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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Favorite Pennsylvania Darkride Poll Results


This poll was a runaway for the Knoebels Haunted Mansion. It is hard to expect anything else when this ride is a mashup of many dark ride favorites including props from the long-gone and beloved old Pittsburgh institution, West View Park. This is the incumbent favorite for many folks and the poll results reflect this. In addition to having parts from long lost darkrides, the building was built using large timber from a roller rink that was torn down to build a nearby K-Mart. The heritage of fun from many long lost places is represented well at Knoebels. 

I was considering making this poll a best of the rest not including the Knoebels Haunted Mansion in addition to the Black Diamond. If you have not gathered from previous posts and polls, Knoebels is a sort of capital when it comes to great rides like the best dark ride, wood coaster, carousel, food, bumper cars, and more. Knoebels is an awesome place that everyone needs to visit.  Similar to wood coasters, Pennsylvania also has a great wealth of fantastic Dark Rides. Pretty much all of these are solid for one reason or another. I would like to see some more dark ride action out of Hershey and Dorney along with a Lakemont, DelGrosso's adding a dark ride, in addition to some sort of funhouse attraction for both Idlewild and Dutch Wonderland. It is always great to have indoor rides to frequent on rainy days. I recall a day a while back where a rain storm occurred at Knoebels and washed out the afternoon for us. We had as fun a time as ever, if not a more memorable visit to the park by marathoning the Haunted Mansion, Carousel, and Bumper Cars. This was even before they added the Black Diamond. At Dorney they used to have that old set of inner tube bumper cars within a short walking distance of the classic whip. It is nice to have alternatives on a rainy day. Anyways, now back to the poll.

The Devil's Den at Conneaut came in second. This is one of only two remaining Pretzel gravity-fed haunted houses. It is a very fun ride that you should go visit this summer. I had a blast doing some restoration work on this old beauty this past summer. I cannot wait to ride it now that Lenny Adams has restored the ride even further. 


Whacky Shack and Pirates Cove at Waldameer did formidably in the results. Both of which are very fun. They were both designed by the godfather of darkrides, Bill Tracy. 

Kennywood's Ghostwood Estates had a solid showing and was the highest rated modern darkride in our poll. The old favorite Noah's Ark funhouse had a solid showing as well. Garfield's Nightmare had a few votes as well. I would imagine that the ride would be top rated again with a terrific retheming. This century-old mill ride has held several themes over the years. 

Kennywood is considered a darkride destination, something that several PA parks should be considered for in regards to the sheer quantity and quality of the dark rides in Pennsylvania. All of them are so greatly varied. Start planning your trip to the different parks of Pennsylvania so you can see all of the world class dark rides and ride many of the very best wood coasters as well. 

On Thursday April 3rd we will be doing a book signing at the University of Pittsburgh bookstore, the University Store on Fifth, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Be sure to drop on by!

Be sure to also vote in our new poll, favorite remaining 1941 or earlier coaster!

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