Unless you've been hiding in a cave, sorting your sock drawer to the exclusion of all other stimuli, or counting the holes in an acoustic-tile ceiling (which can be very engrossing if you connect the dots and find, say, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa or Last Supper), you're probably aware that TPR held two events on both coasts last weekend. Pick a coast and a TPR event--East or West, you can't go wrong.
So, I ambled up to Pennsylvania to hang out at Knoebels and to get East Coast Bashed at Hersheypark. Yes, there were two new credits awaiting me at both parks, but that's not the main point, which was to have a great time with a great group of people.
First stop, Knoebels, where I met up with not only the Road to Cedar Point crew, but also with Larry, Reed, and Stacey. Yes there was the usual ERT we've come to expect from TPR. But how can you top morning ERT on Twister and nighttime ERT on Phoenix (an old-school ride that has to be a part of anybody's top ten)? How about with guided tours of GCI and the park's new ride, Black Diamond? How about by making an insane old coaster even crazier with lights-out, glow-in-the-dark ERT?
And torrential rain? Knoebels says, "I got yer torrential rain right here!"--and keeps the park open.
Yes, the Phoenix ERT session will go down in TPR history as one of the best! The ride was, as usual, amazing--especially when you add in a bunch of crazy people with all manner of light-up toys and clothes!
Let's have a look at Knoebels.
Let's see . . . K N O E B . . . er . . . L L backwards C? That can't be right.
First up, ERT on the Re-creation of the Ride Formerly Known as Mr. Twister.
"Please, no pictures! Respect my privacy! If you must have a photo, call my people!"
Twister has been known to rupture the fabric of space-time. Fortunately, these people returned safely to our dimension. Others were not so lucky and must now wander aimlessly between both shadow and substance.
It's much easier to get a picture of Reed and Stacey on the Antique Car ride than it is to get a picture of Twister.
"Cmon back and bring yer woman! We'll show ya a good time! Haw, haw, haw!"
"In me jauntin' car, me jauntin' car! Jauntin' along in me jauntin' car!" Name the old movie.
Larry has found his lost tribe! He weeps for joy! Songs will be sung about this moment for centuries.
Here is the first of a number of spinny rides Reed and I watched like flat-ride voyeurs.
Stacey is texting, "I am on the Fryers . . . darn! . . . Flyres . . . stupid keypad!"
"Stacey, what are you doing on the 'Fryers' and why are you texting me about it?"
OK, the Cosmotron I can handle. It reminds me of that Rock 'n' Roll Rebel ride at Aussie World.
"Oh gawd, is Chuck rambling on about that stupid Australian ride again?"
Here's a ride that Stacey can't handle.
The Skooters are the greatest bumper cars anywhere.
They actually had to stop it and untangle the mess this bunch got themselves into--they were wedged together like you wouldn't believe.
Some would glance at this sign and think nothing of it. Others would find it mildly disturbing.
Yes, it did get a bit damp.
And now we've come to what you've all been waiting for . . .
. . . Joey eating!
Despite his facial expression here, Joey did not puke on Amy.
We had just been told that Black Diamond is themed to Pensylvania'a coal-mining heritage--not the old KISS song from the 1970s. Some appeared mildly disappointed by this revelation, but they got over it. More to come.
And now, here is the old KISS song that has nothing to do with the new ride they're finishing up at Knoebels (which I think is going to be an excellent, unique addition to the park).
We now return to this TR, already in progress.
To experience Black Diamond, one must first cross a vast plain of mud--much as Pennsylvania coal miners once did.
The station is themed to a town owned by the "Black Diamond Company."
Yep--still needs a few finishing touches, such as a "floor" here.
This the place that you sell your soul to after you load those "15 Tons" (at least according to Tennessee Ernie Ford).
These were the same trains they used when this ride was the "Golden Nugget" at Morey's Piers in New Jersey, although they did have to be rebuilt. The track is also original, but the rest of the ride is new and now totally enclosed.
Let's have a look inside, shall we?
If you keep picking at that, it'll never heal! Hold still while I apply some Neosporin.
Er, is it supposed to look like that?
My camera was being pretty buggy during the tour, but it did make for some "moody" shots.
OK, keep your nether regions clear of this thing, OK?
Hmm--this reminds of me an old "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" episode in which a diving bell was swallowed by a whale.
"Ya know, one of ya coulda brought me some fried cheese or corn nuggets or something."
See those two rubber tires? They not only propel the cars along the course, but also generate electricity.
If you're looking for a cheap house, try Centralia, Pa. Of course, you'll have to put up with an underground fire along a vein of coal and the risk of your home falling into Satan's backyard.
Not even a donkey would be dumb enough to buy real estate in Centralia.
"Oh, I don't know. Some new curtains, a few throw pillows here and there. I could live here."
The community of Centralia rec center does have a nice hot tub, at least.
"Well, time to push this plunger and make some 'urban renewal.'"
Kids love living in Centralia! Uncontrolled coal fires rock!
Do you travel up or down this part? I'll never tell.
Purple mine boogers! Run for your lives!
That's it for Black Diamond--I'm really looking forward to this one. Are you looking forward to more pictures? I hope so.
larrygator wrote:Thanks for the photo of me with my clan.
That photo was perfection!
I didn't want to get to close to the clan as I was afraid they might shoot me if they thought I was mocking them. I purposely saved the camo shirt for Knoebels to fit in better with the locals but my running shoes give me away.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
Awesome pictures as usual Chuck. I know you are a dark ride enthusiasts so does Black Diamond Mining Death Trap look more like a dark ride or a roller coaster? From the pictures it looks like it's mostly a dark ride. I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it either way whenever I make it out to the big "K".
Jimmy "I need to go to some East Coast parks" Bo
Do not believe this post!
90% of the time, I am sarcastic all the time...it's science!
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