Kennywood - what's up with The Exterminator???

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 5:53 PM
Hey all:

Have a question for any Kennywood experts out there regarding their Exterminator dark-ride coaster. I first went to Kennywood 2 years ago. The first time that I rode Exterminator that day, it was working perfectly. All the sirens, sounds, and flashing lights were going off during the whole ride - quite a wild sensory experience - I was completely in awe of the experience. However, every time I rode the ride again that day, none of the sounds and lights were working. I thought maybe there was a technical problem with something and that they would fix it eventually. But each time I rode it afterwards, it became more and more disappointing since it wasn't working properly. The coaster was still fun (spinning around in the semi-pitch blackness), but without all the sounds and lights, it just felt something was missing. Even the "exterminator" mannequin with the gun at the very beginning of the coaster never worked again (the gun shot out steam the first ride only - afterwards, it never worked again.)

Anyway, I just revisited Kennywood last week and thought for sure the ride would be up to full steam again, but was immediately disappointed to find that it still was not working completely - no sirens, no sounds, no flashing lights - just baciscally a spinning coaster in the dark now. I rode it several times - always the same, not working fully - no steam, no sounds or sirens.

I asked a couple of the ride attendants who didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Then I asked someone else at a different ride about it and she said that they turn off all of the Extermionator sounds/lights now because it scares kids. Is that the truth behind it? If so, it's really disappointing because the fully functional ride was incredible, whereas the halfway-on version is simply just Good. In retrospect, I just don't understand why that very first ride was working completely when I went on it two years ago, but every other ride since (even on that first day) it's been turned off. Maybe I was lucky to have ever experienced the complete ride at least once!

Anyone know the real scoop behind all this? Will The Exterminator ever be restored to its full potential? To me, it's one of the main reasons I went back to revisit Kennywood this year, but if it's never going to be restored in the future, my passion to go back anytime soon is definitely diminished. If it's because kids were scared, screw 'em!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004 5:59 PM
I had no idea that Exterminator had the meantioned effects. I thought the ride was awesome as is. I would like to see the steam shooting guy you meantioned.
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Sunday, August 1, 2004 4:48 PM
Hmmm... I'm not sure what sirens you're referring to... the sound in the Exterminator is digital, and can't be altered, so the sounds that are there now are the same as they've ever been.

The fog machine was broken earlier in the year, but as far as I know has been working ever since it was fixed last week.

The only trick that I know of that isn't working is Sally's Rat Arm trick... that'll be looked at in the off season.

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Sunday, August 1, 2004 6:26 PM
Are you sure you wern't trippin' on some acid on your first ride?
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Monday, August 2, 2004 2:29 AM
I think the ride op was just pulling your leg. The amount of amusement a ride op gets working is underrated.
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Monday, August 2, 2004 12:57 PM

Nope, no acid trippin' or Mountain Dew delusions. That first ride definitely had a LOT more sound effects and flashing lights. The current ride has practically nothing working. The mannequins don't speak, the boiler room sign doesn't flash, there are no electrical flashes, the steam doesnt work during the final spin area, and the ride is basically silent all the way through. The original ride had something happening constantly - noises and sounds and visuals, the last spinning half of the ride, you could barely see the track because of the steam and the disorientation due to the noises and lights going off. Now, the ride is simply in the dark, no sounds, no steam, no noises - it's basically just a Wild Mouse in the dark. That's cool, still, but nothing like when it was fully operating that first ride. I guess that I may have been REALLY LUCKY to have experienced the complete ride that one time considering it doesn't appear that it is ever running correctly ever since. A shame, really, and I wish others (and myself as well) could once again experience the full potential of the ride. PS - the day I just went to Kennywood this last time was July 19th - no steam from the mannequins and all the other effects were out as well - I rode it several times, always the same. Like I said previously, I asked a ride attendant about it and he couldn't help because he was relatively new and didn't know anything about it. The other person I aked at a different ride said they turn all the sounds and lighhts off because it was too disorienting and loud and was scaring children. I have no idea if this is TRUE which is why I posted here to see if anyone knows the real scoop. I'm not attempting to get in a debate about if my memory is correct or if no one believes me. It does appear so far from the replies here that most have never experienced the full ride before. It would be cool if someone has and could corroborate my descriptions, but that is still not really why I'm posting here. I just want to know IF the ride would ever be completely working again anytime in the future so I would know if it's worth going back to sometime later on. I travel from Los Angeles so it's not a skip-and-a-jump to go to Kennywood. Maybe a call into Guest Services or Kennywood's technical department would get a more concrete answer about it.

