Celebrating 100 Years at Knott’s Berry Farm

Jenielle Berry Blogger

I couldn’t have asked for a better 2019.  It was my first year as an official Knott’s Berry Farm Berry Blogger.  Knott’s Berry Farm has been an integral part of my children’s childhood and I was honored to be able to share in the storytelling of the fun an exciting things happening at the farm!  Looking forward to 2020, this will be a legendary year for Knott’s Berry Farm as we will be celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary!  Here is what you can expect for the Centennial Celebration:

Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair

Knotts100

A new 4-D interactive dark ride that will take guests on an exciting journey through reimagined show scenes that are reminiscent of the original dark ride, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weird Woods,  culminating in a celebration at the County Fair. The story takes place 34 years after the original adventure and will follow Boysen Bear and Girlsen Bear as they travel to the Country Fair to earn the blue ribbon prize for their famous boysenberry pies, but Crafty Coyote is back along with his mischievous pups intent on stealing all the pies for themselves. Guests will climb aboard ride vehicles equipped with jelly blasters to try and recover the stolen boysenberry pies as they travel through whimsical and beautiful environments while competing for the highest score.  “Knott’s Bear-Y Tales: Return to the Fair” will be taking the place of “Iron Reef”.  The last day to experience “Iron Reef” is January 5, 2020.

PEANUTS Celebration:  weekends January 25-March 1

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The fan favorites return starting with Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, a unique event dedicated to the beloved PEANUTS characters, taking place weekends from January 25 – March 1, 2020.  Here is a recap of PEANUTS Celebration from 2019.

Boysenberry Festival:  March 20-April 19

Boysenberry Festival LittleGray Thread

In spring, the much-anticipated Knott’s Boysenberry Festival returns with an array of one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired food and drink items created by the Knott’s culinary team. The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival will offer a month of deliciousness from March 20 – April 19, 2020.  Here is a recap of Boysenberry Festival from 2019.

A Knott’s Family Reunion:  May 15-August 30

Knott’s will be celebrating its 100th milestone anniversary by immersing guests in new and nostalgic experiences throughout the park, delighting guests of all ages.  Ghost Town Alive! will return with a new interactive storyline for guests to explore and unravel alongside the characters of Calico. And the summer fun will continue long after the sun goes down when a special 100th Anniversary edition of the popular nighttime party, Knott’s Summer Nights returns with new live music, unique summer food offerings, Instagram-able photo opportunities, interactive experiences, and family-friendly games. Both Ghost Town Alive! and Knott’s Summer Nights will be offered on select days starting May 15 – August 30, 2020.  Here is a recap of Summer Nights at Knotts and how to experience Ghost Town Alive.

Knott’s Spooky Farm:  September 26-October 31

For fall, the spooktacular family-friendly daytime Halloween event, Knott’s Spooky Farm, will invite families with little ghouls ages 3-11 to celebrate the spooky season exclusively on weekends starting September 26 – October 31, 2020.  Here is a recap of Spooky Farm from 2019.

Knott’s Merry Farm:  November 20-January 3

As winter rolls in, the feeling of Christmas will be discovered at Knott’s Merry Farm, where joy will be in season from November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021.  Here are my favorite foods from Merry Farm from 2019.

2020 Season Pass Information

Knotts purple Pass

The best way to enjoy all of the fun offered during the 100th-anniversary celebration at Knott’s along with all of the other exciting Seasons of Fun events is with a 2020 Season Pass. (I wrote an article breaking down the different season passes here.)

  • A Regular Season Pass (purple) includes unlimited admission in 2020 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates.
  • A Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2020 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates.
  • A Platinum Season Pass includes unlimted admission in 2020 to all Ceder Fair Parks across the country (there is Great America in Northern California) AND parking is INCLUDED.

Knott’s Season passes are now available at the lowest price of the year. Regular Passes are $99 or nine easy payments of $9.50 after an initial payment, and Gold Passes are $120 or nine easy payments of just $11.50 after an initial payment. These offers end on January 5, 2020. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.

