Living in Arizona we are just a six hour road trip away from our favorite vacation spots in Southern California. We frequently visit Anaheim and San Diego and are usually toggling between the two. Over Labor Day weekend we were invited to spend a few complimentary days in Buena Park for the ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation. I’m not new to visiting the park but it had been years since we were last there. I remember a family vacation with a day spent at the theme park when I was a teenager. My brothers and I loved riding roller coasters and our family photos from the day are pretty epic. Many years later my husband and I visited together but this was our first family visit for our daughters. We stayed at the Knott’s Berry Farm hotel and soaked up the California sun all weekend at Knott’s Berry Farm and their neighboring water park, Knott’s Soak City. My tips for the ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation include everything we learned from an awesome few days at the park.
Tips for the Ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm Vacation
Book your stay in advance
We stayed at the Knott’s Berry Farm hotel for easy access to the parks along with more vacation perks as hotel guests. The 320 room property fills up quickly so be sure to book your stay with as much notice as possible. There is a Snoopy themed wing that also offers a personal visit from Snoopy for a bedtime tuck in as well as Snoopy plush dolls to take home with you. Views from the rooms vary and our daughters were excited to be able to see a roller coaster from the window.
Walk to the park
The short walk to Knott’s Berry Farm from the hotel let’s you explore all the iconic shops as you stroll to the park. We made more than one stop at the bakery and had fun walking beneath a wooden roller coaster.
Hotel & Season Pass Early Entry
Staying at the Knott’s Berry Farm hotel means you get early entry into the park. Definitely take advantage of those early hours!
Knott’s Soak City
We visited for our ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation the last weekend the water park was open for the season. Knott’s Soak City has slides and attractions for the entire family. Our daughters have a six year difference in age so we enjoyed the entire water park from Gremmie Lagoon for children under 54 inches to the thrill rides like Old Man Falls for our older daughter.
Both our daughters had the best time playing at Tidal Wave Bay.
You’re never too old for a meet and greet with Snoopy and it’s a must do if you’re visiting Knott’s. There are several different ways to interact with Snoopy but our daughters’ most favorite was during dinner at the hotel’s onsite Amber Waves restaurant with friends.
Start early and stay late
Our attitude at theme parks is always go, go, go! Knott’s Berry Farm is packed full of attractions, rides, activities, shows and more so you’re going to want to start early and stay late. Staying at the onsite hotel made it easy for us to take a midday break when little sister was sleepy but we were back for more fun as soon as that quick nap was over.
All Day Dining
The All Day Dining plan is a great option with children because you can enjoy an entree and side every 90 minutes at 16 participating locations in Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City. Drinks are not included but you are able to add on a season bottle for unlimited refills all season long. Our family packed our own reusable water bottles and had them refilled during each meal. The restaurants and food vendors happily fill your reusable bottles with water at no charge.
It’s unrealistic to think you could actually ride everything at Knott’s Berry Farm in one day but over a few days there for an ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation or with the Fast Lane Pass you absolutely can and should. The Fast Line wristband gives you priority boarding on 13 rides so you’re not spending the day waiting in lines.
Use a map
Every season brings new special events and shows in the park. Use a map to help navigate and avoid missing your favorites. From Charlie Brown characters to amazing Wild West stunt shows, you should plan your day in advance to make sure you see everything on your Knott’s Berry Farm in One Day Checklist.
From riding ostriches on the Merry Go Round to my daughters behind the will on the Rocky Mountain Trucking Company, we did it all. The Knott’s Berry Farm Merry Go Round is one of the world’s oldest working Dentzel carousels and a ride little sister asked to go on many times.
Camp Snoopy® is where you’ll find all the attractions for smaller guests but there are many rides the entire family can enjoy together too.
Thrill rides like the Supreme Scream and Ghostrider are what attracts millions of visitors each year. My oldest daughter was very brave and wanted to experience the most daring rides.
A Ghostrider photo capturing the exact moment my daughter questioned her dad’s suggestion to ride was the best souvenir we brought home.
Ride a roller coaster as the sun sets
We saw so many incredible shows and performances and experienced so many fun attractions but riding a roller coaster as the sun was setting will forever be a favorite memory of our ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation.
What’s on your ultimate Knott’s Berry Farm vacation bucket list?