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  1. #1

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    Never going to Knott's again

    I can’t even remember the last time I had seen Knott’s in the day time. For the last 15 years, every October, my friends and I would go to Knott’s Scary Farm. But the last time I spent a regular day at the part escapes my memory. So on Saturday, December 15, 3 friends and I went to spend a day at the park. But a crappy day it was.

    First, I had forgotten that Knott’s was offering a special deal this weekend. Bring in a $10 toy for the Toys for Tots / Marine toy drive and you get in free. The park was packed. It took 45 minutes to get from the Beach Blvd exit of the 91 to Knott’s parking lot. Parking was $10 and you were let into a half paved, half dirt parking lot. No parking attendants anywhere. It was every man/car for themselves. We ended up parking way in the back next to 2 San Diego County Sheriff’s jail buses (?????).

    The line people were standing in to donate their toy for an admission ticket started near the main entrance ticket booths and went past the Chicken dinner restaurant, past the shops and almost to where the track for Ghostrider crosses the parking area. We had free tickets from Toyota so we just had to stand is a short ticket booth line to get our admission tickets. I would have been pretty pissed off if I had paid full price for the day we were about to have.

    Ghost town is still a gem and the only reason Knott’s can call itself a theme park, other wise it has become just a permanent carnival/run of the mill amusement park. Too bad Cedar Fair is slowly destroying Ghost town (no more Haunted Shack…it has been replaced by big swing ride that you have to pay EXTRA to ride) or fouling up the authentic feel of Ghost town (hard to feel you are in the old west with the Silver Bullet rollercoaster flying over your head). There were a lot of extra booths set up for the Christmas craft fair but the area was so crowded we didn’t even slow down to look.

    We stopped in at the Western Trials Museum. I had never been in here (it is usually closed for the Halloween Haunt). It was a little interesting. I am a fan of history so we spent about 30 minutes looking around. Next we were going to ride the Ghost town train. But there was a 45 minute wait. So we went on the Calico Mine Ride. Not too bad of a wait, maybe 20 minutes.

    A brief stop at the Calico Saloon for some berry punch (love that stuff) and then over to see Mystery Lodge. This show is just shown a couple times a day, on the hour. I thought it use to run continuous but again, it has been forever since I came to the park on a regular day. It is a nice little show and I give it thumbs up.

    After Mystery Lodge (my friend joked, saying he thought it was a show staring the guy from VH1’s Pickup Artist), we walked along Big Foot Rapids and into the north part of the park. Wow has this area gone to crap. I remember a dozen and a half years ago when this use to be the Roaring 20’s themed area. It had a good vibe about it back then, with 20’s era music in the background. Now it is just a hodge-posh of just random things. Gone is the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs (I really miss Knott’s Bear-y Tales), replaced by a closed Laser Tag room. There is no cohesive theme here what so ever. It get’s worse as you go into the area once know at the Roaring 20’s Airfield, now “The Boardwalk”. People bitch and Moan about Paradise Pier at DCA being too much like a carnival. Well, “The Boardwalk” is a carnival, complete with ring toss games in the middle of the walk ways. They made a half heart attempt to place some theme around Perilous Plunge but in front of the ride is a bunch of Pepsi vending machines (which are all over the park. Nothing looks tackier than a neon Pepsi machine in Ghost Town).

    My friends wanted to ride Boomerang so they jumped in line. I didn’t want to stand in the long line for I told them I would just wait by the exit. I had no idea how long the line really was. 1 hour and 50 minutes later they got their 90 second rollercoaster ride. By now they were pissed off about waiting and I was pissed off about waiting. My friend said there was no organization in the line. He said people were cutting in line left and right and there were no employees around to do anything about it. He said they were to groups behind before they were going to get on the coaster and they suddenly shut their line down and used it for handicap access, forcing my friends to get to the back of another line.

    While waiting for my friends in line for Boomerang, I walked around a little. The wait for Excellarator was well over 2 hours. This coaster, like Boomerang and Montezuma’s Revenge, could only run 1 train at a time. Walking around the park while waiting, all I saw was carnival games and spinning “vomit” style carnival rides. Supreme Scream had at least an hour wait, so did the log ride. Everything else was the iron carnival rides. Zero atmosphere to sit and people watch. The park was packed full of loud, pushy teenager.

