows, a row is skipped, and then the next party goes. Means trainers are mostly full, especially when there are large parties.
  • No idea if it will last, but like with Six Flags (the only other park I know of with timed entry?), the first several hours of park operation are magic. We walked directly on to something like 10 rides, including all of the major coasters. If we were moving more aggressively, we probably could have done even more. Even Bear-y Tales was a walk-on around 11:30am or so.
  • Crowds didn't really start to form until noon, and even then, it was hit or miss. Xcellerator, Montezuma's Revenge, and Jaguar (from my observation) remained walk-ons until our lunch reservations at 1:15.
  • Log Ride was apparently down for most of the first day but was up for pretty much all of Friday. However, loading is a disaster, so expect any line to move at a snail's pace. One party for log (fair enough), but only loading one side of the station, and they have some convoluted "rapid drying" tube at unload - not sure what it's supposed to accomplish. Empty logs were sent through for no apparent rhyme or reason (no, it wasn't because people's masks were down). Not enough logs in the flume in general.
  • Log ride's show scenes mostly looked great. A few missed triggers, and the cave after the drop was darker than I remembered, but all in all, those terrifying Garner Holt humans were hitting their marks.
  • Bear-y Tales is a delightful addition to the park and, while I liked Iron Reef, is probably more charming. The two-hand guns are a bit painful. They are really struggling to load the thing efficiently, however, and we cascaded by the time we hit the thunderstorm caves. There are a fair amount of physical elements that were nice, and it's telling that they were the highlights. It is a bit difficult to see where you're shooting - the jam splatters could be more apparent. They also need to communicate that you won't earn points while you're "paused" (i.e. how Midway Mania does it). I'm not sure if there was meant to be a motion profile during the final scenes where you're zooming around, but we stayed static - possibly due to the repeated pauses. In any a case, it felt a bit off. Those criticisms aside, it's got a lot of heart and makes for a nice indoor break.
  • Knott's wisely has chosen not to use Fast Lane while capacity is limited - and I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference this masks. All coaster lines move really consistent without a constant interruption of priority guests filling the minimal seats available. I know they won't, but Six Flags should take note - it made our day infinitely more enjoyable.
  • Also worth noting that lines that appear long are deceptive. We sort of know this by now, but it's especially true at Knott's because they're using every other switchback. This meant that Ghostrider, which looks like it's spilling out to the outdoor pathway toward the end of the day, was in actuality only a 25 minute wait.
  • Bizarrely and frustratingly, the operation of many flat rides was nothing short of a disaster. Many rides only had a single, overworked employee who have apparently been instructed only to fill something like a fifth of a ride's capacity. I understand that some distancing is required, but there is no scenario where only 3 parties should be allowed on the Sky Cabin or the Merry-Go-Round should have three-fifths of its mounts unoccupied. These were the slowest-moving and least efficiently-run rides in the park. If you want to get on them, you'll have to do it in the morning.
  • Loved the entertainment sprinkled throughout the park. Great improv performers who added a lot of life to each area. Thrilled the blacksmith was doing his thing and that the stables were open, too.
  • Did the Mine Ride get a tune-up? The animatronics, effects, and audio system all looked and sounded excellent. One of our favorites of the day. Really efficient loading, too - a very long line only took something like 20 minutes.
  • They did eventually get the Rio Grande train up and running after a day and a half of downtime. No robbers on the train due to distancing concern, but they do harass passengers from outside before departure. Staffers did a great job of making sure every available seat was filled, too.
  • Masking and distancing were very much on the honor system, and I would not recommend showing up unless you are vaccinated. Tons of noses out, masks pulled down, the works - minimal enforcement. We're fully vaxxed, so it was fine, but it did feel a bit obnoxious that people couldn't pull off the bare minimum.
  • Food and service at the Chicken and Dinner Restaurant were stellar.
  • Not sure how much of it is new, but we loved the Boysenberry and 100th Anniversary lines of merchandise rolled out in the stores. Had to pick up one of the adorable shot glasses with a textured boysenberry on it. Great price, too, even before the discount.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
5,787
No man's land: SoCal
It sounds like Knott's has a pretty solid reopening on their hands! Thanks for the trip report! It seems like Knott's wanted to be one of the last park to open simply look at the flaws the other parks made and learn from them. Kinda sucks that the flats have some really crappy ops though.

The biggest takeaway I have from your report is that I am really, really, REALLY happy that Fast Lane is not being used. FINALLY some park that's not greedy af and actually prioritizes a better guest experience. It is frustrating to no end to see SFMM allow Flash Pass people to fill up the station and only allow like two groups from the standby. It will be so nice to go on Monty and not have to deal with a group of 20 take up the entire train (Fast Lane shouldn't even be an option for Monty anyway). Looking forward to the 26 when I go!


Question: I'm actually not sure what the re-entry policy is for the park. Lets say you have a reservation to eat at the chicken dinner restaurant. Will they let you leave the park and re-enter to go to the Marketplace?