Knoebels installing Bayern Kurve for this summer

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

With less than two months until opening day, Knoebels employees are busy getting things ready at the park near Elysburg. That includes putting together the park's newest ride, The Bayern Kurve.

Read more and see video from WNEP/Scranton.

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Still blows my mind seeing a park adding a Bayern Kurve. I honestly cannot wait! I am a bit skeptical about the claim these rides can go 70 mph (I know the manufacturer said it was possible, but seriously, wouldn't that be a bit much?), but it will still be a fantastic addition to the park's ride lineup. Rumor has it a restored Rock-O-Plane is in the works for a future season, and the park themselves confirmed they have a Flying Coaster (Kangaroo) in storage also... so the flat ride future at Knoebels definitely looks bright!

I have a little list in my mind of vintage flats that Knoebels should try to find. I’m not sure a Rock o Plane is one of them, although it will make an interesting addition to the line up. Some on my list are relics no longer obtainable, although I would’ve said the same thing about their Herschel Looper. Rotor? Yes. Sky Wheel? Yes. Hey Dey? No. Full scale Cuddle Up? Maybe as a reproduction from Zamperla…
My list goes on.

Must have a loud horn! :)

Cedar Point had an awesome Bayern Kurve when the Million Dollar Midway was put in. As a kid it was a MUST ride and I used to think the people in the scenery were yelling "Go! Go! Go!" as we flew by at top speed that made it even more fun to me. Oh the imagination we have as kids!

I’ve got a couple of Bayern Kurve stories from the 70’s at Cedar Point. At the time it was a very unique ride, then they started popping up everywhere.
But I think everyone agrees the best Kurve was Kennywood’s- I doubt it hit 70, but it sure seemed lightning fast. I’ll never forgive them for closing it. I’ve been on quite a few over the years and none came close to that speed. There are still a few that travel throughout Europe and they are so lovingly preserved. They also hit a really high speed and have never-ending ride cycles to boot.

I think the only other super rare flat I would absolutely get on a plane to go be a part of an opening day for would be a restored or recreated Chance Rotor. I know we've got an entire multi year Rotor thread around here, but a refurbished genuine Chance Rotor with the original lighting and decorative package would be my pick for the next Knoebels project.

I thought I heard that Sylvan Beach was rehabbing their Chance Rotor (originally from Great Escape), but this is Sylvan Beach after all. Not sure if they want to spend a lot of money on a project like that, so perhaps Knoebels could buy that one and give it their patented TLC. Just needs a new canvas for the top as the rest of the ride is pretty much original.

As far as Bayern Kurve's go, they were as common as Himalayas and Matterhorns back in the day. My two favorites were definitely Kennywood's while it was there and also I was a fan of the "Intamin" one at Canada's Wonderland. The little fake mountain and Swiss hornblower that tooted before each ride was a nice touch.

And finally, fully agreed with RCMAC on the Chance Sky Wheel. I thought Knoebels got one that they were going to set up for PPP a few years back, but it never came to pass. Can't be too many left of these out there. I think perhaps 2 or 3 still travelling, but that's about it. When it comes to Knoebels I will never say never, but the chances of this one coming true are definitely slim.

Chance Rotors are nice but I’d rather see a Rotor Corp/Hoffmeister gallery Rotor. If there was a Hell Hole laying in storage somewhere it would be a good start. Doubt it, though. I wonder what Fantasy Island did with theirs? Probably scrapped.

bjames's avatar


thought I heard that Sylvan Beach was rehabbing their Chance Rotor (originally from Great Escape), but this is Sylvan Beach after all.

Yeah I was there last summer and the thing was fenced off and clearly not operational. Didn’t know it came from Great Escape though, nice tidbit. At least their roll-o-plane runs though.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

From what I gather it hasn't operated since 2018. Add the fact that it likely hasn't been properly winterized or gone through any sort of preventative work (and doesn't have the canopy and didn't even have it when it operated) and I worry it may not be salvageable. Given that it is apparently the last fixed standing Chance Rotor, sucks.

