Knoebels 06/17/2014 June 23, 2014 damarksta Theme Parks After a day and a half at Hershey we decided to head north to the hills on central Pennsylvania and visit Knoebels! I’ve heard so much about this park but had never been here yet, so wasn’t gonna miss the opportunity to visit. The park is located in the middle of nowhere and as you can see by the parking lot being grass it’s got that local hometown fair feel. Even though its a small park they still have a smoking policy that big parks also enforce. Knoebels is also pronounced (Kuh)noebels. I originally thought the K was silent but yup learned I was wrong after we heard many workers say it throughout the night. With this park being located in the hills of central Pennsylvania they sometimes get major flooding. Here’s the markings from flood levels of the past. There are also other past flood markings throughout the park as well. Walking past the giant Ferris Wheel on the way in. Alright where to head to first? The Flying Turns??? As we’re walking to find the Flying Turns we walk past some live entertainment. Pretty neat that you can come to the park for free watch shows, and eat food all without paying for any rides. And we made it! This ride had started construction in 2006 but didn’t open to the public until late 2013. As soon as I heard it had opened I was dying to make a visit. It’s a traditional bobsled coaster with one important twist…. it’s completely made out of wood! An information piece right inside the ride queue showing the history of past Flying Turns coasters. Pretty neat that Knoebels brought back this classic ride. Due to the ride not being on a set track, they must pay special attention to the weights of the cars. You step on a scale before entering the cars. There’s not many opportunities to get photographs of the actual bobsled part of the coaster but here’s a shot I tried to get through the wood while waiting in line. Another shot of the ride queue again showing just how much wood surrounds you on this ride. Almost time to board! Our gates are assigned and we’re ready to fly! Coaster nerd shot of the first lift hill chain. Another close up of the chain. One of the trains climbing the first lift… prepare for takeoff! This ride has two lift hills with the second one serving as the main part of the ride. Hands up! Coaster nerd shot of the station without a train. And one with a train. 😛 Notice the wheels still making contact with just wood. Pretty neat. The final turn before re-entering the station. Again notice how it’s all wood. This flight is made safe by the Knoebels Safety Administration. 😛 Awesome that Knoebels never gave up on getting this coaster open for the public. And we’re off, time to fly! Swooping through the turns, the front car gets some serious height. Definitely a different kind of coaster experience and smoother than some steel bobsled coasters I’ve been on! The final turn before returning to the station. And we’re back from our flight! Pretty neat shot I grabbed here of returning to the station. One final look at the cars before exiting the ride. While making our way to the next coaster, this park has a lot of natural waterways that run through the park. We walk past the flyers that look as though they’re gonna hit the tree branches. I think I see our next coaster! The Phoenix is every year ranked in the top wooden coasters in the world, time to see what all the hype is about. Ride the Phoenix the world’s finest roller coaster. 😛 Looks like they’re having fun. A look through the wood at one of the turns on the ride. While waiting for the train to return, this gives me opportunity to get shots of the station brakes. The train has returned! It’s our turn to ride. Look at all the happy faces. The ride does provide truly incredible airtime. While I wouldn’t personally rank it in the top 3 of wooden roller coasters it is definitely deserving of a top 10 ranking. We’ll definitely return to this ride later for some more airtime fun! While making our way to the next ride, we see a sign for Pork Chop on a stick. This park has all kinds of different food options and is ranked at the very top every year for best amusement park food. Definitely a deserving honor. Oooh a log flume! That looks fun, let’s check it out. Since it was later in the day not many people were riding with the fear of getting wet. We enjoyed our ride however! The flume was pretty well themed too with rock work and caves, one of the better log flumes I’ve been on. I’m starting to see a trend here… everything at this park is awesome! I didn’t know we were in New York?!?!? 