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It looked REALLY close to being done when we were there and that was well over a month ago.

 

I had heard, unofficially but from someone in a position to know, that it would've been open weeks ago except the fire inspector didn't like the size of one of the walkways.

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So despite the weather forecasts suggesting a 50/50 chance of thunderstorms, I still decided to make the 2-hr trek to Knoebel's today. I was pretty close to calling it off and going to Great Adventure

Knoebels is absolutely one of my favorite places to visit. And it would take a lot for me to be steered away from returning (ie- ripping down Phoenix, and Twister, replacing the bumper cars with stand

Remember the lady who married 1001 Nachts? Well now there's Lady falls in love with a ride....The Movie!

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I was fortunate enough to be at the park today for a ride on Black Diamond. The rides were scheduled to open at noon and a line started forming around Black Diamond soon after. I can't say exactly, but it seemed by around 1 pm, they were cycling trains and by about 1:30 or so Dick Knoebels was called over for the inaugural ride. Unfortunately, with just Mr. Knoebels and one other person in the front row, the train was not able to engage the lift and sort of stalled before the first lift. Long story short, he got his ride, they made some tweeks, he rode again, soon after many from the Knoebel's family were riding, then the ride ops, and by probably about 2 pm or so, the ride was taking it's first public riders. As you've all seen the TPR tour pics, I'll keep this review short.

 

-they were running 5 trains (two cars per train, up to four riders per car)

-the restraints are just a single self retracting seat belt that goes across both riders

-there is a stationary bar across the width of the train to give you something to hold onto

-there are no seat dividers so larger riders can take a whole row if necessary

 

-the ride is surprisingly (and enjoyably) long

-there is a TON to see, especially for how quickly you move through each scene, certainly, this is one of those rides that you will notice new details each time you ride

-the ride has a mixture of very modern effects with old tried and true effects

-the ride is very dark (physically), there's about enough light for you to see the scenes and that's it

-while there is no musical score, there are a lot of sound effects throughout the ride as well as some dialogue

-is the ride scary? not per-say, unless you have a fear of the dark, but there are a few moments that may make you jump (as well as a few moments that may make you laugh)

 

Overall, a VERY enjoyable ride and a perfect fit for Knoebels! So glad to see this attraction open and I could certainly see this ride making it's way onto some folk's favorite dark ride lists.

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I went to Knoebel's last year and was disappointed to find they were working on two coasters. I felt ripped off haahah. But I am extremely excited to go here on The New Hotness trip next summer and ride this. I am glad to hear it is a lengthy experience. The idea of the ride being 'terrained' per-say, excites me. And I always like multiple lifts. Not a dull moment.

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I applaud Knoebel's for getting a dark ride ready in time for October.

 

I may not be back to that great park for, say, for several years (or another decade), but I really appreciate when awesome parks that I've visited multiple times add a dark ride/coaster hybrid.

 

Cant' wait to experience it! And can't WAIT to visit that awesome park for a 3rd time!

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-the ride is surprisingly (and enjoyably) long

-there is a TON to see, especially for how quickly you move through each scene, certainly, this is one of those rides that you will notice new details each time you ride

-the ride has a mixture of very modern effects with old tried and true effects

-the ride is very dark (physically), there's about enough light for you to see the scenes and that's it

 

I'm not saying it's a bad ride, but for the price (and the wait), there are a few things I wish they'd have done differently.

 

First, even though I have excellent night vision, I felt that I was missing a LOT in each scene due to the VERY dim lighting. Their original haunted house lets you take in most of the scenes in much greater detail, and I KNOW from Robb's pictures and others that there's lots of detail in Black Diamond.

 

Second, all the tricks were triggering for the first car, which makes sense of course, but by the time the last row of the last car got around to where they were in full view (the track is very twisty), most of them were already resetting for the next train, even though the next train was nowhere in sight behind us. (I'm curious to see how they're going to handle requests for the front seat in the future -- obviously nobody was going to ask for it today.)

