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Great report! That's a pretty crazy day. Usually if I'm combining parks into one day; it's smaller parks of the ilk of Fun Spot, Clementon, etc. It's impressive you were able to get 3 major corporate parks into a day schedule.


Also fyi the link underneath the topic didn't seem to work for me.

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LOL hearing about this in real time via text was hilarious enough but with the entire day all fleshed out in trip report makes it that much better. You guys are nuts! I can't wait to hang soon.

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Just finished your BGT report. I had to read it in two sessions. BGT really is a great place, and someday I will definitely plan a Howl-O-Scream trip. Every coaster there is awesome, and the animal exhibits are great. I even have friends still working there.


I thought Mine Blower was great too and I can't believe people are calling it too rough. Wimps.


Your spontaneous trips to SeaWorld and SFGAdv sounds like something I would do. Definitely approve. Once, I did SFMM and SFDK (7-9 hours away by car, depending on traffic) and rode one coaster at each in the same day since I'd be driving by both and why not?


Also, Britt has the same El Toro sweatshirt I have. I'm starting to think she's my spirit animal.


On my office wall right next to me as I type this.


Itty bitty orca, blue whale, and bottlenose in the window

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^ Thanks guys!!!! Nice to see the Mine Blower love. And yeah, that was a crazy day and I wouldn't have planned it that way but it's awesome that it worked out.


Alright everyone. It's time to take this thread to the next level! I've spent a lot of time talking about Disney World, Cedar Point, Universal Studios and cute little second-tier parks like that but it's sort of nuts that 37 trip reports in I still haven't made a single mention of the single greatest amusement park to ever grace planet earth.


Let me tell you a tale of a land of unending happiness. A land where all the things wrong with the industry magically disappear and what's left is a brilliant landscape of pure, uninterrupted perfection. Cleanse your coaster fan minds of your coaster fan worries. In this place, all the terrible, scary things you spend so much time b*tching about are merely a fantasy... metal detectors, parking fees, bad food, slow operations, no loose article policies, any concern about potential litigation whatsoever, log flume removals, long lines, people that tell you... "NO. IT'S NOT SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE TO EAT BACON ON A STICK FOR DINNER, THROW MEAT IN A DORITOS BAG AND CALL IT A TACO OR EAT A BLOCK OF ICE CREAM ON A WAFFLE AND CALL IT A MEAL YOU FAT F*CK""... all of those things just wash away. They don't exist here.


This is a world of never ending happiness. You can always see the sun, day or night. So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills... you know the one. If the elevator tries to bring you down, just say "what is this p*ssy a** sh*t, StratosFEAR was much better. F*ck your elevator".


Wait, what was I talking about? I got off track there. Oh right...




That's right... I'm talking of course about my absolute favorite park anywhere, Knoebels!


It should probably say something about my love for Knoebels that I break my own rule and attend an enthusiast event there every year but Phoenix Phall Phunfest is amazing. There are a few things I love about Phoenix Phall Phunfest when compared to other enthusiast events which is why I'm taking the unprecedented step of actually recommending an enthusiast event. Here goes...


1) It's at Knoebels


2) The Covered Bridge Festival is the major draw of the weekend, and for good reason. Because of the festival, it's impossible to find a hotel anywhere within 45 minutes of the park, the parking lots routinely hit capacity and the place is mobbed every year (but that doesn't carry over to the rides).


3) It's not really an enthusiast event. They have an enthusiast event on Friday nights and there's a tent in front of Phoenix where people trade pins and patches and presumably get together at designated times to have a group cry about Raging Bull's trim brakes, Valravn's rattle and Mine Blower's excruciating roughness (Honestly I don't know what goes on in there because you couldn't pay me to go into that tent), but aside from that it's not really an enthusiast event on Saturday. Literally anyone can buy a handstamp for Phunfest on Saturday regardless of affiliation with a coaster club. "The GP" is well represented, and personally I'd rather hang with them so that's cool with me. Of course it was also awesome to run into some familiar faces like coneyislandchris and ElToroRyan. Despite my persona I actually really like hanging with enthusiasts who aren't weird as sh*t. Just avoid the tent and you'll be good.


Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Knowing that the event seems to get busier every year we decided to get up early(ish) and leave the house right at 8:00 so we'd give ourselves about 45 minutes to get into the park and still get there in time for opening. That's not normally necessary at Knoebels, but people drive hundreds of miles for the Covered Bridge Festival so we knew from experience that it might be a sh*tshow.


If you're coming from the east, the drive to Knoebels is incredible. Pennsylvania in general is an absolutely beautiful state, but driving through in the fall is absolutely amazing. Somehow, the drive actually helps set the tone for the backwoods a** fall awesomeness of Phoenix Phall Phunfest. It also convinces you that the GPS is entirely full of sh*t and that someone's playing a joke on you but rest assured... no, someone seriously put an amusement park here.



No, it's not a sh*tty Instagram filter, it was just taken through the windshield.

It's rare that you'll ever actually get anything of substance from one of my reports that are generally just a bunch of mindless horsesh*t, but if you're coming from the east via I-80 west (and most people will be) I actually have a tip. Generally the GPS will tell you you to exit I-80 at exit 242, take 339 through some Children of the Corn sh*t, make a right on Mainville Rd. at Billy Bob's collapsed barn, abandoned schoolbus and sheep f*cking wonderland and then make a left onto Sycamore Drive.


The GPS will tell you to drive along Catawissa Creek into downtown Catawissa (which is the perfect name for this town... do you ever see someone with a name like "Chad" and think "Yeah, he looks like a Chad". When you see this town, you'll think "Yeah, this looks like a Catawissa" and that river through the sticks looks like a "Catawissa Creek").


