The grand summer-long celebration, Knott’s 100th Anniversary: A Knott’s Family Reunion, has been in the works since 2018, according to Cherie Whyte, direc­tor of communication for the park.

The park’s Grand Opening was May 21, marked with a special appearance by Steve Knott, grandson of Walter Knott, the park’s original owner. The festivities, which conclude September 6, pay homage to the park’s storied history and bring back some of the guest favorites in different configurations.

For instance, the popular ‘80s ride Soap Box Racer returns in the form of a 3D photo op with a newly built car from that beloved attraction. While guests sit in the car, the moving backdrop gives the appearance that the car is being driven.

Guests often inquire about the Haunted Shack which had its debut in 1954. A photo op has been created from that attraction, as well as the beloved Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. 

The oldest piece of nostalgia returning is Cordelia’s Tea Room.  “In the 1920’s Cordelia started serving chicken dinner out of her own kitchen,” Whyte says of the Knott matriarch. “With that, she created this tea menu with little ham sandwich­es because they saw that Beach Blvd., the only thoroughfare to the beach, had a lot of traffic and people were passing by their farm asking if they had food.”

In 1932, with the help of his friend Rudolph Boysen, Walter Knott created the boysenberry from raspberries, loganberries and blackberries.

In 1940, Knott decided he would do some­thing to entertain the many people waiting in three-hour long lines to eat chicken and boy­senberry pie. As an aficionado of old Americana and the old West, he began to bring in pieces and buildings from Prescott, Arizona and started building a ghost town. Knott’s Berry Farm was born.

To help celebrate the anniversary, a newly designed 80’s favorite ride, Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair is open. The ride takes guests on an exciting journey through reimag­ined show scenes from the original dark ride, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weird Woods.

In addition to the anniversary extras, Knott’s, of course, has its popular rides such as Jaguar!, GhostRider, HangTime, La Revolucion and Montezooma’s Revenge. The adjacent Knott’s Soak City Waterpark has its thrillers like Laguna Storm Watch Tower, Malibu Run, Old Man Falls, and Shore Break.

With so much to do at the theme parks, guests will have to make a vacation out of their visit to Buena Park. The two parks just touch the surface of what Buena Park has to offer.

There are many great lodging options in Buena Park and most are more affordable than many of the nearby areas. Most of Buena Park’s hotels don’t add resort fees and the city has a lower hotel tax than its neighboring cities.

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Robyn Flans
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