Knott’s Berry Farm kicked off both their reopening and the 100th anniversary of the park/farm with a huge celebration! Some of the DAPs team was on hand to join in the festivities and see the gala of a momentous occasion.
Kicking Things Off
The night began with a presentation of the 100 years. A video screen lit up with a few celebrity congratulations from the likes of Rachel Bloom, Terry Crews, and Mario Lopez. Following was a great 100th-anniversary song performed by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies followed by a greeting by the Calico deputy mayor. Lastly, Jon Storbeck, the Vice President over Knott’s, took the stage to discuss the history and what’s in store for the summer. Lastly was a song and dance with several characters and team members to truly celebrate the Farm. Oh, and some pyrotechnics and confetti!
It was a heartwarming display of Knott’s nostalgia. The concept was a family reunion and it felt like that especially with bringing out characters and team members that have made the park what it is for so long. Many of the celebrities sounded like any one of the many guests going because they also had fond memories of attractions and events that have them returning year after year. This was more than a kick-off and more of a milestone!
Party Party Party!
The rest of the night was where we could explore some of what Knott’s Berry Farm will be offering in the summer event. Attractions, food, and photo ops were all abundant in the time to roam around. It really began, though, with the first of a nightly lighting of the K Tower. It was an illuminating display. What surprised us is some fireworks coming from not just the tower but also from around the park in the finale! It felt like a celebration of a Southern California icon.
Even before starting off the night, there was so much to see as far as decoration. Almost every building, lamp post, and tree had some kind of special 100th decoration. At key spots is a QR code display that provides a link to a video that explains the significance of the spot.
The food offered was to savor the Summer Nights festival. Several locations were open that contained the upcoming booth treats. We sampled the donut chicken sandwich, veggie sliders, pulled pork mac and cheese, pulled chicken mac and cheese sandwich, butter onion burger, lemonade fresca, and boysenberry Dippin’ Dots. The chicken on the donut sandwich was very crispy and tasty. The other great item was the pulled chicken mac sandwich, which had a great tropical flavor atop creamy mac and cheese.
Attractions, Photos, and Art!
One of the things we looked forward to was a ride on the newest attraction Bear-y Tales Return to the Fair. It is a 3D interactive attraction where riders save coveted boysenberry pies through a wild chase through forests and factories. It was an homage to a classic Knott’s attraction while featuring updated technology. It was an incredibly fun addition to the park. We enjoyed the atmosphere and little details that show it’s possibly to miss a lot in the first ride.
Throughout the park were photo ops with nostalgic backdrops and props from attractions and locations of the park’s past. Wacky Soapbox Racers, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, and the Haunted Shack were some of our favorites. These showed some of the history in a way that you could get up close to the past. They were highly detailed and dimensional which made getting the photos even more fun!
Over at Cordy’s Corner is a gallery of artists’ work reflecting on the park’s history. Several original pieces are for sale along with prints. They really serve as a fun way to recount the past and through the eyes of some great artistic talent. One piece of the Calico Mine Ride was done by our very own Annie!
Reflecting on the Past
Though the park has been open for “Taste of” festivals and even to Passholders within the last couple weeks, this was a true reopening. It felt like Knott’s is back to normal in a grand way. Though it’s technically 101 years now, this was the celebration we waited for. The idea was gathering for a reunion and recounting memories of the past. We all had some great memories from visits that we have talked about time after time. It showed that Knott’s Berry Farm has something for everyone and really provides great memories to take with you.
This was an incredible kickoff to not just the summer and reopening but to what will come for the park. Seeing new characters come alive, new rides to make more memories on, and great food to savor it is the park to be at these next few months! It warmed my heart to see that finale of the presentation with a family of all different people and characters really having a great time with the park that was once a humble farm. It was Walter Knott’s ingenuity that created this resort that has everyone coming back for more! So, congratulations on 100 years, Knott’s Berry Farm, and we look forward to 100 more!