It’s Hard Knott to be Impressed


The Silver Bullet ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. Image courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm via Twitter.

Opening the gates at 10 A.M. on the weekdays, Knott’s Berry Farm entertains guests from all over (but there are a notable amount of people from Arizona, in my experience). There is plenty to do in the park, ranging from exciting roller coasters to get the blood flowing, to Western-themed stores in the ghost town. With all of its attractions, there is something for everyone.

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing of all the attractions,  the huge roller coasters dominate the park. The first coaster everyone sees is the imposing wooden coaster, Ghost Rider. It is a thrilling ride that rattles as the cars go speeding up and down the track.

After surviving that ride, the next coaster people are likely to see is the hanging roller coaster, Silver Bullet. This ride is comparatively much smoother to the clattery wood of Ghost Rider. However, the last turn of the Silver Bullet is bit of a killer, as it spins you so that you are almost horizontal and feeling the speed deep in your bones.

Towards the back of the park, there are more large coasters to be found. The infamous roller coaster from the “I’m suing you if you don’t stop the ride right now!” vine is there: Xcelerator. The ride rockets from zero to 82 mph in just over two seconds, making for a fast and wild ride that deserves more than one go. I would recommend keeping your head on the headrest for this one though, since it will force you to anyways, so it’s just easier.

Alongside this wonderful ride is the newest addition to the park, Hang Time. This coaster hauls its passengers straight up vertically and right before it drops you down a 96-degree beyond vertical drop, it stops in its tracks to let them see the tracks disappearing beyond their stopping point. It is pretty terrifying for the moment you have during the ride to contemplate your decision before it immediately drops you onto its main track.

For those who don’t enjoy massive drops and loop de loops, there are also smaller coasters hidden around the giants surrounding them. This includes, of course, a classic ride of Knott’s Berry Farm: the infamous Pony Express. The ride has been updated since my last trip to the park so that the ride is actually enjoyable compared to the extreme discomfort it used to inspire with the old restraints that just about crushed your lungs into pancakes against the horse.

However, some of this discomfort seems to have been transferred to the Jaguar, which is another small coaster. It is very herky jerky, and you better like your companion on the ride, because you will be crashing into them during it.

Another option for a smaller coaster is the Sidewinder. If spinning makes you nauseous though, this probably isn’t the ride for you as its main feature is the fact that it rotates during the entire ride as it speeds along the track.  

If even the smallest coasters won’t suit you, never fear! There are more county fair-type attractions. For example, the essential bumper cars, which are incredibly fun if you have a band of friends to engage in mortal combat with. The theme park also includes the classic swinging ship ride, this one decked out in Viking fashion.

If you like the drop style rides, there are multiple for people of all ages, with the king of this division being Supreme Scream. That ride is hard to miss, as it towers over everything else in the park and constantly has shrieks emanating from it. I would not recommend it if you have a fear of heights though, however as it drops passengers over 200 feet on its first drop. If you are a fan of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride at Disneyland, there is a similar ride called the Voyage to the Iron Reef where instead of battling with Zerg, you have to destroy as many robotic sea creatures as you can (including a scary mermaid).

Knott’s Berry Farm has more to offer then the thrill rides, though. Following the Western theme of the park, they have shows revolving around typical Western movie scenes like the saloon and even a “shoot out”. The Saloon Review show features a comedic duo retelling the tale of how they worked together in the past, and how the now-famous singer returned to the roots of the saloon. Of course, this was conveyed through song. Just outside the Saloon, I witnessed a shootout scene where the townspeople, or in other words the crowd of park-goers, was sentencing two varmints who had been causing trouble. The real treat came at the end of the scene when the performers instructed the crowd to meet at the blacksmith’s shop later in the day. The shootout performance carried on for three scenes, with the storyline actually beginning with the scene at the blacksmith’s. The scenes were geared towards younger audiences, but still remained pretty entertaining.

The park also offers plenty of shopping if you are in need of souvenirs. At this time of year, they are of course offering a selection of neat Halloween items, but like most of the park, the stores are Western-themed: rubber band guns, wooden snakes and t-shirts galore. There is also a geode store and a gem shop where they display beautiful pieces of jewelry and other decorative items. All in all, it is about what you expect of a theme park, with more Western-themed items. The food and drink prices are also typical of a theme park, as a frozen lemonade of questionable quality will set you back $7.

With all of these things to do, Knott’s Berry Farm can entertain guests with any preferences. Going with friends only makes it even more fun, and the wide range of activities allows you to spend hours entertained. With all of its fun pastimes, it’s hard Knott to be impressed.