TASTE OF KNOTT’S is here and it’s a decided improvement on the newest way to visit “California’s original theme park” with a slew of goodies to see, taste, and purchase. During this special limited time event, you gain access to a large majority of the park and even though the ride’s aren’t in operation, you can still enjoy a lovely summer day in the park.
Knott’s Berry Farm invited us to come check out the first weekend of the event and to taste some of the menu offerings that are part of the event so we invite you now to take a look at summer 2020 TASTE OF KNOTT’S! ENJOY!
As with just about most things during these times, you want to try to avoid peak times if you want to stay away from crowds. By not arriving for opening, you avoid lines of people waiting for the event to start.
Purchase of a Tasting Card is required to access the park. This must be purchased online and you pick it up at the turnstyle after scanning your E-ticket/printout. Keep in mind, Tasting Cards are date-specific to help control event crowding and ensure social distancing.
- $30 for adults for 5 tastes
- $15 for ages 3-11 for 3 tastes
If you’re a 2020 Season Passholder you can save 10% on the purchase of Tasting Cards.
Know Before You Go
- When you average out 5 tastings over the $30 adult price you, find that you’re paying $6 for each tasting item.
- The Tasting Cards don’t have tear-away tabs. Instead, they feature a QR code that is scanned at each vending location.
- Keep track of how many redemptions you’ve made on your card! Since you don’t have tabs to keep track for you, it can get tricky remembering how many are left. This especially gets tricky after you’ve had a Boysenberry Cider… or two!
- Re-entry IS allowed during the event. Your photo is taken before entering.
And now, a taste of the event…
Chicken and Waffle
The full name for this little dish is Boysenberry Breaded Chicken Tender on a Waffle with Fire Honey and it’s a really great combination of flavors. The boysenberry flavor in the breading definitely comes through and pairs nicely with the spicy sweet honey sauce on the waffle.
Smoked Pork Rib
Smoked Pork Rib over Corn Salsa is a must-try for the event. If you haven’t had the Boardwalk BBQ food before, this is a great way to get a small taste. Smokey and sweet, it’s a really great option.
Slow Smoked Brisket Sandwich with BBQ Sauce and Cabbage Slaw was a perfect bite of summer flavor. Would have hoped for just a little bit more meat in this dish but it’s definitely not lacking in flavor!
Grilled Portobello Musthroom Sandwich with Onion Strings and Argula is served with crinkle chips and is a surprising hit — probably our favorite dish of the entire event. Really great flavors all around complemented by the warm portobello and warm chips. Must-try!
Chicken Mole on Jasmine Rice with Cilantro is a really nice dish and a huge portion. The rice was perfectly cooked and the chicken bits were tender and juicy. The mole sauce is slightly sweet and pretty tasty but the dish was lacking a little salt. Wish it was served with fries instead of rice.
Carnitas Fries with Pico de Gallo and Sour Cream was not a bad dish but it wasn’t terribly exciting. The meat is tender and cooked well but the pico and sour cream didn’t quite do enough to really bring all the flavors here together. A sauce drizzle might have sent this over the top.
Shrimp Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing was tasty but not terribly inventive. Other than the greens and the shrimp the only other flavor profile here was the corn and the dressing. It’s a nice but very simple dish and definitely a refreshing contrast to everything else. Shrimp cooked perfectly.
With summer’s hot temperatures, the Boysenberry Smoothie really hit the spot. It’s mega sweet but super satisfying. It’s the right slap of boysenberry flavor to accent a culinary adventure in the way only Knott’s can provide. Paper straws are a bit of a drag so make sure to pick up an extra one if you’re a slow sipper.
Shrimp Taco with Aioli Slaw on a Corn Tortilla was not bad but it was not something we would recommend. The shrimp is once again cooked perfectly and very flavorful but the aioli slaw was a little limp albeit flavorful and even a good bit spicy. Still, the taco felt a little naked.
Louisiana Style Mild Pork and Beef Sausage on a Hoagie Bun was perhaps the most disappointing item we tried. While the sausage itself is good, it comes completely undressed. We were given a ketchup and relish packet which felt woefully inadequate for a festival food offering.
We knew using a redemption for Esquites wasn’t exactly the most cost effective but this is such a great combo of flavors that we went for it anyway. Unfortunately, it was severely lacking in the citrus element to add the familiar sour tang to the iconic dish. If you don’t mind the missing lemon/lime then it’s a solid choice.
Deep Fried Boysenberry Pie Bites
Deep Fried Boysenberry Pie Bites are a phenomenal flavor explosion. Actual boysenberry pie filling (with its delightful crunch from the bits of seeds) contrasted with the crispy batter and sweet powdered sugar — too good! Only wish it was served with whipped cream or perhaps a healthier dusting of powdered sugar. This is a must-try.
A look at the event map and Tasting Card locations.
