I'm Ken (Obviously) and I am going to use this thread as a place to put my trip reports for this year. This will be a very crazy year for me since I will be traveling to Asia for the first time next month for visits to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and of course JAPAN with TPR! I also have a trip to Denver this weekend along with a ton of other things being worked up!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, let's start this off with one of the best parks ever! Located in middle of nowhere Pennsylvania in a tiny town of Elysburg is a park you may have heard of... Knoebels!
There is no better way to kick off your season than a ride of Phoenix so we choose to spend the entire opening weekend at the park with was nice since opening day was busy while Sunday was more manageable also was nice to not feel rushed.
Anyway onto the photos.
Our first stop duh! We got there about 30 minutes till it opened.
I see you testing
Well if you insist... but ok here are my thoughts, You probably know about the recent retracking this past offseason and its not that I don't like it but it did cut some of the airtime out of the ride especially in the "Magic Seat". You don't get as much ejector air anymore but I still love phoenix so go ride it!
One of the first trains
Coming back in
One more since I couldn't pick one
Stratofear is the new big ride this year strategically located in this guys back yard. No seriously though I do like its location as it the area towards Twister was very dead.
The ride area (We didn't ride until sunday when the line was a lot shorter) 4 ops for one flat and no physical restraint checks, Only at Knoebels!
Gotta give twister some love
It was just a "little" busy
Looper is always a must, especially when you need to crack your back.
Those are new
Never seen this photo before, right?
Flying Turns trains being shy
Want a Carmel Apple? Just look for the apple!
Love these things!
Hefty line for the pirate ship
Next we ended up up here
The new skyline
Ermahgerd it's Space Mountain
Next stop anything must ride! Seriously expect to break through the side when I go down.
When you see that sign it means only one thing!
Sorry for the blur
Ohhhh did I mention that Saturday night we had lights on ERT on Black Diamond and The Haunted Mansion? (No pics for Black Diamond since it is the only ride with a no camera policy)
Thanks for the great weekend Knoebels!
Mhm... Pretty sure we are in the right town...
Who needs a park entrance??? Not Knoebels
Nice that Knoebels is green but really how many times will this get used being in the middle of nowhere Pa and all?
New meet and greet
The obligatory not-so park entrance shot
Mark your calendars
Always worth a visit
This is new
We did this Saturday morning... What parks will let people enter 4 hours early for breakfast at a restaurant in the back of the park? Not any, I recommend it. Not only is it really good but it is nice to stroll through the park with no one around.
I will be riding the 2nd version this weekend
If you visit on a non-pop day expect to pay $2, Jack.
Beautiful but a true beast that river.
Ermahgerd this ride is so awesome I want to marry it...
Quick ride on the train.
And train #2
Trying to be "Artsy"
Just some of the retracking
Got a few more Phoenix photos
Knoebel's has a giant bread shaped building which does not sale anything bread related!
Thanks! That's the beauty of the place I have been there 15+ times and also manage to find something new on every trip.
I know I promised Denver back in May but thanks to an airline problem that trip didn't happen. BUT I am currently in Singapore until Monday when I join the TPR Japan tour so there will be plenty of great reports coming when I get home next month!
Just got back two days ago from the Japan trip and I finally have plenty of new trips to report on!
Last year when I signed up for the TPR Japan trip I figured that was going to be the only country I visited on the trip... but after playing around on Kayak a bit I found out to add some additional stops to the trip it wasn't a whole lot more. So I jumped on adding Hong Kong since I figured it would be neat to round up the Disney park collections... But than I played around a little more, after meeting two great friends on the Italy/Europe tour last year I gained a lot of interest in visiting Singapore. So it happened, now fast forward 5 months when I am on the plane heading to Hong Kong!
I will try and keep my reports brief as I am sure most of you don't want to read a book. So I will give an easy round up to my visits.
First up Ocean Park!
After deciding to visit Hong Kong Disney I knew I wanted to visit Ocean Park because I am pretty sure no other park can even compare with the surroundings this park is lucky with.
Getting to Ocean Park from Disney is super easy. 3 trains and 1 bus and you are at the gate!
