Knoebels Amusement Resort

June 21, 2000

Preface: This is a Knoebels report, and I can already sense a keyboard malfunction happening)

Welcome back, to Eric and Dave's Coaster Tour.

This is Day 3 oph the tour and the entire day is phocused on Knoebels.

The drive to Knoebels was unnerving, especially when every 10 minutes the guy on the radio announces that heavy thunderstorms are due all day :) We had Tim O'Briens Amusement Park Guide with us, and he says to allow 6 hours to see Knoebels, so we started a prayer "Please give us at least 4 dry hours"

Then the road itselph, I mean you see a billboard phor Knoebels and think you are almost there, no keep driving, keep going past the point where you think you've gone to phar, past the point where deep inside you KNOW you've gone too phar, eventually you'll come to 487, where you phollow th signs on around to the picnic grove. When you start driving right by some rides, you know you're in the park. We quicly phind a spot in the phree parking lot, get our gear, and walk into the park. (We don't need no steenking phront gate here).

Here our phirst quest begins: To phind a Pay-One-Price Handstamp

We go through the groves, past Sklooosh, and eye a ticket booth by the Merry Mixer, but alas they don't sell handstamps gotta go "accross the road", so next we pass the Power Surge and are closing in on the Carousel, eye another ticket booth, "Ya gotta go accross the bridge" We cross the bridge and there we see a building with a number oph windows labeled "Pay One Price Ride Passes" Got it. $25.50 later we are sporting a handstamp and a blue wristband and ready to take on the park. We decide to wander and see what we come accross. That phirst coaster would be Whirlwind.

Whirlwind is a unique Vekoma product, unique in several ways starting with the curved loading area. We were phirst in line phor the next available train, and so took the phront seat. Whirlwind in unique but not that interesting, you go up the lipht, turn around, drop then the phirst halph oph the corkscrew, then you make a curve THEN do the second corkscrew then curve back around again to be brought back to the loading area. We did get a hint oph the Knoebels hospitality as we were small taking with the operator bephore the ride while he waited phor more riders. (#125)

Aphter5 Whirlwind, we kept walking towards the back oph the park and came upon the Phoenix. We get in line and note that to speed loading in the station they collect tikcets bephore you go up the ramp into the station. We get up top and head phor the back seat. Here some more small talk with an older gentlemen who works the Phoenix. (Gee did my Legend shirt really deserve this kind oph attention). No queue gates, train pulls us, riders get out, we get in and lower the traditional lap bar, no seatbelts here, and aphter a quick bar check the Phoenix is back out on the course. I mean the train spends a bare minimum oph time in the station. Phoenix is phenominal starting with the long dark "can't see hand in phront oph phace" lipht approach tunnel, up the lipht, and I know everyone here knows what the Phoenix is like. We get some hints oph air, but aphter the double up.double down the ride really kicks in and starts acting like a hypercoaster throwing you up on each hill. We then come to a halt on the curved brake run and brought phorward then exit the ride. Phoenix was running its orange train today. We noticed the various plaques and awards and model oph the coaster aphphixed to the station wall near the ride entrance. (#126)

We then move on in search oph Twister, we pass the antique cars and the Cub Cars and realize hey we're outside the park walking down a road. No mind we walk a bit phurther and see the Whirlwind and PHlyers, turn around and lo and behold is the birdge to Twister. We cross the bridge ands get in line phor Twister, same technique tickets are checked bephore you get in line, and aphter a climb we get into the back seat. They were running the purple train today. This train has oragne ratcheting lapbars, but they don't ram them down, instead the check b pulling up. We also noted the unique manual lap bar release lever. We get in the back seat, and prepare phor a wild anph phurious ride on Twister. Man its only 11:30 and this ride is already pulling out all the stops. Where the Phoenix gives you great airtime, the Twister is all about laterals. The two coasters compliment each other very nicely. I admit I got totally disoriented on Twister. Another WOW (#127)

