Knott’s Berry Farm vs. Universal Studios Hollywood


If you’re looking for a fun-filled day of rides and attractions, Southern California has two great options: Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Universal Studios Hollywood is known for its on-site working film studio.

The park is all about movies and famous characters, with rides and areas themed around popular franchises like Jurassic World, Transformers and Harry Potter. 

You can tour the movie backlots, see where your favorite films are made, and explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

On the other hand, the oldest theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm, offers a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages and is famous for its thrill rides. 

The park includes a water park, a separate kid’s area, and several specific rides, emphasizing thrilling coasters.

Universal Studios Hollywood is your ideal destination if you love movie-themed experiences.

Knott’s Berry Farm is the way to go if you’re looking for a traditional theme park experience with coasters, fun events and attractions for all ages. 

Universal Studios Hollywood vs. Knott’s Berry Farm Size

Universal Studios Hollywood, spanning approximately 415 acres in size, is split into two areas on different levels.

The Upper Lot has various family-based attractions, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

At the same time, the Lower Lot features more thrilling rides and a kids’ play area.

Knotts Berry Farm is spread over 57 acres and features rides, restaurants, stores and other attractions in four main themed areas:

  • Ghost Town
  • Fiesta Village
  • The Boardwalk
  • Camp Snoopy

Universal Studios Hollywood vs. Knott’s Berry Farm Opening Hours

Universal Studios Hollywood opens around 9 am and closes between 6 pm and 10 pm, depending on the season.

Knott’s Berry Farm opens daily at 10 am, but their closing times vary depending on the season. 

During the summer, the park typically stays open until 10 pm to accommodate the high rush of visitors. However, the park can close earlier during other times of the year.

Universal Studios Hollywood vs. Knott’s Berry Farm Location

Universal Studios Hollywood is just north of Hollywood in Los Angeles. Despite being in a busy neighborhood, it is easily accessible by car or public transport.

On the other hand, Knott’s Berry Farm, located outside of Anaheim, lies just south of Los Angeles in Southern California.

You can travel the 36 miles between the two parks in under an hour by car. However, we wouldn’t recommend visiting both parks on the same day as it would be incredibly hectic. 

To completely appreciate each park’s attractions and activities, it is best to spend a whole day at each one.

Universal Studios Hollywood address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Knott’s Berry Farm address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 9062

Rides and Attractions 

The main difference between Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm is the general theme of the parks.

Universal Studios Hollywood is known and loved for the working film studio tour that includes a look into the inner workings of television and film sets.

On the other hand, Knott’s prides itself on thrilling rides, family-friendly attractions, and its unique farm history.

Knott’s is loosely themed with a traditional Western town essence, while Universal Hollywood offers TV and movie- based attractions.

Let’s delve into the rides and attractions at both parks and help you decide which one is right for you.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Built on two levels due to its hilly location, Universal Studios Hollywood boasts around 21 rides and attractions.

The most popular attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is the hour-long backlot tour of the studio

This includes a tram ride that takes you behind the scenes to witness the filming of famous and memorable sequences.

Another famous attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This immersive area features the family-friendly roller coaster Flight of the Hippogriff and the dark ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Kids can have a great time at Super Silly Fun Land, an outdoor family play zone located in the Upper Lot. 

They can also enjoy the interactive five-minute family-friendly ride, Secret Life of Pets, which features no scary drops or wild turns.

Exciting rides, such as Transformers: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride and Jurassic Park with its enormous animatronic dinosaurs, at the lower lot.

Based on the 1995 motion picture of the same name, the WaterWorld stunt show features a ton of action, explosions, watery chases and some goofy humor.

Super Nintendo World is a newly opened park area where you can ride video games with your favorite Mario characters.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm has a wide selection of thrilling rides that are sure to satisfy anyone’s desire for excitement. 

Along with the 10 roller coasters, the park also features other adrenaline-inducing attractions such as La Revolucion, which offers a 360-degree swinging and pendulum-like motion and Sol Spin, which features six-story-high spinning arms.

Some popular roller coasters include

  • Ghost Rider – the longest and tallest wooden rollercoaster on the West Coast, at 4,533 feet long and 118 feet tall.
  • Xcelerator – a high-speed launch coaster reaching speeds up to 82 miles per hour in just over two seconds.
  • Silver Bullet – an impressive suspended coaster that stretches across 3,125 feet. It boasts six inversions, including cobra rolls, corkscrews, and a towering 105-foot vertical loop. 
  • HangTime – a steel infinity coaster with five inversions and a 96-degree drop.

The Calico Mine Ride is another well-liked dark ride that takes passengers through a mine with beautiful scenery and dozens of animatronics.

Camp Snoopy, the part of the theme park specially designed for kids, features over a dozen rides, attractions, live shows, and meet-and-greet opportunities based on the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip characters. 

