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Hershey, Kennywood, Cedar Point, Knoebels July 20-26

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
Today I just got back from my trip to Hersheypark, Kennywood, Cedar Point, and Knoebels. All of these parks except for Hershey were new to me so I was really looking forward to this trip. This was a big family road trip. The people who went other then myself were My Auntie Sue, my cousin Mark and his three kids Josh(17), Tyler(16) , & Aaron(14) and my cousin Tracy her husband Dave and their two kids Mike(8) and Joe(6). So on July 19th I got dropped off by my uncle at Mark's house so we could leave at 4 in the morning to head for Hershey. The drive wasn't that bad and we got there in record time. We got to Hershey before they opened. We waited for the gates to open and then we went straight for Fahrenheit.

Fahrenheit is my favorite coaster at Hershey. I absolutlely love this ride and it was better than I remembered. The drop, the elements, the speed, the smoothness of the ride it is a perfect ride to me and it just sits outside my top 10. After Fahrenheit we went over to hit Storm Runner skipping Sidewinder without hesitation.

Storm Runner is my second favorite coaster at Hershey. The launch is great and the whole rest of the ride is fairly good also but I think the little bit of roughness it has just puts it below Fahrenheit. Great coaster though and one of my favorites. After Storm Runner we went to one of my favorite woodies, Lightning Racers.

Lightning Racer is great. I find it to be a very smooth wood and a very fun ride to ride with friends. I prefer Lightning side but on this day I couldn't win. I rode it three times and went 0-3 after not losing at all the previous two years. So after that we decided to go hit the other side of the park. First was Great Bear.

Great Bear is another quality coaster at Hershey. I enjoy it a lot but it in my opinion isn't even close to Talon. I rode Great Bear two years ago but not last year so I was looking forward to riding it. It didn't disappoint at all I was very pleased with the ride and I ended up riding it 3 times that day. Sooperdooperlooper was closed the entire day.

I really like Sooperdooperlooper so I was a little sad to see it closed but we were on to Skyrush. After the brutal beating I received from Skyrush last year it made it to my number 2 spot. After reriding it this year it isn't even in my top 30. After riding it last year I know it has airtime but no ride has ever left me feeling so afraid that I was going to fly out of my seat. I couldn't wait for the ride to end. The ride was not as rough as it was last year but the airtime is just overkill. I love airtime but not to Skyrush's extent. I know Skyrush is one of the most loved coasters on here since it came out but I can safely say I'm no longer a fan of Skyrush. My cousins Mark and Aaron absolutely hated it but my cousins Josh and Tyler liked it so it had mixed reviews amongst my family.

After Skyrush my cousin Tracy finally showed up so she, Mike, Aaron and I went on Comet. It had been two years since I rode Comet since the line is always INSANE! Another ride I really enjoyed it just had the
feel of a good old fashioned wood coaster. I really enjoyed all the wooden coasters on the trip except for Cedar Point's woods but thats another day. After Comet we just kind of hung around the park not going on anything. Mark, Josh, Tyler, and Aaron left early while Tracy, Joe, Mike, Auntie Sue and myself stayed later. Mike and I went off and rode Wildcat, Wild Mouse, and Lightning Racer while Tracy and Auntie Sue played games with Joe.
First ride for Mike and I was Wild Mouse. He was anxious to ride it because he rode the one in Legoland California so he was excited for Wild Mouse, pluse he literally loves every coaster you put him on so he enjoyed Wlid Mouse a lot.

We then rode both sides of Lightning Racer and lost both times then we went over to Wildcat. Out of the Hershey woods it is the worst but out of the ones I have ridden it isn't even close to the worst. I really enjoyed Wildcat even though it is a tad rough thats what makes it a good ride. Mike loved it as well even though he said it was crazy.

After Wildcat we met back up with the other three and headed out. Other then getting sunburnt it was a good day. After going to Hershey for my third straight year in a row there was no new coasters for me here but it was still a good time. We went back to the hotel which was in Hershey and I crashed immediately. I was incredibly tired and had to be up early for the drive to Kennywood the next morning. I was looking forward to Kennywood but was a little uneasy about there old wooden coasters but Kennywood is living proof that just because you have a bad time on one old wood doesn't mean you will have a bad time on all of them. Kennywood tomorrow!

