Golden Nugget coming together at Knoebels as Black Diamond

Posted Saturday, July 10, 2010 10:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Knoebels bought the Golden Nugget’s track, trains and mechanics from Morey’s before it was demolished in 2009. The Black Diamond, will have the same track as the Golden Nugget, which was a favorite of the park’s president, Dick Knoebels. But the scenery and stunts will be new and will have a coal mining theme, said Joe Muscato of Knoebels. Two designers are working on plans for the track. The park will chose one of them. Even though Tracy’s original scenery and stunts won’t be part of the Black Diamond, the additions will be designed in his style to preserve the classic feel, Muscato said.

Read more from The Patriot-News.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011 1:08 AM

Really looking forward to this one. Knoebel's really had a nack for this kind of stuff. Anyone know how many cars/trains the ride will have? On one of the construction pics, a car had a '9' on it. That's alotta cars!

Sunday, September 4, 2011 1:35 AM

I don't recall exactly how many trains it will have, but I think I remember reading that they added two more to however many it already had, and extended the track for the loading platform. I am sure that someone else around here can correct and/or verify that info.

I'm shocked (lol) at how long it has taken to open. Shocked, I say. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:38 PM

We just got back from an afternoon of Covered Bridge Festival (huge craft show) and spending some time in the park. After taking a spin on the Skooters (less cars means more violent collisions) we walked toward Phoenix. As an afterthought I suggested we gander over at Black Diamond since I figured with all the enthusiasts in the park for PPP there would be some interest.

Oh, there was interest and then some. It was OPEN! We immediately got in the line that eventually took an hour to board. And we get the honor of our ticket taker being Dick Knoebel himself. I took a brief moment to thank him, just for everything since I'm a huge fan of what they do there.

We boarded the front seat in the second car of our two car train and we were off. I believe most folks here already understand that this is not a thrill ride but what it does it does nicely. I'm sure there is a good chance I rode this in Wildwood as Golden Nugget but there is no way I remember it from back in the 80's or 90's so I can't compare.

The effects are nice and several smile on your face moments and that is what I had hoped for. The 'fire tunnel' effect was just that, very effective. Those rotating tunnels that you walk or ride through always make me feel like I'm rotating.

We did not stay for PPP but I would imagine it would be running tonight. As we were leaving we saw a group of about 8 'dirty miners' heading towards the ride. I'm sure they were dressed up for the Halloween Parade. They were kind enough to pose for a quick photo for us. Not sure what the male nun had to do with their theme.

We liked it and were thrilled to get a ride in today. They've had their hands full lately there but still managed to open the ride this weekend and I would imagine throughout the rest of the month for Hall-O-Fun.

One additional note, we saw a sign to purchase BD tickets at the booth near the flume and since we have several of theire ride specific tickets we went over. The ticket seller said she has them but was under the impression she was not to sell them yet. We told her of the sign that prompted us to come there so she made a call and sold one to my wife. After eating at Cesari's Pizza we went back to BD with the intent of getting Dick Knoebel to sign the ticket. He was now off the platform and in front of the ride and was kind enough to sign it and pose for a photo as he did so.

Last edited by MrZero, Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:53 PM
Saturday, October 8, 2011 11:21 PM

^Thanks for the report MrZero! It is definitely worthy of a separate thread under 'Trip Reports'. You can also post some of your pictures (I'm sure many would love to see them) under 'Day In Pictures' if you like.

So glad to hear the ride is open. What timing - PPP!!! Lucky :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011 12:16 AM

I rode it today too. Overall it was pretty good, but for the price (and the wait), I have a couple of criticisms.

First, it was very dark. I have excellent night vision, but in most of the scenes I felt that I was missing a lot of details. I know there's a lot of details because I've seen pictures of it under construction. Their haunted house has brighter lighting in most of the scenes, and you can see all the details without losing the effect since they're only lit briefly as you're traveling by them. I wish the lighting could be a little bit brighter.

Second, all of the tricks were triggering for the first car (obviously), but by the time the last seat of the last car got around to where they were in full view (the track is very twisty), most of them were already resetting for the next train, even though the next train was nowhere in sight behind us. I don't know whether the timing could be tweaked to solve this or not, given the curvature of the track. I also wonder how they'll handle requests for the front seat in the future. (Obviously nobody was going to try it today.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011 12:36 PM

^Jim, make sure you let the park know your feelings. I have a hunch they are very aware of the stuff you are talking about, but a little positive reinforcement (albeit with constructive criticisms) I'm sure would be very welcome :)

Monday, October 10, 2011 9:43 AM

CoasterDemon said:
Really looking forward to this one. Knoebel's really had a nack for this kind of stuff. Anyone know how many cars/trains the ride will have? On one of the construction pics, a car had a '9' on it. That's alotta cars!

On Saturday, Black Diamond was running 5 trains (each train consisting of two cars, each car capible of holding up to four riders for a total of up to eight riders per train). The numbering can be a bit misleading to try and count trains as the cars are numbered in sequential order, not the trains (i.e. the first train had cars 1 and 2; the second train had cars 3 and 4, etc), so when you saw the car with the 9 on it, that was actually just the first car of the fifth train. With a seperate load and unload area, and blocking set up to allow one train to stack between the load area and the unload area, there was always an empty train waiting, so as soon as they can get the bugs worked out (mostly the spacing and the loading), the capacity should be pretty high.

Monday, October 10, 2011 9:50 AM

They also discovered that one of the fog machines apparently sets off a fire alarm, or at least that was their best guess. Our 40-minute wait turned into an hour wait, and we have become experts on getting into and out of Black Diamond cars in the station. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011 1:11 PM

The ride is certainly interesting, that's for sure. I was scratching my head when I came off, both times. I enjoyed it, and I will definitely ride it again and again, but the braking needs tweaked, a LOT. I'd rather see them brake it less, but in more places to keep the pacing even rather than let it start trucking, and then jam to a crawl again.

Not to mention, in the front, you fly by some of the scenes and don't see them, but you really never see anything from the back. (I was lucky enough to get a ride in each spot). I know it just opened, and some tweaking needs done, so I'm hoping next year, it'll be just right.

On a side note, Flying turns was running a weighted test train on Sunday. Though it's hard to see, we saw what we could, and talked to the guy in the station that said things were definitely looking up. Either way, it was really cool to see/hear it running. It's got quite the rumble to it.

Monday, October 10, 2011 1:38 PM

Birdhombre, I was near the end of the line then that happened. It was funny to see how many people initially thought the alarm was part of the ride. :-)

Even with it being the first day of operation with what appeared to be an extremely long line, I didn't hear from anyone who waited more than an hour to ride.

Overall, it was a great surprise to PPP this year. GOCC is hosting an event opening day next year and I can't wait. CoasterBuzz members are welcome to come at the member rate. It sounds like the new chassis on FT are doing OK so far. Maybe we'll have another surprise on opening day. :-)

Let's just hope they get a break from the flooding in 2012.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:23 AM

^Jason, what's GOCC?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:44 AM

Great Ohio Coaster Club... ;)

Or "Government Open Code Collaborative", apparently... :)

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:45 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:13 AM

Yeah... I was referring to the first one. :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:53 AM


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:14 PM

Or Mvrk.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:50 PM


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 1:53 PM

Tekwardo said:

Watch your language, young man :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:18 PM



Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:19 PM

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