The area features several kid-friendly rides based on the park’s popular rides, like the mini roller coaster, the log ride and the charming train ride. 

You will also find classic rides like carousels, bumper cars and miniature trains.

Knott’s Berry Farm also offers unique historical attractions, such as an area dedicated to Native Americans, showcasing their traditional art, crafts, and dance. 

You can also find the only replica of Philadelphia’s historic Independence Hall within the park.

Another notable attraction at Knott’s Berry Farm is a genuine mid-1900s Old Schoolhouse. 

Water rides

At Universal Hollywood, you will occasionally get sprayed with water at the Studio Tour, during rides including Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and shows at DreamWorks Theatre.

However, apart from the river adventure ride Jurassic World and the kid’s Super Silly Fun Land, the theme park does not have water slides and other water attractions.

Knott’s has a separate water park, Soak City, with over 20 water rides and attractions. 

The waterpark offers an array of exciting water slides, a relaxing lazy river, a shallow lagoon for kids, a wave pool, and an interactive playhouse. 

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at the waterpark.

Events and Entertainment

Universal Studios Hollywood organizes holiday events featuring festive decorations, special parades, and fireworks. 

One such event is Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which adds a magical touch to the holiday season and Grinchmas.

Universal Studios Hollywood offers many thrilling events and entertainment throughout the year. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in unforgettable experiences at the renowned Halloween Horror Nights, where the park is transformed into a spooky playground of haunted houses and scare zones.

The electrifying Universal’s Lunar New Year celebration offers vibrant performances, traditional food, and cultural activities. 

In addition, the park puts on unique concerts, live performances, and character meet-and-greets that let guests mingle with their favorite movie characters and take in exhilarating entertainment that captures the spirit of Hollywood.

A unique feature of Knott’s Berry Farm is its intriguing history with boysenberries. 

Knott’s hosts an annual spring celebration called the Boysenberry Festival to honor this.

The event is one of the many Knott’s special events the theme park organizes throughout the year:

  • Ghost Town Alive – themed after the ‘Wild West,’ this summertime event offers a unique interactive experience
  • Knott’s Spooky Farm – a kid-friendly daytime Halloween celebration  
  • Peanuts celebration – an early season Peanuts characters meet and greet
  • Knott’s Scary Farm – adult nighttime Halloween event including haunted mazes, fright zones and other eerie attractions
  • Knott’s Merry Farm – Christmas celebrations from late November through early January

These events feature amazing food, festive decorations and live entertainment, including music, shows and DJs.


Universal Hollywood one-day general admission ticket starts at US$ 107 for everyone over 13 years.

The general one-day admission is the most popular of all Knott’s Berry Farm tickets. The ticket costs around $75 per person. 

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark requires a separate entrance ticket.

You can save money by buying the Go City Los Angeles Pass, which includes access to over 40 top Los Angeles attractions, including Universal Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Knott’s Soak City.

If you visit both parks, you can select a 3-, 5- or 7-day pass and save up to 40% on admission to all the attractions.

Expected crowd

Universal Studios Hollywood, on average, sees a couple million more visitors than Knott’s Berry. 

In 2022, Knott’s Berry Farm welcomed around 3.9 million visitors, while Universal Studios Hollywood saw about 8.4 million.

You must expect a sizable number of visitors during the peak season at both parks.

To avoid long lines at rides, you can visit the parks during the weekdays. 

Weekdays are generally less crowded, which means shorter lines and more time to enjoy the rides and attractions.


Which is better, Universal or Knotts?

Knott’s Berry Farm is known for its exceptional rides, thrilling roller coasters, and family-friendly attractions. 

It also features an adjacent water park for even more fun and excitement. 

Universal Studios Hollywood provides an immersive experience with behind-the-scenes access to movie and television studios, such as Harry Potter and Fat and Furious.

Is Knotts or Universal cheaper?

Knott’s Berry Farm is generally cheaper than Universal Studios. A one-day admission ticket costs around $75 for Knott’s Berry Farm and US$ 107 for Universal Hollywood.

According to a theme park index, the average cost per person at Knott’s is $129, while at Universal Studios Hollywood, guests can expect to pay $290.

Is it worth going to Universal Studios Hollywood?

A perfect destination for movie lovers and those seeking an exciting theme park experience, Universal Studios Hollywood is worth it. 

It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of movies and witness the behind-the-scenes making of top productions. 

However, visiting Universal Studios Hollywood is worth it if you want to experience the studio tour where popular movies were made and ride specific attractions.

How far apart is Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm?

Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm are approximately 36 miles apart. 

The driving distance between the two parks can be covered in under an hour.

However, we don’t recommend visiting the two parks on the same day as it would leave limited time to enjoy each park fully.

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