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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: Knoebels 9/14

TR: Knoebels 9/14

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
9/15/13 at
2:56:42 PM

I always like to vist a park and ride some coasters on the weekend preceding or following my birthday when it falls on a weekday. This year I did both.

Thanks to Jen, I was able to attend ACE's Riding Of The Bull event at GrAdv last Saturday. I had been debating with myself where to go for my POST-birthday jaunt. My main candidates were SFNE and Clementon. Early last week, I started also considering Knoebels, and it became a three-headed monster. I hadn't known that Ken (frontrow) was headed to Knoebels on Saturday until he posted here mid-week. He and his kids are terrific people and fun to hang with, and I found out Knoebels was offering their P.O.P with wood coasters included, for $36 (normally 41.50.) And other than gas, it only costs me a $1 toll round trip. So I decided on Knoebels. I planned to meet Ken, his daughter Hayley, and son Hayden near Phoenix' entrance around 12-ish, give or take.

That was unnecessary, as I felt a tap on the shoulder immediately after purchasing my wristband. Turns out we arrived at pretty much the exact same time..matter of fact, he was parked about 4 spaces away from me!

After he bought their bands, we headed to Phoenix. At the ticket booth there we bought the extra $4 worth of tickets each of us needed for later rides on Haunted Mansion and Black Diamond (neither included on P.O.P.) Oddly, Haunted Mansion was already taking passengers and had a large line a full 30 minutes before the park "officially" opened at 12.

We had two nice rides on Phoenix to start the day...the back was the better of the two. It remains as always, a smooth ride, a fun ride, a classic..and the lack of seat belts certainly doesn't hurt. We had another ride after lunch when we discovered they had put the other train on, and the best of the day near the end of the night in the back seat. I tell you, that line can look long when it's onto the midway, but they blow those trains out and our longest wait was less than 15 minutes or so.

The rest of this will be anecdotal, as my now-49 year-old brain doesn't remember the order of things. :(

Twister remeins my favorite coaster in the park. By the time we got over there they were running both trains. There's some extreme laterals on that ride, but to me, it's very similar to Lightning Racer in that it really gives the illusion of more speed than it's actually producing. Wasn't as rough as it can be..easily identifiable new wood likely has much to do with that.

We took one drop on StratosFear..low capacity, not very tall, slow climb. As someone said on my other thread, it doesn't really stop at the top and it's airtime city all the way down. Nice lighting package at night

No testing and very little activity around Flying Turns.

Hayley was a bit nervous about the Haunted Mansion..first time..but I think she enjoyed it more than she let on. The effects seemed to be timed better than in the past. I enjoy that ride a lot.

Knoebels' Skooters bumper cars get a lot of love, as they should. We only got one ride due to line length throughout the day. The only complaint I have about them is that there's too many cars in the circuit. Leads to more jams with less movement and slamming. Fewer cars would be more conducive to the desired...on my part anyway...mayhem.

We actually took two rides on the wonderful carousel. No one got the brass ring, but we enjoyed them. I'm conflicted about their carousel. I'm a firm believer that the only way to ride a carousel as an adult is on a horse that goes up and down. But at Knoebels, the attraction of grabbing for the ring is offset by the fact that all of the outside horses that allow you to grab are stationary.

Did a bunch of flats, including the Whip and Italian Trapeze (swings) with Hayden while Ken and Hayley rode Kozmo's Kurves. I believe they hadn't been on before. Neither had Hayden, but he was on 199 coasters and didn't want a kiddie coaster to be #200. He had a sign ready to display on his 200th. They were going to Dorney today, so either Stinger or Possessed will be more appealing to him.

Ken was kind enough to treat me to lunch. We were gonna eat at the food court by Black Diamond, but I just felt like a burger, and the only one on that menu was the Bison Burger. It was funny..Ken thought that was just a fun name for the generic burger, and didn't realize it's actually bison meat. We ate at at the food court by Phoenix, where I had a fairly decent bacon/cheddar burger.

I found some pinball machines..a rare occurence at parks...and played for a bit while the others went to the Roto-Jets. My skills at pinball have eroded along with my eyesight. But my Skee-Ball skills have not. I threw about 5 games, did well, and did what I always do with my redeemable prize tickets..gave them to a mom with kids who were obviously collecting tickets to win some junk.

