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Surprised no one has mentioned Lakemont in this thread - while certainly not a great or even nice park, it is home to world's oldest running coaster - Leap the Dips - IMHO required riding for any enthusiast.



I love living in PA... so many great parks.


Speaking of which, I'll be going to Lakemont here in a few weeks.


Reading fail.

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Dunno, But CP-sized queues at Hershey/Kennywood magically seem to take like 20 minutes, compared to CP's hour or so


EG: Phantoms revenge, back to ramp bottom near switchbacks = ~20m despite the 45 posted


Storm runner: Full queue = ~45 mins at the worst on a bad day, 30 normally, MAYBE an hour if the second set of switchbacks is used


CP? Millie, 2 train op, bottom of angled switchback area, hour long wait


i dont get it, personally


That is rather interesting to think about. I remember last summer, going to Knoebels in the middle of July, and both Phoenix and Twister were only running one train. I thought I'd have to wait forever to get on, but the wait was always a surprisingly short one.



I think it's because Twister and Phoenix has no gates and no seat belts. So the operators can just check lapbars and dispatch the trains, and guests don't have to wait for a slow air gate to open, and half of them don't even know the right way to buckle a seatbelt (I've dealt with this many of times)

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I grew up just across the state line in Ohio (15 miles from the original poster's home of New Castle). State rivalry: We used to say that a good time in New Castle was going downtown and watching the city rust.


Isn't New Castle where all the firework companies are? I know I buy all of my pyrotechnics from a company in New Castle.

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I was born and still live in southwestern Pennsylvania. Kennywood, Conneaut Lake Park, and Waldameer are regular stops for me. My guess on what makes the parks more traditional are the people who visit them. A lot of people still go to the parks for school picnics and such.


As for the fireworks and New Castle... it's the headquarters for Zambelli fireworks.

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I guess you can consider me "lucky", as I was born, raised, and still live just 10-15 minutes from Knoebel's and have other family that live right down the road, and I'm within 2 hours of both Hershey and Dorney.


As far as Knoebel's goes, it's one of those few parks that mixes tradition and nostalgia with some really good rides. To tell you the truth, when I first started looking at coaster websites and saw that Knoebel's was A) known by non-locals and that B) Phoenix was so highly thought of, I was shocked. I thought the park was Northeastern/Central PA's best kept secret. The whole place is just awesome and it's an experience you can't find in many other places.


Hershey and Dorney are obviously the more corporate parks, but are still good in their own right, Hershey being an above average park.


I hope to one day go out west and hit up Kennywood and Waldameer, but for now I'm satisfied with what I have.

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I think the abundance of old, traditional amusement parks in Pennsylvania have a lot to do with all the railroad coverage in the state. I know Kennywood was built at the end of a railway line to entice passengers to come out on the weekends. I would imagine the steel industry as well as other industrial powerhouses in the state have something to do with it. Also, has anyone else thought of the fact there isn't much else to do, so that's why there are so many good amusement parks? I'm by no means bashing Pennsylvania, as I've had great times at both Kennywood and Waldameer, and I bet the blue-collar population has something to do with it, too. They know how to have fun at theme parks.


-James Dillaman

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Since you're going to be hitting Knoebel's and staying by Dutch Wonderland why not hit Hershey or Dorney? I haven't been to DW yet, but from seeing their site several times isn't it more geared for younger children than adults?


About the trade-off...your parks for her shopping. I totally understand. We will be making our first trek into PA this weekend for our wedding anniversary, (wow, has it been twelve years already!!). I get Kennywood, and she gets Homestead on the Waterfront, (outdoor mall thingy). I am going to try to get her to agree to Idlewild too though.

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