Knott’s Field Trip Guide; Making Sure That You Don’t Wait In Lines 6

Gavin Mercado



Knott’s History

Part 1: Getting There

Part 2: Being Prepared for Knott’s

Part 3: Dining At Knott’s

Part 4: Attractions and Beating the Lines

Part 5: Final Thoughts



Hello students, are you in eighth grade this year? If so, buckle uptight because you’re about to take on one of the best field trips you will ever experience.

Remember, to go on this field trip you must be in eighth grade, you must have finished all three of your service hours, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA, and you have to turn in a TBD amount of money to Mr. Yohn.

If you know me off screen, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with theme parks and a die-hard Disney fan. I study wait times and see which rides are the most popular at all theme parks in Southern California as a hobby. I take records of my notes.

Most theme parks have long wait times for some of the more popular rides, and Knott’s is no exception. Eighth graders will be visiting Knott’s in just about two months! It may seem like a long time, but those days are going to breeze by.

So, I have created a guide to help you not wait in line… at all, to make sure that all Stacey students have the best time at Knott’s they could ever have. This efficient guide can be really helpful, especially to those who are newer to theme parks. I really hope you enjoy!

Knott’s History:

June 19th, 1920, the wonderful world of Knott’s Berry Farm as we know it was established as “America’s First Theme Park.” It was a wonderful day for many as they were able to escape the probable work days on the farm to go out and have some fun.

Knott’s Berry Farm was founded by Walter Knott, a man who had similar yet different dreams over Walt Disney. The parks are competing today, but as a Disney fan, I do admit that Knott’s Berry Farm was here first and has been here for a near outstanding one-hundred years!

The park had zero rides when it first opened. Actually, Knott’s Berry Farm wasn’t even a theme park when it first opened! Can you guess what it was? That’s right, a berry farm! Mr. and Mrs. Knott wanted to sell berries to drivers on Route 39. Let’s just say they were very successful.

The first ride at Knott’s opened as the “Merry-Go-Round,” and that’s when the Knott magic began. In December 1997, Knott’s Berry Farm was sold to Cedar Fair, an Ohio Amusement Park company. Cedar Fair kept on expanding Knott’s. Soon more rides came to the park.

Xcelerator, Supreme Scream, Sky Cabin, Calico Mine Train, Ghostrider, Coast Rider, and recently Hangtime, plus a ton more attractions have all been added to the park since the Cedar Fair deal was made. That deal would change the park forever, and it has. The park keeps expanding.

Part 1: Getting There:

Getting there may sound simple, but eighth graders must do a few things before they could actually embark on their Knott’s adventure. First off, eighth graders must finish their one service hour per trimester (3 per year). One was already due in November, if you didn’t do it, you can still make it up.

You also must maintain a decent GPA. This GPA last year was 2.0. We are expecting it to stay the same. If you are failing eighth grade, you are not able to embark on the Knott’s trip. Finally, you must turn in somewhere around $35 to Mr. Yohn to pay for your ticket when the time comes.

The students will take the trip by bus. Kelsey Bisetti, a student who was in eighth grade last year, said they, “Got there around 9:00 am.” Of course, this is scheduled to change because of park hours and what not, but that is an arrival expectancy.

The bus ride should be around thirty to forty minutes. Since we are taking a school bus, it will be closer to that forty-minute mark. Of course, this is a time to get excited and talk to your friends about the attractions you will experience later in the day.

Part 2: Being Prepared For Knott’s:

Going to Knott’s, or any theme park for that matter is not much of a casual thing. You must be prepared. Remember, you must bring money to be able to buy food, snacks, and optionally souvenirs. Be sure to also bring a portable charger for when your phone dies.

Here’s a great tip that not many people know about. Download the Knott’s Berry Farm app. For example, if you wanted to ride the Timber Mountain Log Ride, instead of walking all the way over to the attraction to check how long the wait time is, you could just check the app instead.

That way if it was a lot longer than you are willing to stand in a line for, you could save all of the time it takes to walk over there, and just ride Ghostrider instead.

