Knoebels - Saturday, July 26, 2014

VTFanatic330's avatar

So, I'm doing another roadtrip this summer. Last year was Texas. This year, I'm doing a (mostly) Midwest trip, with a few parks I've visited, but only once before. But my first park this trip was new, and have been anticipating highly: Knoebels! The word "charm" gets thrown around a lot, so I'll use another adjective....whimsical. Everything, from ride height requirements to food stands, has its own little unique touch. And the park layout is definitely organic. Don't look for the front gate, there isn't one.

Arriving shortly after opening, I headed to Flying Turns first. Longest wait of the day by far, just under an hour. It's a pleasant ride, and nothing more. But kudos to Knoebels for never giving up on it, and finally getting it open. It is nice to look at -- sitting in the rear car and seeing the front car crawl up the track was cool.

Black Diamond was next. More dark ride than coaster. The neon corkscrew tunnel near the end is trippy. Then another dark ride, the famed Haunted Mansion. Most dark rides don't genuinely startle me, but this one did. Three separate times. Well done. Next was the Flyers. Embarrassingly, I've never ridden one of these before. These definitely pick up speed, there's just a tinge of "is this thing going to break" that heightens the experience -- and this is without trying to snap.

Walked past the Crystal Pool -- they let people dive! -- and went to Twister. Definitely lives up to its name, the lateral forces are sustained and intense, with no roughness at all. Rode twice (one front, one back).

By now, it was around 2 PM, so time to eat! I went back to the pork chop on a stick stand I saw earlier. Excellent and juicy. Also got the white birch beer....holy hell that stuff is good. Was still a bit hungry, and Cesari's Pizza was nearby. Verdict? I'm a fan. They had the good crumbly sausage, and the tomato sauce was pleasantly different. Crispy crust too.

Next was the bumper cars, the line was long enough to digest things, ha. I knew these were faster -- an inadvertent head-on collision was proof. Had fun driving full speed towards the fence, and waiting until the very last second to turn. The look on one girl's face was priceless.

After a journey on the Pioneer Train, it was time for Phoenix. The airtime sensations on this were incredible, truly unlike anything I've ridden before. Graceful and more floaty towards the the back you get violently yanked back into your seat. The ending -- a wicked series of bunny hills -- left me breathless. Did two rides now, but definitely planned on more later. Rode Kozmo's Kurves en route to Scenic Skyway, coming down gives you a great view.

Cosmotron was another ride I looked forward to. I knew it was a Music Express in the dark. I did NOT know it went backwards. The music selection was to my liking too. Sweet ride! Did the log flume on my way to dinner, sufficiently splashed but not soaked. Dinner was at the International Food Court. My overflowing pulled pork sandwich was delicious, paired with (yep) another birch beer. Walked around a bit and grabbed a Neapolitan ice cream waffle for dessert. Also delicious. The food prices, by the way, are very reasonable. Same goes for merchandise. $11 for a T-shirt instead of the normal $20+.

After dinner, took my ride on the Grand Carousel. No brass ring, but snagged plenty of normal ones. But throwing them in the lion's mouth at the end is an amusing task I failed miserably at. Rode the Whipper, I like Kennywood's better but you get a long cycle on this one too. After another spin on Cosmotron, and a ride on Paratrooper, closed the night with a couple night laps on Phoenix, the last in the very front....heavenly. I had a fantastic day overall, at most parks a Saturday in July with great weather (high 70s and no rain) could be unbearable, but not here!

Hotel mini-review: Red Roof Inn in Danville, about 20 minutes north of Knoebels. Basic but clean, quiet, free wi-fi in room, slept well -- definitely did the job for a quick overnight stay.

Last edited by VTFanatic330,

"We need more 'Bort' license plates in the gift shop. I repeat, we are sold out of 'Bort' license plates."

Shouldn't that be knudos to Knoebels?

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