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Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review

Take a Look at What's New on the Menu at Knott's Berry Farm

February 28, 2016, 4:52 PM · GhostRider will return to Knott's Berry Farm on May 27, as the park kicks off its 75th anniversary celebration for Ghost Town. The Buena Park, Calif. theme park, with the help of Great Coasters International, has been retracking its once-popular wooden roller coaster. But that's not the only change coming to the park this year. On the same day that GhostRider returns, Knott's will kick off "Ghost Town Alive!," a new collection of interactive entertainment opportunities in the land, where visitors can interact with performers who are acting as Calico residents.

In addition, the park is refurbishing Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, which will open sometime this spring. Knott's has gutted the restaurant building and is reconstructing the kitchen and dining areas, while adding a bar and patio seating.

On Friday, Theme Park Insider attended a media construction tour of the new elements coming to the park, and we interviewed several of the creative leaders in charge of these projects. Take a look:

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Replies (5)

February 29, 2016 at 2:14 AM · This looks great! I'm really happy with the direction Knott's is taking, and I believe it's the right decision financially for Knott's as well. With Disney's prices getting higher and higher, SoCal families will be looking for an alternative that is less expensive but still a ton of fun for the whole family with some wonderful down-home theming and nods to nostalgia. I hope a big refurbishment of Fiesta Village is next year's project. Kudos to Knott's!
February 28, 2016 at 11:20 PM · Since the day it was announced, I've been saying that this is the perfect 2016 project for Knott's. The more progress I see, the better everything is looking. While not the top theme park in Southern California, Knott's probably has the widest appeal and this addition certainly offers something for everyone. This park has made a lot of progress over the last few years, and if they continue in this direction the future of the park will be very bright indeed.
February 29, 2016 at 8:26 AM · I wonder if they will fix the stores and the store displays at the marketplace. The stores haven't been updated for almost forever. With the restaurant remodel, the stores will look even more outdated. They should consider opening a barbeque restaurant in the marketplace. The barbeque inside the park is quite popular, but they often run out of food. This is weird when I went there last year and they had no potatoes so they gave up chips.
February 29, 2016 at 9:18 AM · Knott's really has a lot of potential. It's probably the most well rounded theme park in Socal and has just enough land to create a world class theme park. At the last Cedar Fair earnings call Matt Ouimet announced that Knott's received over 5 million visitors last year. That puts them within striking distance of Sea World Orlando for the title of most popular non-DisneyVersal park in North America.
February 29, 2016 at 10:52 AM · Perhaps it says something - about the industry or maybe just my occasional cynicism about it - that I was amazed when Lara said that Knott's would convert the Ghost Town barn from retail back into an actual barn again (with animals!). It's heartening to see a park that is willing to say no to the suggestion that every available location within a park must be producing revenue on its own.

But Knott's is correct to do that. Parks that "maximize their revenue" within their gates often end up leaving money on the table *at* the front gate, as fans don't want to pay to visit a park that feels more like a shopping mall.

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