Kennywood, Astroland, Knoebels

Associated parks:

I was going to divide this up into 3 smaller trip reports, but I probably dont have enough to say to warrant that. We will see though.


My family and I left for our yearly summer trip to Pittsburgh on June 23rd. My mom was born and raised there, and we manage to make it back pretty much every summer despite the 500+ mile drive from Illinois. We ALWAYS go to Kennywood, I have almost never missed a year since I was a little kid, I love the place dearly. This time the parents decided no to join us at Kennywood when we went on Monday the 25th. It was just me and my brother, which was perfectly fine with me. I got the 18 dollar tickets from, quite a bargain for sure. We got to the park around 12:30 and did the Jack Rabbit, Racer, and Log flume. I still think Kennywood's log flume is the best ive ever been on. Afterwards we got some pizza. After just going to Six Flags Great America last week, it makes me really appreciate the food prices at Kennywood. The food at Six flags has gotten completley out of hand, for what I get at Kennywood, it would literally cost me twice as much at six flags, and thats not exaggerating in the slightest. Last year on Noahs Ark the moving floors were not working, I was glad they were working this year. A great walkthrough as always. We winded up with multiple rides on everything, it was a little hot, but the crowds were light and we had a great day. I dont think I have ever not had to wait in the outside queue area for Exterminator before. It was probably only a 5 minute wait. This thing is the best wild mouse ever, very fun rides. My only complaints on the day were these: I still dont understand why Kennywood wont run 2 trains on Phantoms Revenge. Sure, the line probably never got over 30 mins long, but still. If they can do it, they should, there is no excuse for me. I have been goiong to KW every year since it opened in 2001, and only once have I ever seen them actually running 2 trains. My other slight dissapointment was the fact that Cosmic Chaos was a bit of a letdown. I dont know, I was expecting it to be more exciting then this. I found the restraints to be stupid and uncomfortable, and it was just a boring ride overall. Everything else about the park was great, Thunderbolt is awsome as ever, park operations seemed very good, and the Potato Patch fries are still delicious. I love this place and hope it never changes for the worse.


After our brief 2 days stay in Pittsburgh, we left for NYC. This was our first time in the city, it was my idea to make the drive over, and it was definatley worth it. We had 4 nights and 3 full days in the city, just enough to experience everything we wanted to do. Coming from a small town in Illinois, it was quite a culture shock the first time walking around in Manhatten. I mean ive been in downtown Chicago many times but this just blows it out of the water. Nothing else like it. On our final day in New York, Friday, we got on the subway and made the 45 mintue trip to Coney Island. Okay first off hopefully I wont offend anyone by saying that Coney Island is basically a dump. Very unclean, smelly, and ugly. I know theres a lot of history there, and it was neat to see, but I can see why its going to be no more next year. Its sad, but I heard they are keeping the Cyclone and the Ferris Wheel so not all is lost. The Ferris Wheel was very neat, I have never been on one that swings like that. And the Cyclone was about what I expected. A very good ride, seems to have aged pretty well. In the end I was glad we took the time to make the trip.


I had heard so much about this place that when I saw how close we would be on the drive home, I knew we had to stop, even if briefly. I LOVE dark rides and I have heard the Knoebels haunted Mansion was one of the best. We got to Knoebels at around 12:30 on Saturday. Didnt have any problems getting there From I-80, reminded me of the drive to Holiday World...out in the middle of nowhere. After arriving we were pretty hungry so we got some burgers. Our first ride was the Twister. It was decent, but I wasnt overly amazed. Fairly average to me, and quite rough. Phoenix was another story entirley. I LOVE this ride. The airtime in the back is just awsome, I was basically standing on several of those return drops. By the end I was giggling like a little kid again. Its this type of ride that reminds me why I love coasters so much Its easy to see why this ride has been rated so highly. Got a quick enjoyable ride on Fandango, rode the log flume which was decent, checked out the musuems and bald eagels, and finally rode the Haunted Mansion. Definatley the best classic darkride ive been on, and I cant imagine there being any one better out there. Amazing how well everything has been maintained. A few parts even guinely frightened me. Afterwards we got re-rides on Twister and Phoenix, and rode the Flyers. Very unique and fun, it was nice to finally be able to try them out after hearing so much about them. Sadly after this we had only been in the park about 3 hours (it was quite crowded), but had to leave. We had a long drive ahead of us. I really wish I couldve stayed longer, because there was more I wanted to ride. I was VERY impressed by Knoebels. I still like Kennywood better, but Knoebels is still and amazing little park, and Phoenix absolutley blew me away.

The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
That KW flume is really special because of an element rarely found on flume rides, a down and up plunge much like something you would find on a roller coaster. I've ridden a number of other flumes and none of them had this feature.

One of the nice things about Knoebels is that you can stop there for a short visit and still get good value because of the free admission and the pay per ride ticket system. Where else can you ride a really great coaster for $2?

As for both KW and KG, I give them both credit for keeping their food prices reasonable. I wish more parks were like this.

Arthur Bahl

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