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New Year’s Eve at Knott’s Berry Farm: Simply Good Old Fashioned Fun

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With a big thanks to Knott’s Berry Farm, I was able to cover the 2014 New Year’s Eve festivities from “Knott’s Merry Farm” in Buena Park, CA. This was my first time experiencing New Year’s Eve at the World’s First Theme Park and it was great to see that the park was still decked out in Holiday decor.

In the many years I have been going to Knott’s, I can honestly say that I have never seen the park so busy.  Despite the crowds, navigating the park was still fairly easy to do – unlike other famous theme parks at the same time.  My friends and I decided that the best way to enjoy the night was to go with the flow, dive into the crowds and see where the night took us!

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Our first stop was Camp Snoopy to check out the decorations there. I loved that they had window displays like the one above showing one of my favorite Peanuts Holiday shows. Knott’s recently announced that this year is the 30th Anniversary of the area and it will soon receive new rides and a restoration to match the original idea for the area. I can’t wait to go back to check it all out!

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New this year, the Wilderness Dance Hall was transformed into Santa’s Christmas Cabin – a great location to take a photo with Santa as well as enjoy some wonderful holiday treats. Not only could you get hot chocolate, cookies and enjoy the sundae bar here but they also offered wine and craft beer tastings for the adults.

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Right next to Santa’s Christmas Cabin is Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village where we found dozens of local artists and artisans including this glass blower. Not only can you see these talented individuals create their crafts, but you can also purchase them on the spot!

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As we continued through the park, we ran into a really long line, surely an indicator of something that shouldn’t be missed! We discovered the line for the wonderful, It’s Christmas Snoopy ice show. This is definitely a must see and every show was completely full on New Year’s Eve. Pro Tip: Arrive Early if you want to see the show. People were lined up two hours in advance of each show!

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Another long wait was to see Krazy Kirk & The Hillbillies. Every set was filled to capacity! This was their first year here and they already have a huge following thanks in part to their long time performances in another huge local theme park where they went by another name, Billy Hill and The Hillbillies. Since they no longer perform at that theme park, I hope that they become a permanent fixture here at Knott’s as they are a joy to watch.

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Once we got those two great shows in, it was time to tackle the rides. After all, Xcelerator awaits! I don’t normally do roller coasters, but I told my friends I would go on anything they wanted to go on. Surprisingly, there was no wait time but I don’t think I will go on this again. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then this ride is for you with high speed and a 90 degree vertical climb and drop – phew! It was a bit much for me, but I’m proud of myself for going on it. Perhaps this will be my start to conquering some of my fears!

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Next up was Supreme Scream, but after Xcelerator I opted to sit this one out. The Dare Devil of our group happily went on by herself and she loved it! I’m sure if given the chance she would go on it again and again, but the rest of us already had our sights set on the next ride.

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The building, the water, the lights and the awesome new show scenes have all come together on the newly refurbished Log Ride to take this historical landmark and make it the best it has ever looked! Being a water ride, there was of course, no wait at night. This time I was the brave one and as I headed into the queue alone. No one wanted to go on with me but in the end, they missed out because I didn’t even get wet!

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Saving one of my all-time favorite rides here at Knott’s for last, we then headed over to The Calico Mine Train. Unfortunately, this ride just closed for an extensive refurbishment (like the log ride had last year) but check out the great snowflake projections on the show building. I’m excited to see the all new show scenes and new audio-animatronic figures when it reopens for summer.

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Across from The Calico Mine Train was the DJ area, featuring The Reflexx, the ultimate 80’s party band. We got a blast to the past of radical music from Depeche Mode, Flock of Seagulls, A-Ha, and more. This high energy area was packed all night and we danced to the music for as long as we could.

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Going on rides and dancing the night away makes one really hungry so it was finally time to eat. With so many options, we finally settled on BBQ chicken and ribs, corn on the cob and garlic toast…yum! Pro Tip: Eat early as some of the more famous favorite treats can and do sell out towards the end of busy nights!

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Even though we didn’t have a plan, everything seemed to work out perfectly. It was time for the New Year’s Countdown and Knott’s really went all out this year with special lighting effects on the Knott’s Sky Cabin.

