TR Knoebels & Hersheypark 8-23/25-02
My wife Kim and I had to go to a wedding in Shamokin Dam, PA and realized that Elysburg was only a short distance away, so we knew that we had to make the trip to Knoebels. Don’t you just wish that all weddings you have to go to were located near amusement parks? Anyway, after an 11 hour drive from South Carolina, we finally arrived at Knoebels around noon. I must compliment the park on its parking situation. Very fast, organized, and most importantly free! This was in stark contrast to what we experienced two days later in Hershey.
We bought ourselves a couple of books of tickets and immediately headed for the first of the parks famous woodies, Twister. Only one train was running, so it was a little bit of a wait but we finally made it up to the front and took a seat second from the front. Wow, what a great ride! Fast, smooth, and fun. I especially liked the double lift hills. They really helped add to the anticipation of the first drop. We later came back and did another lap in the back, which was just as fun and slightly more intense. Next we decided to take a lap on the park’s steel coaster, Whirlwind. As we walked up to it, we noticed that there really didn’t seem to be a whole lot to the ride. Drop, corkscrew, high-banked turn, and second corkscrew. And the ride was exactly how it looked. There wasn’t much too it but I could see how it might be a good starting point for someone just getting into coasters with inversions.
Well it was finally time to check out the park’s most famous coaster, Phoenix. As we walked up, we were greeted by a rather long line as they were just finishing testing for some reason but soon started letting people on. With two cars running, it was no time before we up front in line. We immediately went for 1-3 and luckily our first ride was in the yellow car, which we had heard was the faster of the two. The only thing I can say about this coaster is HOLY AIR TIME! This has to be the most fun you can have on a coaster as you are literally out of your seat the entire time. And it just didn’t look like it was the 1-3 bench either as everyone around us was up out of their seats as well. Just an awesome, awesome ride and one of our new favorites. We immediately went for another lap and once again got the yellow car and another great ride. I just wish that I could ride this during the Phall Phunfest. It must be a blast at night with the cool, fall air on you.
We had one last coaster to fit in, the High Speed Thrill Coaster, which did in fact end up being the most thrilling ride of the day ;). After buying a couple of shirts and enjoying some delicious chicken gyros it was time to go. By this time it was going on 3:30 and we needed to be back in Shamokin Dam, check into our hotel, get cleaned up, and be at a rehearsal dinner by 5:00. I really wanted to stay longer and check out more of the park, especially the Haunted Mansion, but we had to go. Maybe next year. All in all, we loved this park. It just had a great old-time feel to it, and the coasters and food were great. Hopefully when we movie back to Central PA in a couple of years, Knoebels will become our new home away from home.
We attended the wedding on Saturday, so first thing Sunday morning we packed up, checked out of the hotel, and headed south towards Hershey. The plan was to enjoy some rides until we had to meet Kim’s parents at 5:00 p.m. for a Laura Brannigan concert at the Amphitheater inside the park. They’re big fans. Anyway, we got to the park at little late (around 10:30) basically because we needed to get to a Giant store to buy discount tickets and I had forgotten that it had been moved to Cocoa Ave. So of course when we got to the park it was packed and the parking lot was as usual a total fiasco. Does anyone know why they can’t get parking down right at this park? And it’s been like this as far as I can remember, whether it be for the park or concerts or hockey games. I mean, there just seems to be a total lack of direction of any kind. Don’t get me wrong, I love this park but the parking just drives me nuts sometimes.
After entering the park, we immediately headed for the Sidewinder, as this was the only coaster that we didn’t ride the last time we were at the park, back in June. Even though the park had allready been open almost an hour and a half, it was a walk on. Boomerangs are probably some of the most intense coasters I’ve experienced and this one was no different. It’s just so disorienting going through the loops backwards. Still a fun ride though. Next we headed over to the Midway America area for a little woodie action. Up first was Lightning Racer. Now this is probably our favorite wooden coaster and both our rides on Thunder and Lightning didn’t disappoint. I love how smooth this coaster is! We rode towards the front both times and experienced some nice air that hadn’t been there the last time we rode each train. We then went next door for a lap on The Wildcat. We had experienced a little roughness the last time we had ridden it in the middle but had heard that it got progressively rougher the farther you sat in the back. We immediately headed for the very back and well, it was rough. Very rough in fact. Shake the teeth out of your head rough. And guess what, we still loved it. This is just a fun, wild ride. Who cares if it’s rough? Now if had been rough and boring, that would have been another story. We were looking to take a ride on Tidal Force this trip but unfortunately it was down. Maybe to conserve water? Who knows?
