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More Renovations in Store at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is going into 2024 with more renovations and upgrades in the works for the Buena Park theme park, which hit the 100-year mark in 2021.

Last year, the resort finished renovations of its Fiesta Village area with restaurant makeovers, new store merchandise and menu options, ride upgrades and other updates.

The theme park’s parent company, entertainment company Cedar Fair LP (NYSE: FUN), also started a $25 million renovation of the park’s 322-room hotel, renamed the Knott’s Hotel, to incorporate more design influences from the founding Knott family and the history of the amusement park.

This year, Knott’s is revisiting an area dedicated to the Peanuts comic strip characters, which are found in many of the parks within Cedar Fair’s portfolio.

Project Manager Ken Parks said that the 6-acre site, known as Camp Snoopy, is currently geared toward children riding the attractions by themselves. The planned updates will allow families to participate side by side.

“This current reimagining comes from listening to the guests who have wanted to experience the area together,” Parks told the Business Journal.

Storytelling Focus

Parks was previously the vice president of entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm from 2016 to 2021, until joining Cedar Fair as corporate director of creative development. He now works with the experience, design and creative studio of the entertainment firm to develop new lands and attractions across the parent company’s 13 properties.

“There’s been an increase in storytelling at Knott’s since 2016, and we’re focused on creating a narrative for all of its spaces,” Parks said.

A new family roller coaster, three rethemed rides, a renovated theater and a new lookout terrace will all debut this May.

“We’re looking to get back to Walter Knott’s initial vision,” he said.

Last Rides

The planning for the Peanuts-themed area took around two years, and the final design was completed in September.

Knott’s plans to keep the site as operational as possible during construction to avoid a complete shutdown.

A handful of rides in the area have already closed, such as the 1983 Huff and Puff train track. Updates to other rides will include the park’s first electric locomotive.

Knott’s Berry Farm had 3.9 million attendees in 2022, up 6% from the year before, according to Themed Entertainment Association’s global attractions attendance report.
By comparison, Disneyland brought in about 16.9 million visitors in 2022, while California Adventure saw attendance of 9 million, according to the report.

Changes

Change is coming to ownership of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Cedar Fair, currently valued at $1.9 billion, last November announced it would merge with Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX), based in Arlington, Texas. The deal is expected to close in the next few months.

The transaction will create a combined portfolio of 42 parks and nine resorts which will operate under the name Six Flags and the “FUN” ticker symbol. Cedar Fair Chief Executive Richard Zimmerman will remain in the top role of the newly integrated company with the Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul becoming chairman of the new board.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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