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 Review of Phoenix @ Knoebels
4 Rating Posted by: shag9004 on 6/23/2008 10:11:00 PM
Date Ridden: June 18th, 2008. Times Ridden: 18 with 3 in the front seat, 3 in the back and every other seat at least once. I just returned from a 7 day, 10 park trip that took me from New Jersey, through PA, up to Canada and back across to Ohio. After being launched vertical by Farenheit, taken up over 230 feet on Behemoth, twisted all over Erie by the RF II, and amazed once again by the speed and smoothness of the coaster that started it all for me exactly 2 years ago (Millie at CP), I get home and what do i remember most about my trip? A 78 foot coaster built in 1948 and moved on 34 trucks to its current site in the 80's. Yep people, Phoenix is that good. In fact, Knoebels in general is that good. I will not go into the insane Skooters, the terrifying Flyer (I thought I was going to actually flip upside down), the sick Looper which made me feel like a mouse in a cage rolling around the track, or any of the other amazing things that happened to us in our 7 hours there. Yes, I ate a steak for 9 bucks that I could cut with a plastic knife, bought a sweatshirt for under 20 dollars, and ate a waffle ice cream which was the best 2 bucks I spent the entire trip. No, I will not discuss those things. I will give one of the greatest wooden coasters in history its just dues. Where do I start? Well, maybe after the first ride where I thought the coaster was great somewhere along the lines of Raven. That would be a great comparison for most woodies as Raven is solidly lodged at a top 10 coaster for me out of my now 276 ridden. However, having ridden only the middle of the train I had underestimated this little ride. I was soon to be amazed. I will not discuss airtime in this ride. That has been discussed in the reviews listed below. I will say that I counted 13 bits of airtime ranging from nice floater to hardcore ejector riding in the back seat and 12 bits in the front seat. The other cars had anywhere from 10 up to 13 in one of the other front seats (yep somewhere up towards the front....I forget exactly where). This coaster is about airtime, possibly the best you will find on any ride anywhere, but it has other positives as well. When entering the station on my first ride, I immediately noticed they were only running 1 train. With about 6 people per line, I quickly counted up a 20 minute wait which was not bad but I was hoping for more. In less that half that, I was on the ride and rolling through the opening tunnel. My fellow enthusiasts, in my humble opinion this is the best run coaster in the freaking world!! A simple buzz bar with no seat belts and intense airtime (sorry, I mentioned the A word)? A station crew that runs you through with record pace? I kid you not, on one ride I timed, the train was moving 12 seconds after the gates opened to let people on. What if you have caps, cameras or prizes? Just throw them across the train onto the concrete and pick them up when the ride ends. No locker nazis are present trying to wring another buck out of you. No bins are necessary. Just throw it down and pick it up later. There is no time for that crap...get on the Phoenix, pull down your buzz bar and ride!!! In reading over what I have written so far, this definitely does not sound like a polished review written by the secondary literature teacher that I profess to be. It seems choppy, intense, yet very much to the point. That I believe is what Phoenix is. At the Golden Ticket awards this year, sleek El Toro will probably walk in dressed in a a shiny new Pre-fabricated tuxedo, the heavily muscular Voyage will stroll in side by side with his short stumpy buddy Raven, and the new kid Ravine Flyer II will be over at the childrens table. Phoenix will be propped up in a comfortable pair of jeans, a cap on sideways covering his gray hair, and a Knoebels t-shirt purchased at a gift shop for 5 dollars. He will probably even be showing off his scars to the newbies from the "Great M

