Friday, May 19, 2017

Knoebels Wins Top Prizes from the National Amusement Park Historical Association; Phoenix Wins Best Wood Coaster

The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) released the results of its 31st annual NAPHA Amusement Park and Attractions Survey. 


Knoebels Amusement Resort, in Elysburg, PA, won the top honors as members’ Favorite Traditional Park, the Best Park for Families and the Phoenix was named as their Favorite Wooden Roller Coaster.

“While exchanging opinions about favorite amusement parks and rides is fun for enthusiasts,” noted NAPHA’s Survey Coordinator, Marlowe McClasky Futrell, “Parks also are interested in the survey findings, and many incorporate the results into their publicity materials.”

The NAPHA survey is the oldest of its type.

Some of the attractions seizing the top ratings in the 2016 NAPHA survey include:
* Favorite Traditional Amusement Park:  Knoebels Amusement Resort for five consecutive years. 
* Favorite Theme Park:  Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
* Best Park for Families:  Knoebels Amusement Resort 
* Most Beautiful Park:  Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA) for the 27th consecutive year.
* Favorite Wood Coaster:  Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort, for five years running.
* Favorite Steel Coaster:  Millennium Force, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH), since 2002.

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 120 different amusement parks and has ridden about 315 roller coasters.  


FAVORITE TRADITIONAL PARKS
For the fifth straight year NAPHA members voted Knoebels Amusement Resort as their Favorite Traditional Park and Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA) as their second favorite park.  The two parks have been neck and neck in the standings since 1996 with each holding one of the top two positions in this category.  

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


FAVORITE THEME PARKS
Dollywood knocked Disney World out of first place as NAPHA members’ Favorite Theme Park.  While Dollywood did not place in the survey in 2015, it was named as the second favorite park in 2014.  Disney World had held the top position for thirteen consecutive years.

 FAVORITE THEME PARKS
1 Dollywood (Pidgeon Forge, TN)
2 Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL)


BEST PARK FOR FAMILIES
Knoebels Amusement Resort was also named as the Best Park For Families, with Idlewild and Soak Zone (Ligonier, PA) and Walt Disney World tying for the second spot.  Since 2010, Knoebels and Idlewild have swapped the top position several times, but Disney World has not placed in the standings since 2011 when it once again tied Idlewild for the second spot.  

 BEST PARK FOR FAMILIES
1 Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
2-tie Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL)
2-tie Idlewild and Soak Zone (Ligonier, PA)


MOST BEAUTIFUL PARK
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, has been voted the World’s Most Beautiful Amusement Park for twenty-seven consecutive years.  Dollywood was again named the second most beautiful, a position it has held since 2013.


FAVORITE POST-SUMMER SEASON AMUSEMENT PARK EVENTS
NAPHA members’ favorite Halloween, Fall or Christmas amusement park-related seasonal events are Knoebels’ Hallo-Fun, which is kicked off by their Phall Phunfest, and Dollywood’s Smokey Mountain Christmas.

FAVORITE WOOD ROLLER COASTER
For the sixth consecutive year, the Phoenix was voted by NAPHA members as Favorite Wood Roller Coaster.  Boulderdash (Lake Compunce, Bristol, CT) tied Ravine Flyer II (Waldameer & Water World, Erie, PA) as their second favorite wood roller coaster.  Ravine Flyer II tied for third last year.

 FAVORITE WOOD COASTER
1 Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
2-tie Boulderdash, Lake Compounce (Bristol, CT)
2-tie Ravine Flyer II, Waldameer & Water World (Erie, PA)


FAVORITE STEEL ROLLER COASTER
Millennium Force, once again was named as members’ Favorite Steel Roller Coaster.  It 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.

 FAVORITE STEEL COASTER
1 Millennium Force, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
2 Phantom’s Revenge, Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)

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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.  

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