SFMM or Knotts Berry Farm?

Sunday, December 18, 2005 2:04 PM
I am going on a trip to Los Angeles, CA the week after Christmas and I have the choice of either going to Six Flags Magic Mountain or Knotts Berry Farm. I used to work at Cedar Point, so I have more *faith* in Knotts as far as rides being open, but I hear SFMM has a better selection of rides. I would love to go to both, but I will only have one day at either! Basically I am asking which do you recommend going to?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 2:40 PM
Personally I had a better time at SFMM, but I know that was only because of the terrible crowd that came to Knott's the day I was there. Line jumping was rampant (7 people in 5 minutes in line at Ghost Rider right in front of me).

I really enjoyed the park, but unfortunately the crowd ruined it for me. On the contrary, SFMM was empty and I had a very nice time, though the park was pretty run down in areas. The park (excluding queues) was clean(er than knotts) and I spent 4 hours there (to 10 at knotts) and got everything in the park done except for X (closed). It was just an all in all better day, but Knotts is the better park I'd say.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by CP, SFOT, and Disneyland. Who knows.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 3:41 PM
No SFMM much better
Sunday, December 18, 2005 3:58 PM
SFMM has a better selection of rides, however I have found many of them to be closed when I visit. Knotts is a nice place to be, but the ride selection isn't the same. I would go to SFMM, but I would say you will have a better overall expereince at Knotts.
Sunday, December 18, 2005 6:02 PM
I always recommend Magic Mountain to friends that visit from out of state. That's because most of the time in the past, when I've taken visitors to Knott's AND Magic Mountain, I always get the response that Magic Mountain was much more fun and enjoyable - so that's what I recommend now if they have one day to spare at a local park.

And I know this is going to come up, but I really have to tell it to you as it is from someone who calls both parks home (I'm sandwiched 40 minutes both ways from Knott's and Magic Mountain): The whole talk about Knott's having "more atmosphere" has some validity in it (although it dimishes year after year) but are you coming out of state to ride rides or to see Christmas decorations at an amusement park?

And there is always that misconception that Magic Mountain rides are frequently down, and you really don't have to worry about the major coasters being down. I have yet to visit the park and see X closed for the entire day for some reason. Maybe I'm just lucky. Some rides are currently being rehabbed (Circus Wheel) - and Revolution is closed because of Tatsu's construction. And we all know the situation with Flashback. ;)

Monday, December 19, 2005 6:56 AM
I would say Knott's but not at least for a month because of winter repairs. Currently Montezooma's Revenge's clutch is being replaced along with the flywheel. So definately SFMM, because what would a trip to Knott's be without being able to ride Montezooma's Revenge. I can't possibly imagine.
Monday, December 19, 2005 8:18 AM
Right now I'd go to SFMM because of the Tatsu construction. But I would love to ride Siver Bullet.
Monday, December 19, 2005 10:02 AM
It depends. If you are a true coaster enthusiast and only go to the parks to ride coasters, then I would say Magic Mountain. People who go just to ride tend to get bored quickly at Knotts as stated in several trip reports on the forum.

If you are a PARK enthusiast and see more to theme parks than coasters, I would say Knotts all the way. It's my choice whenever I go out to Southern California. If you really take your time and immerse yourself in Knotts you will be far more rewarded than a visit to Magic Mountain where you have to deal with closed rides, rude staff and a missing ambiance.

Monday, December 19, 2005 11:49 AM
Exactly. SFMM is great if you want to score a bunch of coaster credits and little else in the way of enjoyment. Knott's is great if you're looking for a kick-ass wooden coaster and a very solid collection of steel coasters (even if one is down for repairs- not like all the coasters at SFMM will be running, either). Also, Knott's has great atmosphere and I didn't experience any of the well-publicized line jumping when we went in June 2004. It's like comparing McDonalds to a meal at a nice restaurant- just because one is super-sized doesn't mean that it's going to taste better.
Monday, December 19, 2005 12:08 PM
I went through the exact same situation a couple of years ago, and looking back on it-I'd say do Knotts. I was at SFMM for about 8 hours and was only able to hit 6 coasters due to closures and long lines.

Needless to say I was just a tad bit dissapointed.

Monday, December 19, 2005 12:38 PM
Just wake up and decide on the day you're going. You won't have a bad time at either place. I mean, c'mon, there are coasters at both, so I'm sure you'll keep yourself occupied, and no one here could really tell you what your opinion would be.

Both parks are at least worth it for the first time visit, then when you go back, you'll know which one you want to go back to ;).

Monday, December 19, 2005 1:27 PM
See, I figured that would be the case at SFMM (coasters=fun) but it didn't turn out that way. Flashback and Superman were closed. Goliath, Scream, Ninja and Goldrusher had no lines but there were long ones for Batman, Viper and Revolution and unbelievable ones for X and Riddler's Revenge (the best "original" coaster at the park IMHO). The wood coasters had no lines but it didn't take long to figure out why- both were pure, undeniable crap. The food was lackluster, the employees indifferent and the grounds a mess (dirty midways, overflowing trash cans, etc.) Knotts, on the other hand, was near-spotless and despite heavy crowds, was downright bearable. But your mileage may vary...

If you're not so interested in scoring tons of coaster credits, why not check out the best park in the area- Disneyland? That place left me speechless, and that was before all the improvements the park has undergone in the past year leading up to the 50th anniversary celebration.

