We’re back at Knott’s!
It’s 2023 and it’s time for the first big seasonal event of the year – it’s time for the Peanuts Celebration!
What began as what felt like a test has become a nice way to ease families into the new year with theme parks. A mixture of tasty treats, fun shows, some special photo ops, and a great nighttime concert.
Out in front, the photo ops return, including the favorite side-ways one of Snoopy stealing Linus’ blanket.
Decorations are up all around each land, each specifically themed to still fit in with the land. Although we couldn’t find any kite-eating trees this time around. Maybe it’ll pop up later. The decor felt a bit sparse and we can’t help but assume it’s still fleshing itself out. The last few weeks of rainy days probably contributed to a delay in setting up decorations.The first stop was getting some food. The new pizza/pasta location has a new spicy sausage and rigatoni dish and it was surprisingly good. Make all the jokes you want about different pasta shapes all tasting the same, but we ate it all up. Out in the town square, the events return, with a photo op for Franklin and Linus between the games. There are no real winners or losers, just a fun set of distractions for the children (and any brave adults). Pig-Pen is still taking over the barn in Ghost Town. Not only can you still meet with him, but there are actual piglets around that seem to be the real draw.Town Hall is usually dedicated to an exhibit about some aspect of Peanuts each year. This time around it’s about Snoopy’s space endeavors, both real and fictional. And it’s also a chance to take a photo with the beagle himself in front of the moon. The big stage, during the daytime, marks the return of “It’s your life, Charlie Brown!” a musical that’s a riff on the (very) old TV show. Nearby, we grabbed the Ultimate Peanut Butter & Jelly cookie, and it was the best food we had all day, by far. Like, for real, it was an amazing friggin’ cookie. The Sketch School is back! This is always a favorite and the seats fill up awfully quickly for most classes. Each session is a different character, so you’ll see a lot of repeat visitors throughout the day. You get to keep your drawing, too!Over in Camp Snoopy, the “Music Goes Round & Round” show returns. We just missed it but it’s a fun watch and a perfect fit for the area. Sadly, Fiesta Village is still undergoing major refurbishments as you can see. All things point to it reopening by Summer, so it’ll have been down for nearly a year. Jaguar was cycling trains and it seems the old effects that it had when it first debuted might be returning. On the other side, you can see how much was removed. The ground is getting a beautiful rainbow spiral, and the restaurant is getting an entirely new sign.At the Ghost Town Bakery, we picked up the Almond Ganache Brownie and it was amazing. It wasn’t too sweet, but it was perfectly filling.Inside Cordelia’s Pie Kitchen on weekends, you can decorate your own cookie in the shape of Snoopy’s doghouse, and get a souvenir straw, to boot! This recently sprung up and should be open soon enough. This area was underused before, so it’s cool to see an additional location with what looks to be donuts and coffee. The decorations around the boardwalk are these silhouettes that I find fascinating because they look amazing in person, but because of the camera’s 2D limits, it’s impossible to capture it in photos. Some locations didn’t have all the new food options yet. Strictly on a Stick was meant to have two items, but it wasn’t ready yet. Pay attention to our Instagram to see if it’ll be there on our subsequent visits. Coasters had a good fruit and shrimp salad, although what you see is what you get. There wasn’t any additional fruit or shrimp underneath. My better half was hoping there would be more cucumbers or tomatoes.In previous years between drawing sessions in the Sketch School, they wouldn’t empty the theater, but rather have some trivia on the screens between each class. This year, they actually turned it into its own fully-fledged game show with a prize! There are 3 sets per day and they get progressively harder. The last set was amazingly tough. The game show host, Jeremy, was the same as the art teacher, so props to him for doing double duty all day!And of course, every weekend evening concludes with the fantastic Jelly of the Month Club doing their concert! This time around it’s been refreshed with a lot of new segments. But don’t worry, there are still lots of cameos by such characters as Paw Printz and the Blooz Beagles. And Woodstock finds a way to jam along, too. It’s really the highlight of the event and it’s performed twice nightly. We can’t stress enough that no Peanuts Celebration is complete without watching the rooftop concert. So make sure you leave time in your schedule and have enough energy to make it through to the evening. Sadly, because Fiesta Village is closed up through May, that means Spike’s Silent Discotheque doesn’t make an appearance this year. But Spike does find a way to attend the rooftop concert as one of the Blooz Beagles.
Overall, the event is largely the same as before with a few welcome updates like the trivia game show and the updated concert. But why change what’s working well? It would have been nice to see the return of the chicken parm sandwich at Sutter’s, but there are enough new options to distract us from that. We still want to try the new french toast funnel cake.
The Knott’s Peanuts Celebration runs daily through February 26th, but check the calendars because not all the offerings are available during the weekdays. It’s a great time to visit theme parks because the first two months of the year are usually less crowded, outside of President’s Day weekend. Tickets are available at Knotts.com.