Knotts Berry Farm
Knotts Berry Farm
Trying to Photograph everything there

Posted February 2022

Knott's Berry Farm

Once a simple roadside berry stand, Knott’s Berry Farm has grown into a must-visit Anaheim attraction. Anchored in its rich California history and charm, Knott’s Berry Farm boasts over 40 attractions and entertainment for all ages, including award-winning roller coasters and water rides, elaborate stage shows, interactive entertainment, and family-friendly fun featuring Snoopy and the Peanuts gang.

  • Ghost Town:
    If you’re looking for thrills, you’ll find them in Ghost Town. Ghost Town is the heart and soul of the park featuring cowboys, cancan dancers, a steam train, and panning for real gold. It’s also the home of the park's most popular ride, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, and its heart-pounding 42-foot drop.
  • Fiesta Village:
    It also features thrilling rides like 2019’s American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Landmark Award recipient, Montezooma’s Revenge. This roller coaster takes riders from 0 to 55 mph in 4.5 seconds. Paying tribute to California’s Hispanic roots, visitors can find beautiful Mexican-style architecture, food, and eye-catching works of art all throughout the village.
  • The Boardwalk:
    Feel the Southern California beach vibes on the Boardwalk, where you can find the tallest roller coaster in the park: Xcelerator The Ride. This roller coaster takes riders 205 feet into the air before immediately hurtling 90 degrees straight down.
  • Camp Snoopy:
    Based on Charles M. Schulz' Peanuts comic strip, Camp Snoopy is home to the park's family and kid’s rides. The camp features milder rides for guests who cannot ride the park's more thrilling rides, including infants, children, and seniors.

The Food:
From craveable funnel cakes and fresh-cut fries to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. First opened in 1934, Mrs. Knott and her children served the first customers in their tea room. The restaurant has grown over the years into one of the largest in California, but the classic fried chicken dinner is still made the same way today using Mrs. Knott's recipes.

Knott's Berry Farm on Google Maps
Knott's Berry Farm is in California's+Berry+Farm

BoysenberryA hybrid berry: part loganberry, part raspberry, part blackberry


Walter Knott's Berry Farm

Every boysenberry in the world can be traced back to Walter Knott and his berry farm. A cross between a red raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry, the famous boysenberry was propagated by Rudolph Boysen, but abandoned shortly thereafter. The scraggly bushes were brought to Knott's attention and by 1934 he had a bumper crop of enormous, sweet-tart berries which proved more popular than anything he'd grown before.

Coupled with Cordelia Knott's berry preserves and pies, folks came from across the country to sample the famed boysenberry.

Knott's Berry Farm
1920 - 1970 Timeline
Timeline Mural on the wall at Virginia's Gift Shop


Berry Fields:
Our story begins with a farmer and his wife, Walter and Cordelia Knott, who came to Buena Park in 1920 with their growing family. Virginia, Russell. Toni, and Marion joined their parents in working the berry fields which the Knotts purchased in 1927.

Berry Market Building:
The iconic berry stand was replaced with a more permanent Berry Market building with an attached tearoom where Cordelia sold sandwiches and fresh, berry pies.


The Boysenberry:
1934 brought an enormous change to Walter Knott's berry farm as he propagated and marketed a new berry developed by Rudolph Boysen, the sweet-tart boysenberry.

Chicken Dinners:
Cordelia brought her fried chicken dinners to the table the same year and enormous crowds followed.

Western History:
To entertain their many guests, Walter began displaying real or humorous vignettes of Western history around his property.


Roadside Attraction:
The farm grew into a full-fledged roadside attraction and the farming family became entrepreneurs. Each member contributed in one way or another to Knott's Berry Farm's growth.

Gift Shop:
Virginia Knott, for example, opened her gift shop next to the Chicken Dinner Restaurant and she became the first concessionaire on the property.

Ghost Town:
Walter Knott's interest in the old west piqued with the 1941 debut of Ghost Town just out back of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. With old siding, windows and doors, new buildings were constructed to appear aged and authentic in every way.

Blacksmith Shop:
The Blacksmith shop, however, was a vintage structure and moved to Knott's from a neighboring farm.

