A couple of weeks ago, we hopped in the car, got on the road, travelled through traffic, and after hours of driving, arrived at Knoebels. We hopped out of the car and prepared to visit a theme park full of unique and classic thrills. As always, I took tons of photos and even some video! So sit back, relax, and enjoy our pictures from Knoebels!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we brought Charlie with us! Knoebels allows pets!
As we entered the park, we were greeted by a number of unique rides.
One of the most unique rides was “The Looper.”
The Looper is a ride that is only found at Knoebels. It was very fun, but you need a partner to ride. Since we were in a group of three, I was alone. Luckily, someone stepped up and rode with me. Sadly, we weren’t able to get it to flip upside-down (I wasn’t controlling it). The other two people in my group did, and they had a ton of fun on it.
The Looper is right next to Flying Turns. We wanted to ride, but the line was about one hour long. I had heard okay, but not particularly good reviews of it, so we decided to get some lunch instead.
Here’s one of the rides we passed on the way to lunch. I’m sorry for the dark pictures so far, my ISO was not on the right level, but luckily I will fix it later.
Next, we got some lunch at Cesari’s Pizza.
Cesari’s had a pretty big menu for a theme park restaurant. It also had big lines. The staff waited until the group in front of you got their food before they took your order. When the group in front of you orders something that’s not ready, you end up waiting a lot longer than you should have.
In the end, we ordered a Cheese pizza. It was delicious, especially compared to what you can get in your average theme park.
Next, we decided to ride the park’s signature ride, The Phoenix!
Phoenix has a great story. It started out in Texas at Playland Park. In 1980, Playland Park closed. Luckily, in 1984, Knoebels purchased the ride and reconstructed it. Today, it ranks as one of the best wooden coasters in the world.
After riding Phoenix, I couldn’t be more impressed. This ride is one of the best wooden coasters that I’ve ever been on. It has so much airtime and it’s pretty smooth too. Phoenix was fantastic!
Here’s a shot of the drop tower. We didn’t ride it, I’m not a fan of drop towers (with the exception of Tower of Terror), but several riders seemed to be enjoying it.
Next, we rode Wipeout. Just a warning, don’t sit on the outside. Just get your own seat. It’s fun, but get your own seat!
I can’t wait until one of these comes to Kings Dominion! We skipped it due to a long line, but they are always really fun.
After all of that, it was time to ride Twister!
Twister was a very fun wooden coaster. It wasn’t as good as Phoenix, but it was a pretty good ride.
One of my favorite things about Twister is its unique double lift hill. It allowed Twister to fit into a more compact space and added a unique element to the ride.
Twister definitely “twists” you everywhere. It was definitely a fun attraction.
There was so much wood!
Next, it was time for Flying Turns. We got in line at the right moment, because after we arrived a ton of people showed up to ride it. When we arrived, the wait was 45 minutes, but it quickly went up to 1 hour.
Flying Turns was Knoebels’s 2014 new ride. It took seven years to build, since everything was built in house, and is the only wooden bobsled coaster in the world.
In the queue for the ride, and outside of the ride, you really can’t tell what is going to happen. The track and supports block the view.
Based on other bobsled rides, I wasn’t expecting it to be a particularly good ride. None of the bobsled rides that I’ve been on excite me. They kind of meander through their course, they don’t really use the walls of the ride.
Usually, these helixes don’t feel intense at all. They just feel like lame little turns.
As we waited, my expectations weren’t very high. What little I could see wasn’t very convincing.
Here’s a look at the vehicles. The seats were very comfy, at least for me, I wasn’t sitting with anyone. They weigh you before you get on the ride to make sure you have the right seating configuration.
Luckily, I got front row, and we headed up the first lift hill with my GoPro chest harness strapped on! As we went through the course, I was surprised by the ride. It was way better than any other bobsled coaster. You really got up on the sides of the course. I had a lot of fun. The only problem was that it was way too short of a ride, I wish it had lasted longer.
By the time we got off of Flying Turns, it was getting relatively late (5PM with a 3 hour drive back). We started walking towards Impulse. On our way, we rode the Galleon and a few other flat rides.
Eventually, we made it to Impulse.
The line was pretty long, but it definitely gave us a great view of the ride.
Here’s a look at the underside of the Impulse trains. Bright green wheels are a nice little detail!
Impulse has a beyond vertical drop. Zierer made a very nice looking roller coaster.
The elements of the ride looked crazy. The cobra roll in particular looked insane!
Knoebels picked a really good first steel coaster. I could tell before riding it. It was really quiet as it went through its course.
This inversion looked great from the queue. I could tell that we would get hung upside-down for what would feel like forever.
After riding, my expectations for this ride were met. The inversions were fun, especially the barrel roll, and I thought it was a great ride. Knoebels and Zierer did a great job with it!
After riding Impulse, it was about 7PM. We decided to leave. On our way out, somehow we wound up at Disney World! 😉
We also passed by the ferris wheel. I wish we had time to ride it and the Haunted House, but we arrived later than expected and had to leave relatively early.
Here’s the final shot I took before we left. Bye Impulse!
We had a really fun day at Knoebels. It was surprisingly crowded for a weekday, but as the day went on it felt less crowded. The coasters were all fun and staff was very friendly (they loved our puppy). I also loved the unique feel of Knoebels. The gravel paths, classic rides, and nice people all helped us have a fantastic day. I think Knoebels is one of the best parks out there. I also can’t wait to see what’s in store for their future!
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Bill · August 21, 2015 at 4:39 pm
An entire review of Knoebels without a mention of the carousel or bumper cars?
Andy · August 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm
Didn’t make it on them. The traffic was awful on the way there. Three hours turned to 4 hours 30 minutes. Then we had to drive home. On the bright side, we have a reason to go back! 🙂
Bill · August 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm
Definitely. Grew up going to Knoebels on a regular basis. Live in Va Beach now, but make the trip there every year. Great park, especially for families.