Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

... with Black Diamond's Grand Opening. Full Report posted!
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Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby Ccron10 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:28 pm

I might as well warn you guys ahead of time in saying that this was my first Knoebels coaster enthusiast event and that I may kind of go crazy with excitement about it.

After a two hour drive from Reading (came home for the weekend from Hershey), got to the parking lot, which wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I've heard in the past of there being traffic jams backed up as far as Elysburg trying to get into the park, but other than a few stop-and-gos, it wasn't bad at all. Kind of had to hike to get the park though.

I didn't really stop and take a look around inside the arts and crafts show because it really didn't fancy my tastes too much. Just went down a row on the main midway. From here I decided to see if the teaser posted on Friday was true and made a b-line for Black Diamond.

Pretty much everyone was at the Covered Bridge Festival so it was only a handful of people at the ride who were mostly maintenance employees. They were sending the trains around and testing them and since nobody was in line at the moment i decided to wait it out since i got though most of the rides back in August (TR for that visit coming soon), that i would try to wait it out and see how it goes.

I got to BD at 10:45am, got in line at 11am and people soon followed suit not too long after. The line would grow, then someone would announce to the crowd that it might be more than an hour until it opens, then 95% of them would leave and the same thing would happen every half-hour. While waiting, I met two guys from New York who decided to wait it out with me. I also met A.J. at this time as well and we pretty much spent the rest of the 2 1/2 hours swapping coaster stories and whatnot, but without them, I probably would've given up waiting much sooner.
Around 1:30 most of the important people like Dick Knoebel and Tom Rebbie showed up. Mr. Knoebel and another guy (who looked very familiar, but forgot his name) got to go on the first train. Unfortunately the train had other plans and didn't grab on to the lift hill (video coming soon). After several tries they got it fixed, more family members got to ride, then we were next.
At 2:20 we walked up to the station, another pair of family members got the front row, I got the second, and my two coaster enthusiast friends got the first row in the train behind me on the first train for the GP.
While it isn't the Phoenix, Tiwster, or Kosmo's Kurves, it was a really great ride! The theming was excellent and had a lot of detail, while it did have drops, they weren't very intense making this a good ride for the family. The only two negatives that I found, that were very minor, were that the timing for the activation for the scenes were a little early and that the rumbling of the wheels made it hard to hear the ride sounds. Other than that, I'd rank it behind Phoenix as far as best coaster in the park. It was very re-rideable too. 9/10

That's it for now. I still have many more photos coming up as well as video so keep watching!
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After hearing all the awesome stories about former PPP events, I was super-excited to be able to be at one this year.
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Pretty much only three rides were closed for the event because of the flood. The Panther Cars...
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This kiddie ferris wheel, which seems to be in the middle of nowhere alog the creek (looks like it was lucky to not have floated away)...
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...and the M&G carousel, which was missing it's horses. It's great to see that the park was able to come back and re-open a little over a week after the flood.
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This is a promising sign.
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SHE LIVES!!!! (insert evil laugh here).
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As for official ride sign for the ride database, I couldn't find an official sign so I went and took a picture of all of them. Have fun deciding Larry.
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You've been warned.
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The restraint system was was a retract-able seatbelt that locks (kind of similar to a car).
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No wristbands for this one.
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No one in front...
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The line went on the other side of the food court not long after i took this picture.
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Then they moved the line over to have it wrap around and zig-zag over near the eagle habitat. Rumor has it that the wait was 3hrs and 45 minutes later in the day (Fuji-Q wait time territory).
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The station theming looked great and the box of explosives covering the control panel added a nice touch.
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The storage track and maintenance area for the cars is behind that mural.
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The station set up was this. The train would move into the station, the passengers would load into it, passengers for the next train will be assigned a row and be told to stand in a box next to the train. the train dispatches. At the exit, the guests would get out and leave, the train would then move to a section in the middle to wait for the train in the loading section to dispatch, then etc.
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Robb might be lurking inside I guess. :P
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In all I waited 3 hours, I had no problem doing it and I made some friends in the process, who I hung out with later in the day. I got my 54th credit, which means that Skyrush will be #55 for me.
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More awesomeness of PPP coming up soon!
Last edited by Ccron10 on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:26 pm.

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby liftsifter » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:16 pm

Thanks for the report! It's awesome to see Black Diamond up and running. Now if they only got Flying Turns open..
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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby A.J. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:19 am

Waiting in the queue for Black Diamond to open...

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby alilstronger » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:09 am

I will be going to the park this Saturday and I have a question. How many of the flats are closed for the Halloween event?
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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby Jim S. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:15 pm

http://www.knoebels.com/pdfs/HalloFunWeb.pdf

If it's not listed, it's probably not open. (And strike the kiddie cars and kiddie carousel from the list, as they were too damaged to be repaired in time.)

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby Ccron10 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:22 pm

^^^ :P
^^I think only the rides towards the back of the park are the only ones open and for the Pioneer Train, they have the station next to the Twister at the bridge going over to the campground.

Let's get back to the report. This section features more Black Diamond photos, nighttime photos and video.

