Kennywood 7/31 A lot of rides on one rainy day

Associated parks:
None

Friday, August 1, 2003 12:33 AM
Since I had the day off from work at SFA, I talked to my friend Matt about going to SFA to ride. Then I thought “Do I really want to go to work on my day off?” That’s when I thought “I’d rather go to Kennywood or Knoebels”, if possible. So I get a call back from Matt on my cell saying it’s an excellent choice. The problem is, which one. Weighing my decisions back and forth, and noting the distance and time to each park, I finally go with Kennywood the morning of the trip. This TR is probably out of order in places, but that just goes to show you how much we did today.

When we arrived at 2pm, the weather was actually quite nice. I remember seeing the sun, and a few clouds. All of this would change later. For the first ride I suggest the Flying Carpet, as Matt’s never ridden DaVinci’s Cradle at BGW. He wants to ride Phantom first, but I talk him into it, as I’m worried it might breakdown later in the day. It’s packs a punch, and change goes flying out of my pocket, but Matt still misses Conestoga at Hershey. At least it found a new home. We then passed the new Volcano Valley area, which includes the Pirate Ship, Enterprise (If this had a new name, I apologize, for Kennywood’s 3 cent photocopied map gets cut off at the bottom where the ride’s name would be listed), and King Kahuna (Topspin). It looks pretty impressive in person, and the volcano sounds are quite loud coming out of the Enterprise and volcano. I just barely missed getting hit by some water spouts also (and I won’t tell which ride they’re by:).

PR was calling our name, and unfortunately they were only running one train. It wasn’t too big of a deal as the line only streched back to the gum roof. Other than an extremely slow lift, PR is absolutely nuts. Airtime galore, and the double-down followed by the last bunny hop are just too sick for words. This is not a ride where you want to have your hands up, unless of course you’re on the lift. Staying in the same area, we rode Pittfall next. I thought after riding Drop Zone at PKD that I’d be all calm and collected once we got to the top. Wrong. I kept thinking “Our we ever going to drop?” It is quite the psychological torture. The drop was the easy part.

We passed on Exterminator because the line was too long, but we got on the Whip instead. This is the first old-school whip I’ve ridden since the one at Dorney. It was fun, but the ride-cycle could’ve been shorter. After the 12th time around, it got a little old. Noticing a virtually non-existant line for Noah’s Ark, which is extremely unusual, we queued up. I finally confirmed one of the illusions of the ride today, and to not blow it for anyone else, I won’t tell you which one. Unfortunately, the very end of the ride was closed today:( Oh well, at least we got to walk through the swinging ark.

Being the flat ride junkie that I am, we had to try out King Kahuna, the new for 2003 attraction. I was a little bit leary because of the water jets in use, but it wasn’t that cold of a day. After watching one cycle, we noticed that the water jets were mostly more psychological torture. I noticed something very disturbing while watching. It starts to flip, and I count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 flips, followed by an 8th flip a short while after. This isn’t your father’s Topspin. Once the ride was underway, the flips were too intense for me. I wasn’t going to hurl, but it was a bit much (Matt loved it by the way). Then the ride teased us with the water jets. Our shoes did get wet on one swing, but nothing too bad.

We walked onto the Goldrusher dark ride. It’s not quite the Knoebels Haunted House, but it made up for the compromise in park selection. Another coaster was in order, so we moved onto the Thunderbolt. I actually really enjoyed my ride this time, because I had someone bigger sitting next to me to cushion the turns. Call it sacrilege, but I would still like to see seat dividers, especially so single people can ride. Neither one of us had ridden the Huss Swing Around, although I had ridden the one at Dorney, so we hit that next. On the way to the enterance, we pass a guy trying his best to belt out a tune at the show below the ride. Simon would have a field day with this guy. I noted that the Swing Around was a portable ride, something I had not been aware of before. The ride consists of a car attached to an arm, that swings out and in towards the center. It’s fun for a little while, but like The Whip, gets old pretty quick. Right across the way was the Aero 360 (Zamperla Hawk 48), and we took advantage of a very short line. It was about this time that it started raining, and it didn’t let up for the rest of the day. For the first time, I understood why this ride type has made Screamscape’s most boring attraction category two times (this year it was Dorney’s Meterorite). It’s kind of fun at first, but then again, the spinning went on and on, and having a dripping man fresh from the white-water rapids ride across from me didn’t help either. I didn’t even bother holding on.

