PA/NJ Trip 7/22-25 (extremely long) Part 1 (SFGADV and KG)

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My father and I took off from MSY in New Orleans at 8:00 to arrive in Philadelphia around 12:00 eastern time. After the amazingly tedious process of getting the rental car we finally were able to make our way onto the interstate. Unfortunately, the signage was scarce and hard to follow from where we exited so instead of getting onto I-95 East we found ourselves heading West. This would not be the only time we got lost on the trip. So finally after, the hassle of getting turned around and going in the correct direction, we set out for Six Flags Great Adventure.

Once we found SFGADV we got the through the gates without a wait at the season pass entrance and made our way to Nitro. Just that soon, I already started to notice what many people had talked about involving the class of people that seemed to make up the vast majority of the park.

We decided since it was on the way, we would ride The Chiller. Only the Robin side was running. This was somewhat of a dissapointment as the Batman side looked much better, but regardless, I was excited to ride. After about a twenty minute-or so wait, we rode in one of the middle rows.

I did enjoy the ride a great deal. I thought that this was slightly better than Mr. Freeze as I particularly enjoyed the zero g roll, although I wpuld have much preferred Mr. Freeze's vertical spike over the Chiller's forceless one, but I did, however, enjoy the ride. I would say the ride deserves an 8.5/10. Not one of my favorites, but nonetheless powerful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, my dad was not able to share the same opinion as he gets severe migraines from corkscres, helixes, and other manuevers that sling out and change swiftly in direction. Not only did it give a migraine, it also broke his glasses.

Next we made our way over to Nitro, seeing how long the line was for B:TR. I grew very excited as I neared the ride as Nitro was one of the primary reasons for taking the trip. After about a fifteen minute wait, we got a seat in the eighth row. I thought the ride offered incredible airtime. Probably the most fun ride, while not the best ride, I have ever been on. It has a grerat re-rideability factor. My favorite parts were the second and sixth hills offering incredible lateral airtime. The helix was also a nice surprise while not nearly as powerful as Titan. his was the only 10/10 of the trip in my opinion. I had to get back in line for a second ride, although the helix only worsened my dad's migraine so I was forced to ride by myself.

Then we decided we were going to head over to Skull mountain as it was quite warm. I kind of found it warmer in the building, but I was going to have to ride it eventually. I think we waited around forty minutes before getting on the ride. My dad'shead was still throbbing to badly to ride. So with a few annoying kids behind me who found it hilarious to screech in their loudest and highest falsettos, I got a terribly mediocre coaster ride. I suppose this deserves a 4/10. Certainly not worth the wait.

Next, we made the hike over to the other side of the park to ride S:UF and Medusa. First was S:UF, on the way was the incredibly temptingPPR Eruptionwith a low price of only $8 a ride, however, we decided we would come back to it and do Superman first. Having read its two clones, I wasn't looking forward to the supposed wait of 2 hours that everyone seemed to be complaining about. I was ecstatic to find that the ride did not break down while in line as the two others have every time I have waited. We got a seat in the second row. the ride was pretty standard. Forceful, but way too short. Still good enough to get an 8/10.

As we waited in line for Eruption after riding S:UF, we heard a group of disgruntled French teenagers behind us. I had strated to suspect something was wrong when Eruption hadn't launched in a while. That was when someone came over and asked who was waiting in line for a refund as Eruption was closing.

Annoyed that we had waited, for a ride that was closed, we went over and rode GASM. With all the corkscrews, my dad decided to sit out. I was pleasently surprised to get not as rough a ride as I had anticipated, however still uncomfortable. I suppose it was enjoyable enough to merit a 7/10.

I was eager to go over and ride Medusa, to counter the slight headache I had received from being jarred by GASM with a B&M. I think the wait was around thrity- forty minutes. This was a particularly unenjoyable line, as there were multiple sleasy, shirtless men. Along with avid cursers who seemed very angry, one in particular who was to ride in our row who seemed very angry and was quite frightening. But I found the wait worth it. I really enjoyed the ride, perhaps not as much as Kraken, but much more than B:DK. Even with one headbang it was certainly worthy of a 9/10.

After Medusa, my dad was feeling even worse and we thought we might have to leave, btu my dad said he would be pkay so we rode Rolling Thunder. Well, everything has been said about this ride already. It was completely vacant of airtime, speed, and anything ewlse that makes a ride fun. I consider it about a 4/10.

We wanted to ride the Mine Train, but it was not running. I wasn't about to subject myself to what many call a "torture device," Viper. So I decided to just go over to Nitro for a last ride as my dad was in dire need of rest. We took the skyride over to the other side of the park and rode Nitro one last time for the day.

On our way to the our hotel in Bordentown, we got lost again. We wound up in a residential community and turned around. We got directions and soon found our way to the hotel. We were craving real food, but the closest thing they had was a Denny's. We settled for pizza.


