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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016

Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016

Posted: 8/8/16 at 10:27:45 PM
Views: 4176

I'm embarrassed to say that this was my first visit of the year. I'm usually good for four yearly visits to Knoebels. I still plan to get there at least three more times.

- As Knoebels sits a little under two hours from my house, I don't typically spend an entire day at the park. However, for the first time in a long time, we spent all 12 hours there. I wish the day would have lasted longer.

- Rides for the day, in this order. (No, I didn't keep track throughout the day. I just like the mind exercise of trying to remember things in reverse order...). * = First time

Flying Turns
Looper*
Phoenix
Antique Cars
Giant Flume
Grand Carousel
Giant Wheel
Skloosh
-- Crystal Pool Break --
Merry Mixer
Down Draft
Scenic Skyway
Italian Trapeze
Satellite*
Bumper Cars
Haunted Mansion
Black Diamond
Giant Flume
Phoenix
-- Dinner Break at Phoenix Junction --
Cub Cars (kids)
Cosmotron*
Kiddie Bumper Cars (Kids)
Helicopters (kids)
Space Walk (kids)
Panther Cars (kids)
S&G Carousel
Ole Smokey
Ribbit
Sky Slide
Ball Crawl (kids)
Kozmo's Kurves
Whipper
Pioneer Train
Twister
Flyer
Grand Carousel
Grand Carousel

- You may (or may not) have noticed that Impulse is missing. It ran only one car all day. Not sure if that's normal for a weekday, but the queue was mostly full. I wasn't willing to dedicate an hour waiting for it, so we skipped it.

- We missed StratosFear too. Not sure how that happened. Would have loved to have ridden Paratrooper and Roto-Jet as well - two more of our favorites.

- We rode Phoenix twice and noticed a lot of new wood. It's still running fantastically. It took me until the second ride to notice the new air gates in the station.

- Rode Flying Turns first ride of the day. Just a fun ride, start to finish. They do a great job of quickly dispatching trains. I just wish the line moved a little bit faster. But, understanding what it took to get this ride open, I'm okay with waiting for it.

- We rode Twister once at night - and it's also running great. What a punch it packs!

- Rode Kozmo's Kurves for the first time in years, as my youngest just crossed the 36" line. All kidding aside, it's arguably the meanest coaster at Knoebels.

- The changes made to Haunted Mansion were really neat. Well done. No spoilers here, go ride it yourself if you haven't already.

- For the first time ever, I rode Looper, Satellite, and Cosmotron. I rode Looper with my 8 year-old. That would be 210 pounds vs. 60. Needless to say, it didn't take much for us to get the wheel spinning. Now that was fun - especially seeing the fun in my daughter's face as we flipped.

- Satellite was really fun, and my kids loved it too - not at all nauseating in either direction. It's very fun when it's running vertically and horizontally. I don't see myself skipping it very frequently in the future.

- Cosmotron was... AWESOME! I rode it with my two oldest (8 and 6 years old). Fog, darkenss, all sorts of light effects, and of course music. As we started to move, the Foo Fighters' 'Everlong' came on, and we were rocking out for the entire ride.

- Another first time for us was taking in the Carousel Museum. I've always meant to check it out, but never got around to it. As one who really appreciates old carousels, I really loved the museum. I bought two brass carousel rings in the gift shop.

- We spent about an hour in Crystal pool. My kids love those slides sitting in the water. Water temp was very comfortable. I had a very proud dad moment when my 8 year-old got the nerve to climb up and jump off the 3 meter board - a big deal for somewhat of a timid girl.

- The Whipper cars look amazing after their recent refurbishment. I love that ride.

- I have no idea how to snap flying scooters. But as I watched my oldest in the one in front of us, she managed to snap hers twice, unintentionally.

- For the day, we took three Grand Carousel rides, two of them back-to-back right before closing, including the last ride of the night. I caught the brass ring on the first ride. My daughter, who for the first time was able to reach the ring dispenser, caught only one ring on the last ride of the night, and wouldn't you know it? It was brass. I wish I could have captured the look on her face when she realized what she had in her hand.

Looking forward to returning shortly!

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by MABrider MABrider Profile at 8/9/16 1:02:45 PM
"We rode Phoenix... It took me until the second ride to notice the new air gates in the station."

Wait, what?

One of the best things about boarding Phoenix has been the lack of gates. I've seen them dispatch trains as quickly as 20 seconds at PPP (helps when the riders know what they are doing) which of course having no seat belts and just buzz bars are big reasons for that. Hope those two things remain as they are.

