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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013

TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013

ray_p ray_p Profile

Posted:
10/29/13 at
1:41:32 PM

I finished out my 2013 Amusement Park season on a very high note as my good friend Jeff M and I met up at Knoebels on Sunday for what I have to say was the best day I have ever had at the park. The weather was cool, the crowds were virtually non-existent (all rides were walk-ons except the Train and the Flying Turns), and honestly, how can anyone that enjoys amusement parks not have a great time at Knoebels? Ride reviews follow in no particular order.

Scenic Sky Ride- $3. The Sky Ride was not listed on Knoebels HalloFun map as being open, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it operating. With the fall colors still on display, it made for a awe-inspiring view coming back down the mountain. I have always loved Knoebels Sky Ride. It’s a long, relaxing trip that features some amazing scenery along the way.

Giant Wheel- $1.75. The Giant Wheel was also absent from the HalloFun map, but was taking riders for a spin. A sign noting “No SINGLE Riders” was prominently displayed in the entrance area as they of course are nothing but trouble. The cycle was about 8 revolutions which was nice and again the view was spectacular.

Carousel- $1.50. While I still think that Seabreeze has the best Carousel I have been on, Knoebels gorgeous machine is probably a close second. The ride is kept in immaculate condition and having the added fun of grabbing for the brass ring just makes this ride a blast. The band organ was also playing Halloween-themed music, which was awesome.

Twister- $2.50x2 = $5. Ever since my first visit to Knoebels back in 2001, I became one of “those people” that enjoys this in-house wooden coaster over the highly-acclaimed Phoenix. My two rides on Twister Sunday reinforced that fact as the ride was seriously hauling through the course. The laterals on this ride are some of the most intense I have experienced, and the train never seems to slow down until the brakes. If it wasn’t for Ravine Flyer II, this would probably be my #1 wooden coaster… it’s that good.

Phoenix- $2.50. With all that Twister praise out of the way, Phoenix is still a great ride. The airtime on this thing is just insane and it seemed to be running particularly fast. Again, it’s a great ride, just not as good as Twister in my opinion. ;)

Flyers- $1.50. Um, wow. Knoebels Flyers have to rank as one of the scariest flat rides on the planet. These things really move and when you aren’t even trying to snap the cables and your tub is twisting and bumping all over the place, you know it’s an intense ride. Jeff seemed to be twisted 180 degrees at one point while I thought I was going to end up as another decoration in the trees.

StratosFear- $2. 2013’s new addition was a great one. This park model ARM/Larson drop tower is identical to Waldameer’s and is every bit as terrifying. The view climbing to the top is outstanding (looking down on Flying Turns was neat) and the off-your-seat drop is truly nerve-wracking. This ride does seem to have the smallest footprint of any ride ever though. The queue is miniscule and the railing around the ride wastes no unnecessary space.

Pioneer Train- $2x2= $4. I’ve always enjoyed the Pioneer Train as it’s a nice long ride back into the woods of Knoebels. For Halloween, the park has set up some sort of story where aliens have invaded and it is up to Knoebels’ secondary park mascot Dexter to save us all. There’s a cute laser battle at the ride’s far turnaround and several small scenes along the way which add to the fun. I’m sure this is far better at night as it gets quite dark on the train route!

Antique Cars- $2.50. The Antique Cars also had some extra theming involved as the park uses them for a haunted attraction by night. By day though, you get to see all of the sets without the fear of having some teenaged rube jumping out at you. Knoebels Antique Cars have a nice long route under and around Phoenix, and the Halloween decorations made for an even more fun ride.

Black Diamond- $2.50x2 = $5. A new credit for me! I had heard a lot of good things about Black Diamond, and Jeff even said he thought I’d be a big fan after riding it. He was right. Black Diamond may not be a thrill coaster, but it certainly is a unique and fun ride. There are numerous set pieces throughout the “haunted mine”, all of which have an exceptional amount of detail to them. My particular favorites were a scene where an oncoming mine car of skeletons nearly collides with riders and the ending sequence with its disorienting vortex tunnel and collapsing beams. Major props to Knoebels for resurrecting an old ride and making it into something special… which is something they seem to do quite well!