Another great tip is checking online showtimes the night before and writing them down in your phone or on a small notepad you could fit in your backpack. If you see a show that seems interesting and want to see it, check the time so that you don’t have to do that while you are in the parks.

Finally, expect the crowds. Knott’s Berry Farm will never “Knott” be crowded *puns,* and expect to wait in line for two hours to ride Ghostrider. Be prepared to skip an attraction, even if it’s one that you love if the line is three hours than sometimes you just have to say no.

To add on to this, if you are unfamiliar to Knott’s and/or have never been there, take a look at the park map like the one above. It will very much help you, especially to those who have never even heard of Knott´s before.

Part 3: Dining at Knott’s:

It may be obvious that dining at any theme park or popular event is impossibly expensive. However, you must eat, unless you want to starve. So right here we will be listing all of the restaurants and menu items you can get that have big portions, yet low cost. Also, remember that if you decide to eat at a table-service restaurant, the average American gratuity is between 15-20%. Anyways, let’s get into it!

Boardwalk BBQ: This restaurant is located in the Boardwalk near the newest coaster, Hangtime. Here, you can grab a variety of options like pizza, chicken strips, etc. A basic menu but a great way to grab a quick bite to eat if that’s what you’re looking for at the moment.

Cantina: Looking for Mexican food? Well, you can grab it over at the Cantina located in Fiesta Village. Cantina has decently priced Mexican food like tacos, burritos, and many, many more options. It’s definitely something to try if you’re into Mexican food.

Chicken To-Go: Chicken To-Go is the place “To-Go” if you are looking to grab food and wait in line for a ride. This is the best option for students who want to get on as many rides as possible. Normally eating takes around half an hour. Eating here is really efficient especially if you’re trying to cram onto Hangtime last minute.

Coasters Diner: Coasters Diner is located near the boardwalk and is a more expensive option for those who are trying to sit back after a long day at Knott’s. Coasters Diner is mainly known for their specialty burgers, however, there are other items too. This is the restaurant for students who usually get very hungry later in the day after a long day at Knott’s. This is most definitely an option to consider.

Fireman’s Grill: Looking for some finger food? Well, you’ve found the place! Fireman’s Grill is located at the heart of Ghost Town and is an outdoor, quick-casual eatery. Here you can find hot dogs, ribs, and so much more! Who wouldn’t want to eat a hotdog while listening to Ghostrider or the Calico Mine Train whistle by?

Ghost Town Grill: This restaurant found at the beginning of Ghost Town, near Ghostrider, is one of my personal favorites. The grill features Sarsaparilla floats and so many great grilled items. This is the restaurant to go to if you’re in the area and looking for a place to eat table service and make a swift exit.

Grizzly Creek Lodge: This small, fast service type restaurant is nestled in the woods of Camp Snoopy and like Chicken To-Go, it’s a great restaurant for those are trying to be efficient with their rides. This is especially good if you’re looking to wait in line for Jaguar! or Sol Spin. (But make sure your stomach can handle it.)

Hollywood Hits: Hollywood Hits is the place to go if you want pizza! Although it may be rather expensive if you’re craving pizza, head to this restaurant. It is located near the Charles M. Schultz theater and adjacent to the bumper cars.

Johnny Rockets: The iconic restaurant found in the outside world of Knott’s is located in the boardwalk near Voyage to the Iron Reef. If you aren’t familiar with Johnny Rockets, they have milkshakes, burgers, and fries. It is themed to a 50’s restaurant, of course, if that is your type of theme.

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant: This original restaurant has a very old chicken recipe created by Mrs. Knott herself. This restaurant is located right at the entrance of Knott’s Berry Farm. So, if you are looking to taste a little bit of Knott’s Berry Farm history, this restaurant is the one for you!

Pancho’s Tacos: Pancho’s Tacos is a restaurant found in Fiesta Village. Once again, if you are looking for some Mexican food, this is the place to go. Both Pancho’s Tacos and Cantina have very similar items. Therefore, if you are in the mood for Mexican food, I would visit whichever eateries’ line is shorter.

