Did I mention to ride the Phoenix?
Don't pass the best bumper cars in the US, or the Whip either.
If the Chicken Fries stand is open, try 'em! They're delicious. Same with the corn nuggets, too. Actually all the food at Knoebels is great.
If they offer a ride-all-day pass buy it...you'll want to marathon on Phoenix at the end of the day.
Otherwise the only other tips I have to enjoy Knoebels is lather, rinse, repeat ;-)
Knobels: Everything mentioned before plus the carousel. Maybe the only chance left to grab a brass ring. Do not skip the ride throught fun house. The best old fashioned fun house around.
The nice thing about Knoebels, it gets busy, but never seems to be very crowded (maybe I just get lucky). Basically, there is no real stratagy to doing the park, as you really will rarely wait more then 10 minutes for anything. Just be sure not to miss anything, and rides are scattered all over the place with no real layout. Must rides are of coarse the Phoenix, Twister, High Speed Thrill Coaster, Skooters, Flyers, Grand Carousel, and Fandango (which, personally, is a close second to a KMG Afterburner, and blows the Claw at HP away).
Every time I have gone, it was very busy and I had to wait 30 minuts for the coasters. I guess that I was unlucky.
No one has mentioned the skyride yet. It is very exciting and unique, as it climbs up and down a mountian and you really get a great view of the park.
Now Hersheypark...WOW! It's a really large park. Every time I go, halfway through the day I realize that I have yet to do a lot the park has to offer. HP really can keep you busy, but do not skip out on Chocolate World outside the front gate, or the FREE tour ride within. If the tour is crowded in the morning, I agree that it is a nice thing to do halfway through the day to let it break up the park visit.
Have fun and after your HP visit, try to remember what it was like to not know that Hershey makes the best candy and you should buy it all of the time.
I was at Hershey over Memorial weekend and it was great. Lighning Racer you can ride all day with little or no wait. Wild Cat is a shorter, more intense ride, but wonderful. Great Bear is short and still one of the best inverts of all time. The mine train by Storm Runner is also a great coaster.
The biggest surprise was Storm Runner. Again short, but the first Intamin rocket coaster to give you a full preview of rides to come. Just fantastic, way ahead of its time. Storm Runner is quick to shut down when threatened by storms. Given its name you would think they would at least try to run it in some rain. You may want to check to see how Storm Runner is running before you go. Rocket coasters seem a little tempermental these days.
You may want to wear your bathing suit at Hershey. Raging Rapids, Roller Soaker and the giant flume are all packed together like a little water park. All are designed to get you soaked to the bone. Early in the day you can ride them all with no lines to speak of. Later in the day is a different story. *** Edited 6/13/2005 7:05:45 AM UTC by rc-madness***
--If it's really a hot day, take the train ride. The trip through the woods will cool you off just a little bit, if you're lucky you might even see some deer.
--If you want to get really wet, ride Skloosh, somewhat wet, ride the Flume. The flume also has one of the best observation areas of any ride I've ever seen.
--Do the Merry Mixer (scrambler)-- the ride cycle is usually at least half again if not twice as long as you get at other parks.
--Do the Skyride in the evening when the park's lights start coming on. It's a fantastic view on the way back down the hill. The Ferris Wheel is another great evening ride.
--I think everyone should be made to ride the Giant Rocket slide at least once too if only for the entertainment value for the people waiting at the bottom.
--Cosmotron is an enclosed Music Express ride that goes forward and backward and has some lighting/ strobe/ laser effects going on. More fun than the usual ME ride.
--Great old-fashioned Whip too.
Foodwise, depending which day/evening you're there, the Oasis (cafeteria) and the Phoenix food court have some great specials. Plus you can't go wrong with the pizza. Old Mill and the soft ice cream stand across from the Carousel are both great.
Hershey-- The other posters have given you good advice for hitting the major rides. I have found sometimes that by late afternoon/early evening that Midway America isn't very crowded, meaning lots of rides on Lightning Racer and sometimes even Wildcat.
--Great Bear at night is a great ride. SR is spectacular at night.
--Coalcracker Flume is a good flume ride too with bigger boats and a tall lift/drop for a flume ride. That will have long lines during the afternoon. Tidal Force is one of the tallest splashdown rides around.
Other fun non-coaster or thrill rides--
--Skyview is a fun relaxing ride too. Depending on the timing, Great bear might zip right in front of you. Kissing Tower is a space needle type ride with good scenic views of the park and town of Hershey.
--The monorail can be enjoyable too, although I only usually ride it during Halloween/Christmas events when the park is decorated. It does take you over the Zoo and past the actual chocolate factory.
Food isn't as good as Knoebels IMO, so it might be a bit of a letdown if you visit Knoebels first. But I agree with Blondee about the Pit BBQ. And it's in a low traffic area so it usually isn't as crowded as other places.
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