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Knott's Berry Farm

deadbydawn

Contributing Member
Mar 23, 2015
622
Orange County, CA
Went yesterday, thinking it might not be that bad since my last trip earlier this summer on a Saturday was EMPTY. Maybe a mildly naive notion since it was a Saturday in the middle of July, however...
It was a total nightmare. Everything was jam packed. 20 minutes just to get into the parking lot. 20 minutes just to get through metal detectors. 20 minutes just to get through the front gates. 20 minutes or more just to get food. 10 minutes or more just to get a snack like a pretzel. No joke, Jaguar was 3 hours. Small stuff like the Ferris Wheel or the spinny hats were 45 minutes during the down periods of the day. Crowds never let up either, it was brutal all the way to closing. I never experienced the park this crowded in all of my years attending, even on days for free entry for Veterans. These were Six Flags level of lines. I had no idea Knotts was even this popular anymore.
Are Fridays or Sundays better on crowds? Or do Saturdays get better at some point?
This fits the MO that Knott's has had during the summer season for the last couple of years. It seems like when the park gets busy, the operations just grind to a halt which makes it feel so much worse. I think that normal busy season coupled with the fact that people are probably eager to get out of the house makes for a very busy theme park.
 
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Rideguy70

V.I.P.
Feb 17, 2016
1,207
Los Angeles
Getting there super early really helps. The official opening time is 10am, but we've gone multiple times, and the typical MO for the park is they start letting people in at about 9:15 to a rope drop area, and then open it up at 9:30am, allowing you to dive to Ghostrider right away at 9:30. Not all rides are open at 9:30, but many are, so you can knock out a lot of the major ones before the park is even "officially" open. Keep an eye out for what's testing early in the morning, that's typically a good clue.

And FYI, Hangtime is still down... in case anyone is still wondering.
 

Spookies n' Stuff

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,178
Went saturday, stayed from roughly 9:30 to 5 pm. Only really managed to get Ghostrider, Calico River Rapids, and Silver Bullet done, along with eating lunch. Haven't seen the park that crowded in a long time, and there didn't really seem to be a reason for it aside from it being a July saturday. Calico was really the only line id consider managable, since it was moving really consistently. The fact that the line to just get a burrito took close to 40 minutes is a pretty good indicator of the crowds at the time. Just seems strange how most other parks cooled off and remained pretty reasonable post-covid restrictions being lifted, but knotts lifts them and immediately gets slammed.
 
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DTH

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
1,015
Went saturday, stayed from roughly 9:30 to 5 pm. Only really managed to get Ghostrider, Calico River Rapids, and Silver Bullet done, along with eating lunch. Haven't seen the park that crowded in a long time, and there didn't really seem to be a reason for it aside from it being a July saturday. Calico was really the only line id consider managable, since it was moving really consistently. The fact that the line to just get a burrito took close to 40 minutes is a pretty good indicator of the crowds at the time. Just seems strange how most other parks cooled off and remained pretty reasonable post-covid restrictions being lifted, but knotts lifts them and immediately gets slammed.
I was there from 11 to closing. I think I did six rides. Coast Rider, Sierra Sidewinder, Mine Ride, Log Ride, Supreme Scream, and Ghost Rider at the end of the night. Lunch and dinner really ate into my time, as well as not getting there at opening. My friend also foolishly believed with all his might we could hit Ghost Rider at 8:30 and get to Silver Bullet by 10:55, but I don't think we got onto Ghost Rider until about 11:45 (after I gave him a very scathing "I told you so").

Food lines were the most insane I've ever seen them at Knotts, that's for sure. If there was ever a time I would have liked mobile order.... oh the irony...
The shortest I waited for food or snack was outside the park at the chicken restaurant to-go. Didn't get a refill on my unlimited drink, but if it meant I saved 20 minutes not waiting in line and another 20 for my food, then so be it.
 
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Rideguy70

V.I.P.
Feb 17, 2016
1,207
Los Angeles
I feel Knott's is really becoming a victim of it's own success. It's invested in improving classic rides (Log ride, Calico Mine Train, and I'd put Berry Tales in this category), kept up it's entertainment with both shows and interactive Ghost Town characters, and smartly keeps adding events such as the Boysenberry Festival, Peanuts Festive, and Limited Time Food Items (Fun Bun, and currently Chicken Tikka Masala).

Add to that pot all the people (like me) that have been frustrated at Disney's prices and overcrowding, and you've got massive crowds.

Good for Knott's, but at the same time, I know what you mean. Food lines in particular are really bad. Even drink refills, which should theoretically be quick, are often very slow due to all the people purchasing mugs.
 
