Laff Trakk Construction Update: 12-15-14

With much of the foundation complete for Laff Trakk, work has started moving skyward by adding the framework for the ride building. The new structure is clearly visible from Hersheypark Drive and in the local areas and is almost as tall as Wildcat and Lightning Racer (and probably the Ferris Wheel when it is re-added). From All-American Thrills, it has been said to stand close to 80 feet tall and with the ride being around 50 feet tall, this provides around 30 feet clearance from its tallest point.

The coaster itself hasn’t been spotted yet, but it probably shouldn’t be too far off.

From a distance, Laff Trakk's building looks about the same height as Lightning Racer's second hill.

From a distance, Laff Trakk’s building looks about the same height as Lightning Racer’s second hill.

Here is a closer view of the structure.

Here is a closer view of the structure.

It may not look it from this shot, but it is pretty tall and is easily visible peeking around Wildcat on Hersheypark Drive.

It may not look it from this shot, but it is pretty tall and is easily visible peeking around Wildcat on Hersheypark Drive.

I haven’t shared too much news on the Keystone Thrills website project recently, but I am really close to launching it as just about 90% of the pages have been developed. Featured will be sections filled with information and photos from many of Pennsylvania’s major theme parks, trip report sections, ride galleries, and information from select removed rides.  As for the blog, construction and special feature news will be featured here and will be conveniently linked to the website so it will be easy to find certain topics.

Here is a preview of what one of the ride info pages will look like. Only major rides will be covered, but each one will feature an information section on the year it was add, height, capacity, an approximate wait time on how long it would take to wait for the attraction when the queue line is full, and the number of riders it can hold. To the right will be the main photo for the attraction that provides the best view of it. The next feature below it will provide more in-depth information on the history of the attraction and of the ride experience. On some rides pages for Hersheypark’s rides, a box will be shown with a ride description that was used on a former version of the park’s website that was discovered through the Internet Archive. The final item on the page will be the photo gallery feature, which will include photos of the ride.

I don’t have a date yet on when the website will go online as I do not want to rush it.

Here is an example on what the ride pages will look like. The Ride Info box will be the quick go-to spot for ride info with anything from the ear built to the ride height requirement. To the right will be the main ride photo.

Here is an example on what the ride pages will look like. The Ride Info box will be the quick go-to spot for ride info with anything from the ear built to the ride height requirement. To the right will be the main ride photo.

Below the main photo will be a description box giving some interesting details about the ride's history and info on the ride experience. Featured on some of the Hersheypark rides, a box is featured with an old Hersheypark.com description. Finally is the photo gallery with photos of the attraction.

Below the main photo will be a description box giving some interesting details about the ride’s history and info on the ride experience. Featured on some of the Hersheypark rides, a box is featured with an old Hersheypark.com description. Finally is the photo gallery with photos of the attraction.

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Laff Trakk Construction Update: 11/24/14

It’s been a few weeks since the last Hersheypark Laff Trakk update and it seems that much of the base for the show building has been installed. From what it appears, part of the building next to the Midway Tent will be higher than the area when the ride will be. This means that the loading station may be situated at this end with the coaster going up the lift towards the Whip.

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Still no track or ride pieces seen yet, but with much of the foundation for the building present, it probably won’t be long until it shows up. Individual footers aren’t required for this type of ride, so it might not take too long for it to go up.

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Elsewhere in Midway America, the food trailers have been removed from the area and Ferris Wheel has been taken apart down to its basic frame.

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Thanks for reading!

-Chris

 

Laff Trakk Construction Update 10-17-14

With Hersheypark’s Halloween event starting to set in, more work is occurring with Laff Trakk. Much of the foundation is going in and there seems to be a foundation going in near where the path to the Midway Tent was.

IMG_0093 IMG_0094 IMG_0095 IMG_0096 IMG_0097 IMG_0099 IMG_0100 IMG_0101It looks like there is no foundation inside the building yet, but it shouldn’t be too long until it is installed. So far there has been no track, supports, or building pieces spotted as of yet.

-Chris

 

Kneobels Phall Phunfest 2014

It is fall in Pennsylvania and that means it is time for beautiful leaves, haunted houses, and Phall Phunfest at Knoebels! I took last year off from attending to visit Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion last year, but I made sure to stop by this time around.

