October 7, 2006
I must be crazy! Why else would I be so easily talked into the idea of going on an 1,100 mile weekend coaster outing. The day started for me at 3:15 AM when April and I left Cincinnati. One fuel stop and 107 miles later we had left Coasterville and arrived at Coaster Central. At Coaster Central, Rideman joined our happy crew, and we switched to Rideman's car. Withouttoo much ceremony we were leaving Coaster Central (Columbus, OH) and starting towards Elysburg, PA. We made a fueling stop at Cambridge, OH then a longer than needed breakfast stop at an Eat'N'Park restuarant. Things would have gone so well, except for the road construction on PA-22, which meant long stretches of the ride were limited to 40mph. All told we arrived at Danville, PA around 2:30, picked up our room keys, then headed for Knoebels.
April had a meeting time tomeet some friends in front of Phoenix, so first we drove back the campground road and dropped April off as close to Phoenix as we could get her, then Rideman took the car around to the main parking lot. Interestingly, the big roadside Knoebels sign is at the campground road, the road back to the parking lot is marked with a simple blue sign that reads "Amusement Park -->>" We make the turn and are soon passing under the entryway sign and heading towards a pretty full looking parking lot. One of the good things about ariving at the park so late is that we were able to vulture a parking space in row 4, which is the first non-handicap row of the lot.
Knoebels Groves is a great piece of Americana. The park got its start as a simple picnic grove and swimming hole, but for the nation's 150th birthday on July 4, 1926 the picnic grove turned into an amusement park. The park really is a time capsule, as it still has lots of classic and now rare rides, the buildings are all of an older style. I like to use the term "frozen in the fifties" even if quite a few of the rides are actually newer than that. The park has managed to add quite a number of rides and other attractions, while still maintainng a very rustic woodsy feel. In several parts of the park the paths are gravel, and there appears to be no organization to the layout of the park. Instead it looks like rides and other buildings were added wherever it was convenient. The best thing is they have managed to maintain that old time nostalgic park feel while still able to add some of the very latest rides. Knoebels also has a strong history of purchasing old rides from other parks, mostly as other parks have shut down. It is said the legacy of several parks lives on at Knoebels, and the park is proud of this legacy, on their website several ride descriptions will even tell you which park a ride was purhased from. One such ride is the star attraction, the Phoenix. Originally it was the Rocket at San Antonio's Playland park until Playland closed, and the Knoebels family purchasedandmoved the ride to Knoebels, and renamed it the Phoenix, partly toremember the fact the coaster once thought dead has sprung to new life. Some time later the park decided to host a fall coaster enthusiast costume party and riding event. That event became known as the Phoenix Phall Phunphest, which is the reason we are here today.
So we parked the car, and headed into the park. Phoenix Phall Phunphest (PPP) is only one of the events at the park this weekend. The other event this weekend is the Covered Bridge Festival, which is a hugely popular arts and crafts festival. The festival seems to run Friday-Sunday this weekend in the morning through 5pm, PPP conveniently starts on Saturday night at 6pn and runs until 10pm. What this meant for us was that when we walked into the park, the arts and crafts fest was in full swing and even though it takes place mostly in the picnic groves, part of it does take place in the front part of the park, which means the first stretch of pathway became narrow and tightly crowded once the crafts tents are added. We took a little walk around the park to take a fresh breath of that Knoebels atmosphere, then we headed to the handstamp booth. Knoebels maintains the traditions of classic amusement parks, including free parking, free gate admission, and the option to use either ride tickets or handstamps. So we went to the handstamp booth, which is clearly marked "Pay One Price All Day Ride Passes" While the park is dotted with numerous small booths selling ride tickets, handstamps are only sold at the handstamp booth in the center of the park, along with the original park entryway and sign.
