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Pepe Avila knows of some great park-ing spots.
Avila, vice president tourism & partnership for Visit Anaheim, notes the area around the Southern California city of Anaheim is home to numerous theme parks, among them Disneyland, arguably the best-known of American theme parks, and Knott’s Berry Farm, which actually predates Disneyland and provides very different attractions.
Knott’s Berry Farm actually marked its 100th anniversary in 2020, but a year of planned celebrations largely failed to materialize because of Covid.
Avila, in Toronto on a Visit Anaheim sales mission that also included visits to Alberta and B.C., acknowledged that Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t as well known internationally as Disneyland but said those vacationing in Anaheim should definitely visit it.
“It’s a completely different experience,” he said of a park that has among other things a close relationship with Peanuts.
Luanne Miracle of Knott’s Berry Farm noted her park has seasonal celebrations, with Halloween, for instance offering Knott’s Scary Farm at night and the tamer daytime Spooky Farm celebration.
“We are officially the original California theme park,” Miracle said.
Long-running roller-coaster Montezooma’s Revenge is being upgraded, with work being completed next year. “Montezooma’s Revenge was the first flywheel-launched roller coaster in the world and the oldest shuttle loop roller coaster still in its original location.
Montezooma’s Revenge has launched millions of guests through Fiesta Village into a gravity-defying single loop track and back again. For 2023, Montezooma’s Revenge is being reimagined and rethemed with exciting new thrills added to this coaster classic,” the park says.
Knott’s BerryFarm has thrill rides, family friendly rides and rides designed for small children.
Avila said Disneyland has experiences that aren’t found in its Florida counterpart, among them Avengers Campus, showcasing such superheroes as Spiderman.
Universal Studios is unique in that it serves as both a movie studio and theme park, he continued.
Visitors can stay in hotels found close to theme parks, with Avila stating Anaheim is a very “walkable” destination that’s great for families.
Vacationing in Anaheim — found between Los Angeles and San Diego — enables tourists to experience the “whole Southern California culture,” Avila continued.
Kathy Nishimura, Visit Anaheim’s manager of tourism development, in turn told the gathering that Anaheim’s tourism infrastructure has broadened in recent years, with among other things upscale hotels opening.
Nishimura praised Anaheim for having a lively food-and drink scene, adding it now has over 20 craft breweries.
In the works is the massive ocV!BE entertainment and community complex, with the project opening in phases through 2028.
“This is the place where night owls can become daydreamers,” Nishimura said of a project that will include many food and drink venues.
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