Knoebels Amusement Park Offers Pennsylvania Thrills

Written by Rick Wright. Posted in Features, Weekend Update

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Published on December 15, 2012 at 4:02 am with 14 Comments

It’s been awhile since Sir Clinksalot posted a trip report from his epic East Coast Theme Park Trip. We’re glad he’s back this week, because he treats us to these photos from a very charming amusement park located in Central Pennsylvania. Opened in 1926, Knoebels Amusement Park has more than 57 rides, free admission, two wooden roller coasters, a 1913 carousel, and a haunted house dark ride that was featured on the Discovery Channel. ~~Rick

Knoebels Amusement Park – Elysburg, PA

Knoebels is one of the best traditional amusement parks in the country and was a highlight of our East Coast theme park trip. The park is located deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Upon sir clinksalot’s first visit to the park in 2005 it was quite hard to find, but thanks to the modern technology of 2012 it was quite easy to find.

Knoebels features free admission and you only need to buy ride tickets or a ride bracelet to ride the attractions. Even if you don’t want to ride anything, there are many free things to try and the food is the best “amusement park” food you will find at any park in the country. At least from the parks we’ve all visited.

Knoebels entrance

Knoebels features two world class wooden coasters, a couple of terrific dark rides and many amusement style “flat” rides.

The parks premiere coaster is the Phoenix, which is named due to the rides “resurrection” from it’s original home in San Antonio. It’s a great story of how the park saved this classic wooden coaster and you can read all about it [URL=””]here[/URL].

Despite it’s age, Phoenix is an amazing wooden coaster and is still consistently ranked near the top of “Best of” polls every year.

The ride also features a history display of it’s time in San Antonio and move to PA.

The parks other wooden coaster is the Twister which is a recreation of the classic “Mister Twister” that was located at Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO.


The Knoebels Haunted House is consistently voted one of the best dark rides



The Knoebels Sky Ride offers fantastic views of the park




Twister as seen from the Sky Ride


Phoenix as seen from the Sky Ride

The famous Knoebels covered bridge

Knoebels is a park that celebrates it’s floods, the last major one was in 2011

The park also features a classic brass ring carousel



There is also a carousel museum which features some of the original animals from the carousel


If you ever find yourself out in PA, a trip to Knoebels should be high on your list if you enjoy classic amusement parks. You can find more information about the park on their website. [URL=””]Home[/URL]

About Rick Wright

Rick has been a long term MiceChat author and co-founder of the Weekend Update. You will often find Rick in the position of "Greeter" at official events due to his warm and welcoming spirit. If you've got photos, news or trip reports to share, Rick would love to hear from you: [email protected]

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  • disdad70

    I’m blessed to live less than two hours from Knoebels. I love that it is decidedly low tech yet big on classic thrills. Is there any other park of this size in the country that still let’s you walk the grounds for free? As mentioned, the food is diverse, delicious and inexpensive. I can only hope that they can find a way to solve the multi year problems that have plagued the opening of the trackless toboggan ride, Flying Turns. Seeing it sit there 90% complete year after year is the ultimate tease.

  • animatronic

    My Aunt used to rent a house there for a week ever summer and would hold our family reunion at Knobel’s! I have really fond memories being a kid there in the 1980’s. My mom got stuck on one of the water slides for a few minutes (was pretty funny actually). I’m glad to see it is still such a gem. Thanks for the blast from the past.

  • Gregg Condon

    Knoebels is quite simply one of my favorite parks ever. On paper you just don’t think it would be much, but in reality it’s much much more. And it’s not just for those of us who want a taste of the past when it comes to our amusement parks, on our trip we visited some of the biggest parks with some of the best coasters in the US. Knoebels was my 14 year-old son’s favorite park. Sure there were some rides at some other parks he liked better, but overall, it was Knoebels.

    As was mentioned above, they also have campgrounds, cabins, etc. One year I hope to try them out.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Rick! That was excellent! You made me want to go there, but I don’t think that’s going to happen in the next 11 years or so. If I were rich and there a “Friends of Knoebel’s” organization, I’d join, even if it is for profit.

  • Eagleman

    Knoebels ,looks like a very nice place to go have fun and see……
    Thank You for shareing

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  • SpectroMan

    Loved this piece. Someday I hope to visit Knoebels, Hersheypark and Kennywood all in a row.

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  • Fortune Red

    I’ve never been before, but I already love it! Unpretentious, not commercialized, and it doesn’t reek of greed.

  • jbird327

    I was fortunate enough to ride the Rocket in San Antonio back in 1980 as well as Mr. Twister the same year. After the move, the Phoenix was running great, however my most recent trip to Knoebel’s, maybe 5 or 7 years ago, found the Phoenix running very rough. How is it running these days?
    I was sort of waiting for the Flying Turns to open before I made a trip back.
    I enjoyed Mr Twister which was nicely inspired by the original, and I liked they way they fit it into the smaller footprint.
    While in Playland I was able to meet Jimmy Johnson and his son. He showed me an extensive collection of construction photos from the original Rocket and the son gave me a tour around the park. He was complaining about the tremendous amount of destruction the locals were causing at the park – cutting up seats, defacing things…and you could sense he was tired of dealing with it. I wasn’t surprised when it closed for good at the end of the season.
    Thanks for the article.

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  • darkamor

    What an awesome example of a Family Owned / Operated Amusement Park (& it sure looks like a swell place to visit during the Spring – Summer time) ….

    Merry Xmas Everybody –

    C J

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