We walk up to the handstamp booth and look over our options. Let's see there is the afternoon 12-5 ride handstamp for $18, the PPP handstamp for $15, or the combo for $31. One cool thing is if you buy the combo stamp you can either combo it with the saturday afternoon session of the sunday afternoon session. We knew we would not be in town tommorow, and we also knew with our late arrival time, there was no way we could ride $18 worth of rides today before 5pm. So we bought the PPP only stamps for $15. It's a cool purple handstamp that reads "Phunphest" in fancy script. Along with our handstamps we also recieve a special ticket book. I look through my ticket book: Free Scenic Skyway Ride, Free Midway Game, 2 Free slices of regular pizza, Free Soft Drink. Adding the cash value of those up comes up close to $11, but wait he Phunphest stamp is also good for the Haunted Mansion and Lazer Runner, both of which are normally upchage attractions. If you make full use of your PPP perks, the rides themselves are basically free.
We go to meet the rest of the gang over at the Phoenix Junction Steakhouse,. For those wondering if they saw me, I was the one in the purple t-shirt with a Purple People Bridge Climb logo. After introductions, April and her group head to the handstamp booth, and Rideman and I head to the swap meet at the Phoenix Junction Steakhouse. Various people have sales tables upon which you can buy a myriad of coaster books, videos, calendars, old park maps, park memorabillia, and much much more. We take some time to persue the sales tables. At the same time we run into several other coaster friends, then Rideman struck up a conversation with a Knoebels rides maintenance person. It was close to 4pm before we decided to take a ride or two. We headed over to what looks like an old trolley car parked next to Phoenix, it was there that we were able to each purchase a $5 book of ride tickets. We started to head for the Phoenix but then decided to take a different tactic. Phoenix had a short line, but what about the Flyers? We start to head to the Flyers.
On our way to the Flyers we pass the future site of the Flying Turns. The Flying Turns will be the first wooden bobsled (bobsleigh) coaster to be built in quite some time. The sturcture looks to be mostly built, and possibly had the park not suffered a real bad flood this summer, the ride may have been ready. A small display about the ride was set up in its future ticket booth. Interesting enough there is a television in the ticket booth that was showing a POV video of the not even completed Flying Turns ride. We head alongside the Flying Turns to about where you would have boarded the Whirlwind when we saw that they had a preview center setup. We visited the Flying Turns preview center. They had an aerial view of the ride, and you could get up close and personal with a low to the ground section of the trough. They had a ladder setup to get as close to the trough as possible, they had signs up about the ride and the design team, they had piles of wood to be used on the ride as well as markers for those that wanted to sign the Flying Turns wood, they had representatives on the spot to answer questions about the ride. All in all it was a very good preview, and I got to see the s steel ribbed wooden trough up close and personal. As we left the preivew center I noted a small cutway section of trough that they must be using to test different wood treatments as it had several splotches on it labeled with different wood treatment product names. We walk around the back of the Flying Turns and see the incomplete lift hill. We then walk down the campground road, and instead of crossing the service road and heading to Twister, we continue to walk around the Flying Turns and head to the Flyers.
The Flyers had a 2/3 full queue, so 2-3 rides and $1.00 each in tickets later we were boarding our Flyers. Knoebels Flyers are unlike any other, for one the tubs are mounted with the doors on the inside, and the ride spins in the opposite direction than normal. The mail sail on the Flyer feels to be canvas rather than metal. I fasten the length of nylon webbing strap seatbelt and prepare to FLY. The ride started and I need practice. Since PKI heartlessly removed the Flying Eagles two years ago *sniff*, I don't get around a good Flyer too often. It felt like I was doing everythign right, I just couldn't get that nice loud satisfying KERCHUNK sound followed by your back being rudely introduced to the seatback. I got a couple soft snaps but nothing like I used to be able to get at PKI or Knoebels. I like the carnival method of checking seatbelts b turning the ride on at low speed and checking the belts by standing in one spot and letting the tubs come around to you.