I also found these two sites which go into a little detail of what the ride is SUPPOSED to be doing. It looks like maybe the 'sound and automation controllers' have been turned off.

http://www.thrillride.com/exterminator/exterminator.html

and

http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/aug00/features/mouse/mouse.html

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 11:59 AM
The sound is no different now than when the ride opened. You may remember it differently, but it is indeed the same.

As far as the tricks inside, as of yesterday, the only one I saw that was not operating was the rat arm that comes down right before the big drop. The boiler room sign never flashed. I installed it myself, there is no flashing mechanism in that sign.

*** Edited 8/3/2004 4:00:47 PM UTC by kpjb***

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 12:21 PM

kpjb said:
The sound is no different now than when the ride opened. You may remember it differently, but it is indeed the same.

As far as the tricks inside, as of yesterday, the only one I saw that was not operating was the rat arm that comes down right before the big drop. The boiler room sign never flashed. I installed it myself, there is no flashing mechanism in that sign.

*** Edited 8/3/2004 4:00:47 PM UTC by kpjb***


Believe what you want - I know what I experienced. And the two articles I linked to definitely refer to effects that are NOT currently working on the ride (at least when I went on July 19th as well as all the bad rides two years prior). If you think the ride is up to full "steam" right now, then maybe you need to do some more research on it, especially since you say you work there. Your immediate dismissal of my experince as well as the facts indicated in those articles indicates that you aren't as knowledgeable as you claim to be on this matter. Maybe you can meet with the people who actually created and designed the ride instead of just plugging in a sign.

ONCE AGAIN, I am not here to get in a debate about this. If no one knows anything about why half the ride is not working, fine. Apparently, that's the situation on this forum. I need not waste my time here any longer listening to people accusing me of being on acid or having memory lapses. If someone has something useful to contribute about why the ride is not working properly, cool. Otherwise, please create your own thread and play games there. Thanks.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 1:00 PM
I really don't think that someone who rides this attraction twice should start arguing with someone who is in the ride every day. *sigh*
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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 1:06 PM
When I rode it a month ago, all of the effects were working except for the steam comming out of the gun. I heard all of the dummies talking. I never have seen steam in the final area nor do I remember the boiler room sign ever flashing.

Dude, chill out. There is a chance that you remember you first ride differently than it actuially was. No need to be rude.

There may be a chance that some of the effects you remember aren't working because they cost money to fix. Have you ever rode DT at CP? "Humm...Do we build a new ride, or fix the effects in our old dark ride?"

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 2:11 PM
I do remember some of what he's talking about and haven't seen it in a long time - the "electricity" on the poles in the 2nd "room", the talking from the people on the lift, the steam from the gun, the pre-ride video, the arm coming down; none of those things have been working on my visits for like the past two years. Still an enjoyable ride though ...
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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 2:48 PM

booberrylives said:


Believe what you want - I know what I experienced.


Are you saying that the man that installed many of the effects of the ride itself is incorrect?

I've ridden the ride every single since it's installation... there was never any siren and the sign never flashed. It's always been a steady light. I could be wrong and maybe Joel could back me up but aren't the strobes and rotating lights before the last turn new this year or the last? If that's the case then KP is actually upgrading the ride.

I've also noticed only one trim brake, the one before you start spinning, is on which leads to some fantastic spin action.

Or I could be wrong altogether and seemingly wouldn't be the only one trippin'. >:o)

Coasterman Mike

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 3:03 PM
The only sirens that I can think of, which wasn't even on the ride, but used to sound in the waiting room. I believe they just flash when someone presses the button.

"I could be wrong and maybe Joel could back me up but aren't the strobes and rotating lights before the last turn new this year or the last?"

I think last year they were installed, but then again every year that I ride the Exterminator, the last turn always seems different, new lighting and such.

I do know last year that they added green and orange rope lighting in the station, and going up the lift hill on the wall behind the pipes.:)

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 3:14 PM
In response to the generator question, the "electricity effect" has been working pretty well, but occasionally I've seen it not functioning.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 4:10 PM

Well, at least now there's some healthier discussion of the matter. And at least one other poster here now qualifies that there were effects in the past which he hasn't seen working in years. And others validate that certain effects (talking mannequins, steam, etc.) have been sporadic at best. That leaves me with an impression that the ride needs to be looked into or worked on if they want it to work consistently at it's full potential. As of two weeks ago, no steam, no talking, no electric flashes, nothing. That's all I'm saying. This ride is not working completely and it's a shame.

Arguing back and forth because someone here works on the ride is pointless. He says the ride was fully working last week. Great! Too bad I was there TWO weeks ago. Guess I got screwed. Maybe in two more years, it will finally be working if I re-visit the park again. And hopefully on the day I go .... but somehow I doubt it.

