Pennsylvania isn’t the first place that springs to mind when most foreigners are planning a trip to the USA, but this is where I really started to get into my trip. Staying in the small town of Bethlehem and going to a theme park which is probably the antithesis of the Six Flags chain that I had just come from. Knoebels feels far away from any major city and is surrounded by lush woodlands. You pay nothing to get in and you either have to buy tickets for rides or grab an unlimited wristband.
If you would like you can bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds or eat from the variety of different stalls and restaurants around the park. This place must be so fun for families, I think even my theme park adverse family would enjoy it.
Of course there are roller coasters and some traditional and awesome flat rides, so I can’t go without mentioning those. I think it will be a running theme as I recount what happened to tell you I was surprised by rides at a lot of places. Knoebels held one of my favourite surprises with Phoenix, a wooden coaster from the 1940s (relocated to Knoebels in the 80s) that has no seltbelts and only a buzzbar to restrain you. A buzzbar is just one of those straight bars you rarely see on coasters anymore that don’t usually touch a person at all, they just lock into place and whether you’re a child of 7 or a 7 foot tall adult the bar stays in the same position. This roller coaster has possibly the best feeling of airtime I have ever experienced. It truly ejects your butt off the seat and makes you feel like you’re going to fly through the air. Not everybody’s cup of tea, but definitely mine.
There are three other coasters here, an indoor one with a spooky theme called Black Diamond. One called Flying Turns which is based on a coaster from the 1920s and that has taken 7 years to open. Finally there is the biggest wooden coaster on the site, Twister, which is a lot of fun too.
I would recommend going on the chair lift where I took the two roller coaster pictures for a nice break. Also try as much food as you can, I ate lunch and dinner here and the food is incredibly cheap and delicious. Definitely check out the restaurant The Alamo, especially if you are in need of a side of air conditioning with your food.
Coaster count: 16