Knoebel's Coaster Question

I'm looking at taking my two boys (ages 4 and 5) to Knoebel's next week. I have not been to this park and I have a couple questions about their wooden coasters.

1) Both of my boys are over 42"; one is just over and the other is about 46". The oldest has been on SDL and Comet at Hersheypark but the youngest has not been on anything bigger than Trailblazer at HP. However, he loves "riding" POV's on YouTube and is super excited about roller coasters currently. Would Phoenix and Twister be "too much" for his first big coasters? Would I feel comfortable as a Dad if I put both of them together in a row and sat right behind them? Could we go 3 to a bench?

2) What is the seating arrangement on Flying Turns? Since you have to be 48" to ride alone, I would have to ride with both of them. Could the 3 of us straddle in a seat?

Thanks in advance for the input and advice. I'm excited to be introducing this love of coasters and parks to a new generation.

Raising the next generation of Coaster Enthusiasts

slithernoggin's avatar

None of us have met your children, so it's hard for us to say. Only you can answer the question as to whether you would feel comfortable as a Dad riding behind them.

You might want to see how they react once they're standing in front of the coasters: a coaster POV on a computer screen and a "gigantic" real-life coaster are two different things.

We've had plenty of parents assure us that their little ones love love love to watch the Blue Men on the computer -- but a living, breathing, life-size Blue Man often scares those little ones.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Vater's avatar

For what it's worth, my son rode Phoenix for the first time when he was 7, and I was petrified that he'd fall out so I rode in the same car with him (we are relatively small-framed folks). Turns out I was probably a little too paranoid, as he was fine. That said, I'm not sure either of my kids would have appreciated it or even enjoyed it at age 4 or 5, but as slither alluded, everyones' kids are different.

You can read about my trip here if you're interested.

My four year old rode all three last year and loved them and he's not as brave as my older son. Flying Turns is only two to a car. Phoenix and Twister only two as well. You can feel comfortable being behind them.

Twister and Phoenix are more intense than Comet and SDL, but technically your children can ride them. Twister has individual lap bars, Phoenix has a shared lap bar which doesn't make contact with either rider's legs (great airtime, but potentially scary as a parent). Twister is the taller/faster/more intense of the two.

Despite the height restriction on Flying Turns, it's probably the least intense of the three. Seems like a good option if the wait time is short.

The important thing here is not to pressure or force your children onto either ride. A bad experience at age 5 could leave them hating roller coasters for the next 10+ years...

"If no one is in your row, you may reride."

LostKause's avatar

I'd say that Phoenix has an intensity comparable to Comet. As long as an adult rode in the same seat, the little one would be safe. As far as I know, airtime does not scare children as much as it makes them giggle because it tickles their belly. :)

Twister is pretty intense though. Much more intense than Comet. I once rode with a five-year-old, and I was pretty scared for her.

May I suggest that you ride those two coasters first and use that to make a decision?

I don't recall ever seeing three people in a seat on Flying Turns. They might allow you to ride twice, once with each child, like a parent swap situation. It wouldn't hurt to ask. The seating arrangement on that ride already confuses me because they weigh you and tell you where to sit and who to sit with accordingly.

Have fun. Knoebel's is a really cool park.

Edited to add - Another thought, you could always give the park a call and ask them about the seating arrangement on Flying Turns and how you could ride with both if necessary. I called them last year to ask them a question about admission, and they were very friendly and helpful.

Last edited by LostKause,


"CoasterBuzz - It feels like home" :)

slithernoggin's avatar

Seconding that Knoebel's is a really cool park. In addition to the coasters, don't miss the sky ride up the mountain.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

^^Loved Knoebels' chair lift, but I actually found Compounce's much scarier. Very frightening to me.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher,

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

birdhombre's avatar

Same here. I think Compounce's might be steeper, or maybe it just seems like it. Either way, Compounce has a bunch of large jagged rocks below, whereas Knoebels has that friendly zig-zag of logs that look like you could gently roll down as a marble.

