Kennywood - Preview Day

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, April 15, 2000 5:00 PM
What a picture-perfect day to satisfy the winter-long urges to hop on a coaster!! With the temps around 75 degrees and sun (really unusual for Pittsburgh this time of year!) The crowds were really light, due to minimal advertising for preview day (suprisingly the 50% coupon in the Pittsburgh papers didn't drag too many folks in.) making virtually every ride a walk-on!!

Upon entering, we abruptly headed for a 5 ride marathon on Steel Phantom, as I wanted to rank up my rides for it's last season (not to mention upping my asprin dosage!)

We next hopped aboard Thunderbolt, and was able to squeeze 4 rides within a 10 minute time-frame! Then over to check out the new Aero 360.

I must admit, I was rather intimidated by the whole concept. It looks great with the arrows, but the concept reminded me too much of the Ranger (similar ride from back in the early 80's) which evoked bad memories of severe nausea. So I decided to skip it for now. Who knows, I may eventually work up the nerve, but for now.... no...

I also had the privledge of meeting Jeff for the first time at Kennywood. Much to my surprise, that until today was a Kennywood virgin. Jeff, I'd be interested in a report from a first-timer! (and don't joke about Pittsburgh's road system!)
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Neil
By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
+0
Saturday, April 15, 2000 7:44 PM
I was there, as well. If anyone saw a short guy wandering around in a grey "Sith Park" t-shirt, that was me :)

Thunderbolt, Jackrabbit, and Steel Phantom were all running one-train operation. Racer was closed, and Exterminator, I have no idea how many cars were on.

In spite of that, we had to wait for the train to fill up both times we got on Steel Phantom, and one each of the Thunderbolt and Exterminator rides were literal walk-ons.

Aero 360 seemed to be up and down all day, hopefully it'll be more reliable once the season kicks into full gear. I loved it, my friend didn't. :)

We took a fairly short day (we'd gotten up early for raceday at CMU's buggy, so we were already a bit tired by the time we got to the park) -- 2 rides each on Thunderbolt, Exterminator, and Steel Phantom, and 3 on Jackrabbit. Add a few flat rides and we were off to meet some friends for dinner & a movie. Overall, even though it was so short, it was well worthwhile.


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--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/ *** This post was edited by GregLeg on 4/17/2000. ***
+0
Saturday, April 15, 2000 8:18 PM
Able to fearlessly navigate Pittsburgh but fears the Aero... ;) Sorry, couldn't resist!

This was my first trip to Kennywood. Stephanie and I were sitting around at 10am with sun shining in through the windows, and decided we couldn't waste the day sitting around in Cleveland. I was dying for a coaster fix at this point... it had been too long. PKI was a consideration, but since Son of Beast is not open I racked my brain looking for somewhere else. It turned out Kennywood was doing a preview day, so I called about hours. "We open at one and close whenever." Good enough for me.

My overall impression was very good. I've never been to a park that had quite that much charm. It was such a refreshing change from all of the tired Six Flags/Paramount nonsense.

Exterminator and Racer were closed (I knew this going in), as were the Bayern Kurve (been waiting forever to ride one), Pitt Fall, Magic Carpet and their log flume.

Most astounding to me was the historical importance of practically everything there. Most of the old rides are in great shape, though the Old Mill smells like Grandma's basement.

Steel Phantom... my biggest reason for being there. First drop: Wow! Second drop: Wow! Wow! Vertical loop: Ouch! Boomerang: Ouch! Ouch! Corkscrew: Ouch! What a shame about this ride. I knew there would be trouble just when looking at the difference in height between the second hill and the first inversion. The signs indicating the removal of earings was a red flag as well. The inversions are all too small to be flying through them that fast. I think it tried to do too much in too little space. I'm very interested to see what they do with its replacement.

Thunderbolt is everything people say, and it ranks very high on my list. What a fabulous ride. Remarkably smooth, great turns around the station, and the largest drop last. That thing deserves every bit of praise it gets.

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+0
Sunday, April 16, 2000 3:29 AM
I'm glad you enjoyed my home park :)

Don grew up here, so the streets don't bother him. Besides, I drove to Kennywood :)

He wasn't SCARED of Aero 360, he just didn't like the feeling of hanging upside down. Personally I thought Aero 360 was a neat little ride :)

The Exterminator WAS running for a while, we slipped two rides in, then when we tried to go back for a 3rd found a "Sorry, closed" sign for our efforts.

I noticed that Phantom's queue has been redone. Radically SHORTENED, actually. There used to be mazes under the first lift hill, complete with drink stand. They've removed the mazes and drink stand (if you look you can still see where the drink stand used to be, off to the LEFT of the new entrance). I can't remember the last time the maze had been used.

The first time the metal detectors showed up, we were a bit creeped out. The official park statement that we heard was that they've never had any problems but are nestled in between a few not-so-great neighborhoods, and figured better safe than sorry. The detectors aren't nearly as cranked up as the ones at Great Adventure, anyway.

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--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/
+0
Sunday, April 16, 2000 5:33 AM
Actually, I was referring to Neil's comments about Aero and my cracks on Pitt traffic. ;)

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
+0
Monday, April 17, 2000 5:06 AM
I have also noticed that the one ride I did get on the Exterminator before it closed, they did not do too much with the queue line. I read somewhere (Screamscape, I think) that they were supposed to add some more special effects to the queue.

Jeff, the next time you take a trip to Kennywood, I would highly recommend the back seat on Jack Rabbit. That seat has about the most air-time of any coaster that I have ever been on.

I can understand the unnerving feeling when you have to go through the metal detectors, but keep in mind, some of Pittsburgh's bad neighborhoods are within a 5-mile radius of the park.

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Neil
By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
+0
Monday, April 17, 2000 6:53 AM
MORE airtime? Wow, I was in the front seat and though I was going to get launched!

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
+0
Monday, April 17, 2000 7:08 AM
Yup, the back seat tosses you even more.

Jackrabbit is a good air ride in any seat, but in the very back you REALLY fly. It'd be a fun little wooden ride no matter what, but that double-drop is awesome :)

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--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/
+0
Thursday, April 20, 2000 12:10 PM
Yeah well pretty much anywhere you sit you get launched. My first ride on the Jack Rabbit was when I was six and I loved it! When I get off the JR, I always hear overprotective mothers saying, "Boy little Jimmy almost fell out of that thing. They should close that ride or else someone's going to get killed." I always get a good laugh.

and BTW, I'm going to Kennywood this Saturday and I really, really, really can't wait to ride Aero 360 and get my picture taken 20 times on the Log Jammer!

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APC11
Co-webmaster/graphic designer: Kennywood Park Unlimited
+0
Thursday, April 20, 2000 6:30 PM
Now we just have to pray that insurance companies don't exert too much influence!

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
+0

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