Knoebels in the News

Knoebels Amusement Resort is getting another classic attraction.

The Bayern Kurve will be coming to the park sometime during the 2023 season abc 27 whtm

2018 Golden Ticket Awards

Knoebels once again has earned multiple Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today. Awards include Best Wooden Roller Coaster for the Phoenix, Best Food, and Best Carousel for the 105-year old Grand Carousel.

2018 Flooding at Knoebels

Knoebels was closed for several days due to massive flooding as WNEP reports here.

A Day in the life of Knoebels

A video diary of a day at Knoebels as reported on by The Daily Item

2016 Golden Ticket Awards

Knoebels Amusement Resort received the Golden Ticket Award for "Best Food," and "Best Carousel" for its Grand Carousel. Phoenix roller coaster made its highest showing ever as the second best wooden roller coater in the world. In addition to the first place awards, Knoebels was a finalist in a number of other categories as follows: Third Best Halloween Event; Fourth Best Park; Fourth Friendliest Park; Fourth Best Dark Ride for its Haunted Mansion; and Fifth Best Indoor Roller Coaster for its Black Diamond. Flying Turns and Twister also made a showing in the "Top 50 Wooden Roller Coasters" category at numbers 41 and 47, respectively.

Knoebels named the most underrated amusement park in the world

As reported by Lehigh Valley Live
By Kelly Huth | For
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on June 11, 2015 at 4:50 PM, updated June 11, 2015 at 4:51 PM

The most underrated amusement park in the world? It's Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa., according to BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed posted a list Sunday that includes 26 amusement parks from Canada to the Netherlands.

Knoebels beat out several other parks for the top spot, including; Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia; Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana; Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark; Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea and Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Knoebels offers free admission, free picnic facilities, free parking and free entertainment. The park charges guests per ride. The park dates back to 1926, according to

The list also includes Hershey Park, in Hershey, Pa., Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. and Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa.

Kelly Huth may be reached at Follow her on twitter @LVLfood. Find Lehigh Valley Food on Facebook.

Knoebels, Walt Disney World Named Top Amusement Parks in America

Skook News 1:11 PM News
As reported by the Skook News
Lombard, IL – The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) released the results of its 29th annual NAPHA Amusement Park and Attractions Survey. The NAPHA survey is the oldest of its type.
"Throughout its existence, the NAPHA survey has been highly regarded not only to enthusiasts, but to the industry," noted NAPHA's Survey Coordinator, Marlowe McClasky Futrell. "Over the years, the NAPHA survey has proven to be one of its most effective publicity tools as many parks incorporate the results into their publicity materials."
Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA was named by NAPHA members as their 'Favorite Traditional Amusement Park.' Its Phoenix roller coaster is topped the list as members' 'Favorite Wood Coaster.' The park was also recognized as the second 'Best Park for Families.'
For the 12th successive years, Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL, took the honors for NAPHA members' 'Favorite Theme Park.' Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) was second in that category.
Other attractions seizing the top spots in the NAPHA 2014 survey include:
* Best Park for Families: Idlewild & Soak Zone (Ligonier, PA)

* Most Beautiful Park: Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA) for the 25th consecutive year

* Favorite Steel Coaster: Millennium Force, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)

NAPHA members are experienced riders who have visited countless amusement parks and have ridden a diverse assortment of roller coasters and other rides. The average member has been to nearly 100 different amusement parks and has ridden about 300 roller coasters.


As noted, Knoebels Amusement Resort was voted number one, a position it also held in 2013, 2012 and 2010. Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA), another Pennsylvania amusement park, and Knoebels have been neck and neck in the standings since 1996 with each holding one of the top two positions in this category.

1 Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
2 Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)

As referenced above, Walt Disney World has been named NAPHA members' Favorite Theme Park for twelve consecutive years – more than a decade. Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) once again came in second, a position it has held since 2010.

1 Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL)

2 Disneyland (Anaheim, CA)


Idlewild and Soak Zone was named as the best park for families, a jump from number two in 2013. Since 2010, Idlewild and Knoebels swapped the top position several times.

1 Idlewild and Soak Zone (Ligonier, PA)
2 Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)


Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, has been voted the World's Most Beautiful Amusement Park for twenty-five consecutive years. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN) was named the second most beautiful.


Cedar Point, Dollywood, Kennywood and Knoebels Amusement Resort were cited by numerous NAPHA members as the Best Post-Summer Parks. After the traditional season, Cedar Point celebrates HalloWeekends, Dollywood holds a Smokey Mountain Christmas, Kennywood hosts both Phantom Fright Nights and Holiday Lights, while Knoebels celebrates Halloween with Hallo-Fun.