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Thanks for the detailed review, CoasterLover. Sounds like a fun, thoughtfully designed and rider-friendly attraction. I'm sure I will be one of countless people who will enjoy it, and I look forward to riding.

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Glad they were finally able to open this. Not sure when I will be able to get up there again, but it appears they've just added another awesome attraction to an already stellar lineup!

Edited by ernierocker
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I was there yesterday as well. By far the longest line I've ever waited for anything at Knoebels yesterday. And by chance we happened to be behind an employee of Knoebels, and was talking in detail about all the flood damage at the park.

 

I will say towards the end of the night, Black diamond was down for the count. They were sending out empty trains with maintenance headed into the ride, so we ended up just marathoning the Phoenix for the last hour or so.

 

Which besides the Black Diamond, Twister and Phoenix were both flying, and there was more air time on the Phoenix than I had experienced recently. Let's just say towards the end of the Phoenix it felt like I had ended up on a stand up coaster, I was that far out of my seat.

 

And every other amusement park (ie Six Flags), needs to come to Knoebels, and just watch the Phoenix crew and learn how to dispatch two trains.

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This ginger kid was also at Phunfest!

 

The day started off slow - my buddies and I arrived around 11:00 or so, we bought our hand stamp combo (this weird guy at one of the counters like, really feels your hand before he puts the stamp on - cree-pee). I really wanted to check out Black Diamond as I hadn't seen it for a while.

 

I ran into Ccron10 from Keystone Thrills and his buddies, he's a very nice guy. He recognized me pretty easily (I WONDER WHY...). I hung out at Black Diamond in hopes that it would open at noon. It didn't, and I decided that I would wait until 12:15 as my own friends ditched me to go ride Phoenix while I waited pathetically for the attraction to open. It didn't, so I left and joined my friends at Phoenix, boarding the train after about a ten-minute wait.

 

Such a fantastic roller coaster...

 

We then turned our attention to Twister, which was a walk-on. Twister seems to have gotten rougher over the years, I wonder what they can do about it. Twister seemed like it was a walk-on all day, which I wasn't surprised about. The name of the event is PHOENIX Phall Phunfest, after all.

 

We continued to explore the park, riding all the Knoebels "bucket list" attractions. I skipped out on the Skooters because I was separated from the other two in my group (they got boarded and I didn't), and the Haunted Mansion because I hate that blasted truck horn.

 

Black Diamond finally opened to the public at around 2:00. The queue was horrendous -

 

queue.png.daf599bc94b76124f35b131be7b18859.png

Hastily-made infographic. Blue is the building, pink is the queue.

We went back and forth - getting in, getting out, getting in again. It wasn't still we were separated (two go one way, I go the other way) that I decided to get in the queue. I just needed some time to vegetate, and what better place than a queue line.

 

After ninety minutes or so, I got on the ride after this rude lady complained how the ride wasn't for handstamps and that she wasn't told, yet it was printed on the handstamp board along with Haunted Mansion and Skyride as "not included". She got to ride anyway. I saw her later in the day and she said the ride was too "baby"ish.

 

I liked it. I like how the ride is gravity-driven, and in some sections you're going faster and faster until you brake suddenly. While the ride isn't as good as the Haunted Mansion, I liked the effects better, and there was no truck horn. Was it worth the wait to ride the attraction on opening day? Yes. Would I wait that long any other day? [censored] no.

 

I got four more Phoenix rides in before five. Then, my buddies and I got together again to eat supper, and this time the three of us all went wherever we wanted to go. I saw Ccron again while riding the Carousel. After riding the carousel (nine rings, smashing my personal best of eight - I know, I suck), I went straight back to you-know-what.

 

Phoenix. I marathoned Phoenix from about 6:30 until 10. I got fifteen more rides in before 10:00, smashing another personal best of "how many times can you ride a roller coaster in one day", with a total of twenty. The crew was fantastic, having a whole ten to fifteen seconds of wait between "all clear" and "dispatch". They were just that good. The lines were moving quickly.

