Knott’s Berry Farm encourages customers to snitch on line-jumpers, vows to kick cutters out

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

If you’re tempted to shave a few minutes off your extremely long wait for a roller coaster by cutting in line this summer, Knott’s Berry Farm has a warning: Respect the queue or run the risk of getting booted from the park.

Knott’s Berry Farm is encouraging guests across the 57-acre theme park to report line jumpers by texting a message to the park’s security team. It may sound like an adult version of “tattling,” but it is the latest effort by the park to clamp down on guests who cut in line or hold spots for large groups — extending for everyone else what can sometimes be agony-inducing waits for the park’s most popular rides.

Line cutting is not a problem just at Knott’s Berry Farm. Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood also forbid cutting in front of other guests in a queue and threaten to expel violators from their parks. But these same theme parks have also adopted moneymaking programs to allow guests who pay an additional fee to skip much of the wait on the most popular rides. At Disneyland, the program is called Genie +; at Six Flags Magic Mountain, it’s called the Flash Pass; at Knott’s Berry Farm, it is called Fast Lane; and at Universal Studios Hollywood, it is called Express Pass.

The Buena Park theme park, which began as a roadside berry stand and chicken-dinner restaurant in the 1920s, is home to Camp Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, Knott’s Scary Farm during Halloween and a host of thrill rides — which often feature lengthy waits. Knott’s Berry Farm did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

Parkgoers have lamented for years about line jumpers, complaining online that people who cut rarely meet with consequences.

The pilot program is being tested on the GhostRider roller coaster, according to the Orange County Register, which first reported on the issue. GhostRider — one of the park’s most popular coasters — is the longest, tallest and fastest wooden coaster on the West Coast, but the line to ride it is anything but speedy during peak hours.

Signs posted near the coaster note that guests can report line-jumping violations by texting details to park security.

“Line jumping or holding spots in line is NOT permitted,” the sign reads. “Your entire party must be together when entering the line.”

But what if you need a bathroom break while in line? “If you must leave the line,” the sign reads, “please inform an associate of your intent to return to your group.”

Prohibitions on line cutting aren’t new. The park’s code of conduct policy has forbidden line jumping, including leaving and reentering the line or holding spots for others, for years. Repeat rule breakers risk being escorted from the park, according to the policy.

In the words of Charlie Brown: “Good grief.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.