Giveaway! (closed)

Boysenberry Festival LittleGrayThread Family

To celebrate the upcoming 100th celebration, I am giving away a Family Four (4) pack of 2020 Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passes ($99 value each)!  You’ll will also get a surprise box of Merry Farm goodies (I’ll be revealing these on my instastories at @littlegraythread on instagram).  Here’s how to enter:

  • Make sure you are following me on instagram @littlegraythread
  • Like! our facebook page Little Gray Thread
  • Leave a comment below telling me your favorite Knott’s Berry Farm memory or what season you’re looking forward to the most in 2020 (please leave instagram @ handle in the comments so I can notify the winner through instagram).
  • Check back on Instagram and Facebook for additional ways to enter

That’s it!  Giveaway will end on December 26, 2019 at 11:59pm PST.  Winner will be announced through instagram on December 27, 2019.

For more information about next year’s milestone celebration, the new Knott’s Bear-y Tales attraction and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation about the newly announced event at Knott’s this year by using #Knotts100 or #AKnottsFamilyReunion.

 

 

Easy No-Sew Cindy Lou Who DIY for Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

littlegraytrhead cindy lou who

The Snowflake has landed in Universal Studios Hollywood and has brought back our friends from Who-ville, new and old!  “Grinchmas” is included with park admission and runs daily from November 28 through Sunday December 29.  To prepare, I made this super easy Cindy Lou Who headband.

Supplies:

  • Headband
  • Red and White pom poms
  • pipe cleaner for ribbons
  • White fleece or felt cut into 4 ovals
  • stuffing like cotton balls or fiberfill
  • glue gun

cindy lou who supplies

Measure a couple centimeters above the ear and mark with a pen.  Glue gun the circles together and stuff with stuffing.  Glue ovals to headband letting the bottom hang over the ears.  Glue the pom poms onto the headband.

Add as many ribbon details as you like!  I chose pipe cleaner so the bow will stand up.

cindy lou who headband

I pieced together the Cindy Lou Who costume with a red gingham dress and a red half circle cape.  You can even use a red tree skirt and attach ribbons to the collar!

 

The Martha May Santa costume was purchased from Target.  It’s super sparkly and over the top, just like Martha May Whovier!

littlegraythread cindy lou who martha

What’s New at Grinchmas Universal Studios Hollywood

New this year is the all-new, state-of-the-art, topsy-turvy “Grinchmas” tree that twists and turns over 55 feet in height. The custom-made tree is adorned with hundreds of ornaments and thousands of sparkling LED lights and choreographed to music to brighten the merry “Grinchmas” Who-lebration.

Dazzling “Grinchmas” tree lighting ceremonies that take place every evening, accompanied by a snowfall flurry, bring this annual favorite to life, creating a festival of fun fit for The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos (Pro tip:  Line up at the main Whoville entry gate a half hour before the tree lighting to enter.  First tree lighting happens at 5:30 and occurs every half hour).  There are some new Whos visiting Hollywood for the first time!

grinchmas djs

Tips on Meeting Characters

grinch and dj

Of course, meeting the Grinch himself is a must-do if you visit Whoville.  Lines can be extremely long, especially during peak season, but there are several things to do with minimal lines or no lines at all!

  • Meet Max the Dog–he’s a real animal actor!

grinchmas max

  • Many Whos roam around and do not have lines.  Be prepared to play!  We also met Cindy Lou Who who was roaming around and did not have a line.
  • Check out the cute Grinch decor like this Grinch snowman

grinch snowman

  • Write ways how your heart grew 3 sizes

heart growing writing

  • Eat all the Who Foods!  This Grinch Donut was available in the Whoville area and was a steal at only $7.99.  The Whoville Who Hash (tator tots, corned beef, cream of mushroom soup, onions and peppers) was found at the quick service restaurant “Hollwood and Dime” for around $10 and came with the take home can.

 

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also transform for the Holiday season.

Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • Seasonal decor to each storefront and a light projection spectacular to bring the the iconic Hogwarts™ castle to life.
  • As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle” illuminates Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with colorful imagery and impressive dimensional animations that dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies.
  • Holiday themed songs from the a cappella Frog Choir
  • A wide selection of custom-made Christmas ornaments created especially for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be available. Collectibles include a decorative Hogwarts castle snow globe, Hogwarts crest and mascot ornaments representing each of the four houses, wizard card ornaments, unique tree topper and house pennant garland.
  • Holiday-themed fare and hot Butterbeer further complement the overall experience.