I got there about 45 minutes before opening so I was able to beat the crowds to all the attractions.
Ocean Express Since EVERYONE runs to the cable cars first this is the best way (Thanks Dan!) to beat the crowds to the other side of the park. It is only about a 5 minute ride and it drops you off pretty close to Hair Raiser.
Hair Raiser I got on the first ride out. This was a great surprise! Once you get past the rattle it really isn't a bad ride and the airtime hill was excellent.
Arctic Blast This is just a powered coaster but it travels around the upper level and provides some good views. Also was my first experience of the "In station photos"...
Wild West Mine Train A mine train located on the side of the hill. Also offers great views and a good bit of airtime in the back.
Ocean Park Tower The views and A/C on this made it worth a ride!
Dragon The last credit was this old school arrow. I rode in the front so it wasn't terrible.
At this point I did Hair Raiser twice more and than did the animal walk troughs up in the back section. They were incredible. They take you over the animals and than under the tanks.
After that I took the cable car back down and took a stroll through the panda exhibit (Sadly didn't see them out) also went through the main aquarium which was also just as nicely done.
The heat was getting to me so I left on the 2 o'clock bus back to the metro to get back to Disney which by the way is up next!
Getting ready to leave Pittsburgh for my first leg of this trip.
This is the plane that would take me on the 16 hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong! (At least united had a great movie selection)
We took the northern route which was nothing but ice...
I think this was in the area of the north pole.
Almost 24 hours from leaving my house I finally made it to my Hotel!
The next morning I got up early to take the train downtown.
Up them steps is Disneyland!
It was actually a very nice train!
Complete with the proper handles.
If your a fan of Batman than you know this building!
It is really a beautiful city.
The way it works around the mountains is incredible.
I think this is the right way...
Short cut to the back of the park.
A lot of great theming for this ride.
First one here!
Hair Raiser midway
Any ride themed to clowns has my approval!
That is the entrance
This is the view from the queue line!
Built right onto the hill side.
The airtime hill
Next up Arctic Blast
Not the best timing but you get the idea
Wait? Am I at Disney?
Ignore the coaster just look at everything else!
From the Ocean Park Tower
Sounds like a classy joint
The North Pole encounter
The South Pole encounter
They can swim right under your feet!
Took one last run on Hair Raiser before heading down.
I took the cable car back down it was pretty scary.
This was a neat little area
Being in China I figured I should see some Pandas
Sadly this is as close as I would get...
Quick run through the main aquarium and that's it for Ocean Park
Nice TR! The entrance to Ocean Park reminds me of Luna Park here in Melbourne... big creepy face with a toothy grin!
How did you find the HKDL Hollywood Hotel - worth the extra expense for the convenient location? Also was it easy enough to get to Ocean Park via public transport? Planning to head up there later in the year.
^ For my plans the HKDL Hollywood Hotel worked great since I did the park the day I flew out it was easy to check my bag than return later and have the hotel get me a cab. Not sure what your plans are but there are some hotels in HK a bit cheaper.
Like I said getting to Ocean Park via public transit was super easy (And will be even easier when the new metro line opens in the next few years). If you stay at Disney you just have to take the Disneyland line to Sunny Bay station, than transfer to the orange line to Hong Kong station, walk to central station and hop on the blue line one stop to Admiralty station than jump on bus 629 which drops you off and picks you up right at Ocean Park's entrance. If you need help when you plan your trip I will be happy to help.
Also remember the Octopus card will be your best friend for that journey.
For Disneyland I spent two half days at the park so I will try and combine both into one report.
After using the transit system to get back to Disney property I grabbed a quick and needed nap and headed into the park. I made my way down main street with the mini castle looming a head and I took a left once inside the park to one of the newest stars of the park.
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars I hoped in the single rider line (Which I would be using a lot these two days) and grabbed a seat in the back. The theming is top notch on this ride and also the bear animatronics are great! Especially the ones on the launch. Besides the launch there really isn't anything really thrilling but the ride is a lot of fun!
I walked by Mystic Manor which had a 30 minute wait so I skipped it for now but little did I know it would close shortly after.