For those who have never attended the event, especially if you love roller coasters and amusement parks, I highly recommend that you do. It is one of the few events out there that doesn’t require you to be a member of a particular group or organization and it is free to do (not including ride admission).

The park is always so festive when it comes to their Halloween event!

The park is always so festive when it comes to their Halloween event!

Phall Phunfest is technically an evening event, but it merges with the Covered Bridge Festival to make it an all-day activity. From 1pm to 5pm is a swap meet, which allows enthusiasts to buy, sell, and trade anything coaster-related from t-shirts, books, maps, pins, key chains, photos, and a bunch of other rare items. From the last three visits, there is usually a seller that has a lot of Geauga Lake items for sale and another that pretty much brings an entire amusement park book store!

The swap meet tent is located in front of the Phoenix.

The swap meet tent is located in front of the Phoenix.

You might be able to find a calendar with photos from your favorite park.

You might be able to find a calendar with photos from your favorite park.

How about a keychain or pin from your favorite park or ride?

How about a keychain or pin from your favorite park or ride?

The rides are usually open until 5pm, which is the end of the Covered Bridge Festival, then close for an hour to prepare for the Phunfest event. This makes it a perfect time to use your coupon for two slices of pizza at Cesari’s (you get this with the ride wristband for the event). From here, the rides open in a select order with the major ones opening first and others starting up an hour later. The park also adds theming to some of their notable attractions from the haunted tunnel on the Phoenix, the scary Antique Cars that have scare-actors, the detailed queue for the Twister to the Pioneer Train that has a storyline to it.

Want to get your fortune read? You can do that while in line for the Phoenix.

Want to get your fortune read? You can do that while in line for the Phoenix.

Looks like the skeletons are enjoying the afternoon with a few lawn games.

Looks like the skeletons are enjoying the afternoon with a few lawn games.

You can bring any pet to Knoebels. Even skunks and rabbits.

You can bring any pet to Knoebels.

One of the best times of the year to ride the Flyers.

One of the best times of the year to ride the Flyers.

This is what happens when you ride in the back row in the dark on Twister.

This is what happens when you ride in the back row in the dark on Twister.

Classic horror movies also are playing in Twister's queue.

Classic horror movies also are playing in Twister’s queue.

Last call for the morning session.

Last call for the afternoon session.

Both woodies ran with one train in the afternoon and added a second train for the evening. Flying Turns stuck with just two and dropped down to one later on when it got colder out.

Both woodies ran with one train in the afternoon and added a second train for the evening. Flying Turns stuck with just two and dropped down to one later on when it got colder out.

Flying Turns has been open for exactly a year now and has been deck out for Halloween with lights.

Flying Turns has been open for exactly a year now and has been deck out for Halloween with lights.

The Pioneer Train has a storyline to it this year.

The Pioneer Train has a storyline to it this year.

Skooter rides during Phunfest is always a fun time.

Skooter rides during Phunfest is always a fun time.

The rain in the morning really made both of the coasters run excellent.

The rain in the morning really made both of the coasters run excellent.

You kind almost feel like you are transported to Cedar Point and riding the train with seeing all the skeletons.

You kind almost feel like you are transported to Cedar Point and riding the train with seeing all the skeletons.

The town seems a little dead

The town seems a little dead.

They unfortunately haven't added an ATM yet.

They unfortunately haven’t added an ATM yet.

The aliens are attacking!

The aliens are attacking!

Skeletons versus aliens...sounds like something that would interest the Syfy Channel.

Skeletons versus aliens…sounds like something that would interest the Syfy Channel.

The night usually concludes with a costume contest and awards ceremony with the rides shutting down at around 10pm.

Phunfest might be over, but the park is still open on the weekends for their Hallo-Fun Nights event, which is almost the same, just with no enthusiast events.

Phunfest might be over, but the park is still open on the weekends for their Hallo-Fun Nights event, which is almost the same, just with no enthusiast events.

To finish, if you are a coaster enthusiast, you MUST do this event at least once! You get to meet a lot of great people, make a lot of new friends, or even see friends you haven’t seen in quite a while!

As for Impulse, not much is different from last week. More survey stakes are up forming a grid-like layout over the construction area.

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-Chris

Knoebels Impulse Groundbreaking Ceremony 9/29/14

Knoebels officially broke ground today on their first major steel roller coaster in ten years since Whirlwind: Impulse. Site follower and friend, Pat Kemper was at the ceremony and sent me these photos from the press conference and groundbreaking that followed.

