Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
A week and a half ago, I took my 3rd overall trip to Knoebels. I was there in June 2016 and July 2008 before that. This was my first time visiting the park on a weekday and got there later than expected at around 3:40. I would have gone for the 4:00 - 9:00 wristband and handstamp for $28 but had already bought vouchers at Weis last week where you pay $16 and get a voucher to redeem at the park for a $20 ticket book.
The Flyers were first. Unlike Dorney where the ride operators check each seatbelt and make it tighter (and they can't be unlocked on their own) or Hershey where they just look to make sure everyone has a seatbelt on, the ride operator here doesn't even look to make sure the seatbelt is on and the seatbelt doesn't even go across your lap, just over the front of the seat. After getting much more practice on Flying Scooters since last year I was able to snap these easily. It was so much fun to be able to snap and know you are allowed to and there were some other riders on the cycle going even crazier causing the cables to bounce around like I have never seen before. The cycle was great too, at least twice as long as Dorney's.
Phoenix sadly has gotten air gates since my visit last year. Dispatches were still really fast with no seatbelts and just a buzz bar to check and with 1 train running the wait was just over 10 minutes. The coaster is a lot of fun with some great air time but not my favorite coaster at the park. While waiting in the station, one of the ride operators crossed the tracks while the train was on the circuit by just walking on the tracks not even telling the ride operator at the controls. That would probably get someone fired at a corporate park but at Knoebels, it is just standard procedure (this is not a complaint).
The Log Flume has a good layout for not taking up a lot of space including 2 drops. You get cooled off and not soaked which was nice considering it was around 75 degrees out.
Black Diamond had no one in line. I thought it barely counts as a coaster with 2 small drops and is more of a dark ride. There is a lot to see and still fun.
The Flying Turns had the longest wait of the day at around 20 minutes. The ride is so different from any other coaster I have ridden and I'm glad the park was able to get it open after all those years of working on the ride. I did ride the coaster last year but it still felt like a new coaster to me. The only complaint is that the coaster is short and on a crowded day, I'm sure the line movies painfully slow. It was also nice the only restraint was a seatbelt.
Haunted Mansion had almost no one in line. The new scenes added were good and this continues to be one of my favorite non interactive dark rides not in Florida or California.
Twister had a 2 train wait and still doesn't have airgates. Like Phoneix there are no seatbelts but individual lap bars. 1 train was running. This is probably my favorite coaster in the park. I think the layout is great and unlike last year where was some jackhammering in the double helix, the ride only had a few rough spots. I like how even though it is a twister layout, there are still some big drops.
Whipper didn't have a line and although it's a little more tame than Dorney's Whip, I think this ride is better overall. There are not seatbelts, just a lap bar and no Cedar Fair ride operators walking around each car to tighten the seatbelt and wrap it around the lap bar where it takes around 7 minutes to start the ride. Like at the Flyers, the ride operator started the ride just looking around to make sure each lap bar was lowered. The cycle was much better than Dorney's as well.
The last ride of the day was Impulse. Unfortunately only 1 train was running. Even with low crowds, the posted wait time was 30 - 45 minutes and since I was riding alone, I used the single rider line. There were only 2 people in front of me and it still took almost 20 minutes. The grouper was going through the line and if there was a group of 2, she went through the line until she found another group of 2 even if they were further back so the only way a single rider got to ride was if a group of 3 was in line which didn't happen too often. I guess I'm used to Great Adventure where if there are 2 people in a row for Green Lantern, the person at the single rider line just sends 2 people from the single rider line into that row. It's usually the same at Zumanjaro.
I like that the ride just has lap bars and the layout is good with 4 inversions and the helices. It's a little short but packs a lot of coaster in almost 2000 feet of track. I like Impulse a lot more than Untamed at Canobie and slightly less than Fahrenheit at Hershey.
We went to Cesari's Pizza for dinner, I wanted to try the International Food Court but I guess that will have to wait for another trip.
There were more tickets leftover than I was expecting, so that's a good excuse to get back maybe in the Fall or sometime next year.
Overall Knoebels is a really nice park. I like that there is a great variety of rides and I like how they don't go overboard with unnecessary extra restraints on the rides and it is very inexpensive. $3 for a coaster (or $2.40 with discounted tickets) is a great bargain when rides like Hydrus are $10 or as much as $15 for 1 coaster ride in Las Vegas.
After riding Gale Force with tickets, 10 bucks for Hydrus seems like a ridiculously good deal.
I have bunches of tickets for Knoebels, but almost always end up with the hand-stamp anyway. PPP Sat. morning is usually more meet-and-greets, so *occasionally* I'll do tickets then. I know people who actually keep track of the ride tickets vs. the handstamp, but I figure if Knoebels has my money, it's where I'd want it to go anyway...
Finally - Rib-B-Q >>> Cesari's.
Thank god there are no seat belts at Cesari's huh? Odd, but true.
Knoebels has always been known for harkening back to a much simpler time. And operations like that are how much of it used to be everywhere- when a rider's good judgement was included as part of a park's safety plan.
But let's not say anything too loud or too often. Somebody may get a bright idea.
We love Knoebels too. Going this weekend at some point. We have over $50 in tickets, and then going back for Phunfest. I am surprised that you don't more frequent as close you are. My wife, and I visit at least twice a year. Going this weekend willl be our third visit this season.
Funny thing is last visit it was raining. My mom, wife, and I ate at The Alamo. I took a lap on the phoenix in the rain, and then left. It was raining at all on the way up until we got to Knoebels. :)
For some reason, I am still getting used to the park being around 1 hour and 20 minutes away even though it has been over a year since I moved. I want to try to get back at least one more time this year and am going to plan to visit more times next year, especially in the spring.
You must be logged in to post