February 17, 2018

USA: Knott’s Berry Farm’s surprisingly scary rides

If you love rides, you’ll probably be all about heading to Disneyland when you visit LA, but actually, the innocuous sounding Knott’s Berry Farm will have you gasping for breath and begging to get off some of the scariest roller coasters and rides in the world!

Knott’s Berry Farm started in Orange County California as a berry farm and is where the boysenberry was first propagated. Who knew?! Cutely there is still a berry farm on site and an olde worlde shop where you can buy jams including the aforementioned boysen.

There is a wild west themed train where the faint hearted should prepare to have their britches shunted off when armed bandits break into your carriage. Fun if you’re expecting it. A pant-ruiner if you’re not.

But that’s all the just the side show to the monster rides that have proven to be too scary for me. I have tried some of them and others I just stand and stare round-eyed at the screaming punters wishing they were standing round-eyed with me.

Take the Supreme Scream, which I stupidly went on. The name is really misleading. It was so fast and so terrifying it rendered me speechless. Screamless. Gasping for a gulp of air during the 45-second duration. It’s a vertical rocket launch ride with shoots you on your seat 77m into the air in three seconds with speeds maxing out at 80kph, you suspend weightless for a moment in time where I swear I could see the curvature of the earth as I looked for my stomach somewhere below, then down we rushed for a bounce which took us halfway up the tower again before it all ended. (At the time of writing this ride is closed for maintenance).

Knotts Berry Farm supreme scream ride

Supremely screaming!

After that moment I was no where near game to get on the Xcelerator The Ride which is the fastest roller coaster in the park. I stood and watched people’s faces slip off as they were shot out of the gate reaching 130kph in 2.3 seconds, then hurtling 90 degrees straight down where they can gather their features again before spinning away.

A new ride, HangTime, is due to open in summer 2018 and will have the steepest drop in California with twists and turns featuring a negative-g stall loop. Apparently that means you’ll feel weightless. Personally I’d rather float sedately in a pool for that feeling, but this ride ensures Knott’s Berry Farm is on the list for extreme theme park junkies.

Knotts Berry roller coaster

Renderings of the new HangTime ride opening summer 2018

But for the rest of the family, the Peanuts characters call Knott’s home, there’s tamer rides too that soak you (and then you can stand in front of full body dryers if you want to), plus kid-friendly ones.

But food was the original drawcard to this park that is nearly 100 years old and each March the Boysenberry Festival takes place.

It’s a cool story: Walter and Cordelia Knott originally bought the farm in 1920, and in 1928 in the midst of the Depression they bought more land and built a 25m tea-room, berry market and nursery where berry plants were sold. Walter worked on propagating the loganberry, raspberry and blackberry from the scraggly vines that Anaheim Parks Superintendent Rudolph Boysen had been working on. He finally hit success, named the new berry after him and today every boysenberry in the world can be traced back to Knott’s Berry Farm.

In 1934 Cordelia served eight fried chicken dinners on her wedding china and now they serve chicken to 1.5 million diners a year at their chicken restaurant here in the park.

Click on this link to find out more about Knott’s Berry Farm next time you’re headed to Anaheim!

About Megan Singleton


Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio every week and a few newspapers and mags from time to time. I set off on this travel writing journey 18 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

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