Six Flags Magic Mountain or Knotts Berry Farms

Carrie M.'s avatar

I was thinking the same thing, LK. No one can really say which is "better" than the other. If you haven't been to either, then you can't lose by choosing one. It will be a new experience either way.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Jennifer, Southern Cal schools are on Spring Break right now, until 4/19, and either park you go to will probably be packed. If you go to SFMM on a weekend, I would recommend getting a Q-bot if you can. Get there before they open, go directly to the left side of the park and ride X2, then come back to the entrance plaza and get a Q-bot. X2, Tatsu, Goliath, and Riddler's Revenge always have the longest lines when the park is crowded. If you go to Knott's, ride GhostRider first. It almost always has the longest line in the park. Silver Bullet can get a long line on crowded days too, but the line moves very fast. I went to Knotts during Spring Break in 2005. Later in the day, GhostRider had a 2 hour line, but Silver Bullet was only 30 mins.

Since you describe yourself as a coaster junkie, it is a no-brainer to go to SFMM over Knott's. Knott's has better flats, better shows, better atmosphere, etc., but if you just want one of the best coaster collections you will ever find go to SFMM.

Also, the Mooseburger Lodge at SFMM has a great all you can eat buffet for $11.99. Panda Express has a 2 item combo with a regular drink included for $10.62. Those are by far the largest meals you will find for a fairly reasonable price.

Edit: Forgot to mention, if you have a choice go to SFMM on Sunday. Sundays are usually way less crowded than Saturdays. The last 4 Sunday trips I have made have not been crowded. However every time I have been to SFMM or KBF during Spring Break they have been more crowded than during Summer Vacation.

Last edited by SFMMAddict,

My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437

I visited both parks a couple of years ago, and while MM has a much better coaster collection, Knott's was by far the better park. I do give MM credit though, as it was much nicer than I was expecting it to be, although I did have pretty low expectations. Surprisingly, the only coasters that were closed during my visit were X, Ninja, Psychlone (defunct) and Flashback (defunct). I managed to do every (open) coaster in about 3 hours, but the park was completely dead the two days I was there. It took me the better part of a day to do everything at Knott's, although they were somewhat crowded and I took time for flats and shows.

If you're only looking for coasters though I would go with MM. Also, to reiterate what someone said about the traffic, it's completely insane. I had a hotel right by Knott's and it took us just over an hour to drive to MM in light traffic, but it took us nearly 4 hours to drive back in rush hour traffic.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Hi all, thanks for all the helpful information! :)

Someone asked where I was going to be, I believe... my seminar is at the Westside Conference Center in Los Angeles. I found out that I should be able to get a free day so I'm hoping to fly out of PA next Thursday and arrive in CA some time on Thursday. I'll have Friday free to go to some park. Saturday I finish up the seminar at 6 and could technically head to a park then for a few hours. I'm not sure if I'll be going home Sunday or Monday yet, but if I fly out Sunday, then I'm done with park time. If I'm not flying home until Monday, then I could visit another one on Sunday.

Someone said Disneyland... I thought about it, but I have season passes to Six Flags and a Platinum pass to Cedar Fair parks and figured I'd get the most use out of them. :)

This coming weekend I'm headed to Virginia on Friday and going to Kings Dominion on Saturday for my birthday... right now they are calling for rain the day we're going, but I don't care, I need my KD fix! I love that place!!

Mamoosh's avatar

Westside Conference Center? YIKES! That's at the Howard Hughes Parkway exit on I-405. Of all the freeways in Los Angeles the 405 is the most congested, especially on the westside from LAX to the San Fernando Valley. I'm not just talking about weekdays...I often find heavy traffic on the 405 on weekends too.

Good luck, Jennifer! Remember to allow yourself LOTS of driving time.

Oh Fun, so I should leave at 7 AM? lol

I hate traffic!

Mamoosh's avatar

Well the good news is that from the conference center to SFMM it's about 40 miles. Weekend morning traffic shouldn't be too bad but at SFMM you'll also have to contend with all the cars in line to pay for parking. I would leave 90 mins prior to park opening. If traffic is light and it only takes you 40 mins to make it to Magic Mountain Parkway stop at one of the fast-food joints and grab a quick bite to eat.

As I said before: better to be early and have to wait then be late.

