Did you know there’s an amazing water park right across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm and only 5 minutes away from Disneyland? My son and I spent a full day exploring Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City Water Park and now we can’t wait to go back!
This Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City post was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
With 22 water slides, a giant wave pool, a lazy river, and interactive kids play areas, Knott’s Soak City Water Park is Orange County’s largest water park.
My 5 year old son and I spent a full day (from 10:30am until 6pm) exploring this fun, kid-friendly water park in Buena Park, CA.
We went right after school got out in mid-June and we happened to go on the only sunny/warm day of the week.
I’m not much of a water baby myself. I’m terrified of those super high water slides and I don’t enjoy swimming.
You can usually find me sun bathing on a lounge chair when we go to Hawaii!
So, you can imagine my surprise when I had the time of my life at Knott’s Soak City!
I think there’s something kind of iconic about spending a hot, summer day at the water park. Growing up in Seattle, we didn’t really get to do that very often.
So, coming to Buena Park, California and getting to take my son to this amazing water park felt really special!
The best part was watching my son get to try new things, play with other kids, and overcome a few of his fears.
I actually had to drag him out, as they were closing, and we were bummed we couldn’t spend another day here!
Get all my tips for exploring Knott’s Berry Farm with kids here.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City with your Family
1. There’s Something For Everyone at Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City:
What I love about Knott’s Soak City Water Park is that each person in your family will find something to do.
I’m not much of a swimmer and I don’t do water slides, but I had the best time relaxing as I floated down the lazy river in an inner tube.
And my 5 year old rode all the little kid water slides over and over again the entire day.
For those who do like more thrilling rides, there are several super high water slides that are sure to keep your adrenaline pumping!
It’s not often you’ll find something fun for infants and teens in the same place!
2. Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City is Affordable
Summer activities can really add up. Compared to other theme parks in the area, Knott’s Soak City is pretty affordable.
You can get tickets just to Knott’s Soak City for $47.99 or upgrade to a 2-day ticket where you can also go to Knott’s Berry Farm for just $94.99.
And if you plan on going to Knott’s Berry Farm or Knott’s Soak City 3 or more days, you can save even more by getting a Gold Pass for $143.
Plus, the hotels in the area are also affordable, so it makes a budget-friendly California vacation.
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3. Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City Food
No, seriously! I know most theme parks aren’t known for their food, but we really enjoyed our lunch here!
I had some of the best shrimp ceviche! It was super cold and hit the spot on such a hot day. And it came with a huge amount of chips, too!
My son got a kids meal that had chicken strips (with lots of dipping sauce!), an apple, cookies and milk.
And it came in the cutest little plastic lunch box that we took home with us. It was the perfect size to tote his souvenirs!
4. Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City Life Guards are Attentive
As a parent, the thing that annoys me the most about kid-friendly attractions is when kids are running amok and no one does anything about them.
Yes, it’s the parents’ jobs to keep an eye on their kids, but I really appreciated that the Knott’s Soak City staff quickly grabbed kids who tried climbing up the water slides or who were running on the wet pavement.
And the lifeguards kept close watch of people on all the attractions, especially the lazy river.
It made me feel safer that there were extra eyes on my kids, as well as everyone else’s kids.
5. Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City Feels Inclusive
One thing that I appreciated about Knott’s Soak City is that it had an inclusive vibe. People of all shapes and sizes could walk around in their swimsuits without feeling self-conscious.
I think a big reason for that is that there are so many fun things to do that no one is bothering to stare at what people look like!
And if you use a wheelchair, you’ll still have fun at Knott’s Soak City. They have a water wheelchair for people to use at Tidal Wave Bay or Gremmie Lagoon.
There’s also a pool lift outside of the lazy river for those needing assistance.
And like I said before, there’s something for everyone to do!
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Top Things to Bring to Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City
The number one thing you have to bring is a swimsuit! You have to wear one in order to participate in any of the attractions.
For kids, getting a swimsuit with a rashguard is a great way to help protect their skin from UV rays.
They do sell swimsuits in their Surf Shop if you do happen to forget.
While this is totally a personal preference, I like to wear a coverup over my swimsuit when I go eat or am just lounging around.
It’s another level or protection from the sun, too.
Plus, if you don’t want to deal with changing rooms, you can just wear your swimsuit under your coverup when you arrive.
