Knott's Changes Chaperone Policy for Scary Farm

September 28, 2022, 1:03 PM · Knott's Berry Farm is changing its mandatory chaperone policy for its Knott's Scary Farm after-hours Halloween event. And now there's some extra incentive for chaperones to attend.

Effective tomorrow, Knott's is allowing guests age 21 and older to chaperone up to five guests ages 17 and under. Previously, each adult could chaperone four underage guests. In addition, starting tomorrow, each chaperone who accompanies five minors each with paid admission will get a free admission to that night's Knott's Scary Farm.

So if five kids want to go to Knott's Scary Farm this year, they just need to recruit a willing adult to serve as their chaperone for the evening. No one needs to come up with the money for the chaperone's ticket anymore. Knott's will cover that.

Chaperones will continue to need to pay for a ticket if they accompany four underage guests or fewer.

Knott's is requiring that the chaperone remain in the park and be reachable by mobile phone throughout the evening, rather than remaining in their party's physical presence at all times, as was the case with Knott's Berry Farm's original chaperone policy, which it implemented in July. Minors found unaccompanied inside the park who cannot immediately reach their chaperone by phone may be ejected, Knott's said.

The changes should help encourage more adults to be willing to chaperone kids who want to go to Knott's Scary Farm, since they no longer would need to pay, nor do they have to remain in the immediate vicinity of the kids throughout the evening.

The change to allow five minors per chaperone also applies to Knott's Berry Farm's chaperone policy, which is in effect for normal operating hours on Fridays through Sundays - however, the free admission for chaperones is available only during Scary Farm.

Knott's does not recommend Scary Farm for guests under age 13. For more on Knott's Scary Farm policies, including its restrictive bag rules, see Have Knott's New Policies Made for a Better Scary Farm?

For our review of 2022's Knott's Scary Farm, including POV walkthrough videos of select mazes, please see Knott's Scary Farm Returns With Two Great New Mazes.

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Replies (15)

September 28, 2022 at 2:15 PM

Sounds like a great policy since a 21 year old is definitely mature enough to chaperone teenagers. The "adult" just needs to find five teens to get them in free, and for only a few extra dollars per teen more, can provide them alcohol before and after the event ends. Sounds like a great plan for a young entrepreneur!

Why do I get the feeling that the headline "Knott's Berry Farm Shut Down by Due to Teenager Riots" is forthcoming?

September 28, 2022 at 2:37 PM

It's not about being mature enough to chaperone teenagers, it's about Knott's shifting liability for incidents onto a "responsible" party. Even an immature 21-year old will think twice about taking on this liability when faced with the requirements Knott's is placing on these chaperones - enforced by the complementary admission, which acts as a quid pro quo.

I think Knott's and other theme parks are facing difficult situations, because they don't want to stereotype guests, but still want to keep their parks safe and open. It's sad that we've reached this point with people that STILL do not know how to behave in public. I thought this would just be a temporary occurrence resulting from pandemic lockdowns that would eventually fade, but unfortunately far too many people simply lack the maturity and selflessness to act like a decent human being when around others.

September 28, 2022 at 4:22 PM

Kudos to Knott's for continuing to work through this to come up with the best solution, that's call pragmatism, a rare strategy in these ridiculous times.

And look, people can put the blame on the kids, judge them for not "acting decent," but then we don't live in a decent society. One of our two political parties has tipped over into proud white nationalism (lift one finger for Q!), women in many states have been deprived of autonomy over their bodies, guns are easier to get than mental health care. It's a wonder anyone can maintain their sanity in this hateful place.

I'd say the kids are doing a great job of keeping it together for the most part, but we could be doing a LOT more to help them. Salute to Knotts for working on positive solutions.

September 28, 2022 at 4:46 PM

As it happens, I'll be at Knott's tomorrow for Scary Farm! While I think it's incredibly unlikely there will be much difference between my experience tomorrow and Robert's on opening night ... I guess you'll all hear about it on the local news first anyway.

September 28, 2022 at 4:54 PM

From what I heard unofficially, Knott's anticipated an attendance drop of around 20% due to the chaperone policy, however it actually ended up being down over 50% during opening weekend. I saw a lot of reports that none of the mazes aside from the two new ones had lines over 30 minutes, while in past years those have usually been three times that length. I wouldn't be surprised if this adjustment is so that the park can still have some sort of chaperone policy for CYA purposes, but recognize that the restrictions they formerly had in place are just not feasible for an event with a core audience of teenagers and young adults.