After that, I met the others again. I wanted to ride the chairlift up the mountain, which is, for me, quite the scary experience. But that was outweighed by my desire for a coupla more woodie rides. We made it back to the chairlift ten minutes before the park's 8pm closing. But, because of the length of the ride (14 minutes)..they had already stopped taking passengers.

I enjoyed Black Diamond more than I did last year. There seemed to be more effects, all were working, and I was able to see them better from my vantage point.

There seemed to be an inordinate number of animals of the canine persuasion in the park yesterday. The park was crowded, but the lines were not long. That's the thing about Knoebels..it draws a lot of grandparent/parent/grandchildren-type families who fill the open areas, but are not doing much riding.

There's always an ongoing debate about buying P.O.P vs. individual tickets. I did the math. Based on the rides I went on I finished down by a quarter.

It was great to see Ken again. Third time this year, counting my abbreviated day at Hershey in June. Haley was with us at GAdv on Easter, but Hayden was not. His youngest, Hunter, did not make this trip, although all four of them joined me at Kennywood last year (also on my post-birthday weekend!)

So they're at Dorney as I type this, and I know they're having a blast. If I had a pass, I might have joined them. They expect to head east and to GrAdv NEXT Easter, so I certainly look forward to that.

Thanks for reading, folks.

Mike

* This post was modified at 9/15/13 3:51:37 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by boesball at 9/15/13 4:02:45 PM
Nice. It sounds like you had fun. Can you explain the brass ring system?
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/15/13 4:22:55 PM
boesball said:

Nice. It sounds like you had fun. Can you explain the brass ring system?

As far as I know, there's only two carousels in the US on which you can still grab for the brass ring.

About halfway through the ride, a mechanical "arm" is positioned within reach of outside riders. The arm is loaded with metal rings, an occasional one of which is made of brass. One ring sticks out at the end. Riders attempt to grab the ring with a crooked finger as they pass by. If someone gets a brass one, I think at Knoebels they get a free ride.

"Grabbing the brass ring" harkens back to the early days of amusement parks. The phrase has also become a societal metaphor for achieving great success in an endeavor.

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by MABrider MABrider Profile at 9/16/13 8:36:52 AM
According to the link below (Wikipedia, so take it with the proverbial grain of salt), there are 12 operating carousels with brash ring dispensers in the US.

I've been on just two: at SCBB and Knoebels.
SCBBs' has its outside horses moving up and down as opposed to Knoebels', so that adds to the required "motor skills" of the rider!
I've learned to give the dispenser the finger as I whiz by. :-) Use your middle finger to get the rings, because it is your longest digit and you can make a better "hooking motion" with it.
I've yet to grab a brass ring.

Grabbing the brass ring

Mike B.
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by Coaster316 at 9/16/13 8:43:14 AM
I've done the same two as you, Mike. At SCBB, I threw a ring back into the clown's mouth but the light did not light up. I was a bit sad, but being it was my birthday I pretended the lights went off and took it as a moral victory.

Ironically, the only time I've grabbed a brass ring was at Knoebels...on my birthday...some 15 years ago.

Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/16/13 10:39:41 AM
My bad. I thought it was just two, but I didn't do any new research before posting my answer to Tyler above. Knoebels' is the only one I've been on.
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/16/13 3:09:54 PM
First of all it was great to see Mike again, and an absolute pleasure spending the day with him. This was my 3rd ever visit to Knoebles, with my other visits in 2011 and 2001. I now have finally got to ride just about everything in the park.

Like Mike stated our rides on Phoenix got better and better as the day went on. Twister is running great, much smoother than my rides in 2011. The double helix has greatly improved. The coaster seems to running faster and more aggressive, but smoother. Twister is still a little bumpy, especially at the bottom of the first drop. All in all Twister jumped a bunch of spots in personal rankings. Knoebles now has 2 incredible wooden coasters again.

Black Diamond was a new credit for me, and I was extremely impressed. Knoebles has done a spectacular job with the theming and effects. I would actually qualify it as Dollywood/ Busch Gardens quality. Our ride on Haunted Mansion was my first ever. I thought it was really good. A very good classic dark ride.

My wife and I rode the bumper cars in 2001. I remember the bumper cars being very good. Now that I've been throughout the country riding bumper cars, Knoebles's are far, far, far superior to everyone else's. My wife and I also rode the Flyers in 2001. The kids and I took a spin again the visit. Knoebles Flying Scooters are still my favorite, but the flyers at Michigan's Adventure and Camden Park are a very close 2nd and 3rd. My kids loved the ones at Knoebles and really had them sideways.

