Friday the 13th -- Phantom Fright Night (KW)

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, September 14, 2002 4:20 PM

I never thought I'd say this, but...I hope the crowds pick up!

This year marks the first year Kennywood is open to the public into the fall (barring the occasional special event). Appropriately enough, they held their first Phantom Fright Night on Friday the 13th. Far be it from me to pass on an occasion such as this.

Josh (Raven-Phile) and I arrived at the park around 6:15, do discover that the normally pay-lot was open for free. We quickly found a good close spot, and headed in. LoriU was to meet us at the park, and a quick cellphone conversation confirmed they were on the way, but were delayed in traffic. We'd meet them at the Old Mill in a half an hour.

Using our Blockbuster tickets ($14.50!) we entered the park, and made a bee-line for the Phantom's Revenge. We proceeded to walk on, park ourselves in a middle seat, and have an INCREDIBLE ride. The Phantom was already hauling, and the night was just getting started. Kennywood even added a little something extra to the ride, which I won't spoil here.

We returned to a near-empty station. For some reason they were holding the train until it was full, so Josh and I decided to see if we could just stay on for a reride. We got away with it once, but after that they made us get off and walk around. People were (slowly) finding their way over to the Phantom, and there really WERE enough people to fill a train each time, so we didn't have too many complaints about that. Besides, it was about time to head over to Old Mill to meet Lori, Steve, and Joe.

Except on our way out, who should we spot but Kristen (Kicks the Sky) and Rob (Robodud) just getting ON the Phantom. So, I went over to Old Mill, while Josh waited for Kristen and Rob. Our roaming group would grow and shrink several times during the night, peaking at 10.

Once we were all over by the Old Mill, we naturally decided to take a spin, since it was running. There are indeed a few simple, but effective, additions for "Halloween".

We would return to the Phantom several times during the night, ringing up a total of 10 laps for Josh and myself. The Phantom continued to get wilder and wilder each time, and by the end of the night, plunging down into the darkness, Phantom's Revenge was firmly re-establishing itself as my favorite roller coaster.

A few other rides were running as well, and we hit all of them. We took one lap on each of Jackrabbit and Racer. Unlike Phantom, both of these seemed a bit sluggish, but were still fun. Jackrabbit was a one-train wait, Racer we just needed to wait for the ride on the course to return to snag a back-seat ride.

For flat rides, Kennywood had the Paratrooper, Aero 360, Pirate, and Music Express running. Paratrooper seemed to be a much faster ride than usual, but this may just have been adrenaline deceiving me. Music Express and Pirate both had smoke machines going in full force, to neat effect. Additionally, they ran Music Express with the lights off for part of the cycle, which was very cool.

The bumper cars (Grand Prix) was also open, again with a smoke machine. They somehow had one car rigged to drive around on its own randomly, with a skeleton at the wheel. We dubbed him "Skeletor" and took turns aiming for him.

The Skycoaster was also open, for those interested in it. We passed.

In addition to the above, Kennywood had also set up a "graveyard" outdoors, and three indoor haunted houses (one in the pavillion by Log Jammer that housed the Whip many years ago, before Lost Kennywood opened; one in the arcade building by Jackrabbit; and one in the Parkside Terrace cafeteria building). All of the above were good, fun walkthroughs, with no actual gore but decent effects.

Combine all of the above with a nice comfortable fall evening, Potato Patch fries (albeit served from the new Fish N Chips building by Pirate, but still the same good fries), and appropriate music piped in all over the park, and you have a great event, one that I encourage EVERYONE to hit.

In fact, I want more people to attend. I do hope this is a success for Kennywood, but if the turnouts are consistently as light as last night, I'm afraid Kennywood isn't going to want to do this again in future years. And that, my friends, would be a real shame.

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

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Saturday, September 14, 2002 5:59 PM

What an awesome night, thanks so much to everyone in our group for the good times. Kennywood really did an awesome job with the themeing, and if you didn't know better, you would never guess that this was their first year for an event of this kind.

I also have to commend the costumed employees on their enthusiasm and entertaining interactions with people both in the haunted houses and on the midways. I agree with Greg about Phantom's Revenge being insane the entire night. Just when I thought the ride couldn't get any better, Kennywood managed to amaze me once again. :)

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Saturday, September 14, 2002 6:01 PM
Wow, this is pretty early for a park to start the Halloween festivities. Glad you had a good time Greg. I think when I make my pilgrimage out to CP and SFWoA for a second time next year, I might just make the extra commute over to KW.

