ELYBURG — Knoebels Amusement Park earned two top honors in the 34th annual National Amusement Park Historical Association's Amusement Park and Attractions Survey.
In an announcement on Friday, the Phoenix was named NAPHA members' favorite wooden coaster and the park's Hallo-Fun in October, which is kicked off by the Phoenix Phall Phunfest, was named NAPHA's favorite post-summer season event. The park is delaying its opening for its 94th season indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis.
"This news is especially a bright spot for the Knoebels team and family during these difficult times," said Dick Knoebel. "We appreciate the recognition from NAPHA members, and we look forward to seeing many of them this season so they can continue to enjoy these favorites."
For the ninth consecutive year, Phoenix was voted by NAPHA members as Favorite Wood Roller Coaster. It has been named the favorite wood roller coaster fourteen years since 2000. Kennywood’s 100-year old Jack Rabbit tied with Boulderdash as the second favorite.
Knoebels was also named the second favorite traditional park. Kennywood in West Mifflin took the top honor this year.
"We are so thrilled to have Knoebels Amusement Resort win such high honors and receive such recognition at a time when attractions all across the country are faced with the challenges of delayed openings," said Andrew Miller, the executive director of the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau. "With many of us under stay-at-home recommendations and suffering from cabin fever, we find ourselves imagining about what we’ll do once we can get out and stretch our legs and we find ourselves thinking about what we love to do the most and what give us heartfelt pleasures and pure enjoyment."
The love for Knoebels Amusement Resort – winning 14 years since 2000 for a favorite wooden roller coaster – speaks volumes for the "beloved backyard treasure," said Miller.
"We’re beyond thrilled to know that how we feel about Knoebels is recognized on a national level," he said. "We can’t wait to celebrate the opening of Knoebels Amusement Resort when the timing is right."
NAPHA members are typically 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 more than 140 different amusement parks and has ridden about 330 roller coasters.
“Exchanging opinions about favorite amusement parks and rides is fun for enthusiasts, especially during this difficult time,” said NAPHA’s Survey Coordinator, Marlowe McClasky Futrell in a media release. “Parks are also interested in the survey findings, and many incorporate the results into their publicity materials.”
The National Amusement Park Historical Association, founded in 1978 and based in Illinois, is an international, educational and enthusiast organization dedicated to preserving and documenting the heritage of the amusement park industry, past, present and future.