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Spookies n' Stuff

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,178
I feel Knott's is really becoming a victim of it's own success. It's invested in improving classic rides (Log ride, Calico Mine Train, and I'd put Berry Tales in this category), kept up it's entertainment with both shows and interactive Ghost Town characters, and smartly keep adding events such as the Boysenberry Festival, Peanuts Festive, and Limited Time Food Items (Fun Bud, and currently Chicken Tikka Masala).

Add to that pot all the people (like me) that have been frustrated at Disney's prices and overcrowding, and you've got massive crowds.

Good for Knott's, but at the same time, I know what you mean. Food lines in particular are really bad. Even drink refills, which should theoretically be quick, are often very slow due to all the people purchasing mugs.
I think you're probably right, a mix of relatively low prices coming off the pandemic, and the park probably still suffering from lower staffing. Food service probably especially, since it seemed like 2-3 registers at any given location were closed on a day probably near peak capacity. Sort of similar with coasters since Hangtime was down entirely for the forseeable future and most other major rides only seemed to be running 2 trains max.
 

DTH

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
1,015
I think the drink refill stations looking like 10 minute waits is what especially shocked me. The one in the back by Beary Tales was a quick line, but all the others seemed swamped. I'm ready to go back on a slow day so they can redeem themselves.
 

deadbydawn

Contributing Member
Mar 23, 2015
622
Orange County, CA
I think you're probably right, a mix of relatively low prices coming off the pandemic, and the park probably still suffering from lower staffing. Food service probably especially, since it seemed like 2-3 registers at any given location were closed on a day probably near peak capacity. Sort of similar with coasters since Hangtime was down entirely for the forseeable future and most other major rides only seemed to be running 2 trains max.
I think it’s really important to remember that Knott’s has always sort of struggled with their operations when it gets busy.

Now they have that same problem but like you said are more than likely understaffed and they’ve just hired on a lot of new employees. Hopefully they can start to iron out the issues sooner rather than later.
 

DTH

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
1,015
My last time I went, I totally forgot about reservations and had to charm my group's way in, so that's a relief.
 

Stryker

Contributing Member
Feb 22, 2018
743
So Cal
As much as I hate the reservation system, at least I knew the capacity was capped. I think this may be too soon, unless they feel confident they can open up to 100% capacity and are fully staffed to do so. If not, it will be chaos.

Last Saturday was the worst for me. Line to park backed up to the tunnel. Long, slow moving lines to get through security. Long lines to get through the gates. Longs lines for food and refreshment stations. Probably should've waited another 2 weeks when most kids go back to school. It'll only get worse from here.
 
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DTH

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
1,015
As much as I hate the reservation system, at least I knew the capacity was capped. I think this may be too soon, unless they feel confident they can open up to 100% capacity and are fully staffed to do so. If not, it will be chaos.

Last Saturday was the worst for me. Line to park backed up to the tunnel. Long, slow moving lines to get through security. Long lines to get through the gates. Longs lines for food and refreshment stations. Probably should've waited another 2 weeks when most kids go back to school. It'll only get worse from here.
Honestly, I don't think there's any cap. I was there that same day and I've never seen or heard of Knotts being THAT crowded. My go to reference is "Jaguar was 3 hours." That tells you everything you need to know about how crowded it was. Even at the height of Scary Farm's popularity, I haven't seen it that crowded. I think the worst thing to come from this is the front gates will be more packed with people buying tickets. Other than that, I can't imagine it much worse on the inside. They should open the Western Entrance to help alleviate things.
 
Aug 12, 2018
212
I did see that, and although I would love it, I can't get my hopes up again until we at least hear about firm investment plans from CF.

I do see a small coaster war heating up though, thanks to Emperor at Sea World.
 
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kingcooger

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2014
1,303
Are Fridays or Sundays better on crowds? Or do Saturdays get better at some point?
Just a follow up: we went yesterday and it was more like a traditional, non-COVID era Sunday. The park opened at 9am (we didn't know this, but we happened to be there anyways) and the crowds did not show up in full force until around 12-1pm.

After noon, things definitely ballooned out a bit, but having three solid hours of ride time with little to no wait felt more on par with a typical Sunday to me (though in olden days Sundays were not busy-ish until about 2pm)

Even then, getting food at Boardwalk BBQ and Wilderness Broiler was super easy/fast for both lunch and dinner (at 12:30pm and 6pm respectively) so that's a big improvement to how crowds have been lately.
 

deadbydawn

Contributing Member
Mar 23, 2015
622
Orange County, CA
Yeah, that is definitely good news. I feel like when they made the deal with Radisson back in the 00's they did a little bit of remodeling over the years but happy to hear that this is happening.