    Then while still waiting (1 hour 50 minutes for that stupid ride), I caught a surprise. Knott’s Christmas parade. Wow. It kinda reminded me of a high school prom parade. I guess they get a couple points for trying. But it was pretty sad. I felt sorry for the parade performers. The cast of the Disney Christmas parade seem proud to be in that show, these Knott’s employees looked like they wanted to hide their face. I watch it from the area near the entrance of Exellerator. I noticed that the crowds had created a circle and there was no place for the parade to go. I assumed the employees would force some people to move to open up the parade route but to my humorous surprise, the parade came down to where I was and then flipped a U turn and went right back the same way it came. It climaxed with the small Santa float having to do a 3 point turn because it could not made the U turn. Wow, what an experience.

    After my friends got off Boomerang is was a unanimous decision to leave the park. It was too crowded, lines were a minimum of an hour long for even the spinning carnival rides. The park had nothing to offer us. “well this is the last time I ever come to Knott’s Berry Farm”, expressed 2 of my friends. I was pretty much on board with them about that. I enjoy Halloween Haunt but as a stand alone park, Knott’s has dropped to an all time low. The charming park I remember as a kid…the park with San Francisco style cable cars rolling through the parking lot, the gun fights in the streets of Ghost town, the high energy Roaring 20’s area, Jungle Island on the other side of the park, the petting zoo…..was all gone. Replaced by an any-where USA amusement park/carnival/County Fair. Once Cedar Fair finally removes the last parts of Ghost Town in exchange for more rollercoasters and iron carnival spin rides, a piece of Southern California history and my childhood will be dead. I guess a person could have a good time at Knott’s if they are into the spin rides and go during the week in the off season. But I can’t imagine spending full price and going to this dump of a place on a busy day. We had hoped that we could have dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken restaurant, but the line was an hour long too. Granted, any place can be miserable when it is packed, but even if there were no lines when we went, Knott’s just doesn’t hardly any quality, unique attractions that I would be willing to pay for. I will still go to Halloween Haunt, but I don’t ever see myself paying to get into Knott’s Berry Farm again for a day of entertainment.

  2. #2

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Boooo. Sorry you had such a bad day. I haven't been to Knotts in maybe 5 years or more. Even then it was so much different then back when you described. In fact it took my friend and I 4 hours to do everything before we were bored and left (obviously on a slow day compared to your nightmare day).

  3. #3

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    I would like to add a few more things.....

    The park was clean....no complaints there. And no complaints about the employees....except there just were enough of them in certain places. As I said, the parking lot was a free for all, totally different than Disneyland where you have a CM every few feet pointing you to exactly where you should park. Also, as I said, there were no employees keeping an eye on guests and line jumping was a big problem.

    Something else I noticed.....with the massive crowds and massive lines, there were no signs estimating how long of a wait there was for each attraction. I am sure if my friends knew they were going to have to wait almost 2 hours for a 90 second rollercoaster ride, they would have passed on it.

    All the food locations seemed to be open and were very busy. Maybe if the park was totally empty and there was no wait, it would have been a better time. But then again, I have no desire to ride Spin-N-Puke rides, which make up 80% of Knott's attraction lists.

    Justin

    Chuck Norris does not kick *** and take names. In fact, Chuck Norris kicks *** and assigns the corpse a number. It is currently recorded to be in the billions.

  4. #4

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    my cousin went to knotts about a week ago and was disappointed as well. the last time I went was about four years ago, (when they put in the new parking area and was building the hotel) and I thought "THIS IS A THEME PARK???????"

    well,,,,,,,,, it used to be. it used to have charm, atmosphere, excitement. now, it looks like a corporate owned and operated state fair.

    sorry folks, but I have better things to do than be bored to death at knotts. as al lutz likes to say "i'll see ya at Disneyland"

    I havent been back to (and absolutely wont) knotts.

    they might as well change the name of the park to "no folks this is not six flags"

  5. #5

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Most days at Knott's aren't that busy. There is a reason to avoid the park the first few weekends in December, and you just found out why. Those are the 2 busiest weekends for the parks because everybody wants to get in for $10.


  6. #6

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Tough to argue any of the complaints. Going on a toys for tots day is asking for disappointment. My family went the prior week and we knew what to expect.

  7. #7

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    I haven't been to Knott's Berry Farm in at least 10 years - for the 'less than Disneyland' reasons. Disneyland is by far the best place...and while Knott's did used to have a 'small' charm, wife and I feel it has lost that over the past 15 years or so. It's sad.......

  8. #8

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyland Daddy View Post
    I haven't been to Knott's Berry Farm in at least 10 years - for the 'less than Disneyland' reasons. Disneyland is by far the best place...and while Knott's did used to have a 'small' charm, wife and I feel it has lost that over the past 15 years or so. It's sad.......
    ayep....

