Kennywood (6/21/2002)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 25, 2002 12:44 PM

We arrived at the park right around the opening of the gates at 10:30am and proceeded directly to Phantom’s Revenge and joined the wait for the opening of the queue at 11am. There were only 6 people ahead of us in line and they all went for the front seat once the queue opened, so we queued right up behind them. Having experienced the old Steel Phantom in its final season (and finding it brutally rough for a steel coaster) we had high hopes for PR. The new trains are comfortable and as before the first two drops are great as is that turn around after coming out of the ravine. However, the rest of the ride… well… not terrible, but not a favorite. My wife thought it was rough and declined any more rides on it. I grabbed quick re-ride in the back seat before we moved on to Exterminator.

In our previous visit, after having been beaten up by SP, we found the line for Exterminator to be very long so we opted to skip it. On this day however the line was practically non existent. What a fun coaster this is! Just the simple fact of having a wild mouse enclosed with the giant rat props etc is great, but add to that the spinning and Wow! I don’t remember when we laughed so hard on a coaster. We jumped back on for a quick re-ride and this time we spun even faster than before.

Dark ride fans that we are, we could not pass up Noah’s Ark and Gold Rusher even though we had been through these before.

The next thing we decided to try was the 1930 vintage Auto Race. Again, we found our selves laughing as we traveled along its winding course.

During our last visit I decided to skip Aero 360. This time I was braver and decided to take a ride. My wife (the smart one of the team) decided to sit this one out. Wish I would have. It’s not that it is a bad ride… it is thrilling… I just hate that feeling of being upside down with only an OTSR holding you in. I don’t like heights, and being upside down like that when they sort of hesitate at the top… well… I will put this on my “Been there, Done that” list.

Two rides on Log Jammer were next. We had ridden this last trip and found it to be a very fun flume… especially that little hop after the first drop.

Having only had our “complimentary Contenintal Breakfast” at the hotel that morning and seeing that it was now close to noon, we stopped at a food stand near Aero 360 and had some chicken strips and fries. After a brief time out for lunch, and sitting at the base of the Sky Coaster debating if we wanted to try this (I decided that WE did not want to), I ventured over to Racer.

Having ridden Racer before and not thinking very much of it, I decided just to give it a ride for the record. This time I tried a back seat (2 years ago I sat up front). Wow… what a difference. What turned into only “one ride because it is a coaster and it is there” turned in to 6 rides by the time we left this area of the park. Racer redeemed itself to me. Rides in back or close to the back I found are really fun. May not be the most thrilling, but certainly fun. During this time I also hopped 3 rides on Jack Rabbit. My wife, not being a big wooden coaster fan, decided to “people watch” while I rode these two coasters.

We then decided to head on over to Thunderbolt and see if it was open (it had been closed earlier in the day… possibly because of the work that they were doing on the neighboring Ragin’ Rapids). On the way we took a quick spin on the Carrousel.

When we got to T-Bolt we found practically no line. Knowing that it had a No Single Rider Rule and that I wanted to ride it, my dear sweet wife unselfishly decided to forget her painful experience on Conneaut Lake’s Blue Streak the day before and agreed to “one, and ONLY one ride” and that one had to be in the middle of the train. Hey, I was just glad she was doing that so the middle of the train it was.

Two years ago, T-Bolt left me flat. Could have been the hour wait we had then… could have been the crowds… could have been the fact that we were both in pain from that dreadful Steel Phantom. For whatever reason, we both did not like this coaster. HOWEVER… What we found this day was a very wild and fun ride.

When we got off of it, my wife said… “Okay… one more.” I did not give her a chance to change her mind and we were back in line. Right in front of us a man turned around and walked away after reading the “No Single Rider” sign. My wife, still a little shaken from her first ride, suggested that I see if he needed a riding partner. I ran and caught up with him and asked if he turned away because he was alone. He said he did. I then said to him “Come on, we’re going.”

It worked out well… my wife got to rest, I got my second ride, and this guy got a ride in as well. Again, a very fun middle of the train ride. Then one of the biggest surprises of the day. After meeting up with my wife again, she said… “Okay, I’ll do one more.” This time, as we stepped into the station, she said… “May as well do a front seat ride.” Trying not to literally jump for joy, we stepped into the front seat queue and 4 trains or so later we were boarding. We both loved this ride. My wife even commented about the little bit of floating air on some of the hills (she’s not a coaster geek like me and doesn’t usually talk about such things).

Not only did she try one front seat ride, but we did a re-ride right after that. I had hoped for one ride on T-Bolt and I had managed 4 in a row.

