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Photo TR: Mini New Hotness/East Coast Trip


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That's too bad to hear about SFGA as a couple of years ago, people were praising it as one of the gems of the Six Flags chain.


We had planned on going this year, but due to work, it just didn't happen...I suppose that it may have been a blessing in disguise. Hope they can work it out as it certainly looks like the park has plenty of charm along with a decent looking coaster collection.


Have to agree on Skyrush.


First time I rode it, it just flat out kicked my arse and my thighs & ribs were sore for two days. The next year I rode it, I just braced myself and held on for dear life and it was definitely a more enjoyable experience. I have only had the two laps on it, so I would like to get back next year and get a few more in. I have not ridden in the middle seats yet and would look forward to trying out that experience.


And I also agree with Troegs...great brewery with really good popcorn!

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Yes, it's a bit sad that Six Flags Great America has slipped do much. Goliath is an excellent ride, but the park's operations leave much to be desired. That being said, our day at Six Flags Great Adventure was great (but that story will have to wait for another day).

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The storm runner ERT at night was one of my favorite ERT sessions I've been on with TPR. Of course, nothing beats Glow ERT on Phoenix at Knoebels. ( spoiler alert for next update )

I have to agree! GLOW ERT was the best ERT eva! and my single favorite moment of the East Coast Trip.

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Day 8: Eating, Glowing, and Being Fascinated at Knoebels


Ah, Knoebels. What more is there to be said about the best independent park in the U.S.? Other than "any day is a better day when you're at Knoebels"?


I'd never even heard of this park until I joined TPR, and for that alone, Robb and Elissa have my gratitude. There's just such a great vibe to this funky old park up in the Pennsylvania mountains that a "corporate" park can never hope to match. No one does better "park food" than Knoebels, and it's the home of Phoenix, a top-ten wooden coaster. And we had a great day there, with morning ERT on the long-awaited Flying Turns and Twister, and nighttime "Glow ERT" on Phoenix (now there's how you make a great ride even better).


But what about the Flying Turns? Well, it is a unique, if brief, experience, and it looks great nestled among the trees. While this is isn't really a big "thrill" machine (that part is a bit over-hyped), the ride is a good match for the eccentricity of the rest of the park. But would I wait an hour to ride it? Most likely not.


Twister was running better than it did a few years ago and will probably move up a few notches in my personal rankings. Phoenix is, of course, as great as ever (particularly after dark). I finally got to ride Black Diamond, which I think is a very good dark ride--not a coaster. (If this is a coaster, then Conneaut's Devil's Den is a coaster.) BD works well as both a "haunted" ride and an odd "tribute" to Pennsylvania's coal miners, with its references to mining accidents and the Centralia disaster (one of the creepiest places in the U.S., from what I've heard). Couple this with the park's excellent, old-school Haunted House ride, a slew of crazy flat rides, and the Fascination parlor, and you have the most well-rounded traditional park in the States.


My thanks to Knoebels, and Robb and Elissa, for yet another great day!


Knoebels will always give you the time of day.


Sheesh! Signage in Wonderland makes more sense than this.


Covered bridges are a big deal at Knoebels . . .


. . . as are floods.


OK, I understand why Kosmo is wearing a football and holding a baseball bat and soccer ball, but why is the raccoon wearing a sombrero?


For many of us, a long quest has, at last, come to an end. I forget how long Knoebels spent getting this ride up and running.


Behold the "wonder" of the Flying Turns!


The last sentence brought forth a great sigh of relief. (The trains are loaded based on weight.)


Robb Alvey--Super Spy! (Yes, it's a bit tricky to get photos of this ride.)


Big Mike and Fran are ready to fly the hell outta those turns.


The ERT on Twister was pretty good, too--it was running quite well.


To stand here is to court death!


Elissa = "Psyched."

KT = "Oh, Mom . . ."


I love this crazy helix that wraps around the station.


At Knoebels, all roads lead to Rome . . . well, Cesari's Pizza, anyway.


"Hey, kids! It's me, Count Floyd! Time for another Monster Chiller Horror Theatre!"


"Yes, this is gonna be real scary! A-w-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!"


"Yes, you won't believe how scared these two are!"


"Well, you'd be pretty scared too if you had to ride with an insane Flyers fan!"


"Little scary getting photos in here, isn't it?"


"O-o-o-o-o! Swirling red lights! Count Floyd is getting real scared! Or maybe just dizzy!"


