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Thrilling Rides and Waterparks – Pennsylvania has Something for You
The Keystone State is home to some of the best amusement parks and thrill rides in the country. From Skyrush at Hersheypark to Phoenix at Knoebel's and Kennywood's Thunderbolt, you will find plenty of traditional wooden roller coasters and gravity-defying steel coasters that will thrill even the most discerning roller coaster enthusiast.
True roller coaster fans will most definitely want visit Knoebel's Amusement Resort in Elysburg. Phoenix is probably one of the most notable wooden coasters in the country and is well worth the stop. When originally constructed in 1947, it was known as the largest roller coaster in the world. Although by today’s standards, it is seemingly small, the track twists and turns and a sensation known as "airtime” that keeps coaster enthusiasts coming back for more. Another popular coaster in the park is Twister. It is more intense that Phoenix and is also a perpetual favorite with visitors.
Take a visit to Hersheypark and you will find many so thrilling rides you won’t know where to begin. There's the Storm Runner, that kicks off riders with a 0-75 mph start in two seconds flat. Then launches into exciting "flying snake dives" and "cobra loops.” After that experience, hop on the Skyrush with 5 and 2 G’s of force with seats hanging off the edge of the track. Finish off the day on Fahrenheit, a straight upward lifted loop coaster that was once known as the steepest drop in the world at 97 degrees.
If you're looking thrills with views of Lake Erie head to Waldameer Park and ride the Ravine Flyer II. It was named after its predecessor, Ravine Flyer, which was torn down in the 1930s. Ravine Flyer II features the tallest drop on a wooden coaster in all of Pennsylvania with air time hills, 90-degree banked turns, and steep ascending curves.
Kennywood is one of the most popular theme parks in Pennsylvania and offers a lot of bang for your buck. Once known as the Steel Phantom, Phantom's Revenge is an exciting roller coaster ride, that although only lasts two minutes, is a pure adrenaline rush. Riders will experience massive hills, vertical drops and loops, and corkscrews, keeping interesting the entire ride. Another fun ride at Kennywood is the Jack Rabbit. This classic wooden coaster was built in 1921and continues to provide thrills to its riders.
If you are traveling with kids in tow, add Idlewild in Ligonier to your list of places to visit. Idlewood is the oldest amusement park in the Keystone State and is the perfect place to take imminent roller coaster fanatics. Rollo Coaster and Whip are historic wooden coasters built in the early 20th century that are an easy way to get kids started with the excitement and rush of rollercoaster rides. Plus, you will find a variety of other types of rides and attractions throughout the park to enjoy, from tilt-a-whirls and bumper cars to a Ferris wheel. Idlewood is a must-see attraction during your trip to Pennsylvania.
Make a stop at Altoona’s Lakemont Park and you will be able to take a ride on the last remaining side friction roller coaster in the US. This old school coaster does not rely on a second set of wheels to anchor it to the track, it depends on the friction of the speed the coaster. It is considered a National Historic Landmark and is a must-see attraction for roller coaster enthusiasts.