Monday, December 19, 2005 1:31 PM
^ Couldn't agree more about DL, Rob....having visited MK many times growing up, my expectations were to find a very similar experience at DL...

What I found was far more enjoyable, and VERY different, from the FL park(s)...Disney's parks are very well *diversified*, IMO...

Monday, December 19, 2005 1:37 PM

Just flip a coin. It will make life easier. ;-)


Monday, December 19, 2005 1:38 PM
That's my suggestion too... if you're not that interested in scoring a lot of credits, go to DL instead! You're sure the park will be well operated, the rides open, food good, etc. and they have a few interesting coasters too.
Monday, December 19, 2005 1:52 PM
I know what you mean, Bill. I "grew up" going to WDW and I didn't know what to expect when we went out to California. Some people said that Disneyland was much better than Florida's Magic Kingdom but there was always a fairly loud group that claimed it was the "lesser" park (older, smaller, more crowded, etc.) I was pleasantly surprised!

I think both parks have their pros and cons- Disneyland is much more condensed but I think it has a fantastic atmosphere because of the way so much is squeezed into one little area. Disneyland has the Matterhorn, Indiana Jones and a version of Pirates that is far superior to the already-fantastic Florida version. But the Magic Kingdom has the Carousel of Progress and a completely different Space Mountain, not to mention a lot more elbow room for people when the crowds get heavy. And the Magic Kingdom shares billing with three other Disney theme parks and two waterparks while Disneyland is complimented only by DCA (a nice park but no match for Epcot or Animal Kingdom.)

In the end, I'm happy to have both to travel to!

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:18 PM
I too was suprised with Disneyland. I've never been to WDW, but my brother and sister have. They loved it, but my sister always felt the same as I did, that Disneyland would be kind of run down, older, not fun, etc.

Disneyland Hooked me, even with Splash Mountain and Space Mountain closed, and not getting to ride a couple more rides I wanted to ride.

Indy was wonderful, and everything was super spotless. I also loved Pirates and Haunted Mansion. People can complain about Disneyland all they want, but it is superior to pretty much everything else in SoCal in my opinion. Having DCA with Tower of Terror is a good thing as well.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:24 PM
I visited both parks last month and left Knotts in boredom after 3 hours. Both Silver Bullet and Xcelerator were closed. Ghostrider is a good woodie, but the 1 train op and having to walk round the long queue everytime eat in to my rerides. I don't ride Boomerangs as I hate them, and I'm sorry but I dont see what all the fuss is about Montezoomas. Perilous Plunge was good but loading times are worse than X and Deja Vu, and Supereme Scream, yawn, done rides like that before. As for the flats, Riptide and La Revolution are good, but the ride cycles are crap compared to the ones I'm used to in Europe.

As for SFMM. There were 2 trains on everything that can run 2 except X. I have never seen all this trash people keep going on about. Yes Flashback was closed, but its a heap of crap and people would only complain about it if it runnig anyway. And as I was told by Cedar Point guest services when I complained that Top Thrill Dragster was down - "Go ride one of the parks other 15 coasters."

SFMM is nicely landscaped which people always seem to overlook, most of the queues have lots of trees as opposed to knotts which is pretty much concrete jungle like all Cedar Fair parks. And the themeing isn't bad at SFMM, but I do like Knott's Ghost Town.

X is simply the best roller coaster on the planet and I've ridden 601, its unlike anything else and blows me away each time. Even thogh I had to wait 2 hrs 30 minutes for my night ride and it was freezing cold in my t-shirt, it was worth every minute of it.

I'm not saying Knott's is a bad park, but SFMM has far more thrills, and its not just about coasters, they have good water rides there as well, and a nice bugs bunny world. Yes the staff are crap, but Knotts aren't extactly the best either, although there were one or two good ones on my last visit.

Anyway, that's all folks. Merry Xmas and ride lots of coaster sin the new year, I intend to.

P.s. I enjoyed my visit to Disneyland as well, which was strange because I didn't like iot when i was a kid, lol.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:48 PM
I did think that SFMM had some nice landscaping but it didn't stick out in my mind- perhaps that's because all the bad things were causing me to forget about all the good things. I do recall a lot of trees and that is always a good thing.

Interesting opinion of X, especially because I consider it one of the worst steel rides in existence. Rough, jerky, painful... I could go on and on but I don't want to sound like I'm purposely trying to contradict you. I just find it odd- and interesting- how different people can view the same ride in completely different ways!

Between Disneyland and DCA, I think there is an excellent collection of rides that are unmatched. Tower or Terror, Soarin', Grizzly River Rapids, California Screamin' and Tough to be a Bug are all great attractions that do a good job of complimenting what's already in Disneyland. While not the best Disney park, I didn't find an abundance of things to complain about. Seems to me that most Disney fanatics are WAY more critical than most general amusement park fanatics. I think DCA will only get better with the current improvements to the theming, the Monsters Inc darkride and the few other rumored attractions I've been hearing of.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:51 PM
Having never been to Magic Mountain or Knott's in the last 10 years I can't really weigh in on which is better. I'm heading out to LA next Monday and am fortunate enough to spend a week. So I get to hit MM, Knott's, Disneyland, DCA, and Universal. And I have to admit I'm more excited about returning to Disneyland than going to any of the other parks. I went there 10 years ago and IMHO found it to be far superior to the Magic Kingdom.

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