Knoeble's - 04/25/09 - Opening Day

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Saturday, April 25, 2009 9:43 PM

Just got back from my very first trip to Knoebels. Strange that i have lived in south central PA for the better part of a decade (am I really getting that old?!?) and never journeyed up there before. But fate would have it that the weather was beautiful and today was the opening day of the park, so me and a friend figured "What the hell?" and decided to make a day of it.

I never really paid super-close attention to the details of the place (aside from talk regarding the never-ending construction of Flying Turns, which is still going on) but most anyone I know that has been there has said good things.

Overall I was impressed with the place. It seems a little chaotic, but that no doubt has more to do with my complete lack of direction and unfamiliarity with that park.

Wait times averaged a decent 15 minutes or so, except:

-It took about 30 minutes to get a ride-all-day pass (it was buy-one-get-one-free, so lots of people were doing that)

-Twister was running only one train. When we were in line and close to the station, I believe they were TRYING to get the second train running; all the signs were there (Stopped an empty train on the brakes at the far end of the station, a couple of ops were nosing around the train off to the side...but 10 minutes later, they just started filling the single train again) but maybe they were having trouble with the switch track or something.

Both coasters were great! Twister had some decent laterals and didn't seem to let up one bit throughout. I would, however, give the edge to Phoenix as my favorite of the two. I had heard it was a pretty impressive, air-time filled coaster but WHOA! I was not expecting that ride! Took two spins on it, first in the middle somewhere which was fun, but the second ride was in the front and that just knocked me out. My butt wasn't in my seat half the time. The only gripe I have about that particular ride was that I sorta slammed, um, "myself" into the lap bar during one of the final pops of air...but i can't hold that against the coaster too much. ;)

The array of flats were impressive, though i failed to hit all that i wanted to. Guess I'll just have to go back sometime. The Flume was really well done, and the Haunted Mansion was a pleasant surprise (cheesy, sure but also really awesome).

Oh, and only $2 for a large drink?? When I worked at Kennywood 10+ years ago drinks was more expensive! And free parking! Yay discount amusement-ing!

Glad to get the summer off to a good start, though now i am REALLY jonesing for more coaster action...hopefully including a trip to VA to visit some friends and hit up both KD (Never been) and BGE (Last visit: 1998) and/or a jaunt out to Ohio for KI (Man that Diamondback footage is swwweeeeeeeet) and, of course CP (my White Whale of parks -- long story) assuming i can get anyone to go with me.

Happy Summer all!

JT

(Note: TOTALLY missed that i spelled Knoebels wrong the first time i posted this....arg!)

Last edited by Tsunami78, Saturday, April 25, 2009 10:54 PM
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Sunday, April 26, 2009 7:18 AM

I belive Flying turns is kinda like the Big Dig on Boston: it'll NEVER be finished (or paid for :) ).

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:55 AM

Yet another Knoebels Convert! Welcome to our special club! :-)

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 1:01 PM

Opening day was much more crowded then in previous years. The weather was beautiful, so it came as no surprise. The Phoenix never disappoints! I didn't ride the Twister because of the long line.

Glad to hear you had a good time. Our family had a great trip too!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 4:12 PM

what great weather for opening day! great flying weather :D speaking of Flyers, what a great new fence around it along with a new queue, still same amount of sun exposure it seemed. then as an added bonus the park stayed open an extra hour.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:18 PM

Yeah that extra hour was nice.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:19 PM

I was at the park from around 4-7 on Sunday-- I wasn't going to spend the entire afternoon in the heat. I don't know if it was the heat, but there were a lot of people there today who need parking lessons. Lots of 4' wide gaps between adjacent cars, and a few aisles were barely passable as cars edged out of alignment into them.

To expand on what alfundo said: the chain link fence around the Flyers is no more. It's been replaced by a very attractive scalloped picket fence with light blue pickets and red horizontal boards-- the same colors as the tubs and emblem. Each of the sections facing the walkway also has an emblem matching the one on the sails. The queue has been moved away from the main walkway closer to the road, beneath the trees. There is also only one exit now. A great improvement IMO.

Other cosmetic changes I noticed: a new building next to the Bavarian nuts and baby changing station (behind the Roto Jets), not sure what it's going to be used for; a new canopy over part of the bumper boats; and of course, the vacant spot where HSTC used to be.

We're also going to see some new tickets gradually phased in. Some of the updated prices are for quarter amounts. Phoenix and Twister will be $2.25 a ride, and the Flyers will be $1.25. Those were the only three rides I was on today, so I don't know what the prices of other rides will be. The new prices are painted on the ride signs. However, for now the park is still honoring the old prices and the tickets are always good. As one of the few people in the park using tickets today, I guess I noticed it before most folks.