"Oh, look! He's pretty scary, too! A-w-o-o-o-o-o-o! That's all for now, kids! Tune in next week for another Monster Chiller Horror Theatre!"


"Eat me! I'm delicious when in taco form!"


OK, Kings Dominion features a Haunt maze with a bunch of vengeful coal-miner ghosts, and some group in Viriginia goes nuts because it's "disrespectful" of the victims of coal-mine accidents.


But Knoebels builds a whole ride themed to coal mining, with horrible accidents as the highlight, and no one bats an eye. Go figure.


Maybe its because the donkey makes it cute. (Knoebels also has a museum dedicated to Pennsylvania coal mining.)


I'm having double vision of a guy who enjoys his job of blowing stuff up.


Looks like we're entering Centralia/"Silent Hill" territory here.


Welcome to Hell! I guess Pennsylvanians aren't as easily offended as Virginians. This is a cool ride, by the way.


"Who would've thought that witnessing horrible coal-mining accidents and going to Hell would be so much fun?" More to come!

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Yes, there is more Knoebels. Right now.


"Arr, beached during one of Knoebels numerous floods we were. So, we decides to set up shop and sell our swag. Maybe the next flood will carry us back out to sea!"


Ah, authentic Hawaiian cuisine.


Yes, Carmel Apple Pork Chops on a stick are quite the hot item in Polynesia. If they were good enough for King Kamehameha, they're good enough for you.


No, I haven't forgotten Phoenix.


Other wooden coasters may be bigger and faster, but very few are better.


I only want 2 see u riding on the purple train. Pur-ple train! PUR-PLE TRAIN!


And Count Floyd thought the Haunted House was scary . . .


It's like water, only more fun!


Why are all these people concentrating so intently?


Because only one will win this garden hose?


Or maybe this lamp that actually works?


Or it could be all about this adorable lunch box.


Nobody won any of those amazing prizes. May as well eat.


Dan shows off his authentic collection of Native American cuisine. Yes, the indigenous people of North America invented fried cheese. The Hopi were renowned for their fried mac-and-cheese (only I think they called it "maize-and-cheese" because the pasta was made from corn).


This fried pepper cheese was very tasty, indeed.


I've been to Knoebels a few times, but this is my first ride on the chairlift.


Up the mountainside we go.


"Bury him deep! That'll learn him to snap them Flyers one time too many."


Remember--you have been warned!


"We seem to be missing a daughter. She might be rolling down the mountain. Please keep an eye out for her."


Twister from way high up.


Hmm--either that's a drop ride, or the park is very excited.


Almost back.


Will 2015 also be the "Year of Zierer"?


Oh, man, we missed meatloaf night! I wonder if it's deep fried?


"Hey, how was I to know we missed meatloaf night? Am I the freakin' meatloaf expert, or something?"




This is the most elaborate parade I've ever seen at Knoebels. One more set of photos to come.

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And now, our time at Knoebles comes to an end. Sniff.


But who needs a parade when you have this?


My, isn't this a pretty planter. I love the mix of colors . . . what? You're not looking at the planter?


Knoebels has one of the best train rides anywhere.


Although it lacks animatronic dinosaurs and ghost towns populated by skeletons, it travels right through the middle of Twister . . .


. . . and back into these spooky woods, where mutant squirrels dwell!


Hmm--I guess the mutant squirrels are on break.


Back to civilization.


Kids, here's an important safety tip: If a stranger asks you to "rub his lamp," don't.


Oh, fancy parts from "Europe." Well, "ooh la la."


I even rode this crazy "Downdraft" thing--and I liked it.


Dan is determined to win that garden hose.


Or maybe he's a bibliophile?


Who wouldn't want a basket of adorable raccoons? (Well, at least they're not live raccoons.)


I'm sure that Dave Thomas was playing for this.


Shoot for the stars, Derek!


But declaring yourself "King of the Squid People" was going a bit too far.


Phoenix is glowing in anticipation of ERT tonight.


Stratosfear isn't as brutal as the similar drop ride at Kentucky Kingdom--but it's still pretty damn scary.


Riding coasters is only one of Mike's hobbies.


KT is prepared for Glow ERT.


Robb is always glowing.


Dan is ready for any contingency.


Interesting angle that makes me look like a Batman villain.


It's difficult to get good photos of Glow ERT, but this should give you an idea of what went on.


I think the Phoenix crew has been playing Fascination.


Now there's a glowing ERT crew.


Scott's ensemble was particularly interesting. I hope no one turns to stone.


