After Fights Break Out, One California Theme Park Chose To Shut Down Early Over The Weekend

Roller coasters at Knott's Berry Farm
(Image credit: Knott's Berry Farm)

Theme Parks are places where people go to have fun and relax but Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California was far from a fun place to be on Saturday night, as several different fights reportedly broke out, forcing the park to close three hours ahead of schedule. 

The official Knott’s Berry Farm Twitter posted a message on Saturday night that, due to “unruly behavior and altercations” from a number of teenagers, the park was closed three hours early. According to reports from local news, the altercations in questions were fights, as in more than one, that apparently broke out among different groups of teenagers within the same evening. Eventually the situation got so bad that Knott’s Berry Farm decided to close down the park early, for the safety of everybody else. 

For what it’s worth, the situation turned out to be far less terrible than initially thought. There were some unofficial reports of shots fired at the park, but those turned out to not be accurate according to the Los Angeles NBC affiliate. Instead, there were just the fights to be dealt with. This makes the situation at least slightly better than just about one year ago, where two teens were injured in a shooting at the entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm.

It’s unclear what the fights were about or if the various different fights were actually related, or if Knott’s Berry Farm was just unlucky and had several separate altercations breakout all at once. At this point we don’t really know what reasons there are that any of these fights got started. The park reopened the next day and there have been no reports of issues since, but there has reportedly been an increased security presence in the park as well. 

It certainly isn’t entirely unusual for theme parks to have problems like this. Even Disneyland has had pretty high profile fights start inside the park. Having said that, it seems like things have been worse at Knott’s Berry Farm more often than is usual. In recent years Knott’s Berry Farm has seemed to become a popular local hangout for younger guests in the area. With the increased cost of annual passes at Disneyland, and the fact that right now you can’t even buy one, Knott’s has become a place for people to hang out more because it’s cheaper to do so at Knott’s than at Disneyland.

It’s also, to be fair, an underrated park with a history that goes back even further than Disneyland. There’s a lot of fun to be had and with things like summer concerts and other special events, there are certainly events designed to bring in a younger crowd. Hopefully that crowd will be able to keep things under control. One assumes that if the people involved in fights were caught, they won’t be allowed back in the park. Being banned from a theme park is certainly something that happens when the reason is significant enough. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.