Haunted Mansion- $2x2= $4. No trip to Knoebels is complete without a ride on their world-famous Haunted Mansion. Without question, this is the best traditional haunted house dark ride I have been on. There is so much to see on this ride that it’s hard to take it all in. From the minute you crash through the big wooden doors at the beginning to the last second evasion of a waterfall, there is one scare after another in this evil building. The snake in the clock gets me every time!

Flying Turns- $3x2= $6. Seven years in the making, Knoebels Flying Turns is finally open and I feel that it is a winner. I arrived at the park at 11:20 and met Jeff so that we could buy tickets and get in line for the Turns. We ended up being about the 15th or so people in line. At 12:05, the ride opened and I felt like a giddy school girl. When we got to the loading area, we were weighed and Jeff was assigned to the front car. I would be on the train after his and I was also assigned to the front. Anticipation mounted as I climbed the small first lift. Once over the top, the train slowly enters a downward 360 degree helix, picking up a bit of steam at the bottom. The train then climbs its main lift hill where it then begins a descending double figure-eight pattern. The train smoothly glides up the sides of the wooden chute and gains a good amount of speed before coming to a halt in the brake run. After that first ride, Jeff and I both said it was fun. Not mind-blowing or revolutionary, just fun. After we rode the Flyers later in the day, we noticed that the line was not very long at all for the Turns, so we bought $3 more in tickets and decided to give it another try. This time, we each got assigned to the last car on our respective trains. Maybe it was just me, but unless the ride hadn’t warmed up yet in the front, there is a HUGE difference between the front and back of the train. As the trains descend through the figure eight, it really does feel as if the cars are going to tip over at any minute. Now don’t get me wrong, Flying Turns is not my new #1 coaster, but it is insanely fun, definitely different from the other bobsled coasters I’ve been on, and will hold a special place in my heart as I had always wanted to ride Euclid Beach’s Flying Turns. Now I can say that I have ridden a genuine Flying Turns coaster and it was well worth the trip.

We ate some pizza, tri-taters and fries and I grabbed a birch beer, so I feel my visit to Knoebels was complete despite not having the Skooters or other rides in that area of the park open. Hanging out with Jeff as always was a treat and even though I will never do the 600+ mile round trip drive in a single day again, I am so glad I went.

Thanks for sticking with this and as your “reward”, here is my boring video of some of the park’s rides. It includes footage (perhaps too much) of the scare-free Antique Cars, the Pioneer Train alien invasion, Twister, Looper, the Flyers and ends with a way-too-dark trip through the Haunted Mansion.

Thanks for reading!

Re: TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013 by Coaster316 at 10/30/13 8:30:51 AM
Great stuff Ray. I enjoyed the video. I'll add a few comments.

ray_p said:

Carousel- $1.50. While I still think that Seabreeze has the best Carousel I have been on, Knoebels gorgeous machine is probably a close second. The ride is kept in immaculate condition and having the added fun of grabbing for the brass ring just makes this ride a blast. The band organ was also playing Halloween-themed music, which was awesome.

Loved the organ music. Was such a nice touch. I was also surprised at how poorly I did at grabbing the rings. I think I missed it three times during the cycle. Grrr...

Twister- $2.50x2 = $5. Ever since my first visit to Knoebels back in 2001, I became one of “those people” that enjoys this in-house wooden coaster over the highly-acclaimed Phoenix. My two rides on Twister Sunday reinforced that fact as the ride was seriously hauling through the course. The laterals on this ride are some of the most intense I have experienced, and the train never seems to slow down until the brakes. If it wasn’t for Ravine Flyer II, this would probably be my #1 wooden coaster… it’s that good.

That was the best ride I've had on Twister in quite some time. It was flying throughout the run. I'm so glad I got to get on it. btw, does that one sign in your video say to continue walking? :)



Flyers- $1.50. Um, wow. Knoebels Flyers have to rank as one of the scariest flat rides on the planet. These things really move and when you aren’t even trying to snap the cables and your tub is twisting and bumping all over the place, you know it’s an intense ride. Jeff seemed to be twisted 180 degrees at one point while I thought I was going to end up as another decoration in the trees.

I have no idea what I'm doing on those things and any swings I get are purely unintentional. There was one time, though, like you mentioned, where I was surprised at where I was. I looked back once and I thought you were going to nosedive into the ground because it looked like you were heading straight down. Fun ride.

StratosFear- $2. 2013’s new addition was a great one.

I've said this before, but this is the scariest drop ride I've done (along with Waldameer). My goodness I enjoy it.

Pioneer Train- $2x2= $4. I’ve always enjoyed the Pioneer Train as it’s a nice long ride back into the woods of Knoebels. For Halloween, the park has set up some sort of story where aliens have invaded and it is up to Knoebels’ secondary park mascot Dexter to save us all.

I still feel bad that neither one of us got our picture taken with Dexter earlier in the day. He looked so sad...and then he still comes back and saves us on the train later that same afternoon. He's a good guy.

Black Diamond- $2.50x2 = $5. A new credit for me! I had heard a lot of good things about Black Diamond, and Jeff even said he thought I’d be a big fan after riding it. He was right.

Haunted Mansion- $2x2= $4. No trip to Knoebels is complete without a ride on their world-famous Haunted Mansion. Without question, this is the best traditional haunted house dark ride I have been on.

Ok...I said earlier this year that Black Diamond was probably my third favorite ride in the park. I do love it, but about half way through our first run on the haunted mansion I thought to myself, it doesn't get any better than this. So, Black Diamond is my fourth favorite ride in the park. Still an accomplishment.

Flying Turns- $3x2= $6. Seven years in the making, Knoebels Flying Turns is finally open and I feel that it is a winner.

I echo your thoughts. The first ride was a lot of fun in the front. A different experience than anything else I've personally done. The second ride later in the back was completely different and really special. I hope this is a popular ride for them for some time to come.

Re: TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013 by drachen drachen Profile at 10/30/13 12:43:12 PM
ray_p said:

I finished out my 2013 Amusement Park season on a very high note as my good friend Jeff M and I met up at Knoebels on Sunday for what I have to say was the best day I have ever had at the park. The weather was cool, the crowds were virtually non-existent (all rides were walk-ons except the Train and the Flying Turns), and honestly, how can anyone that enjoys amusement parks not have a great time at Knoebels? Ride reviews follow in no particular order.

Yep... no better way to end the park season - an empty Knoebels! I'm a little jealous.

ray_p said:

Scenic Sky Ride- $3. The Sky Ride was not listed on Knoebels HalloFun map as being open, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it operating. With the fall colors still on display, it made for a awe-inspiring view coming back down the mountain. I have always loved Knoebels Sky Ride. It’s a long, relaxing trip that features some amazing scenery along the way.

The Knoebels Sky Ride is such a special ride - there's no better way to climb a mountain! I'm glad you got to ride it in the fall. I was hoping to do the same when I went the previous weekend. But it was closed.

I'm glad you were able to get on two rides that are typically closed. Too bad the bumper cars weren't one of them...

ray_p said:

Carousel- $1.50. While I still think that Seabreeze has the best Carousel I have been on, Knoebels gorgeous machine is probably a close second. The ride is kept in immaculate condition and having the added fun of grabbing for the brass ring just makes this ride a blast. The band organ was also playing Halloween-themed music, which was awesome.

You know? In four Knoebels visits this year, I only took one carousel ride - and it wasn't even on an outer horse. I enjoyed it just the same. The workmanship on that ride is really second to none.

I hear ya' about the Seabreeze carousel, but for me it sits in a close third position, behind the two with the rings.

ray_p said:

Twister- $2.50x2 = $5. Ever since my first visit to Knoebels back in 2001, I became one of “those people” that enjoys this in-house wooden coaster over the highly-acclaimed Phoenix. My two rides on Twister Sunday reinforced that fact as the ride was seriously hauling through the course. The laterals on this ride are some of the most intense I have experienced, and the train never seems to slow down until the brakes. If it wasn’t for Ravine Flyer II, this would probably be my #1 wooden coaster… it’s that good.

Phoenix- $2.50. With all that Twister praise out of the way, Phoenix is still a great ride. The airtime on this thing is just insane and it seemed to be running particularly fast. Again, it’s a great ride, just not as good as Twister in my opinion. ;)

Phoenix is my favorite wooden coaster, hands down. But I totally understand how you and some others can say they like Twister more. It's probably a lot like how I think Legend is better than Voyage.

Twister blends great drops and hills with fantastic turns. It's really an excellent wooden coaster - the ying to Phoenix's yang.

ray_p said:

Flyers- $1.50. Um, wow. Knoebels Flyers have to rank as one of the scariest flat rides on the planet. These things really move and when you aren’t even trying to snap the cables and your tub is twisting and bumping all over the place, you know it’s an intense ride. Jeff seemed to be twisted 180 degrees at one point while I thought I was going to end up as another decoration in the trees.

I love the long ride cycle they give you too. My two daughters love this ride - which means I get to ride twice usually.

There is nothing like the Knoebels Flyers. The "knockoffs" are fun, but they aren't Knoebels fun.

ray_p said:

StratosFear- $2. 2013’s new addition was a great one. This park model ARM/Larson drop tower is identical to Waldameer’s and is every bit as terrifying. The view climbing to the top is outstanding (looking down on Flying Turns was neat) and the off-your-seat drop is truly nerve-wracking. This ride does seem to have the smallest footprint of any ride ever though. The queue is miniscule and the railing around the ride wastes no unnecessary space.

The view on this thing is great no matter where you sit. But it is neat to look straight down on to Flying Turns.

You said it, but I'll say it again. The Larson/ARM drop towers are simply fantastic. Each of the three I've ridden is better than most.

ray_p said:

Pioneer Train- $2x2= $4. I’ve always enjoyed the Pioneer Train as it’s a nice long ride back into the woods of Knoebels. For Halloween, the park has set up some sort of story where aliens have invaded and it is up to Knoebels’ secondary park mascot Dexter to save us all. There’s a cute laser battle at the ride’s far turnaround and several small scenes along the way which add to the fun. I’m sure this is far better at night as it gets quite dark on the train route!

My main regret from the recent evening I spent at Knoebels. We ran out of time for the train. I really wanted a haunted, dark, spooky Halloween train ride. Perhaps next year.

ray_p said:

Antique Cars- $2.50. The Antique Cars also had some extra theming involved as the park uses them for a haunted attraction by night. By day though, you get to see all of the sets without the fear of having some teenaged rube jumping out at you.

The haunted Gasoline Alley was not what I expected. I took my kids on it - mistake. I loved it. Yet another great idea by the Knoebels staff.

ray_p said:

Black Diamond- $2.50x2 = $5. A new credit for me! I had heard a lot of good things about Black Diamond, and Jeff even said he thought I’d be a big fan after riding it. He was right. Black Diamond may not be a thrill coaster, but it certainly is a unique and fun ride. There are numerous set pieces throughout the “haunted mine”, all of which have an exceptional amount of detail to them. My particular favorites were a scene where an oncoming mine car of skeletons nearly collides with riders and the ending sequence with its disorienting vortex tunnel and collapsing beams. Major props to Knoebels for resurrecting an old ride and making it into something special… which is something they seem to do quite well!

Overall, I think Black Diamond is the best attraction at Knoebels. The ride has no flaws in my view. It's incredibly fun, spooky, disorienting, funny, and vintage.

ray_p said:

Haunted Mansion- $2x2= $4. No trip to Knoebels is complete without a ride on their world-famous Haunted Mansion. Without question, this is the best traditional haunted house dark ride I have been on. There is so much to see on this ride that it’s hard to take it all in. From the minute you crash through the big wooden doors at the beginning to the last second evasion of a waterfall, there is one scare after another in this evil building. The snake in the clock gets me every time!

Best attraction #2 at Knoebels. I ride at least once a visit. It was particularly fun this year with my 5 year old daughter on my lap, occasionally peaking what was going on around us.

ray_p said:

Flying Turns- $3x2= $6. Seven years in the making, Knoebels Flying Turns is finally open and I feel that it is a winner. I arrived at the park at 11:20 and met Jeff so that we could buy tickets and get in line for the Turns. We ended up being about the 15th or so people in line. At 12:05, the ride opened and I felt like a giddy school girl. When we got to the loading area, we were weighed and Jeff was assigned to the front car. I would be on the train after his and I was also assigned to the front. Anticipation mounted as I climbed the small first lift. Once over the top, the train slowly enters a downward 360 degree helix, picking up a bit of steam at the bottom. The train then climbs its main lift hill where it then begins a descending double figure-eight pattern. The train smoothly glides up the sides of the wooden chute and gains a good amount of speed before coming to a halt in the brake run. After that first ride, Jeff and I both said it was fun. Not mind-blowing or revolutionary, just fun. After we rode the Flyers later in the day, we noticed that the line was not very long at all for the Turns, so we bought $3 more in tickets and decided to give it another try. This time, we each got assigned to the last car on our respective trains. Maybe it was just me, but unless the ride hadn’t warmed up yet in the front, there is a HUGE difference between the front and back of the train. As the trains descend through the figure eight, it really does feel as if the cars are going to tip over at any minute. Now don’t get me wrong, Flying Turns is not my new #1 coaster, but it is insanely fun, definitely different from the other bobsled coasters I’ve been on, and will hold a special place in my heart as I had always wanted to ride Euclid Beach’s Flying Turns. Now I can say that I have ridden a genuine Flying Turns coaster and it was well worth the trip.

I have yet to experience the front. But the back is pretty wild. On my back seat ride, my friend and his kid were in the front, and it looked like they were getting some pretty serious wall time. It probably helped to have a 200 pound person in the each of the other two cars.

That's yet another of the great things about Flying Turns. Rest assured, no two rides will be be the same, as conditions and weight will allow for different experiences.

ray_p said:

We ate some pizza, tri-taters and fries and I grabbed a birch beer, so I feel my visit to Knoebels was complete despite not having the Skooters or other rides in that area of the park open. Hanging out with Jeff as always was a treat and even though I will never do the 600+ mile round trip drive in a single day again, I am so glad I went.

I can't go without eating a prime rib sandwich. I love the fries too, but not at Phoenix Junction. I can easily spend more money on food than rides at Knoebels.

ray_p said:

Thanks for sticking with this and as your “reward”, here is my boring video of some of the park’s rides. It includes footage (perhaps too much) of the scare-free Antique Cars, the Pioneer Train alien invasion, Twister, Looper, the Flyers and ends with a way-too-dark trip through the Haunted Mansion.

Sticking with it? Hardly...

Your trip reports are always easy and fun to read. Thanks for posting the video too. I'm always a big fan of them.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Friend me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013 by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 10/30/13 12:47:29 PM
Pretty good TR from a Giddy School Girl :)

Thanks :)

Charles Nungester 323 coasters and holding for two years now LOL Last coaster ride. HWN 2011
Re: TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013 by ray_p ray_p Profile at 10/30/13 4:31:01 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. I have added some comments below.

Coaster316 said:

That was the best ride I've had on Twister in quite some time. It was flying throughout the run. I'm so glad I got to get on it. btw, does that one sign in your video say to continue walking? :)

Yes Jeff, it certainly does say that! I proceeded to the very last section of the exit ramp and stood underneath the walkway so that I wasn’t in anyone’s way. Yeah, that’s it. I was definitely not trying to hide from the ride ops that were telling other folks to keep moving. Not at all. ;)

Coaster316 said:

I still feel bad that neither one of us got our picture taken with Dexter earlier in the day. He looked so sad...and then he still comes back and saves us on the train later that same afternoon. He's a good guy.

I know. We did just kind of blow him off. I got all excited seeing Kozmo and Kreeper and then I just sort of said “Oh, hey Dexter”. He could have not saved us from the aliens, but being the good raccoon that he is, he saved us not once, but twice from certain annihilation!

Coaster316 said:

Ok...I said earlier this year that Black Diamond was probably my third favorite ride in the park. I do love it, but about half way through our first run on the haunted mansion I thought to myself, it doesn't get any better than this.

