Knoebels to debut Bayern Kurve ride in 2023

Mar. 2—ELYSBURG — Knoebels Amusement Park will have a new ride in 2023.

Park officials said Knoebels recently acquired two Bayern Kurve rides — one from the Fun Spot Park in Angola, Ind., that debuted at Expo 67 in Montreal and another that traveled around Europe and the United States in a carnival circuit. The goal is to refurbish the ride over the next year. The rides are believed to be two of six in the world.

"We are a traditional amusement park," said Brian Knoebel. "Our niche is taking a ride from the past, using our very talented staff and making it operational. A whole new generation will be able to enjoy it."

The roller coaster-like attraction has three asynchronous electric motors that provide 663 pounds per foot of torque to accelerate the seven-ton train to nearly 70 mph in seconds around a circular track with banked curves. The 32-passenger train with 16 vehicles can hold two riders in each car.

It was manufactured in 1963 for the German carnival circuit by Anton Schwarzkopf, of the same company that designed the defunct Jet Star Roller Coaster, formerly at Knoebels. They rested for decades in Rodessa, La., before being transported 1,315 miles on four tractor trailers to Knoebels.

Over the next year, the park's team will refurbish the ride using parts from both pieces.

"This is the case for a lot of our classic rides," said Knoebel. "The parts, and even the companies, no longer exist."

The ride will be alpine themed. There are discussions of placing a roof over the top of the ride in order to allow it to operate in inclement weather, he said.

Rick Knoebel, who led the push for the ride, said Bayern Kurve is "neat and unique."

"There's only one other place in the United States, but it was once a common ride," he said.

Brady Petrovich, the project lead, said California's Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., has two of the rides, there's at least one traveling in Europe and there's another in Germany but the status of that one is unknown. Knoebels has the other two.

Stacy Yutko, the park's public relations manager, said fans of Knoebels are already talking about it.

"We created some buzz already," she said. "We purchased it and it was visibly located in our parking lot. We first had to make sure it was something we bring back to life."

The goal is to debut the ride in the park's 2023 season. It will be located at the former site of the 1001 Nachts near the Pioneer Train.