With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, the California Neighbor Pass makes the perfect holiday gift, providing guests with the opportunity to experience 175 days of fun for $149 when purchased online. Visit www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com for more details. Blackout dates and restrictions apply.

littlegraythread grinchmas

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Admission to Universal CityWalk is free. More information available at www.CityWalkHollywood.com.

Knott’s Merry Farm Season Eats and Treats: What’s on the Meal Plan?

littlegraythread meal plan merry farm

It’s the Merriest–and the yummiest–time of the year at Knott’s Berry Farm!  The limited time holiday foods are some of my favorites, especially since I have a soft spot for anything that is Thanksgiving Dinner themed!  They have expanded the offerings for 2019 and many of the items are meal plan eligible!

knotts merry farm food

Upon entry, you can pick up a Merry Farm Event Guide.  Merry Farm happens daily from November 22 through January 5 with select days featuring special holiday entertainment.  Food and treats are available every day inside and outside the park at the California Marketplace.

Wagon Wheel Pizza (located near Ghostrider)

mac n cheese lorraine

  • Mac Lorraine and Plain Mac n Cheese:  Macaroni with a white cheese sauce, bacon and chives served in a Naan bread cone.  Meal Plan Eligible.

Calico Fry Co. (located near Wagon Camp Stunt Show)

Fried Green Beans - Calico Fry

  • Fried Green Beans served with mushroom soup dip.  Meal Plan Eligible

Sutters Pizza (located next to Calico Fry Co.)

  • Apple Pie Dessert Pizza:  topped with apple pie filling, brown sugar crumble, and a cream cheese icing  Meal Plan Eligible

Beachy Keen’s Pizza (located near Charles M. Schulz Theater, Snoopy on Ice)

holiday pizzas

  • White Christmas Pizza:  white cheese sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, garlic, chicken and chives.  Meal Plan Eligible.
  • Apple Pie Dessert Pizza.  Meal Plan Eligible.

Coasters Diner (located near Xcellerator)

holiday turkey burger

  • Turkey Dinner Burger:  Turkey patty, cranberry mayo, apple sage stuffing on a pretzel bun.  Meal Plan Eligible.
  • Holiday Shakes:  Peppermint or Eggnog (around $6)

Boardwalk BBQ

holiday turkey sandwich

  • Turkey Dinner Sandwich:  Carved turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce ona  french roll.  Meal Plan Eligible.

Fiesta Dogs (located in Fiesta Village)

Christmas Chicago Dog - Fiesta Dog

  • Christmas Chicago Dog:  Vienna hot dog, dill pickle, tomato slices, relish, mustard, sport peppers on a green bun.  Meal Plan Eligible.

Papa Loca (located in Fiesta Village)

Holiday Poutine - Papa Loca

  • Holiday Poutine:  sweet potato fries, cheese curds, cranberries, turkey and gravy.  Meal Plan Eligible

Grizzly Creek Lodge (located in Camp Snoopy)

stromboli

  • Stromboli:  Ham, cheese and marinara sauce in pizza dough.  Meal Plan Eligible

Ghost Town Grill (sit down restaurant in Ghost Town)

  • Turkey Pasty:  turkey breast, wild mushrooms, cream, potatoes, cranberries, and spinach served in a pie crust pocket
  • Classic Turkey Dinner:  Turkey breast, apple sage stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce

Ghost Town Bakery (located near Ghostrider and First Aid)

cheesecake on a stick

  • Mini Christmas Ornament Chocolate Candy Apples
  • Christmas Bark:  Milk chocolate English Toffee, peppermint white chocolate, and pistachio cranberry dark chocolate

Santa’s Christmas Cabin (located in the Wilderness Dance Hall behind the School House in Ghost Town.  You can also meet Santa!)

Turkey Bites- Santa's Christmas Cabin

  • Holiday Turkey Balls
  • Holiday Turkey Eggrolls
  • Cookie Shots:  chocolate chip and red velvet
  • Cranberry-Apricot Wild Boar Sausage:  with caramelized onions, spicy mustard on a hoagie bun
  • Belgium Waffles
  • Warm chocolate chip cookies and milk

Seasonal Funnel Cakes:  All funnel cakes can be found outside the park at Cable Car Kitchen (S’mores, Maple Pecan, Horchata and Peppermint).  They can be served with scooped ice cream at Cable Car Kitchen whereas they only have vanilla soft serve inside the park.