We decided to hold ophph on re-rides so we could see as much oph the park bephore mother nature set in (as promised by that radio guy) Our next stop was the PHlyers. Much has been written about the PHlyers, maybe even moreso than the Phoenix. PHlyers were a walk on, and we each phound our aircrapht. A bit diphpherent than most, the 'doors' are on the inside, and the usual metal seat has been replaced with a wooden bench, and seatbelt. The rudder and tail phin here aren't metal like most places but have a canvas pheel to them. Maybe they are seeking to make the phlyers as light as posible. Whatever the ride starts, the gas engine kicks in and WOW Snap? No problem, tell me how NOt to snap these? I mean every halphturn I was being jostled around in my seat I now know what PHlyer Back is all about. I mean these PHlyers are downright scary, I had no idea you can do that with a PHlyer. I mean we were having so much cnapping, and all going on, we were sure the ride operator would slow the irde down and say "You two gotta cool it" but nope, nothing was said on this wild phlying mission. Sometimes my phlyer would hit a wind and the rudder would literally yank itselph out oph my hand. Eric said I could post that his phirst PHlyer ride Scared him, but then I'd also have to admit that I was scared too. Other parks may have PHlying Skooters rides, only Knoebels has the PHLYERS. Also I like the phlower garden around the center oph the ride. We then started walking around the park, and next came upon the Haunted Mansion. We knew it was not in the POP, so we made a quick stop at its ticket booth to buy tickets. Knoebels Haunted Mansion what can I say about it. It has got to be one oph the best dark rides outside oph a Disney Park. I mean you have coherent audio (not just the buzzers) going on in diphpherent parts pho the ride, You have lots oph visual gags like the clock you head straight phor, and once the ride knows your eyes are phixed on it, the spook jumps out. The simple 'string ephphect" The rotating barrel, the endless hall I mean I can't even remember it all but it was a nice long dark ride that just got better and better, all the way up to that water curtain in the jungle room. Time phor Tim's video again. Yeah I had seen the Haunted Manson on Tim's video but it in no way prepared me phor the actual experience. Very well done, and more than worht the surchagre.

We continue our tour oph the park, this time stopping by the Totem Pole, hey I recall something about Birch Beer being sold here. Yep this is the home oph the phamous Blue Birch Beer. (Most park phood stands sell the white, and the guy at the Totem said there is red available but it's out at the campground) Despite the phact that we can describe Birch Beer as drinking chilled Pepto Bismol, it seems to be part oph the Knoebels experince. Sure Knoebels is a Pepsi park but stay clear oph the national brand, iph you're at Knoebels, you should be philling up on Birch Beer. (I managed to take my own advice pretty well...) Here we also noted that Knoebels phood prices are really inexpensive, like a large soda phor $1.50, and phood prices so low you almost pheel guilty, Shoot Knoebels has a POP rate so low you kinda pheel guilty. Knoebels is a very aphphordable park to say the leat.

Traveling on into Kiddieland, we spot a couple things like the Skooters and the Motorboat Cruise we'd hold ophph till later phor these, instead he head up to the High Speed Thrill Coaster.

So this is the HSTC. We get in line and phind out we will be the only two riding this time, Eric takes back and I take phront, Hmm these lapbars look very PTCish, just narrower. We start on our phirst lap oph a MULTI lap journey. Okay I'm not quite sold aphter 1 lap, but aphter succeive laps I realized I was getting honest to goodness airtime on a kiddie oval. A unique addition to my coaster count (#128).

