This past fall/winter, we took a family vacation to California and had the very best time. One of the days was spent at Knott’s Berry Farm and because we went during the week during the school year, there were hardly any lines to stand in. We had lots of time to ride all the roller coaster rides rides AND learn about the awesome amusement park’s history.
Three Things You Didn’t Know About Knott’s Berry Farm….
1. It all started over a delicious fried chicken dinner.
That’s right. Walter Knott’s (farmer) wife had a one-of-a-kind delicious fried chicken dinner recipe so the family opened a restaurant in 1936. Within a few years, the restaurant became so popular that the wait was often several hours long! The restaurant was also well known for their berries, preserves, and pies, hence the name Knott’s Berry Farm. Let’s hear it for the awesome wives out there! I love learning about successful women who have supportive successful husbands.
2. Then came the authentic Ghost Town.
Because those fried chicken dinners were such a hit (serving over 4,000 dinners on a Sunday evening) and wait times were well over a couple of hours, Knott knew he needed to do something to entertain the crowds so that they would continue to wait. Walter Knott’s love and interest in American pioneer history drove him to recreate a ghost town using building relocated from Old West towns.
He specifically sought out specific pieces from all over the mid and southwest to create his own ghost town. Often times he’d purchase entire buildings, including everything in them.
This authentic schoolhouse made my teacher heart go pitter-patter. We loved sitting in the original desks and walking around the small room, checking out all of the awesome relics and things on the walls and shelves. The maps and teacher rules were two of my favorite artifacts.
3. The rides didn’t enter the park until the 1960s.
Knott’s Berry Farm had been open for nearly 20 years before Walter Knott bought or opened any rides at his park. Be when he did, they received rave reviews. And despite Disneyland opening just 5 years earlier and only about 13 miles away, Knott’s Berry Farm continued to thrive and still does today. It is even said that Walter Knott and Walt Disney attended each other’s parks and had a friendly relationship with one another.
Here’s a video of our day at Knott’s Berry Farm… check it out and see for yourself!
And when you visit Knott’s Berry Farm, be sure to try that chicken dinner and take time to walk around the ghost town. You won’t be sorry!
I received admission tickets as compensation for this post, yet all ideas and opinions are 100% my own and I only share things I think my readers will love.