  • S’mores Funnel Cake:  at Sutter’s Funnel Cake near Sutter’s quick service restaurant
  • Maple Pecan Funnel Cake:  at Ghost Town Grub (in Ghost Town near Firemen’s).  They also have the fried Christmas Cookie Dough Bites here
  • Horchata Funnel Cake:  at Log Ride Funnel Cake

California Marketplace:  shops and restaurants outside the park before you go through security

  • Cable Car Kitchen:  variety of funnel cake, churro sundaes, cookie sundaes, and a $15 holiday milkshake served with a donut
  • DoughKnotts:  Holiday stuffed donuts

holiday doughknotts

  • The Farm Bakery:  Winter Mint Macaron Snowmen, baklava, eggnog Christmas Tree Cheesecake on a Stick
  • Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant:  holiday menu includes chicken parmasan, meat pie popovers, and more

Dining Tips and Tricks

  • With the Knott’s Berry Farm meal plan, you are allowed 2 meals per visit, 4 hours apart.  Regular year-round options are also available during this time.
  • If you don’t have a meal plan on your pass, you can buy a single day All Day Dining wristband for $32.99.  This way, you can try any meal plan eligible item every 90 minutes.
  • The fastest place to grab Meal Plan Food is Boardwalk BBQ
  • Don’t have a park admission ticket?  No problem!  Enjoy seasonal eats outside the park at the California Marketplace at The Farm Bakery, Doughknotts, and Cable Car Kitchen.  Don’t forget about the world’s famous Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
  • If you run into a situation where an employee says that a food item is not on the meal plan, you can politely ask them to try to see if it will go through.  It’s not a guarantee, but it’s worth a shot!

merry farm littlegraythread

For more of our family adventures, find us on Instagram @littlegraythread.

 

 

Rare Characters You can Meet at Knott’s Spooky Farm

spooky farm pig pen costume

Knott’s Spooky Farm (not to be confused with Haunt Knott’s SCARY Farm) is the daytime family friendly Halloween layover in Ghost Town and Camp Snoopy.  You do not need a special ticket for Knott’s Spooky Farm since it is included with your theme park admission.  The activities in Ghost Town are only available on weekends and on October 31 while Halloween activities occur daily in Camp Snoopy.

Daily Activities in Camp Snoopy (During the week and weekends)

spooky farm railroad

  • “The Monsters are Coming Charlie Brown” show in Camp Snoopy Theater
  • Meet the Peanuts Gang in their Halloween Costumes (more on that later)
  • Grand Sierra Railroad Halloween Overlay
  • Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny (this may be scary for young kids)

Weekend only Activities in Ghost Town (in addition to activities above)

spooky farm ghouls

  • FREE Trick or Treating for kids 11 and under.  Get your complementary purple bag when you first come in through the maingates.  There are 6 Trick or Treat locations located throughout Calico.  Look for the orange barrels.
  • Meet the Ghouls of Ghost Town.  Don’t worry–they’re all friendly ghosts!
  • Ghoulash–about every hour, the ghouls gather in front of the school house to tell jokes
  • Creepy Critters of Calico in the Livery Barn
  • Linus’ Pumpkin Patch and activities in Calico Square
  • “Calling all the Monsters” Costume Contest at Camp Snoopy Theater at 3:15
  • Spooky Story Time show in the Birdcage Theater–comedic retelling of the Tale of the Headless Horseman

Halloween Peanuts Characters in Camp Snoopy

Most of the Peanuts Gang is dressed up in their Halloween costumes for Spooky Farm!  Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and JT meet in the gazebo directly following “The Monsters are Coming Charlie Brown” show in Camp Snoopy Theater.  Linus is the only character that is not wearing a Halloween costume since he is waiting for the Great Pumpkin in Calico Square.  The other Peanuts Characters meet on various days all around Camp Snoopy.  If you are looking for a specific character, you can ask an escort in a purple Spooky Farm tee shirt.

