Knoebels Impulse Opening Weekend Ride Review 4-26-15

It was a tight envelope, but I managed to make it up to opening weekend at Knoebels and get a lap on Knoebels’ newest and first steel coaster in over a decade: Impulse. It didn’t disappoint and was a very enjoyable ride! If you want to be surprised, skip over the next few paragraphs and go right to the photos!

After entering under the brake run, you walk behind the machine room for the ride as it towers all around you. While it still needs a little work, you enter the main queue area, that is set up similar to Fahrenheit (ride area off to the right, station on the left with two sets of stairs leading to the station (future single rider line?), and base of the lift straight ahead. While it may seem familiar to that Intamin coaster 50-some miles to the south, that is where it ends.

Once in the station, an employee groups you into your rows for the car. Once the gates open, you just hand your loose items to the attendant, take your seat, and pull back on your lap restraint, which is pretty beefy and comes with shin bars. Think of it as a souped-up Skyrush lapbar that covers your entire lap.

Once your car is all-clear, you are dispatched to the front of the station where you wait for the other one in front of you to enter the final helix. Once ready, the car creeps slowly around the first turn to the base of the lift. Unlike Fahrenheit, your car automatically engages the lift and pulls you straight up to 98-feet.

That view of the blue sky within seconds turns to ground as the car starts to rocket down the vertical drop. You are suddenly town out of your seat with some airtime. Upon reaching the top-speed of over 55 mph, you curve into the cobra roll inversion, which is a little looser than others and you experience your first section of positive g-forces and hang time at the top of the inversion sections.

Next, you enter a brief straight section of track that transports you to the vertical loop element, where you experience more positive g-forces at the base and hang time at the peak. Next is a banked turn over the queue line and a helix that circles the lift. Following up is one of my favorite parts of the ride: the heartline roll.

Think of it as a faster version of Hydra’s mojo-roll at Dorney Park and you get this twist that threads right through the vertical loop. You are literally out of your seat the entire time! To conclude your thrilling experience, you enter the helix finale where there is one last dose of positive g-forces waiting for you and into the magnetic brakes that bring you to a sudden, but gentile stop.

In conclusion, Impulse is a great addition to the Knoebels coaster line-up. While it might not have the airtime of Phoenix, the lateral forces of Twister, or the nostalgia of Flying Turns, it does have hang time, positive g-forces and inversions on today’s modern scream machines. It is a coaster that will make you ride it again and again!

Welcome back to Knoebels. 2015 is a big year for the park as it recently opened it's 6th coaster.

Welcome back to Knoebels. 2015 is a big year for the park as it recently opened it’s 6th coaster.

For three dollars, you can enjoy their new ride. It is included in the Basic wristband plan. Riders 48" to 52" inches tall need to ride in a special booster seat that attaches to the seat in the vehicle.

For three dollars, you can enjoy their new ride. It is included in the Basic wristband plan. Riders 48″ to 52″ inches tall need to ride in a special booster seat that attaches to the seat in the vehicle.

The queue line is the best place to witness what will unfold on your ride.

The queue line is the best place to witness what will unfold on your ride.

You can get some shots such as this one.

You can get some shots such as this one.

Since the ride was made by a German company (Zierer), the flag of Germany was hung on the transfer track.

Since the ride was made by a German company (Zierer), the flag of Germany was hung on the transfer track.

While the ride is open, a lot of work still needs to be done such as landscaping in the ride area and queue rows for the line.

While the ride is open, a lot of work still needs to be done such as landscaping in the ride area and queue rows for the line.

There are two stairs leading to the station. Only one was being used so far. Single rider line maybe for the second one (hoping).

There are two stairs leading to the station. Only one was being used so far. Single rider line maybe for the second one (hoping).

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It does crawl around this turn to the lift.

It does crawl around this turn to the lift.

Riders 48" to 52" need this booster seat that goes right on to the seats on the cars.

Riders 48″ to 52″ need this booster seat that goes right on to the seats on the cars.

As you can see, the lap restraints are pretty big.

As you can see, the lap restraints are pretty big.

Waiting to unload.

Waiting to unload.

Once ready, the car moves to the front of the station to wait for the rest of the ride to be clear of cars.

Once ready, the car moves to the front of the station to wait for the rest of the ride to be clear of cars.

The ride fences do allow you to get under the tower helix in the back near the road.

The ride fences do allow you to get under the tower helix in the back near the road.

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Be sure to get out there and ride it!

Be sure to get out there and ride it!

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

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Knoebels Impulse Lift Top-Off 2-27-15

Turns out that I went back up to Knoebels again for the topping off of the lift for Impulse. It was still cold up there, but it was nicer than a few days ago. It took them a little longer than the other pieces a few days, but I guess it comes expected with it being a piece that goes in between others.

This time I also got a  little closer look at the test car, found out that the transfer track is behind the station, and got a pretty cool shot of the inline-twist. All that is left is the station track, turn around the lift hill, and the turn by the Skyway station, but given how how fast it has been going in, that shouldn’t take too long.

And we're back. Much of the lift is up and all that is missing is the top piece of track.

And we’re back. Much of the lift is up and all that is missing is the top piece of track.

It's all hooked up and ready to fly.

It’s all hooked up and ready to fly.

In the mean time, here comes more supports.

In the mean time, here comes more supports.