Having flown the Flyers. I wanted a different interactive flying experince. We headed to the Roto-Jet, I had not ridden Knoebels Roto-Jet, and I noted it was not open during PPP. There was no line for Roto-Jet so 80 cents in tickets later I was boarding a little red rocket. Roto-Jet is the precursor to the Astro Orbiter at the Disney parks, you know several litlle 1-2 person rocket ships rotate around a center tower,and the rider can control the height their rocketflies at by using a control lever. Getting into the rocket was a minor challenge but not muuch. I suppose a small child could get in with me but thats about it as my legs completely filled the pockets on either side of the seat. There are no seatbelts, with the seating design itself keeping you safely in your craft. I noted it was a long reach to the control lever in the front of the rocket, but Rideman made a hint, and I realized the lever could just as easily be controlled by a foot. Knoebels Roto-Jet spins faster than I ever remember Astro Orbiter spinning. I mean when the rocket is at the bottom, the lateral forces have you bent over the outer sidewall of your rocket. Much more pleasent ride if you fly high, The rockets control system is apprently a three position switch. On most rides of its type I am used to pulling back on the lever to go up, and if you release it goes down. Knoebels is pull back to go up,push forward to go down, but if you let go your rocket will maintain its present altitude. It was a fun old vintage ride.
We then walked around the park and took a look at the Teacups. The Teacups at Knoebels is actually a PTC Crazy Dasey, which means its half of a cudde up, which means that although you have no control of how the cup spins, you do get to be mesmerized as the cups switch turntables several times during the ride. It's not the Mad Tea Party at Disney, but that didn't stop them from posting a sign "The Mad Hatter invites you to ride the TEACUPS!" We opted to not ride the teacups, and after Rideman looked under the adjacent Tilt-A-Whirl to see that it was a cable drive machine we headed to the Cosmotron.
Or I guess I should say the Cosmotron 2. Cosmotron is a Musik ride in the dark. There was a short line for the Cosmotron but we were on the next available ride ($1.20 - this must be the high rent district), and I noted its the same price to ride or watch. The Musik Ride itself is mostly painted black, so we sat in seperate cars, and pulled down on the massive ratcheting overhead lapbars. After everybody was settled in the ride started to spin. Add flashing lights, add strobes, add loud music, and you have the Cosmotron experience. My favorite part of the ride is right when it starts to spin backwards and they activate the strobes. The Cosmotron ride was of a nice length and by the time we exited the ride we had time for just one more ride before the 12-5 ride session ended,
We headed over to one of Kenobels newest rides, which is actually a rare vintage Herschell Looper. At first it looked like there was quite a line to ride the Looper, but it turns out there were lots of people watching the Looper and not that many people in line. We were able to ride on the next available cycle,again that will be $1.20 each. In February I had taken an instant liking to the Chance Rok N Rol at the Florida State Fair and the Ocseola County Fair, and from a distance the Looper looks quite similar. Rideman and I were shown to our thin round cylinder shaped ride car. We took our seats and we started to feed the really wide seatbelts into the camlock mechanisms for the ride operator. The ride operator came around grabbed the end of the belts and with pulled them skin tight. You see the seatbelt is the only passenger restraint, there isnt even a cage door. The ride started and at first we are told not to step on the foot pedal, but once the ride gets up to speed we are allowed to press the pedal. You see the Looper comes with an automatic mode. If you step on the pedal it activated a brake which locks your ride tub to a large wheel that rides on the ride deck. Basically activate the pedal and the large wheel will cause your ride tub to loop continuosuly until you let go. We did let go a few times just to very the ride cycle, and getting the tub to stall out upside down for a revolution was pretty cool. All in all I'd say we had at least 16 flips. Its the closest I am going to come to a vertical loop all weekend,
After the Looper ride, the rides had shut down and so we met back up with the rest of the crew then headed to Ceasaris. I notice
I still have 80 cents inride tickets remaining that will have to wait for next year. Ceasari's is a pizza stand and is themed to look like a Roman temple. We join one of the about 8-10 long service lines and prepare for pizza. 15 minutes later we are still in line, and haven't moved up an inch, 30 minutes later, no change, at about 45 minutes later we start to seesoome movement, and about an hour later we have our pizza., We learn the vouchers are good only for 2 slices (or a fourth) of an 18" Cheese Pizza. Okay, everybody is getting the same thing, why did this just take an hour. It's not like the park didnt know the pizza shop was going to get slammed at 5pm, We grabbed our pizza, then headed over to the side patio to redeam our free drink voucher. I went with the White Birch Beer, which is best described as Wintergreen Soda, trust me, it's an acquired taste. April had a table saved for us, so we soon sat down to dinner. Well, the good news is the pizza is piping hot, very hot in fact, its also thin crust, so I decide to go for the pizza eating technique I learned in Roma, Itlalia which is to fold the pizza over something like a taco. Looking over the dinner tab that was a $6.80 value so I am currently $8.20 down,