  • JT in her 50’s outfit
  • Snoopy as the Masked Beagle
  • Frankenstein Charlie Brown
  • Witch Lucy
  • Skeleton Pig Pen (NEW!)
  • Pumpkin Flower Sally
  • Phantom of the Opera Schroeder
  • Mummy Peppermint Patty
  • Vampire Franklin
  • Pirate Woodstock
  • Linus in the Pumpkin Patch in Calico Square (no costume)

Ghouls in Ghost Town

My favorite part of Knotts Spooky Farm is playing with the friendly ghouls in Calico!  Every ghoul has a unique storyline–ask them how they died!  New ghoul Miss Issippi told me that the reason why she died is because she wore white after labor day.  Nosy Posy is another new ghoul in town that is also known as the town gossip.  Ollie Board is a railroad driver and my daughters love chasing him through Ghost Town.  About every hour, the ghouls will congregate around the School House for “Ghoulash”, a time for jokes and puns.

spooky farm linus pumpkin patch

Knott’s Spooky Farm runs weekends and on October 31.  For more information, visit the Knott’s website here.

What I Learned from Disney Social Media Celebration “On the Road”

Jenielle LittleGrayThread

I can still feel that excitement when I checked my email and found the invitation to Disney Social Media Celebration “On the Road” (#DisneySMC) at the Disneyland Resort.  In previous years, this conference was known as “Disney Social Media Moms” (#DisneySMMC), but I love how they have opened it up to all content creators, not just specific to “Mommy Bloggers”.  This was my first official Disney conference that I’ve been invited to and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.  I attended the conference free of charge and was provided with complementary tickets to Disneyland for my family.  All opinions are my own.

What is Disney SMC?

 

Disney Social Media Celebration, or “DisneySMC” is a invite-only conference that takes place about every other year at a Disney Resort.  I attended DisneySMC “On the Road” at the Disneyland Resort hosted at the Disneyland Hotel.  There were nine speakers (mediated by Courtnee Collier, Influencer Communications Manager) throughout the day that spoke about different topics how we can improve our Social Media Reach:

  • Bob Hitchcock (Editorial Content Director):  importance of video content and the power of emotion
  • Mallory Wang (Digital Marketing Content for Disney DTCI Programming and Studios):  how social platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) can all work together
  • Louie Provost (Senior VP of Production at Walt Disney Studios): sneak peek of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil coming to theaters October 18
  • John Breckow (Director of Corporate Citizenship for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products):  Cultural Social Responsibility and how Disney partners with Make-a-Wish (130,000 wishes granted since 1980!), #ShareYourEars campaign, and Disney VoluntEARing
  •  Tom Smith (Editorial Content Director for Disney Parks Blog):  Custom Created Content using your Platform, Ecosystem, and Community
  • Michael Ramirez (Editorial Content Director for Disneyland Resort):  New things coming to Disneyland Resort–Halloweentime (through October 31, The Holidays Begin Here (November 8 – January 6), Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Rise of the Resistance (January 17, 2020), Magic Happens Parade (Spring 2020), and Avengers Campus (2020)
  • Colleen Nettekoven (Downtown Disney):  new Halloweentime decor and limited time seasonal offerings and live entertainment.  West Beat Sings Scareolers will be performing every Wednesday and Friday night in front of Wonderground
  • Kristin Dewberry (Construction Manager for Logistics):  empowering the next generation of imagineers through free tools from Imagineering in a Box (imagineeringinabox.org)
  • Ashley Eckstein (voice of Star Wars Ashoka Tano and creator of HerUniverse):  Reminding us to wish, believe, do, transform, and trust.

Key Note Speaker Ashley Eckstein

LittleGrayThread Ashley Eckstein

You might recognize Ashley Eckstein‘s name as a Disney Channel actress and voice of Star War Ashoka Tano, but you might have not known that she created women’s clothing line HerUniverse from the ground up.  In her key note address, she reminded us why we’re all doing what we’re doing in the social media world and what to do when we want to give up.

What is Your Story?

We all have a story, and we all have a unique voice.  A group of bloggers can all see the same thing and go to the same event, but our coverage–or the way we tell our story–will all be different.  Ashley reminded us that all of our stories are valid.  We are not in competition with each other because we are here to tell our unique stories.

When I think of my story, I think of the things that make me unique.  I like to tell my story through the eyes of my daughters who love dressing up, characters, and live entertainment.  My unique parenting style focuses on inclusion and I hope that my actions can start conversations or break down walls with other people.  Since I am Chinese, I also act as an advocate for people of color and speak up to amplify voices that are sometimes too small to be heard.  My audience knows to expect these things from me and I appreciate that they want to hear my voice.

