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TR: Knoebels PPP '09 highlights


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First up, the reason we're all here, Phoenix! It was in top form for the entire event. The very first rides of the day were as about as fast as I've ever seen, and better than I've had all season. But at night the airtime was the best ever! I feel sorry for anyone who's never caught Phoenix on a day like this, because they won't know why it will always remain near the top of the wood coaster rankings no matter how high or how fast anything else gets built.

 

Twister: Twister was also, no question, the fastest I've ever seen it all day. The front car was rattling a bit more than usual though. Normally, the front and back cars are the smoothest, and the whole center of the train rattles. This time, for some reason, the only smooth car was the back. This despite lots of recent trackwork. During the day, Twister was still re-ridable, but at night it went completely insane! In the dark the entire ride had an amazing out-of-control feeling, and leaving my hands up after the drops just wasn't an option. It was the most thrilling ride I've ever had at Knoebels but after two consecutive rides my brain was shaken worse than its ever been on any woodie not named Mean Streak. Twister was also decorated better than it has been lately and fogged, and the chainsaw guy was back this year.

 

Flyers: Plenty of snapping was to be had all day long, and all the usual suspects were there. Only one operator took any issue with it, and he only slowed it down a few times and he wasn't there very long.

 

Bumper Cars: I don't know who he is, but there was a guy there quite a bit with a Flying Turns shirt, which proved to be an apt description of his technique. He was trying to give everybody else ejector airtime, but just as often ended up out of the seat himself. It was quite a sight!

 

Costume Parade highlights: The Marching Dick Knoebels; Bill Galvin back in Phoenix headgear as 29 Flags Over Pennsylvania; and Peter Pan, Wendy, and Stinkerbell. Stinkerbell is a skunk, the first time I've seen someone bring a pet other than a dog to Knoebels.

 

Dick's Closing Remarks: A bit of an ACE love-fest. The ACErs will have to handle the details because I don't remember them. Other than what I posted in the Flying Turns thread, the big park news was that plans will soon be submitted for government review for the Golden Nugget / Black Diamond building, which will require moving a few cottages as well as the eagle pen. But as soon as the plans are approved, ground will be broken and he hopes to have the ride open sometime next year. He also had an original unrestored car on display.

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Kozmo's Kurves was open. I can't remember if it's on the list to be open for the remaining Saturday nights or not. The list has expanded quite a bit from last year, even quite a bit from the brochures they put out a month or so ago. Dick noted that there would be a total of 16 rides open. I just can't remember what all of them were.

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The ACE portion of the evening was a nice presentation with an award to Mike Boodley for his contributions to helping with the start of ACE, as well as highlights of his career. It was also announced that he has taken on the project of design and completeion of the trains for Flying Turns, and that the park expects to have at least one completed within a matter of weeks.

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Flying Turns with a potential December opening is what a friend heard last night at the event.

 

I didn't go this year because PPP has really become too big over the recent years and not a real enthusiast love fest like it was for a while. I was told that Knoebels added a couple more weekends to their operating schedule due to the massive popularity with PPP. I heard it was like "old" times.

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Not exactly weekends, Saturday nights through Halloween 6PM-10PM, and the Friday before Halloween 7PM-10PM. He didn't mention the price, but last year I think it was $2.50 per ride for everything. This year, parking will be in the main lot (usually it's in the campground) and they'll have a shuttle into the active portion of the park. It sounds like quite an expansion, I don't know how he's getting all the staff to come out in the cold.

 

A few things I forgot to mention...

 

Mick Foley was there for the second year in a row.

 

Total PPP handstamps purchased: 1405.

 

Another notable costume group was The Demise of the Big Bad Wolf.

 

When Dick asked whether anyone had come further than Boodley, from California, someone across the way said Thailand. Then Dick said that he had been to Thailand. I figured that he meant while he was in the Marines, until he said that that was where he first rode a Hopkins Shoot-The-Chutes and he immediately started trying to figure out how to get one into the park. Weird, all the ones that used to be in the U.S. and he didn't ride one til he went to Thailand.

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To whoever asked about the Kurves:

 

Nothing across the bridges from the Phoenix side (except for the train) will be running. For Halloween, the train actually loads near the campground right in front of the tunnels. Parking is in the campground, too.

 

What I can recall being open off the top of my head:

Phoenix, Twister, Pioneer Train, Antique Cars, Fandango, Wipeout, Looper, Flyer, Paratrooper, Tea Cups, Roto Jets, Haunted Mansion, Cosmotron, and for the kiddies-- the Cub cars, Helicopters, and Fire Trucks. The mini golf course will also be open. Basically, it's everything along the path leading from Wipeout back to the Haunted Mansion, nothing beyond.

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Dick said that this year parking would be in the main lot and they'd bus people to the active part of the park. I don't know why they don't just use the campground as before, maybe they're expecting that large of a crowd.

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