After the pizza dinner, we decide to head towards the Haunted Mansion. The park is renowned for having one of the nations best haunted house rides, and it is normally not included in the POP plans, but PhunPhest is an exception. The house looks perfectly nice from the outside, a wide 2 story victorian, with a big wrought iron fence around it, and is that a raven on the sign. The sign claims the ride is a terrifying adventure in darkness. We walk through the front yard, and bypass the gaebo out front where you normally purchase ride tickets. The queue had just filled the permanent queue area, and with the ultra efficient Koebels ride crew the line was moving really fast. It seemed as if no time had passed when we walked pased the coffin shaped control booth right past the "No handstamps or armbands" sign and split up and boarded our little red cars. We boarded the car on the porch of the house, made a turnaround by the control booth and proceeded to the center ofthe front porch where we turned and went in the front doors. Ah, crash doors, two sets of them to ensure the tour through the living room is nice and dark. The first room doesn't seem too bad, it looks like a living room, and then there is the mysterious pipe organ, oh and watch out for that granfather clock, be sure to take a good look to find out what time it is. This haunted house has really well done tableuax and a variety of pop up stunts But is more than that, they house has several crash doors to add their distincitve unsettling noise and to make sure each room is kept nice and dark. I like the skull and mirror room, its a cool visual. At the end of that roomthey flash some bright lights right before the nexte crash door and the lift. The lift has a very simple effect, just hang some bits of string from the ceiling that are low enough to brush the riders hair. Upstairs you go through the haunted attic with a lot of cool classic stunts. Also upstairs the rolling barrel wasn't turning, but the room with the stange black and white patterns on the wall and weird music was working and I still don't get it. The truck lights and horns at the bottom of the ramp dowm is always a hit, and the final jungle scene was cool. The fake out water curtain did not appear to be working. We exited the Haunted Mansion where a crew was sending the car back to load the second after we got out. The Haunted Mansion is a $1.20 value, and so we are down to $7.00 to break even.
From the Haunted Mansion, we decided to head over to the Scenic Skyway. The Scenic Skyway is a chairlift style ride that takes riders up the mountainside accross from the park and back down. The park wins style points for having artifical snow in the Skyway station, The Skyway station is near the front of the park except that the ride runs away from the park. We form groups and head towards the trilift. We get to the loading area and learn that tickets will be required to ride depsite the fact this is PPP time. Luckily, my PPP ticket book has a Scenic Skyway ticket. I hand over my Skyway ticket while noting the Skyway is $3, so we are now just $4 down. The ride starts with a short rise to get up over the servive area and over the main parking lot entrance road. Once accross the street you go up through a narrow clearing in the hillside. Careful observers may note the zig-zag service/evacuation pathway. Going up there isn't much to see except to remark how tall the mountainside is, but once you hit the top and make the turnaround, all the way down you are treated to a stunning aerial view of the park. We get back to the ground and exit the Scenic Skyway.
As I exit the Skyway I learn the rest of our group is boarding the Flying Tigers. Flying Tigers is one of Knoebels newer rides, and I join the group in riding. I take a seat in the airplane shaped car and fasten the seatbelt. The Flying Tigers ride is similar to a Whip ride but with one major difference. The cars are suspended from above, and are mounted so they can swing out, sort of like a suspended coaster car. Therefore instead of being pushed back into the seat as you whip around the ends, instead the airplance shaped car swings out as if performing an aerial manuever. The end towers are red and white control tower looking things. New for this year, the park built a pavilion over the ride. All in all it's a fun ride. I note the ride price is $1, so I am now just $3 down,
After riding the new whip style ride, we decide to ride the old Whipper ride. This is the Mangels original, and had no wait. Classis red and green cars, with just a non-latching safety bar. I still find these rides funs as you whip around the ends. Knobels is somewhat original in that there is a crosswalk in the middle of the ride. I note the Whipper is 80 cents, so nowIam just $2.20 down.