Right after Black Diamond, I went over and checked out the swap meet, which was filled with many cool and nostalgic items for sale. I ended up getting a piece of the Raven at Holiday World for free, six postcards from the 70's and 80's of Hersheypark and Cedar Point, a retro Sooperdooperlooper pin, and a 1999 Hersheypark Coasters brochure. Oh, and a GCI drink coaster.
Next, I went to the front of the park, got my ride on the Skyride, which gave great views of the nearby mountains and the leaves changing then went on the Auto Skooter, which was running in top form as well as the Carousel.
Power Surge gave a good ride and since I rode by myself, it was even more intense with the car leaning to one side.
It was around 4:30 at this point so I went to the Phoenix Junction for dinner, which was awesome as always then got my wristband for the evening.
I met back up with the two friends from earlier and rode Haunted Mansion, got some ice cream, rode the Skooters again twice in a row, Kosmo's Kurves, Flying Trapeze, and Carousel again.
Here's where PPP starts to blow my expectations. We next got in line for the Pioneer Train, which had a 15 minute wait. From looking at past trip reports of this event, I was really expecting just a few night rides on Phoenix and Twister, a swap meet, a few halloween decorations and that's it.
I turned out that Knoebels added a couple of spooky scenes along the train route, which I have to say, were very well done and the working model of a roller coaster in front of the train station added a nice touch.
Next, we went over to Twister and got a night ride on it (and walked right on). The haunted scenes in the queue were well done and what was suprising was that they had scare actors hiding on the exit ramp!
As for the Flyers, you know they're running well when you can hear them banging into the other cars and/or ground. Darth Vader even got into the action as well. Looked like he found his new Death Star.
Did a nighttime ride on Phoenix and it gave some extreme rides this year. I almost flew out on the 2nd far turn around and I realized that you can't get a more extreme ride on it than that.
With a few minutes left until closing, we ran over to Black Diamond to get one last ride. Turns out it was only a 15 minute wait and was still as good as earlier in the day. I then said bye to Anthony and Laura and drove the two hours home.

PPP totally blew my expectations and had to be the best enthusiast event I've ever been to. I already plan on returning next year for this.

Here's a link to the video: http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=2353856399355
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I want to thank J.M.M. Studios for snapping this and the next photo of us on the first ride. They did an awesome job on the interior as well as the station area.
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The best time to ride the Skyride has to be during this event.
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Normally this view is great in the summer...
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...but it better in the fall.
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Are the Lusse skooters in Oregon as good as these?
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Phoenix was going riding more extreme than usual.
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The tunnel is themed and had a fog machine making it even better!
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He rides on the dark side.
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Around 6pm, Black Diamond still had an hour wait.
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The pick-axe gate was a cool touch.
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Then night fell and the park got insane. :)
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There was almost a full moon.
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The park brought in some extra workers to get Flying Turns done.
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Warp-speed through the graveyard!
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Weee...
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Yes, I would want to get that credit.
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No running lights, decorations, perfect.
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Evil spider taking over Twister.
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This is what happens when you don't like PPP.
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For this event, I was really expecting long lines of 15+minutes on all the rides. Turns out that Twister was a walk-on, but most of the other rides wern't too bad.
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His head is on the other side of the track.
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Why in the world did they decide to bring in a random carnival Monkey Maze??
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I had to partisapate in the Flyers during this event. These guys were die-hard pros. I think I got mine up to that caliber, but I'll do better next year.
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...then Darth Vader showed up. Check out the video to see him in flight! I was pretty much dying while watching this. lol
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With nothing but the moonlight, this is the best way to experience the Phoenix. I only did this one other time and that was a few years ago in August on the last ride of the night.
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Queue theming.
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Fog makes everything better.
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I pretty much only waited around 10 minutes to ride.
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Tunnel themeing (don't worry, it's much more detailed deeper inside!).
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This is pretty much what it's lift hill looks like...
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...and here it is with Night Vision!
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Still had the 30 second dispatches.
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I had a great time hanging out with these guys during the event. Sidenote: That nametag I made was pretty much a last-minute thing to go with my LaMaruc Bros. t-shirt and it was a failed attempt at having a costume. I think I'll dress up better next year.
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Black Diamond's control panel.
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We also ended up being the last riders of the day as well.
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Nerdy brake shot.
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There are no seat dividers, which was an added plus.
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This was a great end to a great event.
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I've always hoped to attend this event and now that I did, expect me to be at Phoenix Phall Phunfest 2012 next year. Thanks for reading!

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby sspaz1000 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:14 pm

Somehow I get the feeling we probably walked past each other a couple times, because I see some pictures of people who were near me in line, lol.

Great report!
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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby Jim S. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:32 pm

Ccron10 wrote:As for the Flyers, you know they're running well when you can hear them banging into the other cars and/or ground. Darth Vader even got into the action as well. Looked like he found his new Death Star.


I'd be VERY surprised if there were actually any car-car or car-ground collisions -- it just sounds like that when you bounce on the cables. Now on the other hand, hitting a tree is definitely possible.

PPP is always the best time for flyer airtime. It's always a good day for bumper car airtime too, though I see a good batch of bumper car drivers more often than I see a good batch of flyer drivers.

Did Dick say anything after the event about Flying Turns, other than that they're still hoping to get it open next year? He said that pretty close to the beginning, and I didn't stick around through all the contest winners and stuff to see if he elaborated on it later.

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby Hercules » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:24 pm

I have to say I have been involved in quite a few car-car and car-ground hits in the past, so it is certainly not inconceivable. I have not hit a tree nor seen anyone hit a tree, but I have seen a slight scrap of a pine on the spring on the bottom of a car, but nothing full out.

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Re: Photo TR: Knoebels Phall Phunfest 2011

Postby KCForce » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:46 pm

The link for the video isn't working, says unavailable or that I might not have permission to access it on FB..it'd be great to check this out...thanks!

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