It's almost time again for Knott's Boysenberry Festival - the annual food event that celebrates the fruit that put the berry in Knott's Berry Farm.
Knott's Berry Farm enjoys perhaps the most unique history of any major American theme park. The property really did begin as a berry farm, owned by the Walter Knott family. During the Great Depression, Walter's wife Cordelia began selling chicken dinners on the weekends to make ends meet. The dinners proved popular, so Walter created a "Ghost Town" of relocated and recreated frontier buildings to entertain diners while they waited for their tables.
The Knotts' berry farm, chicken dinner restaurant, and Ghost Town became popular Orange County attractions, but Walter feared that the opening of Disneyland just down the street in 1955 would mean the end of his family's business. When Walter and Cordelia returned from visiting "the other Walt" and saw their parking lot jammed with diners - so the legend goes - they knew that business only would get better.
And so it did. Knott's expanded its Ghost Town, adding Bud Hurlbut's Calico Mine Ride in 1960. In 1968, the park opened what is now the Timber Mountain Log Ride and began charging an admission fee. Five years later, Knott's created the hard-ticket theme park Halloween event with the debut of Knott's Scary Farm. Then in 1975, Knott's opened Arrow Dynamics's prototype Corkscrew, the first modern inverting steel roller coaster. (You can find that coaster today at Idaho's Silverwood.) In 1983, Knott's continued to innovate with the debut of Camp Snoopy - the first single-IP dedicated children's area in a major theme park.
These days, Knott's Berry Farm is the most-visited theme park in the Cedar Fair chain. Its top ride, according to Theme Park Insider readers' annual survey, is the CCI wooden coaster GhostRider, which was retracked by GCI in 2016.
The Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride lead our readers' picks for Knott's non-coaster attractions, with the interactive dark ride Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair joining that line-up last year.
And, of course, Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant continues to serve millions of diners each year in the California Marketplace just outside the park's gates. Knott's Berry Farm might not be the biggest attraction - or even the most popular theme park - in Orange County anymore. But it remains a beloved Southern California favorite.
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If you are inspired to visit Knott's this year, our travel partner has discounts on tickets and special events on its Knott's Berry Farm tickets page.
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