I decided to give PR another try. Having been jolted pretty much in the front in the morning, my wife told me to do a middle train test ride. I did and found it as jolting as the front and back.

My wife decided to pass up a re-ride after I told her this, and so did I. Seeing Pitt Fall looming over us, I got in line. While waiting, I got to talking to an older man about different parks, Hersheypark in particular since he said he was heading there next. Anyway, the sight from the top of this tower still gives me chills. It’s the height that turns my stomach more than the fall.

My wife said that she wanted to do Exterminator again. We found our longest line of the day (16 minutes, I timed it) here. Again, a wild ride, as was the re-ride we did immediately after this. This 4th ride on here was the most spinning and disorienting of the day.

By now it was around 5:30 or 6pm so it was time to hit the water rides (we did not want to be soaked all day, so we decided to hit them just before we left). First up was Pittsburgh Plunge. We noticed that the people in the front of the boat stayed a little dryer than those in the rear, so we grabbed the front seat. What we failed to take into consideration was the fact that we were the only two people on the entire boat! When we made the plunge, the weight was in front and the bow went low, sending up a huge wall of water. We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, though it was only a split second, looking at the water looming over us… and then crashing down on us. We were nearly soaked.

On the way to Ragin’ Rapids (which had opened up earlier in the day) we jumped onto Thunderbolt for what I thought would be my final ride. Again, a front seat ride, and again a very fun ride. As we exited, I happened to spot the older gentleman who I was talking to on Pitt Fall. He was standing there looking up at that “No single Riders” sign. I asked my wife if she minded if I grabbed another ride, she said she did not, so I asked the guy if he needed a riding partner. So, for the 6th time that day I boarded T-Bolt. This time it was a seat toward the back of the train. While it was still a fun ride, I preferred the front seat more… more of that floating time at the top of the hills.

Anyway, after rejoining my wife, we boarded the rapids. Some rapids (like Hersheypark’s) have water falls that get EVERYONE soaked. Personally, I prefer the ones like Kennywood’s… only certain riders get soaked… sort of a form of River Rapids Russian Roulette. Anyway, the first part of the ride was swift… and then we turned the corner and saw the one water fall… and the side of the raft I was in started turning toward it. I was the one on our boat to get drenched. No part of me (except of the seat of my pants which were firmly between me and the seat) was dry!

After a quick stop at the Fudge Shop just inside the gate, we left. It was probably one of the best park visits we ever had. The weather was beautiful, and the crowds were light so we got our fill of rides. The big surprise was Thunderbolt. What I had labeled as an overrated coaster turned out now to be one of my favorite wooden coasters… if not my favorite (I will have to get back to Knoebels to re-ride Phoenix to make that decision).

The following day was my wife’s cousin’s wedding in Johnstown. Before we left the reception, we said our goodbye’s to her cousin and his bride. When we did, his new bride said “Next time you are out this way, we’ll have to do that Kennywood trip we talked about last summer.” Didn’t see a need to tell her we were just there… this way we will HAVE to return.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 6/25/2002. ***

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Tuesday, June 25, 2002 3:33 PM
Excellent Trip Report! Glad you had fun.

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-Sean Newman
83 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC # 100 in July. Waiting for the 305 foot drop tower in 2003. Thank you PKD.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:11 PM
So how jolting is PR?

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Good Times!! Good Times!!
-Patrick

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 5:05 AM

Well, I didn't find PR nearly as painful as its former self, SP. However, SP's pain came from a different source (head, ear, shoulder and neck pain from the OTSRs).

Like the old SP, PR I found to be a very good ride through the first two drops. However, at the bottom of the 2nd drop is where I found the jolting to begin. The sudden change of direction from going down the drop and then quickly swooping up and to the left pushes you down in your seat a bit (but it is not all that bad). The turn around before the 3rd drop is not that bad either. In the section that goes back under the Thunderbolt is where I first noticed a little (but very little rough ness).

After you clear the Thunderbolt and go past/over the Turtle you hit a hop. This produces air, but not the floating type. My belt was tight and the lap bar was secure, but I still found myself lifted out of my seat and then slammed down into it again. After you pass the station and before the final banked turn around, there is a little double dip that is taken at a very high speed. This is probably the most painful part... off your seat SLAM back into your seat off your seat SLAM back into your seat. Kind of painful on the back and neck. After the final banked turn (kind of a half helix), there is another hop or two before returning to the station. Some painful SLAMing type of air found here too.

