The Grand Carousel at Knoebels was purchased in 1941 by park founder Henry Knoebel from Riverside Park in Piscataway Township, N.J. Knoebels in 2022 received several Golden Ticket Awards including the Legend Award given to owner Dick Knoebel, Best Wooden Coaster for Phoenix and Best Food. Mark Pynes | email@example.com
On July 4, 1926, a small amusement park with a swimming pool and carousel and some food stands opened in Northumberland County.
In 2016 that park celebrated its 90th anniversary.
This past weekend, the family-owned Knoebels Amusement Resort won a handful of Golden Ticket Awards from the publication Amusement Today, including the Legend Award given to owner Dick Knoebel.
“Dick Knoebel’s determination has made Knoebels Amusement Resort one of the most highly regarded traditional parks in the country, if not the world. His efforts of preservation, his devotion to family and his creative drive made him the second recipient of the Legend award at the ceremony,” Amusement Today said.
The park’s roller coaster, the Phoenix, was named the Best Wooden Coaster for the fourth time. According to the publication, Phoenix was moved to Knoebels in 1985 from Texas.
Dick Knoebel told Amusement Today, “Our team is dedicated to meticulously maintaining every inch of Phoenix’s 3,200 feet of track. This ensures guests can enjoy a world-class experience from start to finish.
It has been 75 years since this roller coaster opened as The Rocket at Playland Park. This just goes to show that a wooden roller coaster can provide timeless thrills when there’s a commitment to preserving it.”
Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit came in at No. 12 and Thunderbolt at No. 20 on that list, while Lightning Racer at Hersheypark was No. 14.
Knoebels also won the Best Food award, second for Best Guest Experience and third for Best Dark Ride, the Haunted Mansion.
For the Best Guest Experience award, Amusement Today said, “The family-owned park in the hills of Pennsylvania offers free admission, free parking and an incredible laid-back feel that never fails to charm visitors. Most first-time guests comment that there is nothing like it.”
Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster County was named the Best Family Park for the third year in a row. Amusement Today said the award “focuses on rides that families can ride together, lean toward a younger audience over thrill seeks and don’t go upside down. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, park offers all these elements in a delightful atmosphere.”
Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa., was selected for a Publisher’s Picks award.
“These recognitions are for things that could easily go unnoticed but are a direct result of someone ‘doing the right thing,’” said Amusement Today Publisher Gary Slade. “Forward-thinking decisions continue to happen. For us to be able to spotlight that is a very rewarding experience.”
“Kennywood was bestowed the Publisher’s Pick: Renaissance Award for bringing back a beloved — and very historic — ride from the past. The Kangaroo was the only surviving ride of its type in North America.”
Kennywood landed a second place for the Best New Attraction Installment Kangaroo.
For Best Park, Knoebels came in at Nov. 7 and Hersheypark at No. 9.
In the Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters, Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood came in at No. 13. Candymonium at Hersheypark was No. 19 and Skyrush, also at Hersheypark, came in at No. 23.
The awards are the result of an international poll.
“In addition to 23 categories voted on by the world’s most experienced park aficionados, industry journalists and ride suppliers, five special awards were given to recognize significant contributions that exhibit perseverance and leadership.”
The most awarded park was Dollywood with three - Best Guest Experience, Best Christmas Event and Best Kids’ Area.
READ MORE: Knoebels is building a new ride for 2023.
Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster County was named the Best Family Park for the third year in a row by Amusement Today.
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