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Hershey vs. Knoebels

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Its not realistic to enjoy both parks in one day.


In terms of which one you should do, it depends on your preferences. For example what are your favorite parks of all-time and why? Do you prefer wood coasters and traditional rides or large coasters? Are you traveling with family?


In my opinion you can't go wrong with either park.

Edited by larrygator
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I did both of these last year. Probably not realistic to do both in 1 day as they are about 1 1/2 hours apart.


What is your preference for rides? Honestly, Knoebels only has 2 coasters - Phoenix and Twister. Both are great wooden coasters.


Since Knoebels is free entry and only paying for what you ride, it may be possible to try to make it close to closing to just ride the coasters. They do have an all-day ride pass, but my experience is you would have to spend all day riding the coasters. The coasters are $2.25 each, and an all-day ride pass with coasters is $38. I wasn't able to ride Twister until the end of the night, but lines were basically non-existent and I was able to ride 4 times in less than 10 minutes. My body probably couldn't have taken much more than that!


Knoebels is nice if you have kids, and/or enjoy more of a county fair type of atmosphere. Mostly (if not all) gravel. Food was reasonable, and my children really enjoyed it (other than a slight mishap with my oldest on the Phoenix). That's a story for another time, but let's just say that spending 1-2 hours at the nurse station for a bloody nose managed to put quite a damper on the day.


On the other hand, Hershey has 11 rides that are classified as coasters. Lines were really hit or miss. Didn't help that lightning in the area put a halt to the coasters for several hours. I believe I spent close to 2 hours in line for Fahrenheit. Nice thing was there always seemed to be at least 2 coasters close to each other - easy to exit one and get right in line for another....and continue to alternate if you so choose.


The downside to Hershey is the expense. I expected food to be expensive.....but not as high as it was.


Having to pick one or the other, I would choose Hershey, simply for the number of coasters.


HTH a little.

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Thanks for all of the responses . When I go to parks, I generally only do coasters. I am a classic woodie fan, but both parks have classic woodies. One reason I'm so interested in Knoebels is that I live in Denver, and I never got a chance to ride the original Mr. Twister. Hershey's more modern coasters look like a lot of fun as well.

Do you think that an evening would be sufficient to do Knoebels?

That way, I could spend the better part of the next day at Hershey.

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^In that case you can certainly spend the majority of the day at Hershey and then head to Knoebels for 90 minutes. 90 minutes would give you enough time for a couple of rides on the woodies and maybe 2-3 other rides.


However, be warned:

1 - You might not get on every coaster in at Hershey based on crowds.

2 - You will not get the full Knoebels experience in only 90 minutes.

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I've been to both parks and HIGHLY recommend Knoebels, I am more of a "the more coasters the better" type of guy but Knoebels stole my heart Hershey is a more uniques park but very corporate, you'll get the smaller coasters with short waits but rides like Fahrenheit and Stormrunner will have pretty lengthy waits. The food there is very expensive and to be honest isn't that great, its typical amusement park food. I will say they have very good rides but it feels like your ordinary amusement park, just with different coasters. Knoebels on the other hand is just an amazing experience, Phoenix is my favorite coaster because the airtime on it is unmatched and twister is a such an intense ride. Rides are very short and no more then a 15min wait for the coasters and they're easily reridable, especially Phoenix. The flat rides are all great and have long cycles and great programs, employees are very personal and look happy and making rides more fun. The food is amazing and is very affordable for an amusement park, very diverse also. The one thing though about Knoebels is first impression the park is very bad, grass parking lot and gravel pathways, give the park an hour or two and you'll love it. Also its worth it alone for the variety of rides like haunted mansion Truly the most unique and tied with Cedar Point for the best park that I've been to.


My Ruling : Knoebels In A Heartbeat

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I suggest Hershey. I've been to both parks many times and I'd easily rather spend a day at Hershey over Knoebels, as there's a lot more to do. Phoenix is amazing, but I think Twister is just okay. If you only do coasters, you'll get easily bored at Knoebels, as most of the flat rides are like any other you'll find at a park, with a few exceptions. Do Hershey. You won't regret it.

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Wow, what a hard question. The Bebes visited both parks last year and the parks are SOOOOOOOO different.


Hershey has a great collection of Coasters and it's a beautiful park. W spent a whole day plus a couple hours the night before at Hershey. Fahrenheit, Stormrunner and Lightning Racers are awesome.


Knoebel's is in the middle of a farm and has more flat rides (some found nowhere else) than anywhere else. There arent any walkways, just lots of dirt. Easily the most unique park I've ever been to. Phoenix in row 3 is a top 10 coaster (We rode it about 10 times in most every row...don't ride near the back). The bumper cars are INSANE! And the Flyers at Knoebels are INSANE too. We spent a whole day at Knoebel's, expecting to only spend a half day.