Pitchur Gallery:
The little town began in 1941 with just one street, Main Street, but more buildings and businesses were quickly added. The Pitchur Gallery photo studio was the first shop and the inspirational Little Chapel by the Lake was the first attraction. The Covered Wagon Show, a touching a touching tribute to western pioneers housed in the Gold Trails Hotel, followed soon after.


Calico Railway:
Throughout the 1950s, Ghost Town added new attractions and old-time adventures such as the Ghost Town & Calico Railway, a truly historic train shipped from Colorado (1951).

Calico Saloon:
Visitors could watch a can-can show at the Calico Saloon (1951), enjoy an authentic one-room schoolhouse (1952), defy gravity at the Haunted Shack (1954), catch an over-the-top melodrama at the Bird Cage Theatre (1954), or wonder at the many mini worlds within Mott's Miniatures (1958).

80 Acres:
80 Acres of Restaurants, Entertainment, Shops, and Free Parking


Knott's California Marketplace bloomed around the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Vendors sold a variety of wares in what is the first shopping mall located outside of a theme park.

Small Rides Added:
The mid-1950s also brought a few non-western attractions in the form of little car rides, real San Francisco cable cars (1955), and Bud Hurlbut's Dentzel carousel (1955). The Knott family's friendship with Hurlbut would change the Farm forever.

Groundbreaking Calico Mine Ride: After five years of operating smaller attractions around Knott's Berry Farm, Bud Hurlbut constructed a new concession in the form an enormous, 7-story-tall dark ride. With 360-degree theming, a trip into the Calico Mine Co. mountain was unlike any other other attraction at the time and its hidden, switchback queue and track layout were groundbreaking and inspirational.


Independence Hall:
It was Walter Knott's dream to celebrate America's heritage by building a replica of Independence Hall. In 1966 he did just that with the help of Bud Hurlbut who gifted Knott his hand-forged, exact replica of the Liberty Bell.

Timber Mountain Log Ride:
Although Knott's did not get the world's first log ride, it did get the world's first themed log ride in the form of Timber Mountain, another design from Bud Hurlbut. Walter Knott initially turned down the untested idea, but by 1969 the final attraction opened with actor John Wayne inaugurating.

The theme park’s story began in the Great Depression, when a farmer named Walter Knott started having success growing the purplish berries on his family farm in Orange County. The adjoining tea shop that his wife Cordelia opened in 1934 - serving fried chicken and boysenberry pie - became so popular that the Knotts added an Old West attraction to keep their waiting customers occupied, and the theme park was born. Rollercoasters and live shows were added starting in the 1950s, and the Halloween event Knott’s Scary Farm launched in 1974.

Today, Knott’s Berry Farm has a wide selection of rides, live shows, and an updated version of that original tea shop, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. You can shop for jams and sauces in the neighboring shop or pick up Peanuts memorabilia at the Peanuts HQ, all on the walkway just outside the theme park gates. Inside the park, you can also enjoy berry treats, including boysenberry cream soda in a mason jar at the Calico Saloon, or boysenberry ICEEs at park kiosks.

Knott's Berry Farm History
History of KBF:
Technically, Knott’s Berry Farm traces its history to 1920, when Walter and his wife Cordelia drove their Model T Ford to Buena Park, California, renting real estate to restart their lives as farmers. By 1927, they’d built a home and berry stand on the land, plus a Tea Room for Cordelia to sell sandwiches, jams, and homemade pies baked fresh with the farm’s berries.

In 1934, Cordelia decided to weather the Great Depression by using the farm’s bounty to open her Tea Room up for full-service dinners. Mrs. Knott’s fabled fried chicken dinners came complete with salad with rhubarb, biscuits, vegetables, mashed potatoes with gravy, and berry pie for dessert, all for 65 cents. In a matter of years, the 20-seat Tea Room became a 350-seat Restaurant with multi-hour waits each evening...

