Knott's Merry Farm
Knotts Berry Farm is a former Berry Farm. I recommend that you look into the history because of Walter Knott helped perfect the boysenberry and made that into the Knott's Berry Farm we know today.
Knotts sold berry preserves and pies roadside and eventually they started a little restaurant. The fried chicken became such a prominent draw people waited hours to get the chicken. Water started building the ghost town in 1940 to give visitors something to do while waiting for their chicken.
Knotts Berry Farm is older than Disneyland. If you do some research Walter Knott and Walt Disney had a somewhat friendly relationship. I have heard Walt Disney used to come to Knotts to ride the train. Walt Disney loved trains as did Walter Knott.
Knotts Berry Farm thrives because Disneyland is expensive and becomes swamped when Disneyland has blackout dates. I do have a few criticisms before we go onto why I love Knott's Merry Farm. I, in all honesty, cannot recommend Knotts Merry Farm without warning you of these first. If you show up with small children and realize there is no place to nurse if you prefer privacy or prepare a bottle I would feel bad.
To be brutally honest and some may think I’m being harsh Knotts has subpar restrooms. I feel Cedar Fair has not invested money properly into rejuvenating at the park. The bathrooms are disgusting. The bathrooms run out of toilet paper, soap, towels, and seat covers frequently. The bathrooms are also dirty. Renovations have not taken place in a very long time I think, and the bathrooms smell strongly of stale urine. I do not believe power washing can take care of it. On a hot day, the restroom by Bigfoot Rapids smells terrible enough you can smell the urine before you enter.
There is no adequate for facilities for babies who need feeding and changing. They do have a baby care center which is a couple of stainless steel changing tables and a curtain with the chair behind it to nurse or pump. Anyone can walk in, and it feels very much like using the facilities at a rest stop, and the same can goes for the bathrooms. I have dry heaved when I have gone into the women's room near Bigfoot Rapids. It is that bad.
I was very disappointed when they renovated the Ghost Town and put a lot of money into making it more appealing to visitors and then neglected to start upgrading the bathrooms.
That is my primary criticism. Some parts of Knott are gorgeous. I feel that if the landscaping was updated in other areas of the park to match what it looks like it over and Camp Snoopy and over by Bigfoot Rapids that Knotts could seriously give Disney a run for their money.
On to what is excellent about Knott's Merry Farm.
Peanuts Guide to Christmas show in Camp Snoopy is adorable. It’s just its cute family friendly show. The characters are singing and dancing. I feel like it’s not hard to get a spot they have plenty of performances during the day.
They also offer a show at the Calico Saloon which is fun and is different from typical Christmas entertainment. It's a little kitschy but still all in good fun.
A Christmas Carol and Gift of the Magi are performed live at the BirdCage theatre. Personally, I yet to attend either one because I honestly do not want to sit down for a play. I have heard they are outstanding shows and the Bird Cage theater is impressive.
The Christmas Crafts Village is one of my favorites. I love watching the Glass Blowers, and people carve wood with chainsaws. They sell some great handmade items you could spend an hour or two perusing the booths.
I love when they convert the Wilderness Dancehall to Santas Christmas Cabin. They sell cookies, chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, craft beers, hot chocolate with marshmallows, pastries, and spiced holiday wine. You also can buy gift packages of preserves and syrups. The kids can meet Santa and have pictures taken.
I also have never seen the entire show but It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown is fun and a great show from what I have seen so far. It takes place at night, and you need to get there a little early to get close to the stage.
I’ve never seen the Snoopy on Ice, and the reason is stupid. There is a very long line so if you want to see it get there early and be prepared. I wish they would offer a fast lane for some of the shows because I would like to see the holiday I show, but I don’t want to stand in line for two hours.
The Calico Tree lighting Ceremony features entertainment from the Calico Bell Choir and the Citizens of Calico. I love watching the tree lighting. It is one of the best things Knotts has to offer.
What I love the most though is when it snows in Ghost Town’s Main Street and School House Road! They play music, and it snows while the lights twinkle. Disneyland does this at the caste but people are packed shoulder to shoulder sometimes and its hard to enjoy yourself when you can't see anything.
I honestly think the Ghost Town experience is terrific and the Calico Carolers are the highlight. You cannot miss them.
I love Knotts Merry Farm it a great alternative to Disneyland. It feels like an old time Christmas. The atmosphere just gives you all the Christmas feels. With low admission prices and such affordable dining packages, Knotts is very budget friendly.
I would give Knotts a glowing recommendation if they would just provide the bathrooms with some much needed TLC. Other than that Knotts is a great place to visit.
If you are interested in a review of Christmas Time at Disneyland, click here.