I had never ridden the Log Jammer log flume before, so that was up next. There was no line, which is always a bonus, as you know what log flume lines are usually like. It was interesting that there were signs around the ride explaining the dynamics of the splash based on where you sit, the heaviness of the boat etc. They had similar signs around PR. After reading such signs, I asked Matt to sit in the back, as to according to the sign, that’s were you get the wettest. It’s a typical Arrow logflume, except a small rollercoaster-like drop after the first lift. That was different. We both got pretty wet, although not as wet as Matt did:) It was a short walk to the Racer, and Matt points out something I’ve never noticed before—that the trains don’t return back to the same station that they start out in. Call me stupid, but I’ve never noticed before. Matt tries to explain the concept to me, contrasting it with Rebel Yell at PKD. This is definitely no Lightning Racer, as the trains got nowhere near each other during the course of the ride.

It was starting to rain fairly hard by this point, but we took advantage of a walk-on condition for Jack Rabbit, and that’s a rare sight. I still to this day don’t know how they get away with a small leather strap that would probably be loose on a person with a 54 inch waist and call it a restraint, but that’s Kennywood for you. I actually didn’t get much air on the double-down for once, and since they have assigned seating I can’t tell you where I sat. Still feeling the need for air, we hit the Kangaroo flat ride, which consists of a seat with a wheel underneath that hits a ramp that makes it “hop” up in the air. Of course your body follows the hop. It’s fun for a couple of spins, but again, could be a little bit shorter.

Heading for temporary dryness, we played the Roller Coaster Tycoon Pinball Machine. It was good, but we both noticed it was too easy for the ball to go right down the center. Still trying to stay dry, we took a relaxing ride on the Old Mill dark ride/boat ride.

After a quick bite to eat at the Pizza Place in Lost Kennywood, it was back on Pittfall, which had no line. We then checked back on the line for Exterminator, and the line was much shorter, and we arrived there just in the nick of time, as the queue got thicker behind us. Once inside it was so nice to not see all the queue in use. Unfortunately, the infamous buzzer by the control panel wasn’t working, so there would be no annoying other people today:( While loading, I screwed up and pulled down my restraint too early, as they were putting other people in our car. It’s really hard to hear with the giant fan blowing in your face. It was a simple solution to fix, as the attendant pulled out some kind of battery pack and plugged it in to get the restraints to unlock. I imagine this must happen a lot, as they try to keep the cars continiously moving throughout the station. I’m glad you can’t see down through the upper winding half, like on traditional mice, as that’s the part I always hate. For a mouse, it’s pretty darn long, and the spinning in the dark part always gets to me. A mouse and a darkride, what a concept. While exiting I suggest we ride the Chance Wipeout, their version of the classic Trabant. It was quite fun. We then took another ride on Thunderbolt, this time in the front car. For some reason, they were down to one train, and they have three. It was no biggy as we waited a short time for the front row, and wow, was it fun.

At some point we rode the Turtle spinning ride, which involves a few pods that travel up and down on a curvy track around in a circle. This was definitely the “Don’t let the ride’s perceived motion dictate the rides action”. It was actually somewhat crazy, as you would get some airtime over the hills.

I suggested a ride on the Enterprise, as we were determined to cram as many rides in for our $28 as we could. I was relieved that this didn’t pull as many g’s as the removed Sky Escaper at SFA, as that would hurt after a while. The lava rocks in the middle look nice and there is some lighting effects, including four strobes, but it didn’t seem to create much of an effect. Maybe it would’ve looked better in the dark. We checked on the Bayern Curve flat, but unfortunately, they had just closed it down for the night. I was very impressed with the rehab work that has been done since the last time I rode back in 2000. It pratically looks like a brand new ride with its attractive paint job on the cars.

We went back on PR only to notice that the 2nd train they had added during the middle of the day had been removed again. Argh. It was during this time that we heard an odd announcement at the park that has no set closing time, “Kennywood will be closing at 9:30 due to inclement weather. So, we decided to ride PR, then head back to JR for one more spin. This time, sitting towards the back, I flew out of my seat. Back to PR we noticed the station was pretty thick with people. For a few minutes they stopped running the train, although I don’t know why. All I do know was that it was enough to get a lot of people to leave the line! We rode several times in a row, including one incredibly painful front row ride due to the raindrops hitting our faces at 85mph. The worst section was right before the tunnel. The station was empty, but they did make us walk around the whole long way to ride again, even with no one in our row. Since closing time was nearing, I weant off to ride King Kahuna one more time. The spins were the same, but the rest of the ride didn’t make any sense since they had turned off the water effects.