The Phoenix was once again was voted by NAPHA members as Favorite Wood Roller Coaster. The Voyage secured the second position. The two wood coasters have been named as either the favorite or second favorite since 2006 and Phoenix has held the top spot since 2011.


1 Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
2 Voyage, Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN)


Millennium Force, members' Favorite Steel Roller Coaster, has been the top ranked or tied for the favorite steel coaster since 2002. Kennywood's Phantom's Revenge grabbed the second spot, a position it has held since 2011.


1 Millennium Force, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
2 Phantom's Revenge, Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)

The National Amusement Park Historical Association, founded in 1978, is an international, educational and enthusiast's organization dedicated to preserving and documenting the heritage of the amusement park industry, past, present and future.

For more information about the survey or about NAPHA, please contact Marlowe McClasky Futrell, Survey Coordinator, at (412) 831-6315 or at, or go to

This study was conducted for NAPHA by MMc Marketing Research, which can be reached at (412) 813-6315, or via email at

Knoebels New Mascot

Meet Dexter Knoebels new mascot to help King Knoebel and Cosmo.dexter

The newest semi-dark the Black Diamond is up and running!
Plus Knoebels has an App! Check out Knoebels Knoebels Map App here.

Knoebels is a 2011 Golden Ticket Winner

See what it is that Knoebels won for here at Amusement Today

Knoebels is now open for business!!

From the Knoebels web site. : Rt 487 between Catawissa and Knoebels will remain closed. If you plan to visit us from the northeast and are traveling I-80 westbound, we advise that you continue on to Danville, the follow rt 54 E to 487 N in Elysburg.
We WILL reopen Saturday, September 17.
Saturday Noon - 8:00pm
Sunday: Noon - 7:00pm

Major Flood at Knoebels!
Click for Facebook Album of damage.

From the Examiner

Toby Heishman , Harrisburg Children's Recreation Examiner
September 7, 2011 -
Many homes and roads have flooded as a result of the substantial rains the state of Pennsylvania has endured over the past several days. Knoebels Amusement has also taken on its' fair share of rain. As a result, the park has flooded and had to close it's doors until further notice. The park has always been prown to flooding during quick rains; however with the substantial amount of rain the Elysburg area has received, the waters have gone higher than they have during the other rain storms in the past several years. Knoebels has always been able to recover from the water damages and we are sure they will do the same this time. This year they are scheduled to have special Halloween events in October. Let's hope they can clean up quickly from this storm and still have some great fall events for the children to attend!
Continue reading on Knoebels Amusement Park September 2011 Flood - Harrisburg Children's Recreation |

According to The Times Leader

July 6, 2011.
ELYSBURG - A Wilkes-Barre area boy was fatally injured in a swimming accident this afternoon at Knoebels Amusement Park. Montour County Coroner Scott Lynn said the investigation is in the preliminary stages. A statement issued by Knoebels said the boy struck his head while jumping into the Crystal Pool. He was rescued and guards immediately began CPR. The boy was transported by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Follow Knoebels on Facebook.facebook

Here are some great new pictures and a video posted from a personal tour from

Sad news of Barbara Knoebel passing on

Former Knoebels Artist Matthew G. Rusnak Passes

Published: September 5, 2010
Full story at The News-Item
ELYSBURG - For the thousands of guests who visit Knoebels Amusement Resort each summer season, it's hard not to notice the countless signs and sculptures throughout the park, from a 4-foot-long smiling dolphin called "Codzmo" at The Flume to a 10-foot tall Viking nicknamed "Thor" at the Sklooosh. Most of the creative decorations can be attributed to Matthew G. Rusnak, who died this past week, but whose artistic legacy lives on at Knoebels. Rusnak, who was 85 when he died Monday, left his mark in a variety of colors, shapes and designs at the park, where he was employed for nearly 20 years at the end of his career until he suffered a stroke at age 81.
A Mount Carmel resident, Rusnak began his relationship with the Knoebel family as an outside contractor on several park projects. Several years later, he became an employee of the park and worked on several key projects, including a large pirate grasping a sword at the Galleon and several murals that stretch along the outside walls of The Alamo.

