Cordelia Knott opened her chicken dinner restaurant in 1934, next to her and her husband Walter's berry farm. Over the years, Walter added a Ghost Town and other attractions to entertain diners while they awaited tables. That evolved into the Cedar Fair-owned theme park that welcomes more than four million visitors a year.
Knott's invented the after-hours theme park Halloween event with Knott's Scary Farm in 1973, which now runs select evenings in September and October. Knott's also puts on several food and entertainment festivals throughout the year, including the Boysenberry Festival (celebrating the fruit hybrid first cultivated on Knott's farm), the Peanuts Celebration, and Knott's Merry Farm for Christmas.
Our recommendations below come from our annual survey of Theme Park Insider newsletter subscribers. Locations with star ratings ★ ranked especially highly among our readers. Subscribe here to our free weekly email of theme park news to participate in the next ranking survey.
New for 2023
MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress
The park's former Montezooma's Revenge, a 800-foot-long Schwarzkopf shuttle loop with a 55-mph launch and one inversion, is getting a new name and a rebuild for 2023. The new ride will feature a randomized launch sequence and its queue will get story upgrades about doomed treasure hunters searching for Montezooma's gold.
A 4,533-foot Custom Coasters International wooden coaster, retracked by Great Coasters International in 2016, with a 108-foot drop and top speed of 56 mph. Height requirement: 48 inches
A 3,125-foot Bolliger & Mabillard inverted coaster with a 109-foot drop, top speed of 55 mph and six inversions. Height requirement: 54 inches
Calico River Rapids
A 2019 reimagining of the old Bigfoot Rapids ride, with animatronics from Garner Holt. Height requirement: 46 inches
Other notable attractions at Knott's include the Supreme Scream drop tower; the Calico Railroad and Stagecoach in Ghost Town; the first-ever Camp Snoopy children's play area, and the Sky Cabin observation tower.
Ghost Town Alive!
Play along with the residents of Calico in this interactive production that takes place throughout the day in Ghost Town. Operates during the summer season.
Calico Saloon Show
Musical review - complete with dancing girls - on the bar in the Calico Saloon. Plays seasonally.
Also check to see what is playing in the historic Bird Cage Theatre, located in Ghost Town. It's almost always worth your time.
Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
The table service fried chicken restaurant that started it all is located outside the park gates.
Counter service pork, beef and chicken, located near Xcelerator
Knott's Berry Farm is located in Buena Park, California - about six miles from Disneyland and 30 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.