We woke up early that morning and got to SFGADV thirty minutes before opening. We were let in through the gates and had to wait untill 10:00 at the rope that blocks the path to Nitro. I got five more laps in on Nitro, before we rode B:TR. The ride was pretty much the same as the five others I have been on, although this one ahd a great deral more headbanging. While I would normally give Batman a 9/10 because of the headbanging I'll say 8.5/10.

We rode Nitro one last time and decided to head out to Knoebels. All in all, I thought SFGADV was a great park with great coasters, however, I hated the people. I did not enjoy the uncomfortable feeling of being around nine year olds who cursed like the Blair Witch Project. The park still was very much fun and I would like to visit again. The park was an 8/10.

We were very excited to see if it would live up to all the hype. Even though we aren't huge fans of wooden coasters, we still thought Pheonix was going to have to be great. After the beautiful and very long drive to Knoebels we finally arrived. We had anticipated with the beautiful area that the park would also be as beautiful if not more beautiful than SFGADV.

When we caught the first glimpse of Knoebels I knew immediately that every one of our expectations was not going to be met with some of the oldest fair rides and most poorly maintained looking rides I ahd ever seen. I was still willing to give the park a chance since that was the "mystique" about the park.

I also assumed that it would be pretty empty as long as it took us to get to the park. When we saw the parkign lot, or lack there of, and how full it was I just knew this park was not for me, but yet again the good things I had heard about the park were enough to keep us going into the park. We ahd, aftyer all, driven an hour or more out of our way and passed up DP.

We headed straight for Pheonix and decided not to buy POP wristbands as it didn't look like we would be stayiong long. All I saw on my walk was like a glorified fair. What was all the hype about? Why did everyone there look like they were having the times of their lives? Hopefully Pheonix could resolve these questions.

We got in line for Pheonix and decided to head for the back just to try it out for the first time. We were shocked to see the car with a single lap bar and no seat belt. I grew very excited as I kjnew this just ahd to be incredibly airtime packed. Once on the ride and into the tunnel, I already knew the ride was going to be rough, but it was a double out and back after all. How bad could it be? After the first pop of airtime, I found out. Wow! I never knew airtime could hurt. I mean the ride's airtime was amazing. But it weas the most painful I had ever felt. Not only was my stomach thrusted into the lapbar, my feet were bashed into the seat in front of me. I was so incredibly disappointed. I mean, sure the airtime was great I won't deny that, but how can a ride be fun that hurtsa that much? This ride, just because of the amounty and the strength of airtime i will give an 8.5/10, but it easily could have been a perfect ten if it would just have hurt less. I tried it in the front and got the same result. Definitely a good ride, but just so painful that it can't be a great ride.

With my dad extremely dicouraged because he absolutely loathed the ride and was loathing the park even more. He asked if we could leave, btu I still wanted to give the park and Twister a chance. I rode Twister and I don't really remember the ride because the ride experience was jaded by the rain, which made the ride miserable. I remember it was very forceful, but I can't particularly remember much about it. I guess I will give it a 7.5/10 because I do remember that I enjoyed it somewhat, btu there was a severe lack of airtime.

So with the rain stronger now, I had to ask myself, "What was it that everyone liked so much? What did KG have to over but a great coster, that to me, wasn't reaching its full potential and an opkay coaster. Why did people go so far out of their way for this place?" I guess I just am not understanding something that everyone else is.

The park just wasn't my type of park I guess. I did enjoy the people and the atmosphere of Knoebels more than SFGADV, but KG didn't even come close to being as nice a park as SFGADV was to me. Knoebles is about a 6.5/10.

Because we had left Knoebels so much earlier than expected, we now had time to go straight to HP. *** Edited 7/26/2004 8:10:53 PM UTC by TTDragster14***

"Punks are non-conforming conformists." "Preps rock my Docs." "Tell them about how I'm defying gravity. God! I can't get that song out of my head."
eightdotthree's avatar
I agree that Knoebels just looks like a fair, I would like to see more permanant looking installations. But like the museum says, they are succesfull because they re-use everything.

I think its charm lies in its history. You see families there who have been going there every year for years on end. Its dads and sons. Kids allowed to run off and enjoy themselves because its safe.

I took my first trip ever to Knoebels this season and I found Phoenix to be one of the most fun wooden coasters I have every ridden. We got our first ride at 9pm so we didnt know what to expect because of the dark. Did you try holding on?

Twister is a twister coaster, no airtime. I found it to be a blast, out of control the whole time. I love it.