Our next stop is the infamous High Speed Thrill Coaster. The HSTC might easily be confused for a kiddie coaster, but don't let looks fool you. Two cycles later I am climbingi into the second car from the back and lowering the big lap bar. The ride starts, and it starts out as a kiddie coaster, but wait till you get to the bunny hops along the course, and is that airtime. But wait, they then crank the lift hill up to high speec where is seems like they are launching the train. With each circuit the bunny hops seem to be taken faster and the airtime gets that much more extreme. If you want to cram maximum airtime into minimum space, this is the ride for you. There aren't that many full size coasters that outperform this one, As we exit the ride,we are satisfied to see the queue is much longer than when we got in line. Oh and thats another 80 cents value, so now I'm just $1.40 out and I haven't even gotten to the wood coasters yet.
Our next stop was to be the Skooters bumper cars. Knoebels Skooters are genuine vintage Lusse Auto Skooters, big heavy things that bump nice and hard. We arrived at the ride and the queue area was full and the line was overflowing out into the pathway. Knoebels Skooters may be good, but we decided not to wait in that line, In the area we looked at some of the parks decoration. Knoebels is a patriotic park and in this area is a replica of the famous Iwo Jima statue of US soldiers planting the United States Flag. Its mostly a bronze statue except that it does use a historically accurate fabric flag which adds color and makes the piece stand out. Rideman took a close look as I suppose he has seen a rendering of this scene where there are too many hands on the flagpole. Dave carefully looked at the statue and noted 5 soldiers and 10 hands on the flagpole, so everything is okay.
After our brief art appreciation moment, we decide to head to the Flyers. There is a full queue over at the Flyers and we join in. We noted even more friends in the Flyer queue, and Chuck remarked about how it seemed just like it used to be at Kings Island at night with all the enthusiasts gathered around the Flying Eagles. 2-3 cycles later I am taking my second flight of the day. I think my second flight was better than my first but still not as good as I remember this ride being in 2000. But wait, Tina managed to hang the cable on her Flyer, so evidently extreme riding is still possible. Tina gets treated to a chant of "Tina! Tina! Tina!" as the crowd roars its approval. Oh, and thats a $1 value so I just need to ride 40 cents more to break even.
I exit the Flyer just in time to see April and Rideman running down the midway, I try to catch up but thery had already gotten out of sight, so I decide to do some touring on my own, I walk back past the Flyer and head around the Flying Turns to the bidge that goes over to the park annex where Twister is located. Its now a nice plaza with a gift shop, snack bar, restrooms and the Twister. Next to Twister you can see their swimmng area. Twister is a massive coaster structure, and if it weren't for the Twister sign on the coaster it isn't obvious where the pathway to enter is. It looks like the crew that did the ride signs for Mt. Olympus did the Twister sign. I enter the Twister queue and note that had placed a couple classic haunted house stunts like the electric chair in the queue. I got to the place where they usually check tickets, and was surprised that there was still someone checking tickets, and accepting tickets. PPP used to be an ethusiast event and only the PPP handstamp would get you in rides, now its basically just a special evening ride session with a couple special promotions. There was just a station wait to ride Twister. I had heardto ride up front, and while the front seat line was long I went for seat 2. I next noted that although both trains were on the ride, they were only loading the purple train, so basically it was a single train operation.
