2020 Ultimate Guide to Knott's Berry Farm (on a Budget!)
Let’s say you’re feeling an Orange County theme park with a little less mouse. Your obvious option is Knott’s Berry Farm—close enough to Anaheim, more thrilling rides, a fraction of the price of a Disney day. This much is inherent—but what about additional savings not just from being spared the Disney tax? In this post we’re going over our tips on how to maximize savings and enjoy the most of your day at Knott’s without breaking the bank.
Park Tickets: unlike Disneyland or Universal Hollywood, park tickets do not usually comprise the largest per-person expense per day. While list price for tickets can be as high as $70+ (like Disney, Knott’s does include seasonal pricing that varies with expected crowds), most people can get Good-Any-Day advanced purchase tickets valid through the entire calendar year for $62. Even better, planning around the crowd calendar can yield tickets as low as $46 on off-peak days.
In addition to these baseline ticket savings, Knott’s participates in many school and employee organizations’ discount-ticket programs, so it does not hurt to ask your employer or check with your kids’ college. Furthermore, certain careers are celebrated with free admission during select times of year that includes a plus-one – for example, first responders gain this benefit during select weeks in January (with the third-eighth tickets at a discount $36/each). Military personnel also get exclusive year-round discounts. Knott’s has also been known for frequent coupons spotted on soda cans and promotions with grocery chains.
Finally, there are season pass options that frequently offer no-brainer deals; at just over $100 you can get passes that include perks such as unlimited free parking (normally $20), a free ticket for a friend, and dining and merch discounts.
Attractions: unlike Disneyland’s Fastpass, the FastLane priority line pass is not included with your park ticket and costs $70 for a day and $500 to add to a season pass, not including admission. Our recommendation to hit short lines on a budget is to come on a lower-tiered admission day (think: weekday in the school year) and avoid the FastLane option.
Merchandise: the bargain season passes do offer some discounts, but again, minimizing in-park spending is key. For younger children, scoring some Peanuts-themed plushes or clothing online before your trip (to be given day-of) can go a long way in cutting your same-day expenses.
Dining: while the classic ‘pack some snacks and splurge on special treats’ advice holds as true here as other SoCal theme parks, Knott’s’ dining options are less exciting than their Anaheim and Hollywood counterparts, therefore PB+J’s won’t be as huge of a sacrifice. The bargain season passes do offer discounts for infrequent visitors who are fans of fair/park food, and thus remain our rec even for someone planning to visit just a few days. For visitors planning to come more often, Knott’s offers a rarely-advertised All Season Dining Plan, which for $119 tacks on a full lunch and dinner included on your Season Pass every time you visit for the year.
Bottom Line? You or a member of your party has a high likelihood of qualifying for discounted tickets, but if not, off-peak days, and more often than not, a Season Pass (+/- Dining) is your key to savings year-round at Knott’s.