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Photo TR - Impulse Opens at Knoebels!

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Hey everyone!


Are you tired of me posting photo trip reports of Knoebels opening days every year? No? Great! A bunch of my friends and I drove down to the park on Saturday for opening, and it was, as always, a really fun time!


But what was special about this year was that Knoebels opened their new roller coaster - Impulse - right on schedule! The park had a auction for the first public riders around 11 AM, benefiting Give Kids the World. The rides opened at noon, and Impulse opened at 1 PM to what I am assuming was glorious fanfare, but I was too busy enjoying the Phoenix to notice.


But we did eventually make it back over there, and it's a great ride!


Thanks to my friend Toby (Pinfari13) for taking the photos while I was busy dealing with the logistics of this trip.



This was the scene right after the first rider auction, we got to the park around 11:30. Who's that weird guy with the radio?

It's really fantastic how involved the entire Knoebel family is with the park's daily operations. They're out there on the front lines, all the time, making sure that their guests are happy. Obviously today was a big deal, but I'm well aware that this is the sort of thing that happens every day.


Right, right, right. Impulse. The queue extended pretty far from the entrance, but it moved consistently. Once you enter the queue, you're greeted with an insanely intimate look at the coaster.



The entrance goes right under the brake run! Hooray for efficient queue design!

Obviously there are bright blue fences keeping you from reaching in and / or climbing over, but you can pretty much check out the entire coaster from within the queue. It really adds to the anticipation.


Also, did I mention that Impulse is insanely quiet? Well, it is! It's a pretty far cry from the "WHIRR...KERCHUNK" of days gone by. It just glides around the track, though there's a little bit of squeaking going on around the final spiral.



Obviously, they worked really hard to get the coaster open for opening day. As such, the queue is likely unfinished. I would expect some switchbacks and a single rider line in the future.

The crew was working their butts off, and it helps that the blocking works really well. One train is always on the circuit, one is in the station loading and unloading, and one is on the block right before the loading area. There's a little bit of waiting around at the beginning and end of the ride, but it means that the queue is almost constantly moving despite the apparent low capacity of the ride. There's always a crew member taking bags for riders, so they don't have to worry about getting out of the train to drop their bag.



What a twisted mess of track!

So, Impulse is pretty great. Like I mentioned after checking out on-ride videos, Impulse has lots of little G-force "kicks" throughout the layout that make it really interesting and fun. The inversions are all really unusual, too. They kind of take the time to make you aware that you're upside down for a second or so before dragging you into the next element. The heartline roll gives you great hang time, and the spiral immediately afterward is pretty forceful. I was actually fairly dizzy for a few seconds upon hitting the final brake run!



For those of you who aren't aware, Impulse comes from our friends at Zierer, who also made Wicked at Lagoon. Knoebels wanted something different than a standard Euro Fighter-type coaster, and Zierer gave them the best coaster for their money.

I'm not a fan of lap restraints with shin guards in general, because on coasters like this I would much rather have my legs free to move than my upper body. That being said, the restraints felt pretty good - even with the restraint snug on my small ginger lap I didn't feel stapled. The seats were a little narrow, but you're on the coaster for two minutes tops, so it's a non-issue.


It also goes without saying that if you got stuck in the seat for an extended period of time, you could eat a small lunch or dinner on top of the restraints, as they're effectively the size of dining trays.



Thread the needle. Much like Twister, even though this coaster might not place high on peoples' coaster lists, it's a masterclass in good coaster design. It just works!

We were able to ride twice, with a wait of 30 to 40 minutes each time. That's pretty great for an opening day of a brand new coaster in my opinion - especially considering that the park as a whole was pretty busy all day! I again pass kudos along to the ride crew, who were doing a great job.


Some other goings on around the park -



Look how pink it is!

Flying Turns added a fourth train for this season, and it's positively pink! I've been told that this fourth train is not so that Flying Turns can run four-train operations, but so that it can run three-train operations more often.


Though, for reasons that Knoebels knows and I probably don't, Flying Turns didn't get above two-train operation, which is too bad, especially for opening day. In fact, from mid-afternoon until closing it was only running one train! That made the queue move dreadfully slow, and it kept me from riding it. Some of my friends had never ridden it before, so they waited it out, and they had a lot of fun.



Thanks again to my friend Toby for this nerd shot.

