CronieCon1 Day 4 - Kennywood

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CronieCon1 Day 4
West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

After arriving back at the hotel Saturday night after Worlds of Adventure with my legs sore from walking, I told Jay, "I probably won't even be able to walk after tomorrow!" What a great jinx that turned out to be. My left knee was hurting quite nicely for some reason, and I found myself limping in the morning. By the time we got to Kennywood, it was hurting, but I felt I could handle a day with it. Apparently my knee wasn't prepared to spend the day at an amusement park, though.

We arrived at Kennywood in time for opening at 10:30, and went in with our discount tickets from Blockbuster. The rides didn't open until 11, so we gradually made our way to Lost Kennywood, admiring the park and the various rides. We got up near the front of the small line beginning to form at Exterminator's entrance, and at 11:00 AM sharp the queue was opened and inside we headed. This is a very cool ride. I didn't find the spinning mouse at Grand Prix at Myrtle Beach to be very good, and it seemed really controlled. But this, this was another story. Not only did the theming and darkness add a great deal to the ride, but when that thing starts spinning, it just gets wild. Very disorienting, and very fun.

On the way over to Phantom's Revenge we decided it would be good to hit Pitt Fall before crowds got too big. I was really looking forward to this one, as the shorter Drop Zone at Carowinds was my favorite drop ride despite going on much bigger ones, the space shots, Acrophobia, and more. However, after Pitt Fall, Drop Zone remains my favorite. For some reason it just seems to yank the car out from under you much faster than anything else I've been on, and Pitt Fall did not do that. Still a fun ride and a great view though.

Then the time came for what I was looking forward to most at Kennywood: Phantom's Revenge. It was tough finding the entrance to this, but we finally did and entered to find a fairly empty station. We immediately headed for the back seat, and got right on. Phantom was running 1 train, and did not put the other on that day, but I hear that is normal. After locking down those interesting lap bars, we were out of the station and up the lift. The speed on this ride is good, and I love the dive down the hill and the turn. While it is a little short, it packs a powerful punch, and the airtime hills near the end of the ride are pretty insane. Since the seat in front of us was empty and no one was in line for it, we hopped in it and got a re-ride. An interesting note: The operators would not dispatch the train with empty seats, so people who were wanting to wait for a specific seat were pretty much forced to ride in the empty ones.

After our two Phantom's Revenge rides, we took a spin on the classic Turtle, which was a lot of fun. We had a look at the Potato Patch, then got in line for Thunderbolt, where we bumped into a couple other coaster enthusiasts who had been at CoasterMania. The line for the front seat was no longer than the lines for any other seat, so that is what we chose. Thunderbolt is a fun ride, and my favorite of the Kennywood woodies, but I didn't find it to be anything amazing. It has an awesome location and a great history, but I like the out of control factor of wooden coasters, which is probably why Thunderbolt isn't one of my top wooden coasters or anything. The part after the lift is definitely my favorite part of the ride though, and what sets it apart from the other woodies at the park in my opinion.

At this point my knee was really in some pain, but I could take it (at least until the coasters were out of the way). Down the midway we went toward the Racer. Standing in front of the station was odd, since this was the classic image that I had seen in photos and on television for so many years. Racer is a ride that I can really appreciate and enjoy for its classic feel and the hand slapping action, but at the same time one of those rides that you can't really get excited about. A fun ride, but it's not exactly exciting.

While none of the other coasters were running two trains (well, Racer was.. duh), Jack Rabbit did have two on. This is another fun ride, and also another that falls into the not-much-to-it category. I really love the looks of this ride, and especially like the little rabbit on the side of the lift for some reason. The double down is awesome, but in a sense, it is pretty much the whole ride. Kennywood's woodies are the kind that I could tolerate long marathons on, and I enjoyed all of them, although none really stood out for me ride-wise.

At this point that left knee was really not feeling very well, but on I limped as Jay led us to King Kahuna, Kennywood's new-for-2003 ride, a Top Spin relocated from Lake Compounce and given a volcano theme. It was pretty fun, but like all Top Spins, I like everything except for where it stops and dangles you upside down. The water wasn't shooting up at riders for some reason, which I had been looking forward to since it was so hot outside.