Thanks everyone for the replies! We are really looking forward to our trip tomorrow! Knoebel's has a "kiddy swap" in place where I can ride with each of them while they wait in an area, so I think that will be the best at least for our first rides on the big coasters. If we all like them, I'll go with the "them in front, me in back" approach.

Is there anything we "can't miss" aside from the coasters? Flats? Food?

Raising the next generation of Coaster Enthusiasts

Whipper, Merry Mixer, the big spiral slide, 1001 Nachts (tee hee), the train, the Looper, the world's best bumper cars, the Grand Carousel, and last but not least, the Haunted Mansion.
There's lots of flats at Knoebels, your little guys will like it there regardless of what happens at the coasters.

rollergator's avatar

I could easily spend an hour on the spiral slide...just be careful not to touch *anything* on the way down...

Personally, food-wise, it's all about the Rib-B-Q and the frozen sweet tea....and the peanuts at Stony Gables....and the ice-cream sandwiches...and the tri-taters. OK, there's WAY too much good food there...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Knoebel's is full of "can't miss" classic rides. In addition to the obvious ones, like the Flyer and Carousel, don't overlook the Tea Cups (one of the few Crazy Daisy rides left) and the Roto Jets (much more forceful than it looks).

LostKause's avatar

I don't know how well your kids will be able to tolerate Haunted Mansion, but it's awesome! It gets me every time.

And the miniature train is a nice change of pace.

That whole park is special. The only thing that has ever disappointed me is the Golden Nugget.


"CoasterBuzz - It feels like home" :)

What is the Golden Nugget?

But then again, what do I know?

Black Diamond. Your boys will like it too.

rollergator's avatar

Mr. Six said:

Crazy Daisy

+1. I *never* miss out on a couple spins.... ;~P

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

I was like a big grown man adult fool on the Crazy Daisy at Knoebels, Adventureland, and Canobie. I prefer a full sized Cuddle Up, but in a pinch...

The first time I ever saw one was in 1968 at Euclid Beach, and it was called Coffee Break. It was in a pavilion next to the Dippy Whip (yes) and I was so fascinated by the figure 8 motion, like, how dey do dat?

LostKause's avatar

Yeah. I meant Black Diamond. It was called Golden Nugget when it was in Wildwood, NJ.

And it was an okay ride, I suppose. I mean, they tried to make it interesting, and it is nice that Knoebel's saved the unique ride from being lost forever. I just expected it to be better, or something.

Crazy Daisy, that's the teacups, right? So cool, and logic escapes me when I try to figure out how it moves the way it does. It's magic, I suppose.


"CoasterBuzz - It feels like home" :)

Timber-Rider's avatar

I think most coasters only allow two people per seat. I have never seen one where 3 people were in a seat outside of carnival galaxi.

I don't have children of my own, but I do get kind of nervous when I see very small kids getting on the roller coasters who barely make the height requirement. I rode with this little boy on ST at Michigan's Adventure. I think he was 7 or 8 years old. Rode with his hands up the entire time, and he was flopping all over the place, but he loved it.

I also rode with a little girl on Magnum at Cedar Point, and I was so worried about her falling out, that I put my arm around her shoulder and held her down. I could not believe that this little girl was in line by herself. She was about white when the ride was over, and she ran over to her mom and cried and told her how scared she was, and how she never wanted to do it again. Is there a midway game called slap the bitch? because this lady seemed to have no idea her daughter even went on Magnum alone.

I also saw a lady try to force her kid onto Shivering Timbers, and the ride ops had to force her to take her kid and leave. So, I am glad to see that someone cares enough to watch out for their kids safety. because some think the parks are their personal day school, and they can just let their kids do whatever they want and leave. MA used to be packed with kids where no parent was around to watch them.

You may want to try riding the coasters yourself first, check out the restraints, and see if it is something you want your kids to ride. I would think that Phoenix would be ok, it's not that much different then the Wildcat at MA, and a lot of little kids ride it. You can also watch others and see if there is a kid similar height to your kids, and see how they react to it. Though every kid is different.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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