I’ve already written trip reports about Knoebel’s for the two times I’d visited previously, so I won’t get into as much detail here (maybe). Never mind that I’m completely exhausted from the 3 hour drive to Knoebel’s and the 4 hour drive home (as I can’t see state troopers at 1:30 am).
Anyway, my brother was my traveling partner on this excursion, and we weren’t sure we’d be going at all until early yesterday morning. The weather had been questionable and I was uneasy about going to my first real coaster event for a whole number of ridiculous reasons. He’s 14, while I’m 21. We get along mildly well, but there’s something of a power struggle between us, sometimes. That’s more information than you ever wanted to know, I bet.
We arrived at the park shortly after 3, headed immediately over to the area near the Haunted Mansion, and registered. Then, since we had some time to kill, and the two of us weren’t particularly hungry, we picked up a $10 ticket book each.
My brother took is first ride on Phoenix, in 1.3, and fell in love, just as I had. He remarked about how Phoenix blows Boulder Dash out of the water, and I’m inclined to agree. We rode once more in the second to last row. Somehow, some way, my brother started to think that was a better ride. I didn’t quite understand his logic, but I knew I could rectify that later
Next, we headed over to Twister. I’ve gotten a lot of strange looks in the past because I don’t really like Twister at all. It’s not bad, exactly, but it doesn’t excite me. Yesterday, as other people have mentioned, the ride was running fast, but we got no airtime at all. My brother agreed, and we moved on.
Since it was nearing PPP time, we tried to use up the remaining tickets on rides that wouldn’t be open in the evening. We watched the Flyers for a bit while I tried to discern exactly what ‘snapping’ was, we saw a large group of folks (complete with appropriate t-shirts!) faux-compete at snapping, and we rode once ourselves. I’ll write a bit more about the Flyers later.
We also hopped on the Tilt-A-Whirl, but the ride op. wouldn’t take our tickets because of our hand stamps. Cool. The same thing happened at the nearby Paratrooper.
We spent a good part of the night on the Flyers. I had expected PPP to be crowded, honestly, and it wasn’t too bad at the start. During the day, while the parking lot was packed, the rides were walk-ons. But, as the night got on, the throngs of people started showing up out of the woodwork, and I think it was considerably more crowded than I’ve ever seen it.
So, anyway, because of that, we only rode Phoenix once more, in 1.3, and chose to spend the rest of our time perfecting our flying technique. On our last night ride, my brother again revised his opinion and agreed that 1.3 is where it’s at. The pitch black darkness, combine with fog from Gasoline Alley made for an awesome experience, and probably the best ride on Phoenix I’ve ever had.
The Flyers rock, though, and were probably just as much fun as Phoenix. By the end of the night, I think, I’d have to argue that my snapping technique wasn’t too shabby. I heard someone describe a good snap as being one where your behind smashes through the seat, and by that criteria, I had many great ones. My lower back, this morning, is bruised, even. I wish I’d ridden the Flyers earlier in the year, because I could’ve had so much fun.
We finished the night up by playing a bit of DDR in the arcade and otherwise making fools of ourselves.
Overall, the event was a blast. Still, for me, it felt as if something odd was afoot. Everyone mentions how important riding with friends is, and while I was there with my brother, I couldn’t help but feel ‘out of the loop’, so to speak. I don’t really know anyone from Coasterbuzz, I didn’t recognize anyone, really, and I was a bit ashamed of my brother’s behavior and my appearances (ha! Yes, I have issues), so I tried keeping to myself.
The costumes, too, were a bit odd. Some were fantastic, others a bit disturbing, and some, to me, detracted from the positive atmosphere of the event. Particularly, I enjoyed whomever printed up t-shirts that read, “Knoebel’s guest #328”(or whatever number) on the front, while the back read, “I’m not riding Flyers while it’s raining.” There were several other amusing RCT-isms, too. I caught someone else wandering around in a Nurse’s uniform, with green face paint, and impossibly high heels. I can’t imagine how he managed to walk around in those for several hours, and on uneven terrain, no less. There were, though, a number of costumes that negatively portrayed particular parks, chains, or rides, and that left a sour taste in my mouth. I always thought events were supposed to celebrate our interest in these rides, and it seems a bit counterproductive to knock other park’s rides, policies, or maintenance records while purporting to celebrate our hobby.
But, still, despite all of that, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The Flyers were fantastic, Phoenix was amazing as always, and it’s amazing how we didn’t need anything else to really enjoy our day. Thanks, Knoebel’s, for throwing the event, and thanks to all of the folks on the Flyers who let me study their technique, even from afar, for bruising my back, and showing me how to have a good time.
*** This post was edited by Chernabog on 10/6/2002. ***
It's a shame that you didn't get to meet too many people. I went by myself, just walked up to a bunch of guys at registration and hung out with them for the rest of the evening. I had a great time, and they introduced me to a lot of the other folks around the way. The events really are about meeting and talking as much as about riding. If you want a non-14 year old riding partner for some Great Adventure or Dorney (I'm in Princeton, NJ), drop me an e-mail. ;)
A rollercoaster? What's that?
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