Twister at Knoebels | The Other Half of Knoebels’ 1-2 Punch The aptly named Twister is the epitome of a twister roller coaster. It’s an action-packed wooden coaster with more lateral g-forces than you can shake a stick at. Twister’s exciting layout was actually borrowed from Mr. Twister, a roller coaster that operated at Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO from 1964 to 1994. Mr. Twister was a top rated coaster and was advertised as not having a foot of straight track. When it closed in 1994, Knoebels considered relocating it (like they did with Phoenix), but instead opted to create their own roller coaster from the plans for Mr. Twister.
The layout of Twister is one of the most interesting I’ve ever experienced. The curved station is tucked snugly inside the coaster’s mass of tangled wood. After dropping out the station riders climb the first hill. A 180 degree turn follows and then the train climbs the second lift hill. During the lift you can’t help but notice the great view of the beautiful Pennsylvania mountains all around the park. Next, a large swoop curve sets up the first real drop and you’re off on your twisted journey back to the station.
The pacing is relentless and fast and yet it isn’t too rough to bear several rides. The highlight of the ride is the cool double helix that wraps around the station. The lateral g-forces are intense. Before it’s all over, you find yourself roaring through a dark underground tunnel somewhere in the mass of wood. Finally, you make your way to the brake run and your ride is over.
Twister is an impressive little wooden gem at Knoebels and it’s currently number 7 on my Top Wooden Coasters List. For me, it might have upstaged Knoebels’ crown jewel, thePhoenix. While Phoenix has insane airtime, its layout is pedestrian compared to the Twister’s. They’re both great coasters and with the addition of Flying Turns in 2009, enthusiasts that haven’t made it to Knoebels should be ashamed of themselves. Final Rating – 9.0 (Excellent)
Twister is rated ‘TR’ for Traditional. It’s a 2 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.
What’s Your Take?
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