Time for us to return to the SoCal park built by another famous Walt. Knott’s is preparing for their annual Boysenberry Festival which will run for most of April. Meanwhile, the Marketplace shops need some help, but the park is looking good, even as recent rains have caused some closures.



Boysenberry Festival Returns April 1st through 23rd

The one thing people like more than Knott’s is Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. It’s like a food and wine festival with a focus on Walter Knott’s signature berry. We’ve really enjoyed the Boysenberry Festival over the past few years and have been aching for Knott’s to expand it. Looks like 2017 will see some great enhancements, including the return of some old favorites.


The Flavorful Celebration Will Feature a New Mouthwatering Food Lineup of Boysenberry Inspired Dishes and Entertainment For all Ages.

Buena Park, CA (Feb 2017) – This spring, join Knott’s as it celebrates the flavorful berry that started it all, the boysenberry, during the much anticipated Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. For the first time ever, the mouthwatering festival is expanding to three weeks, April 1–April 23, with delectable food and drinks, and festive live entertainment. The 23-day food festival features over 70 one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks and more, plus foot-stompin’ entertainment, Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, featuring boysenberry and wine, and family fun that everyone will love!  For festival goers with a hankerin’ for some live entertainment, the options are endless with live music throughout the park, a nighttime dance party, and brand new shows like, Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree at the Calico Mine Stage. Calico Park in Ghost Town is home to a good ol’ fashion hootenanny featuring pie eating contests, line dancing and country fair festivities with the local Ghost Town townsfolk. The limited-time festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm.

The year was 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the community of Buena Park Calif. to farm 20 acres of rented land which included harvesting, and selling the first boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry, and named the new berry after its originator, Rudolph Boysen. Today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm.

For 2017, the mouthwatering line-up of boysenberry inspired dishes will feature irresistible boysenberry pizza made with arugula and goat cheese, the unforgettable and delicious new ravioli dish packed with boysenberry flavors, freshly-baked boysenberry fry bread and lip-smacking corn on the cob with boysenberry butter and mayo, each dish will leave guests wanting for more.  Other must try items include crispy deep fried alligator bites paired with farm-made zesty boysenberry aioli, finger-lickin boysenberry BBQ wings, savory boysenberry meatballs, sweet boysenberry cream soda, creamy chocolate covered boysenberry cheesecake on a stick and many more delicious treats. Additional fee for tastings. Guests who want to take home the exquisite Boysenberry BBQ sauce, Boysenberry Butter, Boysenberry Dressing and Boysenberry Chipotle Sauce can do so by stopping by the Berry Market located in the California MarketPlace and General Store located in Ghost Town. Select items are available on the online Berry Market store.

Guests can purchase boysenberry inspired products throughout the winding streets of the Old West at the Crafts Fair. This year’s boysenberry products include boysenberry soap, lip balm and the devilishly good rock candy. Festivalgoers can also watch special demonstrations including a chainsaw wood sculpting, glass blowing and blacksmithing.  From day to night, Ghost Town has never looked so lively.

This year, in honor of the famous berry, Ghost Town’s Town Hall will feature a fascinating film which shares the story of how Walter and Cordelia Knott settled here in Buena Park and helped the world discover the amazing boysenberry. Guests can pull up a seat and catch a 10-minute showing of the historic film offered exclusively during the festival.

The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival also features an extensive line up of live entertainment. Join Snoopy, Charlie and the entire Peanuts gang as they present an all new interactive, musical revue called Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree! at the Calico Mine Stage. This new show will have families singing, dancing, and playing along with the beloved Peanuts characters and talented performers during the whimsical, high energy celebration of springtime. Country music and the aroma of deliciously good food will fill the air as the Ghost Town Miners take the stage in a fun, musical performance at the Firemen’s BBQ stage. Just across the Fireman’s stage, the Legendary Bird Cage Theatre pays tribute to Knott’s past; for the first time in over 20 years, the theatre will be the home of musical comedy melodrama, with a special presentation of the Old Time Melodrama. America’s longest running Melodrama returns with an original, interactive, comedy with a surprising boysenberry twist! In the evening, a group of krazy talented performers will have guests kicking up their heels with vine dancing, a down home jug band and dueling fiddlers and banjos!  At the Wagon Camp stage, get krazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies mount their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, gut-bustin’ country comedy show that will have audiences clamoring for more!

