Kennywood - 7/18/08

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Jeff's avatar
Friday we finally made it to Kennywood, after talking about it pretty much since before the season even started. I haven't been there in years, I think the year Phantom's Revenge opened or something, maybe 2001 or a year or two after. I got the hook up... and it was totally worth the price of the gas.

The first big change I noticed was the whole gate plaza area. I'm pretty sure that was new since the last time I was there. Very nice. They also have the smoking policy thing nailed down. There is a big sign prior to the tunnel that says: "Smokers: Take One," which presumably has the smoking policy and locations for the designated areas. Good thinking.

We started by actually eating, since it was nearly noon. The park wasn't all that crowded. We ate at the Casino building in the middle of the park, where Diana was impressed that her sandwich was actually made, not frozen, on good bread, and on a real plate, and not nine dollars. Such was the case really with everything we consumed. It wasn't a bargain, but it wasn't excessive even for an amusement park, and more importantly, it didn't outright suck.

Our first ride was Ghostwood Estates, which is a pretty nifty shooting dark ride with the trackless vehicles. The pre-show is well done, and the scenes are continuous with interesting stuff to shoot that reacts to your hit. Your scoring ability is limited only by your sense of direction. There are targets everywhere, even behind you. Diana unfortunately had a bum gun, so her score wasn't great.

We didn't hit as many non-coaster rides as I thought we would, in part because the heat and humidity was a bit on the oppressive side. Of course we had to do the Turtle, because it's such a classic. We also did Garfield's Nightmare, which, I dunno, didn't impress me. Why they took a hundred-year-old ride and splattered it with fluorescent paint is beyond me. Cosmic Chaos is a ton of fun! I haven't been on one since IAAPA 2003, or whatever year Zamperla introduced it, but it's a good time.

First coaster was Phantom's Revenge. We waited for the front seat, despite the single train operation. It was Diana's idea, and I'm glad she talked me into it. I forgot just how ridiculous that ride is. It pulls some great G's at the bottom of that second drop. The airtime is nuts. It's also incredibly smooth, which leads me to believe that perhaps it's not the old Arrow looper trains that are an issue, but rather the track most of them run on.

Next coaster was Exterminator. Wow is that an aggressively run Reverchon. For some reason I thought the spinning release was earlier in the ride, but in any case, it just blasted through those hairpins. Well done!

By sheer luck, we got the front seat on Jackrabbit. Love that double down. Does anyone know when they adopted that strange logo?

Thunderbolt ran extremely well. I always seem to recall getting a little beat up on that ride on previous visits, but it really ran extremely well, especially in the bowl. I'm astonished at how well that ride is maintained.

Racer was running pretty well also, even though our train lost. Diana was inspired by the crumbling foundation under the midway and queue area.

Our last ride of the day was Log Jammer, the flume. I love that dip in the middle of the ride. They really need to consider just replacing the trough entirely at some point. I've never seen one so patched and rough before. It has definitely seen better days. Some of the boats are showing extreme wear and tear too.

We were in the park for about six hours, and I think if Diana didn't have shoulder pain from stress and sleeping funny, and I wasn't being a grumpy bastard for other reasons, we might have stayed longer. But we did get to ride most of what we wanted. The only negative encounter we really had was with this chick who had an attitude at the smoothie stand. In the general sense Kennywood did a great job showing us a good time. And I finally got my Potato Patch fries!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Why is it that some of the Crazy Mouse rides are trimmed so much? I remember how tame the one at DelGrossos was. It might be the nature of the park. KW is mostly about thrills even if it is family friendly and full of "charm".

Hopefully the Log Jammer will get the repair work that it needs eventually. Losing that ride would be a terrible blow. It's one of the best log rides around.

By the way, my comments about the food in my trip report to Waldameer may reflect being spoiled by KWs offerings. WPs food is OK but after you have been to parks like KW, Knoebels and DelGrossos, most park food is a disappointment.

Arthur Bahl

Nice TR glad you had fun it is an awesome park and thats why it is my #1 park.

Jeff said:
Diana unfortunately had a bum gun, so her score wasn't great.

That's usually what I say when I get my ass kicked too. :(

Seems like they were running one train on PR during a couple of my visits too and it was annoying.


I must be listening to too many pod-casts.

Am I the only one who feels that when they read a "Jeff" post, you can almost "hear" his voice reading it to you.

Glad you had a great time.

Jeff, (and anyone else) Any comparison from the old ownership to the new?

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Richie Reflux said:
I must be listening to too many pod-casts.

Am I the only one who feels that when they read a "Jeff" post, you can almost "hear" his voice reading it to you.

Jeff's? No. Gonch's TR's?? Totally!!

Jeff's avatar
The fact that there are new owners did not ever cross my mind while I was there.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

obxKevin's avatar
Agree about the new ownership. Couldn't spot a difference. Spent the day there yesterday, no use starting a new thread, I'll just post some highlights. Park was busy, also noticed a lot of ACE and Kenny Kon badges.

