USA 2014 Blog Day 20
Good evening readers. Our day started nice and early with a hearty breakfast at Denny’s (diner) before hitting the road for our 7 hour drive that would take us to Pennsylvania, where we actually started our trip 3 weeks ago at Dorney Park! Our destination today was Knoebel’s, a traditional family run park that we have visited a few times before. This park has an old fashioned and rustic feel with its relaxed atmosphere and great collection of fairground rides and attractions to suit all ages.
This park is also home to 2 world class wooden coasters: Phoenix and Twister, which for a family run park of this size is a real achievement. There really is no other park quite like this one in the USA and it’s a real gem. Since our last visit the park has managed to open their latest attraction Flying Turns and we were looking forward to getting our first ride.
Knoebel’s decided to start work recreating this classic 1920’s ride back in 2006. As there hasn’t been one in operation for a number of decades, there was some risk involved in the investment. In short, these rides were popular in American amusements parks across the country in the early 20th century. The planned opening in 2007 was delayed by various testing issues, indeed we planned our trips to visit and ride it in 2007, 2008 and 2009. After much involvement from the coaster design community, the ride finally opened 7 years later in Oct 2013.
This coaster doesn’t actually run on rails but the train sits in a wooden trough (for those of you who have been to Blackpool this is a smaller wooden version of the Avalanche). There is a strict weight limit of 400lbs per train so guests are weighed and seated in a specific order, and there are 3 seats per train that can accommodate either 1 large adult, 2 small adults, or 1 adult + 1 child – so the throughput is fairly slow. We started to queue at the entrance to the ride and queued for around 50 minutes to get seated. It’s a very short ride and therefore doesn’t get chance to gain any real speed, but as it’s really a family attraction rather than being a thrill ride we’re sure it’ll remain very popular ride and it sure fits in well in its surroundings.
Both the Phoenix and Twister were running extremely well and have maintained their smoothness, speed, and airtime. The last hour was spent on Twister as this is our preferred coaster of the two, and stayed till the park closed at 10pm. Fantastic evening and will certainly be returning to the park in the future.