My wife and I both agreed that it is not nearly as painful and rough as the old SP. Actually, not nearly as rough and painful as many coasters... especially a big wooden coaster named after a hero from Greek mythology found in the eastern part of PA. However, of the Hypers that we have encountered (Apollo's Chariot, Steel Force, SFDL's and SFA's S:RoS, and the previous Steel Phantom), we have found only the old SP to be rougher (of course, most train wrecks are even smoother than the old SP)

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 7:01 AM

SLFAKE said:

After you clear the Thunderbolt and go past/over the Turtle you hit a hop. This produces air, but not the floating type. My belt was tight and the lap bar was secure, but I still found myself lifted out of my seat and then slammed down into it again. After you pass the station and before the final banked turn around, there is a little double dip that is taken at a very high speed. This is probably the most painful part... off your seat SLAM back into your seat off your seat SLAM back into your seat. Kind of painful on the back and neck. After the final banked turn (kind of a half helix), there is another hop or two before returning to the station. Some painful SLAMing type of air found here too.

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This is where personal opinions tend to differ. This type of slam you around, violent, unrelenting airtime is what I love about PR and I wouldn't change it for the world. We were also at the park on Friday and I had the chance to take 3 newbies on PR and they all loved the brutal airtime. 2 of them were from Florida where they don't get to experience such brutality in a coaster and couldn't get back on fast enough.

If you thought the front and middle were bad, it's a good thing you didn't sit the back (my favorite). Everyone's body is different and some people can handle more than others. It all depends on what you like and what you handle.


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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 7:17 AM
I think that the Phantom Revenge is soooo smooth and FUN:) glad you had fun, did you ride any flats?

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:)KENNYWOOD:)

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 7:57 AM

I did ride the back seat (my second ride on it of the three).

Keep in mind... I am not saying it is horribly rough and unrideable... It is not. Compared to the old Steel Phantom, it is smooth as glass. For the most part it is a smooth ride... however the parts that I thought were rough I found to be bone jarring rough.

Was it a terrible coaster. No, not by a long shot... a heck of a big improvement over the old SP in my opinion. Was it one of my favorites... no, not a favorite either. Average at best. Would I have ridden it more... probably... However, with the line practically non existant for Thunderbolt and very short for Exterminator, we decided to concentrate on them more. I guess that proves something right there about me and coaster roughness. There is one point on Exterminator, near the very end, where you go over some little hopps while spinning that throws you around quite a bit... almost feels like the train has come off the tracks and you are just bouncing along the floor. Didn't phase me at all. Add to that the day before that I rode Conneaut Lake's Blue Streak 11 times (2 when we arrived, and 9 in a row before we left)... now that IS a rough coaster.

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 6/26/2002. ***

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 7:57 AM

My wife felt exactly the same way about PR that your wife did-one ride was more than enough for her. I had a similar experience to you...not a terrible ride, but not a great one either.

PR is the only Morgan hyper I've been on, but it makes me hope that the rumors of a Morgan going to SFWoA are just that, rumors. I'd take a B&M or a Intamin anyday.

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Proud CB club member

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:06 AM

loriu said:

2 of them were from Florida where they don't get to experience such brutality in a coaster and couldn't get back on fast enough.



I take it they've never ridden Gwazi or Python then? ;)


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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:50 AM

Different kind of brutality :)

That's the big thing -- some people equate a violent, throw-you-from-your-seat ride, with a "rough" ride. Which is perfectly understandable, but to me there's a huge difference between the madness of PR (my #1 coaster) and the kidney-punching, bouncing roughness of Hurtmeplease (my LEAST favorite coaster)

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 12:10 PM

Lallen said:

I take it they've never ridden Gwazi or Python then?

No they haven't but I hope to change that when we go down in October. :)


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Friday, June 28, 2002 1:34 PM

Sorry, but your crazy for thinking the Phantoms Revenge is rough. You want rough go ride the Beast or it's son.

(not no knock on either ride, because both are in my top 5 wood coaster list, but they are 5 times as rough as PR.)

Also, your absolutely crazy for rating Phantoms Revenge ''below average'' Complete bull. And its not like kennywood is the only park ive been to. Ive been to the SFGAM, Cedar Point, PKI, and the like, and the PR has the best Air time EVER. simple as that. no coaster has that kind of air.

*** This post was edited by stljason1 on 6/28/2002. ***

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Friday, June 28, 2002 2:02 PM
stljason1, have you ever heard the phrase "respecting the opinions of others?" I'm guessing there are coasters I like that you don't, and vice versa, but I wouldn't necessarily say "your" crazy.

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Proud CB club member

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