Black Diamond one of many historical features of Knoebels

Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:35 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The story of Knoebels goes back to the turn of the 20th century. Long before Black Diamond opened, day-trippers would come to this spot to swim at the junction of two streams. Roaring Creek and Mugser’s Run still flow through the park (and have been the source of some devastating floods over the years).

Read more from The Washington Post.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 1:46 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Nice little article. I saw the last line coming a mile away. Phoenix is an awesome coaster that always seems to be a surprise to people. :-)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:30 PM

We got a kick out of the fact that ride inspectors made them add seat belts to the Golden Nugget, but the entire time you are on the Phoenix your rear end is out of the seat

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:37 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

Obviously I need to get to Knoebels. I'm kind of surprised that I haven't had my Coaster Geek card revoked for not attending before now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:02 PM
rollergator's avatar

I loved the article. But I get misty pretty easily over that park - the mill, the streams, covered bridges, beatiful foliage, hand-built stone buildings...even if I couldn't ride at all, I'd still make it to Knoebels every year at least once or twice - it's an amusement park where even a teenager such as myself can sit down and RELAX....something I rarely, if ever, do at other parks.

And Knoebels has the same birthday as my best coaster buddy! :~)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:56 PM

^^ we revoke Coaster Geek Cards electronically now. You don't know it's been revoked until you try to use it :)

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 12:53 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I must be royally screwed, then, because I honestly didn't see what the fuss was about when I visited. Granted, I wasn't there long, and I'd like to go back to get a fuller experience, but I thought it was a bit overhyped.


I guess Kozmo won't be friending me on Facebook.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 1:01 AM
LostKause's avatar

I felt the same way, Sirliondude, but the park kind of grew on me. Knoebels is still not my favorite park, and all that gravel with trees growing out of it and the bridges just thrown around sporadically, and the sloppy layout, and the oldness and un-modern-ness of the park still kind of get to me, but if you strain really hard to appreciate it, it somehow magically envelops you with it's charm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 10:13 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I didn't so much mind that. I actually thought that worked in its favor. It just didn't really blow my mind, but like I said, I was only there long enough to ride High Speed Thrill Coaster, Twister, and Phoenix, and that was about it.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:17 AM

Sirloindude, I dunno whether you even LIKE ride-through haunted houses and/or bumper cars. But if you skipped Knoebels' Skooters and Haunted Mansion, you deprived yourself of two very pleasurable (and in the case of the former, sometimes painful) experiences.

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:58 AM
LostKause's avatar

The Haunted Mansion is amazing! The timing of the stunts compared with the lights creates magic. It succeeds in startling me every time, even when I remember what's next. Because of that I laugh hysterically. It's so much fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012 10:15 AM

One historical feature is Flying Turns... the coaster with the distinction as taking the longest in history to build (2006-????)

(at least Australia's Orphan Rocker ran once or twice I believe)

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:18 AM
Carrie J.'s avatar

sirloindude said:

I must be royally screwed, then, because I honestly didn't see what the fuss was about when I visited. Granted, I wasn't there long, and I'd like to go back to get a fuller experience, but I thought it was a bit overhyped.

It's funny you mention this, Justin, because I took my husband there last year and he was thoroughly unimpressed. So much so, that he said he never wanted to go back. He's not an enthusiast and though he likes parks/coasters he only really started going because I'm so awesome. ;-) But still, I thought it was an interesting response from someone not tied to the industry as a fan and also not connected to the park from a nostalgic point of view.

I think the magic of Knoebels really is wrapped up for many in the amazing memories they've collected over the years going there with friends/family and enjoying PPP and the camping weekends. It would be hard for anyone with that kind of history with the park to separate from that to look at the park with "virgin" eyes. Or not. Just an interesting thought.

Last edited by Carrie J., Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:48 AM

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:26 AM
Jeff's avatar

I think you might be right, Carrie. I enjoyed myself at the park, even if I was there only briefly, but given its relatively inconvenient location, I'm not going to lose any sleep about not getting back there soon. I think for a lot of people, the memories they have there certainly weight in to it.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:48 PM
birdhombre's avatar

Just this past weekend my dad was asking me which was my favorite park, and I said that I hesitate to mention Cedar Point or Knoebels because they both carry such sentimental value for me. And I suppose when we're talking about something that's intended to invoke happy feelings, there's nothing wrong with ranking things emotionally.

But the question made me wonder how I might rank parks differently if this weren't a hobby, and it's hard for me to consider Knoebels more objectively because my first visit was at PPP (as were 2 out of 3 visits since then). What's funny is, I even have a hard time figuring out how we could spend 5 hours there the day after PPP and still not do everything we wanted, yet it happens -- and that part has nothing to do with wanting to spend time with friends (although I do). It probably helps that fall is my favorite time of year and the park is nestled in a wooded setting, so I enjoy just walking around.

My one non-PPP visit was in early July, but just a quick stop on the way to New York, so it's hard to compare that to the other times. But I think it's true that there has to be some sentimentality or sense of nostalgia to appreciate Knoebels... whether that's good or bad, I don't know... I just know PPP is exactly one month away and I'm looking forward to it. :)

Last edited by birdhombre, Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:51 PM
Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:04 PM
Vater's avatar

I spent a few hours there on a Sunday in 2004 (before kids, non-PPP) and even forgetting the enthusiast mindset and looking at it objectively and without bias, I really found it to be a gem of a park. I enjoy the fact that it's so different from every other amusement park. Something else that's evident to me, but probably not to most non-enthusiasts, is how impeccably maintained all the rides are.

Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:32 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

The way I look at Knoebels, is that it's a fun place to spend a day and kind of go back in time, snack on some tasty eats, and maybe ride a few rides while you're there. I like that you don't have to pay admission, and you can just walk around and see the sights and watch the babbling streams. I like to explore the coal museum and the carousel museum, and check on the various places that the flood waters have hit in the past.

I like to walk around with a dog, and socialize with the others that have their dogs there, and ride the space slide, and play the game where you shoot at the tank boats, and just kind of hang around.

I prefer to think of it as a campground with some rides, rather than an amusement park with a campground.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:58 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So we've reached the point where it's ok to say you really don't think Knoebels is all that?


Of course, as usual, I'm always ahead of the curve by 5 or 6 years. (smile)

I still feel that way. I haven't been back since that 2003 visit and I've been to Hershey and Dorney a couple of times. It's just that those few extra miles out of the way aren't really worth it to me.

The park is fine. It's certainly not a bad place. I just never got the love of some of the smaller, family-owned, enthusiast-endorsed parks. They're cute and worth a visit, but not the kinds of places I see myself frequenting.

Thursday, September 6, 2012 3:12 PM
matt.'s avatar

For me, Knoebels has been pure unadulterated magic since the first time I visited. Nothing to do with good memories there. I took my bf for the first time last year and he also fell in love with the place almost immediately. "Not getting" Knoebels likely means we come at this hobby for very, very different reasons and from very, very different perspectives (but I think this is something we've been discussing here ad naseum for years). The place pretty much embodies every reason I've had a lifelong obsession with parks in the first place.

Thursday, September 6, 2012 3:27 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

Carrie, Jeff, Gonch, etc., Now I don't feel so guilty about not going.

I'll get there someday.


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