Right before school started we took a little vacation out to Buena Park to celebrate. Huge thanks to Knott’s for hosting us! We thought we’d make it even more fun by giving ourselves a little challenge. Since we live in Phoenix we are close by but still have to consider travel time. We wanted to see how much families visiting from Phoenix or Northern California could squeeze in in just one day at Knott’s Berry Farm AND Soak City.
Now, obviously you’re not going to see everything there is to see, but you likely have family favorites and “must do’s”. We very successfully visited both parks in one day so I thought I’d share some tips on how we did it and what you won’t want to miss.
TIPS FOR VISITING KNOTT’S BERRY FARM & SOAK CITY IN ONE DAY
- Stay close by. The Knott’s Hotel is right next to Knott’s and across the street from Soak City so once you park, you don’t have to get back in the car for your whole little trip! We enjoyed our stay there, even with a dance competition happening when we were there it was quiet, clean and we had a very nice stay. They have a restaurant on property so you can get room service or eat a meal there when needed which helps save time.
- Make a list of your families “musts”. That way you know what to look for and what to visit first at each park. Definitely make time to explore the Ghost Town during Ghost Town Alive this summer. We LOVE finding new things to explore each time we’ve been (this is their 4th year). This trip Colton played cards with the mayor and became an honorary …. We also spent quite a bit of time in the museum. The town really does come alive and there is great music, event and all sorts of things to explore within the town. We kept coming back! On this trip Colton got to go on the Silver Bullet for the first time and it’s his new favorite ride.
- Get Fast Lane Passes. If you have teens that LOVE the thrill rides the Fast Lane pass is a GREAT option. You get to avoid lines on the most popular rides leaving more time to explore the parks.
- Download the Knott’s app. It has maps and ride times that come in handy throughout the day and will help you plan out your next move.
- Take advantage of the dining plan. Their dining plan is a great deal at only $31.99 for 2017. You can get a meal at any of the participating locations every 90 minutes – more info here! No need to carry around snacks! They accommodate special dietary needs and your meal plan works at both parks for the day. You’ll likely want a special treat which isn’t included in the plan. I told the boys to look around at the snack places during the day and decide which treat they wanted out of all of them. Colton went with a churro sundae with boysenberry sauce and Parker went with a Starbucks Boysenberry Latte (Knott’s is the only place you can get this).
- Head over to Soak City when it warms up in the afternoon. In the Spring/Summer and even into Fall it can get WARM in the afternoons so you’d be likely to want to head back to rest anyway. Instead of watching tv in the hotel room, head over to Soak City! You can rent a tube so you don’t have to wait for them to come available at the slides or lazy river. Take the time to relax and cool off while enjoying some of their super fun slides and attractions. I love The Wedge where the whole family can ride in one big tube, the boys loved trying out the new Shore Break where four of the slides on the 60-foot tall tower start with guests climbing inside an Aqua-Launch chamber! SO fun!
- Once it cools off head back to Knott’s and enjoy entertainment, try your favorite rides at night to see if they feel different, and check out whatever you missed in the morning.
We feel like we got a TON in for a full day of fun. It was the perfect quick little vacation and time away. Give it a try and let me know how your family did!
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!