Goodnight from Hershey!

Edward M

Strata Poster
Strange how much you ended up hating Skyrush even though you liked it before, but I understand.

Good Report.

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
Day 2 July 21st Kennywood

We woke up pretty early so we can get to Kennywood for opening. I got up, got dressed, ate and then we were off. The ride to Kennywood was pretty brutal because of how anxious I was to get there and my aunt is a much slower driver then Mark. Mark, Josh, Tyler, and Aaron got to Kennywood first and we were second because Tracy got pulled over for speeding. My aunt bought her ticket and we were in. We met up with Mark and he said that Josh, Tyler, and Aaron were in line for Sky Rocket so I knew where I was heading. I cut a good amount of people to get to them and within 5 minutes I was in. The restraints are awkward but I like them a lot.

I really enjoyed Sky Rocket. I love how it only has a lap bar and has inversions. It had great airtime throughout the ride and was such a fun ride. I only rode it once but I wish I could have got on a couple more times. After Sky Rocket I knew where we were headed to next, Phantom’s Revenge!

The only other Morgan coaster I rode was Steel Force and I loved it so I looked forward to Phantom’s Revenge even though it’s pretty different from Steel Force. I liked Phantom’s Revenge better than Steel Force. Both drops were awesome, the closeness it gets with Thunderbolt even towards the end it gets a little shaky but I loved it. After Phantom’s Revenge Tracy and her family finally showed up and the family got all separated. Dave, Aaron, Mike, and myself went on Thunderbolt, Tracy, Auntie Sue, and Joe went to Kiddieland, and Mark, Josh, and Tyler went to Ghostwood Estate.

Based on looks I thought this would be awful but still the best coaster out of the woods at Kennywood. When It comes to really old wooden coasters I haven’t really liked any of the ones in the past like Thunderhawk or Compounce’s Wildcat but I was remaining cool and gave these a try. All of Kennywoods wood coasters are brilliant. This one is a hair less then Jack Rabbit but still pretty good. I loved Thunderbolt it didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t rough at all it was just an overall fun ride and it really surprised me. Next the four of us headed over to Jack Rabbit. My god, I had horrible expectations but this ride was amazing.

The airtime on the drop after the lifthill was amazing. This is such a fun classic wooden coaster nothing to flashy or big just another great quality ride from Kennywood. After Jack Rabbit we met up with Mark, Josh, and Tyler for some Racer action. Since they are rare I had never rode a Mobius coaster before and they still confuse the hell out of me. Since coaster-count counts both lifthills I rode the left lifthill with Aaron and then later in the day in the pouring rain I rode the right lifthill. Kennywood was running all of their rides when it was pouring out and then Cedar Point shut down all of its ride when it saw 5 drops of rain. Racer was a good ride too after the first two wooden coasters I was like okay this one has to be crap not all of them can be brilliant but I was wrong. It was my least favorite of the wood coasters at Kennywood but by all means it is not bad in anyway. I love coasters that race especially this one since I could high five people in the other train. After Racer we got drinks and headed to Ghostwood Estate. After watching the CF Live videos a lot and having Snoo say that this was the best shooter of all time in the Kennywood one I knew I had to go on it. He was right probably the best dark ride and shooter I have been on. It was amazing you almost don’t want to shoot anything because you want to enjoy the dark ride portion of it. Easily my favorite shooter and dark ride I’ve been on. We got off Ghostwood Estate and headed over to Kiddieland to meet up with Tracy, Joe, and Auntie Sue. This was my chance. I did a 40 yard dash to Lil Phantom because I knew that they were going to be quick in Kiddieland. It is a pretty normal kiddie cred and just a +1 in my book. We left Kiddieland and headed to the coaster that takes forever to get to Exterminator.

Easily the best wild mouse I’ve been on. Such an enjoyable ride with great theming, spinning, and a great layout I was very happy with Exterminator and it was the longest wait of the day and the queue line is unbearable because it’s like being trapped in a basement with like 100 other people. It was so unbearably hot. I was very very very happy with Kennywood and I am still debating if it beats out Dollywood as my favorite park. There was literally nothing I didn’t like about Kennywood. It was my first time going there and it exceeded my expectations. After we left because of the rain we went to McDonalds and headed for Cedar Point and our hotel Castaway Bay.
Tomorrow 3 days of Cedar Point.


