BUENA PARK, Calif. — At the Alebrije Gardens inside Knott’s Berry Farm’s new Fiesta Village, a storyteller gathered small children and sat them down around a blue and yellow stage.

What You Need To Know

  • Knott's Berry Farm unveiled the newly renovated Fiesta Village land on May 26, kicking off their summer festivities

  • The Fiesta Village features several renovated attractions, restaurants and live performers

  • The former Montezuma's Revenge, the Fiesta Village's signature attraction, did not open with the land and will open at a later date

  • The land was partially closed last year

The storyteller, wearing a traditional Mexican poncho, then pulled out a brown book, a journal containing stories, he said, from his abuela.

A storyteller spins a traditional Mexican folklore tale to children. (Spectrum News/Joseph Pimentel)

From there, he regaled the tiny crowd and their parents with a tale about “The Goat in the Hills and the Mountains” and “A Bird of a Thousand Colors” — both familiar tales in traditional Mexican and Hispanic folklore.

The storyteller then ushered them out to enjoy the newly themed land and encouraged them “to pick up stories of your own.”

The Mexican storyteller is part of the much-anticipated reopening of Fiesta Village, one of Knott’s Berry Farm’s main-themed lands celebrating Mexican and Hispanic culture.

Fiesta Village, originally opened in 1969, had partially closed last year as part of a significant renovation and reimagining of the land. The new-looked area opened on May 26.

Walking around, the Mexican and Hispanic influence is heavy. 

Sombreros and multicolored flannel scarfs hang on light posts.  

Pastel-colored statues of spirit animals and fantastical and mythical creatures dot the newly landscaped Alebrije Gardens, where visitors are encouraged to bring their children to hear traditional Hispanic folklore from a storyteller.

A spirit animal statue at Alebrije Gardens. (Spectrum News/Joseph Pimentel)

Lines of people celebrating Memorial Day waited hours to try out Casa California, one of the land’s new quick-service restaurants where visitors can make their own burritos. Areas that once served hot dogs and American fare before the transformation now serve authentic tacos, tamales and fish tacos.

There is a row of merchandise carts selling handbags, colorful clutches, and lucha libre máscaras similar to the merchant carts tourist see at downtown Los Angeles’ Olvera Street. 

Several of the former land’s attractions have been re-themed. The Jaguar roller coaster has a brand-new entrance and a glowing green look at night. The dragon boat in the Dragon Swing has changed to an alebrije or spirit animal. The WaveSwinger is now named Los Voladores.

However, the reopening of the land’s signature attraction, Montezoma’s Revenge, now named “MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress,” has been delayed with no timetable of when it would be ready. 

Live music is played at Fiesta Village throughout the day. (Spectrum News/Joseph Pimentel)

Throughout the day and night, the Fiesta Village comes to life. A Mariachi band plays traditional music at the Fiesta Plaza Stage during the day. The Bob Baker Marionettes perform with puppets, and a band plays live salsa and other familiar Mexican and Hispanic music at night.

Several other stages are scattered throughout the land where performers could be seen for the Calle Celebracion. 

Performers on stilts and giant colorful puppets parade around the stage, as well as traditional Folklorico Mexican dancers. 

The reopening of Fiesta Village kicks off Knott’s Berry Farm’s summer festivities, including the theme park’s nightly summer concert series, new activities in Ghost Town, and the opening of Knott’s Soak City for the season.