Kennywood 8/10

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Monday, August 14, 2006 9:38 PM
I live over 500 miles from Kennywood, but im lucky enough to have relatives in the Pittsburgh area that I have visited nearly every summer since I was a little kid. Every year we make it a priority to go to Kennywood. This year was no different. Im 19 now, and I have such fond memories of Kennywood. I'll never forget such things as the first time I rode the Steel Phantom, and again the Phantoms Revenge. Not to mention rides like the old Old Mill, Le Cachot, as well as the old Ark, and others.

This year our trip to PA started on Wednesday. Its quite a long 9 or 10 hour drive from central Illinois, but ive done it so many times now it dosent bother me anymore. My original intent was to go to Kennywood on Friday, but after some deliberation, we decided Thursday worked better with our other plans. After breakfast, we left Carnegie, PA for Kennywood at around 10:30, and suprisingly enough, there werent any traffic problems this time. We havent been so lucky the last couple years, seems like there is always some accident somewhere that holds things up. We arrived shortly after 11 and parked in the free parking.

I missed getting out to PA last year, so this was my first time at Kennywood since the new entrance was built, my last visit was in 2004. I was very impressed, it suits Kennywood perfectly. My mom, Aunt, and I got out our tickets purchased from www.visitkennywood.com for 18 bucks, they were scanned, and we were in. Quite a good deal if you ask me. Since I only get to visit Kennywood once a year, somehow everything seems new again every year. Its exciting all over again. Walking through that tunnel gets me every time.

Kangaroo: This was our first ride of the day, one of Kennywoods gems, I believe this is the last remaining in the world? Very fun indeed.

Jack Rabbit: 2 rides, 15-20 minute waits. I was a little worried about the new seat belts, but gladly they dont detract from the awsome double dip in any way. Its still one of the greatest momments of airtime on any rollercoaster.

Racer: 2 rides, 10-15 minute waits. This thing packs quite a little punch for how small its drops really are. Excellent racing action every time. I managed a front seat ride my second time, which was very enjoyable.

Log Jammer: 1 ride, 15 minute wait. Still the best ride of this type I think ive rode. It gets you just wet enough, and it has a nice long fun layout.

I decided to skip the Aero 360 for the time being, and our next ride ended up being Auto Race. I felt a little too old to be riding it, but I had a blast anyways, the hand slapping rules. Another of Kennywood's one-of-a kind rides.

Thunderbolt: 3 rides, 5-10 minute waits. I rode twice in a row, first with my aunt then again with my mom, due to the single rider rule. I suppouse one of us could have found a partner, but I figured since the line was so short, why bother? It still amazes me how much of a punch this thing packs. Its still easy to see why this was generally regarded as the number 1 wooden rollercoaster for a long time. Every drop is great, and the lateralls are awsome, especially without seat dividers. Curse the day Kennywood gets seat dividers on Thunderbolt. Hopefully they never will.

Noah's Ark never fails to impress me. Every year it seems I notice something new, or am fooled by something yet again. This year it was the Gorilla. Our group of 3 were the last in our group to go through the Ark, probably lagging fairly far behind because we like to goof around and take our time. Anyways, my mom and I stopped to admire the gorilla, while my aunt was lagging slightly behind. As she was walking up the ramp towards the gorilla, the boat rocked, and it was just enough to where we both lost our balance. We were expecting a normal vertical wall behind us, but instead the wall behind us was slanted at probably, I dont know a 60 degree angle, and we both fell backwards on it. The looks on our faces mustve been priceless, because my aunt couldnt stop laughing. It was just too perfect really, the Gorilla was at the end of the boat where the rocking sensation was greatest, the Gorilla springs up, and you fall backwards on the (purpously) slanted wall behind it. Pure genius. I was a little dissapointed that the moving floors were not working, but I have heard that they are just waiting for a part. Last thing about the Ark: Special props to the girl making comments after the Elevator of Doom. She was saying random things about the ark, such as watch out for the floors, we havent fixed them, and other little things like that about the Animals and stuff. Im sure she wasnt required to do that, and its little things like that that really enhance the experience.

After Noahs Ark we decided to get some patch fries. Delicious as always, and we were able to catch the magic show on the Kennyville stage. A few of the tricks were pretty lame, but a couple were impressive and I didnt know how they were done.

Phantoms Revenge: 3 rides, 5-15 minute waits. Two train operation!!! I have always bashed Kennywood for not running 2 trains on the Phantom, and I know the reasons why, but It still stunk. Its a people eater with 2 trains on, and I was very glad to finally see it. I always compare Phantoms Revenge to Magnum, wethere I should or not, and as much as I love Magnum, I believe Phantom to be the better ride. Yea its considerably shorter, but it beats Magnum in every other way. Its faster, more intense, and the airtime is just crazy. It flies through those bunny hops, delivering ejector air unlike anything Magnum can begin to deliver. Theres never a dull momment, it flies through the entire course, keeping its intensity and pace, where I feel Magnum has almost what I would call a "break" in the turnaround. I was pretty strongly against the removal of the Steel Phantom, but wow this thing turned out great.

