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which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

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NJ
Level Contributor
435 posts
121 reviews
which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

DH & I are coming to So Cal for a reunion. We will have 1 day -- a Thursday at the end of July or the begining of August -- to go to 1 park.

I kind of have my heart set on Disneyland. My research is indicating that DL will be the most crowded. DH really hates crowds.

If you had to pick only 1 park, which would it be:

Disney Land

Disney's California Adventure

Knotts Berry Farm

and why?

TIA.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
24,253 posts
13 reviews
11. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

Coney Island was an Amusement Park, not a Theme Park...

The first Worldwide Theme Park is recognized as Tivoli Gardens in Denmark.

The other park that tried to claim the title was Santa Claus Land, now Holiday World. But Ghost Town was built next to the Chicken Dinner Restaurant prior to Santa Claus Land opening...

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
20,002 posts
84 reviews
12. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

Just an added thought. If you love Roller Coasters, why not drive to Six Flags Magic Mountain for the day which is full of mostly just Roller Coasters, its an amazing Park for that.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
26,495 posts
61 reviews
13. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

Based upon what you've told us, the only solution that meets your requirements is:

You go to DL; your husband goes to Knotts.

So, the only thing left for you to decide is: which is more important: going to DL or your husband's happiness. And, we can't answer that!

Have a great visit.

NJ
Level Contributor
435 posts
121 reviews
14. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

HopSkipJump -- If it was up to DH we'd go striaght to Camp Pendleton just like all the other years. This is supposed to be my "treat" for years of putting up with trips to see his Marine buddies. Although they are are great guys & true patriots, I would like to spend 1 day in So Cal doing something that is not connected to the Marines. But I don't want DH to be completely miserable. In the end he's going to chose which park we go to; I'm just gathering information.

happytotrip -- I love Magic Mountain but it's in the wrong direction. The last thing I want to do is spend more time SB on the 405 on a Friday. Even this Jersey girl knows that's a bad idea. Aniheim gets us part way to our destination.

Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
15,214 posts
3 reviews
15. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

If you enjoyed both Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in the 90's, with one day, I strongly recommend you choose Disneyland over Knott's. Knott's Berry Farm has had too many changes between then and now.

I have continued to visit Knott's at least once a year since the Knott family sold the park to Cedar Fair and I began to see changes in 1999 (the year the Dolphin Show was discontinued). It was very sad to see the big changes as they were happening and for a while I stopped going in the summer and just went at Christmastime so that I concentrated on the part of the park that was essentially staying the same - Ghost Town.

I've grown to accept the park the way it is, but I think that is because I have allowed myself to live through my memories when I am there and just deal with the fact that parts of the park will never be the same, although I still feel the spirit of its past (if that makes sense). For the past couple of years I have returned to visiting during the summer as well as Christmastime.

There are some people who grew up going to Knott's Berry Farm, or went there alot during their teens or twenties back in the 80's and 90's, so attached to the way it was that once they see the changes, they vow to never go back. I have to say I am still bugged by the way Cedar Fair ruined the theming around the Reflection Lake area, which is actually a very shallow remenent of water and terribly sad if you can remember the little boat ride, the view from the Jacquar, and the summer water shows or fireworks over the lake. Personally, I don't like the nightime light spectacular in Camp Snoopy, either. It has taken the calm sweetness and romance of a night walk out of the area and replaced it will frantic energy.

In short, it's my opinion that the changes at Knott's Berry Farm since the 90's take some getting adjusted to for someone who hasn't been there since then. Disneyland Park has had some changes that could be disappointing, but nothing on the level as Knott's Berry Farm. Tomorrowland, for example, no longer has a ride operating on the People Mover tracks. The ride was changed to Rocket Rods, then because of issue with the ride, taken out. The Rocket Jets were removed from above ground and the entrance to the area has the Astro Obitor as a similar ride, but on the ground. You may have been to the park when the "new Tomorrowland" was opened, I don't know. But, along with the bad, comes the very good, such as the Jedi Training Show. Most changes in Disneyland Park are for the good. You will feel comfortable there, yet not feel like you are seeing and doing the same old things.

