Monday, July 9, 2001 6:27 PM
Going to Pittsburgh the night before on business, I strongly pushed for a trip to Kennywood on the trip back. Me and my co-worker Gavin, who had driven up with me, got to the park about 2:30pm. Miriam, our associate, meets us around 4:00pm. I went last year and had no intentions of going back anytime soon, but I had to ride PR while in the area. Crowds were moderate, and the weather was pleasant. Employees are very nice, and food prices are very reasonable, as far as that thing goes. The loose item boxes at the rides are also nice. The trip was mostly great, but with a few disappointments also. In particular, one of the park’s policies causes a snag later in the day. Miriam tries to buy the general admission ticket, and you have to be 19 or over to buy it. She’s 29, but had left here ID out in the car (why do you need ID to ride a roller coaster?). After telling them her birth date at guest relations, they let her in. Anyone know why this policy is in place? Following is a run down of our trip:
Phantom’s Revenge. The coaster looks great with the new paint job and Morgan track, but I’m having a little trouble finding the new entrance. They have a hundred flags advertising the ride throughout the park, but no arrows pointing to where the queue is. Finally finding the queue, we wait in an extremely slow moving line without any shade. Unlike the old Phantom queue, they are only letting a small group of people through at any given time to walk on the bridge towards the station. We are getting severely baked standing in one place for 10 minutes at a time. They’ve got to cover the queue like at SFA. Train dispatches were slow, and were also hurting due to one-train operation. (I don’t know why they weren’t using the second train which was parked on the transfer track). As for PR, it’s amazing! The first half still rides almost exactly the same as SP, but the 2nd half rocks! The series of bunnyhills and bumps following the banked turn are taken at almost too fast a speed (2Hostyl, you were right!). In particular, there’s one section by Pittfall where the track has a small fold in it, and your butt goes way out of the seat! If there’s one thing that destroyed the rides beauty though, it was a large mound of construction dirt in the middle of the turnaround back towards the station. Hopefully the park will landscape this section or something. But, seing as many of the coasters need paintjobs, I wouldn’t count on it. Gavin looks completely shell shocked after one ride, and sits out the 2nd later ride. Miriam rides with me on the 2nd trip and is praying to God going up the lifthill, which by the way, you can get a lot of praying in because the chain is so damn slow! She’s loves it .
Exterminator- Again we were greeted with another sluggish line. Once inside though, things moved a little faster in the indoor queue. I still loved the ride, but man does it beat you up! Gavin also gets a little freaked out by this one. On the 2nd lap there’s now 3 of us, and I ride solo in the right half of the car and get more beat up. I make sure to press the green button that triggers the annoying sirens while in line the 2nd time.
Aero 360-I ride by myself earlier in the day, since Gavin can’t do spinning rides (Oops, I conveniently forgot to tell him about the 2nd half of Exterminator). I still loved it, but still can’t for the life of me figure out why Screamscape nominated this as a most boring attraction for 2000. The positive G’s at the bottom of the spins are great and it’s very comfortable.
Thunderbolt-The other two won’t ride the wood coasters here, because they look too rickety to them. I get paired up with someone pretty quickly, but like last year I get the the outside seat which is horrible. I get squashed a couple of times against the thin padding going around the turns. I know it’s a historic coaster, but seat dividers or modern rolling stock would do this coaster wonders. The trains are also not good for my back, which was sore from the day before.
Pittfall-The line was fairly long all day for this one, but I finally bit the bullet later in the evening. Just like Tower of Doom at SFA, one of the towers is out of commission. They have also done the seat belt retrofit since last year. At 251ft., it’s like a really cool observation tower.
Racer-The line got much shorter in the evening, and it was a one-cycle wait. This is pretty good, although the cars are very loose. There’s one very good moment of airtime near the end of the ride. Unlike Lightning Racer at HP though, the trains never are that close to each other.
Noah’s Ark-I love this attraction and so did Gavin and Miriam. The line was much shorter than last year which was a plus also. As with Exterminator, I don’t reveal the key surprises to follow to my associates.
Gold Rusher-A cute darkride that gets rid of one of the Miriam’s general admission tickets.
Whitewater raft ride & Log Jammer
Monday, July 9, 2001 6:56 PM
Intamin Fan said:
"I know it’s a historic coaster, but seat dividers or modern rolling stock would do this coaster wonders."
Being squished against your ride partner is the funnest part of the ride, although I suppose it's much more fun when you know your ride partner (as I know you didn't). Oh well, you're entitled to your opinion.
Anyway, glad you enjoyed your day. Your TR makes me want to get to Kennywood right now and ride PR.
Signature Under Construction: A New Adventure Awaits in 2002!
*** This post was edited by MooreOn on 7/10/2001. ***
Monday, July 9, 2001 7:03 PM
The reason for the age restriction on general admission passes is to keep the park from turning into a daycare center. Follow that logic?
