Oct 272018

Part 3 is really just my excuse to keep dragging this subject out (amusement parks are my life force, OK?). So let’s just free-form this, pretend like you’re at my house drinking some French press coffee that we ordered Henry to make for us while I’m clicking through slides of vacation pictures and you’re probably not bound and gagged on my couch but who knows what mood I’m in that day.


Also, Henry stood in line at the Cookie Nook for like 30 minutes waiting for my latte and Chooch’s hot chocolate while Chooch and I hung out and were entertained by a spooky band and adorable dogs padding past us in costume:

Henry did NOT get any gator bites, but Chooch and I DID get some of the best black bean burgers we’ve ever had in our lives. Chooch was so excited that he started reading it off the menu to the lady in front of me who had the same hair color and jacket as me, so was like, “OK HONEY THANKS FOR THE 411.” Honestly though how hard is it for places to be like, “hey you, substitute this black bean patty on any burger if that’s what you want, no judgment.” I got the mushroom swiss option and sang “Baby Come To Me” when it was finally in my hands. Henry was pouting because he wanted HOT SAUSAGE but that was at a DIFFERENT food place so we were like, “We have our food now and you are no longer needed, we hereby dismiss you” but he was like, “JUST FORGET IT, I’LL GET IT LATER” and then sat there miserably while Chooch and I created a symphony with our chewing mouth-sounds.

It was so much more satisfying than the slice of cheese pizza I had earlier for lunch, which was good enough that it lured a man over to hungrily ask us where we procured such a RARE FOOD. He asked me and of course I didn’t know because Chooch and I left Henry to order our food alone while we rode the COSMOTRON which is basically just the Music Express, but inside a dark building.

This was one of the few times I was annoyed all day because when Chooch and I were getting in line, some hoolikids (THAT IS A YOUNGER VERSION OF HOOLIGAN IN CASE YOU DON’T HAVE MY DICTIONARY ON HAND) cut in front of us and instead of pulling them back, their jackass mom was like, “OH SORRY EXCUSE ME” and she cut too?! I mean, I get that you had to wait for your “Hubs” to dole out tickets but last time I checked, there’s no RESERVATIONS for the Cosmotron. So fucking rude. But I have learned to choose my battles and I wasn’t about to start kicking up shit in a short line for some moderate thrill ride and Chooch was like THANK GOD.

Of course, they were the last motherfuckers that got to go inside for the next ride cycle, so that was annoying.

Also, I was annoyed because when it was finally our turn, the GoGos “Vacation” was playing in there and I was really getting in an 80s mood, you know? And with the nostalgic way the park was decorated, the music really amplified those vintage feels. But then as soon as the ride started, the “ride DJ” switched it to that annoying Taio Cruz “Dynamite” song and I was extremely disappointed. Sure, all the elementary school kids were like woo hoo and throwing their germy hands into the air, but I yearned for the enthusiastic ride operators at Everland who made their own song and dance for one of their thrill rides and it was amazing and now I am spoiled forever and nothing will ever live up to that.

Creepy Chooch on the Round-Up.

While Chooch was riding this, Mr. I DGAF Where You Assholes Go finally found us after sending me a text that said “where r u.” DON’T SEND US AWAY BECAUSE WE’RE ANNOYING YOU AND THEN ACT SURPRISED WHEN WE LEAVE AND HAVE FUN WITHOUT YOU BECAUSE WE DON’T NEED YOU.

(Until it’s time for food, of course. Then please come find us.)

I was taking pictures of the Round-Up in action and some elderly Knoebels employee came over and said, “It’s more fun ON the ride” and then winked at me because all the old guys at Knoebels lover me because to them I still look young and fresh EVEN THOUGH I AM GRAYING AND WRINKLING. The old man I bought our Flying Turns picture from was so chatty with me and Chooch was getting annoyed because he hates it when people talk to me so he kept coming over to interrupt. God Chooch, let me have my moment to shine, ok? No one notices me anymore!!

One of the things we did after Henry told us to get lost was go on Gasoline Alley, the antique car ride. Kennywood used to have something similar called the Turnpike but removed it in order to put in a stupid small-scale coaster similar to Knoebel’s Impulse. It was closed all season, so that was awesome. Good job, Kennywood.

Anyway, I’ve been on some weak versions of this ride, but the one at Knoebels has a decently long track so you get to be out there for a substantial amount of time AND during October they put up some “haunted” scenes which come to life at night but then it costs extra and the line is outrageous and if we’re being honest, we are there to ride the Phoenix a million zillion times, you know?

But during the day, DOGS ARE ALLOWED ON THIS RIDE! How fucking precious is that?  Good lord, Knoebels, you do so many things right. There were two black pugs in line with us and I could practically see Chooch’s ghost leaving his body, he was so dead at the cuteness of this whole situation.

Psychedelic, man.

Here’s Henry, benchin’ it, which is what he did most of the day while we rode things. God only knows how many times he dozed off, too.