Wishes, Goals, and Transformation

OurUniverse book

When Ashley had an idea to start a women’s clothing line, she had big goals in mind.  For bloggers, goals can be anywhere from being invited to events to making enough money to support your family.  Goals can be personal such as having a pinterest worthy clean house or being debt free.  Ashley broke it down on how we can start achieving these goals.

  • WISH.  Every goal needs to start with a wish or an idea.  There is no age limit to wishing.
  • BELIEVE.  Write down one impossible thing and believe you can do it.  Believe in yourself and don’t be consumed by the competition.
  • DO.  YOU have to be the driving force of your own destiny.  Do something every day to get you one step closer to your goal.
  • TRANSFORM.  Use the resources you have.  No one is an overnight success.  Figure out your “WHY?”  Remember why you have this goal and use it to refocus and ground yourself when things get hard.
  • TRUST.  Trust your gut.  Be ready for change because change is a necessary part of growth.

Ashley encouraged us to be Dream Warriors.  Make your dreams come true.  And when they do come true, help someone else’s dream come true.  Let that sink in for a little bit.

How to get Invited to DisneySMC

You’re not going to like this answer.  Nobody knows.  I still don’t know how I got invited  or who to contact to try to get on their radar.  But here are some things that I’ve learned that has helped me feel validated as a blogger.

  • NETWORK.  A good portion of social media is the people you know.  Be active in the community, meet people who you look up to, collaborate and make new connections.
  • PRODUCE QUALITY CONTENT.  If you want to be invited to a Disney conference, you need to be writing about Disney!  I’ve been sharing our Disneyland adventures for four years before Disney even knew who I was.  This means staying current about whats new at Disney, paying attention to trends, and making an effort to report things that will serve your audience.
  • BE A STORYTELLER.  Talk about things that make you YOU.  When I looked around the room at DisneySMC, I saw people from every walks of life.  The vast majority of the influencers at the conference do not ONLY post Disney content.  We all write about what makes us unique, the things we’re passionate about, things that we think are important.  Our distinct backgrounds, writing styles, how we share information was all different and that’s what makes people stand out from the crowd.
  • TREAT YOURSELF LIKE A PROFESSIONAL.  If you think of yourself as a member of the working media, you will present yourself with confidence.  Even when I have no idea what I’m doing, I try to give off an air of confidence not only to fool me but to fool everyone else in the room.  This also means that you have to do your due diligence to make sure that you are following FTC guidelines, keeping up with contracts, and acting in a way that would be pleasing to the company and brands.
  • REMEMBER YOUR WHY.  Like Ashley said, remember why you are doing social media to begin with.  Is it to inspire?  Make money? Be helpful?  If you stick to achieving your goals, you are still succeeding every step of the way.

Halloween Mickey and Minnie DisneySMC

I left the conference armed with new tools to help tell my story.  I felt validated and seen.  I’m beyond grateful that Disney is interested in hearing my voice.  Thank you Disney for this incredible opportunity.

NEW Jurassic World Dinosaur Experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood

Dino Play Baby Tango

Over the summer, the newly redesigned Jurassic World water ride opened along with new dinosaur experiences on the lower lot of Universal Studios Hollywood!  My family was invited to check out the new offerings and received complementary Universal Express tickets (more on that later).  Typically, we usually don’t spend too much time on the Lower Lot since my kids are too short to ride the attractions.  However, we literally spent our entire day exploring all the new dinosaurs!  Here’s how we spent our time:

NEW Dinosaur Meet and Greet Encounters

Blue the Raptor has a new permanent meeting location just to the left of the elevators.  You can enter the line where it says “Raptor Encounter”.  The meet and greet takes place during one of her “training sessions” and you can walk up to her for a photo.  If you’re not brave enough to get that close to a dinosaur, you can also observe from a safe distance.  It’s always fun to see how many guests she can sneak up on and scare!

Raptor encounter

Juliet the Triceratops is one of the new dinosaurs that you can meet!  She is walked out with her handler on the path near the Raptor Encounter.  After she slowly makes her way out of the gates, she usually stops near the base of the escalators.  Once she stops, the handlers will welcome you to pet her gently.  You can attempt to take a picture with her, but since there is no official line, the guests rush her all at the same time.

