Knott’s Berry Farm Is Not Just A Local Hang-out

POSTED BY_TEXT ON_TEXT Thursday, July 9, 2009, 6:05

XCELERATORI’ve been going to Knott’s Berry Farm for over 20 years. I started going when I just a teenager and loved it from the first time I went. When I was kid, it was the place to be. Yeah, Disneyland was cool, but when you’re a teenager it seems a little kiddie-like. Knott’s on the other hand was full of big rides, excitement and plenty of things that teenagers like. I continued to go throughout my teenage years and it was kind of a local hang-out for the people that grew up in Southern California. The reason is that most tourist came to town to go to the big attractions, but would often skip the smaller and less known Knott’s Berry Farm. This was great for locals as we felt it was our own private park.

Things changed a few years ago. Yeah, I’m not a teenager any more, but still love to go to Knott’s and now with my family. However, Knott’s Berry Farm is not just a local hang-out anymore. Cedar Fair bought the park from the Knott’s family owners, and it was the first and last family owned amusement park in the country. When the big corporate took over, many locals feared it was the end of the local hang-out. No more local discounts, easy ride lines, and convenience to get in and out of the place. To my surprise, it couldn’t be more different.

Knott’s Berry Farm kept all of the things that the locals loved about it, but made it better than ever. They’ve added some really great world class rides as well as kept pricing low, and increased their kids area so that the whole family can have fun. It’s certainly not the same park that was there when I was a kid, but I think they’ve done all the right things to not only keep it a Southern California favorite while transforming it into a place that people should make a destination on their stop to the area.

Knott’s has a whole new edge now and is trying to compete with the big parks. Currently, they are running an ad campaign the asks if the viewer is a ‘ride warrior’. They have a series of teenagers stepping up to the camera for closeups with their big roller coasters as the backdrops. The commercials help show that they have some really great roller coasters that are unlike others around. Rides like Silver Bullet, Ghost Rider, Scream, and what feels like near death the Xcelerator are all riders that make any ride enthusiast come out and see what it’s all about.

From my own personal experience, it’s a ride that I would only like to go on once in my lifetime. I enjoy all of the other rides at Knott’s Berry Farm and will ride them over again, but the Xcelerator for me was the best experience that I’ve ever had on a ride and one that I don’t care to repeat. It’s not that I don’t like rides, but blasting off from 0-80 in 2 seconds while flying over top a 200 foot peak that descends into a 90 degree drop is unlike any ride that I’ve been on. I almost fear the day my 1 year old son asks me to go on it and I’m looking into the face of a teenager knowing that I’ve got to save face and go on it again.

The entire park is different today than what it was when I was first going there, and back then it was kind of a local hang-out, but now Knott’s Berry Farm is not just a local hang-out.

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