Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
Off the heels of our massive Ghost Town Alive! season 3 update, we're returning to Knott's Berry Farm with a look at a couple new summer entertainment offering, plus some general eye candy depicting summertime around the park. As we've been saying the past few years, Knott's has been improving and upgrading every aspect of the park, from general upkeep and theming to restoring the historic Ghost Town buildings to adding an assortment of family-friendly and thrill rides to churning out new show offerings and options. Lets check out what the scene is like this peak season down at the Farm!
Beach Blanket Beagle
This summer, Knott's has served up not one but two new premiere shows for its paying customers. The first is Beach Blanket Beagle, a charming song and dance revue at the Charles Schulz Theater. With several showings a day from early afternoon to early evening, it's a nice way to beat the heat. But it's also a fun and honestly adorable show--with a touch of beach culture camp and stereotype.
The basic plot of the 35 minute show concerns a group of friends trying to raise money to save their favorite beach from being bulldozed into a new parking lot. Fortunately, the world's most famous beagle happens to be in town, and they enlist Snoopy's help in several competitions to try to earn the money needed to buy the beach and save it.
The ambiance of the show recalls the style of those cheesy sitcoms of 1960s and 70s. The cast of beach bums features your typical stereotypes--the shallow jock, ditzy blonde, awkward but lovable nerd, the nice one, and others. And the dialogue is laden with intentionally predictable cornball jokes and canned laughter. But it's all in good fun. The performers have plenty of energy, and the dancing and singing is pretty addictive. There's also a very impressive Polynesian fire dance segment. And did I mention the amazing set? This tropical paradise may honestly be the most elaborate and fantastic looking backdrop for any Knott's show I've ever seen. The vibrant colors and details really bring the island scene to Buena Park, and the park's paint and sets crew deserve some major kudos on their fine work.
Calico's Mountain Jamboree
The park's other big show is the nighttime stunt and gymnastic spectacular, Calico's Mountain Jamboree. There is only one showing about an hour before park closing, positioning this show as the park's hook to get people to stay longer and later. And while it doesn't feature the technical grandeur or jazzy pyrotechnics of Disney shows like FANTASMIC! and World of Color, this Jamboree still provides an astonishing, high-octane, exciting performance.
Very loosely, the show portrays what two fictitiously long time members of the park compete in after hours. Apparently, the Timber Mountain Loggers and Calico Miners do tumbling battle after hours, because working hard in logging camps and mountain mines isn't tiring enough. Fortunately for the audience, the cast has plenty of energy to provide a bevy acrobatic tricks, from aerial silks to trampolining stunts to giant hoop spins to slackline gymnastics. Through all the flips and spins and cartwheels, Lorelei, the rebellious daughter of the show's promoter, tries to get herself into the performances while her strict, traditionalist mother shoos her away.
The 20+ minute show is an athletic spectacle, though, and quite entertaining to watch. There's almost too much going on, because in any particular segment, there may be trampoline bouncers scaling walls, tumblers flipping across the stage, dancers twirling through modern versions of saloon dances, and aerialists spinning overhead. But the show is compact and moves along briskly, and it provides an energy-packed away to cap off the evening.
Ride the Tide!
Ride the Tide! isn't new to Knott's entertainment lineup, but they happened to be performing while I was having dinner at the Boardwalk BBQ. The surf rock duo put on fun and rousing performances.
There is a plethora of other shows at Knott's this summer too, recurring from previous years. Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies return as park staples, and musical acts like the Ghost Town Miners and Chaparral provide folksy and country tunes. There's the Wild West stunt show, the traditional Indian Trails dancers, the Calico Saloon show, and more. All items we've covered in updates in the past.
The remainder of this update is mostly just going to be pretty pictures and coaster porn. The park is a great place to spend a summer day, with a variety of rides and attractions for people of all ages and ride preferences. Lets check out scenes from the Knott's Berry Farm summertime, starting with its newest addition, the decidedly fun HangTime!
The Boardwalk is most synonymous with summer, with its beach atmosphere and Pacific vibe. And for the first time in a while, it is wholly back to full strength, with all attractions open and no construction going on. It's nice to have Xcelerator back, along with the mainstays like Supreme Scream and Coast Rider. And even Wipeout has made its return between HangTime and the Sky Cabin after being temporarily removed for construction this past year.
With classic (or at least older) coasters like Montezooma's Revenge and Jaguar, not to mention last year's new addition, Sol Spin, Fiesta Village has a festive energy and a colorful environment. It looks great in the golden hour sun, too!
I only briefly strolled through Camp Snoopy, which is home to most of the family-friendly fare. Sierra Sidewinder is available for slightly more adventure thrill seekers, though. It's a fun family coaster that young tykes can enjoy. Yes, I said "tykes." Cuz Knott's connotes old-timey-ness, dagnabbit!
And, of course, there is sprawling Ghost Town, home to Ghost Town Alive!, but also to much of the park's favorite attractions. Ghost Rider, Silver Bullet, the Log Ride, Calico Mine Ride, Big Foot Rapids, and Pony Express all call Knott's original themed land home. And with everything happening around the area, it is often the busiest part of the park!
And that does it for Knott's. As you can see, the park looks pretty fantastic, and there's plenty to see and do. With summer break in full swing, the Berry Farm is a great place to spend a day with the family or with friends. We're big fans of how the park has continued to improve each year, and we've always enjoyed a good relationship with the park, we heap all this praise because Knott's has worked hard and done a great job offer top notch amenities to its guests. And the guests have noticed. The park has been pretty busy most of the days I've visited the past few years, and the guests appreciate what there is to offer.
So get out, check out the park, and enjoy a fantastic summer!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.