Knott's Berry Farm on Travel Channel

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 12:41 AM
"John Ratzenberger's Made In America" just featured a nice little segment on the history of America's first theme park.

The segment showed some of the rides, including their Boomerang, (which they showed when discussing Knott's having the first steel looper/or looper in general, as Corkscrew is no longer there). The main focus though, was on the history of the park, and how it started, as a way to entertain customers waiting to eat at the now famous restaurant.

I've never been to Knott's, but would love to go one of these days.

Anyone else see the show?


Wednesday, December 29, 2004 3:07 AM
Knott's Berry Farm is REALLY Fun!!! I'm from NYC, and used to places like Great Adventure, so when I went there, the place was AMAZING, and cutting edge rides too, Perilous Plunge was AMAZING, BIG splash, I was a little wary about restraints on a water ride, but it turned out to be good, not to mention the other rides, like Ghost Rider, Xcelerator, Boomerang, etc. It is so worth the wait, especially with all the Boysenberry products they have, I have NEVER tried boysenberry till I went to Knott's, Boysenberry Punch, Boysenberry Pie, you name it, I tried it at Knott's, and I LOVED it...The only park on the East Coast the BEST resembles Knott's Berry, would have to be HersheyPark, that's in my opinion, I'm going WAY off topic, hahaha, I say that, because, they both have a Rocket coaster, a GOOD wooden coaster, and most importantly a mainstaple food item, Knott's Boysenberry, Hershey, CHOCOLATE...Anywayz, didn't catch the Travel Channel special, but I know it must've been good.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 6:00 AM
Did Cliff Claven (Ratzenberger's Cheers character) actually say that KBF was the first theme park?

I thought I had heard that Holiday World (originally Santa Claus Land) was the first theme park when it opened in 1946.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 6:42 AM
I haven't seen the segment on Knott's yet but I will check it out.

I actually like that show. :-)


Wednesday, December 29, 2004 7:28 AM
.. if you like videos that show the origins of things (this one being how KBF Haunt), I HIGHLY recomend "Season of Screams". It goes back to the very first Haunt at Knott's and shows how things have evolved and gives you a pretty good behind the scenes look at things.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 10:15 AM
wasnt the parks in coney island the first theme parks. werent they open in like 1906 ? Also probably the first amusement parks too.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 10:28 AM
Nuts, i was watching Made in America last night and all i saw was Remo drums, crayola, and something else. sounds like a missed a good show... :(
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 10:52 AM
I don't know if I'd ever call Coney Island a theme park...Amusement park? Yes....
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:01 AM
Although there weren't any mechanical rides then (I believe you could take stagecoach rides), Knott's Ghosttown opened before 1946. So as long as you still consider it a theme park without the mechanical rides, it was the first theme park. *** Edited 12/29/2004 4:02:30 PM UTC by Blaster_1578***
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 1:49 PM
Coney island had theme parks. example
Coney island was a whole bunch of different parks

Dreamland amusement park opened in 1904 wich was a theme park.

here are some of the others and the times they opened at coney island

# 1895 - Sea Lion amusement park opens
# 1897 - Steeplechase amusement park opens
# 1903 - Luna Park opens & the Bowery burns

MAny of these parks at coney island had themes to them. wouldnt these be considered theme parks?

Thursday, December 30, 2004 10:38 AM
Storytown USA (now known as Great Escape) also makes a claim for being the first "theme" park. It opened in 1954.

This gets into how one defines a "theme park." I ain't touchin' it. ;)

Thursday, December 30, 2004 11:38 AM
I agree Dreaming...hell if people can't agree on whether or not SFMM's Superman is a coaster, trying to determine what defines a Theme Park would be impossible. ;)
Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:17 PM
According to some of the videos I have here at home HW was the first "Theme" park, opening even before Disneyland. But HW was not the first "amusement" park, that honor probably would belong to Coney, Luna, or Dreamland.

Talking about how rides were put in at KBF early on to give people something to do while waiting to eat at the restaurant, I wonder if there couldn't be a separate classification for those type parks. Meaning rides at parks like KBF weren't the destination back then, they were for killing time.

Similarly, on one of my videos, "Great Old Amusement Parks", places like Whalom Park, for one, rides weren't the destination, necessarily. Rides were put in at Whalom to encourage people to ride the trains on weekends back then.

Parks like Dollywood, today, seem to keep some of that tradition alive today. If you're going there to ride rides alone, you're going to be disappointed. There's a lot more history than anything in that park.

Hope this makes sense!

Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:26 PM
By the way, wouldn't the definition of a theme park be as simple as a park following a specific theme, whatever that theme may be.


Disneyland/Disneyworld - Mickey Mouse & Walt's many other creations.

California Adventure - Not so much Mickey, but all the things that make California's a celebration of the state.

Holiday World - Each area recognizes a major holiday in american life, (Christmas, 4th of July, and Halloween). Though it was just originally Christmas.

Dollywood - Celebrates Dolly Parton's life and the things she loves most.

Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:36 PM
Knott's Ghost Town opened quite a few years before either HW or Storytown were built, in the late thirties, early forties as I recall. It was indeed a "themed attraction" by current definition, and therefore can be considered the first theme park.
Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:51 PM
As you recall?? I didn't think you were THAT old Dutchman! ;)
Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:53 PM
Lately I feel like it Janfrederick!
Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:45 PM
By the way, I don't know that I'd even give Knott's full credit because as long as there have been travellers, there have been roadside attractions trying to make a buck off them.

Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:47 PM
True, but not to the extent that Walter Knott did.

Thursday, December 30, 2004 10:58 PM
Dorney lists it's official start as 1884, just FYI. I forget Cedar Point's offhand, but I think I remember reading that it was in the 1800s as well.

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