And I've rode the ride more than "twice". On my two visits, I must have rode it about 15 times total. And only the very FIRST ride was working completely. After that, not ONCE did any steam come out, mannequins talk, or any other sounds occur throughout any of the other rides. How the hell would I know about the steam or the rest of it if I hadn't seen it that first time? I sure didn't make it up all in my head hoping that on a second ride all this stuff I imagined would magically be in there.

I also find it odd that no one has referred to the two links I provided, both of which indicate effects that are not working on the ride (or maybe they all just break whenever I visit the park?). I did place a call into Kennywood's ride-tech department, but have not heard anything back yet. I doubt I will, either. I seriously doubt a park spokesman will come out and admit their rides are not working properly.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 4:24 PM
You're that worked up that you called Kennywood? Dude, turn off the computer, go outside and find something worthwhile to worry about ...
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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 4:35 PM

Impulse-ive said:
You're that worked up that you called Kennywood? Dude, turn off the computer, go outside and find something worthwhile to worry about ...

Haha - that coming from someone who has already posted 700 posts on a rollercoaster forum in a year. Who needs to get out?

Yep, I called Kennywood because this is a great ride and I was hoping that it would be fully operational someday. Plain and simple. I'm not losing any sleep over it, though, and I don't spend all my days on this rollercoaster forum (in fact, I just joined to ask about this ONE particular topic). I don't spend my life discussing, breathing, and sleeping with rollercoasters - but if you do, I have no problem with that. That's your interest - all the power to you.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 4:42 PM
All I see is a thread full of people validating kpjb's original claim of:


Hmmm... I'm not sure what sirens you're referring to... the sound in the Exterminator is digital, and can't be altered, so the sounds that are there now are the same as they've ever been.

The fog machine was broken earlier in the year, but as far as I know has been working ever since it was fixed last week.

The only trick that I know of that isn't working is Sally's Rat Arm trick... that'll be looked at in the off season.


Other posters said:

"When I rode it a month ago, all of the effects were working except for the steam comming out of the gun. I heard all of the dummies talking. I never have seen steam in the final area nor do I remember the boiler room sign ever flashing."

and

"I've ridden the ride every single since it's installation... there was never any siren and the sign never flashed. It's always been a steady light."

and

"The only sirens that I can think of, which wasn't even on the ride, but used to sound in the waiting room. I believe they just flash when someone presses the button."

and

"In response to the generator question, the "electricity effect" has been working pretty well, but occasionally I've seen it not functioning.In response to the generator question, the "electricity effect" has been working pretty well, but occasionally I've seen it not functioning."

They all validate the original post kpjb made - you just refuse to believe it.


booberrylives said:
He says the ride was fully working last week. Great! Too bad I was there TWO weeks ago. Guess I got screwed.

Well pretty much. I think your expectations are WAY too high. I've ridden Spiderman at IOA more times than I can count between the time the park opened in 1999 and 2002 (my last visit). We're talking about arguably the best dark themed ride ever and arguably the best theme park ever and I've never once had every intended effect work throughout a single ride. These are entertainment machines, not infallible life givers.


booberrylives said:
Arguing back and forth because someone here works on the ride is pointless."

You're absolutely right, because if we should believe any story it'd be from the guy who knows the ride inside out.


booberrylives said:
I don't spend all my days on this rollercoaster forum (in fact, I just joined to ask about this ONE particular topic). I don't spend my life discussing, breathing, and sleeping with rollercoasters - but if you do, I have no problem with that. That's your interest - all the power to you.

All the more reason to trust the people who do know about these things. Just because you're not getting the answer you want, doesn't make the rest of us wrong.

*** Edited 8/3/2004 8:44:04 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 4:48 PM
FYI asshat (woot! I used the word!) I have even more posts than that because this is my second screen name on this site.

Now, could that possibly be because I work in a cube and use the 'buzz as my occasional escape from work? Nah, must be that I'm an uber-geek that sits at the computer all day trying to increase my postcount. Ironic considering my signature ...

How I love newbies ...

Should I be scared that he took the time to click on my info and find out how many posts I have? Even I don't know how many posts I have (well I do now, but still).

Now, as I do every day at 5:00, I'm going to turn off my computer and go outside ... my grass and my parent's grass are calling ... *** Edited 8/3/2004 8:49:31 PM UTC by Impulse-ive***

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 6:48 PM
KPJB, I will be at Kennywood Saturday night. Look for the Sea World Pin on my shirt. I bet the stunts work fine. And if they don't, so what. Its Kennywood, and the overall experience is great.

Its a coaster in the dark. Note the word DARK.

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Closed topic.

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