Anyway... don't do this. There's a left turn off of Sycamore Drive onto Old Reading Rd. You'll miss some lights, but more importantly you get to drive over an awesome one lane covered bridge. Nothing could set the mood for a Knoebels Fall weekend and Covered Bridge festival better than a covered bridge and the fact that it actually saves you time is just a bonus.



I love Pennsylvania. I hate the road construction and horsesh*t liquor laws but I love Pennsylvania.

As we continued on a bit we quickly realized that the Covered Bridge Festival was somehow even more batsh*t insane than ever before. Traffic on 487 was backed up past the High School and when it was all said and done it took us over an hour to park the car. As it turned out, we were one of the last cars in the lot. It wasn't long before they started shuttling people in from a local school, then a local gun club (is that not the most Knoebels thing ever?) and finally told people on Facebook to please give up and stop coming. I recommend this event, but from now on we're getting a hotel about an hour away on Friday night. Holy sh*t.


Finally though, we parked the car and started making our way in to the park. The park offers free trams in their free parking lot because they're Knoebels and that's how Knoebels rolls, but we opted to walk. The Covered Bridge festival was tempting, but we decided to save it for the next morning and instead made our way to the handstamp booth. The park was open at that point, but it still wasn't even noon. Given the traffic, I'll take it.



Okay, so we didn't head RIGHT to the handstamp booth. The Loaf was calling our name, and those Snickerdoodle and sugar cookies are my sh*t.

On the way to the handstamp booth we couldn't help but notice that (for some reason) Impulse had no line, That rarely happens so we decided to double back and make that our first stop. The handstamp wait was minimal, and a few minutes later we were stamped and ready and on our way back to the front. On the way, Brit noticed Power Surge (a ride she's been terrified of in the past) and expressed some interest in it. It had been a long time since she rode it or actually saw it operating so she sort of forgot about that traumatic experience. I love Power Surge, and since the ride was down and loading I decided to make that our first stop before she saw it cycle and changed her mind. I'm a terrible fiancé, seriously... the worst.



I love this ride!

Once the restraints lowered and locked (and not a second before), I reminded her that she hated this ride but was optimistic that she might change her mind. She's been more open to inverting flat rides lately and personally I found the ride awesome. As it turned out, she actually did kind of like it. She got off hyped up about it but when I asked if she wanted to ride again she seemed much less enthusiastic.


Up next for us was Impulse, and luckily it was still sporting a really short line. You never see that on Impulse, and it was pretty shocking considering it was up near the Covered Bridge Festival tents and the parking lot was filled to capacity but I wasn't complaining.



You don't see that every day...

Impulse sticks out like a sore thumb at this park with it's ultra modern station and ride area, over the top clean and perfect Cedar Fair style landscaping under the ride and it's bright color scheme but I really don't mind one bit. It's weird, but it's a fun little coaster. By default it's the weakest of the park's 4 major coasters but it's still an absolute blast.



The lift certainty looks imposing.

I'll say this, it's definitely a ride I enjoy more and more every time I ride it. The fact that the ride doesn't have over the shoulder restraints is really cool, and it makes for some great hands up moments where you wouldn't normally get them like the loop and the spec-f*cking-tacular roll which I consider to be the best part of the ride. Try to put your hands up on that slow roll and not have fun... try. I dare you.



Flying over the station.

Upon exiting the ride, we decided to loop right back around and ride again. While the other coasters were beckoning, I wasn't going to pass up the rare opportunity to ride Impulse with a 5 minute wait. I've been to the park enough times to know that that pretty much never happens on a weekend with great weather. The second ride was as great as the first (and we were lucky enough to get the front again) and after exiting we decided to head back into the park a little more and hit some more rides.


Up next was Whipper, the park's classic Whip. This ride is always a blast, but it was made even better by the awesome ride operator. He was an older guy and he clearly loved his job. For the first half of the ride, he proceeded to bang on a bell and instruct everyone to yell and scream "woooo" whenever he hit it (and we were more than happy to oblige), for the second half he started reaching out and high-fiving everyone in the cars as they whipped by (with a few fake outs mixed in for good measure). When the ride finally came to a stop, he stood there and high fived everyone on the way out. God, this place is a breath of fresh air. When you go to enough corporate parks where ride operators need to ask for permission to cross the platform on an inverted coaster where guests can cross as much as they please and there's a f*cking floor there, it's nice to see a park where the ride operators can high five people on rides that are moving at full speed where they don't give a single sh*t about modern day bullsh*t procedures that make no sense and exist only to prevent lawsuits.



Now watch me whip... Now watch me nae nae

After the best Whip ride possibly ever, we decided to head over to the Bumper cars. Hopefully there aren't any photos of the ride that can be used against me in the court of law because I'm pretty sure a lot of that is technically considered domestic violence, but at the very end Brit paid me back and wrecked the living sh*t out of me to the point where I left the ride bleeding (that's actually normal for tall people on these things... your knees are done. Accept your fate now). I don't mean that as complaint, I think the fact you can actually sustain minor injuries on these Bumper cars is part of what makes them so awesome. The ride was absolutely amazing and Kozmo should be proud of his oversized trophy.



Yay Kozmo!

PS: No I'm not making light of actual domestic violence which is obviously reprehensible. If you're the type of PC person that's considering lecturing me about that as if we don't already understand this then this isn't the thread for you. Also, Knoebels isn't the park for you. Knoebels is for fun people. I suggest staying home on Phunfest Saturday and spending Sunday at Dorney's lame a** event. You seem like the kind of person that would like Dorney. Steel Force is an intense, action packed airtime machine. Best coaster in Pennsylvania. So good...


