Beating the Heat at Knoebels- 7/26

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005 5:25 PM
My nephew is staying with his grandmother for the week, so I thought I’d make the supreme sacrifice and take a day off of work to take him to Knoebels. Since I had a few errands to run in the morning we decided to head up to the park after lunch. We’d be meeting my friends and their five-year old who is also my goddaughter.

After exchanging a few on-the-road phone calls, we decided to meet in front of the carousel around 2. My nephew and I got to the park and noticed that only the front half of the parking lot was filled. I guess with temps expected in the mid 90s, a lot of people decided to stay in the AC or find another way to cool off. It took just a few steps into the area between the Ferris Wheel and Power Surge to realize just how hot it was.

I took my nephew to the hand stamp office to exchange the click and print ticket I had gotten him as a Christmas gift. Since my friends weren’t at the carousel when we headed back, we decided to catch a quick ride on the Italian Trapeze (Swinger). It was a fun ride, the breeze was especially welcome this afternoon, and the sounds of “If the House is a-rockin’ don’t bother knockin’” were coming from the amphitheatre. With almost no line, the ride cycle was pretty long too.

After that, we headed back to the carousel just in time to meet my friends. Then it was back over to the handstamp office for the little one. The three adults just decided to use tickets, which turned out to be a good choice since our coaster riding would be limited. The kids on the other hand made out like bandits with their wristbands.

The first thing we hit after that was the TeaCups, my goddaughter’s favorite. She insisted we all ride together, which was really funny since only one other “cup” was occupied. So five of us sat there jockeying our legs around till we found a comfortable position, which was just before the ride ended. Next was the Paratrooper with a one-ride wait. It was kicking up such a breeze, I actually didn’t mind standing in line. I don’t know if it was the heat, humidity or what since there was no regular breeze to speak of, but that ride was popping. I swear we were almost horizontal a few times.

After that, it seemed natural to head over to the Flume. My goddaughter was hesitant to ride, saying “I hate water rides.” Her mother reminded her she had never been on a water ride. Well, you know how this turns out—you couldn’t get her off the ride. Another water rider created. And my nephew would marathon the ride if you let him.

Next, we hit the Antique Cars. We had my nephew drive one of the cars so we’d only have to pay the passenger rate. Are we cheap or what? Then I let my friends ride Phoenix while I stayed with the kids and played deaf to the younger one’s pleas for Dippin’ Dots. Then we switched off and my friend Mike and I rode while Sandy (the official keeper of the digital camera) took yet more pictures of us waving on a ride. Since they rode second seat from the back, I went to the second seat front car to give him a different ride. Single train running, but it was only a one-ride wait for all but the front and back seats. Hot, cold, wet, dry—it doesn’t matter, Phoenix gives a hell of a ride. Lots of airtime, even quite a bit into the turnarounds. The last run of bunny hops was just “are you serious” they were so kick butt.

During a bathroom break, I walked over to check progress on the Looper. The platform is mostly in place. They located it next to the Flyers, so most of Whirlwind’s old footprint is still open. Now I’m really interested in seeing what they intend to do with the space.

After that came a flurry of flats and kiddy rides for the kids to enjoy, while we adults tried to keep hydrated. There was a dinner break in there somewhere too. Somehow we managed to criss-cross the park twice, so I lost track of what who rode in what order. We did take in the Haunted Mansion, Whip, Carousel, watched my nephew on Skloosh, the Train and Merry Mixer too.

We got 2 rides on HTSC too, both 6-lap rides. The second time the ride op had to send a kid off because she was too small. Of course the mother who was sitting all the way over by the Whip claimed the kid had ridden before. But the op stood his ground and said he was willing to call his supervisor if there was a problem. I told him he was doing the right thing, which he seemed to appreciate.

While the kids rode the Balloon Ride for the third time, I took Mike over to Downdraft. Of course the seat I pick just had a kid from Skloosh in it. Mike said, “ you hope it’s water.” This ride was absolutely crazy, and I was on the inside seat yet. I could imagine how the outside felt.

