Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Carowinds

North Carolina’s Carowinds and California’s Knott’s Berry Farm, both theme parks, are part of the Cedar Fair chain.

Knott’s Berry Farm, situated in California, is the most visited Cedar Fair park, boasting rides and attractions catering to a diverse audience.

Carowinds, located in North and South Carolina, also offers an impressive selection of rides, including thrilling roller coasters, water attractions, and family and kid-sized rides. 

Both parks are known for their thrilling rides, family-friendly rides and water activities.

Size and Opening hours

Carowinds spans 407 acres, while Knott’s Berry Farm is much smaller at 57 acres.

Knott’s Berry Farm opens daily at 10 pm and closes depending on the season. 

Carowinds’ hours of operation also vary depending on the time of the year.

During the peak summer months, it opens from 10 am to 10 pm, while during the winter months, it is open on the weekends from 11 am to 5 pm.

At other times of the year, the park closes between 6 pm and 8 pm.


Knott’s Berry Farm is situated in Buena Park, California, a 30-minute ride from Los Angeles.

Other California theme parks, including Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood, are all near Knott’s. 

Located partly in Fort Mill, South Carolina and partly in Charlotte, North Carolina, Carowinds lies on the North Carolina-South Carolina state line.

Knott’s Berry Farm address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 9062

Knott’s Berry Farm address
Image: Visitanaheim.org

Carowinds Address: 300 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273

Carowinds Address
Image: Charlottesgotalot.com

Rides and Attractions

Both parks are known for their thrill rides and other family-friendly attractions; let’s look at the various attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm and Carowinds.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm carowinds
Image: Knotts.com

Knott’s four main themed areas offer various rides, shows, restaurants and other attractions. 

Ghost Town, one of the most liked areas of the park, offers several thrill rides, including

  • Calico Mine Ride – a dark train ride traveling through a mine site with dozens of animatronic animals and humans
  • Pony Express – steel coaster 
  • Silver Bullet – a six-inversion suspended coaster 
  • GhostRider – West Coast’s longest and tallest wooden roller coaster

One of the most well-liked rides at Knott’s Berry Farm is the dark ride, Calico Mine Ride, which includes a journey through a mine excavation site in a real 1900s steam train.

The two water rides at the theme park are Calico River Rapids, a river rafting water ride with around 20 wildlife animatronics and Timber Mountain Log Ride, a four-minute dark ride ending in a 42 feet drop.

The Broadwalk and Fiesta Village, two of the park areas, feature thrill and family-friendly rides such as La Revolucion, HangTime, and MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress Jaguar! and a carousel.

Other park areas include Camp Snoopy, a Peanuts-themed kid zone with around a dozen rides and attractions, including a mini roller coaster and other scaled-down versions of adult Knott’s rides.

America’s rich culture and history are also displayed across the park at the Western Trails Museum, the replica of the Philadelphia Independence Hall and a 1900s Old Schoolhouse.


Image: Coaster101.com

One of the eight themed areas at Carowinds is the Thrill Zone.

The area houses thrill rides like the popular Fury 325,  a 325 feet tall roller coaster reaching speeds of up to 95 miles per hour, a drop tower and a wooden roller coaster. 

Other well-liked thrill rides at Carowinds include:

  • Intimidator – a 232-foot drop at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
  • Afterburn – previously known as ‘Top Gun: The Jet Coaster,’ Afterburn is an inverted steel coaster featuring six inversions
  • Nighthawk – a steel flying roller coaster with a 115 feet drop and speeds reaching up to 51 miles per hour.

Blue Ridge Junction offers a charming mountain town experience with attractions such as Copperhead Strike, a roller coaster ride through a scenic landscape and Mountain Gliders,a spinning and rotating ride.

Carowinds also has an area for kids called Camp Snoopy that features similar rides, like a flying balloon ride, a mini drop tower and a plane ride.

The newly opened area, Aeronautica Landing, features aviation-themed rides, food & beverages and carnival games.

Events and entertainment

Events and entertainment carowinds
Image: Wcnc.com

Throughout the year, Knott’s hosts several events, from the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival in the spring to Knott’s Merry Farm in the holidays.

Knott’s special events, with lots of food, live entertainment and decorations, are unique and fun.

Ghost Town Alive, the summer event, offers a one-of-a-kind interactive experience of a traditional western town. 

At the same time, Knott’s Scary Farm includes haunted mazes, fright zones and other eerie attractions.

Whatever the time of year, you will surely enjoy the dynamic events at Knott’s.

Carowinds also includes a big event calendar featuring good food, live entertainment and lively attractions:

  • Flights & Bites – a new early-year wine or beer-tasting event
  • Grand Carnivale – a summer event featuring a colorful parade, dynamic games, live music and a variety of international cuisine
  • SCarowinds – an annual Halloween event including haunted mazes, scare zones and live shows
  • The Great Pumpkin Fest – a Halloween event for children 
  • WinterFest – the winter event with twinkling lights, festive decorations, holiday-themed attractions and entertainment


Food carowinds
Image: Insider.com

Knott’s is also known for its classic food items like fried chicken at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant.

The springtime Boysenberry Festival offers several Boysenberry-inspired drinks and dishes. 

One such item is the unique combo of a cinnamon bun and funnel cake, Fun Bun, topped with boysenberry cream cheese frosting.   

Carowinds lacks the food history associated with Knott’s Berry Farm but still boasts some great dining outlets and delicious food. 

Like Knott’s, you can indulge in mouth-watering treats like funnel cake and fresh-cut fruit cups or savory dishes such as rotisserie chicken or slow-smoked BBQ pork. 

Despite lacking a storied culinary legacy, Carowinds more than makes up for it with its delectable food offerings that are sure to satisfy any craving.

Water park

Water park
Image: Latimes.com

Knott’s Berry Farm waterpark—Soak City—is a seasonal park with over 20 attractions. 

Located right next to the theme park, Knott’s Soak City requires separate admission tickets to enter.

It features a wave pool, a lazy river, an interactive playhouse, a one-foot lagoon for kids and various thrilling high-speed waterslides.

Carowinds also has a 26-acre water park—Carolina Harbor—included with park admission.

With around 30 water slides, six pools, and children’s play areas, the waterpark is larger than the 13-acre Knott’s Soak City.


The general one-day admission is the most popular of all Knott’s Berry Farm tickets. The ticket costs around $75 per person. 

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark requires a separate entrance ticket. 

On the other hand, a one-day ticket to Carowinds costs around $40 per person and includes admission to Carolina Harbor, the waterpark.

If you wish to visit other LA places, you can buy the Go City Los Angeles Pass, which includes access to over 40 top Los Angeles attractions and tours.

The pass includes free entry to theme parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm (and Soak City), Universal Studios Hollywood and Legoland California, museums, cruises, and more.

You can choose a 3-, 5- or 7-day pass and save up to 40% on admission to the included attractions.

Expected crowd

Knott’s averages around 3.5 or 4 million visitors annually, while Carowinds gets an average of 2 million visitors annually.

The number of visitors at both parks is huge during peak seasons, including the summer holidays, weekends and other holidays like Christmas and New Year. 

To avoid long wait times for rides, you should visit on a weekday when the parks are less busy. It can help you have a more enjoyable and seamless experience.

Featured Image: Mommymouseclubhouse.com, Pinterest.com

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