Cordelia Knott opened her chicken dinner restaurant in 1934, next to her and her husband Walter's berry farm. Over the years, Walter added a Ghost Town and other attractions to entertain diners while they awaited tables. That evolved into the Cedar Fair-owned theme park that welcomes more than four million visitors a year.
Knott's invented the after-hours theme park Halloween event with Knott's Scary Farm in 1973, which now runs select evenings in September and October. Knott's also puts on several food and entertainment festivals throughout the year, including the Boysenberry Festival (celebrating the fruit hybrid first cultivated on Knott's farm), the Peanuts Celebration, and Knott's Merry Farm for Christmas.
Our recommendations below come from our annual survey of Theme Park Insider newsletter subscribers. Click here to subscribe to our free, twice-weekly email of theme park news and to participate in the next ranking survey.
Knott's Berry Farm will reopen to passholders on May 6 and to the rest of the public on May 21. Some locations may not be available due to Covid restrictions.
A 4,533-foot Custom Coasters International wooden coaster, retracked by Great Coasters International in 2016, with a 108-foot drop and top speed of 56 mph. Height requirement: 48 inches
Timber Mountain Log Ride
Bud Hurlbut's 1968 log flume ride, which Disney Imagineers freely admit "inspired" their design for Splash Mountain. Height requirement: 36 inches
Calico Mine Ride
Hurlbut's iconic 1960 dark ride in the heart of Knott's Ghost Town
Calico River Rapids
A 2019 reimagining of the old Bigfoot Rapids ride, with animatronics from Garner Holt. Height requirement: 46 inches
Other notable attractions at Knott's include the Supreme Scream drop tower; the Calico Railroad and Stagecoach in Ghost Town; the original Camp Snoopy children's play area, and the Sky Cabin observation tower.
Ghost Town Alive!
Play along with the residents of Calico in this interactive production that takes place throughout the day in Ghost Town. Operates during the summer season.
Calico Saloon Show
Wild West Stunt Show
And if they ever bring it back, we would highly recommend Mystery Lodge, an indoor show featuring Native American storytelling with a nifty Pepper's Ghost effect.
Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
The table service fried chicken restaurant that started it all is located outside the park gates.
Counter service pork, beef and chicken, located near Xcelerator
Knott's Berry Farm is located in Buena Park, California - about six miles from Disneyland and 30 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.
Check back when the park reopens for our visiting strategy.