Panda Express: Everyone’s favorite Asian food location, Panda Express, is now in Knott’s Berry Farm. This location is located across from Timber Mountain Log Ride and has your typical Asian food like chow mein, teriyaki chicken, rice, and a ton more. If you’re looking for something quick and casual, this is a great restaurant for you!

Sutter’s Grill: Sutter’s Grill is located in Ghost Town and has your typical “Wild West” style food. A few of their selections are chicken patties, french fries, and a refreshing fountain drink. If any of those selections sound tasty to you, you may want to stop by Sutter’s Grill.

Sutter’s Pizza: This pizza location is located right next to Sutter’s Grill as it comes from the same kitchen. This version of Sutter’s is similar to Hollywood Hits. Which one should you go to? Well, pizza is the exact same. So, with that being said, it really depends on which one you’re closer to.

TGI Fridays: TGI Fridays is another iconic restaurant that can be found near you. This restaurant is more common than Johnny Rockets. TGI Fridays have a huge variety of food like burgers, chicken strips, mac and cheese, sandwiches, french fries, and much, much more.

Wilderness Broiler: Our last eatery is Wilderness Broiler. This restaurant is near the before mentioned Grizzly Creek Lodge and is mostly known for its hot dogs. Many think that the hot dogs here are quite splendid and perfect for everyone to enjoy.

Part 4: Attractions and Beating the Lines:

The first moments in the parks for most Knott’s Berry Farm guests are perhaps the best. Think of it, taking in the Ghost Town sign while watching a Silver Bullet car breeze by you. There is nothing better I can think of to watch right now.

However, after experiencing these very first moments, what do you do? Most kids will end up wandering/exploring the park. Some kids will visit Camp Snoopy. Before you get any crazy ideas, let me tell you that doing either of those is a very bad idea. “Why” you may ask?

Well, Camp Snoopy rides always have extremely short wait times all day (with the exception of Sierra Sidewinder.) Meaning, that you could come back four hours later and still wait in the same, short line. Exploring the park is something you can do later in the day, which is something that cannot be limited.

What you should do in the early moments in the parks is ride the very popular rides. What I mean by popular is rides that around 11am to 12pm will reach two to three-hour waits. I have set a graph right below the next paragraph with all of the quite popular rides. The list goes from longest waits to shortest waits.

Red means EXTREMELY POPULAR. Yellow, VERY POPULAR. Green, POPULAR. Of course, this is not 100% accurate as this is only within the past year. One of these rides that are at the bottom of the list could skyrocket to the top within a matter of weeks. Theme park rides are extremely unpredictable. Anyways, here is the list:

Hangtime (Average 120 Minutes)

Ghostrider (Average 115 Minutes)

Jaguar! (Average 90 Minutes)

Supreme Scream (Average 80 Minutes)

Calico River Rapids (Average 80 Minutes)

Voyage to the Iron Reef (Average 70 Minutes)

Coast Rider (Average 65 Minutes)

Xcelerator (Average 65 Minutes)

Pony Express (Average 55 Minutes)

Timber Mountain Log Ride (Average 45-50 Minutes)

Silver Bullet (Average 45 Minutes)

Montezooma’s Revenge (Average 40 Minutes)

Sol Spin (Average 30 Minutes)

Take these notes into consideration for your trip, as it could be the difference between riding your favorite ride and missing out on it. But you should also take them with a grain of salt as on the day the eighth graders go, anything can happen. Here are a few instances of your day. Let’s say you’re not a huge fan of thrill rides and Jaguar!, a family coaster, is about your maximum, and is also the only red attraction you want to go on.

Well, what you want to do is ride Jaguar! first thing in the morning, in since it is the most popular family-friendly ride. After that you should make your way to Voyage to the Iron Reef, then Coast Rider, then Timber Mountain Log Ride.