These Bumper Cars are exceptional. They're honestly so good that I never ride any other bumper cars since they've all been completely ruined for me by the greatness of the Knoebels Scooters. I swear, I'm not even joking.



We both took a beating on the Bumper Cars, but we're a pair-a-troopers so we decided to press on to the next ride. Yes, we went from a joke that needed a disclaimer to a milktoast joke so cringeworthy that it gave you douche chills. That's the type of thing you can only get in this thread.

The Paratrooper was great as always. It's no secret that I have serious soft spot for these things. I grew up riding the one in Rehoboth Beach (starting when I was just a few months old) and every time I see one I make sure to ride it. I love these rides... it's probably more of a nostalgia thing than anything but I really do and we'd end up riding this thing a ton by the end of the weekend.


After our paratrooping, we moved on to another Knoebels classic, the Flyers! Unfortunately the operator here had no sense of fun and was slowing the ride down when people started snapping, but that really wasn't much of a deterrent for anyone. We actually didn't ride these nearly as much as we usually do (when it's not Phunfest) since they always seem to be on high alert for people snapping. This is sort of a bummer, and probably my only complaint about the park (aside from the lack of booze) but even a slowed down Knoebels flyer ride is better than a full speed Larson flyer ride.



It's almost impossible not to snap these things


She looks sweet and innocent, but she'll snap the sh*t out of a flyer. lol

While Twister was trying to tempt us as it's located basically right across from the Flyers, it was mid afternoon and we still hadn't made our way back to the park's crown jewel and the namesake of the event and we decided to stop depriving ourselves and Phuckin Phly. Somehow it had been a full year since we found ourselves at Knoebels so it had been far too long since we've ridden the Phoenix and I was definitely itching to correct that injustice immediately.



According to the Golden Ticket awards this is the 3rd best Halloween event in America. Don't you ever forget that. This is incredibly cute and fun but... lol drugs are bad

I know some people swear by specific seats on this thing, but I never really had a strong preference between the front and back so for our first ride we made our way to the shortest line for the front row of the last car. Normally this is a big no-no on 3 bench PTC trains and on basically any other coaster it would be the roughest and worst seat on the train but conventional norms don't matter at all when you're talking about Phoenix and the ride proceeded to provide us with an airtime filled, super smooth and generally awesome ride per usual. God I love this thing!



Nothing to see here! Move along...

After Phoenix we doubled back a bit and decided it was time to get twisted (but not really, because... wtf is with this alcohol policy?). We stopped on the way to check out the Monkey Maze that was brought in for Hallo-Fun (I wanted to do it but Brit though that was far too asinine) and after stopping for a quick StratosFEAR ride we made our way back to the brilliant piece of twistiness across the road.



Ooh, Twisty!

I've always loved Twister. I'm generally sh*t at ranking coasters, but on a recent road trip (you talk about stupid sh*t on a road trip once you get about 5 hours in) we started talking about our favorite wood coasters and I honestly feel like I'd put Twister in the top 5. Obviously El Toro, the RMC woodies and Phoenix would be at the top of the list, but after that I'm hard pressed to think of a wood coaster that I like better than Twister. In the past I'd have said Boulder Dash, but after our horrible rides on it with Boldikus this year I don't know if I'd say that now, the Beast is cool at night but otherwise Twister utterly destroys it, I love GCIs but they all sort of blend together. They're all great, but I don't think any of them are Twister great. Raven and Legend suck, Voyage is awesome but... yeah I think I prefer Twister. Honestly I think Twister is easily one of the best wood coasters in America and it's always COMPLETELY overlooked because of it's awesome neighbor in the back of the park.


... wow, that was dorkier than I normally get. My apologies. I won't let it happen again.


I see a lot of complaints about roughness on this ride, but I've never once experienced it. The ride is aggressive, but it's not uncomfortable. Normally any wood coaster running PTC trains that attempts the type of insane, high speed lateral craziness that Twister does would rip itself apart and run like a jackhammer on square wheels but since this ride is at Knoebels they've managed to keep it running perfectly since the day it opened. It walks the fine line between intensity and roughness perfectly and never crosses it. I've always felt this was the case with Twister. It's a crazy a** ride.



The helix around the station is insane.

I have to say though, on this particular ride we hopped in the back row and for once I might have to agree with you guys. While I still love the ride, it's definitely getting rough.





I'm f*cking with you. This is Knoebels, the land of endless sunshine, rainbows, pierogies and awesomeness. Roughness and painful rides do not exist in this magical land (okay fine, maybe one). There is a legend that states that back in the ancient times of 2004, a plague of roughness, headbanging and sh*ttiness befell this magical place but Dick Knoebel bravely fought it off and banished this evil demon to Costa Rica where it could never hurt the people of Elysburg again.


What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Anyway... Twister was perfection, as always.


After our amazing Twister ride we were working up quite the appetite and I had been deprived long enough, so we marched ourselves to the front of the park to the magical pierogie counter. By the way, if you were expecting constructive criticism or objectivity in this report, you should stop reading now. Check out this report if you want to see some b*tching.



It's pierogie-o-clock

After enjoying our magnificent pierogies we decided to hit up the chairlift and digest a little. For those unfamiliar, this slow moving, relaxing chairlift is a highly dangerous thrill ride that children can easily fall out of and die. It's also impossible to evacuate in an emergency and it's a horrifying lawsuit waiting to happen (if you listen to coaster enthusiasts trying to justify Lake Compounce caving to stupid people).



Hi Lake Compounce, how's life?

If you posses enough common sense to ride this white knuckle thrill ride without hurling yourself to your death you get some great views of the park and of the fantastic fall foliage. Given some unseasonably warm weather, the leaves weren't as far along as they normally are for Phunfest but it was a still a very pretty ride. This year if you wanted to see perfect fall foliage the first week of October you would have probably needed to head up north a little to some place like Bristol, CT where you could... oh.