Strata Poster
Nice report so far, looking forward to reading more. And I also find it strange about your experience with Skyrush. Ah well. :)

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
On the 22nd, 23rd and 24th I went to Cedar Point. The first day was with everyone, the second day was with Mark, Josh, Tyler, and Aaron, and the third day was with Tracy, Dave, Auntie Sue, Mike, and Joe. The first day was pretty dreadful. Dragster for the most part was closed all day. Mean Streak, Gemini, Mantis, Magnum, Millennium, Woodstock Express, and Cedar Creek Mine Ride were closed or had some sort of problem throughout the day. We only managed to get on Gatekeeper, Maverick, Millennium Force, Corkscrew, Gemini (Blue), and Magnum in a full day at the park. The second day was perfect. I managed to hit Gatekeeper, Magnum, and Millennium again and pick up Iron Dragon, Blue Streak, Gemini (Red), Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Woodstock Express, Raptor, Top Thrill Dragster, and Mantis. The third day we went on Gatekeeper, Gemini (Red) Woodstock Express, Top Thrill Dragster, Maverick and the only new coaster was Mean Streak. Wicked Twister and Jr. Gemini were the only coasters that I didn’t ride. Jr. Gemini I didn’t ride because Joe who is 6 didn’t want to ride and I couldn’t fit on Wicked Twister. Since I spent three days at the park I’m going to do this portion of the report differently than others so instead of doing day 1, day 2 and day 3 at Cedar Point I’m going to just talk about each coaster.

Blue Streak

Probably the worst coaster at Cedar Point. I hated this coaster so much and I had flashbacks of Thunderhawk. This coaster in my opinion had no redeeming qualities. It was the worst wood if not worst coaster of the trip in general. I rode it once with my cousin Aaron and we were the only two who rode it. It was just a bad coaster in my opinion.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride

The mine ride wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t amazing either. It was just a middle of the road coaster at best. It was just a pretty boring ride. Good news with this ride is I didn’t absolutely hate it. But I don’t have anything good to say about this ride either.

Why is this thing still around? Another crap ride. I had horrible expectations thanks to Canobie Corkscrew and it was just as bad as Canobie Corkscrew. Just a rough looping, corkscrewing coaster brought to you by Arrow Dynamics. Some Arrows are great and some are awful this one is on the awful side of the spectrum.


I absolutely adore winged coasters. I loved Wild Eagle and Gatekeeper replaced Wild Eagle in the number 2 spot. I loved this ride so much and in my opinion is perfect. No dull moments great inversions, awesome keyholes, great drop, perfect speed, very smooth. I could have easily rode this thing all day. I didn’t care for a lot of the coasters at Cedar Point but this was one of the ones I really enjoyed.

Gemini Blue & Red
Gemini was one of the coasters I didn’t hate. By all means not the best or the worst at Cedar Point. I enjoyed Gemini it was a pretty good ride a little shaky at times but still pretty nice. Not much I have to say about Gemini.

Iron Dragon

Another ride I enjoyed. I never hear good things about this ride but I didn’t think it was too bad. It felt very smooth to me had good swinging and I felt it was a nice quality ride. I like Iron Dragon it was a good fun ride and I enjoyed every second of it.

Magnum XL-200

Very unimpressed with this ride. What a rough piece of crap. I hated Magnum the ride was very rough and bumpy. The bunny hills were pure torture. The only part of the ride I liked was the first drop. I expected it to be similar to Steel Force but it wasn’t I actually enjoyed Steel Force. I rode Magnum twice hoping the second ride would be better but it wasn’t. I don’t see the hype about it, not a fan.


If you haven’t caught on to the theme by now it’s horrible coasters. America’s roller coast really let me down. After all the great things I heard about Cedar Point it really disappointed me. The only coasters I loved were Gatekeeper, Dragster, Maverick, and Millennium. Honorable mention to Iron Dragon, Raptor and Gemini. Mantis is vile plain and simple. My legs and crotch were abused horribly on this ride. Standing up on coaster has never seemed like a good idea to me and this was just proof. This was my first standup coaster and it didn’t give others a good reputation. The only things I can say good about the ride are if it was a floorless or a sit down with the same layout it would be great, it’s a pretty coaster, and it’s a great ride to take pictures of.


