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Amusement Park for under 2 years old: Knoebels or Dutch Wonderland?

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Amusement Park for under 2 years old: Knoebels or Dutch Wonderland?

Old May 26th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Amusement Park for under 2 years old: Knoebels or Dutch Wonderland?

I have a 19 month old - which amusement park would be better. I've heard so many great things about Knoebels in Elysburg, PA. Dutch Wonderland is somehow affiliated with Hershey Park and seems geared for younger kids. I heard that Knoebels is for the most part, shaded and family run. Its a toss up for me. Anyone with experience with both? I know that there is no admission or parking fee for Knoebels but that is that much of a consideration for me. They are both about the same distance from my house. So it comes down to which park would my 19 month old have more fun in (e.g., most kiddie rides, shorter lines, casual atmosphere, etc.).
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Old May 26th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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sorry - it should read:

"that is NOT that much of a consideration for me."
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Old May 26th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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What I know:

Knoebels:

- pretty good food;
- most bathrooms need updating.
- a scenic and restful ride deep into the woods;
- two trains;
- some areas not paved (i.e., gravel) - may be harder to push small strollers through.

Dutch Wonderland:

Regular Admission (ages 7-59) $26.95
Child Admission (ages 3-6) $21.95
Senior Admission (ages 60+) $19.95
Children (ages 2 and under) FREE


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Old May 26th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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I grew up going to Knoebel's and I loved it! Even though we went to Hershey Park and Busch Gardens and the like, I always loved the "old-fashionedness" of Knoebel's.

That said, I don't know if I went there when I was 19 months old. Seems pretty young. Have you considered Sesame Place? That seems to be geared to the really little ones.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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Heard some pretty bad reviews on Sesame Place on tripadvisor.com.

Things like too many kids, kids running amok; knocking down other kids, inattentive/uncaring staff; people cutting ahead of lines; dirty pools due to people wearing shoes, etc.

19 months is pretty young but he can walk and he would love to go on some of those rides. Just wondering if there are people who went to both and would recommend one based on which is more geared towards younger kids like mine. Thanks.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Anyone else? Thanks.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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This is so funny to me that someone else knows about Knoebels! I have not been to Dutch Wonderland, but Knoebels is family owned and I think would be a good place for you to go with an almost 2 year old. Mainly, because there isn't an admission fee. The kiddy rides I feel are almost like a carnival atmosphere. You'll be able to pick and choose which rides to do. Post again if you have any other question.
 
Old May 29th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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Knoebel's Grove gets my vote.

First of all, it's free admission and free parking, so if your child is fussy you can leave at any time and not feel you've thrown your money away. Also, it is family run, third generation, and they take the best care of the park. I have ALWAYS felt safe riding any of the rides. They take pride in keeping the park clean...and the flowers that they plant throughout the park are just beautiful.

It's set in the woods, with a creek running through it. There are two trains, one runs through the park, the other runs 1 1/2 miles into the woods, past corn feeders set up for the squirrels (and occaisional dear - they saw a bear cub recently).

The carousel ride is wonderful - one of you can hold the baby in one of the carriages while the other rides an outside horse and tries to catch a brass ring, - one of only two parks in the world that still lets you catch a brass ring - and if you catch it you get a free ride.

There is a whole section of the park that is devoted to kids rides - mostly the child sits in a seat and the ride goes in circles. They have a diaper changing/nursing/time-out cottage set in the park complete with rocking chair. There is also a Country Bear Jamboree and Children's Theatre that your child might enjoy.

Although Knoebel's has won awards for their food - primarily the pizza - if you wish, you can just pack a picnic lunch and eat under one of their many pavilions. What could be more economical, especially now with the gas prices so high. Or, if you would like to eat a decent sit-down dinner, check out the Alamo. We like to sit by the window, in the air conditioning, and watch the people pass by.

If its a really hot day and you're so inclined, take a dip in the pool. Beware though, it is mountain spring fed.

Catch one of the free shows at the bandshell. - Play a round of miniature golf. - Check out the antique steam-powered equipment.

And for the adults, Knoebel's offers two wooden roller coasters. The Twister, which is ranked 22nd (?) in the world and THE PHOENIX which is ranked #2! You can get some great air time when you ride the Phoenix. The Haunted House is ranked #1 in the world by DarkRide enthusiasts.

You can get a handstamp for the day which gives you admission to most rides, except Haunted House. But what we like to do is buy ticket books, and pay for the rides as we go. And if you don't use up all your tickets, bring them along with you next time you come to the park. They will still be good.

My husband has always said I was a cheap date. I enjoy going to Knoebel's just to ride the train, the carousel and the Twister, eat french fries with vinegar, and people watch. Hope to see you there...Peace.

Robyn
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Old Jun 7th, 2004, 01:41 PM
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I have been to both (knoebles 4 days ago) Knobles is cheep (low food prices, friendly staff) The pool is GREAT and you only have to pay for what you ride. Alot of shade, and a cute park. The rides are older and there may not be as many costumed charcters as hershey or dutch, but its a fun day. I would choose knobles this year and next, and when your child gets to be around 4 or 5 take him to Dutch because there are more rides and things he would find interesting
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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With a child that young... I would go with Dutch Wonderland. It can really only be enjoyed by kids under the age of 5 (in my opinion). Most of the "rides" there are designed for parents AND their kids together... I've never been to Knoebel's- I always thought it was more of an amusement park, but I could be very wrong.
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