All day the Pitt Fall and Wipeout were closed. Which was not a big deal at all to us. Phantoms Revenge had stopped on the lift hill a few times causing it to close twice. However, my main concerns were at the end of the night near closing. We were in line for Swing Shot, it was cloudy but a very nice night. Out of nowhere they announced that the ride would be closing due to weather. We seen no lightning nor felt any rain and were wondering why this was. So, we got out of line and walked toward the Phantom and seen it was closed due to weather also.
We decided to ride the Pirate Ship since it was still open. Just then they re-opened the Phantom. We seen flashes in the sky and rumble from fireworks. We were wondering if they could honestly thought that it was an incoming storm?
While we were in the station waiting our turn a train got dispatched from the booth while the attendants had their thumbs down. After yelling from the attendants the train was stopped before totally leaving. We were about 4 rides back so we couldn't tell what was happening but the one attendant freaked out and took off almost hyperventilating about the incident. (I seen her sitting at the front of the ride entrance later.) The train was dispatched 2 more times like this while the attendants weren't ready. We were kind of worried to get on the ride if this was happening. It almost seemed as if someone was sleeping at the controls.
Then after the Phantom incidents we had to leave due to needing to get home. We went to get our cooler from a pavilion behind the Turnpike cars. As we were carrying out the cooler we noticed there were people on the Turnpike but it was stopped. As we got closer we heard some screaming and then seen the ride ops running. They ran to the part of the turnpike where we couldn't see what was happening (by the tunnel to leave). As we got closer there was one car moving while the others were still stopped causing it to slam into the car in front of it. The first car had no children in it but the second car had a father and son in it. Everyone seemed to be alright. We left there after and were glad we did after the last few incidents.
I know some things like this do happen but, it had made us wonder about some of the rides, staff, and supervisors. Kennywood is my home park and i love it. This year though, bad weather calls, dispatching rides when not ready, then an accident on another made us wonder what is going on with Kennywood? I hope this was just a one time deal and not something that continues.
I don't doubt that the train may have been sent early, given the reaction of the attendants, but you might've misinterpreted other occasions where this seemed to happen. There's a button on the back of the platform that needs to be pressed by a bar checker before the person in the booth can send the train, so several people would've had to have been way off their game on Saturday for so many mishaps to happen.
Also, in regards to the Phantom thing....well, I don't know. Maybe the attendants noticed contraband on the trains after dispatching and then stopped the ride. Hrrmmm....Sounds like lots of people WERE off their A-game that day. Still, that many mistakes in one day? I would be quite nervous too! Maybe a dispatch button was sticking or something.
I won't turn this into a full-fledged TR, but Ghostwood Estates is simply fantastic. If they had to tear down Gold Rusher to upgrade, they made a hell of a choice. The effects are practically Disney quality, and definitely a step up from the previous generation of Sally shoot 'em ups, IMO. I can't wait to ride it again to see everything I missed. And the trackless technology is just eerie. Perfect for a haunted house dark ride.
Fortunately the line started breaking up shortly thereafter and seemed to barely clip the park, which would explain the rides re-opening.
Sorry... the weather nerd in me came out and had to investigate ;)
First, on Racer, someone chickened out and got off the ride after the bars had been checked. The attendants never re-checked the bars after releasing them, just cleared the train for dispatch.
Then on Raging Rapids, one attendant was busy talking to another attendant and did not assist our raft into aligning the steps with the moving deck. We had to climb over the seats to get out...really.
Other than those two things, we had a great day at the park. Lotsa love for Kennywood.
The Phantom thing I don't get because as someone else said, it's a multiple dispatch system. Two people need to push the buttons to release the train, so something else was going on. Maybe someone had something with them or undid their seat belt, in which case they'd stop the train before it dispatched fully.
As far as the weather goes, the park definitely did not think fireworks were lightning. The park has a radar station the same as the tv stations do for reporting the weather. You may not have seen it, but if there was a lightning strike within a given radius, then certain rides will shut down.
When the power is cut at the Turnpike, one or two cars drift down the last hill. Usually the ride attendants will try to push the first car as it enters the station, but if they're coming in too close, they need to get out of the way. If the people in the cars didn't care too much, it couldn't have been that hard of a bump.
These things do happen i understand. It won't keep me from returning. However, what if one of these small mistakes turn into something not so small? That's what i worry about especially since i have children that i take to the park.
The weather thing is just like Jeff said, radar is used to monitor extreme weather and taller rides are shut if electric activity shows up within a certain radius of the park. This could have been handled better by explaining that "radar has shown lightning strikes in the area and we need to close temporarily until it passes". If the weather isn't visible to guests they employees will usually get a ton of questions, so not sure why they wouldn't want to be proactive about that.
The panel operator freaking out shows how the behaviur of an empoyee can make a ride seem unself. As was stated before, there's a check system with the dispatch verification button so that panel can't send a train alone in regular operation. So not sure what she was so upset about, if a seat belt had been unbuckled the train could have been stopped on the lift. Regardless of the reason, her behaviour made you feel unsafe which would be dropping the ball on the service end of things again.
The ride ops were doing their jobs and watching the train so the check system was working as it should. But the attendant that was hyperventilating and looked freaked out sends a negative impression to the guests. If you were about to get on a plane and saw that one flight attendants was really upset and freaked out it could make you uncomfortable. Coaster operations and flying are totally different but just an example of how an emotional, unprofessional employee could make a situation feel unsafe.
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