Nice report on a "phull" day at Knoebel's.
Can't beat those Dad moments!

Mike B.
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/10/16 2:05:01 AM
Awesome report at one of my favorite parks. That's awesome you guys caught the brass ring. I have yet to have a shot at the brass ring at Knoebels and neither has any of my kids. I know exactly what you mean about Looper. I outweigh my kids by more than I'm willing to admit. They all argue about who is going to ride with me. I usually have to ride it multiple times, once with each kid. The look on their faces are priceless. Satellite and Cosmotron have become must rides for during every visit. I also thought Phoenix and Twister were running great this year. When we were there earlier in the year they were running 2 trains on Impulse, and there was no line. You literally walked on it. We had to skip Flying Turns this year, because it was the only thing that had any kind of line. We've ridden it several times in past. Glad your girls are starting to enjoy amusement parks with you. There's nothing better than spending a day at an amusement park with your kids.
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by drachen drachen Profile at 8/10/16 11:45:26 AM
MABrider said:

"We rode Phoenix... It took me until the second ride to notice the new air gates in the station."


Wait, what?

Yep. Air gates were added in the off season. I had forgotten about it completely, and didn't even realize they were there until I was seated for the second time.

That's likely a function of being accustomed to air gates on all coasters. Or the fact that they didn't seemingly impede operations at all at Knoebels.


One of the best things about boarding Phoenix has been the lack of gates. I've seen them dispatch trains as quickly as 20 seconds at PPP (helps when the riders know what they are doing) which of course having no seat belts and just buzz bars are big reasons for that. Hope those two things remain as they are.

I didn't get to witness two train operation that day, but I'd imagine that they can still dispatch trains very quickly with the air gates in place. Each time the train's restraints were unlocked, the air gates were opened.

Many parks will wait until the platform is clear of exiting riders before opening the air gates. Not Knoebels.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by drachen drachen Profile at 8/10/16 12:04:19 PM
frontrow said:

Awesome report at one of my favorite parks. That's awesome you guys caught the brass ring. I have yet to have a shot at the brass ring at Knoebels and neither has any of my kids.

Most people end their nights at Knoebels on Phoenix or one of the other coasters. More recently we've been ending our nights at the Grand Carousel because we all really enjoy it, and we can all ride it together, even my two year old.

As a result, the crowd just isn't there, and there are just a handful of people on the outside horses reaching for rings. So, the odds of grabbing the brass ring are better.

Both times that I've grabbed the brass ring, I was able to see it before grabbing it. When my daughter caught it, I could see it coming, and I remember thinking, "Come on! Grab this one!" Sure enough she did. I knew she had it before she realized it!

I know exactly what you mean about Looper. I outweigh my kids by more than I'm willing to admit. They all argue about who is going to ride with me. I usually have to ride it multiple times, once with each kid. The look on their faces are priceless.

Yeah, it was a blast. My middle child wants to ride it now. So, I will likely have to ride it twice next time. I hope I can handle that...

Satellite and Cosmotron have become must rides for during every visit.

Yeah, I don't see us skipping them again, unless time is really short. Both are unique in their own way. But I really had fun on Cosmotron.

I also thought Phoenix and Twister were running great this year. When we were there earlier in the year they were running 2 trains on Impulse, and there was no line. You literally walked on it.

I think if Impulse had two trains, it would have been a much shorter wait, and a much more tolerable one. There's just too much to do at Knoebels to dedicate an hour waiting for one ride, no matter how much I like Impulse.

We had to skip Flying Turns this year, because it was the only thing that had any kind of line. We've ridden it several times in past.

Same deal as Impulse. When I'm up at the park in the morning, I'll ride Flying Turns first. Otherwise, unless the line is short, I usually skip it. I'd rather not - I'd rather ride it a lot. But again, there's too much to do at Knoebels to wait a long time for one ride.

Glad your girls are starting to enjoy amusement parks with you. There's nothing better than spending a day at an amusement park with your kids.

Thanks Ken. It is a blast. Like you, most of my park visits are just the kids and me. I love spending time and making memories with them - something we will all carry with us for a long, long time.

My oldest is just about 54" tall. My second is just about 48" tall, and my youngest just crossed 36", as I mentioned. My wife and I are having our fourth on August 29th, so the process starts all over again!

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by drachen drachen Profile at 8/15/16 12:13:32 PM
We returned to Knoebels this past Saturday afternoon - 11 days removed from the previous visit. So as a result, I have some more no-so-quick thoughts...