Agreed. It doesn’t get much better than that. Haunted Mansion is truly a masterpiece. Looking forward to hanging the ornament on my Christmas tree this year… even if it was more expensive than the others. :)

drachen said:

The Knoebels Sky Ride is such a special ride - there's no better way to climb a mountain! I'm glad you got to ride it in the fall. I was hoping to do the same when I went the previous weekend. But it was closed.

I wonder if it’s only open Sundays during the day? Like I mentioned, I went in to Sunday thinking it wouldn’t be open, but lo and behold, it was running. The ride is a perfect fit for Knoebels. They did an incredible job of creating a great family ride with some spectacular views. It’s a ride that is definitely worth the $3 price tag (for those who don’t buy the all-day pass).

drachen said:
Phoenix is my favorite wooden coaster, hands down. But I totally understand how you and some others can say they like Twister more. It's probably a lot like how I think Legend is better than Voyage.

Twister blends great drops and hills with fantastic turns. It's really an excellent wooden coaster - the ying to Phoenix's yang.

If it makes you feel any better, I thought Legend was better than Raven when I first rode back in 2005. That earned me some evil glares from some of the enthusiast folks! I think I like coasters with a real “out-of-control” feeling best. Voyage had it on my last visit to HW in 2006 (Voyage’s first year), Ravine Flyer II definitely has it, and Twister also gives you that sensation that you are never going to slow down. To me, that’s what makes it awesome. Also agree that it’s cool that Knoebels has two great but totally different wood coasters.

drachen said:

There is nothing like the Knoebels Flyers. The "knockoffs" are fun, but they aren't Knoebels fun.

You got that right!

drachen said:
The haunted Gasoline Alley was not what I expected. I took my kids on it - mistake. I loved it. Yet another great idea by the Knoebels staff.

I know it’s pretty dark back there at night, so I’m sure the Haunted Cars are quite creepy. We noticed several spots where it looks like people jump out at you or come running at the car. Based on the set pieces by day, it looks like the park put a lot of effort into this. Good to hear it paid off. :)

drachen said:
Overall, I think Black Diamond is the best attraction at Knoebels. The ride has no flaws in my view. It's incredibly fun, spooky, disorienting, funny, and vintage.

Again I agree. Like the Haunted Mansion, Black Diamond is brimming with detail. On my second ride I noticed things I didn’t even see on my first, and I still probably haven’t seen everything. I told Jeff it reminded me a lot of Blazing Fury at Dollywood.

drachen said:

That's yet another of the great things about Flying Turns. Rest assured, no two rides will be be the same, as conditions and weight will allow for different experiences.

Despite being weighed, I didn’t even think about that. I’m sure that depending on how the riders are arranged, each ride will be slightly different. I’m hoping I get to ride in the back car again on my next visit… which I have to make sure isn’t 5 years off again!

drachen said:
Sticking with it? Hardly...

Your trip reports are always easy and fun to read. Thanks for posting the video too. I'm always a big fan of them.

And ditto on yours drachen. Thank you for the compliments.

And finally,

CoasterFanatic said:

Pretty good TR from a Giddy School Girl :)

I have no shame in admitting that either, Chuck. :) To be honest though, anytime I am at Knoebels, I get that giddy feeling. I adore the park and only wish it was closer to me!

Re: TR and video: Knoebels 10/27/2013 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 10/31/13 10:38:16 PM
Excellent report and video. Every time I visit Knoebles, I tend to enjoy it more and more. Twister was running superb this fall. I could see why some people rank it so high. That's great to hear that Flying Turns is running so well. If it wasn't for the brass ring, I would agree with you about the carousel at Seabreeze. Both carousels are gorgeous. As for the flyers, Knoebles are the best, but there are some out there that are pretty good also. I was super impressed with Black Diamond also. Knoebles has done a great job with it. We rode Looper for the first time this fall and we loved that ride. I also agree about Stratosfear. It was better than I was expecting. Knoebles is now a must visit for us next year. I can't wait to ride Flying Turns.