Chance Rotors are nice but I’d rather see a Rotor Corp/Hoffmeister gallery Rotor. If there was a Hell Hole laying in storage somewhere it would be a good start. Doubt it, though. I wonder what Fantasy Island did with theirs? Probably scrapped.

I know this would never happen, but to me, another Racing Derby Carousel would be neat at Knobels. Alas, to the best of my knowledge, only two were ever built in the US, both of which are still operational at Cedar Point and Rye Playland...

Oh, no, there were a few more. Prior and Church built their first ride(s) in the early 1900’s in California- one at Venice and another nearby at The Pike. And Venice was actually home to two Derbys, with a replacement built after the original pier was entirely destroyed by fire. Reports vary, but the inventors made their American Racing Derby rides in various sizes. The second Venice ride reportedly held a whopping 56 horses each with a double saddle for two riders each. The rides were a sensation and crowds were huge.
Once again reports vary but there may have been a total of 18 Derby rides but more likely as few as ten considering some were relocations. Other notable installations were at Coney Island NY, Playland in San Franscisco, Rye, NY, and Galveston Beach, Tx. As we all know, CP’s ride was built for Cleveland’s Euclid Beach and was sold to CP as a fund raiser. Fortunately for fans, the sale was in the knick of time- EB lasted only another season or two.
Another fun fact is that the various Derby rides features horses of different carvers. Rye’s for instance has Illions horses. I think it’s that Prior and Church weren’t carvers but engineers and contracted the jobs out to guys that were available. Some rides had single saddles and some, like CP’s had double.
It’s sad that there aren’t more surviving rides. Even sadder are the near-misses. SF Playland’s ride sat derelict after the park closed with no one willing to relocate it. I think it sat there until 1970 when the block or pier was finally razed. Somebody could have had it.
On a happy note, our Cedar Point is well aware of what they have and look after their ride with frequent refreshment and careful maintenance to ensure that the ride continues to operate as intended. Rye’s may be faster, but CP’s races, which if you ask me, is a good trade off.
Some of this information came from memory and some from revisiting this outstanding article.

I wonder if Knoebels was able to salvage and restore the wonderful Schwarzkopf scenery that goes with this ride.

it looks like that Rock-o-Plane might be coming from Joyland that just closed in Texas according to a post on the We Love Joyland Facebook group.

Last edited by super7*,

The Sky Wheel that appeared at Knoebels a few years ago actually belongs (or at least belonged at the time) to Mike Boodley, and is in fact the unit that operated at Fun Spot Kissimmee.

Knoebels plans to get their Bayern Kurve operating this season, but that may mean October. They have also obtained a Bartlett Flying Coaster (see Kennywood's Kangaroo) which they now consider to be a long term project that might eventually get restored and installed. I submit there is a modern ride builder (Premier) which just finished reverse-engineering one of those rides and might be able to help...anyway, this was revealed last weekend at CoasterBash. Oh, Knoebels did buy the Rock-O but they haven't determined what they're going to do with it yet. They could decide to sell it.

As for the Racing Derbies...Cedar Point's has 64 horses on its 16 sweeps for a capacity of 128 riders. The one at Playland is slightly smaller, with only 14 sweeps and 56 horses. Trivia: Cedar Point's Racing Derby runs at 4.25 RPM...the same speed as their Midway Carousel. Of course the Midway Carousel would probably fit into Cedar Downs' infield.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

I have mot been to Knobles in a few years.

This addition will be a HUGE incentive to return.

The horn...the legroom...Great fun!

Regarding the Rye Playland Derby Racer.. the platform is fast...and some of the attendants hop on and off it even at top speed...which to me is mind bogging. (They lean in at an angle in a way they won't fly off). The only thing is that the horses don't shift positions back and forth while moving. Bummer!

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

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