Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
By Edwardo
#91407
Tired of them yet? Sorry not sorry...

Knoebels Grove PPP 2016

ImageDSC02647 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
You'd think that this was the entrance to the park. You'd be wrong.

My last (and first) visit to both Knoebels and PPP were in 2010. It was a sucky day leading up
to getting to the park (late), and it really wasn’t the type of event I thought it was. But I dug
Phoenix and Twister, and some of the classic flats, so there was that. I had intended on taking
Isaac to PPP last year, but then in August I found out (after constantly telling my then PCP that I
really didn’t think it was bronchitis) that my lung had indeed collapsed because I had a tumor
growing right at the start of the airway leading to the upper lobe of my left lung, and even though the first surgery (to remove the tumor) was scheduled for the Thursday before PPP, I really felt

I’d be able to make it.

ImageDSC02649 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
I FINALLY snapped the flyers!

Isaac (wisely) decided we should wait a year. So here we are. I needed a Knoebels
redemption in the worst way because I was so not impressed the last time. And it was mostly
not Knoebel’s fault.

Because we had just gotten back from an amazing trip from SoCal the weekend before and
were both trying to have a smaller budget for this trip, we opted to drive, so after work on Friday

I drove up to meet him an hour away, parked my car at his friend’s place, and then we headed
up to Pennsylvania. Several hours (and some hotel/hotwire drama later), we had a room and a
few hours sleep. Then we got up the next morning and headed up to Elysburg.

We got there around 9:30 am. The park opened at 10, the rides at 11, but the covered bridge
festival had already started. And I saw a sight I didn’t like that was very reminiscent of the last
time, non-moving cars trying to get in. And Last time it took me almost 2 hours to go a quarter
mile to park. We turned around near the entrance of the car park, then realized they had just
stopped so they could move some cones and let everyone in. We realized that because the line
of cars (that had just grown large) was now making it’s way in, so instead we headed across to
the opposite road, turned around, and headed in, parked, and walked to the park.

The covered bridge festival is mostly not my thing. We walked thru the park and headed to the
cabin where a lot of my friends were staying. Upon arrival, we were greeted with lots of coaster
geeks, some I’d not seen in a couple years. Matt (AV Matt) and his crew of Carmen, Kevin,
Emily, and Rob (HeyIsntThatRob) lead us to breakfast, where we all kind of split up into coaster
riders and people not so much riding coasters.

ImageDSC02651 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
I just loved this little fudge shoppe.

I had already had breakfast, so Rob and I got walking tacos and Mt. Dew (Hey Rob, did I ever
give you money back for that?). Actually, the four of us guys went back to Isaac’s car to drop off
some stuff first, then got food. And at that point, the park was starting to open, so we went over
and got our tickets, where we ran into Danny (+Danny). Yay Danny!!!! The first ride on our list
was a new credit, AND one I was kind of intrigued by. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was
looking forward to it.

ImageDSC02652 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
It maybe, kind of blew my mind.

Flying Turns-Our wait time was maybe 30 minutes. I was on the train with Isaac. Danny, Rob,
and Matt were in the train behind us. So, first things first, I really, REALLY liked it. I know it
gets way over hyped because of what it is in the enthusiast community. I feel I’m kind of
immune to that, because while I wanted to ride it, I had really low expectations, and I’m not a
huge fan of the other modern bobsled coasters I’ve ridden. But the Turns was far different. The
first section was fun, but after that 2nd lift when you’re released into the full course, the ride rips open and though you aren’t going more than about 25 mph, the ride is thrilling, the ride delivers great laterals, and the ride is quite fun.

Danny decided to meet up with some other friends of his and we met up with Tim Pugh. Since
we weren’t far away, we headed to another coaster next. I really liked it last time, and Matt said
that it was still running the same in the back, but due to recent modifications, many said any
other seat was meh. Again, I love laterals, so let’s give it a shot.

ImageIMG_1582 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
I still love this ride

Twister-Isaac had ridden Twister II at Elitches earlier this summer and was excited to compare.
Honestly, I personally couldn’t tell a difference in the ride. I love the mid lift section, I love the
drop, I love the helix. The last run thru the tunnel (it was so great at nite) was a lot of fun, and to
me, Twister, while not the best coaster ever, is still an amazing ride.

Tim had parked over by the house everyone was staying in, but Lisa texted me and asked that
Tim moved the vehicle so Tim and Rob went over there for that. We had some really great
conversation walking thru the park, and would meet back up in a bit. Isaac, Matt, and I then
went back over across the park to another credit for me, which was there the last time, but not
quite ready for opening.