Thank you Knoebels for not letting stupid people ruin everyone else's fun!

Once we defied the odds and safely exited the chairlift we realized that all of that eating had made us pretty hungry so we decided to indulge in an ice cream waffle and then get in line for Flying Turns.



Oh my god I love this park

Flying Turns was sporting a 45 minute wait per usual, but we wanted to get it in on the first day given the threat of rain on Sunday. Flying Turns has issues with rain and we wanted to make sure we got a ride in. While in line we took in some of the brilliant Halloween theming of the 3rd best Halloween event in the world.



Jim sounds like my kind of dude. May he rest in peace...

I'll admit, the first time I rode Flying Turns I was actually a bit underwhelmed with it. Maybe it was the 7 years of hype, maybe it needed time to break in, I don't know... but it's really grown on me since and it seems like this ride gets faster and more out of control every time I ride it. The section before the main lift is honestly pretty crazy in it's own right and really sets the tone for the ride, but once the ride drops off the second lift it becomes almost ridiculously fast and crazy and makes you legitimately believe you're about to die. Flying Turns has really grown on me. I was underwhelmed at first but now I'm at the point where I absolutely love the thing.



Since the ride takes place in a trough, it's nearly impossible to photograph aside from the lift hills.

At that point we had managed to ride most of the park's marquee attractions so we decided to slow down a bit, ride some rides as we came to them and take in the atmosphere. We hit Black Diamond next (which is always a great time), then Round Up (which is my favorite round up anywhere) and then another awesome Phoenix ride before browsing some of the shops and taking in the Phunfest atmosphere as the sun started to set. There's nothing like a fall night at Knoebels. It was a little warmer than normal and didn't have that patented crisp fall feel, but the atmosphere was still the same as always. Anyone who declares Hallo-O-Fun the 3rd best Halloween event in the world is an idiot, but there's something very charming and fun about a park where every ride is thoughtfully decorated with standard consumer Halloween decorations that most likely came from Party City and Wal Mart.



This ride... holy sh*t


Bacon on a stick? Don't mind if I do...


We took another spin on Paratrooper, because why not?

After Paratrooper, we were in the mood to try something new and after eyeing it for years but never riding I decided it was finally time to check out the Roto Jet. I was always hesitant to ride Roto Jet since I always thought it sort of looked like a kids ride but I always found it incredibly cool. Last year it had a sign out front celebrating a big anniversary and I thought I'd make that my excuse to ride, but it never happened.


The last two times I rode a ride that I thought looked like a kids ride at Knoebels, I turned out being dead wrong and now ride them all the time (the boats and the sky slide). Since there was no line, we made our way to the Roto Jet to see if this would end up being the same type of thing.



Brit ready to jet

As we boarded our jets we couldn't help but notice that (though quite spacious) they really aren't the most comfortable things in the world and they start out at a very akward angle but when you're talking about a ride so old that really almost adds to the charm. It actually felt like it was trying to dump you out to your left though and I was looking forward to raising the jet a bit so it would straighten out and feel a bit more natural.


Once the ride started I quickly realized that it was no kids ride. The rockets were spinning about as fast as you'd want them to spin at ground level before you needed to hold on and brace pretty hard, and once we started to raise the things it became pretty awesome. They don't raise quickly, so you actually get sort of a sense of accomplishment once you get your vehicle to the top of the ride since it requires a bit of work, and when you release you can get some pretty abrupt drops. The Roto Jets get a big thumbs up from me and we'll be sure to ride them a ton on our future visits to the park.



What a cool looking ride...

As the final remnants of sun began to fade, we made our way up towards the front to get a ride on the Haunted pioneer train. We prefer the Haunted Antique Cars since it features live actors and is legitimately scary as hell, but the wait time for those was already almost 2 hours so (as we often do) we opted for the train and more Phoenix rides instead.



We hit the carousel on the way, I was definitely a little rusty but half way through I found my groove and started stockpiling rings per usual

We made our way up to the train and quickly discovered that it was already sporting a massive line. Luckily the people around us in line were pretty cool and "pass the pumpkin" was in full effect to help pass the time.



At Hall O Fun they take Pioneer Train night rides seriously

Luckily the wait was only about 30 minutes and it was only that long because there was a 10 minute delay while 6 people attempted to pry someone who had a few too many pierogies out of the train and back into their scooter. I'd never seen someone get stuck in the train before, but I guess you see something new every day.



The theme of the ride this year I guess was a demonic medicine show, but in reality it was pretty much all over the place (but a ton of fun)

While it's not comparable with the haunted antique cars, they really stepped up their game on the train this year. They don't feature live actors so it's not scary for children, but the theming and props have really improved. At one point the train even stops for a timed, corny explosion effect. The entire thing was an absolute blast (see what I did there?). lol



Back under Twister

After the train ride, we hit the Scooters again real quick (which were awesome obviously, though Brit got the sh*t beat out of her and this time it wasn't even my fault lol) and then made our way over to the boats. The boats always have a wait, but they're a great time. They're absolutely impossible to steer so generally you end up crashing into walls and grabbing onto low hanging bridges and Kozmos Curves supports to help push them where you want them to go. It's a sh*t show, but in the best way possible.


To see what a beautiful train wreck this really is, watch with the sound on. The video quality improves dramatically part way through but in the end it's still shot on an iphone 5 at night so what do you want from me? lol


On second thought, thank god this park doesn't serve booze. We may have died. That crash at the end defies the laws of physics. My #1 role model in life, Jimmy Buffet would be so disappointed in me


Between the Scooters and the boats, all of that crashing had made us pretty hungry so we made our way back to Cesari's Pizza for dinner.


