Knoebels is small amusement park located in the middle of Pennsylvania. It’s a homey park with a very traditional feel. Like other independent amusement parks, admission is free. Guests pay for ride tickets per ride or buy a pass for unlimited rides on everything. This is perfect for the family that has members that don’t ride, but still want to enjoy a trip to the park. Rides start at 70 cents per ride with the roller coasters costing around $2 per ride.
Notable Rides & Attractions
Knoebel’s is packed with classic rides from a log flume to amusement park staples. The park offers a variety of flat rides both old and new. The Grand Carousel is classic ride from another time. It has an organ, antique horses, and a brass ring that riders can try to grab as they zoom by it. The park’s most notable ride is the Haunted Mansion. It’s one of the most critically acclaimed dark rides in the country. It was named the top dark ride for 5 consecutive years by the Dark Ride and Funhouse Enthusiasts. Read my full review of the Haunted Mansion.
Theming & Atmosphere
Rather than the movie or super hero themed areas found at modern amusement parks, Knoebels’ charm is its homey amusement park feel. The park is in a very rural part of Central Pennsylvania and it’s surrounded by lush green mountains. The view from the top of the Twister was memorable and I’m sure the Scenic Sky Ride would be even better. Situated in a low lying area in between the hills, a creek runs through the park and trees offer shade and beauty. I will say that the amenities left something to be desired. The flip side of not being a large corporate park was the sub-standard bathroom I remember near the Twister. At least that’s how it was back in 2003.
Coaster Breakdown – An Impressive 1-2 Punch of Wooden Coaster Excellence
Phoenix – Traditional Wooden Coaster – 9.0
With insane airtime and overall fun ride, Phoenix has become a favorite of enthusiasts all over the World. It’s over 20 years old and still ranked #4 in Mitch Hawker’s Internet Poll and #5 in the Golden Ticket Awards. Read the full review.
High Speed Thrill Coaster – Steel Kiddie Coaster – N/A
This coaster has one of the most ironic names. I skipped it because it was so small and by today’s standards this is more of a kiddie coaster.
Flying Turns – Wooden Bobsled Coaster – N/A
This throwback to the original bobsled coasters by the same name looks to be quite fun. When it’s completed it will allow the park to boast a unique attraction that fits in well with feel of the park. It’s been delayed a few times, but hopefully it will open soon. Check out these Flying Turns constructions photos.
Past Roller Coasters
Whirlwind – Steel Looping Coaster – 6.0
Whirlwind was a Vekoma double corkscrew looper. It was short, but fairly smooth. It was moved from the park in 2004 to a park in Costa Rica.
Knoebels Coaster Q.Q.M.
Quality – 9/10
Quantity – 3
Mix – Poor
Enthusiasts Get There Index – 3 out of 4 (Enthusiasts Should Make a Trip)
Knoebels doesn’t have a vast arsenal of thrill rides, but the roller coasters that are there are world-class. Phoenix is probably one of the 10 most popular coasters (among enthusiasts) and Twister is top notch as well. With the addition of a unique wooden bobsled coaster, Flying Turns, Knoebels is with out a doubt a park enthusiasts should not miss.
General Public Get There Index – 3 out of 4 (Worth the Trip)
Knoebels is the perfect cure for anyone who is tired of the crowded, expensive experience found at the larger theme parks. You just need to know what to expect.
What’s Your Take?
Do you have any questions or comments about Knoebels? Leave a comment below. Some images courtesy of Melissa Boyd.