Knoebels Great Rides but What atmosphere?

Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:25 AM
I love their wooden coasters in phoenix and Twister, and feel their other rides like their dark ride are great also. I just never understood when people talk about the parks atmosphere being so great. Yeah it is clean and has some trees.

However besides that it is just gravel pathways and rides. Reminds me more of a fair then an amusement park. It is just that I feel that IB is a smaller park with a much nicer atmosphere. Just as clean but as a beautiful lake and setting. I know some will disagree but it just seems that if I found a forest and had some gravel, I could build some nice rides and have the same atmosphere.

It is not like I did not like my time when I went a few years ago. And both wooden coasters are in my top 10. There dark ride is the best one I been besides disneys which is hard to compare since they are from different times.

Also I thought there food was not so good. There pizza had to be the one of the worst I had, and not the best like some say. I think it makes even kings island pizza seem good, when it is not so great. What food is good there?

Saturday, July 30, 2005 1:23 PM
everyone has a different view and opinion, I personally think it has a great atmostphere because of the lazy layout,natural forest, streams, bridges and what not. Also little touches like the lights in the walls of the streams, after dark it looks really neat Did you stay until night when you went?.
It has a very natural, old fashioned, and laid back atmostphere IMO, contrast to the sparkling white concrete and perfection of Dorney park and such. I dont really have a preference, sometimes I kind of wish knoebels would put some white concrete in place of gravel, others I would prefer it stay as is.
Also wiht the food, If all you did was try the pizza, theres tons more there such as the Wharf, Old Mill which has really good ice cream, Stony Gables has awesome fudge, then theres chicken fries from the stall in front of the Alamo, or anything from Phoenix Junction or International food court. I guess I am sort of bias being as this is or is one of my favorite parks, but everyone has their own opinions.
Personally heaven for me is walking through knoebels wiht a fudge apple from stony gables just at dusk when its starting to get dark, lights are coming on the twister and phoenix roaring in the backround, the carousel organs music flowing through the park, its ambiance...
Saturday, July 30, 2005 2:14 PM
I did spend an evening there and loved my night rides on phoenix and twister. So was there at night although probably paying more attention to the coasters then the lights or anything like that. I did only try the pizza, but some people raved about it and Tom O'briens Amusement Park Guide said it was the best pizza anywhere. To me it was undercooked and even still just average at best.

I am sure the other food is probably decent, but I liked my food at hershey park, Busch Gardens Williamsburgh and Busch Tampa, any Disney or Universal park, much better. I liked the park but never really liked it better than some other smaller parks. Indiana Beach and Holiday World I liked more. It is kind of far away but I would go back if they added a new wooden coaster, or Hershey Park or another park close by added something. *** Edited 7/30/2005 6:15:14 PM UTC by Beast Fan***

Saturday, July 30, 2005 3:07 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Beast Fan, come to PPP this year. ;-)

I have been to Knoebels a few times (not just PPP) and I think it's very charming. You just cannot find parks that "laid back" very often anymore.

I don't remember the pizza being THAT out of this world but it was good, as well as the barbecue sandwiches and fries (can't recall where I got those).

I don't eat sweets so I can't comment on that, but everything else I have tried has been exceptional, and cheap. :-)

The fall is the best time to visit, and as far as Phoenix at nightime......WOW!


*** Edited 7/30/2005 7:08:36 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Saturday, July 30, 2005 8:12 PM
This is how I look at it. The first time you go you're like "What the hell?" It's this weird combination of campground and amusement park rides. By the second time you go back, you're hooked. To best explain the way I feel about the atmosphere, to me it just feels relaxing and/or mellow. There aren't long lines for every attraction in the park, and all the attractions are fairly close together (with the exception of Twister, which still isn't far) so you can take your time.

