The Knott's Berry Farm Invention Walt Disney Stole - Inside the Magic

Comments for The Knott’s Berry Farm Invention Walt Disney Stole

A collage featuring a joyful family on a roller coaster ride with a hidden queue on the right, and a black-and-white portrait of a Walt Disney on the left.

Images Credit: Disney / Knott's Berry Farm


  1. KenG

    Finally a well-written and fun to read historical article on ITM.
    That’s 1 in a 100, but at least it’s progress!

    Please keep this up and don’t fall into same lame article trap that so many of your fellow ITM so-called writers do. Respect what you write!

    1. Thank you so much – that made my day! I really do try to stay honest, fun, insightful, and sometimes, PUNNY! This made my day. chEARS!

      1. Chris Smith

        It just might be worth noting that the Calico mine train was not built by Walter Knott but was built by Wendell “Bud” Hurlbut. Bud built and operated many rides at Knott’s Berry Farm under a handshake deal with Walter Knott.

  2. Kathy

    Great article!

    1. Thank you so much! chEARS! 🙂

  3. Agreed with previous comments, this is actually a legit good article. It is fun, full of good information, and it is not regurgitated Reddit/IG/Tiktok tripe.

    1. Paul Salasar

      What many people may not know is that the bldgs in the Calico Ghost town are actual bldgs from the period they represent. Knott searched Socal for them, reassembled them on site and so preserved some California history

      1. Sherri

        Thank you for that bit of additional info. I’m a details need lol as long as it’s interesting and factual, I’m all ears or in cases like this, all eyes 👀 !!
        To the OpEd, I agree with others, great article. I really enjoyed it.

        1. Sherri

          *details nerd (not need – autocorrect)

  4. franklin

    I heartily agree with the previous posters. This is the kind of post I love to see. Give us some insights into the parks that we might not get otherwise. Also I enjoyed reading about some history that I didn’t know about before. Thanks!

  5. JBinOC

    As a former employee/castmember of both Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland Park, I didn’t know Walt “stole” the idea of the hidden cue from Walter Knott.
    BTW, the Calico Mine Train attraction is not a roller coaster.

    1. oops! Thanks for the catch! 🙂

      1. Chris Kinney

        Actually, Santa Claus Land, located in Santa Claus, Indiana, was the world’s first theme park. It opened in 1946, and is known today as Holiday World and Splasin Safari.

      2. James

        Great article. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
        Finally a story without 75% of the content being nothing more than cut paste PR from the park. Well done!!

  6. Greg Van Gompel

    It was Bud Hurlbut that invented the hidden queues at Knott’s. E-ticket magazine had a substantial article on Bud and the work he did, including the building of Castle Park out in Riverside.

  7. Paul Salasar

    Thinking about theme parks, don’t the Ostrich Farm in Pasadena and the Alligator Farm in LA count? Both had “rides”: there are postcards showing kids riding both of these animals as part of the attractions. They opened in the late 19th/early 20thc and predate Knotts by decades

  8. Jon C

    So when you see a line snaking outside the “hidden” queue, you know you’re in for a looong wait.

  9. Mclovin

    He also “drew inspiration” from six flags. A lot of it. Very little of Disney parks is original, but credit where credit is due, they did elevate the ideas to a whole other level.

  10. umopapisdn

    He also “drew inspiration” from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that he visited in a similar fashion. It would seem that he toured California’s theme parks looking for ideas.

  11. Rory

    And speaking of Calico Ghost Town, I work about 4 miles from what used to belong to the Knott’s in Yermo, Ca. just west of Barstow, now owned by San Bernardino County Parks.

  12. Puffy McPuffun

    The idea was not stolen but shared to Disney when he was shown the attraction when the park was closed and attraction complete before construction walls around attraction came down. Disney ALWAYS tried to help Knott out improving his park with plenty of ideas. Mr. Knott was a bit stubborn taking advice from Disney accoring to my late grandma.

  13. CJ


    Ok, so I am biased and will say that Disneyland / DCA should take a hint from Knott’s Berry Farm …. to stay affordable and serve better food !

  14. Patty

    Very good article! Can you look into what happened to the Japanese Deer Park and the Alligator farm which also, were located in Buena Park and very popular in the 1960’s and early 70’s.
    Enjoyed your article, keep them coming!

  15. MrDTLA

    Knott’s Berry Farm was very concerned before Disneyland opened that would draw business away, instead they found Disney increased their income by attracting out of state visitors on vacation for their week long stay in Southern California.

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