My kids and I rode Looper twice. This was my first ride on this classic, unique ride. It was like Brainsurge at Nick Universe, but only better. Looper is phenomenal, probably in my top 10 all time favorite flats. On this visit I finally rode the carousel. Catching the rings is a blast and the carousel itself is one of the nicest ones I've seen.

I finally got to ride Power Surge and found it to be great fun. We rode Down Draft and Fandango, which are also great rides that we also rode during our last visit. Overall Knoebles has one of the best collections of flats. We also went in the carousel museum for a brief period. I just wanted my kids to see it.

We had a terrific time at Knoebles. We will most likely return next year if Flying Turns opens. I was so glad Mike decided to meet us there. The 4 of us really had a memorable day.

Ken

Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by MABrider MABrider Profile at 9/16/13 10:50:50 PM
I'm happy to read that Twister is improved. I will always prefer Phoenix, but I always take a spin or two on Twister and if it is smoother that's certainly a good thing.

Those Skooters are the best in the biz and among the oldest.
Being they are at Knoebels it's no surprise that those old-fashioned clunky cars work so well and look quite good as well.

The Flyers are also among the best if the op allows sna..uh, well, you know. Some do, some don't. Also, the rotation is the reverse of all (?) other installations...is why the tub openings are on the inside. Not sure how many notice that.

I'm looking forward to PPP to ride all four of the above multiple times...among other things...especially Phoenix at night.

Mike B.
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by Coaster316 at 9/17/13 8:10:25 AM
Glad you all had such a great time.

frontrow said:

Black Diamond was a new credit for me, and I was extremely impressed. Knoebles has done a spectacular job with the theming and effects. I would actually qualify it as Dollywood/ Busch Gardens quality.

...

I finally got to ride Power Surge and found it to be great fun. We rode Down Draft and Fandango, which are also great rides that we also rode during our last visit.

Ken

Fire In The Hole/Blazing Fury are two of favorites of mine and I agree that Black Diamond is worthy of comparison.

I didn't ride it on my visit Sunday, but every time I walked past Fandango I pointed at it and said, "It's Faaan...daaan....go". (/wrestling reference)

* This post was modified at 9/17/13 8:18:19 AM *

Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/17/13 9:22:00 AM
It's funny...I don't watch wrestling anymore but I know of Fandango. And I was thinking the same thing..especially while riding it!
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/17/13 10:01:05 AM
MABrider said:

The Flyers are also among the best if the op allows sna..uh, well, you know. Some do, some don't. Also, the rotation is the reverse of all (?) other installations...is why the tub openings are on the inside. Not sure how many notice that.

I did notice the inside loading, because my kids ran up to their flyer then just stopped and stared at it for a brief moment. It took them a second to realize you load from the inside. By loading from the inside, the ride op does not have to come around and check belts. He just starts the ride very very slow and looks at everyone's belt as they pass him. As far as snapping, I don't know how to. I can get really sideways, but I don't know how to snap. I have tried everything, but can't figure out how to snap a Flyer.

Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by MABrider MABrider Profile at 9/18/13 1:26:12 PM
frontrow said:

As far as snapping, I don't know how to. I can get really sideways, but I don't know how to snap. I have tried everything, but can't figure out how to snap a Flyer.

I'm no expert, but the technique comes back to me pretty quick.
Years ago, our own Chuck (coasterfanatic) was a master...especially on the Flyers at Kings Island * (now at Carowinds) and he could really put on a show...encouraged by the ride ops.
At Carowinds they also encourage snapping...last time I was there, anyway.

* see link below, starting at :20

see Chuck snap

Mike B.
Re: TR: Knoebels 9/14 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/18/13 4:31:45 PM
MABrider said:

frontrow said:

As far as snapping, I don't know how to. I can get really sideways, but I don't know how to snap. I have tried everything, but can't figure out how to snap a Flyer.

I'm no expert, but the technique comes back to me pretty quick.
Years ago, our own Chuck (coasterfanatic) was a master...especially on the Flyers at Kings Island * (now at Carowinds) and he could really put on a show...encouraged by the ride ops.
At Carowinds they also encourage snapping...last time I was there, anyway.

* see link below, starting at :20

While we were at Carowinds last month several people had their flyers snapping and the ride op was encouraging it. I couldn't do anything with the flyers at Carowinds. I couldn't even get sideways. The flyers seemed very slow, but some people knew how to maneuver them properly.