Phoenix (roller coaster)

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Phoenix
Knoebels Phoenix.JPG
Lift hill of the Phoenix
Knoebels
Coordinates 40°52′42″N 76°30′23″W / 40.87833°N 76.50639°W / 40.87833; -76.50639Coordinates: 40°52′42″N 76°30′23″W / 40.87833°N 76.50639°W / 40.87833; -76.50639
Status Operating
Opening date June 15, 1985 (relocated)
Cost US$ 1,500,000 (with relocation)
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters
Designer Herbert Paul Schmeck, 1947
Track layout Double Out and Back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 78 ft (24 m)
Drop 72 ft (22 m)
Length 3,200 ft (980 m)
Speed 48 mph (77 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:00 min
Capacity 720 riders per hour
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Phoenix at RCDB
Pictures of Phoenix at RCDB

The Phoenix is a wooden roller coaster located at the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. Prior to its purchase by Knoebels and its subsequent relocation in the mid-1980s, it was operated under the name "The Rocket" at Playland Park in San Antonio, TX.

History[edit]

Designed and built by Herb Schmeck and the Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC), the roller coaster operated as "The Rocket" at the Playland Park in San Antonio from 1947 until the park's closure in 1980. At its opening, the Phoenix was hailed as "the largest roller coaster in the world," with 3200 feet of track and 78 foot first hill. Knoebels purchased the ride in 1984 and dismantled it starting in January 1985. As there were no blueprints to work with, each individual board was numbered and cataloged on site. [1]

The restored roller coaster opened at Knoebels on June 15, 1985. It is named after the mythical phoenix bird which rises, reborn, from its own ashes. This effort, the first large-scale wooden roller coaster relocation in many years, helped spark a movement for the restoration and relocation of other roller coasters standing but not operating.

Features and popularity[edit]

The Phoenix coaster routinely gives a fast ride with many spots where riders experience upwards acceleration, or negative gravity. This floating sensation is known affectionately to coaster enthusiasts as "airtime," and they applaud the coaster as the airtime occurs. Since the inception of the Internet Wood Tracked Roller Coaster Poll, the Phoenix has consistently ranked among the top 10. The Phoenix is an ACE Coaster Landmark[1] and has consistently been ranked at or near #4 for Best Wooden Coaster by Amusement Today magazine's annual Golden Ticket Awards, but reached #2 in its class in the worldwide 2011 Golden Ticket Award competition.

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 10[2] 6[3] 5[4] 4[5] 5[6] 4[7] 4[8] 4[9] 5[10] 3[11] 3[12] 4[13] 3[14] 2[15] 3[16] 3[17]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best wood-Tracked Roller Coaster[18]
Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 4 6 9 (tie) 9 12 9 11 11 6 6 3 5 4 7 5 8 4 5 5 5
NAPHA Survey: Favorite Wood Roller Coaster[19]
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Ranking
1
1
1 (tie)
2
2 (tie)

Modern usage[edit]

Since 1986, Knoebels has held the "Phoenix Phall Phun Phest," a yearly October event for roller coaster enthusiasts. In 2001 alone, over 1500 roller coaster and amusement park fans converged on Knoebels, many in costume, to participate in a memorabilia swap meet and use the rides after the park closed to the general public. The event was rated the third best Halloween event in 2008 and 2009 by Amusement Today. The Phoenix also has a song about the move from San Antonio to Knoebels. It is called "Fly With The Phoenix" by Dave Parker. The music video is on YouTube.

Phoenix facts

  • Trains - 2 PTC, 1 yellow and 1 orange, 24 passengers each

Trivia[edit]

The wooden coaster, Wolverine Wildcat at Michigan's Adventure, is loosely based on the layout of Phoenix.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ACE Coaster Landmark Awards
  2. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1999. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. September 2002. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 10–11B. September 2003. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 22–23B. September 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 46–47. September 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 46–47. September 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 40–41. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Wooden Roller Coaster Poll 20 Year Results Table (1994–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ Surveys - National Amusement Park Historical Association