Walter began building a historic 1860s Western mining town – one shop at a time – in 1940 merely as a way to entertain crowds waiting for a table! By the middle of the decade, however, Knott’s “Ghost Town” was an attraction in its own right. In 1947, the Knotts officially established “Knott’s Berry Farm” as a roadside attraction, where guests could buy souvenirs, pan for gold, indulge in chicken dinner, and taste the legendary “boysenberry” cultivated by Knott and fellow farmer Rudolph Boysen of a little rural neighborhood a few miles south called Anaheim.

Knott’s Berry Farm bills itself as “America’s First Theme Park,” and it’s easy to agree. When Walt Disney arrived in town in the 1950s, Knott’s Berry Farm was already a destination! More to the point, Walt often spoke with Walter Knott about his park’s capacity, traffic flow, pricing, and more, all in an effort to refine the “Magic Kingdom” being built down the road.

Everything changed at Knott’s Berry Farm with the arrival of Bud Hurlbut in 1960, whose handshake deal with Knott lead to the construction of two pivotal attractions (and two of the most magnificent classic dark rides in the industry): the Calico Mine Ride and Log Flume – each quite literally an inspiration to Walt Disney.

Knott's Berry Farm History

Knotts Berry Farm in 1935
1934 was a big year for Walter Knott:
Even if it didn’t seem like it at the time. That was the year he introduced the Boysenberry to the world. But the Depression was still dragging on, so that same summer Cordelia Knott added chicken dinners to the menu of her little tea room, just to help make ends meet.

It proved to be a winning combination, and as the crowds grew, the Knotts began beautifying the area and adding little displays out back. Knott’s Berry Place was becoming a roadside attraction. By 1940, there was a lake, a rock garden, an old stage coach, and even a rumbling volcano.

But Walter Knott wanted more. He wanted to celebrate the story of the pioneers crossing the desert by covered wagon, just as his own family had done back in 1868. He decided to build a “cyclorama” – a curved painting with set pieces in front of it that would use sound and lighting effects to tell the tale. And to house the show, he would build a replica of an old time Western building. But why just one building? Why not a whole Western town? And so Ghost Town Village was born.

In 1940 – probably just after berry season – Knott set his construction crew to work building a ghost town out of buildings and materials salvaged from all over the western United States. As he explained it in 1942:

“We are continually seeking materials with which to reconstruct the ghost town here at Knott’s Berry Place. By securing a building here, part of another there, an old bar in one place or something else somewhere else we add to the picture we are attempting to portray – a composite picture of the ghost towns of the west as they appeared in ‘49 and the early ‘50s. We are not collecting museum pieces nor is it the intention to build a museum. Our thought is to collect a town but as that is impossible we try to do the next best thing – build or reconstruct a ghost town that will be authentic and show life as it was lived in the early days.”

By the time berry season rolled around again in the summer of 1941, the first street was ready for the crowds. The Covered Wagon Show that started it all actually took a little longer. It opened on Washington’s Birthday in February 1942.

What began as a one-time construction project stretched over the next two decades, as Ghost Town continued to grow. And the berry farm grew from roadside attraction into a true theme park, as tourists came from all over the world to visit Knott’s Berry Farm.

Along Grand AvenueA few relics of Knott’s earliest days still survive – if you know where to look for them:
  • Just south of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant you’ll find the 1928 Knott’s Berry Place building (with a second story added), now home to the Bakery and the Chicken-to-go counter. This was the location of Cordelia Knott’s original tea room. The Knotts’ home was directly behind it, and the household kitchen served both the restaurant and the family.
  • To the north is the 1938 restaurant building, which is still in use. Virginia’s original gift shop opened here the same year the building was completed.
  • Just south of the 1928 building, behind the Berry Market, you’ll find one of the original rock gardens and the George Washington Fireplace, a replica of one Walter Knott saw at Mt. Vernon, built around 1941.