As for the pizza, I don't recall it being bad or good. The king of amusement park pizza I've ever had was at SFNE, believe it or not. We paid the usual highway robbery prices for a whole pie near Poison Ivy's Twisted Train and got a deep dish pizza that the two of us had trouble finishing, and it was good to boot.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 8:22 PM
Sorry, That was the worst Pizza I've ever had. Cook it, Let is sit for hours, Throw some toppings on it and cook it again.


Saturday, July 30, 2005 8:48 PM
The trick with Cesari's pizza is to ask for it extra hot, they sometimes are in a hurry and don't re-heat long enough. I think most rate the food at Knoebels so high because of the variety and low prices. It's not hard to beat what typical amusement parks have to offer and Knoebels' is really leagues above the rest.

Agree another great park is Indiana Beach but I could never compare the two and say one is better. IB has great atmosphere and their Sunday buffet in the Skyroom is the best food I've ever had at an amusement park by a long mile.

Knoebels is cool just because it's so different. I suppose some might look at the extra equipment and parts laying around (love the boxcar at the top of Sky Ride!) and say the park looks run down and doesn't have a good atmosphere. But I say the somewhat disarray of things makes it seem much more like the real deal, the amusement park that time forgot.


Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:48 PM
peirogies and birch beer is the way to go, but I've also had many good things at cheap prices in the International Food Court (huge overstuffed tacos)

Being a NYer, I've never found pizza that I'd say is good at an amusement park (outside Coney Island), so I never tried Cesari's before this year. At the Wood Coaster Fan Club event earlier this year Cesari's pizza came with the admission so I was excited since Tim O'Brien said it was so good. I did not like it at all.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 11:00 PM

Intamin Fan said:

As for the pizza, I don't recall it being bad or good. The king of amusement park pizza I've ever had was at SFNE, believe it or not. We paid the usual highway robbery prices for a whole pie near Poison Ivy's Twisted Train and got a deep dish pizza that the two of us had trouble finishing, and it was good to boot.

Don't want to fall to far off topic here but glad SFNE's pizza has improved. Back in the late Riverside days I remember having the worst pizza I've ever. Slice of pizza is generally a safe bet, pretty hard to mess up. "Pizza is kinda like sex because even when it's bad it's still kinda good.." They used some bread shaped like a slice for the crust, sauce that was fairly similar to ketchup. and they had like a wedge shaped piece of cheese that tasted kinda like provolone. The whole thing appeared to be prepared as a slice, that never came from a pizza. Truly horrible and I think it's the only pizza I would have classified as inedible.

Pardon the diversion here now back to Knoebels talk.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 11:36 PM

larrygator said:
peirogies and birch beer is the way to go, but I've also had many good things at cheap prices in the International Food Court (huge overstuffed tacos)

And why the hell you didn't remind me to get some Birch Beer I will never know..

BeastFan - I am kinda/sorta in the same boat as you. When I went there recently, I was like "this is what people rave about?", and, as the fella I just quoted said he described it on his first trip, I thought it was somewhat of a S***hole. After I left I broke the park down in my review of the park, and I realized that it is indeed a very good park as far as what it is intended to be. The park's goal is to be a family park, affordable family fun, and they attain that. Though they may not have paved walkways or much of anything in the form of grooming standards, they have a friendly atmosphere, good ride and cheap everything. The rides are very cheap as is the food. What other park will let you get by with an $11 meal for two including drinks and the works? (not to mention the food is pretty good) Few parks let you park for free anymore, much less pay at your own leisure. The park is just such an incredible deal and they are good at what they aim for, which is always critical. The atmosphere was there to me, with a friendly staff and nice setting between the mountains.

Though I wasn't the biggest fan of the place, I still enjoyed it, but it wasn't "my thing" per se. However, I still think it had a good atmosphere.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 11:59 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Atmosphere isn't about trees and walkways, its about the feeling you get while you are there. I can not wait for my first PPP this year.

