Phoenix – A Reborn Classic Woodie
Wooden Coaster Rises from the Ashes of the Rocket to Thrill Riders from All Over the Globe

Knoebels is small amusement park located in the middle ofPhoenix - Knoebels Amusement Park - Raoller Coaster Reviews Pennsylvania. It’s a homey park with a very traditional feel. In a past life, Phoenix was the Rocket at Playland Park in San Antonio. After lying dormant for five years, Knoebels bought and moved the coaster to Elysbug, PA where it was reborn as the Phoenix. It fit in perfectly with the park’s feel and has become a favorite of enthusiasts all over the World. It’s over 20 years old and still ranked #4 in Mitch Hawker’s Internet Poll and #5 in the Golden Ticket Awards.

Phoenix was such a highly touted coaster that I was curious how much I would enjoy it. Especially after looking at pictures and viewing its unimpressive stats. After boarding the Philadelphia Toboggan trains I noticed that the lap bar stopped way above my lap.

Immediately after leaving the station we passed through a pretty longPhoenix - Knoebels Amusement Park - Roller Coaster Reviews and dark tunnel. The aforementioned high lap bars combined with Phoenix’s pedestrian, but air-time packed layout added up to 20-some people floating out of their seats 8 or 9 times. It was a fun ride that bordered on scary. Riders literally held on for dear life as they popped out of their seats on every hill. The airtime was so extreme that I don’t think I even rode with my hands up. Speaking of extreme airtime, Phoenix was #2 on my Extreme Airtime roller coasters list.

Phoenix is a great ride for all ages and the average park-goers. And it has caused many an enthusiast to plot out a route to Elysburg, which is way off the beaten path. Phoenix is a perfect example of a roller coaster that doesn’t have staggering stats and doesn’t look like much, but just has to be ridden to be truly appreciated.

Check out this onride video of Phoenix at Knoebels:

Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

Traditional Roller Coasters - Fun For AllPhoenix is rated ‘TR’ for Traditional. It’s a 2 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.

What’s Your Take
Got any questions or comments about Phoenix or Knoebels? Leave em’ below. Pictures courtesy of CoasterImage.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

11 Responses

  1. Judy_P_in_Pgh

    Hi, Joel! I'm starting to think you're following me around the country! I was at Knoebel's a couple of weeks ago. Just got home from a day at Adventureland in Iowa. Are you coming here next? 🙂 Oh, yeah, and Kennywood on the 20th. After that, it's back to school for me after my best summer of riding coasters ever.

  2. The Coaster Critic

    Unfortunately, I haven't been to Knoebels in years. I went in 2003. With our new baby Avery I promised not to take so many trips this year. So far just Busch Gardens Europe and Kings Island. Now that Carowinds is in our backyard I may be able to go there this fall, but that's it. Sounds like you've had quite a summer. Last year I hit 10 parks. What's your total going to be?

  3. Judy_P_in_Pgh

    Let's see: Idlewild (1), Geauga Lake (4), Cedar Point (2), Dorney Park (2), Busch Gardens Europe (2), Knoebel's (1), King's Dominion (2), King's Island (2), Adventureland (1). I'll hit Kennywood on the 20th and maybe Lakemont for the first time ever on the 13th. I think my little group has definitely gotten their money's worth out of the MaxxPass! As of yesterday, I'm up to 124 coasters. The Thunderbolt it still, and probably always will be, my favorite, followed by The Beast after dark and The Voyage. Thanks for all of the tips you've given me this summer … they've been quite helpful. I really enjoy your blogsite and have been sharing it with others. I wish more people would post comments. It's scary at first, but now I'm having lots of fun with it!

  4. Amy M

    I love this coaster. I've now been going to Knoebel's for 8 or 9 years (at least half my life; I'm sixteen) and I never stop enjoying this coaster.

    I was at Knoebels this past week and rode the Phoenix 8 times in a row, getting of and running back on. Never once did I have to wait to get back on longer than the time it took for the train to come back into the station because it was the hour before closing. I woke up the next morning with bruises on my legs from hitting the lap bar so much from riding hands-free every time. It was totally worth it.

    I can't wait to go back yet again next summer.

  5. DC

    One tip: Yellow train – front car – third seat

    UNBELIEVABLE AIR!!! One of the best rides ever on the hundreds of coasters I've done in my lifetime. Everything a good woodie can offer. Once again proves the adage that size doesn't matter!

    Okay, the park is also an incredible classic to visit. Well worth the trip off the beaten path and a beautiful drive to get there, especially in the fall.

  6. DRU

    It's all about the space between your legs and the lap-bar for sure. So rare to be free to fly up in your seat so far. I couldn't stop laughing it was so fun!
    I only had a few hours in the park, I plan to return for sure to have more time to enjoy the charm.

  7. Linaskye

    I never really liked this coaster before, but I always sat in the back seat. Just recently, I rode for the first time in the second seat from the front, on the right side. Phoenix rides unbelievably smooth for a wooden coaster in the front, and the airtime is ridiculous. It nearly unseated (no pun intended) El Toro as my number one coaster, and I took another 10 laps after my newfound love for this ride.

  8. CoDAce

    There was a ride out there with a similar layout to Phoenix that didn’t make it, the Meyer’s Lake Park Comet (, according to that is was about 4ft taller and a little longer as a result, had a shorter tunnel and the most noticeable difference was one less hill before the brakes.
    And the best part, there is a video of the ride out there (, it does have some park and demolition footage as well, it’s old, has to be between 1950-1974, so legality is irrelevant at this point, and this shows that it has a swoop in the first turnaround unlike Phoenix, and according to one comment it might be 24ft taller than Phoenix, not sure how true that is, but it’s information to a ride with little information available.
    I know that it may not be completely relevant, but it’s some information that I recently came across that I found interesting, and shows that the winning layout of Rocket (original name) was used before the success story that is Phoenix, at least one of them survived.


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