Knott’s Berry Farm Addresses Name Change After Merger

in Events, Knott's Berry Farm

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Credit: ITM

Amusement parks are a celebrated American institution that have represented the ultimate compendium of top entertainment. Even though powerhouse like Universal Studios and the Disney parks tend to monopolize this market, Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the first theme parks to dominate the industry in California. So much so that its owner at one point advised Walt Disney during the construction of Disneyland. The once family-owned business has gone even more corporate with Knott’s releasing a statement over its upcoming changes, including the name change.

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Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

 

Walter Knott, along with his cousin Jim Preston, decided to lease land in Buena Park to construct a berry farm in 1920. The Knott family created a stand to sell their berries, jams and pies. They grew such a devoted clientele, that the stand grew into a tea room-sized restaurant which also sold Mrs. Knott’s famous fried chicken. Patrons waited in line for hours to eat this family’s food, that Walt was inspired to install a roadside attraction on his property to entertain more customers.

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Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

Due to his love of the American Western Frontier, he created an Old West “ghost town” in 1940. It included a saloon, a sheriff’s office, and a barbershop. Guests could ride horse-drawn buggies while performers told tales of Western trailblazers. Walter Knott eventually expanded his themed park over the years with gold panning, vaudeville performances and train rides.

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Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

The park became so successful that Walt Disney knew of its fame and was invited by Walter Knott as a special guest in 1952 to discuss the structure and logistics of amusement parks. This helped pave the way for Disneyland which opened three years later. While there allegedly was no rivalry between the two Walts, they both inspired each other as Mr. Knott evolved the park to include attractions like the Calico Mine Ride in 1960.

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Credit: ITM

Knott’s Berry Farm continued to develop with more themed lands that included an American Boardwalk, a Mexican Pavilion and a Peanuts themed land called ‘Camp Snoopy.’ The park also pioneered the famously renowned scare events with the birth of Knott’s Scary Farm, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Knott's Scary Farm Conductor
Credit: Knott’s Scary Farm

The Knott family decided to sell their rights to the entertainment company, Cedar Fair, who will now be merging with Six Flags. Cedar Fair officials have recently confirmed if Knott’s Berry Farm will receive rebranded name change. They ensured fans that the celebrated theme park will not bear the Six Flags logo following the merger. There are also no plans to rename Knott’s in the future.

Knott's Berry Farm theme park view
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

Many fans were uneasy with this possibility since other amusement parks had their names changed such as Six Flags Cedar Point, Six Flags Kings Island and Six Flag’s Canada’s Wonderland. Although this is good news, this $8 billion dollar merger is too big of an investment not to rebrand at some point. Many critics have speculated that the main signage may not say “Six Flag’s Knott’s Berry Farm,” but it is likely that Six Flags branding will be applied to merchandise and other various advertising.

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Credit: Rich Fury / Flickr

International Theme Park Services analyst, Dennis Speigel, expressed that, “In the theme park industry, the Six Flags brand is more well-known than the Cedar Fair name,” He continued, “When it comes to marketing with the parks and the markets, we will see some Six Flags names come into play.” This choice may be a relief to some, but there is no guarantee it will stay that way. Guests have already spotted that the Knott’s Berry Farm entrance sign has been changed above the turnstiles.

Should Knott’s Berry Farm change its name? Will this merger improve the park or make it worse?

in Events, Knott's Berry Farm

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