Knott's 100 Year History - 1980s
Walter Knott dies on Dec. 3 – one week before his 92nd birthday. Amusement park veteran Terry E. Van Gorder takes the helm as Knott’s first non-family president and CEO.
Camp Snoopy, the park’s six-acre wonderland for kids, opens July 1 as the official home of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. It is the first area of any amusement park designed solely for kids under 12.
Knott’s Berry Farm is magically transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm as the park hosts its first Ghost Town Christmas Crafts Festival.
Another dimension to Roaring 20’s is added with the opening of Pacific Pavilion, home of education-oriented marine mammal shows.
Knott’s foreshadows the dinosaur craze by replacing Knott’s Bear-y Tales with Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, a trek into prehistory complete with 21 fully animated creatures and environmental special effects. The expertly timed new attraction helps make the year one of the best on record.
Knott’s Berry Farm becomes only the fourth park in the world to receive the coveted Amusement Business/Liseberg Applause Award, awarded biannually to the amusement park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.
Bigfoot Rapids, an untamed journey down the longest man-made river in the West, opens in the new Wild Water Wilderness themed area.
Knott’s introduces its “Adventures in Education” program, making learning “come alive” for Southern California students of all ages through in-park educational tours and school assemblies.
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Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".