Maverick was a great ride but I think its overrated. It is a good coaster with a great first drop and awesome inversions. At times the ride is very rough and sent my neck thrashing around the waves. It is still in my top 10 because all the good parts overpower the bad parts and even with its rough parts it is still a quality coaster and one of the best I’ve ridden.

Mean Streak

Mean Streak wasn’t by far the worst wood I’ve ridden and it wasn’t the best. It was just middle of the road for me. I enjoyed it and felt it was a very intense wood coaster. One of the more intense ones I have ridden. It had good speed and for the most part wasn’t horribly rough. It’s much better than its blue counterpart across the park.

Millennium Force

Instant number one coaster. It blew Bizarro completely out of the water. Bizarro is a better coaster but Millennium is faster, taller and a more fun ride. It was the first 300 ft coaster I rode and it was perfect. I didn’t think that it had a bad spot to it. Absolutely perfect forceful ride and I could ride it all day. The overbanked turns, hills, and airtime were flawless. I love Millennium Force and as I said before instant number one.


Raptor was better than Great Bear but nowhere near as good as Talon. Out of the four B&M Inverts Raptor goes in at number 2. I really enjoyed Raptor I was very pleased with Raptor after hearing bad things about it. I thought it was a great ride and had good inversions. The loop, the corkscrews, the cobra, the zero g, it was all great quality coaster from Raptor.

Top Thrill Dragster

In my few years of coaster riding never have I felt such an intense feeling in my life then Dragsters launch. 17 seconds of awesome. When you reach the top of Dragster and you have that split second to overlook the park the feeling was amazing. I through my hands up as soon as I got to the top and let out a huge wahoo! I loved Dragster, immediate top 10 for me.

Woodstock Express

Pretty nice coaster. One of the better family/kiddie coasters I’ve ridden. Not really a lot to say about this one either.

As I mentioned above I couldn’t fit on Wicked Twister and I didn’t try to get on Jr. Gemini and my little cousin didn’t want to ride it again after riding with my aunt.

Also as I said above Cedar Point really let me down. I loved Gatekeeper, Maverick, Millennium Force, and TTD. Raptor, Iron Dragon, and Gemini were alright and everything else I hated or just didn’t care for. I really thought that Cedar Point was going to be much better than what it was. It was probably my least favorite park of the trip. Even though 4 of Cedar Point’s coaster cracked the top 10, Raptor was the only other coaster that cracked the top 30. I wasn’t pleased at all with Cedar Point. I know I have some pretty varying opinions from a lot of people but coasters are all opinions. That’s what makes me love coasters and talking about them, the varying of opinions amongst enthusiasts. Some people love certain rides others hate them that’s what makes me love coasters. If every person loved the same coasters and everyone praised the same exact rides and hated the others then it would be boring. I love reading other people’s opinions on coasters and even though mine are very odd and obscure I hoped you enjoyed reading mine as well.

Knoebels tomorrow!

Edward M

Strata Poster
Good report, but disliking Magnum? That is such a fantastic ride. Those Bunny Hills are sooo good. I love how forceful and rough the airtime is.


Staff member
CoastingChris50 said:
Yeah I have a weird way with coasters.

I think it's fair enough to be honest. I also think it's good to go back and objectively ride a ride later on. Some times you can have unfairly treated a ride, others...

I think that a new ride always offers some excitement and anticipation. Sometimes that is too much and you end up feel disappointed that expectations weren't met (I think you may have had that with Cedar Point?). Other times, it not only meets expectations, but blows them away. I think Skyrush is so extreme and unlike anything else you've ridden, it immediately stands out massively.

We see it over here with The Ultimate and Blackpool's Mouse. They're both experiences you can't get anywhere else, so they stand out against the background noise of B&Ms and Intamins. Of course, they also need to push your buttons, but I think sometimes you can be overawed by the experience and need to repeat runs some time apart to get a real idea of how you feel.

So yeah, I think that you've just ridden Skyrush with a clearer head, less anticipation, so you're more objective about how you feel about what the ride is doing to you.

Or maybe you've changed slightly physically/psychologically and that's where the difference lies?