Well we had hit those two, so it next off to the Comet. We had had luck in 1-3 on the PTC trains of the Phoenix, so we tried the same thing on the Comet. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the same. In fact, it was nowhere near the airtime but we still love this coaster and will always look forward to taking a lap whenever we visit the park. After grabbing some lunch, we realized that we hadn’t yet waited in a nice long line all day. So it was time to queue up for The Great Bear. We hadn’t ridden this in the front yet, so we waited the extra 20 minutes or so for it. Now people give this ride a lot of flack because of its lack of intensity but let me tell you, I’ll take the least intense B&M invert over just about any coaster any day. I love these things and riding in the front is just one of the best sensations around. It’s just awesome to have nothing in front of you but the track overhead. Especially on a layout were the elements are as spread out as they are on this one. The close shave with the Sooperdooperlooper is always fun as well.
We went back to the Midway again for a final lap on Lightening Racer but unfortunately the rest of the park seemed to be lined up for it as well, so we passed. After I bought a new Hershey Bears shirt, we headed back to the Amphitheater to get in line for the concert. Although I’m not a big fan, the concert was still good and Laura Brannigan must still have some fans as the place was just absolutely packed. After the concert, we had to go as we still had to visit with my parents before we had to head home to South Carolina the next morning. Another great trip to Hersheypark that unfortunately will be our last of the year but we’re all ready looking forward to coming back next summer.
Yea, Twister and Pheonix rule... Twister had extremely close hand choppers... Those were the closest Id have ever seen, I really thought my hands were going bye bye... Pheonix is a differant story... Its pure bliss! That airtime is so outstanding, so strong, so ejector, so gooooood! Every hill provides air, even the hill into the turnaround gave some very intense air. I can't wait to go back.. Which might be to PPPP!
NITRO ~ The most EXPLOSIVE coaster on the planet!
Im not opinionated, im just always RIGHT!
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Pale Rider said:
Don’t you just wish that all weddings you have to go to were located near amusement parks?
You know, I once had to go to a wedding in North Carolina that was RIGHT by Ghost Town in the Sky, and had to drive past due to lack of time. Man that hurts, looking back...
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 9/6/2002. ***
Doesn't really matter how close they are... you may be able to make them close. My wife's cousin got married in June. Johnstown PA (where her cousin lives) is 150 miles from York PA (where we live).
We figured Johnstown is close to Pittsburgh, so we may as well spend an extra day and go to Kennywood. Since Pittsburgh is only around 2 hrs south of Conneaut Lake, figured we could swing up there as well. And sicne Conneaut Lake is so close to Erie, we may as well hit Waldamere. Looking at the map we saw that Erie is only around a 2 hr drive from Darien Center NY, so we figured we may as well stop by Six Flag's Darien Lake too. Our 300 mile round trip to a wedding in Johnstown turned into a 1,050 mile, 5 day, 4 park, 7 light house (my wife likes light houses), 1 wedding trip. Why? Because Pittsburgh is so close to Johnstown and "right on the way".
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 9/6/2002. ***
I like the way you think ;) Heh, my parents live in York! That also happens to be the site of our next wedding (for wife's brother) we have to attend/coaster trip next May. We figure that if we're going to drive over 500 miles north to see friends and family, we might as well hit Dorney Park, SF:Great Adventure, and SF:America while we're up there. And then, we might have to try and find time for return trips to Hersheypark, Knoebels, and Kings Dominion. Jeez, then again we might have to take two trips up North next summer.
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