Published: November 16, 2012
History: Knott's really once was a berry farm. Walter Knott built a themed Ghost Town to entertain diners waiting for tables at his wife's fried chicken restaurant. Over the years, the park grew into a destination of its own. Today, the park is owned by the Cedar Fair company.
Hours: http://www.knotts.com. Knott's is open 365 days a year, except Christmas.
Tickets: Buy and print online. Always try to buy your tickets in advance, to save time when you get to the park.
Reservations: Beginning in 2012, Knott's offers the Fast Lane pass allowing priority boarding on up to ten of the park's rides, including six roller coasters (Boomerang, GhostRider, Jaguar!, Pony Express, Sierra Sidewinder, and Silver Bullet). Price is $30 to $60 per person depending on how many are purchased and the day of the week.
Strategy: Xcelerator is located in the back of the park, and should be your first stop due to its lack of lines early in the morning and its lower capacity. To ride all the other coasters in the park most efficiently, it is best to proceed in a logical manner, stopping at (in order): Montezooma's Revenge, Jaguar!, Sierra Sidewinder, Silver Bullet, GhostRider, then finish with Pony Express. Knott's other signature attractions are the Calico Mine Ride, Supreme Scream, and Timber Mountain Log Ride. The Calico Railroad and Stagecoach are other classic rides from the park's early days and should not be missed by first-time visitors.
If you've got little kids, head to Camp Snoopy and just spend the day there until the kids tire out. Wrap up with a ride on the Carousel, a chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott's then call it a day.
Note on food: The star food attraction, Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, is actually located outside the park. That means you do not need park admission to dine there, but it does mean you'll have to get your hand stamped and exit if you are visiting the theme park.