Phoenix was running 2 trains, but when I got in line, orange (empty) was stuck on the brake run and yellow was stopped on the lift. Personally, I think Rob Ascough and his gang are somehow responsible. The crew had to walk the train in. It was only orange having this problem on 3 straight empty runs, so eventually they took that train off the track, and normal ops resumed, albeit with one train.

A lot of people were leaving the line making comments about not wanting to be on the train if it was going to crash (insert rolling eyes). The people in front of me in line were worried about the train stopped on the lift. I told them that's exactly where you want it to be if the other train is stopped on the brakes. There would be trouble if the train went over the hill. It's ironic how people get terrified when the system is working exactly as it should.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 11:03 PM

Well... in fairness to the terrified people, a system working exactly as it should would have the orange train successfully making its run and no trains stopping anywhere but in the station. :) (Just have to give a testify to my fellow lift-hill-stoppage-phobes out there... ;) )

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Monday, April 27, 2009 12:31 AM

lift hill stoppage is the best!

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Monday, April 27, 2009 5:25 AM

We really wanted to go on Sat. (Sun. wasn't an option since I had to be at work by 3 pm in Baltimore) but we had already committed to babysitting a nephew. Even my wife was hoping her sister would be home in time for us to leave by 3:30 and drive 2 hours just to get some pizza and atmosphere. It's our little slice of heaven.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 10:21 AM

I posted a trip report on my twitter today. (I decided it should be called a Twipreport.) Here goes:

Park: Crowded. Flyers: Awesome. Phoenix: Awesome. Twister: 1 train. Turns: 4th of July?

That's all I have to say about that.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 5:49 PM

Carrie M. said:
Well... in fairness to the terrified people, a system working exactly as it should would have the orange train successfully making its run and no trains stopping anywhere but in the station. :) (Just have to give a testify to my fellow lift-hill-stoppage-phobes out there... ;) )

Maybe I'm expecting too much that people would sort of know how a coaster operates, but a lot of people somehow translated a train stopped on the lift with an "obvious" impending crash.

They also didn't connect the train stopped on the hill with the one stopped in the brakes, thinking the problem was the lift. Also not thinking that the real problem would happen if the train ascending the lift didn't stop before it went over.

Sure, perfect operations mean that the trains navigate the course flawlessly. But when that doesn't happen, it's nice to know the measures they have in place to prevent a collision are working properly, even if it means having to sit on the lift hill for 30-45 seconds. I'd much rather be stopped there than to be careening toward a train that may still be sitting in the brake run by the time we get there.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 7:07 PM

Whenever a train is stopped on the lift of any coaster, you will hear people say, "It's stuck."

Can't wait to fly over the new picket fence this season. Sounds very nice. Who's going this weekend? :)

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Monday, April 27, 2009 9:35 PM

hahaha i was definitely there for when the phoenix kept getting stuck. i thought it was funny that every train that would roll through the station, about 6 people would walk out of the station. The best was when a random women and her what seemed to be daughter walked into the front row and said "Well if we're going to crash, might as well see where we're going." i just couldn't stop laughing at it.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 10:30 PM

^ Ha, I heard that too. I was in the second row, but ended up riding the train before them. All those people who left the line, I don't know if they didn't like the idea of waiting or if they thought something was seriously wrong with the ride.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:04 AM

RatherGoodBear said:
We're also going to see some new tickets gradually phased in. Some of the updated prices are for quarter amounts. Phoenix and Twister will be $2.25 a ride, and the Flyers will be $1.25. Those were the only three rides I was on today, so I don't know what the prices of other rides will be.

We were told that all rides will eventually be priced in $.25 increments. Makes sense. There are times I wish everything in the world were priced in $.25 increments.

Phoenix was running 2 trains, but when I got in line, orange (empty) was stuck on the brake run and yellow was stopped on the lift. Personally, I think Rob Ascough and his gang are somehow responsible.

And why do you think we were in such a rush to leave? ;)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:45 AM

Whenever a train is stopped on the lift of any coaster, you will hear people say, "It's stuck."

We got walked off Mean Streak a couple years back, from the brake run just prior to the station. An operator came back early on in the process to give us the "pep talk", and immediately got the question, "Are we stuck?"

"Roller coasters don't get stuck, ma'am. They just stop from time to time."

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:33 PM

Yeah, we were waiting for the third row. It's so funny hearing the random "horror" stories that you hear while waiting in line. When we were in like for the power surge, two kids, around the ages of 18-20, were telling stories of how they were in the line for it last year and a young girl fell out and they were behind a guy who caught her. I couldn't help but to laugh.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:44 PM

Park guests are famous for, "people fell out of _______" and "the train on _______ flew into the midway". Even if they're not enthusiasts educated on the subject, I'm surprised so many people believe those stories.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009 2:53 PM

Not only that, believe them and then get on the ride.

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