As everyone knows, I'm a bit of a pizza snob. Generally speaking I can't stand the pizza from any pizza place that's not located in New York, Montreal or the surrounding areas. For some reason, nobody else knows how to make dough and the pizza is usually either a greasy f*cking mess or has stupid sh*t on it like pineapples to distract you from how much it sucks. As I documented in my last report, I can now confidently add Chicago to the list of places that suck at making pizza too.


Outside of the New York and Montreal areas I can really only think of 3 places where I legitimately like the pizza. One is Grotto (in Delaware, it sucks in Pennsylvania), one is Wildwood and the other... almost inexplicably is in the middle of bumblef*ck Pennsylvania at Knoebels which is surrounded for hundreds of miles in every direction by nothing but terrible pizza.



Brit went with one of their healthier options


...And I absolutely did not (Bonus points for the Birch Beer)

I legitimately can't explain how this pizza is good but it is. The only hypothesis I have is that either the awesomeness of Knoebels in general defies the laws of the universe (I'm going with that) or that they made a deal with the state where they had the ability to defy what is apparently Pennsylvania state law and make pizza crust that isn't a complete doughy dumpster fire. Also, they're VERY generous with their use of oregano and that's something I can always get behind.


After our delicious pizza we were running out of time but we decided to hit a few more rides on our way back to Phoenix. First up was the Paratrooper since it was stopping right as we were walking by. As always, it was a great ride and it was made better by the great music selection coming from the nearby Cosmotron. Normally I get screwed by the Cosmotron, but it sounded like the DJ had some common sense so I reluctantly made my way over there next. I never learn...



Ain't no party like a Cosmotron party cuz a Cosmotron party don't stop.

As we entered the ride, they were blasting Nirvana so I was feeling good about things. I love this ride, but last time we rode it I had a very traumatic experience where as soon as the bars locked they switched over to Bruno Mars for the entire ride. I know I'm apparently in the minority, but Bruno Mars f*cking sucks. Every time I hear that stupid song about him catching a grenade I can't help but wish that he would, and being locked into a seat and forced to listen to that sh*t was a truly traumatic experience that I didn't want to repeat.


I never learn... this time as soon as the bar locked, Nirvana switched off and "Hit me Baby One More Time" by Brittany Spears switched on. Brit found it hilarious, I'm convinced the Cosmotron gods hate me. Luring people in with Nirvana and then switching to Brittany Spears is a real dick move.


In all seriousness, the ride was fun and it did switch to a much better song halfway through. I honestly love the Cosmotron and it's sort of a bummer that we only managed one ride.


After the Cosmotron we decided to make our way back to Phoenix, hitting StartosFEAR on the way since it was loading right as we walked up. As always... the ride was holy sh*t, OMFG amazing.



I love this lighting package.

After our drop we made our way back to Phoenix to end the night on a high note. We went for the back again and were treated to an unforgettable night ride. As always there was an incredible festive atmosphere surrounding the ride with plenty of hand slapping on the way up the lift and cheering as the train roared back into the station. God I love Phunfest!


Unfortunately as we made our way around for a re-ride we found that they had cut the line off about 10 minutes early. Normally for Phunfest they leave it open past 10 or at least wait until 10 so we didn't expect that at all. Lots of people were b*tching (because that's what enthusiasts do), but while it was a slight bummer we weren't about to let 10 minutes put a damper on an otherwise perfect day. Plenty of people did, but that's f*cking ridiculous. We had an awesome night ride, and we made our way back towards the front in search of an open ride.


Luckily it wasn't long before we found one and once again we hopped on board the Paratrooper. Apparently the speed isn't pre-set on this thing (not suprising if you've seen the controls for it... or really any ride at Knoebels. This is the land that technology forgot ) and this time they were running it on absolute Fun Spot Orlando mode. They offered a generously long ride and when we stopped we saw more people in line (but not nearly enough to fill the ride) so we were told we could ride again and were treated to another insane Paratrooper ride. It's a little different ending a night at Phunfest with back to back Paratrooper rides, but it was a ton of fun and we certainty weren't complaining. It wasn't intentional, but we actually rode Paratrooper more than anything else that day.




Thanks to Knoebels for another amazing Phoenix Phall Phunfest! Maybe we didn't marathon the sh*t out of Phoenix like we normally do (though we still got 3 or 4 rides), but luckily we were coming back the next day and we fully intended to make up for it


Up next: The Covered Bridge Festival and Knoebels Day 2!

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LOL that video of the boat ride is hilarious. I'm having flashbacks of driving to Virginia last year.


Great update! I need to get to this park!!!

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Oh god...the withdrawals...


Hi, my name is Andrew, and it has been two months since I visited Knoebels.


Seriously, this looks really great. The only downside to enthusiast events is the enthusiasts. I don't really care for Halloween events generally, so I really love the total dorkiness of the decorations. What can I say? I'm a sucker for puns.


Oh, and totally jealous about the Impulse line, or lack thereof. That thing was 45 minutes every time I went. Great coaster; they don't have a single bad one, and that includes Kozmo's Kurves.

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Man I miss Knoebels. A friend is getting married in the Corning, NY area next summer which is like 2ish hours away? You can bet I'm making time in the schedule to squeeze half a day in at he Holy Land.

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Thanks guys!


Oh, and totally jealous about the Impulse line, or lack thereof. That thing was 45 minutes every time I went. Great coaster; they don't have a single bad one, and that includes Kozmo's Kurves.


We seriously almost rode Kozmo's Kurves on Saturday night. We don't need the credit, it's just fantastic.

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Excellent report! I love how my job brings me close to Knoebels. when I visit the PA site. When I say close, I mean 1.5 hours. So everyday after work I drove there and my coworkers thought I was nuts. I am. I'm nuts for Knoebels.


