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Monday, July 22, 2019

Knoebels Trip Report Pt. 2

Knoebels is one of my favorite amusement parks, so let's continue our look at my recent day there!
 Earlier in the day dad and I boarded a “minecart” to take a journey through the coal mine theming of this darkride/coaster hybrid, Black Diamond. It was even better than I remembered it being three years ago! I certainly noticed things that I didn’t see back then – themed to Pennsylvania coal mines, the level of detail throughout the whole attraction is beyond small park level. I honestly think that this ride might be superior to the park’s classic dark attraction, Haunted Mansion, as Black Diamond has a wonderful collection of gags as well as the added fun little roller coaster drops. It’s so, so awesome that Knoebels would see value in resurrecting such an old ride, and in the 2010s, nonetheless! 
After Black Diamond, we decided to keep the darkride fun going with a ride on what may be my favorite attraction at Knoebels, the Haunted Mansion. After paying the $2.50 upcharge (which is apparently to prevent vandalism to the stunts - not really that high of a price, especially considering the quality of this ride), we began our trip. The Haunted Mansion may be one of the best if not the best classic darkride in the country. The stunts are all impeccably timed, with the lights often going out just as something flies out at you, and the use of diversion is also used to an incredible advantage. I’ve been watching videos of the ride for years, so I wasn’t startled but instead was just able to soak it in and enjoy the style at work here. A not to be missed ride while at Knoebels!
Around the park are little details of all sorts - take this North Pole in front of the Christmas shop that is ice-cold in the heat of summer!



Another thing that Knoebels is well-known for is their varied collection of band organs. This one is over 110 years old. Not connected to any carousel, it just sits on the midway and provides valuable atmosphere. The two Knoebels carousels certainly have wonderful organs, though!
It's a relatively well-known fact, but the Knoebels Grand Carousel is one of just a handful of rides left in the country on which you can catch the brass ring. My ring-catching ability remained fairly consistent with my earlier ride that day – not terrible, but it could definitely be better. It's definitely something I would like to improve on; I have no idea how some people can apparently grab two rings on one go!

More Knoebels pictures are coming tomorrow. Sorry for the weird text sizes; I guess it happens when you copy and paste form Microsoft Word.

13 comments:

K. Martinez said...

The "Black Diamond" would be the headliner attraction for me when visiting Knoebels. I've watched video of it online and it looks pretty wonderful and amazing. Would you happen to know how much of Hunt's Pier "Golden Nugget Mine" they kept and incorporated into the Black Diamond attraction?

I like how the Haunted Mansion's exterior is nice and normal looking without the creep factor. Disneyland's Haunted Mansion takes the same approach by keeping the haunts and creep inside.

Those are gorgeous carousel horses. I can tell by the photos that it's a beauty. And we know where the other carousel where you can catch the brass ring is located. In my hometown!

BTW, you are taking some real nice photos in this trip report. Thanks, Andrew.

Ken

Major Pepperidge said...

My gosh, I wish I could see those rides ("Black Diamond" and the "Haunted Mansion") SO MUCH! To me, the humble dark ride is still superior to any motion-simulated 3D projection ride (I just did a bunch of those at Universal Studios).

And I hear you on the weird text sizes, it happens to me all the time. I've figured out some workarounds, but it still causes problems at times.

Melissa said...

I've always wanted to go to the Carousel Organ Association's band organ rally that takes place at Knoebels. I didn't realize that any of the organs were permanent park fixtures; I just assumed that all the ones I saw in the videos or part of the temporary display. Too cool!

Andrew said...

I really like darkrides too, maybe even more than roller coasters! I was a part of the "Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts" for a time, and we got to walk through some rides before the parks opened.

Andrew said...

I just heard about the rally from a worker in the Carousel Museum Knoebels has. He said that he thinks it happens about every other year. I definitely will have to go see it sometime!

Andrew said...

I'm not sure, but I think the only thing left from Golden Nugget that's 100% original is the track layout itself. The mine cart-themed cars and rotating barrel look similar to the original ride, but I believe that they've been rebuilt.

Thanks for the really nice comments and compliments, Ken.

TokyoMagic! said...

I want to experience that Haunted Mansion! I hope I get to, someday. I think all of the Santa's Village amusement parks had a frozen "North Pole. It's such a cool (no pun intended!) little detail!

Andrew said...

Yes! The first time I walked by it I didn't even know it was "frozen." It's usually a good idea to take your time and observe things like this closely.

Chuck said...

Conceptually, Black Diamond reminds me a bit of a cross between Fire in the Hole at Silver Dollar City and the Calico Mine Train at Knott's.

I love the idea of so many band organs. And to my knowledge, I've never, ever ridden a carrousel where you can grab the ring.

Chuck said...

Oh, also - the Haunted Mansion reminded me of something...

You may already be aware of this, but an amazing, in-depth resource on the Disneyland version is Long Forgotten. Definitely worth a visit, but you won't get through it in one sitting.

Andrew said...

I've heard of this site before, but I'd love to dive into it more deeply. Thanks for the recommendation!

Andrew said...

That assumption seems pretty spot on from what I can tell. I haven't been on either of those rides, but I will go to them at some point in the future.

Black Diamond starts out with the ordinary "working in the mine" theme like at Knott's, but it quickly descends into all kinds of crazy mayhem.

Chuck said...

It sure looks like a kooky, fun ride,