Post C-buzz event Knoebels and Hershey in one day

Associated parks:
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Monday, May 23, 2005 4:37 PM
The ERT the night before went fairly late, so I was very glad that I found my motel easily. I wound up talking to Prabe for a while after the ERT since be both have the same occupation and former schooling in common. In fact in got to the point where all the lights in the park were turned off, and by the time I left the parking lot, all those lights were being turned off leading me to need high beams. So after paying $65 for a very nice room at a Super 8 in Kutztown (and believe me folks, that was cheap for this area), I woke up the next morning with a very dry throat. I had turned on the A/C the night before, but figured I wouldn’t be able to sleep with it on. I guess I had made the room too dry. Luckily, they still had a continental breakfast out. The orange juice and milk helped my throat get back to normal.

Putting my luggage out in the car led me to one conclusion–It’s cold! This was very un-May-like weather. So I went with the pants and t-shirt with a spring jacket over top. So I made my mind up to drive to Knoebels. Since they don’t really recommend the online mapping programs, I loosely followed what I had printed out, but it still worked well in combination with my Pennsylvania map. I decided to experiment and take I-78 to I-61N, to 54 W, since it seemed as direct as you could get as far as the area goes. And I was doing really well also, occassionaly pulling over just to make sure the town that I was in was the town where I wanted to be on the map. It was mostly sparse, except for Pottsville which seemed like a fairly developed town. I was doing so well and was happy when I got to a Sheetz that had a faded Knoebels sign across the way with an arrow (kind of like Kennywood). This would be my first mistake of this leg of the trip. I misread the sign and went left when I should’ve gone right. After realizing my mistake I turned around and came back the other way where I encountered a sign on a barn that said “Knoebels thanks you for your business” (or something like that) with a dead deer at the bottom of the sign (if I had only had film). I thought “Did I somehow pass the entrance somewhere?”. So I drove back to the Sheetz where I realized my error. Small editorial: I really wish parks wouldn’t advertise going in the opposite direction of the park. Hershey also does this.

Heading into the park I see a bunch of state troopers. It’s a little bit early for D.U.I. checks I thought even if it is early in the afternnon and it turns out they were handing out a preliminary warning postcard about seatbelt checks. Since I still didn’t know what the POP price was, I was very pleased to see a price of $16.50 for all you can ride, including the wood coasters. The first stop was at Fandango, the new Moser outward facing Frisbee-like ride. I agree the harnesses are a little bit hard and tight, but the ride is nonetheless fun. To me it doesn’t feel that different from the Afterburner type rides. Since barely anyone was riding , I immediately got back in line. The restraints come down automatically and the girls’s timing was off this time. I got hit in the head by the restraint as she was making the announcement about them coming down automatically.

I hopped over to Phoenix next and ran into Prabe from the night before and his friend. We went and rode again. Man, after riding Thunderhawk, Phoenix gets it right. Lots and lots of airtime and it’s not too rough. I tried talking Prabe into the Haunted House, but they wanted to drive back to Maryland. I next hit Power Surge, 1001 Nacht, High Speed Thrill Coaster, and then the Haunted House where I caught the skulls all lit up when I looked back. They don’t look so menacing dangling from the strings. I then went on to catch four consecutive rides on Twister. I believe I took one more ride on Phoenix and two more on Fandango, which was attracting a little bit more of a line. I hit Power Surge on the way out and was on my way to Hershey. For those of you playing at home I got $7.10 in free rides. I once again made a bad turn coming out of the park, which cost me about 10 minutes each way. I’ve never seen the area in the light on the return trip, so I got confused. I’m so used to having landmarks fast-food restaurants, churches etc. Here all you get are trees and some mud:)

So I get onto I-81 S around 4:30 or later, and I’m cruising. I’m making great time, when I come up to another one-lane construction section that lasts for 8 miles! Aaargh! It looks like they’re expanding the capacity of the road as they’re adding two lanes going the other direction. As this point I’m still undecided as to whether or not to go to Hershey. I call the park from my cell phone (I hope I wasn’t breaking any state laws) while in transit to find out they close at 8pm. I’m thinking this will only be worthwhile if I can get back to the park by 5:45. Remembering a tip from the night before from RatherGoodBear I took 743 to find the Giant in Hershey. There was only one small problem–when I got up to the light after Zoo America I didn’t know which way to turn. So after getting a hold of someone at the Giant, he got me going in the right direction. I darted into the store, got my pre-paid ticket, darted out having to pee like a race horse, and headed to the parking lot. My friend calls to tell me she rode Kingda Ka four times–that’s just great. I see a lot of closed parking booths and think I’m going to avoid paying for parking because of the time of night–wrong. They still got my $7. Those bastards. I found a spot close to the entrance and was very happy to see throngs of people walking the other direction.

