Knoebels Amusement Resort recently opened its Black Diamond roller coaster. The ride combines the likes of a roller coaster and dark ride. Black Diamond just opened on October 8th, just in time for the Halloween events, which fits in well with the theme of the ride.
Black Diamond was originally located at Morey's Pier where it was named the Golden Nugget. The ride was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) which is highly unusual, since PTC specialized in wooden coasters at the time it opened during the summer of 1960.
Golden Nugget was in the “Standing But Not Operating” status twice, once from 1993 to 1995 and again from 1999 to 2009. In 2010, Morey’s Pier decided to demolish the ride, but Knoebels decided to purchase the trains and track. The same thing could be said back in 1985 when Knoebels bought the famed Rocket from Playland Park in San Antonio, Texas, which was in the “Standing But Not Operating” status as well. Knoebels bought the ride, renamed it to the Phoenix, and restored the ride to its original state. Now Knoebels has duplicated history by buying Golden Nugget, changing the name to Black Diamond, and restoring it to the park’s version of the ride.
Dark rides have always been a specialty of Knoebels. The Haunted Mansion, located at the right side of the park, has been the voted the best dark ride in the United States by the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts club.
Black Diamond has been advertised by the parks as a mixture of a roller coaster and dark ride, which spans over three layers of a mine-themed experience. The theming in the Black Diamond is different from Golden Nugget. Black Diamond is located at the very back of the park next to the Phoenix, Flume, and the mining museum. Part of the Bald Eagle habitat was used for the ride. The exhibit was moved slightly to the right to allow for the ride to be built.