Virginia's Gift Shop Knotts Berry Farm
Knotts Berry Farm California

Poster painted on the wall at Virginia's Gift Shop

Boysenberry soft serve
Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm:
  • Ride the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mining Ride. These rides are iconic.
  • Eat at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The fried chicken is famous, and the reason Knott’s is here today.
  • Visit Calico Ghost Town. This is the oldest section of Knott’s and full of history. If you see a cowboy or one of the townspeople of Calico, ask them to tell you a little bit about the history.
  • You can pan for real gold at Knott’s. Panning for gold is located near the entrance for Ghostrider.
  • Visit the Blacksmith and have him show you a demonstration on making horseshoes.
  • Visit the Old Schoolhouse. A real school house from 1879 that was brought to Knott’s Berry Farm in 1952. The teacher in the schoolhouse is a real historian and will tell you all about it.
  • Visit the Western Trails Museum, located across from the Bank. It is filled with curiosities from the days of old.
  • Take a picture with the cowboy statues next to the Calico Hotel and the saloon girl statues near the Calico Saloon.
  • Visit the Berry Patch across from Silver Bullet to learn more about the little berry that started it all, the boysenberry, which helped create California’s First Theme Park.
  • Get a slice of boysenberry pie since boysenberries were founded here. Or get a funnel cake topped with boysenberry topping, or a boysenberry pie milkshake at the Ghost Town Grill.
  • Knott's also sells Boysenberry soft serve ice cream from The Churro Factory and Boysenberry Icees, a flavor only sold at Knott’s.
  • Ride the Calico Railroad. You may get a visit from some robbers in this real life working Steam Engine.
  • See a show at the Charles M. Schultz Theater. Snoopy on Ice or the summer shows are top notch entertainment.
  • If you are brave enough to ride Hangtime, do it! It’s the first and only dive coaster in California, and towers over 150 feet with a beyond vertical drop. Yikes!
  • You can ride a real stagecoach pulled by the Knott’s horses. It’s located near Calico Square next to the entrance of Fiesta Village.
  • Learn more about California History by checking out the California Mission models located throughout Fiesta Village.
  • Take a jar of Boysenberry preserves home with you to enjoy Knott’s after you leave.

Want a Knott’s chicken dinner but don’t want to dine at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant? You can get a full chicken dinner to go at Chicken-To-Go located outside the park next to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

You can get a Boysenberry Frappuccino year round at the Starbucks located just outside the entrance.

Knotts Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival
Boysenberry Festival:
23-day mouthwatering food festival features over 70 one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks and more.

Knotts Berry Farm Home of the Boysenberry

Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card:
Some of the most popular boysenberry treats the festival has to offer which includes generous portions of the following items for only around $25:

  • Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza
  • Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse
  • Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel
  • Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico
  • Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory
  • Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery

Knotts Berry Farm Boysenberry Tasting

Knotts Scary Farm
Knotts Scary Farm:
Every year, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into a haunted wonderland of demons, ghosts, and out-of-this-world monsters (aka Knott’s Scary Farm). From every night mid-September to November 1, guests can come and test their bravery against unimaginable jump-scares and spine-tingling thrills.

Knott’s Scary Farm lies in a blanket of dense fog. All of the mazes are haunted and you practically have to feel your way through the dark to find the attractions you want to see. Test your fate out in nine different mazes, heart-pumping roller coasters, and numerous shows. In the main mazes, you'll have to resist paranormal forces on the prowl, hide from a sinister, murderous clown, and outrun a horde of hungry zombies.

To make things even scarier, there are over 1,000 horrifying monsters hiding in every corner of the park. Prepare to be chased. You won’t escape this one without screaming!

Knotts Scary Farm

Knotts Spooky Farm
Knotts Spooky Farm:
During the day, families can enjoy Halloween themed Spooktacular fun for the whole family with Knott’s Spooky Farm. Designed for children ages 3 – 11, youngsters can enjoy trick or treating through Ghost Town, Halloween themed shows, a costume contest and so much more.

Scattered throughout the Calico area are Trick or Treating stations with friendly ghosts and towns folk of Ghost Town. They even provide treat bags containing maps and other goodies when you walk through the main gates of the park.

Knotts Spooky Farm Trick or Treat Stations

In Calico Park, you can hang out in Linus Van Pelt’s Great Pumpkin Patch where you can take photos, enjoy crafting and listing to the musical Creepy Crooners. At the Livery Stable, Stanley Scarecrow has opened up the barn and has the Creepy Critters of Calico on display. You’ll see hissing cockroaches, spiders and more.

