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.

IMG_0008 IMG_0009

-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!
IMG_3344

Looks like some utility work has started.

Looks like some utility work has started.

IMG_3346

 

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Laff Trakk Construction Update 8-28-14 to 9-7-14

Well it’s time to cover the construction of a brand-new ride coming to Hersheypark. Laff Trakk will be a 50 foot-tall indoor spinning roller coaster with glow effects built by Maurer Söhne. The building housing the coaster will be 75 feet tall (almost as tall as Lightning Racer) and located where the Miniature Train, Granny Bugs, and Pony Parade are located.
Construction has started the day after Labor Day with the buildings and rides being removed, the paths being ripped up, and construction walls put up.

This small kiddie area was added in 1997 when the Ferris Wheel, and Whip  were added. Miniature Train has been a ride that has been used seasonally for Christmas Candylane. Ganny Bugs came from Music Box Way and Pony Parade came from the Pioneer Frontier area.

This small kiddie area was added in 1997 when the Ferris Wheel, and Whip were added. Miniature Train has been a ride that has been used seasonally for Christmas Candylane. Ganny Bugs came from Music Box Way and Pony Parade came from the Pioneer Frontier area.

The Midway Tent was added in 1999 as part of the Hersheypark Fair expansion.

The Midway Tent was added in 1999 as part of the Hersheypark Fair expansion.

Since then, it has been used as a catering area and entertainment venue through the years.

Since then, it has been used as a catering area and entertainment venue through the years.

The building was also home to Tiger's Tail and Crazy Climber; two inflatable attractions.

The building was also home to Tiger’s Tail and Crazy Climber; two inflatable attractions.

Construction immediately began right after Labor Day with land clearing.

The sides of the tent were removed and a job trailer were added inside.

The sides of the tent were removed and a job trailer were added inside.

A construction wall has gone up from the FunSlides to Whip.

A construction wall has gone up from the FunSlides to Whip.

The entrance to the FunSlides were moved to the former exit near Wildcat.

The entrance to the FunSlides were moved to the former exit near Wildcat.

Much of the area was bulldozed and jack-hammered.

Much of the area was bulldozed and jack-hammered.

The path to the Midway Tent is still there for now.

The path to the Midway Tent is still there for now.

Pony Parade's footprint is broken up and ready to shipped off.

Pony Parade’s footprint is broken up and ready to shipped off.

IMG_3317

The sign has been added to the gate.

The sign has been added to the gate.

Here's a panorama.

Here’s a panorama.

IMG_3321

The removal of the trees opens up the area a little bit more.

The removal of the trees opens up the area a little bit more.

The buildings have been relocated to Racer's former queue to possibly be reused again next year.

The buildings have been relocated to Racer’s former queue to possibly be reused again next year.

The railings have also been placed over here as well.

The railings have also been placed over here as well.

As a temporary filler, Tiny Tracks has been brought out of storage and Granny Bugs have been moved to inside the Boardwalk until the end of Hersheypark in the Dark.

Utilizing the tube queue, Tiny Tracks is back and will be calling Coastline Plunge home for a few weeks.

Utilizing the tube queue, Tiny Tracks is back and will be calling Coastline Plunge home for a few weeks.

It has a smaller layout than when it was in Founder's Circle, but it should be a decent filler to take the place of Miniature Train.

It has a smaller layout than when it was in Founder’s Circle, but it should be a decent filler to take the place of Miniature Train.

On the plus side, it opens up the hill-less shortcut to get to Lightning Racer through the Boardwalk.

On the plus side, it opens up the hill-less shortcut to get to Lightning Racer through the Boardwalk.

Granny Bugs is over between Sandcastle Cove and Bayside Pier set up like it would be for Christmas Candylane. The path is closed off here so walking over to Rita's is out of thee question.

Granny Bugs is over between Sandcastle Cove and Bayside Pier set up like it would be for Christmas Candylane. The path is closed off here so walking over to Rita’s is out of thee question.

Thanks for reading!

Knoebels Impuse and Mid-Season Update: 6/20/14

It turns out that the middle of the season can also be the off-season for Knoebels as there is quite a bit of activity going on. Lets start small and build from there.

When the season first started Power Surge, 1001 Nacht, and Balloon Race were all closed and the last two were waiting on parts from Europe. Since then Power Surge were in pieces behind Skloosh and it’s foundation was being used as a stage. 1001 Nacht is still closed, but it looks like it is being extensively worked on with construction fences around it and equipment everywhere. Balloon Race has re-opened within the past few weeks though so there is some progress.

Over in the Americana section of the park, work on the new boat ride has begun and it is going in right next to the blacksmith.

Flying Turns is still going strong and still has long lines. Wait time signs are up and it is around a 45 minute wait from the entrance and 60 minutes if the line starts at the base of the third lift hill. Be aware that the park does close the line around an hour early before the park closing. The line was 45 minutes around that time last night and they ended up closing the entrance at around 9:15pm. If you want to ride it one last time before the end of the night, I recommend getting in line by at least 8:45pm.

A photo booth is going up in front of the station and with the TVs on inside while carpenters were hard at work setting up the building, it wouldn’t shock me if they were trying to get it up and running for this weekend. The camera location on the ride is right where the viewing area is towards the end of the ride.

Finally, it looks like surveying work is starting for Impulse, the park’s first major steel coaster since Whirlwind was added in the 1990′s. Markings and stakes are up surrounding the Bumper Boats, Boat Tag, and picnic areas and a drilling truck is parked in the lot.

That’s it for this update. I’ll be going back up in a few weeks so we’ll see if anything is different by then. I also plan on doing a week-long trip out-of-state as well so be sure to check out the Facebook and Twitter account for photos on where I go.

New Flying Turns merchandise! Aviator hat anyone?

Thanks for reading!