Given the choice ourselves, we'd go to Knoebels.

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You can 't really compare them as they cater to different types of crowds, if your looking for good food and quaint, Knoebels is the way to go, but if your really doing the coasters, you can do the coasters is about an hour and still get a slice of pizza and a ride on the carousel or something else (I say carousel just because it's one of the ones where you can still try to get the rings.)


But Hershey has lots of coasters if you just want coasters. But I would also have a game plan in place and decide which coasters you REALLY want to ride and focus on them.




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Personally, I think Knoebels is quite overrated. Phoenix is very, very good... But I'd rather ride Storm Runner personally and Hershey also has other great coasters, Knoebels does not. It's carousel and other unusual charms are nice, it's quiet and carefree.


Both parks are unusual and unique spaces and deserve a visit. Personally, I think you could do them both in the same day. Everyone seems to leave Hershey early and the park becomes dead. It would just be quite an expensive day.


It's worth mentioning that Knoebels will charge you depending on how long you stay at the park. There is a price for until 4,6 or 9. I stayed till 6 and it was $20, so it must be even less to stay only until 4. There MAY have been an until 2 option, actually, but I can't remember.

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I will try to give my analysis on each park.



It's free admission, and the rides are inexpensive. So most likely, you will save some money going here. The food there is absolutely great and also very inexpensive for an amusement park (The pizza is the best you will get around the area. And the french fries = ORGASMIC ). Also, if you don't want to pay for food, this is one of the few parks around that will let you bring in your own food/drink. If it's hot, there is lots of shade, 2 great water rides, and a huge, cool crystal pool in the middle of the park. When it comes to the coasters, Phoenix has some of the best airtime on any coaster in the world. Twister, although lacking the airtime that Phoenix has, is fast-paced and intense throughout. Kozmo's Kurves, for a kiddie coaster, is pretty fun (and a faithful replacement for HSTC!). For the flat rides, you already have the world's best bumper cars, carousel, and haunted mansion, Pennsylvania's tallest ferris wheel (to my knowledge), and many other rides that you may not find anywhere else.



It's a one price admission, I forget how much though. The food there is expensive and not even noteworthy. The coasters are great, but expect lines (especially in the summer). The flat rides are good, but you would be able to find most of the rides there at any other park in the US.


So, for me, the obvious choice is Knoebels.

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This topic has been covered pretty well, but I'll throw in my two cents. I truly enjoy both parks and like them both very much. However, when someone asks me which park is my favorite, I always reply with Knoebels; I love that place more than any other. I love the coasters, the flats are amazing, the food is excellent and VERY affordable, and the park employees are absolutely top notch! I do not get the same feeling from any other park that I do with Knoebels.


If you want more intense coasters, go to Hershey, but if you want an overall amazing experience, definitely head up to Knoebels.

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I loved the Knoebel's experience, but being a coaster guy, the selection is rather limited. They do have great flat rides though. I rode the cosmotron several times, because I'm a sucker for spinning rides indoors with strobe lights and loud music.


The food at Knoebels is AMAZING. Hershey's standard fare just can't compare.


However, Hershey is a larger park, with more to do, and not just coasters. I loved the huge arcade with pinball machines and classic cabinets everywhere, that's close to where the Great Bear is. In terms of food, you could always duck out and grab a good meal in Harrisburg, which is right next door to Hershey. They have a ton of restaurants to choose from. Chain stuff, yes, but a lot of chains I don't have in my neck of the woods, like Hardees.


It's a tough decision. Both parks are great choices, but I lean towards Hershey at this point.

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Are you there for just 1 day? Are you driving through, or staying?


Like I mentioned before, Knoebel's is 1 1/2 hours away - maybe up to 2 - from Hershey.


Knoebel's is very quaint.


The one thing though about Knoebels is first impression the park is very bad, grass parking lot and gravel pathways, give the park an hour or two and you'll love it.


I had to LOL at that. I was very upset when we pulled into the park. I looked at my wife and basically said "so we drove all this way to go to a county fair? The parking lot is a field!"


After a few rides it was all better.


For me, Twister was very rough. Not sure if it was the short sits or dividers, but it really seemed to beat me up in the rib and lower back (kidney) area. Still, I loved it and wished I had found it earlier in the day (instead of right before closing).


Hershey did seem to get less crowded in the evening. We ended the day at Midway America and managed to get on the 3 coasters will very little wait, while riding Lightning Racer several times each (alternating while watching the kids).


If you are able to get to Hershey the evening before, they had a free preview plan. Buy your tickets for the following day and depending on the time the park closes, you can get free admission for that night (usually about 2 1/2). I guess you still pay for parking for both days.


