I’ve just returned from the Farm and boy are they pulling out all the stops this summer. As you know, they have recently renovated another one of their major classic attractions, the Calico Mine Ride. But there is much more to see at Knotts Berry Farm . Did you know about the tons of Live entertainment that recently began performances at the beginning of the summer season? We will share some of the highlights with you today. We will also show you which shows not to miss. Speaking of entertainment, we also fill you in on what Knott’s Berry Farm will be doing for the 4th of July Holiday. It’s not all good news, however. A recent fire occurred inside the building that houses Johnny Rocket’s. Will that affect any plans for a dark ride in that space? We round things out by looking at the renovated Calico Mine Ride’s surprisingly beautiful lighting package after the sun goes down.
This summer Knott’s is filled with a krazy amount of Live entertainment. With a roster made of former Disneyland cast members, world class entertainers, and engaging performers, the bar has been raised. All of it is actually very good, with some of it being great!
Boomtown, the Gold Rush-themed acrobatic stage show, returns this year. Leaner and more focused, the show is an overall improvement from its debut last year. Performers jump, flip, bounce, cavort, and dangle from nearly every piece of the set. Fun and engaging, the performers grab your attention with their perma-smiles and flawless motor skills.
Unfortunately, the one nearly fatal flaw with this show is still the slow pacing. It is vastly improved from last years version. For that, they are to be commended. But there are still too-long stretches of single performer segments which quickly get old. The talent on display here is wonderful. But this is a big stage in a big area and requires a big show. To match the venue the pacing must be broad and break-neck and should never be allowed to sag.
Regardless, this is still fun entertainment for the whole family. We would recommend catching the show in the evening as the wonderful lighting is more visible and there is otherwise nothing to shade the audience during the day.
The wonderful Snoopy Unleashed ice show returns to the Charles M. Schultz Theatre this summer and will run 6 days a week (closed Wednesdays) through the summer. The Knott’s ice shows are a southern California tradition that surely must not be missed.
This year the same show from last summer returns with a few, almost imperceptible tweaks. The show is very good. But for those who had seen last years version, the opening number may seem to lack that over-the-top crowd pleasing beginning. Yes, the marching band has been minimized and it does weaken the powerful beginning that the show had last year. However, that is soon forgotten as all of the performers are spot on, energetic and wonderful. This show is not-to-be-missed.
The Ghost Town Miners
A transplant from Disney California Adventure, the Ghost Town Miners entertain guests three times a night at the Spurs Chop house Patio. These guys are the real deal and are some of the most talented blue grass players around. Go over to the patio, order some for d’oeuvres, and enjoy the show.
Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies
Another wonderful transplant from Disney, Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies (formerly Billy Hill and the Hillbillies) entertain guests in the Birdcage Theatre in Ghost town often to a packed house. Kirk and the gang are simply wonderful, and a perfect fit here on the farm. It is only a shame that they are stuffed into the so-so Birdcage. The venue is in dire need of a refurbishment and is not exactly inviting to the wandering guest who are curious to see what’s inside. Let’s hope that Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies either convince Knott’s to upgrade the venue or they get moved to a more prominent spot.
The wildly talented OPA OPA surprised the heck out of us. This band took the stage in Fiesta Village and began to systematically win the heat-stricken crowd over with an infectious blend of salsa and meringue music.
Soon enough members of the audience were up and dancing under the newly built canopy to the beat of this great band. Next time you are in the park, grab a cool drink, pull up a chair and just give them a listen. They surprised us and we know that you will enjoy them too.
Finally, we head back to the Birdcage Theatre for another act; Marshal Purdy. The Marshall is a quaint, beguiling little show of music comedy and magic tricks. Engaging the audience he makes music up on the fly, pulls people up on stage, and really gets the crowd going.
There is still much more to see in regards to the live performances at Knott’s. But we feel that these in particular were worth a mention. Go explore the park entertainment. It is surprisingly varied and high quality.
4th of July at Knott’s Berry Farm
Celebrate the Fourth of July at Knott’s Berry Farm all-day from 10am to 11pm. Enjoy the mentioned live entertainment throughout the day and look forward to the fantastic fireworks spectacular at night.
- Performances of the ice show “Snoopy…Unleashed” will take place in the Charles Schulz Theatre at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.
- The Mountain Fife and Drum Corps will march through select areas of the Park at 2:30pm & 5:15pm. Their patriotic music and authentic costumes will transport you back to the birth of this great nation.
- Performances of Boom Town will take place in Calico Square at 7:30pm & 9pm.
- The Salute to America Fireworks Show will light up the night sky at 10pm. Be sure to visit the refreshed Camp Snoopy with three new rides and head to Ghost Town to ride the newly restored Calico Mine Ride.
Fire at Johnny Rocket’s
On June 26th at around 2:20 am, inside the complex that houses Johnny Rocket’s, the Arcade, the Lazer Tag game, and the old Kingdom of the Dinosaurs show building, There was was a small fire apparently ignited by a welder’s torch. When the fire broke out, the sprinkler system kicked in and all workers were evacuated without injury. Fortunately, the fire department is literally across the street and they responded quickly and effectively, saving the building from any major damage.
Haunt construction has begun backstage and near Xcelerator. Though no mazes have been announced just yet, we think it is safe to assume that the wonderful Black Magic will be returning to this spot.
Calico Mine Ride
We return to the spectacular redo of the Calico Mine Ride. However, this time we share with you the stunning lighting package that bathes the show building at night.
Matching the saturation and beauty found over at Cars Land or even Big Thunder Mountain, lighting designers James Sidler and Kyle Arnold up their game. Each peak is a textured, carrot colored spire reaching into the night sky. While every water feature shimmers in tones of aqua and blue.
This ride has never looked better. The immersive story, animated figures, sound and lighting surrounds guests in this completely reinvigorated attraction. Again we say, GOOD JOB to the Knott’s team on this one.
We close the update with a few shots from around the park.
Thanks for reading this update from Knott’s Berry Farm. We’ll see you In The Parks.