I got up early on 6-11-01 to make the 7 hour drive from Grand Rapids MI to Pittsburgh to have my first Kennywood experience. Arrived at the park at 11am and the first sign I see. Thunderbolt (closed) (expected this one), Phantoms Revenge (closed!!!!!). I could NOT believe it. I went to the parks Public Relations office to find out what was going on. All they would say is that Phantoms Revenge was closed and would not be open all day. They said that no one told them why it was closed. The lady was very curt with me (I was not being angry or upset about it at the time).
At this point I had my parking fee refunded and drove 7 hours back home. What a great day at Kennywood!! (sense my sarcasm).
My first trip ever to Kennywood (and maybe my last) and their two main coasters out of only 5 are not running ALL DAY! This has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of. I guess I'am used to parks making sure attractions are operating and if not being courteous and offering something to get them to come back. NOT Kennywood. I got the "I can give a rats behind" kind of response from their people.
Needless to say this is highly disapointing after hearing how they are such a great old fashioned family park with great tradtional rides. Well if old fashioned and traditional means being rude to potential patrons and having your main attractions shut down all day, then Kennywood truly is an old fashioned park. Give me the big new corporate park that has huge attractions and makes sure MOST if not all are operating every day over "old fashioned".
I dont know if I will ever go back to Kennywood but I know I will never make a special trip to go there again. If I'am in town for business or something else I MIGHT check it out. But I will definately be calling first to make sure they are actually running rides that day.
I'm sorry to hear that. However, you DO have to realize that rides go down all the time. Perhaps Kennywood was gearing up for two-train operation today. Perhaps the lift chain broke. Perhaps a bird nested on the track. If a ride is down, there's a REASON for it. It's always disappointing to take a long trip only to find out a ride is down (been there, done that), but there ARE reasons for outages.
Now, that doesn't excuse the curt response you got from guest relations. Did you happen to catch the name of the person who was there? I've always gotten very friendly responses from the people at the park, and know a few of them.
I completely understand that rides break down. I could have dealt with it (although I still would have been highly disappointed). But it was the attitude I got from the Public Relations office that made me mad. I also think a decent explanation would have gone a long way as well. I dont know who the lady was but she was an older lady I would say in her 40's with grayish blondish hair. I was not nasty at all, I really just wanted to know if it would be running at all that day. Sorry, we make no guarantees. Then I asked what was wrong with it. She responded "Its not running" in a nasty tone. If they had offered me a discount pass to go in that day or come back later or even a free pass to come back on another day or even have been nice and understanding about the situation I would have been completely ok with that and would plan to go back at a later date. They were also rude when I brought my parking ticket in for a refund. It was like pulling teeth to get back a lousy $4. Then my wife needed to use the restroom (7 hour drive takes its toll). Sorry you cant use ours here and we dont have any outside the park. Nothing like a little salt in the wound.
You didn't want to at least give the open coasters a try? Exterminator is one of the coolest dark ride/coasters I've been on, the Jack Rabbit gives nice pops of airtime, and Racer is good fun as well. And six coasters in all if you want to count Lil' Phantom. They're a nice little traditional park, but remember that these two rides have been closed for a good deal of time since the middle of last season. Obviously, you won't aware, but you didn't have to waste the whole trip. Sorry, you were so disappointed with it's closure. It was the second best hyper I've ridden so far. Lots of airtime and headchoppers. Try to come back sometimes. You'll have fun. The lady that "helped" you isn't normal Kennywood service. Good luck next time. And try to call a park before you go to make sure that special attraction is open. I always make sure of it. Sorry again.
Just like Koaster King said, if you made the 7 hour trip, and have never been there before, why didnt you enjoy the rest of the park? I dont know, maybe the lady at Guest Relations got under your skin, but you should have just ignored it and made your trip worth while. Heck, since you just left and you live in Michigan, why didnt you stop at SFWOA or CP? Come on, make that long haul worth something.
------------- ""Coaster riding is a disease and SFGAm is the cure!!!!!!!""
I was completely aware of the situation at Kennywood. Read my original post. I knew and expected The Thunderbolt to be down. As far as calling the park ahead of time. I did, Phantoms Revenge ran the whole day the previous day and they said it was fine. This was 12 hours before I left when I called Kennywood. I left MI at 3am so I dont think anyone would have answered at Kennywood if I had called at that time.
As far as going on the other rides. I went there specifically to ride Phantoms Revenge. The other rides were a side note to me. Without Phantoms Revenge OR Thunderbolt running I didnt think it was worth $20. Not to mention it appeared to be fairly busy and with both of the main coasters down the other 3 would be extremely busy. I'am not going to wait 1 1/2 hours to ride The Racer. If they had given me a discount or some type of pass I may have gone in as I mentioned before. Instead I got rudeness and curtness which was completely unwarranted IMO. If anybody should have been ticked I think it was me not the PR lady.
So my wife and I drove back to MI and stopped at Cedar Point and got a starlight pass. So I did get to ride some coasters that day. Gee imagine this, M. Force and Magnum were actually running the entire time and everyone at CP was very friendly. It was like night and day compared to Kennywood.