- It was neat returning so quickly - I've never down that before. It felt like we were just there yesterday, even though 10 days had passed. I liked that feeling.

- Saturdays at Knoebels are crowded with people, but the lines are never really that long. It's a function of not offering hand stamps on weekends. Lots of people are in the park, but they don't ride as much because each ride costs money.

It's one of the many ways Knoebels is so great. At closed gate parks, most Saturdays, especially August Saturdays are unbearable. But I will never shy away from Knoebels on a Saturday.

- Weather was terribly hot and humid at home. But in that valley, the humidity was still there, but the heat was hard to come across with all of those trees.

- Here's what we accomplished in the 5 hours we were there...

Flyers
Roto Jet
Cosmotron
--Dinner at Phoenix Junction--
Giant Flume
Haunted Mansion
Kiddie Rides
S&G Carousel
Ole Smokey
Sky Slide
Grand Carousel
Pioneer Train
Scenic Skyway
Phoenix
StratosFear
Twister
Grand Carousel

- No Impulse again. I was surprised to see it still only operating one train on a busy Saturday. Again, I wasn't willing to dedicate an hour to it.

My conclusion is that there must be an issue with the blocking system. I understand that Knoebels will only operate it safely. And if the computers keep shutting the ride down when it runs more than one car, then they need to just run one car. I hope they can work it out soon.

- Phoenix and Twister also only had one train running when we rode, which I also thought was odd for a busy Saturday. I would think that on Saturdays, when each rider means money in the bank, that they'd want to maximize through-put.

I know for a fact that Phoenix had two trains running during the day, because I saw them take the orange train off while we ate dinner. It couldn't have been a crowd thing either, because as soon as they switched to one train, the line overflowed in the midway.

And when we rode the Pioneer train later on, Twister's line was almost completely down the ramp. Again, I found it to be odd that on a busy ticket-only day, that they wouldn't have these rides open at full capacity.

- We rode the flume with a full boat this time, and we got SOAKED. On such a hot and humid day, it was very much welcomed.

- The Pioneer Train at night is easily my favorite train ride found in an amusement park.

- I don't think I've ridden Scenic Skyway at night before. But wow, what view! I mean, it's an awesome view during the day, but at night, it's that much better.

- No brass rings this time on the Grand Carousel, but I did buy another one at the gift shop. It's now on my key ring as a constant reminder of the place and ride that I love so much.

- I tried the fried cheese. Maybe it's just that I'm not the junk foody that I used to be, but I wasn't a fan.

- I did get a Tiger Tail from Phoenix Junction (deep fried pretzel, rolled in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with chocolate and caramel). That was fantastic.

- I rode Haunted Mansion by myself this time, as my kid rode with my dad, and my middle kid chickened out after riding it last time. I love that ride, and riding by myself actually allowed me to take more of it in.

- Cute moment of the day - I took my two oldest kids on the Flyers right away. My youngest isn't tall enough to ride Knoebels' version (42"). But she really wanted to ride.

She spent our entire ride trying to convince my wife to let her on too, saying "But I rode it at Hersheypark!" (in her own pronunciation), which is true. Hersheypark's Flyers require riders to be 36".

At any rate, I thought it was a very astute observation from a 2 year-old.

- That's two trips to Knoebels for the year. Hopefully two more to go...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/15/16 2:20:25 PM
Great report. You can never visit Knoebels too often. I feel bad for daughter not being able to ride The Flyer, but I'm glad they do have that rule. Not only does Frontier Flyers at Hershey have seat belts, but Frontier Flyers are much more tamebthan The Flyer at Knoebels. I've seen small kids unintentionally snap the Knoebels Flyer. When we were there this year, it was so windy, empty tubs were snapping. Knoebels Flyer is one of the most extreme, thrilling, out of control rides in North America. That is very cool that she could identify the 2 rides were similar at 2 years old. Now you'll just have to take her back to Hershey.
Re: Not So Quick Thoughts on a 12 Hour Day at Knoebels, 2016 by drachen drachen Profile at 8/15/16 7:51:51 PM
frontrow said:

I've seen small kids unintentionally snap the Knoebels Flyer. When we were there this year, it was so windy, empty tubs were snapping.

Yeah, my oldest is 48", so she rides by herself, and she's pretty much figured out how to snap them. I still can't, though I don't really try since I'm always riding with one of my kids - who has to also steer.

frontrow said:

That is very cool that she could identify the 2 rides were similar at 2 years old. Now you'll just have to take her back to Hershey.

Yeah, it made me laugh. And made me feel like a proud, park-loving dad.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur