Yep, its Eric and I again, out to battle the ever challenging world of amusement park visiting.
I'll spare the details about how I got there, where I ate breakfast, and what the breakfast was, etc.
Suffice to say that we pulled off of PA487 and onto Knoebels Drive, to find an already fairly bustling parking lot. Parked by area 7, and walked towards the park entrance. At first we breezed through the Covered Bridge Festival while noting how packed it already was. We knew we had a few hours to burn till we could actually ride someting, but instead of heading to Camp RRC, we decided to walk around Knoebels watching the park wake up. A brief moment of glee was quickly quashed when we saw a line at the Hand Stamp Booth, but alas they weren't getting handstamps, no these folks were Knoebelites picking up paychecks. It is one cool thing about knoebels to walk around the park hours before it opens just watching the park wake up, an each ride going though its testing battery. You just don't see that too often. We got around to Twister on our little pre-park opening inspection tour, and decided to take in the Covered Bridge Festival. Or at least the crafts show compnent, and man was it packed, consisting of all sorts of crafts booths, and several carnival style food trailers. (which we noted a lot of them were knoebels food). We watched the interesting apple cider machine, and soaked up the atmosphere. Then we found it.
THE MOXIE BOOTH!
And our soft drink world will never be the same again. At the corner of a sales table of all things Moxie (souvineers, cans bottles, that is), they had a soda fountain which just Moxie in it. Scorning our chance tog et off cheap with a free sample, we each bought a 12oz. Moxie for $1.00 each. We shoulda known when the sales person wanted us to taste it at his booth "to see our reactions" At first it was as sweet as Root Beer, but then Whamo the worlds awfullest, I can't describe it aftertaste hits. I had two glasses of Moxie, my first and last, combined in the same 12 oz. glass!. I managed to finsih mine, and Eric's went in the nearest garbage container. After wandering about the Covered Bridge Festival, and then watching 1001 Nachts get woken up, then more CBF, then we noted the Boat Tag was open. You can't mistake the sound of that attraction. With it the Ride Ticket boths opened, "No Handstamps Today". We each bought two $10 books and took another walking tour of the park. but it seems the rides would have a staggered start, so after walking around a bit, we noted the Grand Carousel was running.
Knoebels Carousel is fine example of carousel art, and at 70 cents, very affordable, it also has a ring dispenser. Well I imroved upin my June ride where I got 2 rings, this time I got 5. Then we headed over towards 1001 Nachts, which is a Flying Carpet wannabe. the dataplate says Webber, and for $1.00 each we soon found ourselves aboard. It may go higher than a Flying Carpet, but there is NO ride action. I mean no strong airtime pops like on the Flying Carpet. Our verdict was unanumous, "thast was a dud for a doller"
But then it ws over to Power Surge, Power Surge is demented riding at its finest, the unexpected twists that flip you upside down, a great ride.
"Now thats what I expect for $1.20"
By then it was time to see if the Phoenix had woken up yet, $1.50 later, and we were in the thrid row. and YES it had woken up, woken up VARY well, running PHAST AND PHURIOUS as it phlew over those dreops with unchecked speed, giving generous portions of airtime the whole way! WOW, thats even better than it ran on June! I can't wait to do this tonight. Then it was over to check out Twister, and just as Phoenix is all about airtime, Twister is all about laterals.
After that it was noon, time to head to the Flyers. Ok I'm at the Flyers "Hi everybody" but where is Todd Long! Oh wel I get in line, in what had to be the loingest line in the park, but as David H. says "It's a great spectator sport as well" Then I plew, beuatifully with snappage. The same techniques that might award me the occasioanl snap at PKI or Strickers were producing snapo mania at Kneobels. I must thank Knoebels for putting SEAT CUSHIONS in the Flyers. But as I exited, there was Todd Long! Time to watch the real expert.
Then it was over to Whirlwind. I'm sorry I just don't get it., this Corckscrew ride is just over way to fast, and it seems to always lean to the right. The curved station is nice, and the ride just looks like it is meant as a portable model Another qulity ride from Junkoma. From Whirlwind it was over to do some early bird looking at the sales tables, then a phoenix ride, then over to the Haunted House. I say I saw more stuff in the Haunted House than I did in June, it just seemed more alive. I must say that it is very well done. from there we went over and rode the rides near the front. The Skooters, and I can't say enough about the Skooters Bumper car action at its finest, in Lusse Auto Skooters. Eric calls my last hit cheap. The ride had been shut off, but as my car slid to a stop amongst the slippery floort one quick turn on the steering wheel gave Eric a final bump. right at "You may now walk to the exit" Again he called that cheap. I say anything is fair game.