Twister is adaped from the late Mister Twister from the original Elitch Gardens, with a few new quriks thrown in. I take my seat in seat 1.2 pull the lap bar down 3 clicks, then note there is so much play in the lap bar that it may as well be in click 1 as loose as it is. We exit the curved station and make a dive into a sweeping turnaround to the right, up chain lift 1, then a curve to the lleft which leads to a big turnaround to the right so you continue up lift 2 which is directly above lift 1. This is one of the major changes designed too conserve space. Once at the top of the second lift, another long sweeping turnaround to the right brings us to the first drop. Afte the first drop, the layout is a classic twister with lots of laterals and a few airtime pops. There was one combination airtime pop/lateral that had me thinking I might be going over the seat divider. The signature moment for the ride is the double helix that wraps all the way around the station. All in all I found Twister to be runnng very rough with the shuffling and all. It was actually making Beast look good. So I exited the ride down the exit ramp, and noted that Twister goes for $2.20 so I am now $1.80 to the good.
I cross back over the Twister bridge then it looks as if I have left the park and am walking down a service road. I'm glad I had my hand stamped as it looks like I am clean out of the park. I reenter the park near Fandango. I had heard things about Fandango, namely that it isn't tolerant of shall we say, larger riders, of which I am one. I decided to try Fandango anyway, so I got in line and was on the ride with just a 1 cycle wait. I sat down, but we were moved around in order to better balance the ride. The shoulder bar lowered automatically, then I reached down and had no trouble fastening the retracting seatbelt to the buckle of the front of the harness. But on this ride it isn't the seatbelt that is the limiting factor, I had to make the ride computer happy. A loader came around and saidhe needed topush in on my harness, it was really a light shove but just enough to make the computer happy. So I was now on Fandango, which is one of those new spinning pendulum rides that have become all the rage. It looks like this is the Moser Rides version. It has the outwards facing seats like the HUSS Giant Frisbee, but the ride itself is of a more regular size, like say a normal Frisbee. It also has a lot simpler moving floor with just two big panels instead of several pie wedge shaped pieces. The ride itself is much like Delirium at PKI, excpet I think Fandango is much more intense. I also note Fandango is $1.40 so now I am $3.20 to the good.
I pass by the Gasoline Alley which is the parks Antique Car ride, for PPP and then every Saturday in October they run a Haunted Antique Car Ride. The line for the haunted antique cars was just way too long, and then I found myself having to move over to the side of the path becuase the evenig costume parade was coming through. I decided to get out of the way by ducking into the Swiss Chalet. Inside the Swiss Chalet I picked up an event sweatshirt, it was last years I think which featured a phoenix train loaded with skeletons on a black background. I prefered it to this years shirt which looked sort of childish, so $20.95 later I had a sweatshirt. As I was walking towards my next ride, I decided that rather than trying to lug the bag around, that I'll just slide the new sweatshirt on over my prrple people bridge climb shirt, besides it was getting a bit cool.
I next headed to the Grand Carousel, its an antique 1913 carousel, and even though I'm not really a carousel enthusiast, this one is particularly interestng. You see, Knoebels is one of the few paks that still runs a ring machine on the carousel. I also noted their horses have the presumably real horsehair tails on the horses, something I had noted at the San Diego Loof Carousel. I got in line, and on my first attempt I was too far back in the line to get on the outside horses, so I didn't ride, and instead got back in line. You know its odd when the non-jumping horses are the first to go, its also odd when its mostly adults riding the carousel. I do score that outside seat on attempt 2 to ride the carousel. The ride starts and then the man comes around to take tickets or check handstamps. Thats an 80 cent value, so now I am $4 to the good. The first couple revolutions are a normal carousel ride, then the bell rings. The bell is the signal to assume the position, that is left hand firly grasping on to the caousel pole, right foot firmly in stirrup ans start to lean out to the right just a little bit. The next task is to try to quickly grab the rings from the ring dispenser. The ride turns at a good rate of speed so you don't have time to think about it, you have to pretty much reach grab and pull away all in one fluid motion, ifyou don't immediately grab the ring, let go and move your hand away, if you do grab the ring, you have to yank it out of the dispenser real fast. My technique is to have my second finger extended staight out, and try to poke that finger through the ring, then once I have the ring, immediately fold my finger towards the palmwhich both pulls the ring out and uses my palm to keep it n place until I have time to deal with it. While the ride is turning, you can transfer the ring to your other hand. Get the brass ring, get a free ride, just like the old days. The other alternative is to toss the ring into the lions mouth but that doesn't give you much time to get your hand in position to grab the next ring. You then hear a second bell, that is when the ring machine is retracted, and you are to go into ring toss mode, trying to get the rings into the lions mouth, on the final revolution theyinstruct you to toss in all remaingin rings at once, the rings are not souvenirs and you may not keep them.