😛 Another food place with food from different locales across the world. Time for an indoor roller coaster. This ride is a mix between coaster and dark ride, not too many fast drops or anything exciting but plenty of things to look at inside. And we’re off on our haunted mining adventure! Knoebels does their dark rides very very well. Let’s make our way to the biggest wooden coaster at the park! Notice the old style covered bridge within the park. Oooh a Larson drop tower. We must make a detour to ride this! I’ve been hearing a lot about these drop towers lately. While they are not the tallest in height they arguably have the best drop out of any drop tower out there. You don’t hit the brakes until the very very very last second. Named the StratosFear at Knoebels, it was definitely one of the most insane drop towers I’ve been on. It still goes up slowly giving you that uneasy feeling and when it drops you feel as though it’s never gonna stop and you’ll go splat on the ground. Though it hits the brakes at the last second and you’re back on solid ground. Incredible! Again with the natural waterways. Ahh now what’s this mammoth coaster?!? Oh its the Twister! Neat ride logo sign as well. From the line you can see the tiny train. And by tiny I mean tiny. haha 😛 Twisting! Almost time to ride this bad boy! The ride maintains some serious speed. It never slows down! Another great wooden coaster here at Knoebels. As you can see by the blurry train it has some serious speed. Should have turned the camera on fast shutter. Oops! The Golden Bolt!!! Pretty neat part of the coaster’s history. The drop tower is lighting up! The sun is starting to set. Maybe we should check out the famous Haunted House here. Our unlimited ride wristbands were good for every ride but the Haunted House so we had to buy some old fashioned ride tickets. Look they even have 25 cent tickets. And here we are! And boy are they not kidding that it’s a terrifying adventure in the darkness. I ended up riding alone as the cars depart one at a time and only sit two people. Let me tell you this ride is pretty scary riding by yourself. Tons of moments that made me jump and at one point I was wondering when it was gonna end. haha Definitely worthy of the top dark ride ranking it receives every year. A nice salute to our nations troops inside the park. On the side of the building you can see they have a local church directory. Definitely has the small town feeling here in this area. Let’s try some of that award winning Knoebels food! And boy was it good yum yum yum. Interesting but neat way of dispensing ketchup, vinegar, and barbecue sauce here at Knoebels. Also notice the yummy looking french fries in the basket back there. Kiddie credit time! Two adults not permitted in a seat, but that’s alright as long as we still get to ride. 🙂 Behold! The only outdoor steel coaster at the park. 😛 Fun ride nonetheless and like all the other kiddie coasters in the area it cycles through three times! A look at the bumper cars over the way. This ride looks like a pretty fun kids ride. Let’s check out the other big attraction at the park. A ski lift that goes all the way up the mountain! We even cross the road we drove in on to get to the park. Climbing the mountain. And we turn around at the top to make our way back down to the park below. Notice the mountain views and views of the park below you get on this ride. Simply breathtaking. Knoebels all lit up for night time. The same sign from earlier all lit up at night. Let’s check out this classic carousel. Voted number one amusement park carousel by Amusement Today by a large margin. After riding it I can see why, it has a traditional organ still in operation and other neat things that make it stand out from other carousels…. Such as the rings you collect while riding! We played it as a contest to see who could get the most rings while riding. In order to prevent people from keeping the rings as souvenirs they have another little game where you try to get the ring in the lions mouth. Pretty cool, and I’ve never seen this on any other modern carousel. Knoebels invites local bands to play shows at night. Another cool way for your band to get more exposure and for Knoebels to provide live entertainment. Should we get a night ride on Flying Turns? A video showing all the work that was done to get this ride open to the public. Our flight is scheduled to leave on time. Prepare to board!!! 😛 As promised we return to the Phoenix for some night time airtime. Love the lighting on the wooden coasters here at night. The ride is still just as fun at night, and provides amazing airtime. Here’s the history of the ride. Pretty cool that a coaster from 1985 ranks very high in the rankings every year. It is also an ACE roller coaster landmark! Picture opportunity! This is what it really does look like while riding. haha 😛 What is this a coaster for ants?!?!?! haha jk A neat model of the coaster that I’d love to have at home. 😛 What an amazing fun park!!!! It truly lived up to all the hype and I can’t wait to return in 2015 when the park adds it’s second steel looping coaster Impulse!!! Thanks for an amazing night in the hills of central Pennsylvania Knoebels.