ELYSBURG, Pa. — Knoebels Amsusement Resort recently welcomed the first riders aboard the park’s newest thrill ride, StratosFear. The new drop tower ride debuted on April 27, opening day of Knoebels’ 2013 season.
Standing 148 feet above the midway, StratosFear is the tallest ride at Knoebels as well as one of the tallest drop towers in the state of Pennsylvania. The ride accommodates 12 guests in a circular gondola. After being secured by individual over-the-shoulder restraints, the gondola begins a slow, nerve-wracking ascent. On the way up, guests are treated to impressive views of the surrounding countryside as well Knoebels’ Twister and Flying Turns roller coasters, which are situated adjacent to the new attraction. Pausing briefly 14 stories above the ground, the gondola is suddenly released. It attains a top speed of 47 mph before being smoothly braked to a stop at its base.
StratosFear is known in industry terms as a Super Shot. The ride was manufactured by Ohio-based A.R.M. and Larson International. Knoebels requested a number of custom features for its newest ride including relocating crucial sections of the motor and hoisting machinery well above the ground so as to protect them from periodic flooding the park sometime experiences.