Thanks for the kind words everyone!
Day 8 - Glowphest!!!***Shoutout/credit/thanks to Jack, Robb, Andy, Elissa, Albert, Chris, Joe, Franklin, David, Jared, Alex, Brad for a photo or two included below.
It's really hard to describe the energy and excitement on this trip because every day is packed with millions of things to look forward to. I didn't have a hard time getting out of bed this morning because I had done laundry and had clean clothes!
Oh wait, that's not why, it's because it was Knoebels day!!! But a new batch of clean clothes on a TPR trip is also cause for excitement
Elissa gave us a great breakdown of the rides, food, and plan for the day while we drove out into the Pennsylvania woods. The location of the park was a real treat for me since it was a great break from the city life. It was a really easy drive in and we got a warm welcome from the Knoebel family. Nothing was open yet and it was easy to see why people loved the place. It's such a great escape.
Things only took off from there as we got on Phoenix for some early morning filming. Phoenix is no doubt a great coaster but first - let me talk about how much fun it is off ride. You can give high fives to people on board as the train heads up the lift! Isn't that awesome? You can totally see and feel the happiness radiating from the train as it goes through the course and pulls back into the station.
Phoenix legitimately scared me
I foolishly tried to go hands up in the back row the on my first ever ride and wow that was incredible. I've been on plenty of wooden coasters with buzz bars, so I'm familiar with that type of airtime but Phoenix is just a different level. The first drop sets the tone perfectly, getting you out of your seat but just as you'd be tempted to grab the buzz bar it mellows out and heads up into the first turn around. The next drop puts you back on the ground to bunny hop through the structure and lets you know that you're going to be out of the seat more that in it. **My favorite moment right here, the turn and drop going by the station** Wow, that might be my favorite coaster moment. Each time you get ejected from that seat and it took me many laps to figure out how to scoot/brace into it so I was able to ~not~ hold onto the buzz bar because I thought I was going to end up in the seat next to me, haha. The double up and double down provides in incredible middle to the ride while the final series of bunny hills is the perfect ending. Whew, what a coaster. It's simply amazing, one of the best I've experienced, and deserves a lot of respect for being KT's favorite coaster. She's onto something here! I am in the minority of liking it better in the back? Honestly it's more of a question of how strong do you want your airtime, and if you want to be launched from your seat repeatedly go to the back.
There were a few people describing the back seat as rough
YO. Phoenix is not rough, but your butt might get sore if you aren't holding on/bracing properly in that back seat. It's not for the weak! Phoenix will pick you up and drop you
But it's not rough. It was really interesting to hear how people described their rides on different coasters because 'rough' and 'intense' were terms misused a lot in my opinion.
From there we were going to head over to Twister, and I witnessed one of the most badass sequences - the ride op hopping slide over the railing on Phoenix's station platform, scale down the lattice siding to the ground, get on his dirt bike and ride over to open Twister before we could get there.
Knoebels is the best.
On over to Twister and if you were questioning my hasty "Knoebels is the best" comment, well, there's a Starbucks in front of Twister. How'dya like that? Twister ran great, especially in the back seat. I honestly couldn't do a play by play on this ride by the lift is in 2 parts, the first few elements are big hills and the rest of the ride spends its time weaving in and out of the structure close to the ground before going through a tunnel for the finale. It's a good wooden coaster!
Flying Turns was up next and it was really cool to see this ride run in person. Not just the ride itself, but how it's run. The ride ops are experts at every part - getting you on the ride and running the ride.
I really liked Flying Turns! It's kind of intimidating once you leave the chain lift. You're just like, swallowed up by the track and structure. It was one of the few coasters that made me a little dizzy because of how quickly you run through the track. Unless you have the layout mesmerized, it's impossible to know where you're going. The ending going through the maintenance bay before the final mini lift was really cool to see. It's all wooden. Everything. I felt a greater appreciation for the project, coaster, trains, time, money, man power that went into bringing this experience to life.
