Twister (Knoebels)

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Knoebels Amusement Park
Location Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Status Operating since July 7, 1999
Cost $3,000,000 USD
Height restriction 42 inches (107 cm)
Designer / calculations John Fetterman
Type Wooden
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 101.6 feet
Drop 89.6 feet
Top speed 51.5 mph
Length 3900 feet
Inversions 0
Duration 2:10
Rolling stock
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Company
Riders per train 24

Twister is a wooden roller coaster located at Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA. It is a recreation of the famous 1964 Mr. Twister design by John C. Allen.


In 1998, Knoebels Amusement Park began a new wooden roller coaster project. Seeking to preserve another classic ride, the park looked into acquiring the abandoned Mr. Twister, which had been left when the park it was in, Elitch Gardens, was relocated in Denver, Colorado, USA. Space constraints however made physically relocating the ride impossible. Knoebels purchased blueprints of the ride and set out to rebuild the roller coaster from scratch, modifying the design to fit the space available.

For the new Twister, ride designer John Fetterman created a modified mirror image of the original Mr. Twister layout, compacting the ride but preserving the highlights of the old design and Allen's original mathematical model. These highlights included the large double helix, which now wraps around the ride's curved station, and a large swoop curve at the top of the lift hill. To keep the swoop curve in the new design, Fetterman created a unique split lift hill. The train climbs halfway up the structure on one lift hill, makes a 180-degree turn and finishes the climb on the second lift. Its dual lift hills both use the same chain. While several roller coasters use more than one lift hill in their layout, Twister's zig-zag lift is unique. Skid brakes were one of the first advancements in roller coaster braking and are typically not utilized in modern creations with the exception of Twister at Knoebels and the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, USA.

The new Twister opened on July 24, 1999. The first rides were auctioned off, to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, making over $8,000. The ride is taller and more intense than the Phoenix roller coaster, and enjoys high ratings among polls and enthusiasts.




The track is always weaving through, under, and around itself. It has two chain lift hills. After the first partial ascent, it zig-zags around to the next one. There are two drops, the second one actually being the tallest. Then you are fringed into two helices that circle the station. An airtime hill follows and subsequently another helix. Finally, a tunnel follows before reaching the final brakes and the station.

A good way to experience the coaster visually is to ride the nearby Pioneer Train ride which passes under sections of the Twister coaster twice, looping around for the return trip. Another way is to ride the Scenic Skyway chair lift in the opposite corner of the park to take in the full coaster view from a higher vantage point.


2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 24 riders per train. The trains were built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc..


External links

  • Twister on the Roller Coaster DataBase.

Articles on Knoebels Amusement Park