Then Eric gota Hot Sausage and soft drink while I did the Roll-O-Plane (Satellite) And yes it does helicopter like a good salt and pepper shaker should. And it shakes you up quite nicely, while never actually inverting you. Weird. Then I hat some Chicken Fries and Birch while Eric experienced the Itallian Trappeeze, which he reports was quite cold. Then we did the High Speed Thrill Coaster. Please don't call it a kiddie coaster. It may look just like any one of dozens of kiddie coasters elsewhere, but this ride gives ejector airtime over two of its humps. One enthusiast seemesd content just to watch others get catapulted by a miniature coster ride. Did I mention it has a 42" minimum height requirement. Sources say a similar ride can be found at Thrill-Ville. I wonder if Ed has ever hot-rodded it into a major airtime extravaganza. Then a spin on the Whipper, some more Flyers, Twister, and then souvineer time. It was buying fudge, it was buying the PPP t-shirt at the Swiss Chalet, it was meeting a lot of RRC people, and Nancy Stilwagon at the Flea Market, it was buying videos and posters and Guide to Ride 2000 at the flea market.
note: GUIDE TO RIDE 2000 is a must have, it is literally overstuffed with good color photograhs, the layout is nice, the articles well written and in depth about deisgners, history etc. a fine publication. I had to literally pull myself away from it to write this TR.
Then it was trying to ride while carrying all this stuff. them lockers were sold out. We took some more coaster rides, had some Cesari's Pizza (excellent as billed) and finally saw Mark McKenzie,.Joe Scwartz, David H, Robb Alvey, Jason Pitka, Sean Flaharty, Todd Long, Tyler Eaves, Adam Reverez, and way to many more to mention. But on the last Phoenix ride we were getting in just as David Althoff was getting out. We rode, and we then counted up our remainign ride trickets. $2.20 between us. We opted for the Whrilwind. Then we walked abit bit with Dave Althoff, and talked then headed out to the car to dump off all this stuff, and move the car to a much closer thrid row, hi Bill Linkenheimer and friend!. PPP has got to be about the people. At first we opted not to get chang. Waled into the park and saw about 50/50 dressed. Noted long line for Hanted House, Eric had to go to car to get chapstick. We decided tog o for the full PPP effect and get changed. My costume (as a graduate, took 45 seconds, Eric went as Gene Simmons in Grunge. a 30 minite makeup session in the Picning Grove restroom. (Which really has bad lighiing and facilities for applying makeup) and we were set.Out in the park, nd to the Phoenix fora couple spins. Wow its gets more phurious as the night goes on, All but one of our rides would be in seat 3. We tried a back, but Phoenix is a seat 3 ride.
Then we decided to wait about 30 minutes for the much hyped Antique Car ride. Knoebels ran every var they had and then some, but although the efftcs looked impressive, it just wasn't scary as had been hyped. Looking back on it all it really did was take 40 minutes out of our coaster time. From them on out, it was a constant worn path between Phoenix and Twister with occasional stops at the Flyers. That last Flyer ride we had, was right after a group of novices, and the ride operating the way the park probabvly intends for it to, then we got on, and a few others, and the whole ride all you could hear was Kerchunk,kerchunck,kerchuck,KERCHUCK,kerchunk,kerchuck, etc.
But Twister for PhallPhest, the parks turns the queu area into a haunted attraction of sorts with spider webs, a graveyard, a coffin, an oridnary trash can that isn't what it appears to be, and worst of all, you want to ride Twister, you have to get past the chainsaw weilding lunatic. Much better than the Antique Car ride. On one of my Twister rides, I rode with the lapbar, in notch 1, which on Twister means you may as well not have a lapbar, on the second lift hill segment, Eric chided me, "Now if you fall out cause you didn't lower your lapbar far enough, make sure my camera doesn't get damamged" Get real show me where any significant amount of air is on Twister, there are some slight moments, but nothing major Again Tiwster is about laterals and going through corners at all out speed. Twister and Phoenix are both winners. Then we had Dick Knoebel driving around his little sports car, then the Knoebels parade float which is neat, A model rollercoaster whith someone riding in the fornt seat. An impresive float. Then we needed some hot chocolate, het it was cold, and the Twister Snacks stand had just closed. time to head tot he Phoenix Junction Steakhouse for hot chocolate, which really did hit the spot. While drinking my choccolate I noted the Derby Race, game still open, and remembered reading about a free game. Dug into pocket for yes, a game ticket. Eric and I walked over, and found a couple empty spots, handed in our tickets and proceded to race what has to be the first time I have seen every single race position in use. (BTW, this doesn't look like a Bob's Space Racer, and it looks like it may have some history to it, the game itself I mean) Well, much to my surpise I kept hitting the "Advance Three" holes and won. (On lane 3 no less) The prize, not some stupid stuffed animal, (although a stuffed Kozmo, or whatever he's called would be cute), not some useless prize tickets, but instead a Phoenix Coffee Mug. On the first win! The Phoenix coffee Mug is classic Black and white with brasstone accents, and has the history of the Rocket -->> Phoenix on the back. Classic, Free! What a deal! Additional games were only 50 Cents, but we decided to go ride the Phoenix. And so would end the night as the cut the line off while we were awaiting to be seated in row three.,
I also met Dave Althoff Sr. (and Dave's Mom). Again its the people!.
we headed for the Bonfire, but hearing the Bonfire had been delayed, by anat least 45 minutes, we ducked out the front exit to the park and to a waiting car.
And so ends my first Phoenix Phall Phunfest with a Twist.
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