Knoebels Amusement Resort, in Elysburg Pennsylvania, begins its 2012 season on April 28th. Soon the crowds will begin rolling in, eager for some fun at America’s largest free parking, free admission amusement park. My husband and I will be no exception. We both grew up at Knoebels, and continue to live in the area, spending a lot of time there. We’ve brainstormed the below tips to help you save money while visiting Knoebels.
- Weis Market is offering discount coupons for Knoebels ride tickets- pay $16 for a coupon redeemable for a $20 book of ride tickets. The coupons must be redeemed during the 2012 season, but once you have the tickets, they never expire.
- Don’t spend the money on pay-one-price passes unless you are sure you and your kids are going to ride everything, more than once. Otherwise, books of tickets will probably be cheaper for those in your party planning to ride only a few things. If you have toddler age children, the ride attendants will usually not charge the adult to ride with the child, but have tickets available for yourself just in case. (This is not a park policy, it is up to the discretion of the ride operator!)
- If you or your kids want to ride everything multiple times, attend on a weekday. The park is usually less crowded and pay-one-price plans are available most weekdays. Attending on a weekend in the summer means spending more money on ride tickets, because pay-one-price plans aren’t available.
- If you are looking for a fun evening, consider the Sunset pay-one-price rates, which start at 5pm. Bargain Nights, offered select Wednesday and Friday nights, are super cheap ($10 hand stamps from 6-10pm) but can also be really crowded.
- If the forecast is calling for a chance of rain the day you are visiting, stop at a dollar store on the way and pick up some cheap ponchos rather than buying the expensive ones at the park. An even cheaper option is to bring clear garbage bags from home and a pair of scissors. If it starts to rain, cut a hole for your head and arms in the garbage bag and, presto, instant poncho.
- Bring a picnic lunch or dinner with you. Although Knoebels has consistently been voted best amusement park food, it can get pricey to feed your family there. Pack a cooler and eat at one of the many picnic tables near the parking lot or under one of the pavilions. All outside food is welcome. The only prohibited item is alcohol.
- Bring water bottles from home and refill them throughout your visit from one of the water fountains. It’s free and will keep your family better hydrated than soda.
- If you have small children, and room in your vehicle, consider bringing your own stroller or wagon, rather than paying to rent one from Knoebels. You also won’t have to worry about the rentals being gone by the time you get there on a busy day.
- Get your money’s worth at Playland by playing the games that spit out 5 point tickets, rather than 1 point tickets. The Egyptian and Wheel-of-Fortune themed coin push games (object is to use your token to knock other tokens off the edge) are easy to play and yield these higher denomination tickets. Also, Playland tickets don’t expire, so you can horde them over many visits to redeem higher value prizes.
- Instead of buying expensive souvenirs, get one or two pressed pennies from the machines outside the gift shops. You can easily turn these pennies into a necklace or keyring at home. Take your own Flume Photo by sending a non-rider in your party to the public deck in front of the flume with a camera. As your boat comes around the track closest to the deck, smile for your photo. Print the photo at home, cut it to the size you want, “laminate” it between two pieces of clear packing tape and attach it to a key ring.
I hope these tips help you save some money and allow you to have a great time while visiting Knoebels. For more information on ticketing, prices and hours of operation please visit Knoebels’ website.