I quickly came up with a plan. I ran back to Midway America and knocked out Wildcat, Wild Mouse, and Lightning Racer both sides. There was no way I was going to get wet or wait for Roller Soaker, so I moved onto Sidewinder then Storm Runner. The line was only in the station and I managed to get two rides. Moving down the hill I knocked off Trailblazer, then I ran up the hill to get Great Bear–which almost foiled my plans to get all the dry coasters. I hopped on the train in the station and everything was going great until we hit the brakes–really hard. We finally got moving back around to the station and we were stalled just outside. It turns out someone had hit the E-stop button by accident. I’d say a good 15 minutes went by waiting for maintenance to come and fix the problem. There were plenty of Hershey employees ensuring everyone was ok. We’re sitting in a seat going nowhere and it’s not hot–Who could complain? Well, I could as I was running out of time! After cursing the long exit ramps that proliferate a lot of Hershey attractions, I ran down to walk onto Super Dooper Looper, and then finally hit Comet. I still had 10 minutes, so I ran back up the hill to The Claw. I thought I had gotten the last ride of the night which was really disappointing since we were always low in the high swings, but no there was one more ride. I decided to try out a theory and sat to the left of the operators booth this time and managed to get a much better ride with about four pops of air. My ankles are killing me today, but I’m so glad I did it, even if it did cost me almost $40.

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Monday, May 23, 2005 5:45 PM

Intamin Fan said:


I got to a Sheetz that had a faded Knoebels sign across the way with an arrow (kind of like Kennywood). This would be my first mistake of this leg of the trip. I misread the sign and went left when I should’ve gone right.


I think there is a little arrow at the top of the sign that reads >3 MILES>

[quote}Intamin Fan said:

After realizing my mistake I turned around and came back the other way where I encountered a sign on a barn that said “Knoebels thanks you for your business” (or something like that) with a dead deer at the bottom of the sign (if I had only had film).


"We're happy to have you as a patron, Knoebels" I've been passing that sign for the past 29 years going to Knoebels! I say that same deer!


Intamin Fan said:

Heading into the park I see a bunch of state troopers. It’s a little bit early for D.U.I. checks I thought even if it is early in the afternnon and it turns out they were handing out a preliminary warning postcard about seatbelt checks.


I ran into one of them today coming home from work. Luckily I had time to put my seatbelt on! :)


Intamin Fan said:

So I get onto I-81 S around 4:30 or later, and I’m cruising. I’m making great time, when I come up to another one-lane construction section that lasts for 8 miles! Aaargh! It looks like they’re expanding the capacity of the road as they’re adding two lanes going the other direction.


I-81 has been screwed up for the past year or so. They just repaved the nothbound side last year now they are working on the south bound section. Your lucky you weren't going north to Knoebels from Hershey last year I got stuck in traffic at the 81-78 split for like an hour on 2 occasions last summer!

WHAT! NO BUMPER CARS? Oh man you missed out! I was at Knoebels Sunday from around 5 till 7 just riding the bumper cars. I kept hitting this one girl then she turned toward me and said, "I hate you!" That made my day! :) That just as good as when this one kid was following me so I ran right into the wall and he followed! Lets just say he didn't do that again! heh heh heh!

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Monday, May 23, 2005 10:03 PM
Intamin, what are we going to do about you and directions? LOL At least you seem to rebound quickly. Next event I promise to write them down IN DETAIL. All I need is something to write on and something to write with. (Hold out your finger, this won't hurt a bit. JAB!)

When you went up 61 through Pottsville, you were only about 2 miles from my house. If I had only known... I would have given you the trimmer/edger to use. Yes, some of us didn't get to go to more parks on Sunday. The only trailblazer around on Sunday was me, cutting two weeks worth of grass and dandelions. But you did take the best way from the Lehigh Valley to Knoebels (much better than the turnpike and I-80).

Glad you enjoyed your visit to our PA Parks, Intamin. I have to start using my Hersheypark pass soon. And I'm glad you were eventually able to find the Giant Market-- too bad I didn't know you were planning on heading to Knoebels too, you passed right by 2 Giant Markets on Rte 61, one south of Pottsville and one in the city. They sell Hersheypark tickets too-- actually all the stores do.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:24 AM

coasterpunk said:


I-81 has been screwed up for the past year or so.


