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The Twister is the thrill of Pennsylvania. It has some very nice drops and a bunch of great turns in a high speed, fast paced attraction that you shouldn't miss!
The Twister is a tough coaster to nail down. Like most woodies it has various moods, but the Twister can be downright bipolar sometimes. On the Phoenix I can consistently tell, ride after ride, what sort of experience to expect. The Twister is tougher to read even after repeat rides in the same seat. The biggest complaint here seems to be roughness and I can attest that sometimes the Twister can get brutal, but other times it can be downright fantastic.
I hear a lot of people getting off the Twister comparing it to the Phoenix and comparisons are kind of pointless. They're both made of wood, but the similarities really end there. Phoenix is a rather straightforward double out & back coaster loaded with airtime-producing hills. The Twister is, well, a twister. The track isn't a simple figure-8 and your path tends to take you careening through the inside of the ride itself with wood all around you. Lateral G's are plentiful though there are some bits of airtime. The overall ride experience is faster with a much greater element of that "out of control" feeling.
I recommend the front car over any other and the front seat in particular. The other cars and especially the further back you go tend to transfer a lot of motion which can cause the aforementioned roughness. A lot of it will depend on the composition of your train as well as some environmental factors. For instance, I've found the Twister to be extremely smooth in all positions just after a thunderstorm. If you do decide to ride near the middle or back I would suggest trying to grab a seat that isn't located on top of the wheels of the car.
As for the ride itself, the switchback dual lift hill design with its turnaround components are some of the best tension-building devices you'll find on a wooden coaster. The main drop off the 2nd lift hill is superb and there's nothing quite like hurtling face-first down a steep wooden track with nothing to protect you but a questionable piece of metal across your lap. Things don't really start to get "twisty" on the Twister until the helix, then you can expect to get jostled from one direction to the next until the end of the ride. A few bunny hills here and there add variety, especially the last one after the tunnel just before the station brake run.
My best suggestion is to ride the Twister at night. If possible, catch a ride or two when Knoebels hosts its Halloween event and they turn the running lights off. Hurtling through the darkness on a twisting woodie is sure to get your blood pumping and the Halloween special effects like strobe lights, fog and a well-place air horn only add to the excitement.
Most Recent Ride: October 17, 2010
A great woodie! Very, very fun; some good forces and surprising elements, and although the surprise will not be there for your second ride, the excitement still will. Very night, and once not as rough as many other woodies.
Date Ridden: Summer of 2008. Times Ridden: 2 with once in the back and once in the front.
Twister is a great example of a wonderful ride overshadowed by another more famous ride at Knoebels. And while Phoenix is worth of a 10 and solidly located in my Top 10, Twister is a great ride as well.....just stay toward the front of the train. Our first ride was in the back and it was surprisingly rough. The intensity level was high, but there were enough rough patches on the course to make the car uncomfortable in a bad way. On a good wooden coaster, one is prepared to be bashed back and forth a little. However, our first ride, while not horrible, was much less than expected. After a few laps on Phoenix, my rding partner and myself went back to Twister and waited a little extra time on the front. That made all the difference. Our front seat ride was a solid 10. The coaster offers a number of unique elements including two lift hills going in opposite directions taking the train to its highest point. The drops were smooth, the laterals fun and quick, and the airtime solid. There were no uncomfortable portions of the ride. Even with our 18 laps on the Phoenix, this was possibly one of our best rides of the day. When visiting Knoebels, do not forget to hunt down Twister. It is located in the back area of the park and is very much overshadowed by its more famous counterpart. However, it is a wonderful ride not to be missed, as long as you ride in the front part of the train.
This is a fun coaster, but pales in comparison to the Phoenix on the reridability factor. The best part is the 3 mini-drops (1 leaving the station and 2 as part of the split lift hill)_before the first large drop.