Swinging it into place.

Swinging it into place.

Just about in. Just need to bring it down and align it into place.

Just about in. Just need to bring it down and align it into place.

It fits!

It fits!

Looks awesome!

Looks awesome!

Straight down!

Straight down!

More lift components went in since last time including an access ladder.

More lift components went in since last time including an access ladder.

Should I call it a cobana roll?

Should I call it a cobana roll?

It took them around three weeks to add this.

It took them around three weeks to add this.

With such as tight radius at the top of the tower, I wouldn't expect to be flying over it. It would be such a tease if they had the cars slow to a crawl at the top!

With such as tight radius at the top of the tower, I wouldn’t expect to be flying over it. It would be such a tease if they had the cars slow to a crawl at the top!

Found the transfer track...

Found the transfer track…

...and the control panel as well.

…and the control panel as well.

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Still tweaking everything into place.

Still tweaking everything into place.

I love this view!

I love this view!

Can't wait to include a train in this view!

Can’t wait to include a train in this view!

Given how much hardware is under this car, I honestly think that this might actually be one of the ride vehicles and not just a testing car.

Given how much hardware is under this car, I honestly think that this might actually be one of the ride vehicles and not just a testing car.

Knoebels Impulse Construction Update 2-24-15

Yesterday, I joined All American Thrills on a trip up to Knoebels to get my first look at Impulse and to help them out with their construction update. You can find their update that includes video here. Some of the photos you see here may also be included in their update as well, just to let you know ahead of time.

A little over half of Impulse is now together with the lift hill currently being added and it is a little more than three weeks into construction. Pieces are going up at a rapid rate of one every nine minutes (within the 40 minutes we were there, they pretty much had one level of the lift hill supports in. We were told by one of the crew that testing could start in as few as several weeks.

I am willing to be this is the first drop.

I am willing to be this is the first drop.

Same with this being the support for the top of the lift. If so, then this lift will look different than it's counterpart out in Utah.

Same with this being the support for the top of the lift. If so, then this lift will look different from its counterpart out in Utah.

They are starting to get down to the last few pieces.

They are starting to get down to the last few pieces.

This little beauty is the test car. Given how heavy-duty it looks, it wouldn't shock me if this turns into an actual ride vehicle.

This little beauty is the test car. Given how heavy-duty it looks, it wouldn’t shock me if this turns into an actual ride vehicle.

I mean, it looks like it has magnetic brakes on it so why not?

I mean, it looks like it has magnetic brakes on it so why not?

Walking from the parking lot to the front of the park, this is what will welcome you this year.

Walking from the parking lot to the front of the park, this is what will welcome you this year.

It's tight, compact, and looks like it will really be a favorite this summer!

It’s tight, compact, and looks like it will really be a favorite this summer!

I love the structure of the loop for some reason.

I love the structure of the loop for some reason.

The cobra roll looks interesting as the mid-section seems to be a little higher than from others I have seen.

The cobra roll looks interesting as the mid-section seems to be a little higher than from others I have seen.

This coaster also looks to be very photo friendly as well. Just needs a train in this shot!

This coaster also looks to be very photo friendly as well. Just needs a train in this shot!

Here's the main section that they were working on today. The lift motor and the first section of the support structure for the lift is in.

Here’s the main section that they were working on today. The lift motor and the first section of the support structure for the lift is in.

They had a collection of pieces sitting out ready to be added next.

They had a collection of pieces sitting out ready to be added next.

Even though the lift isn't fully up yet, the cobra roll is huge!

Even though the lift isn’t fully up yet, the cobra roll is huge!

The track for the first turn out of the station and base of the lift is in.

The track for the first turn out of the station and base of the lift is in.

Another nice shot that would look great if it had a car in (and more track)!

Another nice shot that would look great if it had a car in (and more track)!

Drive tires ready to be installed.

Drive tires ready to be installed.

They were pouring concrete for the station while we were there. Knoebels is handling that part of the ride.

They were pouring concrete for the station while we were there. Knoebels is handling that part of the ride.

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After they got done with lunch, work resumed.

After they got done with lunch, work resumed.

As soon as they would be ready to lift a new pieces into place, another would be brought over from the parking lot and rigged to be ready to be moved into place.

As soon as they would be ready to lift a new pieces into place, another would be brought over from the parking lot and rigged to be ready to be moved into place.

Here's the first piece we saw get ready to go in.

Here’s the first piece we saw get ready to go in.

There it goes.

There it goes.

Several minutes later, it's in and they were ready to move on to the next one.

Several minutes later, it’s in and they were ready to move on to the next one.

Here comes the next piece from the parking lot.

Here comes the next piece from the parking lot.

Second piece.

Second piece.

Third piece.

Third piece.

From the first to the third piece took about 40 minutes to do. No wonder this thing is going up at a rapid rate!

From the first to the third piece took about 40 minutes to do. No wonder this thing is going up at a rapid rate!

Thanks again to Walt at All American Thrills for letting me tag along to get to see Impulse for the first time. After seeing it the other day, it really has me excited to ride it this spring!

Thanks for reading!

-Chris C.

P.S. Be sure to also check out the blog that I will also be doing over at All American Thrills. I will be doing some special feature articles and commentary pieces over there as well as help them with their photo gallery. As for now, I will keep this blog but it will be more for construction updates and park updates.

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

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!