As for Cedar Point, I've thought for many years now the park looks quantity over quality. Lots and lots of "meh". However, it IS an enthusiast Mecca and I think every enthusiast should go there to make up their own minds (one day I'll get there too :) ).

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
furie said:
CoastingChris50 said:
Yeah I have a weird way with coasters.

Or maybe you've changed slightly physically/psychologically and that's where the difference lies?

Other than this part I agree with everything thing you said. You pretty much summed it all up. Thanks Furie. :--D


Staff member
Yeah, you don't have to agree with me - I was just covering bases :)

I know that my tolerance for "rough rides" has dropped massively over the years, or rather I notice the pain more and the pleasure less. I don't know if it's an age thing or just over-exposure to coasters, but I didn't feel different today than I did ten years ago, or twenty.

Physically, I'm heavier than I was, and taller. This has had a massive impact on hang time for me. I used to adore it, but these days my shoulders and thighs can't take it. So for me I've changed, but obviously that's over a much longer period than a year :)

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
I have been pretty busy lately but I finally got around to doing it so here is the final day Knoebels.

So my aunt and I drove from Sandusky to Elysburg and the drive wasn't that bad at all. We got there and the parking lot makes it look like the place is packed. Pretty much all of the rides I went on were 5 minutes or less. The first ride of the day was Kozmo's Kurves which wasn't to bad of a ride. I went on with my 6 year old cousin Joe and he thought it was awesome!

Just walking from Kozmo's to Twister I fell in love with this park. It has such a classic charm and feel to it. Almost like a traveling carnival came to town and never left. Next coaster was Twister. I really enjoyed Twister a lot. It was an agressive ride but a good one felt kind of similar to Mean Streak. I was a pretty good coaster just cracks the top 30 for me.

Next coaster was the best wooden coaster I have ever been on. Phoenix.. my goodness what a ride. I loved this ride and was debating weather I liked it better then Thunderhead and I have to say I do like it better. Throughout the day I rode it 12 times and its longest wait was 10 minutes and it was at night. I rode in pretty much every seat and the back is by far much better then the front. On Phoenix I feel that it has airtime in different spots depending on where you sit and the back has much more airtime. Phoenix is absolute perfection.

I don't have a lot of pictures of Knoebels because my phone was dying. When I get pictures from my aunts camera I'll put them on here.

Next was Black Diamond.

As a dark ride its good ride as a coaster its a horrible ride. I expected it to be like Blazing Fury but Blazing Fury was a much better ride even with its cheesy effects. Next we ate some alligator nuggets which weren't that bad. Just tasted like a fishy type of chicken. After we hate I went on Haunted Mansion while my cousin Joe participated in some storybook type show.

From the outside it doesn't look very haunted. The inside was pretty good. I don't like haunted houses just because of what they are. I don't like being scared or anything like that but puting my fears aside its a pretty good ride.

After the haunted house my cousins got stuck on the flume and I rode Phoenix a bunch more times. Then we left and headed for hotel and my aunt and I crashed because we had to drive home to MA.

Stay tuned for my next trip report. I went to Six Flags New England yesterday and am going to Lake Compounce in two days. This was my fourth time at SFNE and second trip to Lake Compounce and its been 3 years since I've been to Lake Compounce so I'm looking forward to it. Out of the two parks there is only one coaster I haven't been on other then Compounces kiddie coaster which is Zoomerang (vekoma boomerang) YAY VEKOMA!

Thanks for reading :)

Edward M

Strata Poster
Good report. I really want to go to Knowbels because I love that old school type of charm at parks like SDC.

I want to see how you rate Boulder Dash after the re-ride though.


CF Legend
Interesting report. I find it a little depressing that you find Black Diamond a good dark ride, it really isn't.

I think I'm fairly alone in the not liking of Knoebels. But that's because I prefer themed experiences over a generic place filled with random rides, though I can see why people like the place. Phoenix is also pretty good.

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
Thanks guys and peep comparing it as a dark ride and coaster the coaster sense of it sucks so the dark ride aspect is already significantly better. Compared to other dark rides yeah its pretty rough.

Also anyone else who reads this how do you pronounce knoebels? I pronounce its No Bulls but when you go to the park all of the people pronounce it Ka No Bulls. Just curious on how everyone pronounces it because it is like saying ka nife or ka nown, you wouldnt pronounce them like that.