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Knott's Berry Farm on a Budget: Money Saving Tips

Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm Guide
Dani Ruben Headshot from Theme Park Lovers
Article By: Dani Ruben
Last Updated: August 16, 2022
Knott's Berry Farm is an adorable theme park with plenty to offer, especially for those on a lower budget than what some of the other theme parks in the Los Angeles area require. The tickets at this amusement are cheaper, the food is cheaper, the parking is cheaper, etc. Still, there's no reason to spend money needlessly when you can still enjoy all Knott's has to offer.

These tips and tricks will help you enjoy Knott's Berry Farm on a budget so you can stress less and spend your money on the truly important things, like Peanuts merchandise and desserts!

1. Check for Ticket Discounts

Potential Savings: $5 - $30
Before you even step foot in Knott's Berry Farm, you can save a bit of money by checking for ticket discounts on the Knott's Berry Farm website, discount ticket sites, and local discount shops like Costco and Sam's Club.

Knott's Berry Farm occasionally has sales on their own daily tickets, so it's best to check their site first. Members of the military and large groups of over 15 people can get discounted tickets directly on the Knott's Berry Farm website as well.

Undercover Tourist is usually our 2nd location that we check for discounts. They have discounts for nearly every theme park, but their discounts tend to be smaller, usually saving you only $5-$30 per ticket as compared to the gate price. That does add up if you have a larger group attending. One fantastic perk of booking through Undercover Tourist, however, is their 365 day return policy. This does not apply to all tickets purchased from them, but it does apply to many tickets, where you usually would not be able to receive a refund if you purchase from the theme park directly.
Undercover Tourist Tickets
AAA Members also often get discounts at Knott's Berry Farm. The discount is usually similar to what Undercover Tourist is offering, but it's good to check just in case.

GO City also offers great deals that include Knott's Berry Farm, especially if you're looking to do other attractions in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Both the Los Angeles and San Diego All-Inclusive passes include Knott's Berry Farm as an attraction to visit while your pass is active, whether that's for 1, 2, 3, or more days. However, Undercover Tourist ALSO sells discounted GO City offers, so you can save even more by getting a GO City pass through Undercover Tourist instead.
Undercover Tourist GO City Discounts

2. Go on a Weekday

Potential Savings: $5 - $10
Like most amusement parks, single day tickets at Knott's are often a little cheaper on the weekdays. If you're on a budget, you can usually save a little money if you're able to visit on those slower days. You also get the added perk of shorter lines on most rides and eateries!

3. Get the All Day Dining Plan

Potential Savings: $3 - $12 per meal
If you plan on enjoying more than 3 meals at Knott's Berry Farm, purchase an All Day Dining Plan early in the day. This amazing deal allows you to save money at Knott's Berry Park while allowing you to dine at most restaurants at the park every 90 minutes. Of course, you don't have to eat somewhere every 90 minutes -but you have the option to if you'd like. The plan costs a little less than $35 after tax (and even a little less than that if you have a season pass!), which means you'll be averaging about $11.66 per meal if you have 3 meals. The fun part? You can share this plan with others (kind of).

When you purchase an All Day Dining Plan, you get a wristband that's activated for the day. When you want to purchase a meal that's on the dining plan, the cashier just scans the barcode on the wristband, and you're good to go. You don't have to wear this wristband, although it's nice for convenience. If you choose not to wear the wristband, anyone in your group can use it to get themselves a meal (as long as it's been longer than 90 minutes since your last meal).

This particular budget tip is great for couples, families, and friends. Tim and I will often get the All Day Dining Plan and share 4-5 meals throughout the day, which averages out to about $7 - $8.75 per meal - much less than purchasing each meal individually, since they tend to be between $10 to $17. For larger groups of friends, you can assign each person a time that they can purchase their own meal or, like us, share each meal. For example:

4 Friends: $8.75 each to share 1 All Day Dining Plan
Everyone shares a breakfast meal at Grizzly Creek Lodge
11:30am: Friends A & B share a meal at Boardwalk BBQ
1pm: Friends C & D share a meal at Prop Shop Pizzeria
5:30pm: Friends A & B share a meal at Wilderness Broiler
7pm: Friends C& D share a meal at Sutter's Diner
8:30pm: Everyone shares a meal at Coaster's Diner

4. Stay at the Knott's Hotel or a Nearby Hotel

Potential Savings: $25 per day
Parking at Knott's is $25 per day, which isn't bad if you're splitting that between a few people, but it's still money that can be saved if you stay at the Knott's Hotel (where you can park close for "free") or at a nearby hotel (where you can walk). If you're planning to spend 2 or more days at Knott's, you can save quite a bit with this method.

