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Knoebels has best carousel and is second-best park

Allentown Morning Call

Original Article »

September 11, 2007

Knoebels Amusement Resort captured multiple honors in the 2007 Golden Ticket Awards, including the top carousel and the No. 2 spot for best overall amusement park.

The top overall amusement park was Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, which is owned by Cedar Fair L.P., the parent of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township.

Knoebels, in Elysburg, Northumberland County, also received the top spot for food among amusement parks, in an annual ranking compiled by the trade publication Amusement Today. The park edged out Disney's Epcot in Orlando, Fla., which came in second with 15 percent of the vote versus 25 percent earned by Knoebels.

Other parks within driving distance of the Lehigh Valley also were cited, including Sesame Place in Langhorne, Bucks County, which was tied for third in the best children's park category. Hersheypark, in Hershey, ranked No. 4 in the best new water park ride category, capturing 6 percent of the vote with its East Coast Waterworks.

It's the 10th year Amusement Today has held the contest. Dorney Park did not receive any awards this year. Its Steel Force ride ranked No. 20 in the list of best steel roller coasters, compared with No. 15 last year.

Knoebels was voted the third-best park overall in last year's contest. The rustic park, about two hours' drive from the Valley, features '50s-vintage bumper cars and wooden roller coasters. The park's open-gate policy, which is is popular with families, offers free admission, free parking and free picnic areas. Visitors pay at ticket booths scattered throughout the park to take the rides they want.

The park's Grand Carousel captured 40 percent of the vote in the best carousel category, which was last featured in the contest in 2004.

For the food category, Amusement Today notes that eating at amusement parks can often be a ''chore'' because of slow lines or high prices.

''Knoebels has long found favor with park visitors for…taste, price, and quality. The Best Food Golden Ticket stays firmly in their hands,'' wrote Tim Baldwin in Amusement Today's special awards issue.

Knoebels' Haunted Mansion was voted the second-best dark ride, winning 20 percent of the vote. Amusement Today noted the ride is a ''fan favorite,'' saying, ''More of a traditional dark ride, Knoebels keeps their version in top form with classic and newer stunts to keep guests laughing and screaming.''

The park also captured 5 percent of the vote to place third in the friendliest park category.

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