A DAY IN THE LIFE OF KNOEBELS: Guests on Phoenix (copy)

Riders raise their hands and shout while zooming along on the Phoenix at Knoebels in this file photo from 2018.

ELYSBURG — Knoebels Amusement Resort’s Phoenix roller coaster and its park food were recently named No. 1 in the world at the annual Golden Ticket Awards.

During a virtual event at the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, Amusement Today announced this year’s award winners. The awards are calculated from an international poll. The survey is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans asking them to rate the “best of the best” in 23 categories.

For the third consecutive year, Knoebels’ Phoenix was named the top wooden roller coaster in the world. Phoenix has made the top ten each year for 23 years.

“This was the third time Phoenix received this honor, but we are just as excited as the first,” said Richard “Dick” Knoebel, Knoebels’ president. “We often reflect on the incredible history of this roller coaster, but even more so this year as we remember Charlie Dinn, who helped make the rebirth of Phoenix possible.”

Phoenix originally opened in 1948 as the Rocket at Playland Park in San Antonio, Texas. When the park closed in 1980, the future of the roller coaster was uncertain. Knoebels disassembled, moved, and reassembled the coaster with help from Dinn. Phoenix opened in June of 1985 and has been a favorite since.

Knoebels has won best food 18 times in 21 years.

In addition to those awards, Knoebels was a finalist in other categories: Second in best guest experience, fourth in best park, 27th (for Flying Turns) and 32nd (for Twister) in Top 50 Wooden Roller Coasters.

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