From the Grand Carousel I head to the Skooter. I see the line for the Skooter hasn't gotten any shorter, but I decide to wait through it. It ws about a 20 minute wait for the Skooters. Ah, to be back in the Lusses, with their big metal and chrome bodies, the large steerng wheels, the simple velcro seatbelts. "One way only, no head on collisions" I did note that the King of the Skooters was not operating the ride. When riding most bumper car rides, I think "They don't make bumper car rides like they used to", well "These they make like they used to", Fast heavy cars, loud colissions, and more importantly hard collisions, you get a good bump on one of these and you will feel it. The skooters is one of those rides that makes Knoebels. When I had finished my Skooters ride the line had been cut, so noting the $1 value, I am $5 to the good and head for the main attraction, the Phoenix.
Phoenix line was out in the plaza in front of the ride, and I noted a few haunted touches had been added to the Phoenixlike a graeyard scene at the bottom of the ramp right past the ticket barrier, and a couple haunted props up in the station. I took my first ride in seat 2, where I noted the lift approach tunnel had some dark ride stunts put in it. As for the ride itself, it was running alright, but the airtime just wasn't waht I remembered excpet for the final pass. Oh, and how many other coasters can you handslap people in the station while going up the lift, and hey traditional style lapbar and no seatbelts. . I took my next ride in the back of the train, I was lined up for seat 11, but I noted a single rider getting into seat 12, so I took the upgrade to the back seat. So I rode in the back seat with the referee, and the back seat ride was much more impressive. Airtime on almostevery drop, and the double up double down rode like a dream in the back seat. The ride finished and I knew I needed to try out the money seat. Next time around it was seat 3. Sorry seat 3 fans, but even though I know seat 3 is a great seat, it just wasn't as good as the back seat. And hey, the back seat line was much shorter. So I take a few more rides,mostly in the back seat. All in all by the time they cut the line, I had scored 6 Phoenix rides, at $1.80 per that comes to $10.80 meaning I am $15.80 to the good for the event, As luck would have it, I saw the rest of my group while waiting to board my last Phoenix ride, so we could arrange a meet up spot.
After the Phoenx rides I went to look at the collection of parade floats sitting in Phoenix Plaza. They are unique floats as they are made out of old ride vehicles with go kart motors put in them. Let;s see there is a boat from the Motorboat Cruise. Behind that was a Flyer tub, which was mounted on a chasis, and is steered by a control mechanism that was mouted to the rudder handle. Next to that was a PTC coaster car, complete with traditional style lap bars. The front seat of the car is missing its seat divider but has been fitted with a steetring wheel. Its a red car witht the Knoebels logo in front. Lastly there is a Lusse Auto Skooter, with a big blue light on top of the stinger pole.
After looing at the parade vehicles, I headed to Phoenix Junction Steakhouse to meet up with everyone. Prize winners were announced, attendnace was annonced as being just over 1,600, but more interestingly some Flying Turns details were announced in a John Fetterman Q&A session. The POV video you see was made with a person walking the trough, the trains will seat 10 people, but won't be tandem seating like the originals. I don't think its really anything we hadn't heard before, but oh Knoebels is gonna be great next year.
We decide to skip out on the Bonfire, and instead make our way to our 'campsite' at Camp Red Roof, whereupon we make an expedition to Applebees to score dinner. All in all it was a great day at a great park, and the weekend is still young. Tommorow we go to both Lakemont and Kennywood!
Oh, and what does Knoebels use for handstamp ink, this stuff takes lots of effort and some good scrubbing to remove.
As far as the ink goes, must be my Pennsylvania skin, but I have no trouble removing it. I recommend dial foaming soap and a fingernail brush to scrub in a circular motion. Voila, ink is gone!
-Tina *** Edited 10/16/2006 11:07:12 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
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