Baby Raptors also come out with their trainer!  There are a couple of different babies, but we met the raptor named Tango.  Again, there are no official lines for these meet and greets, so the best way to meet them is to follow the trainer.  The trainer will usually do a few training activities and allow guests to pet the baby raptor if she’s ready.

Dino Play Area

Right next to the entrance of the Jurassic World ride is a playground!  The entire area is enclosed and is supervised by trainers.  Since there is only one way in and out, you don’t have to worry about your kids running away in different directions.  This area has slides, a climber, a huge walk through obstacle course, and a shaded fossil area.  The best part is that it’s surrounded by misters to overcome the heat.  My favorite part was the musical chimes where you can actually learn how to play the Jurassic Park theme!  Since we took advantage of the child rider switch, we spent a good portion of our time at Dino Play.

The Jurassic World Ride

The main attraction:  the new Jurassic World water ride!  Formally Jurassic Park, this ride has been updated with new special effects (the water dinosaur is awesome!) and animatronics.  The wait times can be extremely long (typically about 2 hours), so I definitely recommend purchasing the Universal Express ticket.  It’s not much more than a daily admission (just about $70), but it allows you a fast lane pass to every ride in the park, including Jurassic World.  Since we only had one day to explore Universal Studios, it was nice not having to spend the majority of our day in lines.  If your kids aren’t able to ride Jurassic World, you can also view some dinosaurs on the world famous Universal Studios Hollywood Tram Ride!

Is it worth visiting if your kids are too short (or scared) to ride

100 percent yes!  If your kids are into dinosaurs, they will LOVE spending the time being amongst them.  The meet and greets alone are worth it to visit and your kids will likely want to close out the Dino Play Area.  The food at the Isla Nu Restaurant is my favorite in the park so definitely plan to be there for a meal!

For more of our theme park adventures, follow us on Instagram @littlegraythread.

Everything You Need to Know about Knott’s Scary Farm

scary farm logo

Get ready for the fog!  Knott’s Scary Farm is coming to Knott’s Berry Farm on select nights September 19 through November 2.  Last year was my first time at Haunt and I had no idea what to expect!  Here is everything you need to know about this high thrill Halloween event!

What is Knott’s Scary Farm

spooky ghost town

Knott’s Scary Farm, or “Haunt” for short, is a separate ticketed event on select Halloween season nights.  It is a high thrill scary Halloween event with monsters, mazes, scare zones, and themed shows.  Even though there is no enforced age limit, it is recommended for guests age 13 and up.  Knott’s Scary Farm should not be confused with Knott’s Spooky Farm which is the family friendly Halloween event that happens during daytime hours on weekends at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Things to do at Scary Farm

Be prepared to get scared!  Scare Zones are locations in the parks where monsters roam free.  They can stalk, jump, slide, yell, shake cans of beans, but never touch you (and you should never touch them!).  Mazes are huge sets that you walk through where monsters can jump out.  These are the main attraction of Scary Farm and lines for these can get very long.  If you need a break from frights, catch a show for some comedic relief.

Scare Zones

  • Ghost Town Streets:  monsters and sliders (scare actors who skid on their knees) in the Ghost Town Calico area
  • Carnevil:  clowns in the Boardwalk area from Johnny Rockets to Xcellerator (by Hangtime)
  • The Hollows:  monsters in the Camp Snoopy area with occasional show stops by the waterfall
  • Forsaken Lake:  calvacade that happens just past the railroad tracks near the Log Ride entrance (pathway to Fiesta).  NEW this year is a bigger and better parade.

Shows

  • Awaken the Dead Fiesta:  Dia de los muertos dancers with a live dj (not scary), located on the stage in Fiesta Village
  • The Conjuring:  Improv show now located in the Birdcage Theater in Ghost Town (not scary)
  • The Hanging:  big nightly show on the outdoor Calico Stage featuring current pop culture trends (not scary)
  • NEW! Brian Henson’s Puppet Up:  part improv, part puppet show, completely unscripted and uncensored.  Located in the Charles M Schulz Theater (not scary but likely very raunchy)

puppet up logo

Mazes

  • NEW Wax Works:  Former Plastic Surgeon turned Wax Collector enjoys turning people into his demented works of art

wax works

  • NEW Origins: the Curse of Calico:  Finally a maze that links together a scare zone, the Hanging, and a maze.  Origins: The Curse of Calico tells the story of how a witch cursed the land of Calico before her attempted hanging.  The fog that covers the Ghost Town Streets scare zone represents the witch’s curse.  This brand new maze will take place near the Ghost Town cemetery.  Keep your eyes out for some familiar Ghost Town Alive faces!