Knoebel said. Rusnak's crowning achievement, according to Knoebel, is the Iwo Jima memorial near the center of the park. The full-scale sculpture depicts the popular photograph of an American flag being raised atop Mount Suribachi during World War II. According to Knoebel, Rusnak chose to create the memorial after a personal experience while serving with the U.S. Navy during the war. Knoebel said Rusnak was serving aboard the USS Gosselin when his ship stopped in Iwo Jima. Rusnak went ashore and made contact with his brother, who was part of the invasion force. Moved by the experience, he created the sculpture to pay homage to his brother and the others who fought at Iwo Jima.

While some of Rusnak's pieces have a serious side to them, Knoebel noted that many of the signs throughout the park have a humorous element. At one of the park's food stands, Rusnak replicated the popular 1930 painting "American Gothic," which shows a women standing next to a man holding a pitchfork. At first glance, the painting looks like an exact replica, but a closer observation reveals otherwise. "He put the faces of, then manger of the Old Mill, Dave Knoll, and his wife, Ester (on it)," Knoebel said with a laugh. "He always had a little bit of humor to him." Knoebel, whose park today employs two artists, said guests next year may see new pieces that were conceived by Rusnak. Before his passing, Rusnak provided Knoebel with several sketches suggesting how to animate the Black Diamond - a three-story dark ride rollercoaster that is expected to open in 2011. Knoebel said Rusnak's sketches may become part of the ride.

Black Diamond information

Black Diamond Sign Black Diamond Progress Black Diamond Progress Black Diamond Coal Car


Construction has been steady and the track seems to be installed.

The construction of the Black Diamond is well under way.
The Eagles have been relocated just to the right of site.
The Golden Nugget Mine Ride opened in July 1960 at Morey's Piers on the newly constructed ocean side section of Hunt's Pier. The Golden Nugget was built three stories high with the top floor giving riders a mine car ride through the "desert." The coaster was specially constructed for Hunt's Pier by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and was engineered by John C. Allen. Bill Tracy designed the ride�s western theme pieces through his Amusement Display company. On December 11, 2008, Morey's Piers announced that the Golden Nugget would be demolished and that they would have a ceremony for the Golden Nugget on Saturday, January 31. On Jan 26, 2009 it was publicly announced that Knoebels' Amusement Resort had purchased the Golden Nugget track and trains from Morey's Piers. The Coaster will be modified and rebuilt on the location where the park's current Bald Eagle habitat resides. The ride will begin construction after a new habitat has been built for the eagles.

Barbara Knoebel passes

Published: November 30, 2009 Standard Speaker
Nov. 27, 2009
Barbara Ellen Cook Knoebel passed into the Lord's eternal peace Friday at the age of 66. She died peacefully at her home at 206 Knoebels Blvd., Elysburg, with her family by her side. Born May 3, 1943, in Lykens, Barbara was the daughter of the late Charles and Elizabeth Dietrick Cook. She was a 1961 graduate of Lykens High School and furthered her education at Polyclinic Hospital, becoming a licensed practical nurse. Barbara married Richard Knoebel on Feb. 10, 1968, a marriage that lasted until her death, a span of more than 41 years. They are the parents of two sons, Richard A. Knoebel and his wife, Dawn, Catawissa; and Brian L. Knoebel and his wife, Dawna, Elysburg. As a young woman she had been a member of a Lutheran church in Lykes, where she taught Sunday school for many years and sung in the choir. Barbara presently was a member of Elysburg Presbyterian Church. She was an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star having served as Worthy Matron of Iris Chapter 306, Shamokin. She held the statewide office of Grand Adah during 1984-85 and traveled throughout Pennsylvania in this capacity. She was also active in the Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Association and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. She served on several IAAPA committees, most notably, the original Hall of Fame Committee. She had served 12 years on the Bloomsburg University Foundation Board of Trustees, of which she was very proud to have been a part. At Knoebels Amusement Resort, Barbara was an important member of the family business. She worked side by side with Dick serving as manager of the park office and group sales manager. In the latter capacity, she assisted groups in planning outings and arranged catered meals for thousands of guests each season. In September, Dick and Barbara traveled to California, where Amusement Today, an industry publication, honored them with the Golden Ticket award as industry Persons of the Year for 2009. In addition to her husband and sons, she is survived by four granddaughters, Haley, Hannah, Abigail and Ashley. She is also survived by a brother, Walter Cook and his wife, Mary Kay, Gowen City; sister-in-law, Ruth Cook, Elysburg; brother-in-law, Ronald Knoebel and his wife, Debbie, and his family, Elysburg; and sister-in-law, Leanna Knoebel Muscato and her husband, Joseph, and her family, Riverside. In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by brothers, Charles (Boom) Cook and Donald Cook.
A funeral service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. from Elysburg Presbyterian Church, 44 W. Valley Ave., Elysburg, with the Rev. Matthew Young, her pastor, officiating. Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery, Elysburg. Visitation will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday at 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Contributions in her memory may be made to Give Kids the World, Attn: Development, 210 S. Bass Road., Kissimmee, FL 34746. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Allen R. Horne Funeral Home, 193 McIntyre Road, Catawissa.