Entertainment is tricky when you’re trying to prevent people from crowding. Similar to the Taste of Calico event last month, you can still find some ways to find entertainment during your visit.
Never know where in the Ghost Town that you’ll see live performers interacting with the crowds below!
On the upper level of the Calico Saloon, we saw a bandit demonstrating the best way to pull off a heist and the first step is putting on your face covering. See what they did there?
Sad-Eye Joe is feeling chatty if you want to pay him a visit.
Blacksmithing is always fun to watch in Ghost Town.
Various seating areas are augmented with a DJ spinning tunes to add a sense of vibrancy to the area. We saw this here at Fiesta Plaza and also in Charleston Circle.
We were in the park smack dab in the middle of the operating day (from approximately 3pm – 7pm) and were pleasantly surprised to find minimal lines and waits anywhere and everywhere in the park.
Earlier this year, the Knott’s Taste of Calico event seemed off-paced with really long lines for all food options. We did not find this once during Taste of Knott’s. We think this is partially thanks to the smart move to have some of the more popular menu items available at more than one location and spread across the whole park. This lessens the demand for particular locations and evenly balances out the crowds.
Despite the Saturday event being sold out, we never had a hard time finding a shady spot to eat and we were never in a line for food longer than about 4 or 5 people.
A massive setup of tables at the Calico Stage offers plenty of room to spread out. Knott’s did a great job of turning available real estate into seating areas.
Tables and shade are found all over the park in places you might not have previously expected.
A Relax Zone is set up at the Mystery Lodge where you can escape, sit, and remove your mask if needed. Otherwise, face coverings are required everywhere else in the park except when eating or drinking.
Aside from an event logo hat, you can also get a 2020 Taste of Knott’s face mask.
For just $16.99 you can pick up a 2020 Taste of Knott’s event t-shirt and it comes with a special Taste of Knott’s pin! Not a bad deal!
Stores in and around Ghost Town are open offering familiar assortments of boysenberry and other merchandise. Plus, local crafters and vendors bring their unique assortment of color and craft to the park to round out the experience.
We have a Merch Run at the end of this update, keep scrolling to see what caught our eye on this visit!
Around the Farm
We spotted some crafty pie thieves. His sneakes are dripping in boysenberry! (@craftyspiethieves)
Although rides are not open, most of the park is available to explore. The only areas off limits are Camp Snoopy and the area past the upcoming Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair attraction in the back Boardwalk area of the park.
Knott’s Bear-y Tales seems all ready to welcome guests for factor tours!
Special precautions are in effect in the Marketplace as well with controlled entry as needed, social distance markers, and even outdoor dining areas that take up the former driveway.
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is available for takeout or dine-in on new outdoor patio spaces.
The George Washington bathrooms in the Marketplace are closed but you can still access the area.
Long time readers of Mouseinfo know we love ourselves a good merch run so here’s a bunch of merch that caught our eye… just ’cause!
To minimize contact during store transactions, many locations ask that you bag your purchases yourself.
The 100th Anniversary Edition of Knott’s Preserved with introduction by Tony Baxter!
A bunch of options for great face masks.
Knott’s has spirit yes they do!
Ok these boysenberry measuring spoons are 🔥🔥🔥
Health and Safety Measures
- Admission will be limited each day to ensure physical distancing
- Upon arrival, guests will be asked to enter a temperature screening and security checkpoint at the main gate
- All associates and guests must wear a facial covering while visiting Taste of Knott’s or the Knott’s California Marketplace store locations and restaurants – masks are not required while eating.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected daily and sanitized frequently. This includes but is not limited to cash counters, scanners, EMV readers, pens at cashier counters, register screens, store fixtures, door handles, and shopping baskets.
- Signage is present to aid guests in the proper direction of travel and as a reminder to practice social distancing.
- Seating will be spaced out throughout the Taste of Knott’s event footprint
- Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the event area.
- All associates are screened, including temperature and symptom checks using CDC guidelines before being allowed on the property to work.
- Associates have been trained on the importance of handwashing, physical distancing, and overall hygiene.
- Separate entrances and exits will appear at some store locations.
- Store occupancy is limited to less than 50% of the normal building capacity. Queue lines outside of store locations with six-foot markers are present where applicable.
See it for Yourself
KNOTT’S TASTE OF CALICO takes place select days now through July 26, 2020.
As of press time, most dates are still available for purchase. Dates that are
striked out are currently unavailable for purchase. Saturday, Aug. 22: 12 PM – 9 PM Sunday, Aug. 23: 12 PM – 8 PM
- Friday, Aug. 28: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Saturday, Aug. 29: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Sunday, Aug. 30: 12 PM – 8 PM
- Friday, Sept. 4: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Saturday, Sept. 5: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Sunday, Sept. 6: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Monday, Sept. 7: 12 PM – 8 PM
- Friday, Sept. 11: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Saturday, Sept. 12: 12 PM – 9 PM
- Sunday, Sept. 13: 12 PM – 8 PM