origins maze

  • FINAL YEAR Shadowlands
  • FINAL YEAR Special Ops Infected:  (zombie maze with laser gun).  New this year is a split track to make each walk through spontaneous and unique
  • Dark Entities:  improved lighting and enhanced scares
  • The Depths:  new elevator scene
  • Dark Ride:  Gift shop added at the end
  • Pumpkin Eater
  • Paranormal Inc

NEW Exclusive Merchandise

The Iron Reef gift shop located near the Charles M Schulz Theater has been rethemed for Hallowen and is now called the “Bizarre Bazaar”.  Yes, there is a Knott’s Scary Farm spirit jersey.  Is it even a theme park if there wasn’t a coordinating spirit jersey?

Also new this year are commemorative pins.  There are 4 for 2019 celebrating the new mazes (Origins and Wax Works) and the two mazes in its finale year (Shadowlands and Ops).  Each pin is priced at $9.95 before tax.  Also be on the look out for exclusive desserts and dining options only available during Haunt!

Admission Dates and Prices

Thursdays through Sundays from September 19 through November 2.  If you have a single day ticket or Season Pass to Knott’s Berry Farm, you will need a separate ticket for Scary Farm.  Hours are Thursdays and Sundays 7pm-1am, and Fridays and Saturday 7pm-2am.  Note that regular Knott’s Berry Farm daily hours end a little bit earlier on Scary Farm days (weekends close at 5:00!).  Even if you are staying for Haunt, you will have to exit the park since they completely clear out the park before letting people in for the after hours event.

  • Single Night Admission:  $84 at the gates
  • Save money and buy tickets online:  Single night admission starting at $43 at http://www.knottsscaryfarm.com
  • Scary Farm Season Pass:  $100 for non passholders, $90 for passholders
  • Fright and Fast Lane Pass:  starting at $90 add on to bypass the line of all mazes and Fast Lane eligible roller coasters (HIGHLY recommended)

fright and fast lane

  • Knott’s Scary Farm Boo-fet and early entry:  Dine with the monsters before Scary Farm at this dinner buffet.  $37.99 (Scary Farm admission required and not included).  Includes refillable souvenir cup ($14.99 value), one digital download photo with a monster at the dinner, and early entry so you can beat the popular maze lines
  • Visit www.knottsscaryfarm.com for exclusive bundle discounts and additional discounts for Season Passholders

Frequently Asked Questions

spooky fountain 2

  • This is a separate ticketed event from daytime Knott’s Berry Farm.  You will need to buy a ticket even if you have an Annual Pass.
  • Meal plans are NOT valid during Haunt, but souvenir drink refills ARE VALID.
  • Parking passes ARE VALID (and police are extra vigilant about ticketing in illegal parking areas in neighborhoods).  A parking pass can be bought ahead of time for $22.
  • There is no age limit enforced, but this event is recommended for guests age 13 and up.
  • DON’T TOUCH THE SCARE ACTORS.  They are people too.

What ticket should I get?

If there’s the slightest chance that you would want to go more than once, definitely get the Knott’s Scary Farm Season pass ($90-$100).  It pays for itself in under 2 visits and you won’t feel pressured to do all the mazes in one evening.  If you only have one day to visit, I would highly consider the Fright and Fast Lane wristband (starting at $90 add on or $125 bundled with admission).  Lines for mazes can easily be over an hour long and the only way to see everything is with the front of the line pass.  If you don’t want to spend quite that much, I would book a Boo-fet dinner which allows you early entry ($37.99 add on or $77.99 with admission).  Since this includes the souvenir cup valued at $14.99, you’re basically paying $23 for a great meal and access to mazes with a short wait time.

KSF littlegraythread

Get ready for Haunt and see you in the fog!  For more of our adventures at Knott’s Berry Farm, follow us on instagram @littlegraythread.  Photos courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm.