Knoebels 8/7 One-train operation, but still fun

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Since last weeks trip was between Kennywood and Knoebels, and we choose Kennywood, it was Knoebels this week for this, our last park in the the “Thursday, close to home park” series. We arrived about 1:30 and the parking lot was fairly filled. We parked in section “E”, which involved a little bit of a hike to get to the entrance. Upon getting onto the premises of the park, we observed the new for 2003 attraction, the Zamperla Rockin’ Tug. It’s basically like a mini-pirate ship that spins. We laugh about it, and wonder if they adults without children on it. Our first order of business was to get the “hospital” wrist bands, and “Ride” stamp on hands. Prices have gone up since our last visit in 2001. The park & wood coaster option is $28.50, which is the same price as Kennwyood’s admission. Since Matt payed last week, due to my credit card getting stolen, I payed this week with an alternate card.

Our first ride was The Haunted Mansion, and it was still fun, but, I seemed to have remembered too much of it to be truly scary. It still got Matt:) They should build more of these, but I realized that we were at antique land. We were both really hungry, so we got a whole pie at Cesari’s Pizza. To know who’s pizza is whose, they give you a wooden pie with a number on it. One of many Knoebels quirks. The pizza was way too hot at first, and the cheese was falling off the pie, but after it cooled down a while, it was quite good. We headed for the Log Flume next, but first we checked out a very strange Tea Cups. There are two circles, and the tea cups actually criss-cross between the circles. Strange. We waited a very short wait for “Flume”, and it violated one of the rules from last weeks lesson at KW about the last person getting wettest. On the first drop, I was the one who got drenched, as the nose of the boat plowed down into the water, and water came gushing over into my lap (Anyone know who made this? It’s not an Arrow).

Matt’s itching for a coaster ride, so we hit Phoenix next. We noticed the price had gone up since our last visit by .20. I guess the new for 2003 chairlift ride cost a fortune. We had a fairly long wait, due to one-train operation that would be the norm for the rest of the day. At least the ride has buzz-bars, and the crews are quick. It was fun, but I think I liked Thunderbolt at Kennywood better. We next hit the Vekoma-made Whirlwind, one of two steel coasters at the park. It’s ok, but my neck got jostled around some. It still manages to pack a lot of punch in a small footprint.

I believe we hit Twister next, where once again, they were running one train. I like the double-lift, as it disorientates you. It was pretty out of control, and I like that. We headed towards the front of the park and rode 1001 Nacht, a large flying carpet ride made by a company called Weber from West Germany, so I assume the ride is somewhat old. We noted that the restraints are odd. It combines the lapbar and handlebar into one mechanism. When the lapbar drops, there is no room to breathe. It’s definitely a toss-up between this and the S&S Eruption for most painful lapbar of the year award. It’s a smoother ride than Kennywood’s Flying Carpet, but definitely not as forceful. Next, we hit one of my favorite flats, the Zamperla-made Power Surge. This is by no means a spin-and-spew, as there is a constant change of direction, and inversions. It’s nextdoor neighbor on the otherhand, Downdraft is another story. It’s goes around in circles, while the arms gyrate in and out quite high. It’s kind of like a Huss Swing Around, but a lot more powerful.

We moved on into the kiddie section, and passed on High Speed Thrill Coaster for now. We tried out Satellite, a roto-o-plane. Considering the low capaicty, we didn’t have to wait too long. I had a better experience than on the removed one at Kennwyood, due to another person being in the car. I didn’t have to hold on as hard either. Next, Matt’s dying to try out the Sky Slide, which resembles a Chance Toboggan, except you climb a spiral staircase with a mat, and slide down the spiral path outside. While we were waiting in line to get mats, we were amused by young kids who kept saying “Ribbit, Ribbit”, everytime the S&S Frog Hopper bounced. Matt says he wants to get on it. I tell him “Only if you’ll say “Ribbit”, to which he says “I’m not going to do that”.

Things get fuzzy after this point, but I believe we went back and rode High Speed Thrill Coaster (with no wait), one of the funniest titiles ever for a kiddie coaster. We got four laps in. I sat in the front, and Matt sat in the back. Matt says he got some air. We then rode the Grand Carousel (one of two carousels in the park), and I managed to catch three rings, which was better than 2001, where I might have caught one. I don’t think either one us managed to get a ring into the lions mouth.

I believe we next tried one of the other new for 2003 atrractions, the Super Round-Up. Other than a wider base, and a steeper angle, it’s your standard round-up. We then checked out Cosmotron, an indoor Himilaya, complete with a pretty cool lightshow. The music was provided by Green Day and Good Charlotte, so it wasn’t half bad. After this ride, I noted that it gotten fairly humid, and I had brought my swimsuit with me. They have a swim & slide option for $7.50 after 5pm, and it was 5:03. I decided I needed a splash in the pool, so we split off. After trekking back to section “E”, I moved the car further up, and ventured towards the Crystal Pool, a gigantic swimming pool with some waterslides, and diving boards. I asked how much it was to rent a locker, and they said it was free. That was unexpected, but later on I realized it was all part of the charge. The bathouse is enourmous, and I can’t imagine that they use that many lockers in one day, but if they do, you probably want to reschedule your trip.

The water was nippy at first, but that’s because I hadn’t gotten completely under water. After taking a trip down the metal slide in the middle of the pool, I felt quite refreshed. I tried out the innertube slides first for a while, and they’re fairly long, but just like every other waterslide you’ve been on at the same time. The other slides though were a trip. You have this mat with two handles on it, and you lie face down. After one turn, you go flying down a steep drop into a flat runoff area. It’s tricky at first not to get a lot of water blasting up in your face. The rest of the time I spent going off the diving boards, and then back to the slides where I was the last one down the innertube slides.

After returning my gear back to the car, and once again moving the car closer to the entrance, I decided I had to ride the Rockin’ Tug. It’s pretty lame, but it is a kiddie ride afterall. The reverse section seemed to be a little better. I then took one more ride on 1001 Nacht, which again had the lapbar deathgrip on me. Then I took one more ride on the Power Surge. Feeling thirsty and hungry, I stopped to get something to eat right next to the ride. That’s where Matt met back up with me. He managed to get rides on the train (the one that goes out into the woods. The other one wasn’t working), The Haunted House again, Power Surge, Phoenix, the Skyride and yes the Rockin’Tug. Great minds think alike.

We closed out the night with a 1:3 ride on Phoenix, which was great, and a front row ride on Twister, which was way out of control. I noticed that they had changed trains from purple to “Roar”-colored Teal. Why they weren’t running both, I don’t know. Going out to the car we took one last spin on Power Surge. We must get one of these at SFA. I think it’ll fit where Sky Escaper used to reside. The only disappointment was that the Flyers went down as we arrived, and stayed closed for the rest of the night. Since I’ve never tried Flyers, I was actually looking forward to riding one. There’s always next time.

If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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