Knott's Peanuts Celebration
January and February are typically slow months at the theme parks. This time of year, was just ripe for a new celebration at Knott’s Berry Farm to give guests another reason to visit. The Knott’s Berry Farm Peanuts Celebration is an all-new festival celebrating Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the entire Peanuts Gang. Charles Schulz’s beloved characters have been a staple at Knott’s since the 1980’s, and have since been introduced to all Cedar Fair owned parks. This “Season of Fun” fits in perfectly to the calendar year, which includes the Boysenberry Festival during Spring Break, Ghost Town Alive during the summer, Spooky/Scary Farm in the Fall, and Merry Farm during the holidays. Disneyland continues to draw record crowds basing attractions off of mass-market intellectual properties such as Frozen, Marvel and Star Wars. Universal continues to build technologically advanced rides that incorporate motion simulations and 3D effects. While Knott’s cannot compete on those levels, they have found their niche in the marketplace by adding these “Seasons of Fun,” that not only drive passholders and regulars to come back time and time again, but offer diverse entertainment and food offerings that entice people of all ages to make a visit to the historic park. No one does Halloween better than Knott’s (during the day, or at night). Merry Farm offers a hometown, cozy celebration that everyone loves. The culinary creations at the Boysenberry Festival impress the finickiest of eaters. Ghost Town Alive has won industry awards. So, the Peanuts Celebration had a lot to live up to! Did it? Heck yeah Between the decorations, photo ops, live shows, and character interactions, an entire day was spent just on the new activities! Upon entering the park, guests are greeted with cute photo ops, straight out of the comic strips. These proved to be very popular, as there were lines the entire day! Throughout the entire park, kites have been placed in all of the trees… a cute, and unexpected homage to Charlie Brown. Banners and decorations adorn the entire park. Each area offers something a bit different. Personally, the Fiesta Village banners were a favorite. In Camp Snoopy, thought bubbles with some of the Peanuts most iconic sayings have been placed strategically on the light posts, making great opportunities for a selfie, or group photo. Characters await your arrival throughout the area, not just in their usual photo spot. Make sure and hop aboard the Grand Sierra Scenic Railroad. The train ride offers a trip around “Beagle Bonanza.” Cute displays and dioramas depict a carnival-like atmosphere where “all dogs are allowed.” This was such a great addition. Even a few of the lesser-known Peanuts characters appear along the tracks (some even this self-proclaimed Peanuts fanatic had never heard of). In Ghost Town, Pig Pen has been added to the family. He welcomes you to “Pig Pen’s Pig Pen,” inside the barn on
Main Street. Inside, see cute piglets, and other animals. While you are there, make sure to say “hello” to him and take a photo. Rumor is that Pig Pen will only be around during the celebration, so see him while you can!
In the Boardwalk, a surprise visit by the Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Sally happens randomly. The crew arrives by a musical trolley that makes a stop in front of Johnny Rockets for a pop-up dance party, then moves to the front of the fountain where pennies were handed out to make a wish! This was one of the highlights of the day. Despite that fact, the showtimes are not on the schedule, and we had to ask almost a dozen different staff members when it was happening. Luckily, we spotted management from Entertainment who were standing around waiting for the trolley to arrive. We knew we were in the right place at the right time! In terms of other live entertainment, there are multiple options. “Lucy’s Balancing Act” is a brand new high-energy show in the Camp Snoopy Theatre that promotes putting down your electronics and engaging in a bit of exercise. The host was hilarious, and Lucy is quite the enthusiastic “pain.” The kids loved it. They were dancing in the aisles, and smiles were on everyone’s faces. Inside of the Bird Cage Theatre, you are invited to attend Sketch School and learn how to draw your favorite Peanuts character. During our session, Linus was the chosen character. Having done something similar during Spooky Farm, I was impressed how much better my Linus turned out than my Snoopy. The art session is followed by the showing of a classic Peanuts cartoon. Across the midway at the Town Hall, a mini Charles Schulz museum has been set up documenting the history of the characters and the comic strip. For more comic strip fun, walk along the construction walls in the Boardwalk.
In Calico Park, Franklin and Linus host a variety of games and activities for the little ones throughout the day. When we stopped by, a themed version of musical chairs was taking place. It was nice to see Franklin engaging in an activity in the park. He is usually only out periodically for photos. In Fiesta Village, Lucy and Sally show off their skills after learning traditional Ballet Folklorico dances. The dancing was pretty impressive, as was the host of the show, and the guitar player. This was a huge hit, as there was a sizable crowd dancing along. On the new Calico Stage, “The Music Does Round and Around,” is a tribute to music from several genres. Sally, Schroeder, and Snoopy take to the stage, while their non-comic counterparts perform the medley of songs. Once again, the talent on stage was incredibly impressive, delivery amazing vocals. This show is performed during the day. At night, on the same stage, Woodstock’s Music Festival features the band “Jelly of the Month Club.” This show was the perfect end to a fun-filled day. Their music is entertaining, interactive, and educational. With silly lyrics, and amazing beats, their performance entertained everyone in the crowd. One song involving a dolphin, with Snoopy translating, was absolutely hysterical. The show is high-energy, loud, and a whole lot of fun. The Knott’s culinary team and bakers also offer a wide selection of delicious desserts during the festival. From Fruit Loops crispy treats, to peanut butter funnel cakes, and too many cookies and cupcakes to mention, bring your sweet tooth, and come on an empty stomach. Make sure and try a “Charlie Brownie!” One question though… where was Woodstock? He wasn’t on stage during his own show, or anywhere to be found walking around the park. Despite the lack of Woodstock’s physical presence, this first-time event knocked it out of the park. Guests were having a great time, and the smiles on the kids faces at all of the shows and interactions proved the creative team behind the event has a winner on its hands. Capturing the spirit of the Peanuts, while making them relatable to today’s generation without sacrificing what they were all about is no easy task, and Knott’s managed that with ease. I cannot wait to return next weekend! Note: The Peanuts Celebration runs weekends through the end of February, as well as President's Day.
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