Thursday, September 14, 2017

2019 Roller Coaster Calendar

Our 2019 Roller Coaster Calendar

Today we are pleased to announce the release of our 2019 Roller Coaster Calendar. It features roller coasters from many amusement parks, including Knoebels, Holiday World, Waldameer, Kentucky Kingdom, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Family Kingdom, Kennywood, Darien Lake, and Kings Island. These calendars are custom made with photos taken by the authors. The calendars open up to be 17 inches tall by 11 inches wide. Purchases can be made using the PayPal menus at the bottom of this page, and at the top of the page.
Also available is our book on Pennsylvania's historic amusement parks, Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip. It features Knoebels, Kennywood Park, Hersheypark, Dorsey Park, Waldameer, DelGrosso's, the currently idle Lakemont, Dutch Wonderland, Idlewild, and Conneaut Lake Park.

Purchases of both items can be made through the PayPal menu at the bottom of this page, and at the top of this page. 

2019 Coaster Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Options

Monday, September 4, 2017

Knoebels Labor Day Weekend 2017

We closed out our summer with a visit to Knoebels. I am not sure what it is about this park, but it always so magical to visit. 
Impulse cutting through the morning fog. 

After having some lunch at the Alamo Diner, we dropped by Phoenix to experience its onslaught of airtime and fun laterals. It seemed to get better as the day went on. 
The laterals in the turnarounds were really pretty great, especially the third one.

The flyers were as awesome as always.
These Larson/ARM Drop Towers are the best in the industry. No warning on when they will drop and a rapid descent makes these really stand out. In my opinion, ARM Drop Towers and Vertigo Swing Towers outperform their much taller counterparts.
Twister was really flying as well. It was a tough call if I preferred this or Phoenix on this visit. 
The unseasonably cool Labor Day weekend kept swimmers away from the Crystal Pool. The pool will be used for the "Doggie Dive" fundraiser next weekend to close out the pool's 2017 season.
The wicked spaghetti bowl section on Twister.
Flying Turns gliding by.
 We took two rides on the Scenic Skyway

 Now for the big news!
 Brit won coverall at Fascination!
It is the little touches like this that make Knoebels one-of-a-kind

Before we made an encore, we decided to take an evening ride on the Pioneer Express train. When we got out to the woods, a few deer decided to show up!

 We started to head out, but once we saw how incredible the sunset was, we could not resist heading back into the park. 
 We decided to take in the views from the Scenic Skyway. It was a great call.
 The chaser lights on Twister and Phoenix looked awesome.
Knoebels, was as awesome as always and the autumn season will be a great time to visit the park.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kennywood Park Visit: July 2017

A visit to Kennywood is a summer ritual and always a good time. Many of the same rides that have thrilled multiple generations of families remain intact and thriving, close to a century after some of them were initially installed. If you are looking to find out anything new about the park with this article, you will not really find much. The park is roughly the same as it has been for a number of years, with yet another year of cosmetic attention paid to the rides, especially with the park's last coaster addition, Sky Rocket. This coaster, dating back to 2010, received a fresh coat of paint from Baynum Painting. This year's new addition is a switch to the Lego Movie in the park's 4D Movie theater. Kennywood is not the kind of park that needs to add a new coaster every other year to pique everyone's interest, for the heart and character of the park is so strong.  
We start off with a ride on Phantom. The park had a really strong crowd today, but I am not complaining, especially when it comes to the terrific views you get from the Phantom queue line.

Our next stop took us to Thunderbolt. This was my favorite of the park's wooden roller coasters on this particular visit. Each individual ride is different upon wooden roller coasters, and it seems like one of the coasters stands out from the rest upon each individual visit. Thunderbolt was excellent.

No visit to a park is complete without playing Brit's favorite midway game.
Jack Rabbit's snazzy and recently restored sign. 
Racer's classic station is so special and elegant.
The expressions on the faces of the people really tell you how much fun this ride is.

Now headed to the backseat of Jack Rabbit for some of the finest airtime in existence.
The center of the park is so beautiful landscaped and manicured. It is great just taking it in as you walk through the grounds. It seems like the landscaping is particularly excellent this year.
Bayern Kurve! This Schwarzkopf creation is one of the wildest flats that exists. The speed and extreme forces are so disorienting an make you really feel like you are flying through a bobsledding track. Such a fantastic ride.
Back to the Phantom again, with the great views of Thunderbolt from the queue. This angle makes the coaster appear as if it is a racing and dueling coaster, which lots of adjacent track. There is nothing quite like heading in and out of the ravine on this unique thrill machine.
There is also nothing like heading into that giant swooping first drop on Phantom, and then getting hurled into a 228 foot drop down a cliff. This ties Phantom for my my favorite steel coaster of all time.
A little more Thunderbolt action!
Now headed to the Log Jammer! This classic Arrow log flume is one of the best out there. One of my favorite aspects of an Arrow log flume is the fact that you get a nice spritz of water, as opposed to getting fully drenched. Perfect on a hot day! The ride had a full line, though because of the efficiency of the design, the line never stopped, even once, and the wait was only 15 minutes or so. Here you can see me heading down the drop!
What a great ride!

No visit to Kennywood is complete without a ride on the carousel! Such a stately and elegant ride!

Gotta love the train ride and the historical narration you get about the park.
Auto Race!
The Mon River, Lock and Dam, and the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in Braddock.
Aside from picnic action during the day, it was all quiet in the woods of the area around Log Jammer and Racer. No visible clues or anything for the rumored project. The last thing I heard that seemed credible was of a possible announcement about something in October.
This area of the midway is so beautiful. The view of Racer standing tall across the lagoon is always so pretty, especially when coupled with the pleasant sounds of the carousel organ.
The Carousel is the heart of Kennywood, and the areas immediately surrounding it make this the most idyllic section of the park.

Sky Rocket is looking terrific this year with its fresh paint. It looks even nicer than when it was brand new.

We closed out our day with a ride on Volcano, the park's Huss Enterprise.

And Kennywood said adieu to us with a valentine and some freshly painted roses. 
We had the same old great experience that we always have when experiencing the many classic rides  and attractions that Kennywood has to offer. It is has been nice to see the park's aesthetics get improved over the last five years or so. As always, we highly recommend spending some time at Kennywood.

For more info on visiting, be sure to check out