If you happen to enjoy all or almost all of the rides at Knott’s, like myself, your plan is very customizable, as unless you have Fast Lane (which you won’t), it is nearly impossible to ride every one of those rides in one day. You could probably ride two from red, two from yellow, and all of the greens. But even that is changeable. Make a list of rides that you know you want to do for sure, and go along with your day going from most popular to least popular until all of your must-dos are gone. From there you could ride other attractions or re-ride your must-dos.

My current plan is to ride Hangtime, then Ghostrider. I will skip all of the yellows because none of them is my must-dos. From there, I will make my way to Timber Mountain Log Ride and then Sol Spin. From there I will check the waits of Coast Rider and Pony Express to see how long the lines are. We’ll get into a little more detail on my personal plan later.

Another way you can skip the lines is by playing the “Fast Lane Spinner” game. This game will cost you five dollars to play to win two Fast Lane tickets for one attraction. Some of the prizes are tickets for the VR Showdown in Ghost Town as well. With the Fast Lane tickets, the rides that you could win Fast Lane range from something extremely popular like Hangtime all the way to something not quite as popular like Pony Express. If you aren’t a huge fan of rollercoasters, it is recommended that you don’t play this game. As if you do win tickets for Montezooma’s Revenge let’s say, then it would be a waste of money as you would be forced to give them away to friends, or lucky strangers.

Another tip I have is to eat during the “off times.” What I mean by this is to eat when all of the rides are crowded. Eat dinner before 5pm or wait until you get home. Eat lunch before 11am or after 2pm. This way, when everyone is out riding rides when they have super long wait times, you’re enjoying an air-conditioned room munching on a slice of pizza. While everyone is doing that a little later, you’re enjoying Sol Spin with no wait time. Sounds simple, but it is difficult to change your eating schedule. Try your best to do that as it may be the difference between riding an attraction and not riding an attraction.

Of course, do prepare for changes in your schedule, as all attractions at Knott’s are unpredictable and are prone to break down (especially Sol Spin). Just watch out for that. Also, Bigfoot Rapids will be down during the 8th grader’s visit. So, with that being said, Timber Mountain Log Ride may be longer on that day, in since it will be the only water attraction. Especially, especially if it’s a hot day.

So check out your weather forecast and see if it’s going to be hot on the day of the trip. If Timber Mountain Log Ride is on your must-dos and it’s going to be hot on that day than I would definitely suggest moving it second or third on your list as it will get very crowded.

Part 5: Final Thoughts

Now we have a few words of advice before we end this editorial.

  • Try not to “go with the flow” at Knott’s. I know it may sound not stressful, but if you are truly trying to get on all of your favorite rides, you will set a park plan, and stick to it.
  • Please, please, please don’t go on rides with short wait times all day first thing. You can ride those when everyone is trying to get on Hangtime. Examples of these are Hat Dance, Merry Go Round, Calico Mine Ride, and Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars. Those attractions will be there all day with really, really short lines. Make popular rides your first priority rather than the unpopular ones. Trust me, it´ll save you a ton of time.
  • One tip I mentioned earlier is to know where you’re going. Being lost in a theme park as big as Knott’s is not a fun time. Look at a map the night before you visit Knott’s and bring one on the bus so you know what you’re doing. Make a plan with your friends. Color code your map and stick to it. Know where you are at all times for you, and your friend’s safety. This is especially a good idea if you are in AVID as you already have experience with color coding and translating.
  • Finally, be safe! It is important that at a theme park like Knott’s, you are always aware of your surroundings. Obviously, don’t talk to anyone you don’t know, stay safe Staconians. This goes for any field trip!


Well, that’s all we have today Cougars, please answer the poll below! Also, are you going to Knott’s Berry Farm? Let us know in the comments below! See you there, Stacey 8th graders!


  1. When I went last year, I wanted to go to Panda Express at 1 point, but there were too many people, so I decided to wait it out. Wanting something, I got some soda from the nearby store and thereby wasted myself because I did not have the money to got to Panda Express anymore. Knott’s was fun last year. Hangtime, a new ride which makes you go up on a vertical angle and then take 1 minute to finish, was so fun.


  2. Wait a minute, the 8th graders will be going to Knott’s in 2 months? School will be over by then, though…


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