Thanks to Knott’s Berry Farm for hosting us in the park as members of the media. All opinions are our own.
As you might know, we recently visited Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s been a while since we’ve been so the boys were excited to see what was new since the last time we visited. I was excited to see the areas I loved to visit when I was a kid. They have some really great limited time events and excitement going on that you’ll definitely want to check out before the summer is over!
One of the things I love about Knott’s is it’s history. You may know that it started as a berry farm (boysenberries anyone?!) but did you know they actually invented the boysenberry?! And in 1940 in an attempt to entertain the thousands of restaurant customers lining up each day (to eat at their now popular chicken dinner restaurant), Walter relocated the Gold Trails Hotel to the Farm from Prescott, Ariz. To the hotel’s lobby Walter adds the Farm’s first attraction: “The Covered Wagon Show,” a cyclorama depicting the Knott family’s journey West. The hotel and cyclorama form the basis for Ghost Town, the first themed area of Knott’s Berry Farm.
Fast forward 75 years later and they’re celebrating the Ghost Town’s 75th anniversary! The Ghost Town is alive and more interactive and fun than ever. If you visit before September 5th you’ll get to experience all the fun (and you’ll want plenty of time to do so). In the Ghost Town you’ll be able to visit:
- ASSAY OFFICE – The Office is an information hub for Ghost Town Alive! Maps with lists of activities are distributed as well as The Ghost Town Gazette Newspaper, which features the day’s latest gossip and serves as a guide to the overarching storyline.
- LAUNDRY – Hop Wing is out of town and needs the Guest’s help to keep operations going. Several “To Do” lists have been placed about his shop with tasks for the Guests to complete.
- BARBER SHOP – Guests can hear the latest gossip of the day and have a mustache applied. The various styles represent characters found in the old west: Bandit, Prospector, Lawman, etc. Ghost Town citizens react to the mustache wearing Guest based on their on their mustache type!
- SHOOTING GALLERY – Guests may participate in duels to settle feuds and disagreements between citizens (additional fee required).
- DRESS DESIGNER/TEXTILE – Guests can use tin templates to create and color dress designs, they can use fabric swatches to add to pre-printed dress designs mounted on the wall, they can help operate an actual loom, plus help the stores spinner, and help the owner design a dress for her famous sister to wear at the town’s celebration party. This is also a possible Merchandise location (Think princess store: Boas, feather head dresses, etc.)
- BLACKSMITH – Visit a working blacksmith shop, have a custom horseshoe made, as well as receive info about the latest happenings in town.
- SHERIFF’S OFFICE – Guests can play in an ongoing card game, help the Sheriff by drawing wanted posters for criminals on file, and participate in catching outlaws as a part of the Sheriff’s posse.
- JAILHOUSE – Visit with the oldest resident of Ghost Town and mention a few key words to unlock a few of the town’s secrets.
- PADDY WAGON – Parked near the Sheriff’s Office, this cell serves as a photo opportunity for Guests until put into use by the Lawman or Deputies.
- POST OFFICE/TELEGRAPH – This is a center of activity on Main Street as this is where the working telegraph is located. Guests may send and receive telegrams for Characters or for themselves. They may help the Post Master by decoding telegrams. They may pick up mail for Characters or write a letter that may be placed in a Character’s mailbox. They can also help the Pony Express Rider deliver packages and stay on time.
- NEWSPAPER OFFICE – Guests may use press to create and etch their own copy of the town newspaper. Guests may also be sent by the Editor to gather quotes from town characters for the next addition of the “Ghost Town Gazette” that is printed and distributed several times throughout the day.
- BARN – Guests may interact with stable hands and live farm animals. Guests may also listen to a musical act that performs on a small outdoor stage as a part of the Town’s Celebration Festivities.
- VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT WAGON – This mobile wagon has several of hands-on levers and pumps for the Guests to explore as well as a few leaky hoses that offer a bit of relieve from the summer Sun. The wagon can be rolled into action each time the Volunteer Fire Brigade bell is rung. As a part of the Town’s Celebration the wagon is used for a few Fireman’s Muster games and activities.
- SCHOOL HOUSE – School is in Session. This building also serves as a locale for town meetings and other civic functions.
- TOWN HALL – This is the Mayor’s home as well as the gathering spot for elections and other politically based functions. Guests can participate in Town politics by voting, campaigning, drawing a campaign poster, and even registering as a Citizen of Calico.
- BOOT HILL HIDEOUT – This is the Mayfield Gang’s not so secret lair. The hideout features photos and paper clippings of past successes and misses. There are several lists featuring tasks that must be completed to join the gang, plus and itinerary the Gang’s events for the day. There are also instructions on how to perform the Mayfield’s “High sign.”
- BANK – Here residents can have their gold value assessed, they can obtain deeds, receive a loan for a game of cards in the Saloon. They may also help send telegrams, collect notes in the Citizen’s safety deposit boxes, and help crack the code to the missing vault combination.
- SALOON – Play a game of cards, see a show, have a drink, listen in on the Mayfield Gangs latest scheme. The Saloon show content will feature brief up to date narrative mentions.
- DEPOT – Here Guests may send and receive telegrams, help Citizens pick up deliveries from the train, mingle with members of the Mayfield Gang, be deputized by the Railroad to keep a look out for train bandits.
- JUDGE ROY BEAN’S – The legal center for Calico. Guests help characters settle disputes, participate in character wedding ceremonies, or get hitched themselves.
We really did have SO much fun exploring the Ghost Town in a whole new way. It was our favorite part of the day for sure! The boys kept going back to see what more interactive fun they could find.
If you visit before August 21st you’ll be able to see Blockbuster Beagle! . . . On Ice (ends August 21) – Your favorite characters, fun music and world class ice skaters (they really are amazing)
Each evening (also until August 21st) you can see Circus of Wonders. It’s mesmerizing, thrilling and captivating way to end your day at Knott’s Berry Farm as the circus troupe steps off the Calico Railroad to entertain you with thrills, chills, music and laughs. The fun starts at 9:00 p.m. at the Calico Mine Stage.
Besides the limited time summer fun, you can also check out the newly renovated Ghost Rider, the largest attraction in park history and one of the longest and tallest wooden roller coasters in the world.
Among their other awesome crazy coasters of course.
Don’t miss the new 4-D ride Voyage to the Iron Reef (we rode this more than once)! You get to work a freeze ray and join the battle to save Knott’s from the mysterious creatures that are emerging from the waters beneath the Boardwalk!
Another family favorite area is Camp Snoopy. The boys remember how much they loved this when they were younger and we still love visiting and relaxing here a bit!
If you’re a coffee lover like me, don’t miss trying a Boysenberry Latte (with Starbucks coffee)! You can only get it at Knott’s at the coffee stand near the Voyage to the Iron Reef.
So if you live in the area, are visiting soon or just love an excuse for a quick road trip like us, definitely look into making a stop at Knott’s Berry Farm before all the summer fun is over!
Author: Allison Waken
Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!