If you do go to Knoebels, don’t balk at the Haunted Mansion costing extra – it’s worth it. It’ll make you feel like a kid again. It’s a great old dark ride and it makes me yearn for Kennywood’s Le Cachot, which burnt down sometime in the 90s and was SHAMEFULLY never rebuilt. We used to call it “lick a shit” because, you know, kids.

I wish someone would build an amusement park with just all old shit in it, none of these big steel coasters or swinging pendulums. And you get a discount if you wear a fanny pack or your group wears matching outfits.

Knoebels at night is where it’s at, bitches!


Chandeliers at the black bean burger place.

The Phoenix at night was the best, I can’t even get over it.

Here we are in the front row for the best ride of the night! Total darkness and complete disorientation! The line was still short too especially now that Gasoline Alley was doing the haunted thing. Most people seemed to be in line for that and the train, which also did haunted scenery, etc. That line was long all day.

It started drizzling a bit around 7:30 but it wasn’t too terribly bad, certainly nothing to deter us from continuing to churn our innards on rides like the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Paratroopers.

(Chooch and I hated a girl in front of us in line for the Tilt-a-Whirl and I realized that’s when Chooch and I are the most in sync, when we’re rolling our eyes at each other and mutually hating a person. This is almost ALWAYS in line for a ride.)

Get yourself someone who scowls at you the way I scowl at Henry…?

Guys, everything was fine while we were in this line and then the MOMENT it was our turn to ride, it started to rain harder. “Oh it won’t matter because we literally have an umbrella over our heads,” I told Chooch, but then the ride started and the rain instantly pelted us from the side and it was NOT PLEASANT. I had to pull my head over my head and ride with my head down to keep from drowning, essentially. We kept screaming, “SHUT IT DOWN! LET US OFF THIS! THE RAIN HURTS!” But that fat ass operator just kept us up there, and now I think I know what cars must feel like when they’re pushed through a car wash, I AM SO SORRY TO ALL THE CARS I’VE DROWNED BEFORE!

Henry was like, “Hyuk hyuk hyuk” when we stamped over to where he had sought refuge from the rain. There was not a single part of our clothing that wasn’t soaked all the way through.

Did you know that Knoebels has one of the largest carousels IN THE WORLD? I didn’t know that either until last week when I accidentally saw it on Wiki and if it’s on Wiki, it’s TRUE. Another true story is that carousels provide amazing shelter during a rainstorm.

The carousel organ music was changed to GHOSTBUSTERS for the Hallofestivities!

We hid out here for a bit and were originally in line, but then I realized that the rain had slowed down…so because we’re knucklechucks, we still went on the Phoenix one more time. The rain had slowed to a drizzle so we thought it would be fine. This time we decided to ride in the last seat and of course there was some man in front of us who immediately started talking to me and I was nice enough but internally, I’m like, “Man, I have no energy for this right now” and then he said, “Is that your son? I can tell, he looks JUST LIKE YOU” and suddenly I was like, “I WILL TALK TO YOU FOREVER.” Do you know how many times in Chooch’s 12 years I’ve had to endure all of the “HE LOOKS JUST LIKE HENRY” comments? Nauseating. So when the rare occasion arises where someone actually says otherwise, well, hello new BFF.

Then that guy’s sons and nephew got in line too and we somehow became part of their family temporarily and they were asking us our advice on Gasoline Alley, if it’s worth the extra money and wait in the line, and I admitted that we had never ridden it at night for the Halloween thing but the nephew whispered to me, “SAY NO. SAY IT’S NOT WORTH IT” and he seemed like the kind of kid I could tolerate, so I said, “No. It’s dumb. Not worth it” but then this made one of the sons upset and he was like, “NO, DAD! I WANT TO DO IT!” and then the dad was looking at me like, “ARE YOU SURE” and I was really in the hot seat now, but he called Grandma to see what was going on and Grandma had already bought the tickets so that solved that. Whew.

I hate conflict.

Anyway, when it was our turn to take our last ride, we emerged from the tunnel (which they spook-out for Halloween!) and I immediately realized that OH SHIT IT WAS RAINING HARDER so that was a super painful ride on the Phoenix because I was choking on rain drops and also it felt like I was getting a bunch of cold paper cuts on my cheeks THAT IS HOW PAINFUL THE RAIN IS WHEN YOU’RE FLYING OVER PHOENIX TRACKS.

Still, totally worth it.

We bided our time in the Fascination arcade after that because it was really pouring at this point. Chooch had no qualms with this plan.


Buying an apple dumpling in the rain, our last hurrah before leaving the park, drenched and cold, that night. Henry was like, “WE ARE ALL GOING TO GET SICK” and I was like, “WORTH IT” but I secretly hoped that we wouldn’t actually get sick and we didn’t! Because Knoebels wouldn’t do us dirty like that.

My new challenge is convincing Henry that he wants to go to Dollywood for Thanksgiving!!

Say it don't spray it.

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