The fun continues with new additions exclusively for the Boysenberry Festival. Brand new this season, The Old MacDonald Petting Zoo pays tribute to one of Knott’s original attractions. Young ones and young at heart are invited to cozy up to the cutest critters on the farm including horses, sheep, goats and other furry friends.

Springtime fun has also taken root in Camp Snoopy and Fiesta Village. During the limited-time event, the whole family can meet the Easter Beagle at his Camp Snoopy home, blooming with colorful springtime décor. The meet and greet location is the perfect place for shareable moments with the boisterous beagle and his friends – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, and Linus. Camp Snoopy Theatre will showcase the PEANUTS pals singing, dancing, and sharing stories for all to enjoy. Everyone in the family can join in the Camp Snoopy activities.  The theater will be filled with the sweet sound of little ones as they singing-along to the cheerful tunes! Guests don’t have to be experts at dancing to enjoy a nighttime Fiesta with DJ Cruz in Fiesta Village. The night comes alive with music and dance as everyone will be sure to take to the floor and dance to the rhythmic beat of popular music.

The Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, additional cost for food tasting experiences within the event, which also offers a full day of thrilling coasters and family fun rides.  Knott’s will have extended hours, 10am to 10pm, from April 1 –  April 23, allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings.

Which Knott's Boysenberry Festival treat are you most looking forward to this April? Click To Tweet

California Marketplace


Welcome to the California Marketplace. This little shopping district is to Knott’s what Downtown Disney is to Disneyland, but on a much smaller scale. While it is quaint and in keeping with the general old time Knott’s feel, the stores just haven’t been kept up in the way the rest of Ghost Town and Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner have. Let’s have a look inside the outer gift shop, The Emporium.

The Emporium is a big open shop with a smattering of small tables featuring uninspired displays. This shop is in desperate need of some professional merchandising. Unfortunately, the worst problem with most of the shops throughout of the Marketplace is the old 80’s/90’s looking infrastructure, worn out carpet and slat-board walls. There will be some who think it’s all charming, but it really just doesn’t look inviting. Knott’s would make so much more money if they could make these shops look more attractive. Yes, keep the kitschy feel, but please merchandise these stores in a way that makes customers want to shop!





Yes, that’s a disco ball, in the middle of the shop.

Slat-board walls with metal hooks and glass shelves aren’t attractive by today’s standards. The 80’s just called and they want their walls back.
This is the only music playing in the entire shop


Old roofs leak during a storm. We’ve been having a lot of wet weather lately, so it’s to be expected that Knott’s old shops might have some holes to patch. But buckets left out to catch water near food containers is unacceptable.


Not all of the old shops are awful. The Berry Market has some cute tables, amazing food products . . .

You had me at Candy Apples


This little shop has charm as well a little hidden piece of Knott’s history. The restrooms hiding behind the RESTROOMS door at the back of the shop conceal a hot-house garden featuring a waterfall as well as a replica of George Washington’s Fireplace! Check it out.

But get rid of those slat-board walls!

George Washington’s fireplace!

The Bakery really needs an update. It looks straight out of the 70’s. Some good baked goods here, including custom cakes and fresh baked bread . . . but it would all look so much more appetizing if the shop didn’t look so worn out.

Mrs. Knott’s can get mighty busy. But you can get a full meal to go at the “Chicken To Go” shop between the Bakery and Mrs. Knott’s.

The food is GREAT, but they’ve put no effort into making this establishment look attractive. It would be so easy to fix.