I have never tried those boats before but it looks like I should give them a try! Can't be any worse than driving bumper cars after beer at Oktoberfest.

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Great report! I've driven those boats before and years ago I was able to get through the entire ride without hitting a wall (except entering/exiting the station), but IDK if the driving got worse since then.

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Your bumper car story reminds me of one night when I was working Valleyfair's bumper cars. It was the last ride of the night and the only two people were this older couple in their 80s. He just spent the whole ride chasing her around and ramming her when she got trapped in the sea of unoccupied cars. I can totally see that being you and Brit in a few years.


Oh, and


Cosmotron DJ probs has a sh!t-eating grin on his face.

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I MUST VISIT THIS PARK SOON! Seriously, I must! I hear only great things about Knoebels and your trip report truly assured me it's time I make a visit. Great report!


Yes....you must...


Bill - I always enjoy your trip reports, but this one was amped up to 11. Amazing read and I'm totally jealous.


Thanks for bringing some laughter to my day.

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Excellent report! I love how my job brings me close to Knoebels. when I visit the PA site. When I say close, I mean 1.5 hours. So everyday after work I drove there and my coworkers thought I was nuts.


Your coworkers are nuts... you're doing what any reasonable person would do.


Great report! I've driven those boats before and years ago I was able to get through the entire ride without hitting a wall (except entering/exiting the station), but IDK if the driving got worse since then.


You should win a f*cking medal.


Your bumper car story reminds me of one night when I was working Valleyfair's bumper cars. It was the last ride of the night and the only two people were this older couple in their 80s. He just spent the whole ride chasing her around and ramming her when she got trapped in the sea of unoccupied cars. I can totally see that being you and Brit in a few years.


Oh, and




I MUST VISIT THIS PARK SOON! Seriously, I must! I hear only great things about Knoebels and your trip report truly assured me it's time I make a visit. Great report!
I need to make it to Knoebels next year!


Drop what you're doing and book a trip now. Seriously...


That boat video needs to win an award of some sort.


Thanks! I've watched that video quite a few times and I laugh every time. What a clusterf*ck those things are (in the best way possible).


Bill - I always enjoy your trip reports, but this one was amped up to 11. Amazing read and I'm totally jealous.


Thanks for bringing some laughter to my day.


Thanks! I try.

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Alright! On to day 2!


We awoke the next morning at our hotel in Frackville (yes, that's really the name of the town) to a cloudy, rainy morning. For those unfamiliar with the bumblefucktucky region of Eastern Pennsylvania, Frackville is lcoated off of I-81 near Mahanoy Cityand most importantly NOWHERE F*CKING NEAR KNOEBELS. Why were we staying in Frackville? Because the Covered Bridge Festival fills every single hotel in the region to capacity so the only options left are places like Comfort Suites in Sunbury that jack their prices up from about $85 a night to over $250 a night that weekend because they're dicks.


Because of this, the closest Choice Hotel (because there's no way I was staying anywhere else with the promotion I brought up here going on) that wasn't completely gouging was an Econo Lodge 45 minutes from the park. The hotel was pretty much sh*t. It had weird motion sensors that turned lights on and off throughout the night (Brit was convinced it was haunted) so I ended up unplugging every lamp in the place so we could actually sleep but when you're trying to stay near Knoebels on Covered Bridge weekend you can't expect much without shelling out hundreds of dollars so I guess we couldn't complain too much.


I know Knoebels has a campground, but I'd rather die than go camping. True story: I used to be a Boy Scout and 3 weeks in we went tent camping on a 10 degree night in upstate New York and it was f*cking miserable. I quit scouts the day we got home. Never f*cking again. I don't work 5 days a week to sleep in the f*cking woods, much less in a tent next to a bunch of coaster enthusiasts where I would (presumably) have to listen to them discuss whether or not Twister was getting rough or complain about how the "Schmeck Seat (which I guess is a thing?!?!?!)" was roped off on Phoenix for a portion of the day while I was trying to sleep. I know Econo Lodge sucks, but it's better then camping. Literally everything is better than camping.


Anyway, the rain was sort of a bummer but we knew it was a possibility and we also knew the forecast called for it to clear up early on so we weren't too concerned. Thankfully it seemed to have scared people away as we pulled into the lot around 9AM without any backups whatsoever. Holy crap! You don't see that very often at the Covered Bridge festival. Best of all, by the time we pulled into the lot the rain had completely stopped.


The park didn't open for about 3 hours but the festival was in full swing which is why we got there so early. I'm not really a craft fair guy, but it's always fun to spend a few hours at the Covered Bridge Festival. We have a habit of spending way too much money there as they actually do have some pretty cool stuff but we were on our best behavior this year, spending most of our money on dips from the dip lady (If you've ever been, you understand), marinades and just general Knoebels food like Tri-Taters.



Starting the day off with a delicious diabetes roll. Seriously... these Cinnamon Roll people are here every year and they're f*cking amazing. You might die or spend the rest of the day in a coma, but it's worth it.


You could spend hours checking out all of the vendors


They even had a tent with a bunch of Alpacas for some reason. lol


We spent the next few hours browsing, eating and shopping. The Covered Bridge festival is probably more of a Brit thing than a me thing, but I still enjoy it quite a bit. There's plenty of food tents (with tons of free samples) and tents that appeal to guys to keep me entertained while she's browsing around sh*t I don't care about like jewelry made from walnuts, $80 Himalayan salt lamps that don't work and clothes. Plus with all of the talented and creative vendors you do occasionally come across something so artistically brilliant and masterfully crafted that even I can't help but be in awe of it.



... see?

