Kennywood - May 21, 2001 - PR open

Associated parks:

Sunday, May 20, 2001 8:12 PM
After getting off work, I filled up the car with gas and headed for Kennywood full of excitement for Phantom’s Revenge. As soon as I got in the park at 6PM, I sprinted for Phantom’s Revenge.

I didn’t bother stopping to get my PR Frequent Phanatic card because I thought you actually had to sign up for it, and I wanted to get on PR as soon as possible. I expected the line to be fairly long, but I was dead wrong. There was only about a twenty-minute wait that went by surprisingly quickly considering there was only one train running. I decided to just get in line for a middle seat since the anticipation was killing me. I’ll do most of the praising at the end of this trip report, but this ride was GREAT! It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

After a pleasing ride on PR, I noticed that Pitt Fall had practically no line. I rode it five times straight, getting rides on two of the three sides that were running. Orange gives you a great view of PR and across the river and purple gives a great view of Route 837 and the surrounding neighborhood. While at the top of Pitt Fall, I saw a rabbit running around inside PR’s turnaround and I said to myself, “silly rabbit, your ride’s on the other side of the park!” All right, I admit that was cheesy.

It was starting to get dark and I had to get pictures of PR running for Airtime Magazine, so I bought a new camera battery and spent a half hour taking pictures.

After the picture taking, I noticed that Aero 360 had NO line, so I grabbed a quick ride on it. I planned on doing five on it too (I’m not sure if I actually could have done it), but I was thirsty so I bought a PR souvenir cup of Mountain Dew at the Star. I then saw that the line for Racer was really short.

I took five straight rides on Racer, with walk-ons every time. Unfortunately, I only won one race. After my fifth ride on Racer, they announced that the park would close at 9:15PM, with the time being about 8:00PM. Since Lost Kennywood closes before the rest of the park, I decided I better get my last rides on PR and Exterminator.

Exterminator was a walk-on and gave a terrific ride as usual. It was almost dark, so I headed to PR for my night ride. Unfortunately, I mistimed my night ride by about fifteen minutes, as it was not completely dark when I got on. I was still happy with another great ride on PR.

I decided to end my day with a ride on the Jack Rabbit. After about a ten-minute wait, I got the back seat. I don’t think I have ever got so much airtime in my life; my head literally almost hit the guy in front of me on the double dip. As I was exiting, I heard Nighty Night playing, so I decided it was time to wrap this trip up.

Now it’s time for the praising. I could not have been more satisfied with Phantom’s Revenge. First of all, I cannot tell you how GREAT it is to actually be able to look around at the top of the lift hill. I was looking all over the place while going up, trying to get the views of Kennywood that I have wanted for ten years. The second drop is incredible and I swear that you could hit your hands on the Thunderbolt if you tried. The huge turnaround at the bottom of the hill is smooth as glass, as is the sweeping turn back up through the Thunderbolt. The two bunny hops past the station give terrific air, but nothing compared to the double dip going into the final turnaround. The final bunny hop gives you one last pop of air before hitting the station brakes. I have seen people talking about how the train flies through the brakes and into the station. From what I saw, the train just barely enters the station and it usually doesn’t even do that. I know that the slightest bit of entrance into the station could be disastrous, but I’m sure they could tighten the brakes a bit.

The ride crew was extremely animated and more importantly efficient. I really like the retracting seat belts because not only do they prevent confusion among riders, they save the ride ops the time of buckling all the empty seats. The lapbars are just wonderful, they seem they’ll make it impossible for ride ops to staples skinny guys like me.

I suggest sitting towards the back of the train because the airtime is so much better back there. Getting yanked down that first drop is awesome as is the small bit of airtime you get going down the second drop. The double dip tossed me completely into the air, which made me a very happy person.

Kennywood did a truly wonderful job with this coaster and I think they achieved what they wanted to. While in line for the Jack Rabbit, the people in front of me were talking about how much smoother PR was than SP and they seemed really happy with it. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again here, I have never been prouder to call Kennywood my home park.
Joe Cernelli
Head Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Monday, May 21, 2001 5:09 AM
Glad to hear it really is that great! I also like to hear about the retracting belts. They would save time on any coaster and I wish more parks would deal with the expense and get them.

Hmmm... what am I doing this weekend?

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