Knoebels Opening Day, 4/28

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Monday, April 30, 2001 7:28 PM
My sister Liz and I made the trek from Pittsburgh to Knoebel's on Saturday morning. Liz had never been to Knoebels before, but I'd talked the place up and she was looking forward to it.

We made it to the park just as the rides were starting up. The excellent opening-day special (2 "Coaster" handstamps for $18) was just what we needed. First we walked around the park a bit, so she could see what it looked like. She commented that she wasn't used to seeing dogs in an amusement park, but thought it was pretty cool. :) For people who haven't been there yet, Knoebels doesn't have gates, and is in a very wooded setting, making for a very pleasant place to just walk around and enjoy the sun.

Crowds were moderate, heavier than I expected but not bad. They ran only one train on all the coasters (they CAN run 2 on Phoenix and Twister), but we never waited more than maybe 15-20 minutes for a ride.

We hit a few rides before grabbing lunch -- Whirlwind (a portable Vekoma steel coaster that's been permanently installed), and their awesome Flyers. I convinced Liz to get in with me. Heh heh heh. A couple of good snaps and I had her laughing her head off (something she'd be doing a lot this day...)

Then we grabbed a quick lunch, and it was time to meet CoasterBuzz's own coasterpunk by Phoenix.

Phoenix is easily one of my favorite woodies. One lap (in the ejector seat) and I had Liz hooked. She was laughing for the entire cycle. Airtime machine! (5 laps total for the day)

Next up was Twister, with CoasterPunk (Dan) and his crew. Twister seemed to be running a lot faster than I remembered it from last year. Twister is a VERY different coaster than Phoenix -- Twister is about laterals, with a hint of airtime here and there. Another one of my favorite woodies. (3 laps on the day)

After this we hit a few more flatrides. Power Surge brought another round of laughter from my sister, who was in a very good mood all day (Knoebels can do that :) ) The bumper cars were another must-ride -- the slick surface and HEAVY cars make for great spinouts.

A quick spin on the "High Speed Thrill Coaster" (a deceptive steel children's ride that Knoebels runs kicked up a notch), and I decided it was time to show Liz the Haunted Mansion.

Haunted Mansion is the only ride that isn't covered by the handstamp (that I know of, anyway, there MAY be others). It's worth the extra $1. It was darker than I remember it being last year, but that isn't necessarily BAD. This ride made Liz jump a few times (heck, it made ME jump a few times, and I'd ridden it before! ;) ), and she got off all smiles and giggles once again.

A few more rides on Phoenix and Twister (see totals above), and it was approaching closing time. Liz and I decided to grab dinner, and make the long trek home to Pittsburgh.

So is Knoebels worth driving 8+ hours in a day, up and back, for a few hours of rides? In a word, YES.

Next on deck:
SFWoA 5/5
CP 5/6
Forecast for both days: CROWDS
--Greg *** This post was edited by GregLeg on 4/30/2001. ***
Monday, April 30, 2001 7:40 PM
You just got me a whole lot more excited about going to Knoebels in June.

Unfortunately, I can't make it to SFWoA or CP's opening day, but I should get to CP next week sometime (celebrating the end of school). :)

Looking forward to reading your trip reports for next weekend!

Joe Cernelli
Head Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Monday, April 30, 2001 7:43 PM
You didn't go for the brass ring on the Grand Carousel? Shame on you!
Monday, April 30, 2001 7:55 PM

Dutchman said:
"You didn't go for the brass ring on the Grand Carousel? Shame on you!"

I know, I realized this mistake after we left. I rode the Carousel last time I was there, and told Liz about it, but in the course of the day forgot to bring her over there to see it. :(

Next time...

Tuesday, May 1, 2001 1:15 PM
We won't be able to get to Knoebel's 'till August (sniff) so these reports are torture! For those of you who have not checked out this amazing place - and I'm guessing most Coasterbuzzers haven't - you don't know what you're missing. THIS is what an old-fashioned amusement park is to me - spend a day here, and it's kinda hard to go back to the sullen employees, long slow lines, $8 parking, overpriced mediocre food, cookie-cutter rides, and bland "themeing" of your average corporate-run park.
Tuesday, May 1, 2001 7:06 PM

Dutchman said:
"You didn't go for the brass ring on the Grand Carousel? Shame on you!"

Don't worry I went for the brass ring on Sunday. I did pretty good too. Find out how good in my TR.
Hello, My name is Dan and I'm a coasterholic.
Wednesday, May 2, 2001 9:12 AM

Nice job GregLeg.
amen, spewey!.
Knoebels is one of those "too good to be true" places that cannot be explained. Only experienced. I haven't been there since 1999, 10 DAYS before Twister opened (best laid plans, it was maddingly late getting completed). I will be there late June and can't wait to finally get on it. Even with short 15-20 minute waits, don't you stand there and wish "if only they would do the two trains"? We coaster nuts would go 'round and 'round and 'round (from exit to entrance, I mean!).
oh well a touch of grey kind of suits you anyway

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