A Knoebels Kwickie

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Monday, May 2, 2005 1:59 PM
Since the weather was so nice yesterday (5/1) after two days of rain, I made a spur of the moment decision to take the drive to Knoebels for a few hours. I arrived at the park just after 4:00, and noticed there were a decent amount of cars in the lot. Temp was around 60 (much better than last week, folks.) It was warm in the sun, but the breeze was still a bit chilly.

First thing I wanted to do was check out the new rides. I found the Flying Tigers literally tucked in between the Pirate, Whip, and Skyview station. Looks like a fun little ride, but if anyone in here has any ideas about riding, you better have or borrow a little tyke to ride with because you will look rather silly riding alone.

Next I headed down the "main road" over the Roaring Creek bridge and saw a glimpse of something bright blue swinging. Ah-ha, had to be Fandango. Went over and watched a few rides, just to work up the courage. Not to actually ride the ride, but to avoid the embarrassment of not fitting in the seat. Well, I noticed a few other big guys on the ride, so I figured if they could fit, I surely could.

But first, I had to try out Phoenix. The line at this time was non-existent even with a single train running. In fact the longest wait occurred at the ticket booth where the guy in front of me was counting out $1.80 in tickets for himself and his kids--- 10 cents at a time from various strips. I'm thinking, just give the guy 5.40 and stop counting individual tickets! Well, for the first time I can ever remember, the front seat was open, so I decided to go for it. Great ride, and great way to open the season. Lots of nice airtime, particularly the last run of bunnyhops.

I still like the back of the train better. I just like the feeling of being pulled over the top of the lift hill. So my second ride was in Row 11, and was as enjoyable as the first. Best part was the gym seems to be paying off as I could fit in the seats without feeling like trying to squeeze a sausage into a casing. Yay!

After that, it was back over to Fandango. I asked the guy taking the tickets where the "big guy" seats were, and he told me they were all the same. I went to the far side just in case. Well, the restraints came down OK, with one slight problem-- the belt was the tiniest bit short of closing. Hmmmm, well the nice ride operator told me I could ride without the belt and it would be no problem because the safety lock was already engaged and they hadn't installed the belt extenders yet. She even gave me her name and assured me she'd been working there for 7 years. I laughed and said well I least I know who to come back and haunt. The guy next to me said "I'm your witness man, you could own this park." I said, "No, my heirs will own this park."

Well, despite my better judgment, I decided to do it. Let me say I have never held onto anything so tightly before in my life, not even a 20 dollar bill. In between calling myself a dumb ass every time the ride swung back and forth, I do remember it being a crazy ride-- definitely a different experience looking outward as opposed to say the Claw where you face inward. Needless to say, I did make it off the ride, swearing not to go back on until the belt extenders are in place or I lose another inch or two from the waistline. But when that happens, I'll definitely ride again.

After that, I made a loop through the park and then headed back for two rides on Twister. Again, even less of a line than usual. Both times, the train entered the station just as I reached the platform. First ride was in Row 11 and it was a fast smooth ride. The S curves after the lifts were particularly fast-- the whole ride was really good. My second ride was in Row 3 and started out just like the second, but dang, once we hit the double helix, did it get shaky. Nowhere near as smooth as the back.

Well, that was it for the rides. Bought $10 in tickets, and left with $1 for next time. Grabbed some food, and saw a quick passing sunshower from under the "revolving" pavilion. Saw a black squirrel scurrying through there too. Freaky! Of course I had to get a soft ice cream cone on the way out, which was around 6:30 or so. All in all, it was a fun afternoon, and hopefully the first of many this season.

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Monday, May 2, 2005 4:34 PM
C'mon, an amusement park isn't a time to worry about looking silly! I rode Flying Tigers and thought it was a pretty fun little ride! Of course I rode it with a bunch of other adults so we looked silly as a group which is always the preferred way to look silly. :)
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Monday, May 2, 2005 5:07 PM
Well, only if you pushed a bunch of little kids out of the way to get on the ride...
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Monday, May 2, 2005 5:23 PM
Yeah, I find parents usually don't like it when I do that.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:49 PM
How was it not seeing Whirlwind?? It must have been wierd. I don't usually go on it a lot, but it was a major part of the park.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2005 1:07 PM
Hey coastergurl!

Yeah it was strange seeing just the tops of the foundations there, but I'm wondering more about what could go there to replace it. It's a big open area now, but still not big enough for anything but the smallest, tightest coaster layout to fit in without removing or moving some other things around. I'm sure Knoebel's has it all figured out, what they want to do with that space.

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Monday, May 23, 2005 11:18 AM

RGB said:

"Hmmmm, well the nice ride operator told me I could ride without the belt and it would be no problem because the safety lock was already engaged... despite my better judgment, I decided to do it. Let me say I have never held onto anything so tightly before in my life.... In between calling myself a dumb ass every time the ride swung back and forth, I do remember it being a crazy ride."


Ditto!

I was at Knoebels yesterday and had the exact same experience. The OTSR came down and locked, but the seatbelt could not buckle. The metal part of the belt could touch the buckle... but it just wasn't enough to go closed. The op said "as long as I see a green light, you're locked. You're not going anywhere."

Needless to say, I knew that... I still hung on for all of my life and did alot of talking to the Almighty with each swing of the pendulum. Rode it once for the experience... considered myself "lucky" to still be alive (okay, it wasn't that bad... but at the moment....) and vowed to lose some weight before my next visit to Knoebels!

*** Edited 5/23/2005 3:19:18 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Monday, May 23, 2005 5:49 PM
I had a seat on Fandango on Saturday with the part you lock the seatbelt into completely broken off! The ride op just told me not to worry about it then pushed my restraint down even tighter! :(
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Monday, May 23, 2005 7:25 PM
Wow, that is dangerous. Does Fandango compare to Maxair, or what is it like?
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:17 AM
My question is this. Last time I rode the travelling Wild Claw at the York Fair (same model I believe as Hersheyparks The Claw), there were no seat belts to connect the OTSR's to the bottom of the seat. They simply come down and lock. They do have the "lights" that indicate when the OTSR is locked.

Same with Power Surge rides. It's been years since I have ridden one of these things... but are there belts that connect the seat to the OTSR on these?

I guess my question is... what is the real purpose for the belts on this type of ride? Is it to keep the OTSR in place? is it to keep smaller persons from slipping out from under the OTSR? Is it the "last line of defense" in the event that the OTSR locking device sufferes a failure?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:32 PM
The seat belts are used as a back up if the restraint should come unlocked. I'm sure it's mainly an insurance issue, the safer it appears the safer it SHOULD be.

I think the portable/traveling Afterburners don't have the seatbelts. I'm prettysure all Power Surges have seat belts though.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:46 PM
When I rode w/o belt, I tried convincing myself that if for some reason the OTSR would come flying open, that the force would be greater than some little seat belt could withstand anyway, so not having the belt wasn't that important. I suppose the redundancy does help somewhat, at least psychologically. I know not having it makes one feel a bit nervous.

When I was there, the ride op did tell me they were supposed to get belt extenders, so that should make things a little better. No need to totally give up Stony Gables, SLFAKE.

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