Luckily, we made it to my car right as it really started to pour. The storm followed us most of the way back to Baltimore, but I really wished I could’ve taken Kennywood back with me instead:)


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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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Friday, August 1, 2003 5:18 AM
I don't understand the whole "rides could be shorter" thing - I think the flats are too short as it is, I could ride the Kangaroo all day! And I find Aero 360 to be one of my favorite rides in the park - not boring at all. But to each his own I guess.

Oh and you almost never see more than one train operation on a weekday at Kennywood, and it raining just makes things worse. That's nothing new. And comparing Racer to Lightning Racer? That's not fair ... at least compare apples to apples bud.

Glad you made the trip, hope you come back.

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Formerly PittDesigner (graduating soon!)
Lifelong fan of all Impulses!
--Brett

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Friday, August 1, 2003 7:47 PM
We'll definitely return, but not this year. I guess my problem with the flats is that many of them seemed to exceed what I find comfortable as far as ride times, which is usually about 1:30. I think I clocked the Whip in around 2:00 and change. I loved Aero 360 when it debuted, but after getting on so many more extreme flats since (KMG Afterburner and Zamperla's Power Surge for instance), it just didn't do it for me. Perhaps it would've been more fun had we been on the outside seats. Lastly, if you're going to call a coaster "Racer", the trains should at least be in the same neighborhood when traveling around. Sadly, this has never been the case for me whenever I've ridden it. Maybe it's bad luck.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Friday, August 1, 2003 10:57 PM
I found the Racer at Kennywood to, while not having the trains exactly next to each other, still racing. It was a lot like foot-racing...sure, that train on the inside of the curve might be kinda far behind, but he's got a lot less distance to travel before reaching the next straight.

Maybe it's that I've been a long time racing fan (mostly auto-racing, where that inside line makes all the difference), but not having the trains directly next to each other never messed up the racing feeling for me.

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Saturday, August 2, 2003 8:01 AM
Ive also had a few bad expeierences on Racer in the past(E.G. No one train is always too far ahead for hand slapping) But if they running right, its a great race every time, with glorious hand slapping on 3 turns if your lucky.

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The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000.
Track Record: 62 coasters at 17 parks.

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Saturday, August 2, 2003 9:49 PM
Ouch...Baltimore to Pittsburgh and back on the same day...hope you didn't have to go to work when you got back...Kings Dominion would be about as far as we would go these days without overnighting...

It also rained on our trip to KW in July...got quite nasty and we had to abandon the park by 6...we were not so lucky as we were drenched by the time we got to the car even tho we were in the pay section.

We were actually on our way back from CP...the change of pace between the two parks was quite amazing. Felt like we were on a time warp back to the '50's and '60's. And the rides were great...we were expecting a bit of a letdown after having experienced CP...

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"How was your ride?"

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 9:36 AM

micrip said:
Ouch...Baltimore to Pittsburgh and back on the same day...hope you didn't have to go to work when you got back...Kings Dominion would be about as far as we would go these days without overnighting...

It also rained on our trip to KW in July...got quite nasty and we had to abandon the park by 6...we were not so lucky as we were drenched by the time we got to the car even tho we were in the pay section.

We were actually on our way back from CP...the change of pace between the two parks was quite amazing. Felt like we were on a time warp back to the '50's and '60's. And the rides were great...we were expecting a bit of a letdown after having experienced CP...

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"How was your ride?"


Ah yes, you were the one who was at Cedar Point and Kennywood the same days I was. We left Kennywood by 4. The lines were so short all day, I honestly did pretty much all I wanted to do...Sure, a night ride on a few rides would've been nice, but thats alright.

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The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000.
Track Record: 62 coasters at 17 parks.

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 7:41 PM
Actually, both of us had to work the next day, Matt at 10am, and me at 3pm. Some of my co-workers thought I was nuts for going. I drove the whole way up, but we switched drivers at a Sheetz in Breezewood coming back. There's no way I could've driven it all myself without at least a pull-over to the side of the road, or a motel. I've done Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is a similar distance by myself in one day, but the last two times I've been with another person.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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