Also, while pure speculation, I wouldn't be surprised if the free chaperone policy is in response to a legal threat. Unlike their daytime policy, which only restricts attendance by minors on certain dates, the Scary Farm policy affects all event nights, which means a minor can't attend at all without a paying chaperone. Since this wasn't a term of visiting at the time Scary Farm passes were on sale, I could very well see an attempt to sue from parents who purchased the passes for their kids, especially if Knott's is unwilling to refund them due to the new rules.

September 28, 2022 at 9:30 PM

Went to Scary Farm once (as an adult). An actor literally took my hat off my head in a maze and proceeded to play "keep-away" with it. I will NEVER attend Knott's Scary Farm again. I've been saying that since the mid 1990s, and I still have NO pans to ever visit the event again. They pissed me off to NO END that night. If that's the kind of person they hire, they don't deserve my money.

September 29, 2022 at 10:46 AM

Yet, Colonel, Knott's Berry Farm is located in the very blue state of California in a community that is 23.6% white and unlikely to have too many organized white nationalists in an area that also has a large Asian population accounting for 32.6% of its citizens (source: I doubt abortion rights has anything to do with the recent change in Knott's Berry Farm policy, nor does it have any place being discussed on a site about theme parks (unless there is an attraction somewhere that simulates what it is like to be an aborted fetus).

I will agree with the Colonel that guns are easier to get than mental health. This country has a mental health problem that needs fixing, and in doing so, will help take care of the "gun problem".

Continue to be better, Colonel. Be Better.

September 29, 2022 at 10:44 AM

it is, for what it's worth, located in the very purple county of "orange" and the link between mental health and gun violence is fraught at best:

the larger point about teens being stressed and doing dumb stuff because they're stressed is plausible but also outside knott's control. since they rely so heavily on getting the teen's money, however, they might want to think about handling that demographic instead of ... what they're currently doing.

September 29, 2022 at 11:28 AM

@TheColonel if you have nothing constructive to say, don’t say anything at all. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were one of those same kids

September 29, 2022 at 12:46 PM

I appreciate that, StormRunner. I am indeed far more aligned with the progressive, forward-thinking perspective of today's youth than with the calcified idiocy of people like, say, TwoBits, who seems to believe that national problems can't have local effects.

AJ, don't the tickets say they can change the hours and terms of entry at any time, as Disney's do?

September 29, 2022 at 2:00 PM

I actually agreed with part of your statement, Colonel.

Liberals such as yourself have been in control of the legislative and executive branches of this country for nearly two years now. If there are still national problems, then who is to blame?

Be better, Colonel.

September 29, 2022 at 9:48 PM

We come here for the theme park love and the comments are political and negative-leaning. Wtf? Come on fellas! Leave the politics out of it. Geez.

September 29, 2022 at 10:09 PM

Became this way starting in March 2020 when there was very little theme park news to report and there needed to be something to keep traffic driven to this site (and ad dollars to Robert’s pockets).

September 30, 2022 at 11:12 AM

"We come here for the theme park love and the comments are political and negative-leaning. Wtf? Come on fellas! Leave the politics out of it. Geez."

Agreed. Comments like this are inherently political and are going to provoke a political response:

"It's sad that we've reached this point with people that STILL do not know how to behave in public. I thought this would just be a temporary occurrence resulting from pandemic lockdowns that would eventually fade, but unfortunately far too many people simply lack the maturity and selflessness to act like a decent human being when around others."

September 30, 2022 at 11:54 AM

anyway ...

knott's was as empty for scary farm as it has ever been since I've been going in 2006. my longest wait was for grimoire (35 minutes), though it carried a posted wait time of 60 minutes. I waited 20 minutes for bloodline 1842. we had no trouble hitting all the mazes and even got a chance to do our favorite maze, the depths, twice.

the crowd still skewed much younger than horror nights, but nothing major to report. I can't imagine this is going well for knott's from a ticket sales standpoint, but going to a less crowded event was delightful. so, no complaints on my end.

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