We got another ride on the flume, with absolutely no line. Amazing, considering it had to be well above 80 degrees at 6:00. This time I rode with both kids, and had a blast with them. I sort of regret not buying the picture, since the expressions were priceless.

We weren’t going to pass Fandango again without trying it. So Mike and I emptied our pockets into the stroller, which basically became a cargo cart since the 5-year old wasn’t interested in sitting in it. Well I have to report that the seat belts fit much better than earlier in the year, although the shoulder room is still lacking. This was only my second ride on it, but I don’t remember hitting the highs and lows at such wacky angles. It’s a much wilder and better experience than inward facing rides like the Claw. Much better facing the sky and ground only and not someone across from you.

Next we made it over to the Twister, though first we all needed a few seconds in front of the "Mister." Mike and I rode this one alone while his wife finally caved in and bought the munchkin her Dippin Dots. Twister was also running one train, but we stepped into the queue for the second seat just as the train was leaving, so the next train was ours. Man, was it running fast and just a little bit rough, which I thought was strange for the second seat. Still it was an enjoyable ride.

We wanted to catch the last show at the amphitheatre, so we headed there with a stop at the Old Mill for ice cream. We tried out some new flavors like Tastycake chocolate cupcake and Peanut Butter Tandytake—if you’re not from eastern PA or NJ you might not understand. You don’t know what you’re missing. We almost missed it too, as in the heat it was melting pretty quickly.

After a great Beatles tribute show, we went over to ride the Skyview, only to realize we didn’t have enough tickets for everyone. Rather than buy more, we decided to ride the Ferris Wheel instead. They immediately took us to the top and stopped to reload the side opposite us. Well, just as we’re stopped the wind kicks up and we see some distant lightning. Luckily it was still quite a ways off, and we had a pretty long ride again since the line was sparse.

We decided to end with a few rides on the Rockin’ Tug, and headed out just about 10. Considering we decided to play it by ear, and see how long we could stand the heat, we ended up spending 8 fun hours at the park. I got to drive home with a wild light show from an approaching thunderstorm and wasn't in the house 3 minutes before the rain hit.

Next week, we trade my nephew for my niece, so I may get to do it all over again. I think my arm can be twisted.

RGB, apologizing for the wordiness, but I got on a roll.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005 6:38 PM
I hate you! ;)
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Thursday, July 28, 2005 7:15 AM
I hate you too! ;-)

Cool TR!

Yup, I don't eat sweets but I remember Tastycakes. :-)

Knoebels has a Rockin Tug now? SWEET!

-Tina

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Thursday, July 28, 2005 7:56 AM
Darn it now I can't wait for PPP to get here. Great TR.

Katie

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Thursday, July 28, 2005 11:40 AM
Oh we will have a blast. Wait till Phoenix ERT at night!

Awesome weather, cool peeps, great food, and killer Flyers to boot! You will love it!

-Tina

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Thursday, July 28, 2005 11:51 AM
*chants* PPP, PPP, PPP....

one of the many reasons Knoebels is my favorite park. Counting the days til August 19th when I pop in to enjoy the wonders of the park.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005 12:48 PM
Moosh, "have you heard the word is LOVE? It's so fine, it's sunshine, it's the word LOVE." Save the hate until I go with my niece (my coaster buddy) and we get multiple rides on Phoenix. :)

But just think, most likely they'll have Fandango running too for PPP.

My only problem may be that my uncle turns 75 on October 7 and my aunt has been mentioning having a big party for him. I keep thinking, don't have it on the 8th, not the 8th...

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Friday, July 29, 2005 2:33 PM
Tina sez: "Knoebels has a Rockin Tug now? SWEET!"

Now? Hon...they've had one for about 2 years. Dick saw it at IAAPA the year it debuted and bought the model that was operating on the show floor!