The thing that is so great about Knoebels is that the campground is right there, fathers and sons are going fishing, riding the coasters...its just great. I love it there.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:53 AM
I agree with Intamin fan, the first time is what the Hell. i had similar experiences at parks. I guess your not used to the park being like a favorite or something that you liked more. I would say my mom always sums it up best when she goes to parks and says its not like Cedar Point! Now i know what you thinking my mom has a one tracked mind, but she has been there so often and knows the place well, rides and even the park seem to leave her looking for more to beat her precious cedar point. As i pointed out in another post, i had that same feeling with kings island last year, this year with spending more time and effort there i found it to be a much better expereience.

Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

Sunday, July 31, 2005 4:58 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Actually the worst pizza I ever had was at Godfather's (which I learned is somewhat still around).

NO pizza is as good as the stuff you can get at the mom and pop places in and around Chicago. ;-) I have tried "New York Style" pizza but never IN the city. I guess that will have to change. :-D

I prefer the food at smaller parks (with a few exceptions) since a lot of it is homemade and is usually "handed down" from generation to generation (like Del Grosso's, even though THAT pizza didn't exactly blow me away either, but it was yummy nonetheless).

Anyway, back to Knoebels.......I suggest you ALL come to PPP this year if possible.



<------who can't wait for the Phoenix ERT and bonfire at the campground.

*** Edited 7/31/2005 9:04:10 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:28 AM
What exactly is PPP?

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:49 AM
Phoenix Phall Phunfest.

Best event out there. Just come to the park, as an enthusiast and have a blast.


Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:01 AM

coasterqueenTRN said:
Actually the worst pizza I ever had was at Godfather's (which I learned is somewhat still around).

Tina, you'll love to know that they have a Godfathers Pizza right across from Arnold's Park. Enjoy!;)

Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:50 PM
I feel good that someone agrees with me that the pizza is no good at Knoebels. Thanks Chuck for stating that it sucks, I thought I was the only one. I just have a hard time believing the rest of the stuff is the best after tasting the pizza.

According to the golden ticket awards the parks with the top food are the following:

1. Knoebels Amusement Resort (28%)

2. Silver Dollar City (13%)

3. Busch Gardens Williamsburg (10%)

4. Kennywood (10%)

5. Epcot (9%)

I have only had food at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and thought it was really good. I am not sure if you count Kennywood as a smaller park, but at least 3 out of the 5 are big parks. So not sure if I think the food is better at the smaller parks.

I would be interested in hearing what others thought of the food at Silver Dollar City and Kennywood. Going to Kennywood soon, so will see if it lives up to the hype when it comes to food.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 1:23 PM
Epcot food wasn't that bad on my visit 2 years ago. Kennywood has great food (pizza from the Pizza Warehouse is great).

I went to Knoebel's last week. I didn't try much food except the frozen yogurt, ice cream, and the Alamo. Did get chocolate covered pretzels from Stoney Gables, pretty good. The Alamo was good but nothing outstanding. Mainly just took advantage of the cheap $1.50 bottled water.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 1:34 PM
I always found the Sicilian style pizza at Cesari's is what is really good. But then again what do I know...? I'm Italian!! ;)

But the thing about traditional amusement parks is that they are supposed to blend in with their surroundings. That's why they are called parks to begin with. Knoebels does just that. You don't deal with the everyday stress levels that you normally do at the larger theme parks. Your wallet isn't being raped, intelligence questioned, and physical stature scrutinized at every corner riding different coasters. you just go there and walk around and go on different rides and have fun. It's really that simple at placers like Knoebels and Conneaut....etc. That's what they do best and people like it and return there consistantly.

Wood Coaster Fan Club - "Sharing a Passion for the Classics"
Sunday, July 31, 2005 2:33 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Pale Rider,

Woohoo! I may have to try the pizza again. ;-)

Personally I voted for Dollywood as having the best food, but it wasn't an easy choice. :-)

BGW DOES have some awesome food though, especially in the Italian sections.



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