California amusement park expands weekend policy, may add weekdays

Knott’s Berry Farm has added an extra day to its new weekend chaperone policy which came into effect after several fights broke out involving teenagers and could extend age restrictions even further to help restore order and trust at Buena Park theme park.

Under the updated policy, all visitors 17 or younger must be accompanied by an attendant 21 or older on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to enter Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park or Water Park Knott’s Soak City.

An initial announcement of Knott’s required chaperones on Fridays and Saturdays. The latest update adds Sundays to the list of support days. Knott’s may require chaperones on additional days of the week if needed, according to the park’s official Twitter account.

Knott’s instituted the new companion policy for visitors under the age of 18 last week after a series of fights involving rowdy teenagers caused panic and mayhem that forced the park to close early to ensure safety client.

Knott’s saw a dramatic drop in attendance and significantly shorter wait times in the first weekend with the companion policy in effect, according to Theme Park Insider.

The violence erupted on July 16 when Buena Park police responded to reports of multiple fights and unfounded reports of gunshots at Knott’s.

Video footage of the chaos and panic inside Knott’s showed punches being thrown in numerous fights throughout the park as visitors ducked for safety in shops and restaurants.

The updated policy also allows chaperones to supervise more minors. A single accompanying person can now accompany up to four minor visitors per day. Previously, the limit was three minor visitors per chaperone.

The chaperone must have a valid ID with date of birth, provide a phone number, and stay with the minors for the duration of the tour. Visitors under the age of 18 found in the park unaccompanied could be evicted.

Harold B. McConnell