By the time 12:00 rolled around we had really had our fill of the festival so we went back to the car with our haul and proceeded into the park. Normally on the second day of the festival we take a more relaxed pace and buy tickets rather than wristbands so we bought a few tickets and made our way over to the Haunted Mansion.



Holy crap, the sun's out!

The Haunted Mansion isn't included with pay one price plans so we always make it a point to save that for day two. As classic dark rides go, this one is absolutely outstanding and we ride it infrequently enough that we never remember where everything is so it always feels fresh with plenty of good scares scattered throughout the house. As usual, every effect seemed to be working and perfectly timed. They really have this thing down to a science.


I hate to be the one to break with tradition, but since it was only noon, we were already done with the festival and we were hoping to right the wrong of only getting 3 Phoenix rides the previous day, I broke down. Normally we avoid it on day two, but it was feeling like a handstamp kind of day. After discussing it with Brit we both concluded that we had no will power at all and made our way over to the booth as part of our endless life mission to give Knoebels all of our money.



Awwwwwwwwww sh*t

Since we were in the area, we made the flyers our first stop. Like the previous day, they were cracking down on snapping by slowing the ride way down once someone started putting on a show. One and done for us... riding these things during Phunfest is never as much fun as riding them any other time when they don't seem to care as much. It was still fun though and we still snapped them quite a bit.



Ironically, there are a lot more Phun when it's not Phunfest.

Next up was Twister, a ride that we had somehow only managed to ride once the previous day. This time we waited for the front and as always the ride was absolutely insane. For me, Twister is a front seat ride. While the back is certainty more aggressive, the front offers a great pop of air on the turnaround hill after the drop and by it's very nature the ride is full of great visuals. There's not a bad seat on Twister, but the front is where it's at.



Twister's logo offers a rare, behind the scenes look at the exact process used to make Arrow Looper track.

After another great ride on Twister, we decided it was time to right the wrongs of the previous day and head over to Phoenix (after making a pit stop at StartosFEAR on the way was amazing as always). Phoenix was running one train but it doesn't really matter as the crew was dispatching that train in about 20 seconds each and every time. We parked ourselves at Phoenix for awhile and managed to rack up 3 or 4 rides in a span of about 20 minutes... most of which were near the front which provided us with the type of ridiculous airtime display that only the Phoenix can.



It's always amazed me that a coaster that looks this average and unassuming when you walk up to it can kick such a ridiculous amount of a**.

I often say that the only standup coaster I actually enjoy is the Carowinds Vortex (yeah, I know) but I really feel like I should consider adding Phoenix to that list. If you ride this thing with your hands up and don't hold on for dear life you basically stand up on the double up double down and the entire last run of airtime hills. The fact that this thing only has a buzz bar is so wonderfully awesome that you can't help but wonder how it's even allowed to exist in this lame a** country in 2017. This ride is absolute perfection, as is the park. Please never change.



On that note, the guy in the front row seems to be holding his daughter down so she doesn't fly to the campground. Good move. lol

After 4 (ish) rides, we reluctantly pried ourselves away from Phoenix to check out the rest of the awesome park. Fandango (the park's frisbee ride that we had somehow missed the previous day) was our next stop, and luckily it was loading right as we walked up so we got right on.



These things are always a blast.

While it's no "Maxair" or "It", we're big Fandago fans. While the restraints aren't the most comfortable things in the world, the actual ride experience more than makes up for it. If you're lucky enough to be facing the sky on one of it's powerful upward swings it delivers an insane amount of airtime once it reaches it's maximum height. This ride feels a lot more like a KMG fireball than it does a Huss Frisbee in that it actually feels like it's being forced downwards once it reaches it's maximum swing angle and doesn't just drop with the normal force of gravity. I have no idea if that's true or not but it certainly feels that way and it's a great ride. The ride gets bonus points for the severed feet / leg decorations below the floor too. It's only visible from the ride when the floor drops but it's a hilarious touch.


Lucky for us, our legs were spared being sliced apart by the Fandango floor so we were able to exit the ride under our own power and walk to our next destination, Impulse! Impulse was only running one of it's trains (with mechanics visibly working on the other) but the line didn't look too terrible so we decided to stick it out.



For Impulse, that's not too bad!

Given the one train operations, the line ended up being about 40 minutes (if we knew that we PROBABLY would have spent that 40 minutes at Flying Turns instead but whatever) but I can't complain too much after being spoiled the previous day. While I still find it incredibly strange that the ride is at Knoebels, it's an incredibly fun coaster and I'm really starting to like it. That slow barrel roll is one of the better inversions on any coaster anywhere just because you can throw your hands up like an idiot and it feels like you're going to slam into countless supports and track as you slowly roll through it. It's no Phoenix, Twister or Flying Turns but I like this thing.



I had plenty of time to take pictures while standing in that 40 minute line. I love this ride's lift hill and first drop.


The loop is a highlight as well.

Since the line was longer than expected, by the time we got off we realized it was already after pierogie o clock and we were running late so we made our way over to the glorious land of pierogies to correct this injustice immediately. As always, I think I heard a choir singing in the background as I ate them and they continue to be one of the single greatest things I've ever tasted. Holy sh*t, Knoebels. We're not worthy.


Such brilliance often takes time to digest as your system tries to comprehend all of the greatness within and figure out how to properly process it so we decided to hit something slow for our next ride. We had ridden the chairlift the previous day and we contemplated riding it again but in the end we decided on the ferris wheel instead.



Am I "instagramming" correctly or should I put a sh*tty filter on it?


How about now?


If you want Impulse pictures, head for the Ferris wheel.

The ferris wheel provided a nice ride (as always), though Brit finds herself completely terrified of these things for some reason. I prefer the view from the chairlift, but the ferris wheel does offer some great views of Impulse and the front of the park. It's always nice to take it for a spin.



