Autism Friendly at Knotts Berry Farm
Autism Friendly at Knotts Berry Farm: A Guide to The Park
Wondering if your ASD child can visit and enjoy Knott's Berry Farm? Not sure what to expect? Well we have visited on many occasions and I am pleased to share, it can work for our kids and young adults with autism. The great thing about Knott's Berry Farm is there are so many different things to do and many at your own pace. Shows, rides, character meet and greets even arcade and carnival games. Read about how the system works for those with disabilities and one specifically for those with autism, where to get it what you need and how to make it a fun-autism friendly experience.
The Ride Boarding Pass Program and other helpful services: Where and how to request them
- First thing, Go to Guest Services located near the exit of GhostRider.
- Express your concerns/limitations, no documentation is required or can be asked for (it's against ADA laws)
- The individual requiring accommodation needs to be present while you are requesting assistance.
- A pass (The Ride Boarding Pass) may be issued depending on the needs of your group, for scheduling times to ride attractions. Pass good for the guest plus 4 in their party. For parties larger than 5 you will be offered an alternative way to wait outside the ride queue.
- Specifically for those with autism, request the "Plan A Day" option. See below for explanation.
- If you need, get KidTrack, a wrist band program, which will assist you and park personnel in reuniting your group should you become separated.
- Parent Swap. This allows one parent to ride while another parent waits with the child. When the ride is complete, the parents swap child responsibility at the exit.
- Stroller or wheelchair rentals, proceed to Stroller Rental adjacent to the Geode Shop inside the front gate.
How it works: Ride Boarding pass with Plan a Day option for those with Autism.
This option is a stress free way to enjoy the parks with our ASD kids without the complications of having to go to a ride, get a return time and then have to go back to that ride when your time is up. It also avoids the issue of if you child changes their minds during the time they are waiting to board a ride. We used this pass during our last visit and it's nothing short of brilliant!
- Depending on the days average wait times, attractions are grouped into two sections (Big thrill/small thrill) See picture for breakdown. Times are averaged and that will be our base time for returning to either group.
- You are free to board your first choice right away. Depending on what "thrill level" that ride is determines the next ride boarding time. So say you pick a ride in the first group and it's a 30 minuet wait time, you are free to board another ride of your choosing in 30 minuets.
- After waiting that time, you are free to chose another ride for either level, no pre reserving of ride required.
- Best part of this system is you are free to decide on the fly which ride you want to choose next instead of the other option of a specific ride return time.
How it works: Ride Boarding Pass without "Plan a day" (for all other disabilities)
- The rider (or a member of their party) will enter the ride via the fastpass line or exit to obtain a boarding time from the rides' associate (Alternate Access Entrance) a return time will be given that is equal to the current rides wait time. allowing the party to wait comfortably away from the queue area, grab a snack or use the restroom.
- When your time is up you are free to return and board the ride through the exit or alternative entrance. If the time passes you can still ride, just not before your time.
- The guest listed on the Boarding Pass must be present as a rider when a Boarding Pass is being utilized.
- Guests may not accumulate more than one boarding time at a time.
- After you have used your return time you are free to select another ride and repeat the process. You are free to catch a show or go on other rides while waiting for your return time, you will have to wait in the rides queue though.
- In general if there is no line or very minimal wait, you might be boarded right then and there at the members descretion.
Some general tips that work when visiting any amusement park.
- Prime your child/young adult by watching Youtube videos, looking at pictures and finding what interests them at the park.
- Visit the parks web site to read up on what the rides height requirements and accessibility is. Nothing worse that having a kid want to ride an attraction they are not big enough to board.
- If your child still can fit in a stroller, take it. It serves as a great place for them to relax, avoid crowds and a way to transport snacks or reinforcers.
- Have a plan in place, if you know you can't stay long plan out your visit and be sure to involve your child so they have an idea what to expect.
- Have an exit plan, if your child has issues with transitioning prime them before you are going to leave.
- Food can be an issue in the parks, bring snacks your child will eat.
- Headphones can be a lifesaver and make trying new things easier for our kids.
- Many rides will get you wet, bring extra clothes.
- Never force your child, even if you know they will love a ride or attraction, it might take several attempts to get them to try a new ride.
- Try visiting on off peak seasons or during the week, I know it's tough here in SoCal but weekdays always better than weekends and non holiday periods.
- Great place to practice the premack theory too, first this then that! Compromises and patience will make your day smoother.
Another great resource is the Guest Assistance Guide It gives you info on every ride with a rating system. Listing ride height requirements, level of ride and even seating layouts (single rider per car and so on) Great resource to read before your visit! It takes time for some of our kids to enjoy the parks but don't let that keep you from taking them. I waited till my daughter was five to introduce her to amusement parks. By then she had some basic knowledge of following the rules and the ability to use coping strategies. Always remain calm, ask for help if you need it and advocate, you know your child and their limitations best!