Once you leave the station, you whip around to the first chainlift. A drop and some high bank turns, then that is just the warmup. You go up a 2nd chainlift for the real drop. My first ride, I was sitting in the front. I remember someone behind me saying why did they ever get the idea to get on the ride once we neared the top of the lift. At the top, there is a slight decline, and a curved turn which leads to the drop, which as you go around you accelerate and then plummet down the drop, into the wild twisting, turning track, at 50+ MPH, but have seen some reports of it hitting 60. There are head choppers and lateral Gs. Both times at Knobels, I have been on this 2-3 times each visit. Great coaster, with lots of surprizes, all the twisting and turning, you dont know where you will be going around the next bend. When I go up again, besides trying the new Flying Turns ride, Ill be hitting Twister again several times. And with my new HD camcorder, I am recording it to make my mom sick when I play the video. (She wont go on any coasters) lol
Put this one off for a while, but Ill try my best to review it based on my two rides, six months ago. This ride really showed me how unique twisters are. When I think twister, I think GCI. After all, what young enthusiast wouldn’t with the way they’ve been popping out twisted wooden track lately? So, when I think wood twister, I think of banking and "fan curves," twisted drops, no straight track, no straight drops, maybe a few bunnies, etc. I think of smoothness and leg pain with Millennium Flyers, and bumpiness and body-pain with PTCs. This ride showed me that there are more to twisters than GCI-however it also showed me how "genius" GCI is. This is definitely a twister wooden, but this also has MUCH more of a logical, traditional layout compared to GCI MADNESS. I can not describe from memory any of the four GCI coasters Ive done to any stretch of the imagination. Even with a picture and an on ride POV, it would be hard. With Twister, your experience is less mind-boggling, but still "twisted" enough for any wood twister lover. After a turn around, there is a short lift-hill, followed by a few turns, and another lift hill about the same size. There are a few turns at about 100 feet in the air, before the train descends upon a large STRAIGHT drop. I am a big fan of straight first drops, and I really enjoyed this one compared to the banked sissyness (for lack of a better term!) of many GCI twisters. Theres a good headchopper at the bottom of the first big drop, followed by a second hill with a hint of airtime at the crest. Another turn-around, straight drop, and headchopper follows. After the second drop, the layout becomes a left-hand-turn of endlessness. Which is alright, there is certainly nothing wrong with left hand turns by nature I suppose. But this one was just so darn long. This is really how GCI twisters and THE Twister are so different. While GCI has all this banked madness and direction changes, the Twister proceeds in simply turning its riders in a counter-clockwise manner. The effect of this turn was alright for me. Nothing great, but okay. It was in between Millennium Flyer GCI and PTC GCI in terms of roughness, and had decent laterals, but not quite to Kennywoods Thunderbolt in terms of effective laterals. So, after the left-hand-turn-of-death, the Twister proceeds in turning its riders to the right for almost as long of an eternity. Again, decent effect, with some pseudo-airtime hops mixed in which really didnt do anything.
Overall, this ride is good. Not too rough, but definitely not too tame. Not an airtime monster, but some pops in the first half. Unique by the long turns and double lift hill. However, nothing really stood out to turn this coaster from good to great for me. Ah, well, Im probably too much of an airtime lover to give rides like this a chance. And in its defense, any ride will be heavily scrutinized sitting next to its ash-rising neighbor. But over all, I liked the ride, rode twice my first visit, and would ride again.
Now I know Im the minority here, but I liked Twister better than the Phoenix. Knoebels replicated the design of one of my all time favorites and did an excellent job. I found the drop lift hill cool. Also, the first drop was excellent and gave great air and the second drop did the same as well. Following that was the insane double helix that had strong laterals and good Gs as well, as it was very fast and furious. Then came two air-time filled bunny hills and then a surprise tunnel followed by yet another air-time filled bunny hill. The whole ride was pretty smooth, fast-paced, and intense.
Though not as good as the Phoenix, Twister is a good coaster. Twister looks nice and is off in its own area in a woodsy section of the park (then again almost anywhere in Knoebels is woodsy, but you know what I mean). I have only been on Twister once and waited one cycle for the second row. Twister is the biggest coaster I have been on to date and this is a coaster that I can apply "bigger isnt always better" to. Now the lift hill was certainly cool and I dont know of any other coaster with a divided lift hill like that. Also, the first drop was fun and the following turnaround hill provided the most insane and scary ejector air-time burst I have ever experienced. I was launched right into the lap bar. Following that was the picture-esque double helix and then a speedy finale complete with a surprise tunnel. However despite all of these elements, I just didnt find Twister to be as good as others have found it. The ride was for the most part smooth, but there were a few jostly spots. Twister is a fun wooden coaster, but it just pales in comparison with the Phoenix in terms of fun.
A good coaster with several interesting elements, like the curvy section between the lift hills and before the first drop. Not a ".10". because it lacks the wow factor of other big wooden coasters like El Toro or the Beast.
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