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Monday, October 8, 2001 7:05 PM
This weekend was my second trip to the Phoenix Phall Phunfest (and 4th trip to Knoebels).  I'd had an absolute blast last year, and couldn't wait to return.  I was actually a little anxious going in, as I was taking some Knoebels Knewbies (Steve & Lori) with me, and I was getting a bit worried that the park would somehow fail to live up to the hype I was giving it.

I needn't have worried. :)

Packing my bag Friday night, I'd checked the weather forecast to see showers in the morning, with the weather clearing up in the afternoon, but staying cool all day.  That forecast turned out to be a tad pessimistic.  The sun came out and stayed out during our drive over on Saturday morning, and it actually even warmed up a bit as the afternoon went on.  I'd started out wearing my Nitro T-shirt, a flannel shirt over that, and a hooded Knoebels sweatshirt over that.  I also had the outer shell from my ski jacket in the car, in case I needed it.  By mid-afternoon the hoodie was off and the flannel was unbuttoned (later in the evening I'd have the sweatshirt back on and be wearing my gloves, but I never did get the ski shell)  The end result was PERFECT fall coaster'ing weather.

We arrived at the park around 1pm to see the same conditions I'd seen last year.  The parking lot was pretty full, far more than a "normal" day at Knoebels, but most of the people where there for the Covered Bridge festival, NOT the park itself.  We walked in, fighting our way a bit through the festival crowds, and grabbed a quick lunch (in my case a cheeseburger and caramel apple chips, after discovering that Totem Treats -- where they sell Cheese on a Stick -- was closed since the workers were located at a stand in the fair instead.)  We each got a $10 book of tickets, and it was time to ride.  (Knoebels is open during the day of PPP, not just that evening for the event, but on a tickets-only basis, no Pay-One-Price).

As for the park itself, well, it's Knoebels in the fall.  If you've been there, that about sums it up.  If you haven't, then all I can really say is you owe it to yourself to check the park out if you're a fan of woodies at all.  If you're a steel fetishist, then Knoebels won't be your bag.

Lori wanted to make Phoenix her 100th coaster, but her count was at 98.  That meant we just HAD to ride something else first.  We couldn't convince her to try High Speed Thrill Coaster or Whirlwind, so Twister it was.  We ended up taking 3 laps on this (once during the day, twice during PPP).  I'm not sure if the coaster is actually running better, or if it's just me, but this woodie continues to grow on me.  I liked it from the first time I rode it, but it's getting better and better in my eyes.  It's not as intense as, say, Holiday World's Legend, but WOW is it fun.

The other woodie at Knoebels is, of course, the Phoenix.  This is the little woodie that could.  The airtime is phabulous.  Coming off of Phoenix for the first time, both Lori and Steve were just laughing and smiling.  My brother and I would end up with 8 laps on Phoenix, while Lori and Steve landed 10 (slipping around a few times while Matt and I were waiting it out for the "ejector seat").  Lori's 100th coaster was a big hit :)

Whirlwind was another story, though.  We got on this after the first lap on Phoenix, before PPP had started.  This would be the only time we got on, and it turned out to be a double lap when the ops let us go again.  We appreciated the friendliness, but the 2 laps proved to be enough :)

Knoebels final coaster, the diminutive High Speed Thrill Coaster, is interesting.  It looks like a "kiddie coaster", but has a bit of a kick.  We got on this twice, once during the day and once during the evening.  The first time on, the operator let us go around 7 times.  The 2nd time, was during PPP.  The operator let us go around 3 laps (which is typical), stopped us, got us chanting to go again, and sent us around again for 3 more laps.  So depending on how you want to count, that's 2, 3, 4.33, or 13 rides ;)

But the coasters aren't the only reason to attend Knoebels, or PPP.  The Bumper Cars are another main attraction.  These are good, heavy, old Lusse Skooters.  Collisions on these can be downright brutal, and with a bunch of enthusiasts on board, well...  Wow.

Then there's the Flyers (which we had some trouble with, actually, but that may be because Matt and I got in the same car, and had too much weight in there to get any really good snaps going... ;) ).  The old Carousel complete with rings.  The Haunted House (a VERY good one).  Downdraft.  Power Surge.

Actually, a quick comment on Downdraft.  The first time I rode this was on the CoasterCon Add-On day.  I came away a bit underwhelmed.  It was fun, but didn't seem that intense.  Our ride on Saturday made up for that, though -- WOW.  What an intense little ride.

And, of course, no PPP would be complete without the pizza.  Knoebels has pizza that would be successful in a pizzeria, let alone as amusement park food.  Now I'm getting hungry... :)

And finally, the costumes.  The number of people making fun of Vekoma was amusing, although a bit sad for Vekoma (even if somewhat deserved).  Among the "costumes" saw were a shirt that said "Vakoma Enguner", another that said "Vekoma Engineering -- Oh, you wanted it to WORK too?".  Also my friend Adam was dressed up as an intentionally-disheveled "engineer", complete with thick glasses and clipboard, handing out "designs" such as my "Standup inverted boomerang" :)  Cool group costumes included the "Coaster Cons", "Coaster Chicks", ghosts of designers past, the Mice (Wild, Mad, and Crazy).  Myself, I just dyed my hair orange and black, although it looked more like red and brown ;)

PPP is one of THE premier annual events, and one that I'll be attending over and over again.  It'll be a long, cold winter until SRM... :)


"Beat the rush, sign up for your post-Mean Streak MRI now..."
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*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 10/8/2001. ***

Monday, October 8, 2001 7:15 PM
I agree Greg, I am completely hooked with this event just like I am with SRM. I'm DYING for next year! Was great to see everyone. I also wonder who the Grim Reaper will be after then.....:)
Not quite Cola, not quite Root Beer, not quite Asphalt!
Tuesday, October 9, 2001 11:06 AM
The Phoenix was phlying and the pizza was phabulous.  So glad we went and can't wait to go again next year.  You know it's gotta be a great time when you can tear Steve away from football the entire weekend.  Also looking forward to our first SRM next year.  Woohoo!!

Christ how do you kids do it

Tuesday, October 9, 2001 6:38 PM
i had a blast, for it was my FIRST coaster event, but most defenitly NOT my last! Phoenix was great, too bad I only got one lap on it, becuase I spent my day w/ Josh and he got me hooked on Twister! man that coasters amazing.. another great thing about Knoebels is the fact that they DON'T STAPLE!!!!! ONE click on Twister was awesome, except that Corey and Josh kept landing on my lap but that's ok...

anyways Greg, I was one of the coaster cons, don't know if i was that memorable or not but I was there, and WILL be there for next year's event... can't wait for SRM!!!!!

You ever posted on CoasterBuzz..... on druuuuugs!

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 7:38 AM
Another great TR by GregLeg.  Between you, Lynch, and jeremy this is becoming an artform. ;)

 No cheese on a stick?  Bummer.  That's the best park food ever.  I'm so jealous of everyone that got to go to PPP.  I saw a horrible movie (Zoolander) and went to a really bad hip hop show since my SFGAm trip got cancelled. :(


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