Friday, August 12, 2005


Barely a week after my 3-day Kid Weekend, my work gave us the day off and took us all to Knoebel's Amusement Park. Now, you'd think that I'd be all amused-out by now, but we had every bit as much fun at Knoebel's as we had at Dutch Wonderland last week.

Knoebel's is about 1:45 north of Lancaster, up I-81, up in the coal region of PA. While it's geared toward a little bit of an older crowd than DW, it still had loads of things for my 4- and 8-yr-old to do, and coworkers with 2- and 3-yr-olds loved it, too.

Knoebel's has the distinction, among amusement parks I've been to, of free admission to the park, and letting you pay for a pass for the day, or per-ride. This is cool, as it lets, say, grandparents take their grandkids without costing a full-price admission just to go in, walk around, and maybe ride the ferris wheel once or twice.

As with DW, on a weekday, the lines were reasonable, and everything was clean and well maintained. Unlike DW, there were as many adults on the staff as teens, but like DW, everyone was quite pleasant (albeit in some cases, looking bored).

Now, the rides: Knoebel's has two awesome big wooden roller coasters. I rode them both, and while I wasn't keen to do them over and over again, when (not if) we go back, I'll be riding them both again as well. The Phoenix is their older one, and has plenty of hills that have you feeling weightless. The Twister is newer, is a bit longer, and is pretty amazing at the twists and turns, and even has a part that takes you around the station twice before going underground and ending up back at the end. Son, 8, loved them both, while Wife and Daughter rode the Phoenix, had quite enough of that, and skipped the Twister later in the day.

Again, there were plenty of rides geared for younger kids; while there were some rides that Daughter couldn't go on, there were some that Son was too big for, so they both got a chance to complain. We all went on the flume ride once, then Wife sat out while we did it a few more times.

There was also a ride called The Skloosh that simply took you (in a car) up a hill, turned you around, and dropped you down a hill into a pool. This is, though, whereas with the flume ride, you might get a little damp, with The Skloosh, you are guaranteed to get soaked. And if that's not enough, walking over a bridge to get off the ride gives you a chance to get drenched again as the ride splashes down in front of you. Wife and I sat that out, but Kids rode it 4 or 5 times.

Wife's favorite rides were the ferris wheel, a mini-train ride that took us 1.5 miles (out and back) into the woods near the park, and the skyride that took you up the side of a nearby mountain, and then back to the park. (My favorites were the coasters, Wife's favorite train, and a 2nd mini-train that was an actual coal-fired steam train.)

Once again, it was a quality day, (this time provided by my work).

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