Knoebels owner, wife, honored for bettering amusement resort while hurdling personal obstacles

By Rob Wheary (Staff Writer
Published: September 15, 2009 from

ELYSBURG - It's common for Knoebels Amusement Resort to win its share of accolades as part of Amusement Today's annual "Golden Ticket Awards." Such was the case for the latest round of tributes from the industry publication, for which Knoebels won second in the "Best Park" category, among others, in national voting. Still, the awards presentation held over Labor Day weekend at Legoland Amusement Park in Carlsbad, Calif., was more personal for the Knoebel family this year. In an announcement that took the local couple by surprise, Dick and Barbara Knoebel were named Amusement Today's Persons of the Year, and they were greeted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from their amusement park peers when called to the stage to accept the honor. They were also duped - with good reason, of course - by their sons in getting to California in the first place. "Barbara and I were dumbstruck, humbled and awed," Dick Knoebel said Monday in recounting the moment. The honor paid tribute to not only the Knoebels' well-regarded efforts to keep their Elysburg amusement resort among the best in the nation, but also their determination to overcome recent personal struggles that have challenged their lives.

The set-up Dick Knoebel, president and co-general manager of Knoebels along with his brother, Ron "Buddy" Knoebel, said he and Barbara had no plans to attend the Golden Tickets this year. It's common for Knoebels to be represented by different members of the family or staff. Shortly before Labor Day weekend, however, their sons' Rick and Brian, told them to drop their plans to vacation at a friend's beach house in Ocean City, N.J., and head west instead. "They told us we were going to the awards in California," Knoebel said. Though not yet suspicious, they would get another surprise once in California. Dick Knoebel described how he was trying to get in touch with Rick to discuss a piece of equipment for the park. "I discussed this equipment with Rick before and wanted to talk to him about it while I was looking at it," he said. "But I called his cell phone and he didn't answer; then I called his house. His wife was stammering and trying to come up with an answer." Finally, she told him that Rick - and Brian - were in California with them. Two days later at the awards dinner, still unaware of the "Persons of the Year" distinction, Knoebel happily accepted awards for best carousel and best food. Discussing the latter, he said he used his common refrain in addressing the crowd: "The food has to be good, I eat here."

'Talking about us' Knoebel recalled how, at the end of the ceremony, Amusement Today publisher Gary Spade was on stage to announce the "Person of the Year Award." As he spoke, all the weird happenings came into focus. "About halfway through, we realized he was talking about us," Knoebel said. In addition to the standing ovation, the Knoebels received well wishes from a number of attendees after the ceremony. In the magazine, Slade wrote about the couple, saying: "Some things were just made to go together, and sometimes those matching bookends can be found in the people behind the scenes, running an amusement park. "Such is the case for Dick and Barbara Knoebel. Two people made for one another. Two people who not only work 100-hour weeks to keep the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa. running in tip-top shape, but recently battled the odds to keep each other running in tip-top shape. "In the spring of 2008, Barbara was diagnosed with cancer and many tests later was found to have cancerous spots in four other parts of her body. Chemotherapy led to many complications that left her ill, mentally exhausted and completely drained. With Dick by her side every step of the way, Barbara underwent radiation therapy and later a completely different kind of chemo. Through all this she managed to read the staffing sheets for catering, the schedules for ticket sellers and correspondence with suppliers. Although she is not cancer free, her most recent CAT scan did not show cancer in two of the previous areas. Great news! "During the winter months, Dick fell down an ice-covered stairway and broke his ankle. Refusing a cast, he opted for a bandage and crutches so he could continue his duties at the park and his duties at home with Barbara. Dick and Barbara Knoebel are a match made for one another and Amusement Today's selection as our 2009 Persons of the Year."

Credit to staff In addition to the Persons of the Year and second in "Best Park," Knoebels won fourth in "Friendliest Park," third in "Best Dark Ride" and third for "Best Halloween Event." The Phoenix finished fourth in balloting for the top 50 wooden rollercoasters. For all of the attention paid to the park and the Knoebel family, Dick Knoebel was quick to pass credit onto others. "We are always honored to receive the awards, and know that none of them would be possible without the assistance of our staff," he said.