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Ric Flair was hitting on the female host, he told her - "Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it has the longest line." WOOOOO!

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Saturday, September 14, 2002 7:09 PM

I took my first trip ever to Kennywood on this day and was not disappointed at all. The park did an excellent job for its first ever Halloween event. I just hope that the crowds do increase so that there can be a second annual Phantom Fright Night.

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www.coastertown.com

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Saturday, September 14, 2002 8:18 PM

Sounds like you had a great time Greg. It doesn't look like I will make it back to the park this year so I enjoy ready reports like this.

I think this crisp fall weather is prefect for going to parks.

-Sean

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Saturday, September 14, 2002 9:26 PM

Oh, sure, don't mention the guy who fixed PR for you. :(

Glad you had a good time, and we're hoping it picks up as the word of mouth spreads. Honestly, though, if last night was a max crowd, there won't be one in 2003.

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

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 6:20 AM
But don't forget this is September, it's not really Halloween season yet until October;) So I think that there will be more crowds in October rather then in September. I haven't been to Fright Nights yet, but heard there was alot of work done for only a week to do this, lots of Lighting to buildings and rides, and the mazes and all of the other effects. I hope this is a big success for Kennywood so they can do this again for next year:)

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Webmaster,brenton
Kennywood Express

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 6:28 AM

kpjb said:

Oh, sure, don't mention the guy who fixed PR for you.



Whoops, sorry -- I KNEW there was something else I wanted to put in there.

Yes, just before our 10th ride of the evening (Josh, Lori, Steve, and myself were next on, Kristen and Rob WERE on), the lift stopped when the train reached it. Which maintenance worker should come over to reset it, but our own kpjp. Thanks! :)

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 9/15/2002. ***

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 9:09 AM

I was a great night and Kennywood did a great job of of transforming the park. I hope the crowds pick up because Kennywood put a lot of work into it and it shows. The haunted houses and haunted graveyard were all done very well and the skeleton driving a bumper car was priceless.

Good times with good friends at a great park, what more could you ask for.

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 10:24 AM
That's great. I'm going there on Oct. 18 so the crowds won't be that bad.

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-Sean

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 12:48 PM

I wouldn't go in EXPECTING another dead day, though. Word should have spread by then, and it's the last weekend they'll be doing it this year (hopefully NOT the last weekend ever, though.) Also, that's the day of the unofficial ACE gathering.

I'd be there myself, but I'll be on a plane to Atlanta to hit SFoG that weekend.

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 2:42 PM

You're coming to SFoG, Greg? Why didn't you tell me?! ;)

Joe, still needs to find out if he has that weekend off or not. Oh yeah, you suck for getting walk on Phantom's Revenge rides, too, Greg!

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It tastes like burning.

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Sunday, September 15, 2002 3:45 PM
Hey, I'll trade a few walk-on PR rides for an empty day when I hit SFoG! ;)

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

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Monday, September 16, 2002 4:07 PM
I was at the park last Wednesday afternoon and they already had the effects going full blast in the tunnel. It was pretty cool to say the least. I walked through the tunnel with my sunglasses on, and that combined with the fog meant I couldn't see a thing.

I still think a skeleton "rider" at the Turnpike would be awesome. Also, the way the ride is set-up you could have some good scares. But of course the Skycoaster is open, its an upcharge!

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2002 Kennywood Team Member

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Tuesday, September 17, 2002 9:46 PM
Nice TR! I'll be there the night before PPP, and must stop at least to see this "thing" they have added to Phantom! And the "ghost" car on dodgems (usually my term for an empty that can be used to hit others with!) is truly clever.
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Brad Sherman
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer, responsible for guests fleeing the queue in horror!
Model coasters and rides
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Tuesday, September 17, 2002 10:08 PM

Sean F. said:

I think this crisp fall weather is prefect for going to parks.

-Sean



I couldn't agree with you more, Sean. Fall is my favorite time of year now. I love it...I also just figured out what's so sad about fall. Not only do the coasters close, but the parks arcades are no longer open, which means about 50 DDR locations close :(

Oh well, there's always gameworks, right Sean??

--Josh

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Friday, September 20, 2002 10:16 AM
Greg or Joe... if you guys meet up, keep me in mind. I've been wanting another excuse to come back down from Greenville, SC and take another spin on my baby (Ga. Cyclone).

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Go Gamecocks!!

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