What I was really looking forward to were Kennywood's dark rides, and the first that we came to was Noah's Ark. I was a little wary of going on since it was a walk-through attraction, and walking wasn't exactly my specialty at the moment, but I wasn't going to miss Noah's Ark. After all these years, this remains a really fun attraction. It's obviously not very high tech, but still great fun nonetheless, and I hope this remains at Kennywood for many many years to come.
I couldn't stand any more walking without a rest, so we decided to have lunch. We both got fries from the Potato Patch (I had the seasoning on mine), and I got a sandwich at the Parkside Cafe. The lunch wasn't bad price-wise, and was good. But, the fries... the fries.. where to begin. I'd heard how great Potato Patch fries were, and they did not disappoint at all. To be honest, my knee was killing me, so we sat there for quite a while, then finally headed out with me feeling a bit uneasy.

I've missed Wild Bull (bayern curve) at Carowinds, which was removed and replaced by the helix on Top Gun in 1999, so I was happy to see that Kennywood had one. We hopped on, and it was fun, but I was concentrating most of the time on not bumping my knee in the turns. I could tell that the time was nearing when I would be done with riding for the day. Over to Phantom's Revenge again, we rode in the second seat. I could barely climb in and out of the car. The airtime was more float and didn't slam you down as much up front as in the back, and I may like it better up there.

At this point I said I didn't think I could take anymore riding, so I sat around and shot video while Jay rode Wipeout and then Volcano, the enterprise that had been re-themed for 2003. Then he rode Swing Around, with me once again watching. At the Old Mill I decided I could suck up and painfully climb into the boat, because I was really wanting to ride it. Cheesy? Of course, but consider the fact that this ride was built in 1901. After an entertaining ride, I decided I was finished for the day. I chilled in Parkside Cafe for the rest of the day while Jay went off riding some of the flat rides. I also picked up a cool shirt and some other things from the gift shop.

At 5 PM we left Kennywood, and the final stop of CronieCon1 was complete. We made the drive to the Pittsburgh International Airport where we had dinner, and then after a lot of delays because of weather and an extended flight to avoid a storm, arrived in Charlotte. The trip was a ton of fun, and yes, there were disappointments, among those being the closure of Top Thrill Dragster and my knee. Despite that though, it was still a great trip with a lot of great memories, and I was impressed with all three parks.

/\ Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Howard Dean for President!

Nice series of TR's. I really had no time when I went to Kennywood and CP so I only spent four or five hours there. It was funny though when the ride op's saw our Kennywood bracelet before we boarded Dragster.

-Sean Newman

Quite a nice TR, sorry to hear about the knee dampening the day. I must say though, I must wonder where it was on Thunderbolt that you rode? Because, I also enjoy the out of control aspect of woodies more than most, and should you ever return to Kwood, you must make an effort to ride in the last row, last car... it's unreal... a whole new ride even, it's that much of a difference. The experience in that back row is what the ride my favorite woodie, and if you haven't already ridden it there (which it sounds like you haven't..), definately remember the last row if you're ever there again.


That's exactly what I wanted to do, and would have done if it weren't for my little injury. I don't doubt what you say, as I can definitely see the potential, so that will give me something to look forward to when I go back to Kennywood in the future.

/\ Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Howard Dean for President!

Great trip report. I was at Kennywood on Thursday, look out for that trip report, and a 2 day Trip Report at Cedar Point, which I will probably post tomorrow.

Kennywood Park, America's finest traditional amusement park.
Track Record: 60 coasters at 17 parks.

The "forced seating" is quite a pain...when I went to IB, they did the exact same thing. Glad you had fun on PR, the airtime is quite insane there in the back seat! Sorry about your knee, that does sound a bit of a setback. How was the Old Mill ride? I never got a chance to ride it when I went up there last year...and I am starting to regret it.....

Glad you had a good time! Great TR!

RollerCoasters aren't my whole life... they just make my life whole

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