Smoking. Wasn't a big issue anywhere I was. Seemed most were using the designated areas. Couldn't miss the "Smokers...Take One" signs entering the park. Good move by KW.

First up was Jack Rabbit. Left the station with a sprinkling of rain, came out of the tunnel in a downpour. Soaked to the skin by the time we got back to the station. Laughed our butts off the entire ride, the rain felt like needles on the face. Can't imagine doing that on PR.

While it rained we did a few games, ate (food was good, hot, and reasonably priced.) Then we hit up Ghostwood Estates. Full queue. Overall was very impressed. Nice addition to a family park. Gave up shooting after the first minute or so because I wanted to actually look around and see what I could. When looking for targets, don't forget to look up!

By the time we were done there, the rain had quit and TB was running. Full queue out to midway, running one train. Ride was the smoothest I've had in years. Maybe a lot of track work for the 40'th birthday? Later, a second train was added and wait was only one queue.

PR...what can I say. I feel so fortunate to have this ride only an hour and a half from home. Running two trains so we took advantage and did several rides in a row.

Anyone know what all the numbered signs mean along the fences of the PR queue (A404 for example?) It looks like they may be planning on moving the exit ramp back to where the entrance is. A lot of the entrance queue rails have been eliminated too,further opening up space for moving the exit. This would open up a nice spot in lost Kennywood along where the sledehammer game used to be. Maybe put the Bayerne Kurve there when it returns?

My riding partner hates flats so I did very few of them. King Kahuna looked to be having some troubles. Or that was the lamest program I've ever seen on a Top Spin. Raise, apply brakes, rotate, flip three times, then only swing for remainder of cycle.

Props to all the operators and food workers of the day. They were all good. Oh, and if the ski lift is working, park on level three and ride the lift right to the entrance. Beats walking the length of the parking lot. Oh, and the ski lift operators were the best of the day. We were wished a good day upon entering the park and asked how our day was upon leaving. Very nice kids.

Thanks for reading.

The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
Great TR, but it really makes me miss Kennywood! :( :( Sucks being 500+ miles from one of the best parks in the country, if not the world. (Yeah, I'm a little biased! :) )

I've only gotten to ride PR once, but boy, does it kick @$$!! After we left the lift hill, I think my butt hardly touched the seat! I LOVE that kind of airtime. And it's scary, too, with pretty much nothing to hold on to, it feels like you're about to plummet to your death going down that second hill. Man, I love that ride.

The last time I was at Kennywood was in 2001, and on our way back home we got lost because of a detour-- Cheney was in West Mifflin. :P I really wanted to go back in May when I was in PA to see my grandma, but didn't have anybody to go with me, and I'm not sure how to get there since I've never driven it. I hope I get to go again someday.

I really wish Carowinds would get a great hypercoaster. Just something with some wicked hills and great airtime. Preferably for next summer, since I'll probably be moving elsewhere after that! :)

I love Kennywood. :)


Cats, books, and roller coasters-- three of the best G-rated, calorie-free pleasures in life!

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Jeff, you should visit a Phantom's Fright Night sometime if you get the chance. It's a whole other experience. :)


*** Edited 7/22/2008 10:23:58 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

maverickfreak's avatar
Nice TR, I think it's time to take a trip out there myself!

The new Coaster H.Q

kpjb's avatar
You ended up coming on a great day. Nice weather, and we came in well below projected attendance... not really sure why, as the next day was the busiest I remember it in about 4 or 5 years.

If you would've only held out one week, though, you could've relived your high school days as Tiffany is playing a free concert outside the Hard Rock tonight. I wonder if she remembers me...


kpjb's avatar
Oh, and the Jack Rabbit logo has been around for 3 or 4 years. Show up every once in a while and you'd notice stuff like that! :)


OK. I'll bite. Why might Tiffany remember you? Did you sing "I think we're alone now" together? :)
coasterqueenTRN's avatar
^She's still around? ;)

Actually I think I saw her on one of the "I love the 80's" shows.

Glad you had a fun time. We went back there again just recently. I agree that the logo is about 3 - 4 years old. We were there the first year that they used it and I tried to get a shirt with that logo but they were out. Finally got one this year and that is my favorite ride there. We ate at that same restaurant and I fully agree about how much we loved it. It is really nice to have real food like that at not a killler price. And the food is very filling. My kids (and now brother-in-law/sister-in-law) love the park and will be back again.
kpjb's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
OK. I'll bite. Why might Tiffany remember you? Did you sing "I think we're alone now" together? :)


I can't wait to get there this Sunday. I haven't been there since Phantom Fright Nights in 2004 so i'm really pumped to get in the park. Had a great time in 2004 and am expecting to have a great time again.
Tiffany? Phfffft.... you kids are pups. I remember "I Think We're Alone Now" from Tommy James and the Shondells.....

Sigh........ :|

Chooch, I remember Hanky Panky, Crimson and Clover, Draggin' the Line, etc. as new releases.

I Think We're Alone Now is the only thing I ever remember hearing from Tiffany.

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