Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort is located in the beautiful Elysburg, Pennsylvania. It is America’s largest free-admission amusement park for the entirety of its ninety-one years of operation.
The famous park was first opened in 1926 and the park features more than sixty rides, three wooden roller coasters, one steel coaster, a 1913 carousel, and a widely popular haunted house dark ride.
THE KNOEBEL FAMILY HISTORY
The Knoebel family has a rich and full history filled with adventure, innovation and entrepreneurship. The story starts in a small wooded valley in central Pennsylvania originally deemed ‘Peggy’s Farm.’
The quaint farm valley featured a creek-fed swimming hole that has been a popular hang destination since the early 20th century. Travelers, gypsies, and working class citizens would stop at the park on Sundays and partake in picnics and family swims.
Henry Knoebel was the original farmer of the area who would tend to the horses and the land. He then began selling soft drinks, ice cream and other snacks to the visitors and travelers passing through.
The area began to be known as ‘Knoebels Grove,’ and popularity grew tremendously throughout the years. 1926 marked the year that Henry Knoebel opened a restaurant and a steam-powered Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel along with a few other fair games for visitors to partake in.
These beginning ride additions mark the start of the famous and world-renowned Knoebels Amusement Park. On July 4, 1926, Knoebels added a concrete swimming pool that featured a filtration system that provided crystal clear water instead of the less attractive muddy creek water that had been there before.
‘The Crystal Pool’ is now the center of the park where you can now find over sixty rides, and a campground that today features over 160 acres of camping sites for people to spend time at. The park saw terribly disastrous floods in the early seventies and has seen major floods in 1996, 2004, 2006, and 2011.
FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL
The park is one of the only free admission parks in the world. It offers its visitors free admission, free parking, and free entertainment. This is almost unheard of in today’s money hungry world, and truly preserves the class and family-centered atmosphere America was founded on.
Visitors at Knoebels are able to ride the park’s attractions by purchasing either pay-one-price, all-day/unlimited-access wristbands which are usually only available during the off days and weekdays.
There are multiple ‘hand stamp’ options for visitors to choose from in order to pick their personalized way to enjoy Knoebels Amusement Park. During holidays, the park offers special rates for special events and offerings. Check the price page for more detailed information on every single offering at Knoebels Amusement Park.
THE DIFFERENT RIDES OF KNOEBELS AMUSEMENT PARK
Knoebels Amusement Park offers rides for every single person’s interest, age, and thrill level. The park offers an entire Kiddie section for the smaller park enthusiasts, high thrill rides, family rides, and other attractions and games.
The Kiddie Park at Knoebels Amusement Park features over twenty kiddie rides ranging from super gentle joyrides on planes, trains, boats and cars to classic thrills, dips and twirls and all the stops to make kids have the best amusement experience of their little lives.
Kiddie rides include the famous ball crawl, where kids can ‘swim’ in a colorful sea of balls. Cub cars, flying planes, buggy’s, hand cars, and helicopters are all popular modes of transportation at the park.
Even more kiddie rides offer the chance to soar in the Jet Skyfighters, kiddie boats, kiddie bumper cars, fire trucks, Himalaya (a small, undulating circuit coaster), and a kiddie wheel that allows kids to ride the lifts high enough to catch a wonderful view of the park.
THRILLS THAT THRILL AND CAUSE SHRILLS
Now to the fun part of the Knoebels Amusement Park – the thrill rides. The Black Diamond is a classic mine car ride that takes riders through the haunted coal mines of Pennsylvania. This three-story, dark ride will emerge you through dark tunnels filled with ghostly miners and old scary souls that will make your heart skip a beat.
Giant Flume offers an intense ride with its swirling and swinging pendulum ride that soars riders high into the sky for a nauseating view of the park from high above. The ride lasts for two minutes and reaches a height of fifty-six feet.
Flying Turns makes its comeback after an absence of four decades for a freewheeling, swerving and whirling ride on the world’s only wooden bobsled roller coaster. This modern remake of an old classic, this ride is perfect for the adrenaline seekers of the bunch.
For those who love the wooden log rides, the Giant Flume is the ride for you. The ride takes participants through scenic wooded areas, gentle rapids, and a dark cavern that adds a layer of spook to the experience.
The famous Haunted Mansion is one of the most well known rides of the famous Knoebels Amusement Park. Dark Ride and Funhouse enthusiasts have called this haunted ride a favorite for over ten years.
Impulse is one of the largest thrill rides of the park, offering four upside down twists and a ninety-degree free fall send you on an unforgettable rush. The Knoebel family wanted to capture the best elements in a roller coaster with this coaster’s vertical turns, cobra roll, a zero gravity roll, and so much more.
Another classic coaster located at Knoebels is the Phoenix. This classic wooden roller coaster offers an upward acceleration and a ‘double out and back’ layout that gives riders a bird’s eye view of the tree-covered park and land. The Phoenix is a rebirth of San Antonio’s 1947 coaster that was burnt to the ground.
The last thrill ride we will highlight is the Twister, Knoebel’s tallest wooden coaster that is an original of the park. This coaster is inspired by the Mister Twister and offers a relentlessly fast ride that takes riders through sweeping twists, upheaving turns, and a dark down with several thrill hills for the ultimate coaster experience.
OTHER FUN FACTS ABOUT KNOEBELS
Knoebels is a just a wonder world of fun facts and interesting specs of information for those who are roller coaster or amusement park enthusiasts. The park features the famous Giant Wheel, a Ferris wheel that reaches an astounding height one hundred and ten feet.
The park offers the popular Flyer ride that is one of the fastest running Flying Scooter rides in operation. The Haunted Mansion has won so many awards and is consistently rated as one of the best traditional haunted houses in the world.
The Himalaya kiddie ride is surprisingly completely enclosed in the dark called the ‘Cosmotron.’ The StratosFear ride is a one hundred and forty-eight foot drop tower and is considered the tallest ride at Knoebels.
The Sky Slide is a slide that winds around the outside of a rocket ship and is the American version of a popular United Kingdom fair ride called a helter skelter. The park also offers amazing restaurants, food, and attractions of all sorts.
The primary sit-down restaurant of Knoebel’s Amusement Park is called the Alamo and offers counter service restaurants such as Cesari’s Pizza, Oasis Cafeteria, Phoenix Junction Steakhouse and the International Food Court.
Cesari’s Pizza and the International Food Court have both been featured on a Food Network special, where the television network featured the most popular eats of amusement parks around the world. The alligator bites served at The International Food Court were selected by Delish.com as one of the top seven daring amusement park foods of all time.
There is a Three Ponds Golf Course that is located a quarter mile from the park and campground. It is a par 71 eighteen-hole golf course, which features two very different nine-hole layouts to meet the needs of all golfers.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO KNOEBELS
Use the park’s interactive map to plan your trip to the famous Knoebels Amusement Park. Check the park’s calendar to make sure you are planning the best time to take your trip to the park and find details for special events and happenings going on at Knoebels.
Kozmo recommendations offer additional events and information for when it rains at the park and what to do if you happen to be at the park in a downpour. The park is very accommodating when it comes to keeping the park open in case of unfortunate weather, which is not common in the amusement park world.
Pack your bags, plan your trip, grab your family and head to Knoebels Amusement Park today!