Review Comments

adriahna on 6/24/2008 3:08:25 PM said:
Wonderful review! 12 seconds, eh? I think a lot of it does have to do with the easy-going nature of the patrons - throw your crap on the platform so we can get going! Very cool - and glad you enjoyed the Phoenix so much.
shag9004 on 6/24/2008 3:40:11 PM said:
Thanks.....I am leaving in a few days and headed up the Jersey coast. We will be staying two nights close to Atlantic City and hitting the different ocean side parks including Astroland one day which seem to be only a couple of hours from our hotel. Any suggestions since I noticed you live in the area?
coasterf42 on 6/24/2008 4:10:39 PM said:
Great review- however, You think 2 dollars for waffle ice cream was a better buy than 2 dollars for a Phoenix ride! If that is the case, then I really need to go back there and get one!
shag9004 on 6/24/2008 6:17:34 PM said:
Well, I bought the unlimited ride wristband so with 18 Phoenix rides, 2 Twister rides, 2 Skooter rides, and the numerous other flats I rode, each ride probably only cost me a dollar or so. My only problems was the upcharge for the Haunted Mansion and the Chair Lift ride. Those two did not come with the umlimited ride wristband for some reason. Actually my best deal as far as money is concerned was at Lakemont Park. We went on Dollar Wednesday which meant park entrance and an unlimited ride wristband was only 3 bucks!! We only had an hour there so for 3 bucks I got to ride the oldest operating coaster (Leap the Dips), 2 rides on Skyliner and 1 on the Toboggan. This was a very cheap trip as far as park admission went.
PhantomNik on 6/25/2008 1:20:54 PM said:
What a great review....shag, I must say that your reviews are a pleasure to read, and one of the many reasons I will always continue to visit this site. Many have commented that they feel the site is "dying out", but as nice as other sites are, this is the ONLY one where we as enthusiasts get to play critic, and for that alone I love it dearly! Anyway, awesome job on the review, and enjoy your upcoming trip! Here's hoping the Cyclone delivers a memorable experience for you!

As for Phoenix, I couldn't agree more with your assessment. This is a marvel of wooden coaster design, and its simplicity I think adds to its charm. That airtime is incredible, and it endeared itself to my heart instantly when I first rode it. It actually was my favorite woodie for a while, until I caught rides on the 2 newer juggernauts you mention in your review (Voyage and El Toro). And I grin just thinking about that ride with the buzzbar and no seatbelts! Hmmmm, I think I may need to take a return trip to East-Central PA!

fergusonat on 6/26/2008 10:25:34 AM said:
^You're right, this site has been slow. But how could we jumpstart it? Couple things I might suggest would be a brighter, more sharp color scheme, some badass graphics, and possibly make the site more about counting coasters/rides. Look at coasterfanatics...that site is taking off. People dig "collecting" coasters, and while I really love the Ride Tracker here, it would be badass to see it tally up the total number of rides I've been on, maybe even breaking them down into categories of coasters, flats, dark rides, water rides, etc. Hell, I'd be more than willing to help out a little in the graphics department. I've been participating on this site for a long time now, and I'd like to help revitalize it. It would be a shame to let such a massive database of ratings become out-dated and inaccurate due to a lack of submissions

But yeah, awesome review, shag. Phoenix is quite a little marvel. It will be interesting to ride it again this year and see if the charm that I fell in love with last season has worn off at all. Ravine Flyer II turned out to be a monster, however I gave Phoenix the benefit of the doubt and kept it at #2. It will be put to the test in a couple weeks.
fergusonat on 6/26/2008 11:42:02 AM said:
Ok guys, spent some time here at work revamping logo, see what you think:

bumprnugit on 6/26/2008 11:16:56 PM said:
Great review! Part of what makes The Phoenix so incredible is the park it is located in. Dick K. knows he has a real gem and he keeps it shining (he's also a really nice guy to boot.)The Great Escape is my "backyard park" and having ridden the Comet when it was at Crystal Beach, I couldn't have been happier when I heard the news it was coming my way in the early 90's. But recently, some of the fun has been sucked out of the ride. The Phoenix and Comet are both PTC/Schmeck designs, and share some similar qualities. I have bounced around rides in my #1 slot from time to time, but I ALWAYS return to The Phoenix. Every Herb Schmeck coaster I ride always leaves me with a smile, but my cheeks hurt getting off this one. I can never get enough. If there was ever an "ultimate party coaster", this is it ( why do you thing PPPP is so popular?)
PhantomNik on 6/27/2008 1:13:54 PM said:
^^Dude, holy freakin' crap! That revamped logo you created is unbelievable! I love it!! Seriously, you should post that onto the message board so it can be seen by some other members here, because I think that would be a welcome refreshment to the site. I must say, just an incredible job! :thumbsup:
fergusonat on 6/27/2008 2:13:35 PM said:
lol ok...here goes nuthin
Nlfreakk on 9/6/2009 1:03:49 AM said:
You're more than just an outstanding reviewer.

You're an outstanding writer.

I love you.
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