Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knotts Berry Farm

Each trip to California we try to do something new, something to make this trip stand out from past trips. I know it seems as if once we get to California, all we do is go to Disneyland.

Going to Disneyland is easy. We don't even need a rental car. Our hotel is a half mile walk from the main gate. Once we purchase our Annual Passes, there are very few expenses associated with a day at Disneyland. Plus we always enjoy catching up with friends, some of whom feel like family after all these years.

This trip was destined to be different. For the first time since 2005, we did not get an Annual Pass. Instead, we opted for a 6-day pass, but we were in California for 8 days. That meant we had two days of either staring at Disneyland from the balcony of our hotel room, or hopping in the rental car and going someplace else.

You'll be happy to know, we went someplace else AND had a terrific time.

We spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm -- America's Oldest Amusement Park. At Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant (where we had chicken dinners, of course), we learned Knott's was the start of many other firsts in the theme park world:
  • 1939: the country's first theme park souvenir shiop
  • 1973: World's first amusement park Halloween event
  • 1983: Camp Snoopy became the first area in any amusement park solely for those under 12

Those of you who have spent a day with us at Disney know we hardly ever ride any attractions. At Knott's we only saw three characters: Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and Schroeder. Yes, there was a point when we though we've only been here for any hour, what are we going to do with ourselves? You see, even though Don and I were once members of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), Ashley does not agree with our excitement over riding coasters, even though she was tall enough to ride most of them.

I really loved riding the Pony Express. This is the first time I have been in a seat the shape of a horse. Don liked the ride, too. Ashley felt the seat was too uncomfortable. It was not designed for a 49 inch person.

Don was eyeing up rides that looked too adventuresome for me, so Ashley and I wandered around Camp Snoopy, where she enjoyed the bounce house, and saw a couple of not very exciting shows (nothing can compare with "Aladdin" at California Adventure). The park was dead -- which meant very few lines and therefore we really felt as though we saw everything and rode everything we wanted to within a couple of hours.

Don meets up with us and tells us he found a ride Ashley would like. It is a bit more exciting than Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountain (both Disneyland rides she does like) but not as overwhelming as Ghost Rider -- the "longest wildest roller coaster in the west." It is called Jaguar.

She LOVED it! She wanted to go on it again, and again, and again, and again. We saw the sunset from Jaguar. We practically closed the park from Jaguar. We might have even convinced her to try other coasters in other theme parks.

I still think her favorite part, though, was watching this woman tat. The lady swears it is easy to make lace, tedious but easy. Who knows, maybe Ashley will learn a new old craft. She sure loves her history.

Time will tell if we will return. For now, we are glad we went to Knott's Berry Farm -- finally!

Knott's Berry Farm:
American Coaster Enthusiasts:

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