The past year or so? What are you talking about? They are ALWAYS working on I-81!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 4:22 PM
I saw the Giant in Pottsville, but hadn't made up my mind at that point as to whether or not I was going to Hershey or not. Everything was fine as far as the directions went, except for when I got up to Chocolate Ave, I didn't know whether or not to turn left or right to continue onto 743. Luckily the guy who answered the phone knew. I was describing everything at the intersection (library etc.) since I was several cars back, and the guy seemed a little bit confused at first even though I was only a mile away or so.

I'll admit I'm directionally challenged at times. I don't do well with driving and navigating at the same time, which is why I'm happy to have gowithgravity with me most of the time. I think the worst part for me is often not getting to the park, but the return where you don't have all the billboards advertising the park.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:23 PM

SLFAKE said:

coasterpunk said:


I-81 has been screwed up for the past year or so.


The past year or so? What are you talking about? They are ALWAYS working on I-81!


I just meant the area from the 81/78 split north.
At least the 81/83 area to the river on 81 is back to normal after about 5 or 6 years of construction.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:24 AM
Is it as hard to get from Hershey Park to Knoebels as I think it is. I am going there in like 2 weeks and from maps it looks like its a strain to go up and around all these roads. It looks even harder to go from Knoebels back to Canada.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:38 AM
From Hershey, I would take Rt 39 or Rt 743 north to I-81. Then follow I-81 north to Exit 116 (Minersville) and take 901 west. From there, I am not sure of the routes... but there are signs that will direct you to Knoebels. I followed them and found my way. Looks worse on the map than it really is. It's actually quite easy. should take about an hour to an hour 15 min.

Can't say how to get back to Canada... could be any number of ways depending on where you are going. *** Edited 5/25/2005 2:39:11 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:48 AM
I agree with you completely with the comparison of Thunderhawk and Pheonix.

My theory about Thunderhawk's last trim is that it is to slow down the train before going into the final brakes, probably to make the stop easier. Weak solution...

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:37 PM
Once you get off I-81, it really it quite simple. Take 901 West, go past the federal prison entrance (current home of Martha Stewart's IM-Clone friend), down the hill and across the valley.

When you go up and over the next hill, you'll come to a traffic light. Turn left and you'll be on Route 54. Stay on 54 about 12-15 miles until you meet Route 487-- there's a Sheetz and a Turkey Hill market at this intersection, and also the large Red sign for Knoebel's. Turn right and follow this road about 3 miles, turn right at the next light and you're on Knoebels Parkway. It does look worse on the map than it really is.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:08 PM
what about taking 209 to 125 to 61. that looks pretty easy on the map. Is this a bad way to go?

It also looks easier if I get lost to find my way back

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:04 PM
BamBam, 125 is a pretty narrow, winding road. You're also likely to end up riding behind a tractor, hay wagon or manure spreader, as that's farm country out in that area. Coasterpunk might be able to give you better info about the roads out around Shamokin, since that looks like where you'll end up if you take that route.

901 on the other hand has just recently been widened and re-aligned, eliminating a lot of sharp curves. 901/54 I think is a better way to go from I-81, you avoid most of the towns, and there are very few lights. Like I said, it really is not as bad as it looks on the map.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 7:12 PM
ok I am going to take your advice and take 901.

If it's as easy as you say it is(looks bad on map, but your directions are easy) then I shouldn't have any problems.

Thanks

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:57 PM
125 is up and down back roads. If you take 125 it will take you at least 45 minutes longer then going up another exit to 901. Rt 125 ends in Shamokin a block from my house and when I got to Hershey I never go that way.

Your best route is like GoodBear said.

901 to 54 to 487. From Rt 81 Knoebels is about 35-40 minutes. Just be sure to do 35 mph when you go thru Lavelle (the first small town you come to off 81). If your 5mph over the speed limit they will bust you.

Here's the rundown for turns off of 81.

Exit 116 if from southbound make make a LEFT


When you come to the stop light (rumble strips After Lavelle) Make another LEFT (about 5 miles)


Stay on that until you come to Elysburg and the Sheetz then make a RIGHT at the light (about 10 miles from the last turn)


Knoebels is 3 miles from Sheetz

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Friday, May 27, 2005 7:11 PM
How do you guys suggest I go from knoebels up to new york. Im going back to Canada so I'd like to head North West not North East. The program I use has me going up highway 15 to 86 to 390 to i90 then across.

Is there a faster/easier way then above.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005 1:17 AM
I'm not that familiar with the roads in western PA and NY. The only thing I might suggest is to take I-80 west to I-79 North to I-90. But I think that would cause you to backtrack quite a bit if you are heading toward Buffalo/Niagara Falls.

Unfortunately for you, because of the mountains most of the north/south roads in PA actually run more northeast/southwest. I don't think 15 is as bad as it used to be-- I believe they widened it in many places and bypassed a few towns. That might be your best bet, in PA at least.

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