Since I live near Buena Park, it pays to be an annual pass holder to Knott's Berry Farm. I visited the main theme park last Saturday and it was a blast! They spent several months remodeling Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant and now it's open again. The restaurant serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, so my friends and I took advantage of it. I can tell the venue is bigger with a lot more seating. It's been updated and includes a full service bar. The ambiance is very quaint and homely, which I find appropriate. Most importantly, the food tastes really good. The menu isn't very big, but we had very tasty southern cuisine.
Doesn't this look delicious? I believe this dish was called Southern Fried Chicken and Eggs on a Nest. They cut out the center of the toast and stuffed it with my choice of eggs. I used the homemade boysenberry sauce on my toast, which was totally awesome. You probably can't see it, but there's hash browns hiding underneath my smothered chicken. Most of their dishes are also served with biscuits and gravy. I wouldn't consider hardly anything on their menu particularly healthy, but at least it tastes good.
We entered the main theme park shortly after it opened and that was probably a smart idea because the lines weren't long yet. My friends and I went on Ghost Rider, Silver Bullet, and a smaller rollercoaster called the Sierra Sidewinder. Apparently, my body can't handle rollercoasters very well anymore. Ghost Rider is a lengthy ride, but it's pretty rickety. I used to like Ghost Rider, but now I feel like my body shatters every time I ride on it. Granted, it's a wooden rollercoaster and they're usually a rougher ride. Silver Bullet is a really fun inverted rollercoaster, but the corkscrew section made me feel a little bit nauseated. The Sierra Sidewinder is pretty cool because the cars turn around. You get all kinds of views, from the ground, up at the sky, and wherever. It's a shorter ride though.
After that, we rode on some tamer rides. We went on the Calico Mine train and it's a very nostalgic ride for me. It's been around for a long time, but desperately needs some upgrades. I heard it's going to be renovated in the near future. We also rode on the regular train too. It's geared for kids with a fake train robbery, but it's a nice break from the wilder rides. As a steampunk enthusiast, I appreciate that it's still powered by old fashioned steam, like in the Wild West. On that note, steampunk fans should be thrilled. Knott's actually has a steampunk themed ride called Voyage to the Iron Reef. It's a nautical ride made in the vein of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Iron Reef is a fun 3D ride with video game elements. We had 3D glasses and little blasters that were attached to the buggy. During the ride, we shot various mechanical creatures that appeared on the walls. When everyone got out of the buggy, our scores were posted on a billboard. It reminds me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland. Adults and kids alike would really enjoy the Iron Reef.
Here's another treat for anyone who loves steampunk. There's a small steampunk merchandise store called the Nautilus next to the Iron Reef. It has a variety of steampunk gear, ranging from hats, jewelry, goggles, jackets, jewelry boxes, and other accessories. However, you're not going to find complete outfits at this store, like full dresses, suits, boots, etc. I purchased quite a bit of my steampunk merchandise at the Nautilus. Most of the steampunk merchandise has a pretty reasonable price. Usually, I check this store a few times a year because they're always getting new merchandise. So, if you're a steampunk fan from Orange County, take a trip to Knott's and check out the shop. The Nautilus also sells non-steampunk items, such as merchandise from various rock bands, Goth accessories and jewelry, superhero merchandise, items from certain television shows, and those Pop bobble head figurines.
After we finished visiting the steampunk shop, we had lunch at Johnny Rocket's. Truthfully, I find that place over priced. They have good burgers and chili cheese fries, but it costs more than $20 to order a sandwich, a side dish, and a drink. However, this Johnny Rocket's might be more expensive than others in the franchise because it's located inside a theme park. Unfortunately, amusement park food is always expensive. It's a good thing my annual pass gave us a 20% discount on the check. But you know what? Take my complaints with a grain of salt because Knott's actually has pretty decent food. I think it's better than the food at Disneyland or the Orange County Fair.
You might have noticed an arcade underneath the Iron Reef. I often have a knack for grabbing stuffed animals out of the claw machines. There should be a dozen prizes in this picture. I don't keep the majority of these animals when I catch several of them. Usually I give the majority of them to friends, relatives, and coworkers. Free stuffed animals for the kids!
Before we went home, my friends and I checked out the bakery. They have a ton of preserves and jams if you like that type of thing. The Farm Bakery also sells a lot of mixes for biscuits, pancakes, breads, muffins, and much more. It's a good locations for people who engage in a lot of baking. Also, it's not located inside the central theme park, so you don't need to pay admission to shop at the bakery.
Some of the products at the Farm Bakery were quite inventive. This table displayed boysenberry soda, boysenberry tea cookies, a mix for bear bread, and a mix for chicken and waffles. There was a lot more, but it's what I got in the screen shot.
All right! That's basically my entire outing. We could have stayed longer, but the lines got really long and we can come back any time with our passes. Knott's has other rides, shops, and carnival games that we didn't experience, but maybe you guys can try it out some day. There's going to be some type of Wild West festival from May 27 through September 5. I can tell they're still renovating certain parts of the theme park. The saloon and other locations are going to be updated. A season pass is pretty reasonable. I usually spend $180 on the platinum pass and it covers parking, no blackout dates, admission into the Soak City water park, and discounts on most food and merchandise. You have to admit, that's a pretty good deal. This was a much longer blog than usual, so leave a comment if you have anything to say. Stay tuned for more blogs and have a good week.