I got to the park at about eleven, and after parking very close to the picnic area, I reliezed there were tents set up in the parking lot. Turns out, this was scout day, and scouts, both boy and girl scouts, had come in from all over the place. The park was not supposed to open until noon, but the place was already hopping. I headed in in search of some chow.
I decided on the ribwich place next to the Haunted Mansion. It took a few minutes for them to get up and running, since they were not yet supposed to be open yet, but I did not mind, and shortly I had a ribwich, a baked potato, and a lemonade. All were excellent.
Sitting there, I got to experience something that you can only get at these small parks, I watched as the park came to life for the day. It is neat. Things were pretty quiet at first, there were a few folks over at the round stand, but other then that, there was not much happening. Then, suddenly, the Haunted Mansion let out a scream as the sound was turned on. The nearby Tea Cups came to life, noisily clanking about, and then the water started running the waterwheel, and the lights came on on the round canopy above me as it started its water powered revolutions. Quickly the park turned into a noisy, vibrant place, full of life, and soon enough, full of people too.
I got up, and headed over to get my handstamp. Passing Cesari's Pizza, I saw another uniquely Knoebels sight, a pair of guys with a pair of fishing polls, fishing tackle, waders, and a freshly caught trout on a line, ordering pizza.
I got my handstamp and headed for the Phoenix. There was already a line formed outside the gate, and they were still testing, so instead I headed over and hopped on the Flyers. Some folks had just gotten off, and I ended up being the only one riding, and thus seemed to get an extra long cycle as the ride op waited for some people to fill in the line. I used that cycle to the fullest, madly snapping my Flyer. There was a little breeze, and I seemed to be hitting this breeze just right and was getting some amazing, uncontrollable snaps. It seemed like I didn't have to do anything and it would snap wildly. It was one of the most insane rides on the Flyers I have ever had, and I say one of them, because that day every ride I took on the Flyers was just as insane, so much so that on my last ride the ride op got nervous (I was a little nervous as well) and slowed the ride down a bit, but that seemed futile. They just ran amazing all day.
I went back and got a few spins on the Phoenix. It was early yet and seemed a bit sluggish. Later in the day to was really moving, though I think it ran much better at PPP last year. I figure it just needs to warm up. The Twister needs to do the same, it was running really well, better then I felt it was most of last season, but not as good as last fall. Needless to say, it is still one of the best out there.
I pretty much roamed about the park. It was busy, but not too busy, and lines were pretty minimal. They were running only one train on each of the coasters, and they really could have used two, but still, the longest I waited was 20 minutes for the Twister. The scouts were a riot at times. You've never seen competitiveness on the Skooters until you've seen a boy scout troop go at it all at the same time. Sometimes it is just as much fun to watch as it is to ride.
I was overjoyed with my first ride on the Grand Carousel. I began the year by actually catching the brass ring! I gave the free ride to the girl in front of me on the ride, because she had missed the ring on the way by (she would actually miss every ring, seems she was afraid to grab for them, she would stick her hand out, but then pull it away). For me I was just happy to get one this year.
There were few changes made to the park, some fresh paint here and there, including on the Skooters building, which could really use some refurbishing, and the Whipper got a fresh coat. A new addition was a massive model of the Phoenix built over the last three years by a local school student (the name escapes me at the moment). It is very nice and well done, and the park built a little building next to the Phoenix for this model.
Overall, it was a great day. I took my time and didn't do any marathon riding or anything, I just relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere of the park. I watch Corners the Clown perform, as well as a very entertaining bluegrass band in the bandshell. I ended up leaving at about 6:30, and look forward to my return, next week.
The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch
I did want to go to Knoebels on Saturday but my one buddy had a get together durring the day and I was going to see some crazy bands that night!
So you will be at Knoebels this coming weekend? HMMMMM! I may be able to swing by the park later in the day. *** Edited 5/5/2004 5:14:34 AM UTC by coasterpunk***
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