* Additional fees apply. No coupon or promo codes necessary to enjoy the displayed discount price.
The last date listed for Knott's Berry Farm was Sunday February 28, 2010 / 10am - 7pm.
Walter and Cordelia Knott – Founders of Knott’s Berry Farm
The year was 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the then-sleepy community of Buena Park, California to farm their rented land. Today, that land is part of 160-acre Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park and the 12th most-visited amusement park in the country. Today, owner Cedar Fair, L.P., continues the Knotts’ spirit of hard work and down-home hospitality.
The Knotts’ first winter on the Farm was unseasonably cold and much of their first crop was ruined by frost. But relying on his ability to make the most of what he had, Walter initiated his practice of selling directly to grocers, thus eliminating costly middlemen, and was able to realize a small profit.
Walter’s keen eye for sound enterprise and his dogged determination to succeed were attributes which became evident early in his boyhood years and remained solid through his life and career. His father died when he was six and by the time he was nine, Walter was raising vegetables on vacant lots, selling the produce in the morning before school and delivering newspapers in the evenings to help supplement the family income.
It was not until the 1930s that Walter became associated with the “boysenberry,” which would became the family trademark. Nearby, Anaheim Parks Superintendent Rudolph Boysen had experimented with a new strain of berry but the plants kept dying on the vine. Walter took the scraggly plants, nurtured them to health and named the new berry — a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry — after its originator. Today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots to Knott’s Berry Farm.
As another means of staving off Depression hardships, Cordelia began selling jams and jellies made from Walter’s berries. These were soon followed by home-baked pies, hot biscuits and sandwiches. Then, on a night in June 1934, Cordelia served eight fried chicken dinners on her wedding china – for the all-inclusive price of 65 cents each – and the world’s largest chicken dinner restaurant was born. Today, the Chicken Dinner Restaurant seats more than 900 guests at a time, serves more than 1. 5 million guests each year, and is the largest full-service restaurant that serves chicken as its main course.
The success of the chicken dinners was immediate and by 1940 the restaurant was serving as many as 4,000 dinners on Sunday evenings. To give waiting customers something to do and to pay homage to the pioneering spirit of his grandparents and his love of the Old West, Walter developed Ghost Town, eventually the first of Knott’s Berry Farm’s six themed areas.