With a daughter who had just turned 4, and whose preschool would be closed for Veteran’s Day, I had a thought. “Hey, let’s take her to Knott’s Berry Farm! Their Camp Snoopy section has a lot of rides for the kids, and Veterans’ Day isn’t one of those days that everyone gets off, so it shouldn’t be too crowded.”
That proved to be a miscalculation. Even though Knott’s runs a Veterans-and-Servicemen-get-in-free promotion that runs a couple weeks, it looks like Veterans’ Day is when they all show up, with spouses (no more than one apiece, I presume) and kids. At least, I assume that explains the hour-long wait we had for the ferris wheel. Things loosened up as the day went on, but in terms of getting a lot of rides for my (non-veteran) money, it was a bit of a bust. Stil, the wee lass had a good time, and got a hug out of Snoopy (where a red, white, and blue vest), so it was not without value.
We also saw the Peanuts PIrate show, which was bit weird. Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus go off on a pirate adventure. Well, “pirate” if you consider swabbing the deck to be piracy. No ships were cannonballed, no one was keelhauled, throats were not slit, but a whole lotta mopping went on. Which is to be expected; the romance of piracy is best kept away from the reality of piracy, especially in kiddie versions.
And to make it odder, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus were not alone. The three of them were played by adult dancers with large character heads, the dancers overly-pantomiming to a recorded audio track. But apparently to be able to have some interaction with the audience and be able to adjust to situations, there was a fourth character, “J.T.”, played sans head (well, sans add-on head) and presumably meant to be an adult (in this case, a chipper adult female, but the recorded dialog clearly left the gender open, so that it could be filled by a male cast member instead.) And with only her own head, this adult came up shorter than the kid characters she was interacting with. But my daughter smile and clapped, clapped and smiled, and so this show clearly served its intentions.
But you don’t want to know about that. You want to know about the Peanuts shopping. There are a number of little shops and stands and such, and they all have Peanuts items – stuffed Snoopys, Charlie Brown shirts, etc. But there are too Peanuts-only stores, one in Camp Snoopy (Snoopy’s Camp Shop), and one that’s actually outside of the park (Snoopy’s HeadQuarters) so that you can shop there without buying a ticket to get in. Both carry a large array of Peanutswear, of stuffed animals, and a wide range of knick-knacks and bric-a-brac. Really, if you want stuff for people who like Peanuts stuff, such stuff you will find here. Their not cheap, but the selection is really nice, and seems to be different between the two shops.
There were a number of specifically Camp Snoopy items, but you know me – what I was really looking for was books, a book item that I couldn’t find anywhere else. And while the Snoopy’s Camp Shop had a reasonable array of currently-available Peanuts books, the only actual Camp Snoopy speciality books were things that fell outside of my collecting range – notebooks and autograph books. They also had a number of Japanese items, and I was tempted by a plastic Japanese book jacket, but that was in the outside store and when we were leaving the park, I was a bit too tired and hungry to think about whether it was worth the price to me.
Amidst a lot of fun stuff (a stuffed Charlie Brown snowman) and some befuddling thing (a shirt proclaiming “Charlie Brown is Green” – oh really? In what way?) there was one item that struck me as, well, blatant poseur-wear. It was a faux-faded t-shirt with a picture of Lucy, and it said “original Lucy 1950 guaranteed authentic” around her. Well, the picture of Lucy was certainly not an authentic 1950 one — she’s wearing pants, it’s not from early than the 1980s. But of course no picture of Lucy is from 1950. The character didn’t appear until 1952.
Anyway, if you’re in the greater Los Angeles visit, and are the sort of person that an all-Peanuts shop sounds good to, then stop by Snoopy’s Headquarters. And if you have kids, and it’s a weekday and not during the summer, a trip in to Camp Snoopy may be worth your while… or go alone, hit the main theme park’s roller coasters, then stop by Snoopy’s Camp Headquarters on your way out! (You don’t want to lug all those stuffed Snoopys onto the roller coasters, right?)