As for DCA, I would take that off the table for this trip.

Regarding crowds. There's going to be crowds at any theme park (or even the zoos and beaches) in July or early August. (I've been there, done that.) So you really need to choose based on what you think will give you the most happiness even if it is crowded. One thing that you could keep in mind is that Disneyland has more rides inside than does Knott's and more places to get out of the sun. If your DH really, really hates crowds, unfortunately, you have to make a decision together on if you want to avoid going to any theme park or Southern California attraction on this visit. You can do some things to avoid crowds at certain times, particularly in Disneyland in the early morning, but you are still going to have times and places that it is going to be crowded. We can give you some tips on where the when and where the most crowded places at Disneyland tend to be and help guide you, though.

One thing I would recommend doing regarding Knott's, if you have a couple of hours free time on another day, is visit the Knott's Market Place, which is still free and have lunch at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The Market Place is smaller than it was in the 90's, prior to the building of the Ghost Rider wooden coaster, but has that same good feeling.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
143 posts
15 reviews
16. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

My heart belongs to Disneyland...for sure not California Adventure...it is fun but not nearly as good....I am not a thrill ride person But Knotts might be a good choice since you are...but there is something SO classic about Disneyland...it brings out the kid in you

Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
15,214 posts
3 reviews
17. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

Looking over your most recent post and building on HopSkipJump's suggestion, I'd say you ought to give some thought to a solo visit to Disneyland. It really is a great experience, very freeing. I've done it many times. And at one point I actually had a boyfriend who would turn me down when I practically begged him to go to Knott's with me during Christmastime. It seemed that his buggaboo about it was he hated crowds and lines. (Although he just said he didn't like amusement parks.) One time I was there alone after he turned me down and it was so crowded that I was exhausted and I don't mind crowds. So I suddenly realized that he would have been miserable and made me feel worse. Anyway, I have read threads in Disney fan forums about going alone and everyone who has says they love it!

Maybe your husband would enjoy Angels baseball.

NJ
Level Contributor
435 posts
121 reviews
18. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

After reading some of the material I gave him, DH picked Disney. He said he was feeling nostalgic too so DL here we come!

Redlands, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
15,214 posts
3 reviews
19. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

Good for him! Please let us know if you would like tips on avoiding crowded areas or working around them. The worst crowding in the park usually occurs at night during the nightime shows, Fantasmic and the fireworks.

Speaking of nightime shows, they still have dancing at the Tomorrowland Terrace. If you like Elvis (or just good old rock and roll) keep an eye on the schedule for Scot Bruce. Last summer he was there on some Thursday nights. He is super good.

http://www.scotbruce.com/schedule.html

The big band swing parties have continued on Saturday nights only. Last year the Disney Company decided to re-imagine the Carnation Plaza Gardens, the spot to the left of the castle where they have always been held, much to the disappointment of the swing dancers who would frequent the spot. However, the company thought twice about removing the dance floor (where Walt and Lillian Disney actually used to dance) and said it would remain (perhaps resurfaced, I don't know) and so would the band stage. The "Jump, Jive, Boogie, Swing parties have been temporarliy moved to Downtown Disney and should be returning to Disneyland by the summer. The re-imagined area is called Princess Fantasy Faire and the theming was changed from Main Street to Fantasyland. You might remember this spot from back in the day as having daytime shows with Mickey and Friends.

Another entertainment choice in July, the All American Colege Band often appears then. They are awesome and play a mix of swing, rock, and Disney movie tunes. They used to do sets at the Plaza Gardens during the afternoon on days they were scheduled, but we don't know yet if they will be in that location at that time. Last year they did a set in front of the castle and also pre-parade. The year before they also held Friday night concerts.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
40,121 posts
390 reviews
20. Re: which park (DL, DCA or KBF) if u can only do 1?

That which we used to call "Disneyland" and was an easy one day do, has grown into much more and rather than choose between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure I'd go to Knott's Berry Farm. Be sure and eat at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Diner Restaurant.

Edited: 5:07 pm, March 20, 2013