That would give you a chance to ride some of the coasters, go back the following day to hit the rest, and then leave early enough to make the trip to Knoebel's.


You'll enjoy either place. For the sheer number of coasters, it's Hershey. If you hit Knoebel's, also check out Fandango - fairly close to the Phoenix. Still not sure where Twister is - I found an employee that saw me running and was nice enough to give me a ride on his golf cart! I never would have made it there in time to ride it once, let alone 4 times!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First, thanks to everyone who responded! After reading your posts, I have decided to choose Knoebels for its uniqueness, quality of food, affordability, and because Phoenix looks freakin' aweswome . Of course, being a Denver local, Twister looks cool too.

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^ Excellent choice. Of all the parks I've been to Knoebels is my favorite. I've visited them 4 times, and never once have I had a line for anything that exceeded 10 minutes- and one of my visits was on a Saturday.


Phoenix is the best wooden coaster I have ever ridden and simply can't be missed. Definitely get the all-day wristband because you will want to ride this thing all day.


Twister is an excellent secondary coaster. Packed with laterals and even some sneaky good air, Twister is an excellent Robin to Batman (Phoenix). When I rode it last in 2006, I thought that the ride was relatively smooth, but that could have changed a bit just judging by what some are saying here.


In terms of flats, Knoebels can't be beat. Make sure you have time to ride the Flyer, Grand Carousel, Scooters, Downdraft, Super Round-Up, Fandango, Looper, Cosmotron, and several other of their attractions. I simply didn't have any bad rides at Knoebels.


Also, make sure you hit their log flume as it is my favorite I've been on outside of the two epic Orlando flumes.


Additionally, I'd definitely pay a bit extra to experience the Haunted Mansion and Scenic Skyway. Both are incredible experiences.


Lastly, I recommend getting food at Cesari's Pizza. The pizza there is fantastic!


I hope you have a great time.

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  • 1 month later...

I got back from Knoebels about two weeks ago, and it was AMAZING! Phoenix was aweswome! The food was excellent (especially Cesari's Pizza)! Twister was, well, okay. Not horrible, but it was rough and relatively airless. Of course, the flyers, bumper cars, and haunted mansion were all a load of fun!


I think Knoebels is my new favorite park!


Of course, I think a couple pictures of Phoenix are in order


Some guy we don't know in the front seat!




My favorite Phoenix Pic!

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There is no contest, Knoebels blows away Hershey. Hershey is over priced and there isnt one coaster in the park that i would consider great. The place is always crowded with long lines, the food is terrible (and expensive) and with all the asphalt it is brutal on hot days. Knoebels on the other hand is one of the top 3 parks in the country IMO. Yes it only has 2 coasters but they are both awesome and most of the flat rides dont have programs that run short cycles, The cycles are determined by the lenght of the line. I have gotten 5min rides on the flyers there and the bumpercars are the best i have ever ridden. The park is almost all in the shade, plus they have lots of pavillions so you can bring your own food. What other parks have you been too where you can bring a fishing pole and fish in the river that runs through the park?

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Though I love Hershey for it's coasters and somewhat enjoyable water rides (And the AMAZING Henry Ford museum only a mile or so away from it! ), I've got to say I like Knoebels more.


Not only is the place incredibly family-friendly and fun, but Phoenix is an INCREDIBLE coaster! (Twister...Meh, could be better...).



And I'm considering Knoebels for next summer, because of Gold Nugget making its return, and HOPEFULLY Flying Turns will FINALLY open and provide a incredible experience!



I love Hershey for it's coasters and water park, but Knoebels is just alot more friendly atmosphere and doesn't have a corporate feel to it...

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Ok you want a comparison heres the deal im not rooting for either because well im a ride operator at knoebels but i will say you get to hear everything when your a ride operator at either park.

Knoebels the entry and entertainment is free all you need is a pass which is 39 bucks or on bargain night 10 bucks or get tickets which is fine. Knoebels has award winning merry go round,food,and certainly good workers. We get complaints about hershey when it comes to handicap people and prices and such.

Hershey may have more roller coasters but they treat their handicap guests like junk plus you have to pay for parking and admission and rides which can earn them money but like i read you have long lines so you wait forever.


Knoebels the prices are usually 2.50 or 4.50 for drinks or most food depending on size,also customers get away with too much and they hire just about anyone at knoebels.


Overall though id probably say come to elysburg just to see knoebels and then next day go to hershey

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^Major fail. The OP made this post almost two years ago. Please read more carefully before bumping a dead thread.


That's why I couldn't remember it from a week or so ago - was just looking at the month and day from the first post!


Wonder if skyrush would change the opinion a bit more in favour of hershey nowadays??

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