Annual Kennywood Trip: Labor Sunday

Associated parks:

Monday, September 2, 2002 7:30 PM

This is the fourth trip in a row to West Mifflin, PA on Labor Day Sunday. I don't know why I choose it? Maybe because school and football has started, time is short and want to get out of Ohio for a while. Maybe it's the lure of the Potato Patch, the beautiful landscaping, the Monogahela River, or a little coaster called Exterminator....I don't know, but it's worth the weekend every year.

We left Saturday afternoon after the Michigan-Washington game, where a lucky break and a "three's a charm" type field goal sends us home WHOOOOPING it up for the Maize & Blue. Michigan 31, Washington 30. We head to Pennsylvania with a huge buzz (for more reasons than one!)

Arriving at the park at 10:45am, we heard the opening tune played on the loud speakers while walking to Exterminator. An operator informs us it will be 20 more minutes before opening the mouse, where we hop on Phantom with a 15 minute wait, PERFECT! Great ride in the 2nd seat where I took some incredible photos of all sides of the park, including the 2nd hill into the ravine. We rushed over to the estranged mouse, where, and get this.........a walk on! Never in 4 years have I had this opportunity. We rode it three times before we felt completely dizzy and needed a break, where we dropped on Pitfall and had another lap on Phantom.

We walked the park and noticed the River Rapids ride was closed for the season (anyone know why?). It was wierd not seeing any water in the trough. We hit the Auto Race and saw Laughing Sal, then Log Jammer, Racer and Jackrabbit in one swing.

After some corndogs and fries (which almost match CP's) we finally reached Thunderbolt. The first ride was pretty tame, but the rest (4 in all) were on Viagra.

It was the first time I have ridden so many flat rides at a park. I have serious motion sickness, but tried as many as I could stand. Bayern Kurve (my favorite) was rolling hard! Here's the Question of the Day: How fast does Bayern Kurve roll around the track? In such a tight turn I realize that 25mph would be about right, but I could be off. We also hit The Kangaroo, The Whip, Wave Swinger, the Old Mill and Noah's Ark. The only "classics" we didn't ride was Turnpike or Paratrooper. The others would have flung chunks!

The coasters at Kennywood offer so much....for really, so little. Exterminator is a mold that should not be duplicated anyplace!!! Phantom is the most unique layout of any hyper that I have ridden, the second hill is breathtaking. Thunderbolt's laterals and ravine style make it a classic. Racer: The only continuous track of its type in the United States. And Jackrabbit's double dip is reason enough for a re-ride. Heck, I even rode Phantom and Exterminator once for Coasterpunk! That's how many laps we earned...

In my middle 30's now, I cannot see a summer without a trip to Pittsburgh. Being a Browns fan that I am, I'm not a lover of the Steel City, but the rivers, architechture and this treasure of an amusement park have a found a place in my heart.

Overall, I'm completely blessed. I visited 14 different parks and rode 85 different coasters this summer. That's why I love being a teacher..........JUNE, JULY, AUGUST!

There's nothing like a woodie...

Monday, September 2, 2002 7:41 PM
Gret TR again Woody! That explains why I felt my guts drop and me putting my hands up for no reason mid-afternoon! Did you happen to try the baked corn where the old Phantom enterance was? I can see this becoming as popular as the Potato Patch itself!

Visits to Knoebels in 2002: 10

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 4:20 AM
Yep, showered it with Garlic Pepper and parmagean (sp?) cheese! I love how they roast it in it's own husk, I started doing that myself on the grill, it works perfectly.

There's nothing like a woodie...

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 6:47 AM

I love that corn, as well, and try to make it a point to grab an ear every time I'm at Kennywood (joining Small Fry fries and funnel cake as "must do's".)

Yes, that's a lot of carb, and fat (if you get the butter on the corn, which you should! ;) )

"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
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Tuesday, September 3, 2002 9:09 AM
kpjb's avatar

Glad you enjoyed your trip... the Rapids wasn't down for the season, though, it just opened late and closed early due to a lack of staffing. The water in the trough gets pumped in, so it only takes about 30 seconds to fill up when we're ready to open it.

Oh, and this year I'm sort-of partial to the Philly Beef & Cheese with onions peppers and provolone at the Midway stand, but maybe it's just me.

"When I was growing up, we were taught something called manners. You'd understand that if you weren't such an idiot." - Jack Handey

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 9:16 AM
I can't wait til my KennyWood Trip on Oct 18 for Phantom Phright Nights! Phantom and Exterminator sound awesome.


Tuesday, September 3, 2002 11:40 AM
No other parks' fries match KW's, but then again, what do I know? ;

I have never heard someone call the current iteration of the Turnpike a "classic." I have to tell the rest of the crew about that this weekend.

2002 Kennywood Team Member

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 5:23 PM

Great to hear from you, Greg. And beeman, any ride at Kennywood that has the atmosphere of the Turnpike for a 'car ride' certainly gains classic listing in my book. I have never been on a car ride that runs parallel to a street named after the park itself, while twisting through trees and does the job!

That may have been my best trip in 4 years.

There's nothing like a woodie...


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