ImageIMG_1585 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
A fun ride. Not a great coaster.

Black Diamond-As a coaster, it really isn’t great (much like Top Thrill Dragster). As a dark ride,
it’s really pretty cool! I didn’t like that they brake you after every drop so you don’t pick up
speed. But the scenes were very good. It was a long ride, and very interesting. And it looks
brand new still, even though it was built several years ago.

ImageIMG_1593 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
One of the best rides in the park.

After that ride, we went over to one of the best carousels in existence. I learned two things on
this carousel ride. One, how to better grab rings (I was terrible last time). Two, never sit behind
Matt Scott, because he’s trying to catch 2 rings at a time, and it messes up your method.
There was another coaster across the park we hadn’t ridden yet, and it was also a new to me
coaster. It looked fun. And I do like inverting coasters with lap bars only.

ImageDSC02668 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
Surprisingly really great.

Impulse-The train is very comfortable, and I like the lap restraint. Vertical lifts are weird. They
often feel beyond vertical because of the seat position. The drop is really fun going vertical.
The ride was smooth, fun, and the inversions weren’t heavy on positive Gs. The slow inversion
was really awesome.

When you’re at Knoebels, any time is a good time for food. Matt took us to his favorite burger
spot in the park, and we had burgers and I had cheesesteak fries. And it was good. So was the
birch beer (I really should’ve gotten a large, though). Then we headed to another favorite ride.

ImageIMG_1608 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
One of the best dark rides around.

The Haunted Mansion-I’m very disappointed that they changed my favorite room, which was the glowing skeleton room. We did see Bill (rollergator) walk by, and I got a hug. But that only
barely made up for the loss of my favorite room. Otherwise, the ride is still really fun. We
walked around the back section of the park, part of which I’d never been thru before. We got in
line for the motor boats, but there was something going on with the ride ops, and the very small line was not moving, so we bailed. Then we ran into Josh (RavenPhile) and his crew for a few moments before they headed to Impulse.

ImageIMG_1616 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
Cruncy goodness.

There is another ride everyone simply must do at Knoebels, and that's the Bumper Cars. By
this point, we’d added Ethan to our group. Isaac and I got on one session of mayhem in the
bumper car ring, then Matt and Ethan followed in the next session. Knoebels really does have
amazingly violent bumper cars. Only the good ones were in use for the day, thankfully. There
were quite a few RRCers and various other coaster nerds from PPPast and PPPresent we ran
into in line, including Jim (jimvid) and Dave (Flare).

We needed to head back to the cabin to charge my phone and take a break, but first, we rode
the Tea Cups. This was my first ride on these, and for those unaware, these aren’t ‘real’ tea
cups. I believe Matt called the ride a Crazy Daisy, and it was a lot of fun if a bit nauseating.
After that, I needed some airtime to make me feel better. On the way over to Phoenix, we ran
into a gaggle of other enthusiast friends, Lori (loriu) and the fam, Craig, Mike, Beth, and a few
others. I think there was another Danny fly by as well. And Bryan (birdhombre). And Stu. And
others. After some conversation, we headed over to ride more.

ImageIMG_1626 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
I...Can't even. Literally. And even if I could, I really shouldn't.

Phoenix-Honestly? Phoenix moved up to my number 3 overall spot on this trip. I hear tell it was
even better the nite before, but my gawd, on Saturday, Phoenix was killing it. Isaac loved it.
And I had to re-rank it. That first drop and pop up to the turnaround is stand up airtime bliss.
The middle is, of course, great, that double up-down combo...And then the ending. Which is
probably the perfect ending on any coaster I’ve been on. It is actually hard for me not to
rank it number 1 overall, but moving to number 3 is a big leap. And I’d get to ride it more and
more!

We went back and hung out at the cabin a bit. Met Brad (Arrow Guy) and his girlfriend. Hung
out with Tim, Rob, Lisa, and even Nicole while having some drinks and spirited discussions.
After some Kraken Rum (and Coke), and a cider drink of some sort, we headed back into the
park and over towards the Turns. There was a 3pm meet up for a group picture, then it was over to the Fascination hall for a 4pm takeover of Fascination in honor of our dear friend Matthew Sullivan (Mamoosh). I’d never played Fascination before. It was fun, but I’m not paying a bunch of money to lose each time, and it looked addicting.

There were two more Memorial takeovers at Knoebels. One for our friend Martha. She passed away a couple of years ago from a long illness. Martha was a great leather worker. She was a very positive person who I was able to ride Voyage several times with on a few occasions and talk to online. I’ll never forget her talking about Voyage, and saying she couldn’t imagine anything ever being built to top it, and how excited she was. Another was for Tanya. I only met Tanya briefly at Lake Compounce a few years ago. She passed suddenly not long ago while training for a marathon. We opted out of the other 2 memorials, but I was thinking about both Martha and Tanya.