Knoebels also posted a 14 minute video of the complete ceremony as well. Their current timetable on Impulse’s construction.

October to Late January: Foundation and footer pouring and drilling.

Mid-December to Mid-January: Supports and track start to arrive.

Late January to April: Vertical construction of the actual ride.

Possible opening by opening day 2015.

Link to Knoebels’ video of the ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QqOsWIKtcHg

Today Knoebels broke ground on their next big coaster called Impulse.

Today Knoebels broke ground on their next big coaster called Impulse.

In the words of Monty Python: "Consult the book of Armaments!".

In the words of Monty Python: “Consult the book of Armaments!”.

Like the other coasters that were built at the park, there was a contractor list for the ride.

Like the other coasters that were built at the park, there was a contractor list for the ride.

Dick Knoebel was present and mentioned that Impulse will be the biggest undertaking for the park since Phoenix was built.

Dick Knoebel was present and mentioned that Impulse will be the biggest undertaking for the park since Phoenix was built.

Buddy Knoebel brought up an interesting statistic in that only 2% of family businesses make it to the 4th generation of the family.

Buddy Knoebel brought up an interesting statistic in that only 2% of family businesses make it to the 4th generation of the family.

Rick Knoebel, part of the 4th generation of the family, said that he did a lot of traveling with his brother and cousin to find a ride that was a perfect fit for Knoebels.

Rick Knoebel, part of the 4th generation of the family, said that he did a lot of traveling with his brother and cousin to find a ride that was a perfect fit for Knoebels.

Another 4th generation Kneobel, Trevor, gave a timeline on the construction of Impulse. He said that the coaster could be open as early as opening day 2015 in April.

Another 4th generation Kneobel, Trevor, gave a timeline on the construction of Impulse. He said that the coaster could be open as early as opening day 2015 in April.

Group photo before the shoveling.

Group photo before the shoveling.

...and construction has begun!

…and construction has begun!

With two world-class wooden coasters, a great indoor coaster, the top new ride for 2014, and now a new thrilling steel coaster, Knoebels looks like it will have an even better coaster line-up for  2015.

With two world-class wooden coasters, a great indoor coaster, the top new ride for 2014, and now a new thrilling steel coaster, Knoebels looks like it will have an even better coaster line-up for 2015.

Looks like they want to get a head start before the big digging starts. lol

Looks like they want to get a head start before the big digging starts. lol

4GK39Phall Phunfest is on Saturday, which is sure to be awesome! Thanks again to Pat Kemper for taking the photos!

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Knoebels Impulse Construction Update 9-24-14

While in the area on Wednesday, I managed to take a trip by Knoebels and check on the progress of Impulse. There really wasn’t much except for survey stakes, a construction fence, and a flat dirt lot. Word has it that ground will be broken on Monday for actual construction to start. I’ll be back up soon for another update before the end of the season.

It's hard to miss where Impulse is going to be.

It’s hard to miss where Impulse is going to be.

The pond for the Bumper Boats is long gone and leveled.

The pond for the Bumper Boats is long gone and leveled.

The only thing present are a bunch of these survey stakes.

The only thing present are a bunch of these survey stakes.

Boat Tag is long gone as well. Here's a history tidbit, it used to be at Dorney back in the early 90s near where Hydra is today.

Boat Tag is long gone as well. Here’s a history tidbit, it used to be at Dorney back in the early 90s near where Hydra is today.

Here's a panorama of the construction site.

Here’s a panorama of the construction site.

As much as it looks like the off-season at the park, there is still a month left. It must be the changing of the leaves on the trees.

As much as it looks like the off-season at the park, there is still a month left. It must be the changing of the leaves on the trees.

The Whip is receiving some TLC during it's week off (the park is closed this-coming weekend, by the way).

The Whip is receiving some TLC during it’s week off (the park is closed this-coming weekend, by the way).

I have a feeling that Impulse is really going to fit in nicely in this part of the park.

I have a feeling that Impulse is really going to fit in nicely in this part of the park.

Thanks for reading!
-Chris

Laff Trakk Construction Update 9-14-2014

Third week into construction and the land looks flat and possibly ready for the preparation for the foundation for Laff Trakk. That’s pretty much all can be said, but I guess I could say that the tree they’ve kept looks nice. Oh well!
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Looks like some utility work has started.

Looks like some utility work has started.

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Thanks for reading!

-Chris