Oh, and LOL RGB :)

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Monday, August 1, 2005 12:27 PM
My bad. I still don't remember seeing it, though. ;-)

And yes, I was sober during THAT event....mostly.

-Tina

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Monday, August 1, 2005 1:27 PM
The Tug is tucked in that little path that leads from the Ferris Wheel over to Skloosh. We almost missed it ourselves because they were having a craft fair last week, and it was pretty well hidden by the crafters' booths.
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Monday, August 1, 2005 1:36 PM
I was there yesterday for about 45 mins. My girlfriend got very sick so we left. I did get to ride the Phoniex and Twister before we left though. Phoniex is one of the best wooden coasters I've ever been on!! the park is very neat and very nice. I can't wait to go back!

Great trip report!!

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Monday, August 1, 2005 2:46 PM
My girlfriend got very sick so we left.

Yet another thing I don't have to worry about ;)

Sorry your visit was cut short, Crash. Do you live close enough to return easily?

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Monday, August 1, 2005 2:54 PM
I guess I could say I live close enough took 2.5 hours to ge there. That route 61 north is a handful. Interesting going through that town with the coal mine fire. Centeralia or something like that. I def want to go back, the park was really neat. A little spread out, like I almost walked past the entrance to Twister cause its out by itself. But I like it and I really wanted to ride the Bumper Cars and Haunted house cause you've all said they were not to be missed.

My girlfriend is 4 months pregnant and she wanted to get out of the house. I told her I was thinking of driving up there to check it out and wanted to tag along. She insisted so we went. I think the heat got to her and no she didn't ride any thing she just wanted to get out of the house.

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Monday, August 1, 2005 3:26 PM
Sounds like you had a great time, RGB! I'm going to make the trip to knoebels tomorrow, the trip consists of pulling out of the driveway, driving down the road 10 miles, and I'm there (I live just outside of Catawissa). I need my weekly dose of Twister and Phoenix.

It's nice to be able to spend a day at such a beautiful and fun place and not spend more then $20.

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Monday, August 1, 2005 4:18 PM
Tell me about it, Crash. I drive that handful every day... well, maybe one or two fingers worth.

I avoid Centralia myself. It's pretty depressing, especially since I remember what it was like when there was a real town there. When you get to the top of the hill (ski slope) in Ashland, just go straight and follow 54W. You'll bypass Centralia and Mt. Carmel and save a few minutes.

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Monday, August 1, 2005 5:40 PM
Thanks for the tip Rathergoodbear. It found it very interesting going through the area. I'd actually like to go back and look around a bit. I know people still live there but I want to see. I read about it a long long time ago in a book and saw a show on the history channel about it.

Anywho I know have a new top 10 wooden coaster its #2 on my list. Go Phoniex!!

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Monday, August 1, 2005 6:00 PM

RatherGoodBear said:

After that, it seemed natural to head over to the Flume. My goddaughter was hesitant to ride, saying “I hate water rides.” Her mother reminded her she had never been on a water ride. Well, you know how this turns out—you couldn’t get her off the ride. Another water rider created. And my nephew would marathon the ride if you let him.


Flume-a-thons. Oh my.

CBaby was actually horrified of the local flume from age 3 till she turned 5. At 5, she braved it for the first time without crying, decided she loved it and hopped on at least a dozen times before I finally asked her to stop.

It was the last time I EVER wore jeans to an amusement park. They musta weighed 40 pounds by the time I walked away...

-'Playa

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Tuesday, August 2, 2005 11:51 PM
I was over at Knoebels today and saw the sign for the new "Vintage Looper" where Whirlwind's station used to be. What exactly is this new ride going to be? I haven't really heard anything about it.

BTW... Phoenix was phlying today, major air in 1-3!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2005 12:03 AM
It's Hershell's version of this ride:

http://www.flatrides.com/Ride%20Index%20Pages/roknroll.html

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