Winston Aldworth checks out the differences between two great theme parks.
"Knotts is for locals," the guy tells me as our kids scream and laugh on a Snoopy-themed plane ride that goes round and round. "Disney is for out-of-towners."
He's a local (and he's painting with a broad brush). On an Anaheim visit taking in both Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland, I found some key differences between the two theme parks.
First, the similarities: Both could swallow Rainbow's End without so much as noticing. Which is a fairly obvious point, but worth noting because if your kids haven't experienced a truly massive theme park they'll be blown away by either of these.
In both, their idea of a kid's dessert milkshake is the size of what you might consider to be four kids' milkshakes ... with extra whipped cream. But, hey, we're not here to kickstart our diets.
You come here for the rides, which is where the key differences are most pronounced.
Knott's Berry Farm has the classic, trouser-filling monster rollercoasters that teenagers love. These are big beasts that spin you upside-down, the wrong way round just for the hell of it. If you're planning on having one of those milkshakes, you might want to wait until after you've ridden the Xcelerator - which launches at 132kph and includes a 62m vertical drop.
Disneyland's scariest rides are a doddle by comparison. Splash Mountain's log flume ride finishes with a sedate 16m descent (sit at the back if you don't want to get wet), while the Matterhorn Bobsled ride offers a few good rattles.
That's because Disneyland has a firm focus on younger families. The rides tend to tell stories and their scariest thrills come when the wicked witch appears.
Knotts' play for the little-kid market comes with a large section of Charlie Brown-themed rides. But if you've flown your little princess to Anaheim, she's going to need to see Queen Elsa - that means Disneyland.
At Disney's California Adventure theme park, rides like California Screaming - a classic, thundering rollercoaster - will hit the mark with older kids.
If crowds - and avoiding them - are a big part of your holiday strategy, you'll appreciate the space at Knott's.
The guy at the Snoopy ride was only partly right. We met plenty of locals at both parks.
Best tactic? Allow at least a day for each and keep the last day spare to let the kids vote on where they want to return.
The writer travelled courtesy of Air NZ and Visit Anaheim.