Knotts Merry Farm and MiceChat New Year’s Eve Special Event

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features, In the Parks, Knott's Berry Farm, Knotts Merry Farm

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Published on December 17, 2013 at 2:00 am with 8 Comments

Knott’s Merry Farm has returned this year along with the wonderful Christmas Crafts Village and Santa’s Cabin.  While we covered those offerings in a previous update, today we focus on the impressive line-up of top notch entertainment offerings during the Christmas season. And, read all the way to the bottom for details on a very exclusive MiceChat New Year’s Eve opportunity!

It’s Christmas Snoopy

Knott’s Merry Farm is known for its extravagant ice shows.  These productions are a staple at the Charles M. Schultz Theatre every year when Christmas rolls around.  This year, Snoopy and the gang return with the show, It’s Christmas Snoopy.

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The show is identical in script and musical arrangements to last year.  However, there is a notable difference with some new additions to the cast. Company manager,  Michael Villareal, keeps the team together with closely knit ensemble numbers that work really well.

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Strangely enough, Snoopy, with his big, plodding feet and bulbous snout proves surprisingly nimble on the ice.  The ol’ beagle must have taken some time off to practice, because I’ve never seen a dog move like this in a pair of ice skates before. And we tried to teach our dog to skate for years. Good job Charlie Brown!

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The huge candy machine is a whimsical creation.

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Still, one of our favorite pieces in the show is Silent Night.

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Yes, they have snow, aka SNOAP in the theatre.

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A moving and beautiful ending.

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The show features some nice set pieces, including a huge candy machine, and a beautiful ice grotto in the woods. Great costumes, sets, skating and everyone’s favorite beagle make It’s Christmas Snoopy a not-to-miss show when visiting the farm this holiday season.

Performance Dates: Dec. 7, 8, 14 – 17, 19 – 24, 26 -31, Jan., 1, 3 – 5
Performance Times: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 (7:30 on Saturdays)

Christmas Aboard Engine 41

A brand new creation, from the creative mind of Author, Jeff Tucker, is Christmas Aboard Engine 41.  Take a ride on the train from Calico Ghost Town and you will see that they have added a holiday storyline to the train.  No longer are you simply along for the ride.  Guests become part of the story as characters from Ghost Town’s bustling streets are headed home for Christmas, sharing their stories and experiences with you along the way.

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As we entered the first car, a spry young gentleman greeted us all and introduced himself.  He was an actor on his way home to London.  Yes, we know trains don’t go to London from Ghost Town, but it’s all part of the gag.

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As the ride around the circuit progressed we were entertained by this engaging thespian.  Being an actor, he had all of the props and costumes on hand, and performed a one-man version of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.

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He even had a little help from MiceChat author, Jeff Heimbuch, who stepped in to play the roll of Tiny Tim.

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Before we knew it, the story was at an end and we had returned to Calico Square.  During the Holidays, there are no robbers holding up the train.  Now there are smiling, entertaining faces working the crowd and enhancing an already charming attraction. You’ll find a different story in each car, so there’s a lot of repeatability to this fun-for-all-ages experience.  This is the way to properly do a light retheme of an existing attraction.  Perhaps they should call it the Jingle Train.

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 Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting

In what could be considered the most ambitious attempt by Knott’s entertainment in a long while we have the entertaining show, Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting.  They have taken the traditional Tree lighting ceremony, built a show around it, and turned it into a full-fledged musical.

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The setting is Santa’s workshop during the busy toy making season just before Christmas.  A sleepy elf is awakened by an alarm clock and she begins her day.  Directly addressing the audience she fills the audience in on what’s going on.

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There is an attempt to surround the audience in Christmas magic.  The performance takes place all around Calico Square, with elves appearing in a variety of ledges and platforms.  At certain points in the performance actors march right up through the center of the audience.

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This is an ambitious show and one that is to be commended.  It does, however, need a little bit of work.  There are a few bits of redundant action that could easily be cut in favor of keeping the action brisk.  And stranger still is the fact that the titular character, Snoopy, doesn’t make his appearance until 3/4 of the way into the show.

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Once Santa shows up at the end of the production, a family is invited on stage and the tree is lit.

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Again, we are treated to the wonderful artificial snow that is so effective.

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Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting isn’t Disney quality, not yet.  The run time needs to be trimmed a bit, the performances polished a bit more.  But the drive to produce a big, crowd-stopping, holiday show is apparent.  If they continue on this path, they will eventually get there. We hope they return a tighter version of the show next year.

MiceChat’s New Year’s Eve Bash at Knotts Berry Farm

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Come celebrate the new year with us in a whole new way! (This is a very special event limited to just 40 guests – Don’t delay in grabbing your spot). 5pm until ????     EVENT TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

When we heard that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies would be leaving Disneyland, we were disappointed. So, when it was announced by Knott’s that the boys would be performing at the Farm on New Years Eve, we immediately reached out to the park to create a special MiceChat event. We’ll offer Knott’s home-style food, folksy fun, a private MiceChat Lounge upstairs at the Saloon (and next to the Calico Stage), plus music,  entertainment, Knott’s celebrities and more.