The Knott's Berry Farm Hotel is a little pricey compared to the other hotels in the area, but it's safe, close to the park, and is adorably themed. We highly recommend a stay at this hotel for Peanuts fans. For those who are used to Disney-quality hotels, this is really the only viable option if you want to stay near Knott's and just walk to the park.

The other hotels around Knott's aren't exactly great, but some are decent enough to just stay the evening and avoid having to pay for parking. The Berry Inn is a solid choice that's near the entrance to Knott's Berry Farm. It's also surrounded by tons of restaurants and a bank. You can park your car right at the entrance and take an easy 5 minute stroll to the theme park across the street. The rooms are old but okay, and the staff is friendly. It's no 4-star hotel, but it's a small step above most of the other hotels in the area.

The Buena Park Inn and Buena Vista Inn are some of our go-to budget hotels near Knott's Berry Farm if we're just looking for a place to lay our head. They're both priced similarly and are both old a little farther away. The carpet and bedding are also pretty worn down. However, they're safe, close by, and the staff are usually helpful and kind.

On our list of hotels to avoid is Colony Inn Buena Park. It's extremely convenient, as it's just across the street from the amusement park, and it's right next to a gas station and Walgreens. The rooms are also spacious, which is great for groups. However, there seem to be residents that actually stay in the hotel full time, and they can get boisterous and loud, especially in the evening and early morning hours. It's not the safest place to be, especially if you have children with you.

5. Buy Special Event Discount Tasting Cards

Potential Savings: $2 - $4 per meal
During some of Knott's Berry Farm's special events, one of the best ways to save money is by purchasing a tasting card. These cards let you try certain food items from the popup food stands for a cheaper price. The cards vary in pricing for each event, but they're usually around $50-$60 and they'll usually let you try 6 different items of your choice (or 6 of the same item, if that's how you want to roll!). Since the food options vary in price, you can save $2-$5 per meal if you go this route.

You can share a tasting card with a group of friends or a family. You can also just get one for yourself, to enable you to try all the event food on a budget. You are also able to buy a tasting card, use just a few credits one day, then come back another day to use the rest of the credits.
Upcoming Knott's Berry Farm Events

6. Skip the Fast Lane Passes

Potential Saving: $70 - $135
Season Pass Holders get tons of discounts on food, merchandise, and even extra park tickets for friends and family throughout the year. If you plan on visiting Knott's Berry Farm for more than 2 days in a year, a season pass will be cheaper than purchasing individual day tickets. If you're planning to visit as a large group, it may make sense for one person in your party to purchase a season pass, so that everyone can benefit from the 10% food and merchandise discounts. The passholder just needs to be present for each transaction.

7. Become a Season Pass Holder (or befriend one!)

Potential Savings: Varies depending on usage
Season Pass Holders get tons of discounts on food, merchandise, and even extra park tickets for friends and family throughout the year. If you plan on visiting Knott's Berry Farm for more than 2 days in a year, a season pass will be cheaper than purchasing individual day tickets. If you're planning to visit as a large group, it may make sense for one person in your party to purchase a season pass, so that everyone can benefit from the 10% food and merchandise discounts. The passholder just needs to be present for each transaction.
Knott's Berry Farm Season Passes

8. Bring a Water Bottle

Potential Savings: $8-$16
Water bottles at Knott's are expensive and unnecessary if you think ahead and bring your own from home. Water is free at all restaurants if you ask, but they usually give you a small cup and can hold maybe 2 or 3 gulps before it's gone. That's not very helpful when you're standing in line for a ride for 30 minutes and it's 95 degrees. If you bring your own water bottle, it can keep your water colder for longer, and you can ask for multiple water cups (or just have yours refilled a few times) in order to fill up your bottle at each restaurant area. If you make it to the park and forgot your water bottle, just buy one bottled water (around $3 - $4) and refill that one throughout the day. It's better than paying $3 - $4 each time!

9. Skip the Carnival Games

Potential Savings: $6 per game
Although the prizes can be tempting, and the games are undoubtedly a lot of fun, the carnival game offerings at this theme park are expensive. At $6 per game, it's not worth the potential to lose a game, or even to win a game where the starter prize is just not worth the cost. Most of the smaller prizes can be purchased online for cheaper, and most of larger prizes can be purchased online for a little more, except it's guaranteed that you'll get it instead of taking the chance for it. If you're really wanting to come home with a prize, go for the games where you're nearly guaranteed to win. That would be the guessing game and the group competition games if you're the only one around.
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