Kennywood probably was installing trims on PR that day...you still should have went to the park...I went this year with PR and T-bolt closed and I probably had one of my most fun times there ever. I've also never encountered mean people at Kennywood...that surprises me.
If they were installing trims that day: #1 They must have known the previous day they were going to do this. Why then when I called the previous day did they not say PR would not be running???
#2 If they were installing trims it would seem this could be done after hours. I dont care if they had to work at night, they should have done it to ensure the ride would be running at least part of the day.
As I said, I know rides break down. But I expect honest and courteous treatment ESPECIALLY in this type of situation. I think Kennywood handled the whole thing poorly. It was obvious to me that they are a small time operation and I can see why they have not built anything major like M. Force. They couldn't handle it from a public relations or mechanical perspective.
Sorry about the experience. However, Kennywood is still a great park without its two main rides. You would not have to wait close to 1 1/2 hours for Racer. In the days with Steel Phantom a walk on and the Thunderbolt about a 15 minute wait, you did not have to wait more than 20 minutes for either Jack Rabbit or Racer. Exterminator might have had a long wait though.
I am sorry to hear that your long drive was a bust. I know that I would have been upset too. But it happens and I get over it.
Like everyone else here has said, the attitude you received from the woman was an exception, not the rule at Kennywood. Chances are the woman probably didn't know the exact cause of PR's closure, and you may have been the 100th person to ask her why it was down for the day.
As for PR being closed for the day, it could have been a million things. The carpenters putting the TBolt back together only work in the off hours. Maybe they ran into some problems. Maybe Kennywood decided to close PR for a day in order to work on the TBolt and get it open sooner.
Why didn't you buy a general admission pass? You could have ridden a few rides in a few hours and saved a few bucks over the Ride-all-day passes. It would have been a great chance to experience a few great rides in whatever time you had.
Kennywood never tries to be like CP, so don't try to compare the two. Their "small time operation" has maintained a collection of classic rides for decades. The Jackrabbit is 80 years old this year, and the Old Mill just turned 100. I don't think a "small time operation" could maintain classic, one-of-a-kind rides, and add new thrills like Phantom's Revenge.
I thought about the general pass thing. But I was so disgusted with my treatment at the office and the fact that the main reason I came was not running that my wife and I opted to go to Cedar Point for the rest of the day as it was on the way home. I dont think I would have enjoyed myself at Kennywood that day because I would have been thinking of how I was treated and there would be Phantoms Revenge staring at me NOT running.
I'am still a little upset, not like I was monday. I may go back to give Kennywood a try but it wont be until The Thunderbolt is running and it may not be until next year now. I'am just not as excited about going as I was before. As most people posting have pointed out Kennywood has a good reputation. I guess that is why I was so shocked at my treatment and the situation. If it had been a Six Flags park it wouldnt have surprised me at all.
Unfortunately rude people are everywhere including amusement parks. You can't let incidents like these ruin your good time. If you would have just ignored this incident and went in anyways, we would most likely reading a very good trip report about Kennywood instead. You would have completely forgotten about this lady by the end of the day.
As my mom always says: "if you go somewhere and don't have a good time, it is your own fault"
Sorry to hear about your trip, but if you would've come in to the park that day you would have found out that the Phantom's Revenge did open that day, at about 5p.m.
Having one person being rude doesn't seem like enough to make someone leave after such a long drive, but to each their own.
It's common in the industry when you have an "issue" that may shut the ride down indefinitely to advertise at the gate that it will be down for the day. That way if it is, you were warned, and if it opens, you have many happy people who thought they weren't going to get a chance to ride.
Last year I went to 6FGL and both Dipper (my favorite) and B:KF (the reason I went) were down. I went anyway, and found that B:KF was opening as I was about to leave at 8pm. Got 2 quick (amazing) front of the train rides in 1/2 hour's time. Made my day. (and don't get me started about the rude employees there...)
HOLY COW! You drove 7hours there and didn't ride anything, you should of just gotten a hotel and stayed another day to see if PR would be open. I could understand T-bolt being closed, anyways, sorry about your trip.
This ALWAYS happens! When a ride that usually is running is down for the day you have to take that with a grain of salt! The ride openend late partialy becuase of low staffing. Of almost every case some won has started a Trip report saying that a ride was closed for the day it alwyas has a happy ending the ride DOES open. I was just waiting for somewon to say this.
Just to let you know two things. First the reason I didnt stay and come back the next day is because I had to be home the next day in the afternoon for a meeting at work (I had the morning off to sleep). Second, I thought the ride might open later that day. Thinking this was a possibility I asked the PR person if there was ANY chance at all it might open that day. She said NO. So we decided to hit CP on the way home, that way we would still get to ride some coasters. The fact that PR opened later makes me even more ticked off at the public relations person. She needs to be fired!
CP Twister, I understand your disappointment at Kennywood. I know if that had happened to me I would've been furious! But pleeeeeezzzeeee don't let this tarnish your image of Kennywood, as it is one truly awesome park! I went earlier this year and didn't get to ride the Thunderbolt after having planned the trip for months, but I've been there when everything's running and it's awesome. And the people there usually are friendly! That's really unfortunate. Oh well, better luck next time!