For those of you who don't know, the Flying Turns trains are ultra-tempremental. If they run too cold, the trains won't complete the circuit. If they run too hot, the trains will go crazy and it might be dangerous for riders. These little pipes below the station platform help the trains to maintain their proper temperature. They would much rather take an improperly-performing train off of the track than keep it on and put guests' safety on the line.



This thing still exists. It's still terrifying. It's still hilarious to watch people ride.


...see what I mean?

Power Surge and 1001 Nacht are still not open coming off of their restorations. 1001 Nacht is still covered up, but Power Surge looks like it could open any day now. It seriously looks like a completely new attraction, and I can't wait to see its light show when it starts operating again. The Giant Wheel is open, but it's still waiting on its new lighting package.


Phoenix is running just as fast as ever, and gave consistent amazing rides in the fronts AND the backs of the trains. Twister is running really fast as well, but I actually had a bad ride. They replaced the track and supports of the bottom of the largest drop, and that feels good, but my head was seriously rattled around during the remainder of the coaster. Black Diamond is still...Black Diamond. The theming is...an acquired taste.


They're now selling those cheesesteaks from Phall Phunfest all year, and apparently they're great. HOWEVER, their register system effectively pooped itself, which resulted in many, many orders being lost completely or being taken in the wrong order. Four of my friends ended up waiting over forty-five minutes for their cheesesteaks. It was no fault of the people making them - they were fast and efficient, but it's unfortunate that a technical goof resulted in many unhappy guests.


However, messed up food orders didn't take away from the fact that it was a great opening day.



Weirdest cobra roll EVAR.

Impulse is an incredibly great coaster for Knoebels. They now have a high-profile steel coaster again! The only parts of Impulse that I would call "intimidating" are the vertical lift and drop. It's an incredibly compact and approachable coaster. The fact that you can pretty much get right up next to it and it's not looming in an area beyond your reach like Hersheypark's Fahrenheit makes it even somewhat welcoming. This is even more apparent considering that you how have a big blue and yellow coaster that greets you as you drive along the road to get to the parking lot.



Happy zero-eth birthday, Impulse!

To be an enthusiast, briefly - Knoebels now has a complete "ride experience" lineup in terms of their coasters. Phoenix is the airtime machine, Impulse is a positive G machine, Twister has the laterals, Kozmo's Kurves is the coaster for kids, Black Diamond is the indoor coaster and Flying Turns is the one-of-a-kind attraction. Their lineup is pretty much complete now, but that will give them an excuse to push the envelope further.


While Impulse may have elements similar to a Euro Fighter (vertical drop, vertical loop, heartline roll, spiral), I think that it's a very different experience - and it's all the better for it. It should also be noted that despite the nature of the ride, booster seats will allow guests of 48" to 52" inches to experience it! I don't remember off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure that this means that all of Knoebels coasters can be ridden by anyone over 48 inches tall, which is really great.


Hopefully I'll be back soon, as I'd love to see the completely finished queue and plaza for Impulse. I just love this place!




TLDR - Go to Knoebels, as if you had an excuse NOT to go. Ride Impulse. It's pretty great!



PS - Brian and Stacey, if you're reading this, it was great seeing you again as well!

Edited by A.J.
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Great TR!! How smooth/rough would you say Impulse is?

The thing just glides. I wouldn't say it's glass smooth (no coaster truly is), but it's very smooth. The G-force kicks can absolutely throw your body around if you're not sitting upright like you're supposed to, though.

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Great TR!! How smooth/rough would you say Impulse is?


If it's anything like Wicked (and being from the same manufacturer with the same trains, I'd say it is), it's a non-issue even with any rattle. No should restraint, maybe you get a butt massage. Wicked was very smooth aside from some slight shiftiness in a turn or two but it was definitely not unpleasant.

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When I saw the first releases and renderings for this one, I wasn't too sure about it. Should have known not to doubt Knoebels. They just do everything right, every time. Can't wait til August to get on it myself!

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Anyone that lives within 4 hours driving distance to Knoebels should visit it this season. And everyone else who is a rollercoaster or theme park fan (basically every one on TPR) should visit Knoebels at least once (hopefully more though) in their lifetime.

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Anyone that lives within 4 hours driving distance to Knoebels should visit it this season.


That would draw over 20 million people to the park, probably too many.


Let me fix that:

Anyone on TPR that lives within 4 hours driving distance to Knoebels should visit it this season.
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