We headed to Impulse next and it was getting close to opening hours because people had come out from their camping areas and the parking lot to line up for tickets. Elissa is so awesome, she made sure we all got in the line without getting the locals/other visitors confused. You're the best Elissa!
My Impulse ride was in the front middle and it ran really well. We got to see the booster seat in action, which made Larry really happy. They pretty much attach a seat on top of the seat for smaller riders that are still over the height requirement. I'd say Impulse is a great addition and not too intense to scare away younger members of the family. Very easy to ride.
Elissa and Robb made it very easy for us to get our various tickets, food vouchers, and wristbands. Knoebels was really sweet and opened a ticketing booth on the side that saved us a ton of time. The park was pretty crowded probably due to the visitors that had to change their vacation dates because the park was flooded.
The entire TPR group took over the Flyers and bumper cars after we got the ride wristbands. There were obvious experts (JOE!!!! Laura, Andy, etc) and novices like Alex and I. We got our flyers going for a bit, but it's hard to keep that rhythm consistent to snap over and over again. I tried to correct my car and ended up getting out of sync. Addicting!
The bumper cars were fantastic and once again there were obvious sharks (Larry!!!) vs novice bumper car drivers
It was must have been close to 11 at that point so we got some Cesari's delicious pizza, rode the Haunted House, the slide, whip, merry go round, tower, viking ship, sky ride, train, and so much more. Of course we mixed in trying some different sodas, food, and made notes on where to get glow.
Then I started to get this feeling inside of me. I needed to ride Phoenix again. It had probably only been two hours since that last ride but, like many Knoebels rides, Phoenix is one that you can learn to ride better and better each time. It's kind of like a game. The more you're familiar with the layout, the more you can keep your hands up. It took probably 5-6 rides before I finally was able to keep 'em up the whole time and it's a serious sense of accomplishment when you're finally able to do so.
Speaking of sense of accomplishment - Alex and I got to flip on the crazy hamster wheel ride and that was an EFFORT. Whew.
Andy perfectly called the rain in/out, and it was never heavy enough to keep us inside. Phoenix in the rain? Yes pleaseeee. We were already getting wet enough we figured we'd hit up the log flume. Plus, the rain push the locals away from the quarter machines.
Well. FRANKLIN. Isn't a local, he's a devious m*******f****** who ended up getting Jared, Alex, Colin, and I unacceptably wet. YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS FRANKLIN!
It just made us care less about the rain, haha.
We went on Black Diamond, which was an excellent WTF ride that was very well themed and kept me guessing around each turn. We had a delicious catered dinner that helped check off lots of the food staples, like the delicious peirogis, mac'n cheese, potatoes, chicken, birch beer, and more. There was a really cool Q&A with Knoebel family as well.
At this point the rain had ended and it was time to take in the park at night. Colin and I realized we hadn't done Cozmotron yet, and we were treated to the perfect Cozmotron song Dragon Force's Through the Fire and the Flames. You know. That impossible Guitar Hero song
You know the chorus!!! So far away we wait for the day
For the lives all so wasted and gone
We feel the pain of a lifetime lost in a thousand days
Through the fire and the flames we carry onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Absolutely perfect. I'll never forget it. We were both crying laughing.
Throughout the day I had played Fascination enough to win a good amount of tickets thanks to some PRIZE WHEEL spins, red-line wins, and ~perfect game~ wins. Soooooo what should I spend the prize tickets on. Hmmm.The green gardening water can. It called to me.
It can be used to water plants. Or it could have a whole bunch of glow strung through it!!! Long live the Glowcan
Not only did it survive the entire Glowphest; it didn't lose any glow, it made for a unique piece, a great high five/punch, and conversation starter.
Words can't describe Glowphest. Phoenix is incredible, a crazy airtime monster, and it was one of the most memorable times of my life.
Thank you to the Knoebel family, Robb, and Elissa for making it happen.
PS if anyone has better shots of the Glowcan please post them.