The sun is so bright and it can make it hard to see as you are walking around. So, don’t forget to bring your sunglasses.
I wear prescription sunglasses and I’m so glad I remembered to bring them!
It’s also a good idea to bring sunglasses for your kids.
Another helpful thing to bring to Knott’s Soak City is a sun hat, especially if you aren’t used to so much sunshine.
If you don’t want to end up buying a towel at their surf shop, I highly recommend bringing your own towel. You can check to see if you can bring some from your hotel.
If you are coming from out of town, this travel towel might be a good option.
We totally forgot to bring a towel with us!
While you can’t wear sandals on any of the water park attractions, the pavement is H.O.T. and you will burn the bottoms of your feet if you don’t wear something.
Any pair of rubber flip flops will serve you well!
With the hot SoCal sunshine, you don’t want to forget to bring sunscreen!
We really like to use Babyganics spray sunscreen because it’s mineral-based, but doesn’t leave chalky, white residue on your skin.
If you are packing wet swimsuits, you might want to bring a wet bag with you so your whole bag doesn’t get wet.
Questions About Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City
WHEN DOES KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY OPEN?
It’s open seasonally on select days from mid-May to early September.
WHAT ARE THE KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY HOURS?
The hours vary depending on the day. Here’s where you can check the hours for specific dates.
WHAT ARE THE KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY PRICES?
Knott’s Soak City Waterpark one-day tickets are $47.99 per person.
You can upgrade to a Ride & Slide combo ticket that includes Knott’s Berry Farm for $94.99. This is a two-day (one park per day) ticket.
WHERE CAN I PARK?
There are several parking lots around Knott’s Berry Farm with pedestrian walkways.
The closest place to park to Knott’s Soak City is the first driveway to the left when you enter Knott’s Berry Farm. This will take you under the street to the parking lot right next to Knott’s Soak City.
ARE THERE RIDES AT KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY?
Only if you count water slides!
Here’s a rundown of the water slides at Knott’s Soak City:
Race against your friends in this thrilling water slide to see who is the fastest slider of them all. You’ll lay down on a mat and go head first on your belly on this six lane water slide.
Beach House Slides
Exclusively for younger kids, the Beach House offers three stories of hands-on water fun including interactive water guns, nozzles, faucets and other surprises.
Every five minutes the water bucket unloads 500 gallons of water on anyone below!
Laguna Storm Watch Tower
There are 3 tube slides on this 43 foot high attraction. You can ride alone or with a friend on your inflatable raft.
Climb 39 feet in the air and head down one of four inflatable tube slides. These include both open flumes and enclosed flumes for a variety of thrill experiences.
Old Man Falls
For thrill-seekers, head up the 63 foot high Old Man Falls.
Choose one four Aqua Launch chambers which will send you down a high speed free fall down a seven stories high 60-foot tall drop!
This family-friendly raft ride can hold up to six guests. You’ll navigate twists, turns and unexpected drops.
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WHAT CAN LITTLE KIDS DO AT KNOTT’S SOAK CITY WATERPARK?
Under 42 Inches
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can play at the Beach House, Gremmie Lagoon, Sunset River, and Tidal Wave Bay.
Kids 42 inches an taller can do all the above plus Banzai Falls, Beach House Slides, Laguna Storm Watch Tower, and The Wedge.
Kids 48 inches and taller can do all the above plus Malibu Run, Old Man Falls and Shore Break.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You absolutely have to wear a proper swimsuit. Pans, jeans, thongs, or transparent clothing isn’t allowed.
Make sure your swimsuit doesn’t have metal buttons, rivets, zippers, or snaps. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to ride Old Man Falls, Storm Watch Tower, Malibu Run, Shore Break Tower, The Wedge, Banzai Falls, Beach House Slides, or Gremmie Lagoon Slides.
While you’ll want to wear sandals or flip flops when walking around (the pavement is HOT) you won’t be able to wear them on Soak City attractions.
But, you can wear aqua socks or aquatic style footwear on Banzai Falls and The Wedge.
If you do not have appropriate bathing attire, swimsuits and other aquatic gear can be purchased at WipeOut Surf Shop.
DOES MY BABY/TODDLER NEED TO WEAR A SWIM DIAPER
Swim diapers are also available for purchase at the Wipeout Surf Shop.
CAN I BRING POOL TOYS?
