Mall of America, Camp Snoopy

Bloomington, Minnesota

Knott’s Camp Snoopy is a 7-acre interpretive center located in the center of Mall of America. Knott’s Berry Farm’s goal was to develop a park where parents could take their children for both education and entertainment.

One example of this is the Wilderness Theatre. This theatre is used for animal shows, and as a petting zoo. The attraction uses both local and regional animals in Nature Talks. Adjacent to the Wilderness Theatre, park guests can enjoy environmental programs and interpretive presentations at the Ranger Station. In the opposite corner of the park, Mid-west artisans can demonstrate their trades and crafts at the Arts and Crafts stage. Smaller educational displays located throughout the park include a covered wagon and stage coach display, plus a fish feeding pond stocked with Japanese Koi.

Knott’s gave Mr. Thorburn (the principal acoustical and audiovisual system consultant) the following direction: The acoustical design goal is to “provide a comfortable family environment where families with young children will be able to enjoy the theme park experience, without being distracted by noise generated by the attractions. The acoustical environment within Camp Snoopy should not be too reverberate or harsh. It should be comfortable, not noisy, or considered obnoxious.” Knott’s wanted the entire seven acres to reflect a peaceful and natural environment, without the loud noises and jarring sensory experiences usually associated with indoor amusement parks.

This project is an excellent example of traditional acoustic and audiovisual design requirements being implemented in diverse ways to create a unique but build-able and cost-effective project. The park-wide background music system distributes themed music and audio effects (such as recordings of birds, crickets, and frogs) throughout the park. This further reinforces the illusion of an outdoor setting. On a visit after the park opened a group of teenagers were overheard to say, “I can’t believe we’re inside – I feel like we’re outside in the woods.”

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