RC Racer Unlike Paris this one didn't have a single rider line. But luckily I only had to wait about 20 mins. The rest of Toy Story land is pretty much just like one in Paris but that's not really a bad thing since they are really nice sections.
It's a small world Had to... This one had the Disney Characters mixed in.
Space Mountain Just like the one in Tokyo and Cali. Pretty fun ride. Nothing else to report.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters This was having some issues where it would shut off about every 2 minutes. But I managed to get through.
Mystic Manor At about an hour till close I tried to do the Manor but it was still down from earlier in the day. So I went and rode Grizzly a few more times so I returned about 10 minutes till close and it was the same and I returned to Grizzly. I decided it was worth the shot to return 1 minute till close and I walked up to it the sign showed it still being down so as I was just turning around to sprint back to Grizzly I seen them turned the wait sign back on out of the corner of my eye. So I turned around and the cast members started trying to wave people in!
The park kept the line open just long enough to fill up the pre show room half way and that was it for the night. The queue line was very detailed with a model of the mansion and many artifacts all through it. I didn't know till later but there is also a group photo of the Explorer's Club along with Lord Mystic and Albert (The monkey) in the photo is also Mr. Hightower and Shiriki (From the Disney Sea tower).
After a great preshow it was on to the ride... It used the same technology from Winnie the Pooh at TDL. There are 4 cars which follow each other through the mansion with only slight variations to the ride experience. Petty much the story is that Albert plays with an ancient music box that brings everything to life. The scenes are perfectly done with some really cool tricks all building up to an amazing finally with a giant Jade statue coming to life and causing havoc.
The ride isn't intense as Spiderman or Transformers but I love it and it's my new favorite dark ride.
At this point that was it for the first night but I returned the next day at opening.
I started off with two rides on Mystic Manor before trying to do old school Pooh which was down so I grabbed a fast pass for it.
Jungle Cruise This was pretty funny but since I was the only one in the English line I ended up getting a zen ride. My personal skipper was excellent and it was fun watching her try and change her lines that are normally meant for full boats.
Hong Kong Disney Railroad I than took the train around the park and I liked the little bits thrown in like the aliens behind tomorrowland and the Mystic Manor cargo unloading platform.
Festival of the Lion King Being a fan of the movie I had to see this show. It was pretty neat with several large floats. They had an issue half way through the show that resulted in an Estop for about 10 minutes.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Knowing I would be riding TDL Pooh later on I knew I had to do this old school version. It was nice but nothing great.
After this I did Space Mountain again and Grizzly and just explored the park and Castle before I had to head to the hotel to grab my bag and head to the airport where I would be greeted with a 5 hour delay....
Universal Studios Singapore next!
I case you forgot where I was.
Doesn't look busy at least.
There is a castle back there I swear!
Gotta go this way first!
Under this bridge...
And there it is!
Works for me!
I spy Mickey and Minnie
Welcome to Mystic Point!
I'll come back later...
The exterior is really nice though!
Fantasyland has some room to grow...
Backside of the castle
You can hear the song already...
Honestly almost rode it twice for the awesome A/C
Next was Space Mountain
Followed by Buzz
Getting ready for the Fireworks
So I ended up back here
The entrance at night
Model in the queue
Grizzly looks even better at night!
That's it for the night
Just some of the queue
Seriously a great ride! I know they can't put copies of the ride into other parks but I would love to the same idea used elsewhere.
They were filming something as I passed through Toy Story Land
Next stop Jungle Cruise
My guide and a full boat in front...
Me and my empty boat
This Jungle Cruise replaces the steam boat found at other parks.
It goes around Tarzan's Treehouse
The finally involved lots of fire and water
My only complaint of the park is how late the resturants open...
Festival of the Lion King is next!
Old School Pooh!
Old School Pooh cars
Quick lap on the train
I didn't have time but it looked really nice.
One last Grizzly run
Time to head to the hotel to grab a cab. This is the metro station just outside of the gates.
I ended up having a 5 hour delay... so I got a chance to browse the official park store in the airport..... Next up Universal Studios Singapore!
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