Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
We started off from Wheeling, WV for the short 1 hour drive to Kennywood to get in coaster credit 39-43 of the 2009 season.
We got there 10 minutes before the park opening at 10:30 and made our way to Phantom's Revenge for our first ride of the day. I have not been to Kennywood since this was Steel Phantom. While the ride was OK I expected a bit more. The track change on the 2nd hill feels so weird and disjointed from the rest of the ride. I wonder if they will ever smooth this out of just leave it.
Next on the list was Exterminator. This was a walk on with zero people in the load area. The ride was fine but my 10 year old didn't like it. She also did not like Primevil Whirl at WDW Animal Kingdom so I am guessing this will be her last spinning mouse.
We then headed over to Thunderbolt as many of the rides in the "Lost Kennywood" section were not open till noon. T-Bolt was a walk on for the front row. Since they have a no single rider policy a ride op went with my DD12 while DD10 & I rode in the 2nd row. This is where I first noticed that the park employees were not the friendliest of folk. I tried to chat her up and could only get 1 word answers out of her. This seemed to be the case with most of the employees.
After T-Bolt came Racer. I loved the restored facade to this ride which was built the year that my Dad was born (1927). We talked to a father & son in the queue and when it came time for our loading we were at the front of the line. I knew that we would want front seats, so I asked the young man what color he wanted to ride. He said Blue so we went to the Red side. As we were riding he had his hands up like a true Ride Warrior but his dad was hanging on to the lap bar.
To finish off our coaster count we jumped in line for Jack Rabbit. This was the the longest wait of the morning but the line still moved pretty quickly. While not much more then a junior coaster compared to what we have ridden this year, I still found it quite endearing.
At this time we met up with my wife and sister-in-law for the rest of the day. She had never been to an amusement park before and had never ridden a coaster. She agreed that she should at least give it a try so we went back to the Jack Rabbit. Lets just put it this way, she took her first and last coaster ride at the same time. :)
We broke for lunch and spent the afternoon hitting a bunch of flat rides including Goastwoods Estates (pretty good) and Garfield's Nightmare(sucks a big one) before heading back to Wheeling at 7:30.
I would have liked to have stayed longer to see the park at night and get a few more rides in on PR but the SIL had to work today and needed to get her sleep.
Overall impressions of Kennywood. It is a C rated park with a general lack of energy from the staff. Made me really appreciate the ride ops at KI & CP. The food that we had was excellent with the french fries and brown gravy going over well with our group. I doubt if we would go back here in the next 10 years unless they get a new coaster like is rumored.
Next up is our 4th trip to KI for Father's Day
Wow, I'm really surprised at this TR. I have gone to CP hundreds of times, and even worked there for 2 summers, but as a park, I prefer Kennywood hands down. If I only want to ride coasters and nothing else, I could see me choosing CP, but if I want to enjoy a park as a whole, I would pick either Kennywood or Indiana Beach. Hopefully you will give it another try sometime.
At least you got the Potato Patch fries!
Dave, is your C rating for the park based more on the employees not being overly friendly, or that the rides weren't all that impressive? It's been several years since I was at Kennywood, but I don't have any recollection of the employees not being friendly and helpful.
Maybe you're going through coaster overload-- 43 coasters by mid-June is a lot!
I can't agree with the negative image of the park staff if one of them was willing to ride with you on the Thunderbolt. They could easily have made you wait for another single rider... seems like good customer service to me, anyhow.
I tried to chat her up and could only get 1 word answers out of her.
Yeah, you have to understand how many people every day try to "chat up" girls that run rides.
While I am sure what you are saying is true. By chat up I was trying to make polite conversation not hit on her. She was riding with my 12 year old after all.
During the rest of the day most of the other staff seemed lethargic.
Yes RGB I gave it that grade for based on the our overall impression of the park compared to others that we have visited. I consider things such as Thrill Rides, Family Rides, Staff, Cleanliness, Safety, Food & Value. In retrospect a C might have been a bit too harsh and a B- might have been more appropriate.
I was told on another site that after the purchase of KW that the attitude in the park changed dramatically.
While I don't expect all parks to measure up to Cedar Point or to WDW, I did expect a little more out of Kennywood. Parks like Holiday World can pull off a great experiance with a limited number of thrill rides.
I agree that most of the staff is lethargic but it doesn't bother me, it's part of the parks personality. Is there any park in the north east region that has overly friendly staff?
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