Ride enthusiasts say Flying Turns ready to ride
ELYSBURG - If online theme park enthusiasts can be trusted, the Flying Turns at Knoebels Amusement Resort is ready to ride after more than seven years in the making.
While park officials did not announce the opening, the All American Thrills website and the Facebook pages of Theme Park Review and Great Ohio Coaster Club have all posted several photographs and blog posts talking about the hotly-anticipated thrill coaster opening Friday night.
A spokesman for Knoebels said Wednesday, "It is a work in progress, although it is close (to being done)."
Brandon Strouphauer, site administrator for All American Thrills, posted at 8:08 p.m. Friday that he was at a private preview night for the Flying Turns.
"I've just ridden the long-awaited ride, and it is nothing short of amazing. WOW. It's smooth, thrilling, and overall an amazing ride. The amount of work that's gone into this ride really shows, the station, queue,
and entire ride are beautiful," he said.
He added, "No word when it will open to the public, but I suspect it will be tomorrow (Saturday)."
The 32nd annual Covered Bridge and Arts Festival, which started Thursday, will continue today and Sunday, and the Phoenix Phal Phunfest is happening tonight.
The Flying Turns looks a lot like a typical wooden roller coaster, but it's better described as a bobsled ride, the kind that was popular in the 1930s.
The ride begins by sending a train up a small lift hill, then through a double helix that builds speed. After a 48-foot-high lift hill, the real thrill comes when it leaves the tracks to "free wheel" through two 270-degree turns, traveling up and down the sides of a narrow trough much like a bobsled would on its downhilll run, centrifugal force guiding it at that point.
Each vehicle includes three two-person cars that will travel through the 1,300 feet of track. The ride will last between 2 1/2 and 3 minutes.
Photographs on Great Ohio Coaster Club show Dick Knoebel at the entrance to the ride in front of a group of people with camera phones raised, a line snaking around the structure and up the stairwell and three riders finishing off their inaugural run.
One photograph on Theme Park Review shows two individuals on one of the bobsled turns with the caption "Photos surfacing of people riding Flying Turns at Knoebels Amusement Resort! SHARE THIS if you're excited about riding!"
That particular picture had more than 400 likes, was shared more than 60 times and had dozens of comments.
Ralf Tenkhoff said, "I can't believe it's completed! Wow!"
"It's a miracle!" Marcus Dorsey wrote.
Another photograph on Great Ohio Coaster Club is caption "Happy riders returning from their first flight on Flying Turns at Knoebels in Elysburg, PA. 7-1/2 years of construction is finally paying off."
A woman on the Knoebels Facebook page saying "Apparently the Flying Turns is open" went unanswered by park officials.
Furthermore, the Wikipedia page for the ride was updated to say that all necessary signs (entrance sign itself, price, precautions) "have been posted at the ride's entrance along with decorations around the ride itself making it likely ready to open for the park's 2013 "Phoenix Phall Phunfest."
The price will be $3.Not official; but that's what ride enthusiasts say.
Take a look at video from back in July.