CoasterRainia weekend Day 3 -- Kennywood, 6/3

Associated parks:

Monday, June 4, 2001 4:50 PM
Readers may notice that I tend to end coaster trips with a stop at my home park. This weekend was to be no exception.

2Hostyl had never been to Kennywood, and decided to join me for a tour. I was all too happy to play host to show off the park that started my enthusiasm to begin with.

We'd planned on meeting at the front gate by the Guest Services booth at 10:30am. When I got there, I saw the longest entry line I can remember at Kennywood. Fortunately, I spotted Jeremy a little behind me in the line, so I walked back to join him. Once the gates opened, we were in QUICKLY. Most of the gates were for picnic attendees, but the 2 gates off to the right that were for non-picnic attendees were basically EMPTY.

We quickly made our way over to Phantom's Revenge, where we were not only on the first train out, but in the back seat to boot. I think Jeremy was sufficiently impressed, as when we got off we immediately went back around for a front-seat ride before the line had built up. 2 rides on PR in under an hour, not bad.

The 2nd train is on the transfer track (and apparently has been since Friday), but was not in use. I wish I'd had my camera with me, but it hasn't turned up yet.

The ride ops on Phantom are starting to recognize me -- one of them said "You're back AGAIN?", and waved to me several times throughout the day.

After the 2 Phantom laps, Jeremy decided he wanted to check out Exterminator. Always fun. At this point I introduced Jeremy to one of the unwritten rules of Kennywood -- when exiting Exterminator, if there is no line for the Whip, one MUST ride it.

By now it was time for lunch. I left the choice up to Jeremy, who of course decided he had to give the infamous Potato Patch fries a chance. I suggested we to go the Small Fry instead, as we were closer and the line would be shorter. This also had the advantage of allowing me to get some chicken strips along with my fries. I knew the Small Fry offered the same fries and the same toppings, but I discovered that Small Fry in fact offers a topping that is not available at the Potato Patch -- Buffalo sauce. Yum!

After lunch, it was time for a tour of Kennywood's classics. Jeremy opted to check out, in no particular order, Noah's Ark, Old Mill, Gold Rusher, Bayern Curve, Kangaroo, and of course Jackrabbit and Racer. After that tour, it was time for one more lap on Phantom, and then Jeremy had to hit the road to catch his flight out of Cleveland, but not before stopping for shirts and another order of fries & chicken to take with him on the road.

Once Jeremy left, I decided it was time to see if I could claim my first prize from the PhantomPhanatics contest. I'd gotten an email saying I was qualified for a cap (12 scans) and could pick it up at the park. Nobody in the park knew anything, but people at Guest Relations took my name and number and said the person running the program would get back to me. They were under the impression the prizes would be sent, but the signup form on doesn't prompt for your address. According to the info I got today, certificates will be emailed that you'll be able to take to the park for your prize, but the prizes aren't IN yet.

I swung home for a quick dinner (Kennywood's food is great and reasonable for park food, but eating out all the time gets to be a bit much ;) ), then ran back to the park for a few night rides, including another lap on Phantom (which REALLY phlies at night) and Racer, multiple laps on Jackrabbit, and quick rides on the Pirate and Flying Carpet.

The lines for the day were a bit longer than I'm used to for Kennywood -- there were several large picnics, including the carpenter's union. With the exception of Phantom, though, we never waited more than 20 minutes or so. Phantom's sign got up to 1:30, but the actual wait at that time was 45 minutes for a middle seat.

The daily tallies:

Bayern Curve: 1
Exterminator: 1
Flying Carpet: 1
Gold Rusher: 1
Jackrabbit: 4
Kangaroo: 1
Noah's Ark: 1
Old Mill: 1
Phantom's Revenge: 4
Pirate: 2
Racer: 2
Whip: 1

--Greg *** This post was edited by GregLeg on 6/5/2001. ***
Tuesday, June 5, 2001 6:24 AM
Umm Greg, in that final count tally, I think you meant Jackrabbit: 1, Phantom's Revenge: 4 hehehe.

Anyway, I was going to post my own topic, but why when I can just add on here. As Greg said, it was my first trip to KW. KW has to be the hardest park in the world to find. It's not 'really' near a main throughfare and you have to go through a mostly residential area to get there. I was following mapquest directions, and as I was getting closer to the park, there was a turn about every 15 yards. It's hard to read directions, read street signs, and keep up the flow of traffic all at the same time so I decided to just keep my eyes peeled for the KW "Arrows". The KW "Arrows" that are littered throughout the neighborhood are rather small and not the easiest things to figure out where they are pointing. However, I managed to get to the park without incident (sans a construction detour near downtown Pitt).

I'll spare you the details of the day (see above) and just give you my general impressions.

Kennywood is supposed to be this great "Traditional" park. Well I cant say I really saw all that. Sure, things were cheaper than any other "big" park I've been to, but that's about it. The workers weren't excessively friendly (though they went rude by any strech of the imagination). The potato patch fries, while decent, weren't anything to tell my Grandma about. And it still had that big park *feel* to it (which I personally like). So I'm still not sold on the whole anti-corporate kick many enthusiasts are on.

What does stand out about KW is the eclectic mix of rides. From the super thrilling (PR & PittFall) to the Thriller-in-training (Kangaroo, Jackrabbit to the often overlooked dark attractions (Noah's ark, goldrusher), there is truely something for everyone. The entire time I was there, all I could think of is bringing my self-proclaimed God-Daughters (4 & 6) to the park. They would have loved the place.

Anyway, as a "graduated" coaster nut, the only coaster that left a major impression on me was PR (Exterminator, while quait and longer than I expected was only so-so, another ride i wished I had Leah and Lianna in tow...). About Phantom though, there were two things that impressed me. When we rode in the front seat, the dives in the ravine felt faster than the first drop of Millie. I'm not lying! I think it is because you get sort of a "wind Tunnel" effect, but whatever, I felt more wind. The other happend on our first ride in the backseat.

I didnt know *much* of the PR layout. I knew it had the first two drops of SP; a flyby of the tumble bug; and a series of bunny hills. What I DIDN'T know is that one of those bunny hills was a double down. You can see this hill from the station, but since we walked right on to the backseat of the first train, I had no time to look at all that. Anyway, this hill gives an ejector-SLAM-ejector sequence that is only rivaled by The Legend's double up. That hill alone makes this ride worth a wait.

Well that's pretty much all I have to say. I'd like to go back to KW just to try ThunderBolt, but who knows when that will happen.
--Phantom-Phile thrice over!
Tuesday, June 5, 2001 6:59 AM
Whoops, nice catch. The "PR: 1" was a typo (should've been 4), but the "Jackrabbit: 4" was not. ;) Heh.


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