Nope. Water toys, whistles, and inflatables are not permitted.
CAN I BRING FACE MASKS, SNORKELS OR FINS?
Nope. Face masks, snorkels, fins, water toys and personal tubes aren’t allowed on the attractions.
CAN I BRING A POP UP TENT?
No. Pop-up shade structures, play pens and tents aren’t allowed inside Knott’s Soak City Waterpark.
SHOULD I GET A KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY CABANA?
We had one and it was so nice to have a large, shaded spot to relax and recharge in between playing.
There’s a server who comes to take your food/drink order and they constantly bring pitchers of ice water, so you’ll stay hydrated all day long.
Plus, there’s a safe inside your cabana. That made it so easy for me to quickly stash my wallet, camera, iPhone, and other valuables without having to walk all the way to the lockers.
Find out how to reserve a cabana here.
CAN I RENT AN INNER TUBE?
Inner tubes are available free of charge at each attraction that requires a tube in order to ride. But, inner tubes must remain at the attraction after riding.
If you really want your own inner tube, you can do that at the Cabana Tube Rental stand by the Tidal Wave Bay.
DO I NEED TO BRING A LIFE JACKET FOR MY KIDS?
Not unless you want to, and if so, it must be a Coast Guard certified life jacket.
Life jackets are required for children who are less than 48” tall in bare feet or those who are inexperienced or non-swimmers.
Children, first-time swimmers, and weaker swimmers are encouraged to wear a life jacket. Life Jackets are available for all guests needing special consideration.
Soak City has complimentary life jackets throughout the park and they are available to any guest wishing to use one.
ARE THERE LOCKERS?
Yes, you can rent a locker just inside the Soak City Main Gate. There are a variety of locker sizes and you can pay for them using cash or credit cards.
WHERE CAN I EAT AT KNOTT’S SOAK CITY WATERPARK?
If you are planning on packing your own drinks, small hand held coolers (not exceeding 12”x18” in size) that contain water and sports drinks only are allowed..
Otherwise, you aren’t allowed to bring in your own food or drink.
Longboard’s Grill was recently remodeled and it’s where you’ll find burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips, chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, wraps, plus a variety of side options.
I had the BEST shrimp ceviche there!
Besides pizza, Portside Pizza also serves salads and funnel cakes.
They also have dining plans available. You can get a single meal (entree, side and drink) for $14.99.
If you think you’ll eat several times during the day, consider the All Day Dining Plan for $31.99. You’ll get an entree and side and there’s only a 90 minute waiting period in between meals.
Or if you have a season pass, you can get the All Season Dining Plan for $139. This pays for itself in just 4 visits.
Find out which dining plan is right for you here.
Plus, you’ll find ice cream stands throughout the park for a cold treat!
HOW CAN I GET KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SOAK CITY TICKETS?
You can get Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City discount tickets through Viator, which guarantees it’s the lowest price.
IS IT WORTH GETTING A KNOTT’S BERRY FARM SEASON PASS?
If you live in Southern California or are planning to spend a few days at Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, the season pass is totally worth it!
You have two options that include Soak City:
Enjoy unlimited visits to Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark all season long.
Plus, enjoy early entry to Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City on select days and special discounts on food and merchandise, hotel stays, and Knott’s Scary Farm.
This is $143/person.
Enjoy all the benefits of the Gold Pass plus free parking with the added benefit of enjoying all of those exclusive privileges at all Cedar Fair Parks across the country including California’s Great America, Cedar Point and more!
This is $220/person.
Buy your Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passes here.
Closest Hotels to Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City
KNOTT’S BERRY FARM HOTEL
If you want the full Knott’s Berry Farm experience, you’ll want to stay at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. It’s easy to walk to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City.
They have some Snoopy-themed suites where Snoopy himself will tuck your kids into bed!
WESTWARD WAGON INN
Another budget-friendly option is the Westward Wagon Inn, located across the street from Knott’s Soak City.
They recently renovated the rooms and pool. Plus, they offer free continental breakfast and high speed WiFi.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT ANAHEIM BUENA PARK
While this is 2 blocks from Knott’s Soak City (about a 13 minute walk), the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Buena Park is a great option for families wanting a spacious room at a hotel with a pool and on-site restaurant.
Thanks to Visit Buena Park for hosting me. All opinions are my own.