Exterminator: 2 rides, 30 minute waits. Our longest waits of the day, but well worth it. Easily the best wild mouse ive been on. Most of the themeing seemed to be working, and it was as fast and intense as ever.

After Exterminator my mom felt sick so she didnt ride anything the rest of the day. She always gets motion sickness or something, happens everywhere. My Aunt was still good to go though, so onward we went.

Pitt Fall: 1 ride, 20 minute wait. As soon as I saw it running we went straight for it, because its my favorite drop ride. Shame they are having problems with it, only 2 sides were open. Im not sure why I like this thing so much, but I do.

Swing Shot: 2 rides, 20 minute waits. I like these rides, better than the Huss Frisbees. Its a shame only one side was running, or the wait wouldve been even shorter. It doesnt really seem to give a longer ride than CP's, but it definatley gets off to a quicker start. One thing I noticed was that it was still very noisy. I thought the air compressors were in the building, and that was going to drain out a lot of the noise? Not the case. Seemed a lot of the noise came from the ride itself, not the building. Not a big deal, just an observation.

I got over and decided to go ahead and do Aero 360 by myself, as I couldnt convince my mom or my aunt to ride. Very enjoyable.

After this I got re-rides on everything I wanted to, ending the night with 2 awsome night rides on the Phantom. Overall, another great day at Kennywood. Perfect weather, and while It was a little more crowded than im used to, still completley managable thanks to 2 train operation on everything that can run 2 trains. Props to Kennywood there. I sometimes hear reports of bad employees or whatever. I cant say I saw any particular employee that stood out as being bad. At the same time, compared to Cedar Point, the employees to seem to be slightly bored and lazy. Not everyone, just some people. But its hard to be better than Cedar Point, and like I said, nothing too terrible. I actually saw several things that stood out in my mind, the girl in Noahs Ark like I mentioned, and one of the Swing Shot ops who caught some guys trying to line jump. They were right next to the op when they did it, and as soon as they did, he promptly said something along the lines of "you think I didnt notice that". They promptly went to the end of the line. There is one thing I must get off my chest though. What is up with everyone spitting? Mostly teenagers or younger people, but its just all over the place. Maybe a person or 2 might have been chweing tobacco, which is disgusting, but most just seemed to be spitting for the sake of spitting. I mentioned this to my mom, and she just said "oh, its just their age." I disagree, Ive been to a lot of parks, and ive never noticed that like I did this year at Kennywood. I mean, im 19 so I guess you could say im at the prime "spitting age" and I dont do that, nor does anyone I know. Its just a little disgusting thats all, it must be the area I guess. Otherwise, an awsome visit to Kennywood, I love the place.

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Monday, August 14, 2006 10:10 PM
Glad you liked Kennywood. I work on the Tbolt and yeah, instead of making someone wait for another single, we usually just let one person ride twice. Its easier. Good TR. Take care.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 12:43 AM
The noise you're hearing on SwingShot is the air exhausting from the pneumatic cylinders inside the towers. The compressors and air tanks, which are located inside the building, aren't nearly as noisy as the tower itself.
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Friday, August 18, 2006 10:27 AM
You should see how T-Bolt eats up people running all 3 trains.

It has ran 3 at very rare times.

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Friday, August 18, 2006 12:55 PM
Thunderbolt hasn't run three trains since the accident in '99; I'm not even sure if they ran three before that...
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Friday, August 18, 2006 6:49 PM
Thunderbolt hasn't run three trains in 30 years.
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Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:19 PM
I worked on the Thunderbolt from 92 to 97. The Thunderbolt is not capable of running a 3 train operation, Since the transformation from Pippin to the T-Bolt in 1968. The Pippin however, was capable of a 3 train operation.
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Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:08 PM
There are three ways in which 3 train operation is possible in a non-racing coaster. One way is if there are block brakes somewhere in midcourse. This along with the chain makes 3 blocks. Another way is if the brakes in and before the station allows stacking of two trains in or before the station (most common if there are separate loading and unloading areas). The third way is if there are two chainlifts in the circuit.

Some coasters (eg. the Beast at PKI) have two chains and midcourse block brakes. Some mine train coasters have 3 chainlifts. Mouse coasters often have multiple block brakes. Any of these designs can permit additional trains or mouse cars to be used.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 12:09 AM
I like the loud air noise coming from the Swing Shot... it makes the ride sound fierce or something! Something about the air release just enhances the intensity, I think.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 8:58 PM

Chooch249 said:
I like the loud air noise coming from the Swing Shot... it makes the ride sound fierce or something! Something about the air release just enhances the intensity, I think.

Eh maybe, but I just think its too loud for a small park like Kennywood. Although im not really trying to complain, id rather them have the ride with the noise, than no new ride at all.

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Monday, August 21, 2006 9:24 PM
What amusement park doesn't have noise? Many of the rides have their distinctive noises that each contribute in their own way to the park's overall atmosphere.

The clanking of a rollercoaster up the chain followed by the rolling up and down the hills. The cracking of a Whip. The splashing of a flume. The banging of bumper cars into each other. The spinning whirl of a Tilt-A-Whirl. The hum of motors on various rides. All of these add to the excitement that a park provides.

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