Phoenix Phall Phunfest & Lakemont Park 10/6 & 7

Associated parks:

Monday, October 8, 2001 6:52 PM
If you see a “PH” in place of an “F”, I apologize.....I just spent a week typing that way! I’ll highlight the key events, since it would take another website to document all the fun I had! The trip included a visit to both parks. And I was able to hitch a ride with Dave Althoff, Jr. (aka Rideman). We started the trip early Saturday in his newly acquired Crown Vic, and headed for Elysburg. Several hours (and Cokes & Dr. Peppers) later, we arrived to find a Knoebels bustling with activity as far as the eye could see (which isn’t far thanks to the mountains!). After signing in and scouting out the place, we started with the memorabilia sale, which I wasn’t even aware of! I ended up with 2 wonderful books, both of a highly recommended status for the enthusiast AND historian. One was Chippewa Lake Park Chronicles, which documents the park’s history til 1969, when it changed hands. For those that don’t know, Chippewa (just south of Cleveland) closed at the end of the 1979 season, and many of the rides and buildings still exist. It is more exciting for me to visit a place like that, than some of the parks that are still operating! The other book is more universal amongst the amusement industry, and is a valuable asset to ANYONE seeking knowledge about the development of some of the world’s most important amusement rides. Titled Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers, it is written by Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan (father of Dana Morgan, who’s most recent black and green accomplishment can be found at Kennywood, high above the Monongahela). These guys take you through a thrilling journey that documents inventions at Arrow Dynamics, as well as the reality they brought to many of Disney’s ideas. Of special interest (even to the anti-Arrow fans out there) is the section on the Corkscrew coaster, and how it went from paper & a calculator, to fiberglass & steel. Say what you want, but Arrow’s successful innovations have forever changed the way we enjoy amusement parks.......

Since this is NOT CSPAN 2, I’ll continue with the TR: We managed to hit all the major rides throughout the night. The Haunted House started it off since it was the first to close. I was more frightened by the costumes walking was hilarious to watch a carload of spooks exit the ride! Again, I back everyone up in saying that it is the BEST dark ride in the U.S., next to Disney’s Haunted Mansion. I got a couple great Flyers rides, but couldn’t seem to revive the thrashing beast that took over on my previous visit. I got some snappin’, but nothing compared to my 4 minute ride dismantling in July! Phoenix was......can I even describe it? There’s nothing like a trainload of yellow chickens flying past the station! And what was with the KFC buckets?? Cannibals! Folks there is something very special about that third row, first car. But I still can’t find a bad seat on Phoenix. Just doesn’t happen! Your hours of driving to the middle of nowhere ends up with a truly rewarding experience. Twister was insane....forgot about the nice air in front. Both crews were OUTSTANDING in the dispatch category.....hats (and beaks!) off to them and everyone else at Knoebels. Pizza was great! And the bonfire warmed my heart (pun intended). I enjoyed conversing with everyone afterwards, and the music and marshmallows were a nice touch. Mmmmm......marshmallows!

Sunday began with the trip BACK to Altoona. Has anyone traveled the stretch of Highway 22 between Altoona and I-80? Those interesting white dots on the road urged me to appropriately name it Pac Man Boulevard.....Dave just HAD to add a monotone “WOMP” every time we passed over one! But unfortunately there were no flashing ones, thus all the patrol cars avoided the dreadful affects of becoming translucent. :) Geez I miss that game! Lakemont was a bit cold, but we all managed to have a good time. I really enjoyed the “killzone” photo sessions DURING operation......I’m glad Leap the Dips didn’t leap any further! What a great staff they have. The food was good, and I was unsuccessful at taking a truckload of “Pumpkin Fluff” home with me. Man that was good! Lots of flat rides already in hibernation, but was able to get plenty of trips on the Dips and Skyliner (which never hesitates to remind me WHY I didn’t like the back seat the last time). It was also good to meet the ACE Executive Committee members. PLEASE understand that a significant amount of money is still needed to help pay for the Leap the Dips renovation. Due to the recent events that have affected our nation, there are more important things to direct a donation towards at the moment. But this is a trip report, and I thought I would remind everyone. Any size of donation is appreciated, and can be sent to the address on this page:

Anywho, the trip concluded with a brief but enjoyable stop at a friendly Eat-N-Park somewhere south of Pittsburgh. I had to ask them why the famous “smiling” cookies are currently wearing a scary face (similar to Charlie Brown’s look of disgust). Don’t be frightened folks, it’s just frosting.

Overall it was an incredible trip, and I will make it a point to attend next year’s event. Thanks so much to everyone at both parks, and for making it a memorable weekend!

Brad Sherman

Some links of interest: (Brief info on Chippewa)
Moxie: Not quite Cola, not quite Root Beer, not quite Asphalt!

*** This post was edited by ARROW GUY on 10/10/2001. ***

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 12:01 PM
Sounds like fun! Great Pacman analogy, ya gotta love that game...even if I do have it in my garage, and have played millions of times :). You guys think the Pheonix is good, you have to try our Wolverine Wildcat! No, really...don't, its horrible, even though it's the same layout as Pheonix...we got gypped! Anyway, nice TR, and glad you guys had fun.
403 Laps
Wednesday, October 10, 2001 12:23 PM
Haha I love how you compared the dots to Pac Man. I, too traveled that road en route to Altoona, and it was pretty funny how they had those dots. I also liked those bright orange warning signs such as "Slow Down Save A Life" and "Don't Tailgate." There must have been atleast 50 of those signs on the road. There must be quite a few accidents with that 55 MPH speed limit they have.

Kennywood Insider's Guide

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 12:38 PM
Please slow down.  My mommy works here.
Wednesday, October 17, 2001 10:13 AM
Hi Brad!

I sold you that Arrow Development book. Nice to meet ya! See ya next season!

-Rob Vaccaro


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