Moving down to the original gift shop, Virginia’s has seen a little love lately but product selection, location, and staging leaves much to be desired.



Lights pointing everywhere, seemingly at random.


Displays look like they were discarded by an old Sears or Kmart.


I really hope the executives at Knott’s take a look at this photo. Would you shop here? Those awful walls, lack of decoration, merchandise just piled up everywhere. Yikes!


There is a nice Knott’s history display in the store.


Moving over to the California Shop

Store employees offer to take a photo of you sitting on the bear. That’s a first for me.
More ugly slat-walls.

Depressing displays and filthy carpet.

I cannot tell if that’s Chewbacca, a Bigfoot, or just an ugly bear…


Across the street, inside Snoopy HQ, more ugly slat-wall displays and poor merchandising.


This looks like the carpet that was in Chuck E Cheese.




It’s all Snoppy all the time.


Similar problems are occurring at the In the Game Shop. The first thing that jumps out at you is the atrocious (stained) bright green carpet.






To be fair, there are rumors that the Market Place has been working on a long-delayed update for this area. You only need to look at the amazing job they did on the complete overhaul of Miss Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant to see what they COULD do with the rest of the Market Place.

The famous Chicken Dinner Restaurant!

Walter and Cordelia Knott


What are your thoughts? Would you like to see the shops upgraded or do you like everything just the way it is?

Heading into the park…


Knott’s for the Cure continues for a few more days. Knott’s is donating some ticket revenue and some park merchandise sales for the Susan G. Koman Foundation (Orange County) until March 5th. To purchase discounted tickets and find out more click HERE.



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Even previous Disney Channel Star and current CBS star Brenda Song came out to help promote the cure.


Ghost Town

Ghost Town looks great. There’s really nothing else like it.


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The new Calico Square doesn’t look quite as cozy now that the Christmas tree has been removed. Perhaps we’ll see some Boysenberry Festival activities here in April.


Work continues on the Calico Train Station. The area is being repaved.





Station queue rails are being replaced



Across the tracks, Knott’s Timber Mountain Log Ride has returned from its winter refurbishment. Most of the fixtures have been cleaned up and are working, but some of the motion is still a bit shaky.



Hey, that name looks familiar… What a nice tribute to Bud, the legendary creator of this classic attraction.


back side of water








Bigfoot Rapids is currently down for its winter refurbishment.





Fiesta Village



Montezooma’s Revenge received a nice repaint last week.




Construction continues on the new Sole Spin as the foundation for the new spinner is being prepared between rain storms. This is the spot where Windseeker briefly stood.







Engine 40 and the Galloping Goose can be seen at the crossing just waiting for the work at the station to be finished.




Camp Snoopy




In the back of Camp Snoopy, work has concluded on the Fruit Truck and the Beverage Station.



The Camp Bus was out of service the day we visited.


I just love the work Knott’s put into these signs. They look amazing.
As discussed last month, more trees are needed to hide the outside world (a traffic light is visible in the upper corner)



She is holding a burger, but they only sell pizza at this stand.



Near the new Boardwalk attractions, the water has recently been drained to allow a cleaning and repainting of the cement bottom of the water feature surrounding the attraction. The recent rains has not helped the repair efforts.






Knott’s has been lighting up their tallest attractions in pink at night for the last couple of weeks.


Temporary lighting rigs




Work continues on the new Boardwalk BBQ restaurant. We can’t wait to see what this new establishment looks like. Should give us a better idea of the direction this area of the park will be headed in the future.


Tables from the old quick service restaurant have popped up along the construction wall.

Shhhh . . . the locals are staring



Work continues on the Sky Cabin. There is no word on when it will reopen. Back in December, the cabin was stuck half way up the tower, stranding the occupants inside for over 8 hours. There was some discussion that the ride might be removed, but it looks like it’s staying.




That’s it for this month’s Knott’s Update. Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to a MiceChat column? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]