Knoebel’s coaster “Phoenix” named No. 1 coaster in the world

The Phoenix, photo courtesy Knoebel’s Groves


ELYSBURG – Knoebel’s Amusement Resort keeps racking up big awards, but one of main attractions at the Valley theme park perhaps got the best award to date. Knoebel’s famous roller coaster, the Phoenix, was named the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award voters.


President and Third Generation Richard “Dick” Knoebel says the Phoenix always had something special about it, “It’s probably the air time. It’s not the fastest, it’s not the tallest, it’s not the wildest, but it’s got more pop.”


The Phoenix first opened at Knoebel’s in 1985, after it was acquired by Dick Knoebel from a park in San Antonio that had been closed for five years.


Because the coaster was in rough shape at the time, fourth generation Brian Knoebel says there was a lot of doubt the coaster could be restored, “They told him in 1983-1984 when he was thinking about this that this can’t be done. And he was like, ‘watch this.’ It’s amazing that how many years ago was that…and did anyone think that one day, this coaster that was being just left to rot would one day by the No. 1 wooden coaster in the world. That’s pretty incredible.”


The park’s Grand Carousel also won a Golden Ticket Award for Best Carousel. Knoebel’s also regained a Golden Ticket for Best Food. The park remains open on weekends this fall.

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