Knoebels, 8/23/18

I haven't been to a park other than Dorney in over 2 months. It's either been raining or high temperatures and humidity most of the summer and with Thursday being cooler, I took advantage of that to get to Knoebels for the first time this year. I still had almost a full $20 ticket book from the Weis Markets deal last year ($20 ticket book for $16) and bought another $15 in tickets at the park since they were 10% off on weekdays.

Impulse was first. This year 2 trains were running and it was only a 5 minute wait. I like this coaster more than Untamed at Canobie and Fahrenheit because of the lap bars rather than over the shoulder restraints and because I like this ride's layout better.

I always look forward to the Flyers. The way this ride is run the perfect example of the difference between Knoebels and a corporate park. At Knoebels, the seatbelt doesn't go over your lap and the ride operator doesn't even walk around to make sure everyone buckled the belt. At Hersheypark, regular belts are used and the ride operator walks around to look and make sure it is buckled. At Dorney, in addition to regular belts, the ride operator walks around and tightens everyone's belts and you can't even unbuckle them yourself after the ride. The ride cycle at Knoebels is also at least 3 times as long as Dorney and probably twice as long as the ride cycle at Hershey. Unfortunately for my first ride, I was having trouble snapping and went back later where I was able to snap like normal.

Twister had a station wait. 2 years ago I found the double helix rough and this year as well as last year it was much smoother. I really like the track layout for this coaster.

StratosFear was a new ride for me. With no stopping at the top and the top of the ride vehicle blocking the view, of the tower, you don't know when the drop is about to happen. It was way better than S&S Towers but Zumanjaro is still my favorite drop tower.

Phoenix is a ride that I had always thought was good but overrated. I got the first row of the 2nd car and I don't know if that made a difference or I caught the ride on bad days in past trips but I really liked the coaster much more on this trip. I felt like I was out of my seat the entire ride and some elements like the double down were great. It's not going to take over Boulder Dash or El Toro as my favorites but it is now a top 10 wooden coaster for me.

The Log Flume is fun with 2 drops and just enough water splashing on you to get cooled off.

Black Diamond feels more like a dark ride than a coaster. It's still fun with a few drops and a lot to see. The rotating tunnel at the end was a little dizzying.

Haunted Mansion is now $2.50 to ride and worth the cost. It's well done for a non corporate park and like Black Diamond has a lot to see throughout the ride.

Flying Turns had about a 25 minute wait. Even though I had been on the ride twice before, it's always a cool experience to ride such a unique coaster and without the wheels attached to the track. If the capacity wasn't so low, it is something I would try to ride more than once per trip.

After going back to Twister, I finished the trip at Whipper. The cycle is much better than the Whip at Dorney it was nice to have the ride start right after everyone entered and was seated compared to Dorney where it can take 5+ minutes by the time the ride operator checks the seat belts and sometimes takes the time to wrap the slack of the seat belt around the lap bar.

After previously only visiting Hershey, Great Adventure and Dorney this season, going to Knoebels is a nice change of pace from the larger parks in the area.

Amen to that.

And what, no Bumper Cars?

I skipped them this trip but have ridden the bumper cars on past visits to the park. Probably the most violent bumper cars I have ever tried.

Nice Trip Report. Covered Bridge Festival will be our next visit.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Never skip the bumper cars.


Cool report. I made my first ever trip to Knoebels the day before you. Absolutely loved it. Riding Phoenix with just the buzz bars and no seat belt was an awesome experience. They also have a nice collection of flats I don't think anyone in their right mind would operate, but there they are (Looper looking at you).

But the bumper cars though! Also enjoyed the ski lift that goes up the hill. That was rather intimidating. Only things I missed out on was Cosmotron and the little motorboats. I think I wanted to go on the boats because I've only because I've never seen them at an actual park, only in RCT.

Also enjoyed the Flying Turns. Not the most intense ride but after hearing as a child about the Flying Turns at Euclid Beach from my Dad, it was nice to get the chance to ride something similar.

kpjb's avatar

I was there the same day as you were. Only my second time at the park and first in about 15 years or so.

My first trip, I didn't get any crazy air on Phoenix and thought it was "meh". Twister was a gem though.

This time Twister was shuffling and rough, didn't enjoy it much at all. Phoenix was running INSANE though. I finally see what people love about that.

Flying Turns was fun, but the line was about 1/2 hour while everything else was a walk-on so we didn't feel like waiting again.

Not sure what Black Diamond is supposed to be. Haunted Mansion was better than I remember.

Impulse was decent, but not enough to make me want to ride twice.

I liked how the car ride is intertwined with Phoenix. Never noticed that before.

I really liked the drop tower. It had a rickety feel to it, I like the way you drop while you're still rising. and the brakes engage REALLY late compared to other manufacturers.


You didn’t miss much in skipping Cosmotron. It used to be an original Caterpillar, but that was replaced by one of those crappy Wisdom Himalaya rides. It was a real disappointment for me the year I discovered that. I thought Knoebels had better sense.

The bumper cars are everything. The operator and caretaker, Bumper Car Jack, passed away last year and at PPP ‘17 there was a benefit in his honor. Fans could pledge so much for an ERT ride session with each individual session placed 15 minutes apart, which resulted in 12 minute rides each time. Ouch. I thought some of the guys were trying to kill each other (ahem...Mr. Gator...) and those vintage cars were running so hot I thought a couple were going to light afire. It was an evening I’ll never forget and so much fun.
Boy, that ride could sure use a building refresh, though. That banged up and torn corrugated metal looks awful and terribly hides the wonderful vintage ride within.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

kpjb said:

I was there the same day as you were. Only my second time at the park and first in about 15 years or so.

My first trip, I didn't get any crazy air on Phoenix and thought it was "meh". Twister was a gem though.

This is really interesting to me. I felt the same way.

When did I visit? August 2003.

15 years ago.

That can't be a coincedence.

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

kpjb said:

I really liked the drop tower. It had a rickety feel to it, I like the way you drop while you're still rising. and the brakes engage REALLY late compared to other manufacturers.

I am not sure what makes Stratosfear ride the way it does, but I have never felt a legitimate free fall the entire way down the tower on any other ride.

I can think of two others that do (and did) that exact same thing. One is the ride at Waldameer, and the other one was at Cypress, pre-Legoland. I don’t know what became of those carnival rides there, but I’m thinking it must live on somewhere.
I rode the one at Knoebels several times at night, and it was really scary. Every time.

Vater's avatar

I was there at the end of July, and the only ride I missed (that I cared about) was the spiral slide, it was closed I'm guessing due to rain. That thing is fun.

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