Glad you enjoyed Phantom's Revenge. When you say your friend was shell-shocked, does that mean he didn't like it? I expect landscaping to come for the 2002 season. (Hopefully, some shade over the queue will come, too.) All the park was trying to do was get the coaster opened as soon as they could. Thusly, they opted to open the coaster sans landscaping and the tunnel.
Racer is always
close on my rides. Didn't you try to slap hands with riders in the other cars? If not, you missed out. ;)
Matt Lynch, who dislikes seat dividers...
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
Monday, July 9, 2001 7:16 PM
I don't think the coasters at Kennywood desperately need a paintjob at all. Compare them to some of Six Flags' woodies, or the Blue Streak at CLP, and you'll notice that they are far worse. Gee, "too rickety?" Your friends sure missed out on some great opportunities!
Like Lynch said, the 19 and over policy is to prevent the park from turning into a daycare center. Prior to this year, you had to be 21 or older to buy a general admission ticket.
The reason for only one train operation on Phantom's Revenge is because an extra trim brake still needs to be installed to completely stop the train on the brake run. The train usually glids a tiny bit into the station, and that makes for unsafe operation of two trains.
You can already see signs of grass growing in around the helix in the trench, and all around the second drop and large turnaround. Trust me, more theming will be on the way, whether later this season, or more likely, next season.
"Revenge will be mine!"
*** This post was edited by Kennywood Insider on 7/9/2001. ***
Monday, July 9, 2001 7:21 PM
Intamin Fan said:
In particular, one of the park’s policies causes a snag later in the day. Miriam tries to buy the general admission ticket, and you have to be 19 or over to buy it. She’s 29, but had left here ID out in the car (why do you need ID to ride a roller coaster?). After telling them her birth date at guest relations, they let her in. Anyone know why this policy is in place?
Kennywood will only sell General Admission tickets to people over 19, for the same reason they don't have season passes. Now, remember that I don't work at the park, and I'm not speaking in any official capacity, so take this with a grain of salt.
They don't want to become the unofficial Youth Center where kids hang out all day, causing problems... So, no inexpensive general admission tickets to underage patrons.
Monday, July 9, 2001 8:28 PM
That is a very good idea, one which more parks I think should implement. The loophole in that situation in a park like SFWoA (which I noticed had a whole load of kids everywhere) is the season pass. Still, a great idea for medium-sized parks w/o a seasons pass.
A New World. A New Technology. One Last Hope for Salvation. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Monday, July 9, 2001 8:46 PM
Lynch, when I said my co-worker was shell-shocked from PR, I mean he looked like he had seen a ghost! And this is from someone who just told me he took a solo 125mph motorcycle ride the other night! The 2nd drop in particular really scared him. He told me later that he almost fell over trying to use the urinal after riding! To give you some perspective, the last coaster he rode was Ninja at SFMM, and that was years ago. I figured the general admission policy was because of loitering kids, but I knew someone at Coasterbuzz would have the actual answer. I guess the reason it kind of annoyed me, is because I know that a lot of our fellow buzzers are under 19, and therefore some wouldn't be able to produce any ID to get a general admission ticket. That seems a little unfair IMO. I do respect the parks decision though. BTW, the park was full of teenagers Sunday, but they were well behaved. I did notice that the area surrounding the park looked a little poor. Is this policy really to keeps all kids out, or to keep the "wrong" type of kids out, meaning poor kids? Sadly, the other train on Racer was nowhere near our train (even though we had an equal start), or I would have tried to slap hands:( All I'm saying is with Thunderbolt, is that I haven't really had a chance to enjoy it very well, because I keep getting slammed against the side of the car, and I try to avoid that sensation.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 7/10/2001. ***
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:29 AM
Intamin Fan said:
"Lynch, when I said my co-worker was shell-shocked from PR, I mean he looked like he had seen a ghost! And this is from someone who just told me he took a solo 125mph motorcycle ride the other night! The 2nd drop in particular really scared him.
Looks like the Phantom had his Revenge . . .
As for the general admission policy, they implemented that right around the same time the metal detectors were installed, I belive. I think it was more of a proactive move. KP is easily accessible by bus or walking, and parking is free. So it would be very easy for teenagers to just hangout there on a Friday evening.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:34 AM
Okay, I know I'm probably wrong, but what I'm thinking after reading this:
"Kennywood will only sell General Admission tickets to people over 19"
Is that Kennywood is a 19+ only park. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong, but I'd like to check...
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:39 AM
Those 18 and under can get in the park any day of the season as well, but their only option is to buy a Ride-All-Day pass, which is $21 on weekdays and $25 on the weekend. The price hike definitely keeps a lot of us po' teens out... ;)
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
*** This post was edited by Lynch on 7/10/2001. ***