Several of us then went on the drop ride. I love these drop rides because they drop immediately after your reach the top. No waiting, just dropping. And it’s really a lot of fun. We went over and got on the skylift. I can’t remember if it was here or later that we ran into Rob, Rob, and Rob’s friend. I actually like skylifts, even if they really go nowhere, like Camden, Lake Compounce, and Knoebels. I took pictures, Isaac and I admired all of the sticky hands that were flung at the supports and looked at the kinda trashy Halloween decorations on the hillside. I’ll give them an E for effort for that.

We had split off from Matt and the group earlier when we went to the cabin but picked up Tim, Rob, Brad, and his girlfriend (I really feel bad for forgetting her name, she was really very charming and sweet). After the ride on the skylift, they parted ways and Isaac and I went to the Whipper. I love me some Whips. The Knoebels one is fun We ran into Jonathan Hawkins, who runs the Carowinds Connections site, and his crew there. Then ended up in line with them again for Kozmo’s Kurves. We rode the coaster twice.

ImageDSC02725 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
Love me a cute dog.

I love that Knoebels is so dog-friendly. There were just so many adorable puppy dogs there, and thankfully most people are bringing them there for attention, which I’m very willing to oblige. Isaac and I next went over to the Cosmotron. We met a very interesting person in line and had a nice conversation with her while waiting. I’m glad Carowinds is getting something similar next year. Then it was time for something I’d been putting off but knew Isaac wanted to do.

Flyers-I’ve never been able to snap flyers. Like, ever. Not Knoebels. Not Carowinds. None of them. I got on just as a change in the ride ops came, so I figured I’d get a regular ride. After waiting for about 25 minutes and being around mostly people I knew talking, I got in my tub, and surprisingly enough, started snapping with minimal effort. Then when I got in the groove, the ride op throttled the ride and slowed it down. The previous guy was allowing snapping galore. Oh well. At least now I know what it’s like.

Isaac and I went back to the cabin to pick up some stuff really quickly, then we headed over to Phoenix for some more nite rides. And every time we rode it seemed to get better and better and better. Then, at 8 o’clock, a bunch of us were heading over to the train to hopefully take over an entire train, which did happen. The line looked really long, but the wait wasn’t that bad, actually. Last time the wait was really long, but they had 3 trains going. I sat in the very back of the train.

ImageDSC02707 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
I love a Mangles Whip.

Isaac and I went over for Twister night rides next, then after we got off, Matt texted me so we met him at the entrance and rode again. Then we headed back across the park, first checking on the Turns line (slightly too long), then heading to Phoenix. Actually, there were a couple of food and coffee stops in there, and I missed getting some ice cream, but, you know, Knoebels.
We did a couple rides on Phoenix before Matt, Isaac, and I did the Haunted Car Ride. I’m sad they don’t crawl on top of the car anymore, but the ride is still a lot of fun. So at that point, the park was starting to close. We got in line for Phoenix once more for last rides. Then Matt headed to the cabin and Isaac and I bought even more food (and birch beer) while Dick Knoebel gave his speech and gave out some prizes. Then we headed over to the cabin for the afterparty.

ImageIMG_1640 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr
Total creeper pic.

It was great hanging out with everyone after the event at the cabin. Got to see mostly everyone with just a few exceptions. We stayed about an hour or so, but since we didn’t yet have a room for the nite, and had decided on the way up to try and hit up Dorney Park the morning, we headed over to Allentown. I slept quite a bit of the way during the very odd journey over thru the middle of nowhere, PA. Once we got to Allentown, however, we found out that because of a lot of different events that weekend, every hotel and motel in a 30-mile radius was booked. Bummer.

I called a place in Reading who said they’d hold a room for an hour. It took us about 45 minutes, but once we pulled in, there were several red flags, so we decided to go to the Comfort Inn near that instead. It was a little more expensive than I’d like, but that’s what you get for not planning ahead on an event weekend. The room was clean and comfortable for the nite, and we got plenty of rest.
User avatar
By Jonathan
#91444
The Haunted Mansion-I’m very disappointed that they changed my favorite room, which was the glowing skeleton room.


Same here. I was really surprised by that.

Honestly I think the Haunted Mansion is one of the only things at Knoebels that I find to be a bit overrated.
By Edwardo
#91446
I think it's both a really great ride and overrated actually. It's not worth more than one ride per visit, but I wouldn't miss that one ride.

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