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Monday, September 03, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

Knoebels Amusement Park

The USA: for many people a real coaster-heaven. Again and again the big players among the amusement parks create new thrilling roller coasters which all pass daring manoeuvres and therefore impress the guests by their size and speed, regardless if they are made of wood or steel, if flying or inverted, or if they rush through multiple loops. Some of these parks will be presented on Parkscout in random order. Smaller amusement parks situated in the land of unlimited possibilities are also included. Knoebels Amusement Park is difficult to classify into a category. In any case, it truly is one of a kind on the international park scene.

Numerous rides harmonically integrated into the woods
Even the access road, passing through a rural woodland, to the park in Central Pennsylvania is beautiful. Knoebels Amusement Park is located in a small valley surrounded by extensive nature where camping and picnic sites can also be found. Besides the rides, it includes a water park with some water slides. The park itself is rather small. However, it is not built with the intention to experience the attractions within a couple of hours. Visitors to Knoebels will already notice it upon arrival since the staff is mainly composed of pensioners who surely tend to keep calm.

Cosiness, family atmosphere, relaxation – the park's major advantages. Some guests arrive with camping buses, spend a few days, visit the amusement park during the day time, go for a swimming or take a long walk through the nature and enjoy a barbecue at the picnic sites in the evening. Upon entering the park, one will notice in a second that the time somehow seems to stand still. The look of some rusting angles or partly missing paint is usually considered to be a lack of decoration at other amusement parks, but at Knoebels these little defects might be classified as theming elements constituting the atmosphere, and does not bother in the least with regard to the amusement park's character. As a matter of fact, the park attaches no importance to theme. It simply places its, mainly classical, attractions between trees and embellishes the corresponding spots with flower pots. Opened in 1926, the family owned Knoebels Amusement Park has received several awards in recent years, e.g. for best amusement park food for the past 14 consecutive years. Knoebel also operates a lumber yard next to the park.

Further impressions of Knoebels
Bild links Bild rechts
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Wolfgang Payer

In the heart of the park there are private cottages for rent built by the family, too. A small, idyllic river runs through the middle of the park. Swollen with heavy rains, these creeks unfortunately caused major floodings in the past, rosing up to six ft (around two m) over the banks. Each caused substantial damage. By now the cleaning up has been mastered better and better, and only few days of operation had to be missed due to such natural forces. Knoebels Amusement Parks offers free admission, free parking, and charges no fee for the use of its picnic area. Visitors have the opportunity to purchase a ticket that includes almost all attractions or to pay for each ride before entering; fairground rides cost around $1 and roller coasters around $2.50.

Phoenix, one of two wooden coasters
Some readers may now assume that there are only rather nostalgic and small rides, but contrary to this assumption, major attractions are described in the following lines. The two wooden roller coasters have become almost legendary in the scene of coaster enthusiasts – quite rightly. Twister is the park's biggest ride. It is a rapid, typical US-American woodie built in 1999. Phoenix, constructed in 1985, is not that fast and tall, but the ride feeling is just as fantastic. Moreover, one should by no means miss Black Diamond. This is an indoor steel coaster that can rather be qualified as a nice family ride with a felicitous theme. Scheduled to be open in 2013, the wooden bobsled roller coaster Flying Turns will certainly be another highlight at Knoebels Amusement Park. And last but not least: the Haunted Mansion, the attraction each and every visitor should go for! One does not really expect such a successful haunted ride in an amusement park of that size. Those who expect and appreciate the partly hectic amusement park atmosphere with the latest high-tech rides are advised to head to Six Flags. Those you appreciate a cosy amusement park in a lovely atmosphere surrounded by nature instead, are advised to head to Knoebels.

© parkscout/AF Wolfgang Payer, Website

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