Soggy's avatar

If you are headed North on the 405 in the morning, that's going the opposite way as most of the traffic. So I don't think it will be THAT bad. Although Moosh is right, West side 405 traffic has the potential of being bad 24/7, there's no predicting when there'll be some dork changing a tire on the side of the road, that alone will create a 5 mile backup.

Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

Mamoosh's avatar

The construction to add a carpool lane along that stretch of 405 doesn't help either. But yes, typically the south-bound traffic is worse.

EDIT - thanks for catching the typo, Bill :)

Last edited by Mamoosh,
rollergator's avatar

I know it was a typo, but the phrase "carpool land" makes me think they need another themed area for at least one of those SoCal parks... :)

If you fly home Sunday, you could to to SFMM on Friday and go to KBF after your seminar on Saturday. KBF is usually crowded on Saturdays, but you could go and just try to do as much as you can in about 3 hours since you have never been there.

If you fly home Monday, I would suggest that you go to KBF on Friday and SFMM on Sunday. Next Friday (4/17) SFMM is only open until 6:00. I don't know why, but those are short hours for Spring Break. On 4/19, they are open until 8:00. Normally, I would suggest going on the weekday if you have a choice, but during Spring Break, all bets are off. If possible, in this case I think Sunday would be better. KBF is a good park too. But for a coaster junkie (like myself) your priority should be to maximize your time at SFMM. For coasters, SFMM beats KBF easily. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I have season passes to both SFMM and KBF. I enjoy both parks, but not for exactly the same reasons. As a coaster junkie myself, SFMM is my favorite, as you may have guessed by my screen name.

My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437

I hate to imagine the bloodshed that will ensue when KBFAddict shows up on this site . . . ;)

My author website:

ApolloAndy's avatar

Just look at how much more track length MM has over KBF! ;)

I will say that Ghostie at night in the back is a religious experience (and I should know!)

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Thanks for all the info, I'm there till Monday, just got the word. :D

My SF and CP passes will work for both parks, so I'm all set. I just hate going alone, I'm usually not one for going anywhere by myself, but this is a once in a lifetime chance for me to go to these parks and I'm going to do it, darn it! LOL

I know what I forgot to mention...

Knott's has a delicious beverage item, their berry punch.

What is even better than their berry punch, is when the berry punch is carbonated and soft-frozen into a berry punch flavored Icee. When at Knott's, not to be missed. 8-)

I don't know if Magic Mountain has such a unique food item.

This isn't a "vs." thread in the usual sense. The question isn't at all which is a "better" park. It's more about how to make that difficult decision of which park to visit when it simply isn't possible to do both. This is more of a "travel advice" thread than a "vs." thread, in my opinion.

Besides, Jeff is away... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Oh I hope I didn't cause a problem... I just need travel advice on where to go and when because of my limited time and my absolute lack of knowledge about anything in California. I want to make the best of my time and figured someone would have an idea for me.

I did another thread about my available time, by accident actually, oops... but I'm going to now have Thursday afternoon (plane gets in before 11 AM), Friday all day, Saturday night AND Sunday to do whatever I want. I'm SO excited! :)

Kick The Sky's avatar

^^ Dave, I actually have one of the gift shops in the park selling me a case of the boysenberry punch concentrate about every six months and they ship it to me in Wisconsin :) That is how good I think that punch is.

But, if you are going to Knott's, Jennifer, you have to hit Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner restaurant. It is outside the park in their marketplace section. Some of the best fried chicken you will ever eat and the biscuits (with Knott's Boysenberry jelly) are to die for. Knott's definately has the better food choices over SFMM (although Mooseburger is pretty darned good).

Certain victory.

If you haven't been to any Disney park, then get a park hopper at Disneyland and California Adventure.

Screw Knott's and Magic Mountain. :)

Hi Jennifer! Im flying into LAX on 4/19 to work in LA that week. I get there at 1:30. Im going to head straight to Magic Mtn. I hate to go alone too. If you are interested in meeting at the park. I hope to be there by 3:00 at the latest.

Steve Perry said:
Hi Jennifer! Im flying into LAX on 4/19 to work in LA that week. I get there at 1:30. Im going to head straight to Magic Mtn. I hate to go alone too. If you are interested in meeting at the park. I hope to be there by 3:00 at the latest.

Sounds like a plan, sent you a PM, thanks! :)

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