Any time spent on Phoenix is a good time--but some times are better than others. ;)


Good night, Knoebels! Thanks for a great day and evening!

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Awesome update, Chuck! I first went to Knoebels when I was five or six with some family and I rode the Phoenix. IIRC it was my first roller coaster ever and I still remember how insane it was, especially being how old I was. I need to visit this park again as it's been well over ten years.

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Great stuff, Chuck. I freaking love that park. That's my 3rd time visiting, and I just can't get enough of that place. Twister has run better each time I've visited, and Phoenix was running better than I've ever seen it. This was my second Glow Ride, and I couldn't believe how much ass Phoenix was kicking that night. The track was smoking for goodness sake! Thank goodness Larry taught me about the magic seat on that ride, because it really is magical.

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Great stuff, Chuck. I freaking love that park. That's my 3rd time visiting, and I just can't get enough of that place. Twister has run better each time I've visited, and Phoenix was running better than I've ever seen it. This was my second Glow Ride, and I couldn't believe how much A$$ Phoenix was kicking that night. The track was smoking for goodness sake! Thank goodness Larry taught me about the magic seat on that ride, because it really is magical.


Yep--the magic seat is pretty amazing. It's also fun to watch the folks in the seat in front of you as they bob and down due to the airtime.

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I've only been on a few woodies with the good old buzz bars and I imagine what they would be like with no seat belts, and with lots of air! Phoenix must really be a great ride.

Nice update

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Knoebel's is among the greatest places on the planet.




This... I think it's actually my favorite park in America. Sure there are parks with better theming and taller / faster / more expensive rides but we always have more fun at Knoebels than anywhere else.

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Knoebels on paper sounds terrible. It should be an average park at best. I personally shouldn't like it at all.


But somehow...


I agree that it is one of the best parks in the country and high up on the worldly list as well. The whole East Coast mini tour was created after the other trips because KT called us out and really wanted to go back to Knoebels! The other parks were filler compared to the real reason for that tour!

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I have to admit that when I first saw photos of Knoebels, I didn't think much of the place. But after visiting the park, I came away as a fan.


I think you just have to experience Knoebels to "get" it.

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Knoebels on paper sounds terrible. It should be an average park at best. I personally shouldn't like it at all.


But somehow...


I really do love Knoebels, probably my favorite amusement park in the US. It goes against everything that I thought I loved about the hobby, but the place just does everything the right way.


The whole East Coast mini tour was created after the other trips because KT called us out and really wanted to go back to Knoebels!


Well yeah, Knoebels has the 2 best roller coasters in the world. Of course she wanted to go back!

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I think this is my type of park I really wish I can visit there in the next couple of years.


Just to be sure, is the lateral fest of Twister the giant helix around the station?


All of Twister is a lateral fest. It compliments Phoenix perfectly in my opinion and is a really underrated coaster.


Personally I'm not usually a fan of wood coasters that throw you around but I think Twister perfectly walks the line between throwing you around and being rough. It's an insane, awesome out of control ride that's still not the slightest bit rough and is very re-rideable. If this ride were it a corporate park it's a guarantee that it would be a brutal ride but Knoebels has no problem spending whatever money they need every offseason to keep Phoenix and Twister awesome. Every time you go you see a ton of new wood on both rides.


We spent the weekend there for Phun Phest and the Covered Bridge festival and this park just continues to amaze. They run awesome cycles on all of their flats, the wood coasters are both amazing and they have some really rare rides and games. The thing that makes Knoebels really great though is that they have a ton of flats that are really common but they're almost always run better than they are anywhere else (and with much longer cycles). They have the best Flyers, best Carousel, best Bumper Cars, best Drop Tower somehow even though that ride has no business being so awesome, one of the best trains, one of the best chairlifts, an awesome dark ride / coaster in Black Diamond an awesome Paratrooper that might be edged out only by Fun Spot Orlando, the best classic style Haunted Mansion... maybe the best Round Up. You can just go on and on... and next year they're going to throw a solid steel coaster into the mix.


And I haven't even mentioned Fascination or the food... or the fact that they have some of the best pizza I've ever tasted (and I'm from New York and admittedly a pizza snob).

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No one does better "park food" than Knoebels, and it's the home of Phoenix, a top-ten wooden coaster.


What about Silver Dollar City and its cinnamon bread?


Thanks for another great update of the trip! I love these traditional parks here in the States! It doesn't have to be a park with crazy thrill machines to be a good park! Thumbs up!

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