 

I swear those guys groaned every time they saw me get in that train after about the 10th time. I just love Phoenix so much! Front-row seat in the orange train is my favorite!

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^Were you the red haired guy in line at Black diamond between 3 and 4?

 

Also randomly, I saw a Club TPR shirt getting off the Phoenix a little after 9, but didn't catch the person's face. I just saw the logo and went TPR person.

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I talked to a security guard later who was in change of the area later and he said that it he talked to a few people in line and they said they were waiting 3hrs and 45 minutes at one point. I personally waited 3 hrs to be one of the first riders and I'm not dissappointed that I did because I met some people in line and we ended up hanging out for most of the day. Got to see A.J. ( I think I remember seeing you at ECB), which was cool.

The ride pretty much is the most detailed indoor coaster I've been on (compared to Dark Knight and Exterminator at Kennywood). Everywhere you looked there was scenery and not some black void or nothingness to fill space.

I pretty much think the storyline was this:

You tesspass on a coal mine in the East Central Pennsylvania region (probably near Centralia) and there are currently miners working inside. One of the miners sets off some explosives and poisonous gas leaks into the mine. From here chaos insues and with the mine having some type of magical ability to give some of the miners, who died, to work as skellitons, pretty much the mine falls apart and you end up underground at Centralia (my favorite scene in the ride) and then go through the spinning barrel of fire.

The whole event was MUCH more than what I expected it to be, which was just nighttime rides on the Phoenix, a swap meet, and a few halloween decorations.

I will be posting a detailed Photo Trip Report tonight!

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Im actually in that pic lol im in the yellow shirt, I waited over an hour for that ride and must say that it is an awesome ride. Wish the ride line was shorter but it pretty much stayed full all day long lol

 

They did a great job with the ride .

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After riding Black Diamond over the weekend, I thought the ride was well done. The scenes were of a better quality compared to the Haunted Mansion. There were a few gripes that I had- the timing of some tricks were too early, especially those that were designed to surprise you. Even with sitting in the front of the 1st car the tricks still came on early. The other gripe I had was the block brakes that also functions as a speed control for the ride. We would be going along, picking up speed then suddenly slam into the brakes. It kind of disrupts the flow of the ride. Wish they would come up with something that would control the speed less harshly, like a 2-stage brake system - 1 stage at a lower air pressure for slowing down, and the 2nd stage at a higher air pressure for emergencies. Some of the tricks weren't well lit, like the trapped scene with the hands and feet. Some extra lighting there would be great.

 

I liked the humor at the end of the 2nd drop, and the dino head was a nice surprise as you rounded the bend. The tunnel effect was awesome, hope they keep it running unlike the one in the haunted mansion. They also had a water effect, but it was very unnoticeable.

Sitting in the 2nd car you can feel the drop as it goes down, however you can feel a bit of a braking effect as you go down, but still gives that bit of a wild feeling like on a roller coaster.

 

Hope they make some tweaks during the off-season and make it better for 2012!

 

As for the one who said it was down for the count later on the night at PPP, I was on the next train to go when it went "down". What happened was that the fire alarm went off. So, they shut down the ride to make sure the alarm wasn't coming from the building. It was actually coming from a Halloween decoration outside the ride near the exit that had a smoke effect. The smoke effect would trip the alarm even though there wasn't any fire in the building. After clearing out the train from the building, they had a bit of a rocky start getting it back up again.

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Glad to see that Black Diamond opened up. Sounds like it will be a great addition to the park.

 

On another note, it was 6 years ago today that Robb first posted that Knobels was planning on installing a "Flying Turns" roller coaster (it was officially annouced at PPP on 10/8/2006). I had been planning to do a PA trip once FT opened, so I've been watching this thread over the years, but now with Skyrush and Black Diamond as new attractions, I may have to bite the bullet and do the trip next summer.

Edited by ahecht
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