Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags are great options for family getaways, but they’re not close together (unless you count sixty miles on California interstates as a short drive).
Because of this, most families can only stop at one or the other. Choosing where to go can be difficult, especially when you don’t know a lot about each park. This guide will give you everything you need to make the right choice between Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Six Flags for your perfect family vacation.
What Is Important to You?
When choosing between Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Six Flags, think about which of these factors are important to you:
- Distance from your accommodation
- The age of kids in your group
Using these factors to plan your trip can help you decide whether Knott’s Berry Farm or Six Flags is the better option for your family.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm is an adventure park in Buena Park, California, consisting of four themed areas inspired by California’s history. The four themed areas of the park are:
- The Old West
- The Fiesta Village
- Southern California
- The High Sierras
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags is a chain of large roller coaster parks throughout the United States. Their Los Angeles location is called Six Flags Magic Mountain. Six Flags has licensing rights from DC, so their parks are Loony Tunes and DC Comics-themed.
Distance and Location
Six Flags Magic Mountain is farther north than Knott’s Berry Farm, outside Los Angeles. Knott’s is just a short jaunt from the Disney parks.
Knott’s Berry Farm is your best bet if you’re looking to add another park to your Disney vacation and want to minimize driving.
The drive to Six Flags Magic Mountain from the Disney parks and Knott’s Berry Farm is only about 55 miles on I-5, but traffic in LA is notorious. The drive can easily take you an hour and a half or long in stop-and-go traffic. However, this leads many people to avoid Six Flags, so you may be able to avoid crowds.
If you’re staying in North LA, such as the Pasadena area, the drive might only take you about 40 minutes. If you’re staying in south LA, the drive can take you as long as two hours.
Though Six Flags has a reputation for fast rides and massive roller coasters, there’s still plenty to do for little ones there. However, Knott’s Berry Farm is much more accessible for young children.
Despite being a fraction of the size of Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm has the same number of rides in their “kids” category as Six Flags. Both parks offer 13 rides for little ones.
If you have really little kids in your group, Knott’s Berry Farm rides have lower height limits, especially if your kids want to ride alone. Almost all rides at Six Flags have a height limit of at least 42 inches, while most at Knott’s Berry Farm are 36 inches.
Knott’s Berry Farm will likely have more for them to do if you have a little one in your group who might be upset by height restrictions.
Overall, Six Flags Magic Mountain has more than 100 rides, while Knott’s Berry Farm only has about 40. If you and your group are thrill seekers and looking for the biggest, fastest coasters, Six Flags has far more for you to do than Knott’s Berry Farm.
That’s not to discount Knott’s thrill rides. They still have 20 attractions listed for thrill-seekers, including incredible coasters that hit more than 55 mph.
Overall, Six Flags has more rides, and many of them are larger than those at Knott’s Berry Farm, but both have plenty of fast-paced rides for thrill seekers.
Plenty of groups have one or a few people that prefer to stay off rides entirely. Fortunately, most parks have plenty of activities to do for those that like to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
Knott’s Berry Farm has to meet and greets, street entertainment, and seasonal shows available for guests of all ages. Six Flags Magic Mountain has seasonal street entertainment and after-hours concerts.
Overall, Knott’s Berry Farm has more entertainment for park visitors than Six Flags. If you have someone in your group who becomes the designated “bag holder,” they will likely have more to do at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Six Flags is a huge adventure park with licensing rights from the Looney Tunes and DC comics characters. Knott’s Berry Farm features the Peanuts characters in certain sections of the park.
If your kids (or you!) have a strong preference for particular mascots and characters you’d like to meet, try to keep this in mind. While the best parts of these parks are the rides and attractions, little ones might prefer to meet Bugs Bunny over Snoopy (or the other way around!).
The weather in southern California is warm and sunny year-round, so you don’t have to worry too much about getting cold or wet. However, Knott’s Berry Farm does have a large section of water-based slides and attractions, and Knott’s Berry Soak City closes from mid-September to late May.
All of Six Flags’ attractions are open year-round, however, so you can enjoy the park in full whenever you go.
If you’re still unsure which park is right for your family (or price is more important than anything else), we’ve put together a thorough overview of what you can expect to spend at each park.
Like most adventure parks, both Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags have variable ticket prices. Parks do this to facilitate demand and keep crowd levels down on the busiest days.
That said, these are the starting prices for both parks:
Knott’s Berry Farm: from $69
Six Flags Magic Mountain: from $70
There may be no significant difference in ticket price between the two parks, but, as any well-seasoned traveler knows, there are other costs to consider when picking a vacation.
Knott’s Berry Farm is further south and closer to LA than Six Flags. Knott’s Berry Farm is also much closer to the Disney parks.
Though there are discount options available in both areas. If you’re planning on visiting one park and staying nearby, you’re likely to spend more on a hotel room near Knott’s Berry Farm. However, if you live in or near LA, you can return home at the end of the day after visiting Knott’s Berry Farm. If you choose Six Flags, you’ll likely have to book a hotel.
Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain have various dining options available in the park, and neither allows visitors to bring their own food (barring infant formula or dietary restrictions, such as severe allergies). Both parks have a daily food pass available.
A Knott’s Berry Farm all-day dining plan is $31.99 per person with unlimited meals at sixteen locations. Wait between meals is 90 minutes. If you plan to spend plenty of time trying all of the delicious delicacies that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer, this is a pretty good deal. However, if you’re there for the rides, it may not be worth it to spend this much on a food pass.
Six Flags Magic Mountain One-Day Dining Deal costs $ 23.99 per person but only comes with one meal, snack, and drink. Since Six Flags focuses primarily on the ride experience of users, the lack of flexibility with the dining plan makes sense.
Knott’s Berry Farm has one fast pass called the Fast Lane. A Fast Lane Pass gives the holder unlimited access to shorter lines on most rides throughout the park. The pass is $89 per person or $356 for a family of four.
Six Flags also has daily fast passes available called Flash Passes.
- Flash Pass Regular: $80 per person, $320 for a family of four
- Flash Pass Gold: $105 per person, $420 for a family of four
- Flash Pass Platinum: $190 per person, $760 for a family of four
Ultimately, choosing between Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Six Flags depends on what kind of trip you and your group want. If you have children under 40 inches tall, they will have more to do at Knott’s Berry Farm. On the other hand, if you have family members that like to ride the biggest, most thrilling rides possible, they will have more fun at Six Flags.
No matter which park you choose to visit, there’s plenty for the whole family to do. If theme parks aren’t exactly your style, there are plenty of other attractions to check out in California! Visit our California destination page to learn about all of the things you can see and do in this state.