Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
The morning's rain stopped in time for opening, but it was cold all afternoon and the park remained almost empty all day. It was the best value that I've ever gotten from a handstamp. Pretty much everything was pretty much a walk-on all day, unless you wanted the front seat on Phoenix.
Phoenix took a while to warm up, between the cold and the lack of a full train, but when it did it was phlying. It was in one of its better moods, exceeded maybe only by last Phunfest. Seat 3 was throwing me around so much that I didn't even try the back seat. Mostly I rode the front seat.
There's lots of new wood on Phoenix this year, most notably the bottom of the drop behind the station and virtually the entire final turnaround. This turnaround, which used to be the only real rough spot on the ride, is now one of the smoothest spots! (Another enthusiast told me that he thought it had been re-profiled, but I couldn't tell.)
Despite all the maintenance, they somehow forgot to remove the monster from the tunnel. This brought screams from more than one train full of girls.
Twister was the shakiest I've ever seen it, except maybe last Phunfest when it was the fastest I've ever seen it. I don't recommend riding anything other than the front seat unless you're looking for that sort of abuse. Little if any new wood on Twister, although as usual some of it had been done between Labor Day and PPP last year.
The Flyers were run by the same operator all day, who didn't object to anyone's technique. I watched one cycle that seemed to be all experts, although I didn't recognize any of them.
The bumper cars were also run by the same guy all day. No Jack, I hope he's OK. They didn't even run half the cars most of the day due to lack of riders, but there was still some great action due to the presence of certain experts.
I took a back-seat ride on Kozmo's Kurves since I only rode it once last year. What a thrashing! Certainly a fitting replacement to the High Speed Thrill Coaster. It's hard to believe that something so slow can be so violent.
On the way back to the new eagle enclosure, I noted that the concrete pad for Black Diamond was in place, complete with what looked like dozens of feeds of conduit and one water line. Let's hope that all that means that there's going to be lots of special effects.
No work going on on Flying Turns, and the cars were covered up.
I only saw two swans in the creek all day, I hope the other ones are OK. One of the swans was nesting, I never saw them do that before.
We left the park right at 6PM as it was just starting to sprinkle. We didn't even make it through Elysburg before the road was covered with hail. A thunderstorm had somehow snuck up on us. If we would've seen it coming we would've left sooner.
I was there too and found Phoenix to be in near perfect form (9.5/10). Ride the back several times and tried the row three once with the front seat empty and later walked onto row 1. On each of the 7 or 8 laps I took, the train was less than half full if not virtually empty. To me the new track bed on the far lower turnaround looked banked more than I remember from the past, so I'm guessing this is the above mentioned "reprofiling". Twister to me was no more shaky than usual and I rode in the back with about a half-full train.
I took one lap on the Flyers and behaved myself. I hadn't seen any action and some other friends were avoiding the ride to not get blacklisted before the summer, but the op didn't seem to mind what anyone was doing.
Had a couple of great rides on the Skooters. Lots of new pain jobs since PPP including some bright yellow cars (awesome), another orange car, some grey ones and various stripe patterns on some other ones.
I was the guy walking around with a golden retriever puppy if anyone noticed. ;) He was very popular with the small crowd and the park employees. It was great taking my little buddy for his first visit to the park. He got to ride the Grand Carousel, the Pioneer Train and the Antique Cars. He kept looking at the Phoenix with excitement, but that just wasn't gonna happen. :)
I got many texts of jealousy from my friends scattered across the country (of course I provoked it by sending out pictures of the empty park). It was a great start to the Knoebels season.
Jim S. said:
The bumper cars were also run by the same guy all day. No Jack, I hope he's OK.
I was there on Sat. and he was there. I'm always glad to see him to start the season.
Was there on Saturday, and it was one of the more crowded opening days in the past few years. I am sure it was the beautiful weather that started the day that brought everyone out. Took us about 20 minutes to get our handstamp.
The phoenix was running great. Started raining on our 2nd lap. We headed home shortly after. Nice day, and I love the park.
Got the brass ring on the carrousel for the first time ever. Looking forward to Black Diamond. Loved that ride in Wildwood as a kid growing up, and I know that Knoebels will take good care of it.
I was also there on Sunday and I agree it was the best value I ever got for a handstamp. It was nice to pretty much ride everything all day with no lines. Overcast days are the best days to go. :)
I have seen dogs on the train and antique cars before but never on the carousel. I love how they treat the animals as guests too.
Coasterfantom, I got the brass ring for the first time ever as well and I have been going there since I was a kid.
Hmmm, some friends that were there also got the brass ring several times. Must have been so empty that just about anyone that rode got one.
So did you go and buy yourself a brass ring from the gift shop after your ride?
^Dave I was there on Saturday and they had a good crowd. I didn't realize that I had gotten it until the ride op came up and asked my name and where I am from. No I didn't get one at the gift shop. Didn't know they sold them.
^^April I have been going since I was a kid too, and never got one until Saturday. It made my day. Congrats to you for getting one as well. Funny how those little things(like brass rings) can make a persons day. :)
And since you all had handstamps, you have to make another trip to Knoebels to get your free ride on the Carousel. :)
^Goodbear used mine toward my scenic skyway ride.
I used mine on the Haunted Mansion. :)
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