  9. #9

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Sigh... more Knott's bashing. You happened to go on an unfortunate weekend. Basically, no one would have a good time when it was that crowded. (I could argue many times I hated Disney when all the lines were really long...)

    However, I would argue the park continues to have its charms. Is it a Disney? No, of course not. But let's realize that practically every other amusement park in the country looks like Magic Mountain. (Busch Gardens Europe being a very notable exception.) You also have unique rides (many of which are family friendly) that are not found anywhere else (Sierra Sidewinder--the only one of its kind in the world, Stagecoach, Timber Mountain log ride--better than Splash Mountain for my money, Perilous Plunge, Excelerator--the first of it's kind, Screamin Swing--the first of its kind, and the upcoming one-of-a-kind Pony Express). If you went again when the crowds were much less, I think you would have a vastly different experience.
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

  10. #10

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Its unfair to say that you wouldn't go to Knott's again only because the day you went was crowded w/ rude teenagers. you just happened to go on a day where Knott's has its annual Toys for Tots weekends. let me tell you that, i was there on the 8th of this month (during a Toys for Tots day), and although the park was crowded i still manage to enjoy the day and had fun.

    Just give it another chance...

    Hmmm... let me remind people here that the same goes to Disneyland and any other theme/amusement parks in the whole world. if i remember correctly, DL suffers from rude and pushy tourist and teenagers as well. Add that to crowded days and 1-2 hr wait lines is a recipe for disaster.

    I know this card has been played countless times, but its the only way to get a point across. Knott's is not DL and/or will never be DL.

  11. #11

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    The last time we went was on the bring a toy day as well. We had three tickets anyway for a company picnic, but that bring a toy thing just seemed to bring in a rough crowd. Yes, there were families and it was very heartwarming to watch the father teach his 3 year old how to aim a toy gun at people with instructions of aim for the head or chest. Just so touching...as the day went on it only got worse. Although the tears tattooed onto the face/cheeks of some of the women was interesting... we left around 4pm and have never been back. This was about 10 years ago.

  12. #12

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyland Daddy View Post
    I haven't been to Knott's Berry Farm in at least 10 years - for the 'less than Disneyland' reasons. Disneyland is by far the best place...and while Knott's did used to have a 'small' charm, wife and I feel it has lost that over the past 15 years or so. It's sad.......
    when my parents were teens they used to got o knotts and they loved it. When we went back about 10 years ago they were very disappointed, not just because it was toys for tots weekend, but the park had changed so much. In there opinion for the worst.

    That was my fourth time going to knotts in my whole life. As a child it was ok. I liked the parachute ride. It's gone now. I wen as a teenager with my cousins. We had fun, but I don't recall any of the park or rides. We just had fun as a group. Then i went to knotts scary farm (hated it) the last time was the toys for tots weekend and like I said we only went because it was a company picnic day and we had free tickets anyway. There's just nothing there to make me want to go back.

  13. #13

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    So long as they still have the corpse that sits up in the hearse wagon I'm happy! Do they?

  14. #14

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    The "corpse" is a skeleton dressed in a suit, I believe. He was last over across the walkway from the Stagecoach entrance but not sure if he's still there. Darkbeer?

    The one small curio I miss most from the park is all the dioramas of the Missions. What advantage was gained by pulling those offstage?
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

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    Re: Never going to Knott's again

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    when my parents were teens they used to got o knotts and they loved it. When we went back about 10 years ago they were very disappointed, not just because it was toys for tots weekend, but the park had changed so much. In there opinion for the worst.

    That was my fourth time going to knotts in my whole life. As a child it was ok. I liked the parachute ride. It's gone now. I wen as a teenager with my cousins. We had fun, but I don't recall any of the park or rides. We just had fun as a group. Then i went to knotts scary farm (hated it) the last time was the toys for tots weekend and like I said we only went because it was a company picnic day and we had free tickets anyway. There's just nothing there to make me want to go back.
    I'm not big on Knott's Scary Farm either - I went in 1987, 1995, and 1998 - and that was it - it doesn't scare me, it just frustrates me, all of these goulish characters jumping in my face and getting my way - and people running into me screaming because someone is chasing them......and these hellish types of haunted houses throughout the park - it's to 'dark' for me and more of an irritant than anything, so I just avoid it all together - Knott's has lost it's 'personality' in my opinion.

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