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Review of Knoebels Amusement Park ~ Elysburg Pa.
Twister as seen from the Scenic Skyride
Knoebels Amusement Park
The largest free admission park in the United States, Knoebels Amusement Park, is located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. It is nestled in a beautiful wooded valley in Central Pennsylvania. The term free admission park can be a bit misleading, yes it is free to enter, but you pay to ride. It is something similar to a carnival. It is similar to a carnival, but so much better.
Knoebels is owned and operated by the Knoebels family and opened officially on July 4, 1926. At first they only had a pool, carousel, and a restaurant. Ever since it opened it has continued to grow. Park goers enjoy free parking along with free entertainment.
Knoebels has several wooden roller coasters; there are no steel coasters here or ones with inversions. However, they are in the process of building a steel coaster that will open in 2015. It will be called “Impulse” and have a 98 foot drop.
The Flying Turns opened in 2013, and is not your typical roller coaster. Flying Turns is not on a track like a normal coaster it’s fast and fun unlike any other ride that I have ever been one. Personally, I loved it. It’s a bob sled coaster that never fails to thrill the riders.
Phoenix Roller Coaster was originally built as the Rocket in San Antonio, Texas, and is currently on the Amusement Today’s number two on the list of top wooden roller coasters. This is a great wooden roller coaster with some awesome drops and bunny hops.
The Twister, a fast paced roller coaster that is reminiscent of its name I can’t ride this coaster because it “twists me around too much. I have neck problems so this gives me terrible headaches. I would recommend this coaster all coaster enthusiasts.
The Black Diamond is a haunted roller coaster ride through a three story haunted coal mine. This ride opened in 2011, this is a coaster that is fun for just about any age. Be aware this is a dark ride with some “scary” props.
Knoebels has a great variety of rides that can meet the needs of all ages. They have rides for small children, a ball pit, slides, and kiddie rides. I personally, like to ride the two trains that are located in the park, there are many times when you can see wildlife in the wooded area around the train track.
Enjoy the carousel museum, and the mining museum that’s located on the park grounds and is free to park goers. The carousel museum has a great collection of carousel animals, everything from horses, zebras, lions, elephants and more.
The miner’s museum has a small collection of mining memorabilia, and it’s here that you can see how mining was done and just how dangerous mining really was, and still is.
Pros of this Amusement Park
Rides for Everyone
Less expensive than most amusement parks
All of this and I have yet to mention what I consider the best two rides at Knoebels. Of course this is just my opinion, but the Haunted Mansion and the Scenic Skyride are both amazing.
The Haunted Mansion is nothing like the one in Walt Disney World, this one is scary. This is a traditional American dark ride. This ride is filled with spots of total darkness, things that jump out the riders and things that touch you in the darkness. This is a do not miss ride, but not recommended for the younger children.
If you are looking to relax, the Scenic Skyride is what you need. This is a fourteen minute ride to the top of the mountain, with a great view of the surrounding valley. Every time I go to Knoebels I ride this at least twice.
This park is not without its water rides, the Sklooosh and the Flume. The flume may get you wet, but the Sklooosh will most definitely get you wet. No one walks away from the Sklooosh dry. If you are interested Knoebels has a huge pool and water slides for an extra daily fee.
Random Photos of Knoebels Amusement ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Knoebels Campground and Lake Glory Campground
Knoebels owns two campgrounds, Knoebels Campground and Lake Glory Campground. I have camped at both of these campgrounds, and found them both nice. I do prefer Knoebels Campground because it is connected to the amusement park; Lake Glory is about 5 miles away. Knoebels provides a complementary shuttle to and from the campground and park.
If you are interested in camping here, you should make the reservations very early in the year. Both of these campgrounds have cabins for rent. As much as I love this amusement park and the campgrounds, there’s one thing that I don’t like and that is the showers at the campground. I found them to be in need of repair and a bit dirty.