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Opposite of the ball drop, the cabin rose to the top of the “K” tower to count down the final moments of 2013. When it reached the top, the 13 changed to 14 and then the fireworks began!

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Happy New Year! Happy 2014! I love fireworks and Knott’s put on a fantastic show!

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After the fireworks were over, we just had to get dessert to finish off an amazing evening. And when you’re craving desert from Knott’s, you of course have to go for what they are famous for – a funnel cake! I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than with the sweet powdery goodness of deep fried dough.

Thank you to Knott’s Berry Farm for providing complimentary entrance to their NYE Event. All opinions remain my own. Learn more at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Jason Sasaki

Jason Sasaki

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22 Comments

  1. January 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    Looks like a lot of fun. I love fireworks!

  2. January 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm — Reply

    That looks like such a fun place to visit, especially during the holiday season. I’d love to visit Knott’s Berry Farm now!

  3. January 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm — Reply

    Starting the New Year with a funnel cake??? Now, thats my kind of celebrating!!!! ;_) Knotts Berry Farm look like so much fun.

  4. January 8, 2014 at 11:24 pm — Reply

    I haven’t been to Knotts Berry Farm since I was a kid. I really want to take my kids.

  5. January 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm — Reply

    My husband loves Knotts Berry Farm. This looks like a great, wholesome theme park visit.

  6. January 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm — Reply

    You had me at funnel cake, Knotts Berry Farm! My family would love this, looks like there is so much to do. I love that they include local artists and artisans.

  7. January 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm — Reply

    New Year’s at a Theme park sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait to take my kids on a roller coaster and watch them light up with the excitement!

  8. January 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm — Reply

    That looks like such a fun time!! I have always wanted to go to Knotts Berry Farm but haven’t gotten there yet. I’m a bit jealous of the Camp Snoopy. We used to have it here at the Mall of America, but no more. :(

  9. January 8, 2014 at 6:12 pm — Reply

    What a fun way to spend New Year’s! I love roller coasters and other thrill rides, so I would love this!

  10. January 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    What a fabulous way to bring in the New Year! We’ve never been to Knott’s Berry Farm.

  11. January 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    I have never been to this place, and always thought it was a farm!! I had no clue it was like an amusement park!! Looks soooo fun!

  12. January 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm — Reply

    Never thought to spend new year’s at a theme park but it looks like it would be lots of fun! I love watching glass blowers work, as their finished products are always so unique and beautiful.

  13. January 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    This looks cool we never go anywhere for the holidays and I told the hubs we need to change that and start doing stuff for the memories. I am writing this one down on our list

  14. January 8, 2014 at 11:43 am — Reply

    I haven’t ever heard of Knotts (probably because I am stuck in Missouri) but it looks amazing. My family would love it there!

  15. January 8, 2014 at 11:38 am — Reply

    That looks like it would be so much fun! I’ve always wanted to go to places like this, but never could as a child. I hope that someday we can take our son to California (and other states, too) and visit places like Knott’s Berry Farm!

  16. January 8, 2014 at 11:35 am — Reply

    That looks like loads of fun. I would love to see the ice show.

  17. January 8, 2014 at 11:11 am — Reply

    i’ve heard about knotts forever- would love to visit! especially since i see my beloved peanuts friends

  18. January 8, 2014 at 10:12 am — Reply

    That looks like a lot of fun! I’m glad you had a good new year!

  19. January 8, 2014 at 10:11 am — Reply

    Knotts Berry Farm is on my bucket list of places that I’d love to visit someday! It looks like you had a blast!

  20. January 8, 2014 at 9:37 am — Reply

    oh wow that is so neat, I love this brand I didn’t know they had a park! Wish I lived closer!

  21. January 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm — Reply

    What a fun way to spend New Year’s Eve! I would enjoy the folk music and pie. Not sure if my stomach can handle roller coasters anymore. But we’ll see because I miss hitting theme parks! :)

  22. January 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Looks like a ton of fun. Will definitely have to visit there one day. And that funnel cake looks delish!

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