Disneyland, KBF, or MM?

September 25, 2019, 6:26 PM

Hi all, my boyfriend and I are going to L.A. for the first weekend of November. I want to spend that Saturday at an amusement park. I LOVE really intense roller coasters, but he has never been on a roller coaster, so neither of us really know what his limit is. I'm torn between Disneyland, MM, and KBF. I have been to Disney and California Adventure and Knott's, but never to Magic Mountain.

I am leaning toward Disney because I think everyone should go there at least once in their life, and no other park really compares with the "magic", I guess. But I'm concerned that the lines will be super long, one day won't be enough, and I might feel like the extra cost wasn't worth it if we don't have time to ride the more thrilling rides more than once.

I guess I'm looking for insider advice on which of these to pick for the criteria of crowds, expense, overall experience, and rides. Also would consider California Adventure, but it seems weird to go there instead of Disneyland... especially with someone who has never been to either.


Replies (3)

Edited: September 25, 2019, 11:45 PM

Well if you're looking for "overall experience" that definitely rules out SFMM lol. I'm honestly not a big fan of SFMM or KBF, the clear winner to me would be DLR.

In full disclosure I haven't been to Knotts in a long time and i've heard its gotten better, but to me it's a pretty boring park that fit all the Cedar Fair stereotypes. SFMM has Twisted Colossus, Apocalypse (which was good the times I have ridden it, not sure how it is now), Riddler, Tatsu, Batman. All of which are big plusses. But its a terrible park, depressing to be at when its empty and extremely frustrating when its crowded. When you need to go puke in a restroom after riding X2 you won't do it because you will feel so nasty just going into the restroom that the bushes outside are more attractive.

September 26, 2019, 8:16 AM

I don't think you really have a good choice here. My first suggestion would be to try to find a day other than a Saturday to visit, because at all three parks, the crowds are liable to be suffocating. The crowds at DL will probably be the most intense, but you also have the largest collection of rides and attractions to spread them out. There's also the advantage that DL offers a full experience with rides, shows, and plenty of other diversions (in addition to a second theme park steps away) to entertain you throughout the day. Knotts would be second on this list, and while they have a collection of rides and attractions that will offer more intensity and variation than what DL offers, you will encounter far more annoying waits and fewer things to do in between standing in long lines. The park does offer Ghost Town Alive, which can take up as much or as little of your day as you'd like, but it's definitely an acquired taste that might not appeal to some guests just looking to ride coasters. SFMM is easily the worst of the 3 and between the hour plus drive up to Valencia from LA and the hours upon hours you're likely to stand in line on a busy Saturday, it's probably not worth a trip for someone that doesn't know if they really like intense roller coasters. SFMM does have a solid collection of coasters, but it's definitely better experienced for the first time on a slower weekday with shorter lines. Also, there's very little else to do in the park aside from riding, so if you quickly grow tired of intense coasters, you're stuck over an hour north of LA with not much else to do.

September 26, 2019, 4:18 PM

First off, I'm going to say that this is not the trip for SFMM, so cross that off your list. The park gets insanely crowded on Saturdays (especially when Fright Fest is going on), so it is almost impossible to do more than 6-7 rides unless you invest in a Flash Pass. Additionally, the park offers nothing but roller coasters, with the least extreme being on par with Disney's most extreme, so someone who is not a seasoned coaster rider may end up ill.

That leaves it to a choice between Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and there isn't a clear frontrunner between those two. Knott's will probably be busy, but even on Saturdays the park is generally manageable. That said, it is the last night of Scary Farm, so due to a 5 P.M. park closure your time at the park will be limited. On the other hand, Disneyland will likely be the busiest of the three parks, but since they handle crowds the best it's quite possible they'll have the most tolerable wait times. Additionally, the park is open all day long, which means you should have enough time to sample all the core attractions as well as a few smaller rides. The downside here is cost...both of you can get tickets to Knott's for less than one ticket to Disneyland. Also, I strongly recommend against a one-day hopper for a first time visitor, so you'll miss out on California Adventure.

Ultimately, I think you need to decide what is most important to you, and that will decide the better option between Disneyland and Knott's. If the overall experience is more important to you, you're looking for the magic that Disney provides, and you're okay with a long day, Disneyland is going to be the best option. However, if you're more interested in thrills than theming, would prefer not to spend 10+ hours at a park, or need to visit on a budget, go with Knott's. Whatever you decide, feel free to post back here and I'll try to give you some detailed advice to make the most of your day.

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