Food Review: “The Great Mac and Cheese” Charlie Brown Menu from Peanuts Celebration 2024 at Knott’s Berry Farm

A couple weekends ago, Laughing Place cofounder Rebekah Moseley took a trip down to Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California to check out this year’s Knott’s Peanuts Celebration event offerings. And this past Saturday, I had the opportunity to return to the fan-favorite park with friends to taste-test some of the seasonal festival’s food-menu options, thanks to four Peanuts Celebration 2024 meal coupons provided to us by Knott’s.

We arrived at Knott’s Berry Farm on Saturday morning excited for a day of fun in the park, but mostly eager to try out the food– bear in mind that due to allergy restrictions I wasn’t able to eat much on the specialty event menu, but that’s why I had three companions along for the ride.

This year’s Knott’s Peanuts Celebration menu is themed to “The Great Mac and Cheese” Charlie Brown, which means that– yes– most of the items incorporate Mac and Cheese in some fashion. A tasting card is available for $45, which includes six tastings, but like I said we had four meal tickets to go on. For the purposes of these reviews and in the interest of anonymity for my guests, they each chose a Peanuts character name to go by: Peppermint Patty, Linus, and Pigpen. I also gave them three categories with which to assign ratings (out of four) for each item: Appearance, Taste, and Peanuts Theme.

Schroeder’s Fluffy Breakfast Mac and Cheese Pancake served with a side of Bacon and Maple Syrup ($14) – Appropriately enough, we chose to start our day with a breakfast offering from Sutter’s Grill, though this ended up being the least-liked item from the menu that we tried. We also struggled to find the connection between Schroeder and these pancakes, except that maybe the Mac and Cheese resembles the character’s curly blonde hair.

Peppermint Patty – Appearance 2, Taste 2, Peanuts Theme 2

“I don’t care for this as an experience.”

Linus – Appearance 2, Taste 1, Peanuts Theme 0

“I would describe this dish as schizophrenic. It doesn’t know what it wants to be.”

Pigpen – Appearance 1, Taste 1, Peanuts Theme 1

“Is it just me, or is the pancake super salty?”

José Peterson’s Swedish Meatball on top of Mac and Cheese and French Fries ($13) – Fortunately our second stop at Papas Mexicanas made for a big improvement, and we really enjoyed learning about the half-Mexican, half-Swedish character of José Peterson via research during our wait– apparently Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was inspired by a dream to invent Peterson in the 1960s.

Peppermint Patty – Appearance 3, Taste 3, Peanuts Theme 4

“The meatball is good.”

Linus – Appearance 3, Taste 3, Peanuts Theme 4

“I like the combination of the meatballs with the French fries.”

Pigpen – Appearance 3 1/2, Taste 4, Peanuts Theme 4

“This is very good. This is a slam-dunk for me.”

Linus’ Mac and Cheese Bites over French Fries, served with a Spicy Aioli ($13) – Our third menu item (from Strictly On a Stick, though we soon discovered that name is a misnomer) was another hit appearance and taste-wise, though we couldn’t find too much of a connection to Linus van Pelt, except for the possibility that the color of the aioli matches Linus’ shirt, but even that felt like a stretch.

Peppermint Patty – Appearance 3, Taste 4, Peanuts Theme 1

“I like Mac and Cheese Bites. I think they’re underrated as a food.”

Linus – Appearance 3, Taste 4, Peanuts Theme 1/2

“Minus a point for no stick. Needed more Linus-ness.”

Pigpen – Appearance 4, Taste 4, Peanuts Theme 1

“It’s good. Very good. 100% delicious. The aioli is what does it.”

Snoopy’s Mac and Cheeseburger with Burger Sauce ($15) – Our last item (served at the Wilderness Broiler location) was a bit of a letdown after the previous two successes. As far as we could tell, there was no sauce on the burger as had been advertised, which left the patty a little dry outside of the Mac and Cheese as a unique topping. Everyone did really like the french fries, though.

Peppermint Patty – Appearance 3, Taste 2 1/2, Peanuts Theme 2

“It’s fine.”

Linus – Appearance 4, Taste 2 1/2, Peanuts Theme 1

“Where’s the sauce? The patty is overcooked. The fries are very good.”

Pigpen – Appearance 4, Taste 3, Peanuts Theme 2

“Looks like a classic American burger, but needs the sauce. The fries are the star of the show.”

So my group’s favorite menu item (out of four tasted that day) was definitely the Swedish Meatball dish, but fortunately Rebekah also tried a couple “It’s a Great Mac and Cheese” Charlie Brown offerings during her visit the previous weekend. Here are her thoughts:

Marci’s Alfredo Pasta Pinwheel ($15) – Prop Shop Pizzeria. Cavatappi spiral noodles in a creamy yellow cheese sauce with bits of red bell peppers baked in a lightly herbed pizza dough shell topped with alfredo sauce. Very tasty and I appreciated that the shell didn’t overpower the cheesy noodles.”

Appearance 3 (4 before overwhelmed by Alfredo Sauce), Taste 4, Peanuts Theme 1

“Carb overload but really tasty and big enough to share.”

“Linus’ Mac & Cheese bites were sold out and the line for Schroeder’s was quite long so I opted to pay for Lucy Van Pelt’s Mac and Cheese Waffle Cone topped with Pulled Pork ($10) at Sutter’s Funnel Cake. I requested mine without the pork and while there was no price change they did fill the cone with mac and cheese. It was traditional theme park-style macaroni and cheese with that little bit of gritty texture from the natural cheeses. Interesting mix of savory and sweet biting through the waffle cone to the cheesy mac but the cone held up surprisingly well. The elements of this dish would be better served layered so you get all the flavors as you make your way through the cone. When served with the pulled pork it is all on the top. And while I appreciated the BBQ flavors the drizzle provided was chilled so an unpleasant addition.”

Appearance 4, Taste 2, Peanuts Theme 1

“It is challenging to eat if you want all the flavors in every bite.”

Knott’s Peanuts Celebration runs daily from now through Sunday, February 25th at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Be sure to visit Knott’s official website for additional information and to purchase advance tickets.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.