There aren't many parks outside of China that allow guests to pinch a loaf from the top of the ferris wheel, but at Knoebels this is perfectly acceptable behavior!

By the time we touched back down to earth we were running light on time and only had about 90 minutes until close so we decided to start slowly making our way to the back for a Phoenix party (or "fest" if you will) but we wanted to hit a few more things on the way.


Brit had a score to settle so our next stop was the Scooters where she definitely managed to pay me back for the previous day, getting behind me and proceeding to pummel me at every opportunity. The scooters were awesome as always, and she looked pretty proud of herself by the end of the ride. lol



She looks innocent but it's a trap

Next up was the Carousel, a ride that we had ridden the previous day but didn't get to sit anywhere near each other due to the mad rush for outside horses. This time we managed to get to the front of the line and sit back to back. It was clear from the start that I had gotten over the slow start from the previous day and I managed to snag every ring as we continued around. As I was so focused on grabbing each of the rings, I barely even noticed that at some point I had somehow managed to grab the brass one, earning me free tickets to ride again! That's actually a first for me, so it definitely offered me some bragging rights when we got off.



I tried to get a picture of me with my "winnings", but it came out like sh*t so here's a picture of the carousel instead. lol

Still basking in my glory, we continued our trek to the back. We were down to our last 45 minutes or so but we snagged a quick Paratrooper ride before making it back to the Phoenix for the last 30 or so minutes of the day to end our weekend in style.



This sign makes a compelling argument, who am I to argue?

We racked up more rides than I could count on Phoenix, switching from the back seats to the front seats to (on one occasion) row one (which was excellent). Every single seat provides an absolutely amazing ride every single time. This coaster is absolutely phenomenal.



Phoenix during Hall-O-Fun, the only coaster where you can be eaten and later sh*t out by a Pumpkin!

This is an amazing time for wood coasters. Just in the last few years, RMC and Intamin have totally changed the game. Wood coasters can (successfully) go higher and faster than ever before. We have launched wood coasters, we have wood coasters doing barrel rolls, dive loops, zero g stalls and ridiculous acrobatics that older wood coasters could never dream of doing. We all still love the classics, but for the most part they can't compete with these coasters.



This ride is amazing

This coaster though, continues to hold it's own. It's a classic but it doesn't get by on nostalgia. Phoenix is legitimately one of the best coasters in the world. It's stats are amazingly unimpressive, but it's brilliant design, great restraints (or lack thereof), and absurd amount of airtime put it in an elite class. I don't know if there can ever be a "perfect coaster" but a coaster from 1948 that's infinitely better than 99% of the world's coasters (wood, steel or otherwise) 70 years after it opened is about as close as you can ever get. We're incredibly spoiled to live so close to a coaster this amazing and I can't think of a better way to end a perfect weekend! See you next year, Knoebels!


Up next: Busch Gardens Williamsburg for Howl O Scream and Kings Dominion!

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lmao @ your camping story and for pinching a loaf on the Ferris Wheel. Quality report, as always. *claps*


We always seem to have bad luck and little time when we go to the most magical place on Earth (also long lines and personal life stuff unrelated to knoebels itself getting in the way) so I was still never able to get the full experience the two times I've been. I always forget about all those other rides you mentioned. One day I will have a proper Knoebels experience; PPP sounds like a good time maybe we will hit it up next year. I never really knew what this Fergie Ferg London bridge festival was all about but now it all makes sense


How dare you not play fascination while there! There is nothing like spending $30 on a game for an hour and walking away with a few twizzlers to show for it and still wanting to go back... lol.

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Great report, as always! It seems like every time you write about Knoebels, I find myself nodding in agreement to every sentiment you share. As far as Impulse is concerned, the line looked rough when we got to it, but we asked the attendant if they were doing a single rider line. They hadn't been, but she took it upon herself to ask the top of the ride and they let us walk right up a separate set of steps and we are on in two trains. They oughta always be running that because if they can fill every train full, it would help a bit with the line. I was also disappointed with how they were running the flyers (we got a bit lucky riding it early Saturday).

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Great report! I loved your captions, particularly the pinched loaf one and the Arrow track comments.


I agree 100% Twister is a front seat ride and most of the time I'll only ride in that seat. Not because the only seats stink, but because the front is significantly better and that's amplified even further at night. Twister is an incredible night ride but I only can bring myself to ride in once or twice before I end my night with the obligatory Phoenix marathon.


I still need to go to the correct pierogi place the next time I'm at Knoebels. I've been going to the wrong place all these years. They've still been good, but not choir of angels good.

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I could not think of a place more worthy of giving all your money than Knoebels. Totally disagree about camping--I find it fun--but then, I don't work five days a week either (4x10 FTW!).


What the hell is a Schmeck seat? Enthusiasts....


I can't believe Knoebels manaaged to make itself more awesome, but yeah, Jamison on tap will do that.


Fandango is awesome! While that's a ride type that I usually ride after a couple of beers, I really enjoyed it. It didn't quite have the ridiculous air of "It", but it was pretty great.


Oh, and as a longtime fan of Kids in the Hall, I totally approve of pinching loaves, people, and other faroff things.

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Great writeup of the event, Bill! It was a pleasure finally getting to meet you and Brit ever-so-briefly on Saturday night before having to wrangle the kiddo and locate the wife.


I was a bit nervous as well because this ended up being my first "enthusiast" event as well and I was really preparing for the worst of humanity to be on full display, but overall, it ended up being a really great time. I think Knoebels just has that effect on people. No matter how crowded it got, it never felt overwhelming. Here's hoping the family and I can make this into an annual thing!

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