Knotts Spooky Farm Livery Stable

Knotts Merry Farm
Knotts Merry Farm:
Have you visited Knott’s Berry Farm at Christmas time? It’s called Merry Farm and they transform this fun theme park into everything Christmas. It is pretty fun. During Christmas time they bring in many things including snow to make it feel like the holidays!

Knotts Merry Farm Locomotive

All throughout there are bows, garland, wreaths, and the stores are filled with Christmas decorations.

Knott's Berry Farm is a 57 acre theme park located in Buena Park, California, owned and operated by Cedar Fair
Knott's Berry Farm:
The theme park began in the 1920s as a roadside berry stand run by Walter Knott along State Route 39 in California. By the 1940s, a restaurant, several shops, and other attractions had been constructed on the property to entertain a growing number of visitors, including a replica ghost town.

The site continued its transformation into a modern amusement park over the next two decades, and an admission charge was added in 1968. In 1997 the park was sold to Cedar Fair for $300 million, just two years after the Knott's food business was acquired by ConAgra, Inc. in 1995.

  • In 2015, it was the twelfth-most-visited theme park in North America.
  • It averages approximately 4 million visitors per year.
  • The park features 40 rides including roller coasters, family rides, dark rides, and water rides.
  • In 1968, for the first time, an admission price was required to get into the park, originally set at 25 cents.

Marion Speer:
In 1956, Walter Knott made an arrangement with Marion Speer to bring his Western Trails Museum collection to Knott's Berry Farm. Speer had been an enthusiastic supporter of Walter Knott’s efforts to create Ghost Town, and had written articles for the Knott's newspaper, the Ghost Town News. In 1956, twenty years after creating his museum, Marion Speer (at age 72) donated the carefully catalogued collection (30,000 items) to Knott’s in return for Knott’s housing it, displaying it and naming Speer as curator. Speer continued in that position until he retired in 1969 at the age of 84.

Paul von Klieben:
In 1941, he joined Knott’s as a staff artist, then served as art director there from 1943 until 1953. He traveled to ghost towns in the West, conducted research, and designed most of the Ghost Town section of Knott’s Berry Farm. He created concept art for most of the buildings that were built there. He also drew up floor plans, oversaw the construction of buildings, and even spent some time painting concrete to look like natural rock. His Old West paintings and murals adorned the walls of many structures in the park, and a number of them still do. His art was also used extensively in Knott’s newspapers, menus, brochures, catalogs and other publications.


  • 1920: Ten acres of berry farm land leased by Walter and Cordelia Knott
  • 1927: Ten leased acres of berry farm purchased, named Knott's Berry Place
  • 1929: Ten more acres purchased
  • 1932: Rudolf Boysen gives Walter his last six crossbreed berry plants, as yet unnamed
  • 1934: Tea room opens and Cordelia serves the first chicken dinner
  • 1940: Living Ghost Town tribute started with free entertainment.
  • 1941: 100 more acres of land are added, totals 120.
  • 1946: Steakhouse
  • 1947: Name change from Knott's Berry Place to Knott's Berry Farm.
  • 1966: Independence Hall
  • April 12, 1974, Cordelia Knott died
  • December 3, 1981, Walter Knott died, survived by his children who would continue to operate Knott's as a family business for another fourteen years.
  • In the 1990s, after Walter and Cordelia died, their children decided to sell off their businesses.
  • In the late 1990s Cedar Fair acquired the Buena Park Hotel at the corner of Grand Ave. and Crescent. It was then brought up to Radisson standards and branded Radisson Resort Hotel as a franchise. In 2004, the park renamed the Radisson Resort Hotel the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel.
  • In 1995, the Knott family sold the food specialty business to ConAgra Inc, which later re-sold the brand to The J.M. Smucker Company in 2008.
  • In 1997, the Knott family sold the amusement park operations to Cedar Fair. Since being acquired by Cedar Fair, the park has seen an aggressive shift towards thrill rides.

Thanks for Visiting Knott's Berry Farm
Thanks for Visiting!
8039 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90620

Knotts Berry Farm