DAY TWO – A WILD WEST THEME PARK
SECOND DAY ITINERARY
We really could have covered our second day itinerary with one entry – everything Knott’s! I was excited to explore the park that bills itself as “California’s Best Theme Park.” After all, it has some stiff competition!
But before we headed towards the thrill rides, my family visited at Knott’s Independence Hall in Buena Park. Right across the street from the theme park, this is a brick-by-brick replica of the original Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Being Philly folk, we knew we wanted to check this out!
From the outside, Knott’s Independence Hall is the spitting image of the real thing. However, it’s a bit different inside. While the original is known for the rooms where the Declaration and the Constitution were hammered out, this replica is filled with artifacts and exhibits, including a replica Liberty Bell on the ground floor of the tower, where it originally was in Philadelphia (it’s since moved to its own pavilion).
The Hall was Walter Knott’s labor of love, designed to allow those on the west coast have a taste of the history they may never be able to visit across the country. In Knott’s honor, admission is free. Now there’s a reason to make room for this attraction in during 3 days in Southern California!
When it comes to theme parks, my family is all about the coasters. We all have our preferences – one loves wooden classics, another likes hoops and loops, yet another has a need for speed. But we all agree on one thing: coaster is king.
So, with that in mind, we approached Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and its coasters – and came away thrilled. Talk about speed! Montezooma’s Revenge took us from zero to fifty in 3 seconds, then hurled us first forwards, then backwards through a gigantic hoop. But that was child’s play compared to the Xcelerator, which goes from zero to 82 mphs in less than 3 seconds, then hurl back down a 90-degree angle towards earth – all with a 50’s theme. Crazy!
Other family favorites included the Wild West Frontier Show, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, the Calico Saloon Show and the Ghost Rider, billed as the longest, tallest and fastest wooden coaster on the west coast.
We grabbed snacks throughout the day, then had a hearty chicken meal at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, a staple at the park since 1934. We scheduled dinner a little on the early side, as we had one more surprise waiting before we headed back to the hotel for the night.