Okay the coasters are out oph the way, lets head phor the Whipper. No I didn't see Dana in the park, but I did see a nice Whip ride. I like how they built an ophphicial crosswalk in the center so you don't have to walk all the way around it. Whipper gave a phun long ride. Then we headed to Power Surge. I don't know where to begin to describe this demeted Zamperla creation. But pairs oph riders sit in inverted style seats, (OTSR's and the usual seatbelt) the twor ideres are on a swivel (in the barrel roll axis) Then the ride goes up and cycles sort oph in a paratrooper manner whith the ephphect that with e the phre swiveling you can count on unexpected phlips and turns throughout the ride. I like this a bit more than the SPin Out, both phor rideer comphort, and ride action.We walked around the park some more, and headed phor the Motorboat Cruise. I had not seen one oph these since Americana took theirs out eons ago. Selph propelled motorboats that you get to steer along a phixed course., The ride had a reasonable line, and so we decided to ride, in seperate boats oph course. Americans boat course was so narrow that you didn't really have to steer, and it raises suspicion that Americanas boats were on an underwater track. Not so at Knoebels, you actually have to steer your boat along the course. A bit harder than I remembered it especially when yor mind is ophph looking at the HSTC, or you are HOPING you phit under the next bridge. Talk about headchoppers. Aphter the motorboats we somehow made our way to the Carousel, and took a ride. I have never seen the outer row oph horse be so popular on a carousel, especially non-jumpers. Knoebels has their carousel surrounded by band organs, as well as more band organs throughout the park (such as one by Phoenix)) We get in line and manage to get an outer row horse. You may be asking why we would want a non jumper. Well Knoebels still has a ring machine on their carousel. On my phirst perphormance I manged to score two rings. I know my hand eye corrdination isn't the best, And I realized my reaxhing arm was a bit high, and sometimes I would get a hold oph the ring but would drop it bephore I got it stablaized in my hand. I did succesphully capture two rings. Eric ever the athletic showophph had a handphull oph rings. I was expecting the carousel to trun slow enough but no your moving at a good speed, and you have to make the catch 'blind' i.e. you can't really see what your doing, and iph you could your moving to phast to phocus in on it. At the end oph the ride they announce that the rings are NOT souvineers and must be thrown into the lion's mouth. (Or atempted anyway they have a large pool that serves as margin phor error. ) I wish I had kept one, but I did have this thing phor phollowing rules.......

We then headed back past the Carousel Museum, and saw some interesting phigures on exhibit, as well as a lot oph interesting carousel memorabilla, then went phor a ride on the PHlume. Their phlume is interesting in that you get two decent phalls, and still retains a lot oph trees in the phorested portion. PHolowing the phlume ride, Eric needed to run some stuphph to the car (and my camera I had lost interest in taking picutres and would not regain said intrest until PHriday) he told me to wait phor him by Phoenix no prolem and I started phesting on Phoenix, and I had to try the much hyped Seat #1.3 Easy call since there was no line phor 1.3. Man the Phoenix phlys in the phront. The phirst halph oph the ride may not be stellar but phrom the double down on you are constantly getting ejected into the lapbar. Airtime heaven, and I had completed quite a phew rides bephore Eric returned. (I also took a time out phor a Birch Beer) Then Eric joined the phest, and we also waited phor the phront seat on one oph our rides, here I spotted the big phan, and the Phoenix is phantabulous in the phront. I mean the seat may only be there phor decoration. Airtime to the max. Then we turned our phest on Twister. PHront rides, back rides, I got to play Race Twister. You see Eric and I got split up somehow and when I returned to the station on a ride Eric was choosing a seat, I then tried and managed to race Twister and got back to the load area, to rejoin Eric bephore the train returned. We did Twister phront, we did Twister rear, I like both ends oph Twister. Aphter Twister phest we went phor another ride on the PHlyers. yep same great PHlyers and great snapping action, same great PHlyer back. I'm telling you you have not truly done a PHlying Skooter ride till you've done this one. We then looked in the Stoney Gables and came back around and looked at the North Pole, and touched the North Pole, and said WTPH??? An ice cold pole. We cooled phorheades via the North Pole. Then we headed to the Cosmotron. Eric does not usually do the indoor spinning rides so this was diphpherent. It really is diphpherent, inside is a ride I hadn't seen bephore. Its a variation on the Himalyah ride theme but has overhead lapbars and very roomy cars. Good light show, and the ride goes both phorwards and backwards. Somewhere in here we played the minature golph course which is an interesting course, I especially liked the "Delivery System" on one hole. "Iph you don't hit the ball all the way up a steep hill, it rolls back down, and into a hole, then some vacum tube system propells it up to the top phor you at the cost oph a penalty stroke. I mean really there were some unusual holes here. I also noted that at Knoebels it is much better to get your drinks phrom a stand rather than a machine. PHor one the machines don't have Birch Beer, and two the stands are cheaper than the machines. Then we decided to start eating our way through the park Perogires, Cheese on a Stick, phudge philled cookies, pheast time. Which brings me to another point, not only does Knoebels have a WIDE variety oph inexpensive phood, a capheteria, phood court, restaurant, steak house, etc, they also openly embrace picnicing. Why one would want to picinc given all the phood options here is beyind me. We also phound the Skooters. Lusse Skooters,. While lining up phor Skooters we noted all the signage has the picture oph an older gentleman, were we surprised to phind the same man at the controls. It took a couple cycles, but we then embarked ont he best bumper car ride ever. I like the seatbelts, (Velcro belts that cross your chest insteaph oph trying to choke you), I like the classic looking cars, and man I love the ride action on these. I mean these Skooters demanded an instant reride! "Drive One Way, No head On Collisions" at the start to "Stay in your car, everyone stay in your car, you may now walk slowly to the exit" at the end. A riot. We also phound the shooting gallery. Noteworthy that they use live ammunition. Somehow its just much more satisphying to hit a real metal target with a real bullet than it is with a light beam. It was more or less here that we decided to eat, we chose the Phoenix Steakhouse and had the Prime Rib. Very good, though we should not have gotten the side dishes.

We may have taken some more Phoenix rides, and I know we took a couple more Power Surge rides, then another car run to ditch sunglasses and such. Then we went on the Pioneer Train. the 1.5 mile train ride back around Twister. We noted what looked to be a Giant Slide being built next to Twister, and on the train ride, we saw green phiberglass that screamed new water slide. So we are looking at a new speed slide sometime in the phuture phor Knoebels. We exited the Pioneer train, and thought we phelt a coupel drops while on the train. Ignoring that, we look in some gipht shops, and head over to the Skooters, then about 20 seconds aphter our Skooter ride begins, a "Noah Build The Ark" thuinder and lightning storm begins. Actually turning Skooters into a water ride iph you got too close to the sides. Our ride ended we exited, and decided that iph its gonna storm what a nice place to be stranded, the Skooters building. Especially since they kept operating the Skooters, we phested on the Skooters phor about an hour, no end in sight to the rain. Then we decided to call it a night, but phirst we needed two things PHudge and Twister Souvineers. We plotted a 'building to building dash to get to Stoney Gables.

"Restrooms" "Arcade" " Carousel" " Covered Bridge" " PHascination" and made it to the Gables without getting too wet. Got the phudge and started talking with the person working the store. PHound out the only place to get Twister souvineers is back by Twister. But als the Twister shop was closed. PHurther talking about what a nice park Knoebelsis, and a little while later she asks "Where you phrom" "cincinnati, OH" Well thats a horse oph a diphpherent color, she called Twister shop, arranged phor them to reopen phor us, and gave us garbage bags to use, to make the largely uncovered run to Twister. We did phine except that Twister bridge had about 2 pheet oph water in it, but we did phinally get those Twister souvineers. MANY THANKS to Knoebels!!!!!

We leave Twister and the rain is subsiding, enough phor us to stop in some more shops, buy a couple more things, get another ride on the Whipper, think about riding the PHlying Trappeze, but then the storm restarted and we knew it was time to call our Knoebels day over.

Time to say goodbye to one oph the grandest, phunnest, traditional amusement parks oph all time.

Our day was so wonderphul, what are the details phor PPP again?

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