Looking forward to hearing about hp.
*** Edited 7/26/2004 8:41:49 PM UTC by eightdotthree***

I think the reason that you don't get Knoebels is because you only ride coasters (or so it would seem from your TR. You did however try to get a ride on eRuption). There's so much more to do than the four coasters at Knoebels. To those of us who ride flats, it's heaven. I think the reason that people were really enjoying themselves is because they might have been taking in the whole park, not just two coasters. Did you try to catch the brass ring on the carousel? Did you ride through the haunted house? Did you get on what some people call the best bumper cars in the country? Did you take a ride on the Flyers? The answer is no to all of the above. And there's your answer on why you didn't enjoy the park. By the way, you're the first person I've ever heard call the Phoenix "painful".
I have to agree. The flats that Knoebels have made even me excited to ride them. I mean, I personally can't stand about 90% of the flats but I found myself re-riding them alot the last time I was there.
The thing with traditional, old-fashioned parks like Knoebels is that their popularity is primarily based around atmosphere. And with atmosphere, a person either "gets it" or "doesn't get it".

I put those terms in quotations because it really isn't a bad thing if you don't get it. Its just that its not your thing. You're not the first person to go to a park like Knoebels and come back feeling like you missed something. Unfortunately, that happens quite a bit.

- Jeff

btw, a co-worker of mine just got back from a two-day trip to Knoebels and she will only ride Phoenix once a trip because she also thinks it is too rough. Personally, I don't share her opinion on that. :)

That's the first time i've ever heard anyone call Phoenix painful. I've not once phelt any pain from the Phoenix. My rides on Twister in the pouring rain were some of the best ever.
Yeah, I love Twister in the rain. 10 of my 47 Twister rides on Opening Day '03 were in the rain. Sure it felt like you were getting hit in the face with small pellets, but I didn't mind :).

This is also the first time I have heard someone say Phoenix is rough. I am used to hearing things like "pure bliss", "amazing", and "one of the best woodies I have been on"...

-Josh Linn, Phoenix Whore Go Orioles! 2003 Phoenix Rides: 51 2004 Phoenix Rides: 17 2005 Phoenix Rides: 6
<<Falls off chair>>

Someone rates Great Adventure over Knoebles??? (will someone help me up already.....dang)

I agree that Great Adventure is an awesome park. I do agree that the clientele is a lil' rough. (They from Trenton ya'll..... :)) But as far as landscaping and staff alertness, I think they are the best in the chain (of the parks I have visited) Glad you had fun, and btw your father is one awesome Dad to suffer a migraine as you ride. I know some parents would say, "we going home..NOW!

Fate is the path of least resistance.

If you didn't ride the haunted house, you haven't really experienced Knoebels. I will agree that if you are a coasters only person SFGadv is a much better park, but as a place to just hang out and enjoy life, Knoebels is hard to beat. The people, atmosphere, and food are top notch. It's one of the very few truly traditional parks left.

ApolloAndy's avatar
I never "got" the haunted house. However, I will say that I *know* I wouldn't have appreciated Knoebel's if I had gone earlier in my coaster career. It took about 5 years of hard riding before I realized how much better wood can be and how much atmosphere counts and how much fun stuff like the flyers or HSTC can be.

My thoughts: GAdv. is a great park with some great rides, but is it really that different from any other Six Flags park? Knoebel's is a great park with many fewer great rides, but I'd challange you to find a park anywhere in the country that's like it (outside of Indiana ;)).

I'd much rather travel to a park with less big rides, but great atmosphere and fun random stuff than travel to another concrete jungle park, even if it has 16 world class coasters.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

In my opinion, three words can describe the Knoebels experience to the "concrete jungle park" experience...

Quality over Quantity

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"

ApolloAndy said:

but is it really that different from any other Six Flags park? .

Heck YEAH!!

Fate is the path of least resistance.

It's a good thing he didn't run into me or my Scooter destruction partner Chris on one of our visits. If he thought the Phoenix was painful he didn't feel out wrath on the bumper cars.

The Phoenix rough and painful? Is it painful because it's rough or rough because it's painful? They are two ways I never heard the Phoenix described before. Usually words like godly, awsome,and perfect are used.

You entitled to your opinion though. I'm sorry you didn't experiance the magic that is Knoebels.

I visited Knoebels for the first time this spring and I just fell in love with it. I rode Pheonix over 30 times that day and did not find it at all painfull. I thought that it was one of the smoothest woodies that I have been on and most of my rides were in the back seat or 1-3.

The only problem that I had was sliding forward in the seat a little. That was quickly solved by bracing my toes up under the seat in front of me to hold me back against the seat. In seat 1-3 there were places where I had a good 4 - 5 seconds or air. In the front seat, you can see sections of track the train never touches. I just think that you let your first impression ruin the day for you.

Sorry that your dad didn't feel good the first day. You have a heck of a dad to stay in a park and ride rides with you all day with a migraine. *** Edited 8/4/2004 7:37:03 PM UTC by CP ismyhome***

#1 Steel: Sky Rush
#1 Wood: Voyage
#1Park: Holiday World

Does anyone know what exactly is up with the Batman side of the Chiller? Just curious, as it wasn't up at all last year and isn't showing any signs of running at all this season either. Have they been doing any kind of work on it at all this year?
^It has been open this year, just not recently.

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