The night will begin at 5pm with a relaxed all-you-can-eat private buffet created especially for MiceChat.  Here we will savor the delicious food prepared for us by Knott’s, complete with two carving stations, all the trimmings and world famous boysenberry pie (among other treats). Knott’s historian, Eric Lynxwiler, will be on hand as well as some surprise guests.

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, fresh from their Disneyland engagement, will be performing three times that night at the Wilderness Dance Hall and we are sure to catch a show as well as a meet and greet with the guys.  When you get tired, MiceChat will have a private lounge waiting for you all night, right in the heart of Calico Square in the Calico Saloon! Calico Stage, located next to the Saloon, is the main performance space for the evening, so you’ll have easy access to come and go to experience the sights and sounds of Knott’s New Year’s Eve celebration. And as the clock ticks down to Midnight, we’ll all head out into Calico Square for fireworks and ring in the new year together.

The MiceChat New Year’s Eve Event costs just $25 and includes private buffet, private lounge, special entertainment access and a night of MiceChat fun. Ticket does NOT include admission into Knott’s Berry Farm. Please see below for our tips on ticket deals.

(While PURCHASE OF THIS EVENT TICKET DOES NOT INCLUDE ADMISSION INTO KNOTTS, getting into the park for the event is a great deal. Knott’s is currently selling their 2014 season passes for $78.00 and are offering a payment plan of 6 montly payments of just $13.00. Go to the Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass Ticket page and put your first payment of $13.00 down for your 2014 Season Pass.  Print out your ticket.  Then the day of the MiceChat event, visit the Season Pass Processing center for your new 2014 pass.  Knott’s will allow you to enter the park on the day you process your pass.  So, essentially, you will get into the park for $13.00!  It’s a sweet deal.)

 MICECHAT NEW YEAR’S EVENT TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE

 

LAST RIDE ON THE CALICO MINE TRAIN!!!

SAVE THE DATE – JANUARY 5th FOR ANOTHER MICECHAT SPECIAL EVENT

As you know from our previous Knott’s updates, the world-famous Calico Mine Train ride will be closing down on January 5th for a complete reinvention. New technology, animatronics, scenery, lighting, sound and story will be added to this Southern California classic. Join us for a VERY special event where 50 lucky MiceChatters will be the LAST TO RIDE the Calico Mine train. Event will include dinner, history panel, meet and greet with the ride designers, a LAST RIDE on the attraction and an additional ride-through with work lights on and a special narration.

Tickets will go on sale very soon. To add your name to the mailing list for this event, please enter your email address below:



 

Well that’s all that we have from the farm for today.  We hope to see you New Year’s Eve!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • Wendygirl

    I’ve only been to Knotts briefly this season but hope to see the ice show, tree lighting and ride the train soon.
    As a huge Billy fan, thank you for coming up with this event. I had planned to spend New Years Eve (actually not just Eve but day too) at Knotts and so have gotten a ticket to this fun sounding event. Thank you for coming up with it!

  • Malin

    Never been to Knotts during Christmas but based on images from previous years this looks like a massive improvement. I was greatly impressed by the quality of the Summer Ice Skating Show so I’m fully aware of the standard. Fair points regarding the tree lighting ceremony from the Youtube video I was able to watch. But everything about this event is family oriented. Previous years have seen cute Peanut Character shows aimed at children. But this year the offerings look much more attractive for people with and without kids.

  • SpectroMan

    I have to agree, the new Tree Lighting show was a noble effort, but I have to say I prefer last year’s version quite a bit. At least it’s something new and fresh, though.

    The New Years’ Eve event sounds GREAT! Really nice that you’re offering this.

  • Rex Dopey24

    great christmas pictures thanks. hope you all have a good time at new years eve there.

  • manifest

    The thespian from London has some serious chops. Seriously funny stuff. Two people I was with don’t even speak English and they were laughing.

    If you get a chance to ride the train, I HIGHLY recommend it.

  • lynxwiler

    The train trip I took at Knott’s introduced a man who was traveling to find his long-lost fiance. We spoke with him for quite a while and, surprise, his fiance was in the neighboring train car. They were adorable and our on-board audience participated in their wedding ceremony before returning to the station. Adorable!

  • RAMartin

    Our trip on the train was a great disappointment. We also ran into a character seeking his long lost fiance. Unfortunately that is where the story ended. He spent a long time chatting with another family about the 49ers (football not miners). He then wondered off into the next car where nothing interesting happened (my daughters where in the next car and reported on his actions or lack thereof). So our only experience on the Christmas train was to encounter a depressed guy who lost his fiance and waned to talk about football. When we got off the train our family’s collective reaction was ” what was that all about?” My 16 year old even went home and sent Knott’s an email complaining about the lack of Christmas spirit on the train and the lack of custodial services in the rest of the park.

  • RAMartin

    Our trip on the train was a great disappointment. We also ran into a character seeking his long lost fiance. Unfortunately that is where the story ended. He spent a long time chatting with another family about the 49ers (football not miners). He then wondered off into the next car where nothing interesting happened (my daughters where in the next car and reported on his actions or lack thereof). So our only experience on the Christmas train was to encounter a depressed guy who lost his fiance and waned to talk about football. When we got off the train our family’s collective reaction was ” what was that all about?” My 16 year old even went home and sent Knott’s an email complaining about the lack of Christmas spirit on the train and the lack of custodial services in the rest of the park.