Kennywood (8/7/10)

Sunday, August 8, 2010 8:35 PM

I went against my pledge to not go to major parks on a Saturday in August, but I only had this chance to check out Sky Rocket before school season takes over. The weather was perfect (low 80s) and the park was crowded, but manageable.

Exterminator started the day with a virtual walk-on. A very unique mouse with good spinning the first ride, and sick spinning the second. The second ride was a posted 1hr and 30min, but its well worth it when everything else was a similar wait. (8/10)

SwingShot was another early morning walk-on (good planning for once). Unfortunately these rides put the pirate ships to shame. Great airtime, forces, and flying feeling. (8/10)

Thankfully, Phantom's Revenge is fixed. The transition feels natural and comfortable, but airtime is the dealmaker for this coaster. Both near-front and back seats gave excellent ejector on the hops, and nice floater down the second drop. Moved closer to the top of my steel favorites.(10/10)

Thunderbolt also gave some of the best rides I have had on this great classic. Near the front gives of course the pre-lift pop, and the helix delived some good air as well. Most importantly, the back gave good air in the valley sections. (9/10)

Jack Rabbit is another good classic, but is getting lost in my favorite woodies. True, the landscape is awesome and the trains are comfy, but aside from the fair amount of air, the ride itself is fun to laugh with friends on, but not very thrilling. The long line didn't help either. (6/10)

Racer is similar to the Jack Rabbit in the fun but not thrilling category, but the racing aspect redeems it. Both races were close, and the last hop gave some nice air for a great finale. Unfortunately the ride ops were very slow (save the conversation for when the trains are on the course).(7/10)

Then there is Sky Rocket. The wait was about 1hr and 15min, with a short period of downtime for "daily maintenance" and another stoppage for a corner of a seat cushion separating from the side of the car. After an excessive amount of duct tape for a minor repair, the other ride-ops took the authority to get things moving. The ride itself is very good, but far from excellent. The holding brake is effective, and the two inversions are intense, but the rest is lacking. Thankfully the last hill popped me out of the seat. (8/10)

Other rides to note. Log Jammer is a great flume because of its speed between drops (7/10). Aero 360 is a ride every park should have (9/10). Bayern Kurve is a dying breed of fun, every himilaya fails in comparison to this awesome flat (9/10). Pitt Fall felt less intense than usual where my hometown 140' tower is better (5/10). Ghostwood Estate is well done, but my next visit will be less shooting and more observing (7/10). Noah's Ark is a great walkthrough, but I just don't feel I should have waited so long for it (7/10).

Now for my few rants. For one, GET RID OF PAY TO CUT! I don't care how much money you spend, that doesn't make you desrving enough to cut and take the good seats others waited for an hour to get. Please extend the queue lines for the coasters. I know its tough for Jack Rabbit and Racer, but midways become a mess with Rabbit and Racer as well as Extrminator and Sky Rocket. Finally, on busy days like a Saturday, it's only logical to already have two trains running on Phantom and Thunderbolt instead of taking extra time to add them on less than an hour after opening.

Now back to positives. Kennywood is a very high quality park. It's affordable, well-kept, nicely landscaped, and each ride is running well. Even if not all the coasters were elite, each gave a good, fun ride, and the word rough has very little need to be used. I find myself lucky to have one of the best traditional parks only 2hrs away.

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Monday, August 9, 2010 9:26 PM

I'll give my 1920's coasters weren't meant for the seat belts that add to the wait spilling them out on the midways, but they aren't going to get around that.

Phantom and Thunderbolt never open with both trains. Not sure for the reasons why. But yes starting back in Lost Kennywood is always a winning strategy to dodge those waits later in the day.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 4:38 PM

that doesn't make you desrving enough to cut and take the good seats others waited for an hour to get.

It's not about being deserving, it's about getting what you pay for. And isn't that the American Dream?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 4:56 PM

Seriously, how could their VIP system really impact your day? Do you understand how it works?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:38 AM

It impacts people BECAUSE IT EXISTS CARRIE! IT'S MORALLY WRONG!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:41 AM

Whatever, darling. You're an un-American non-coaster enthusiast!

(Wait, darling was yesterday's word of the day. I'm always a step behind...)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:56 AM

I'm definitely Un American for thinking that people should get what they pay for ;).

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:48 AM

Ugh! Searched and can't find it. Where in the park do you go to buy the passes? Supposed to go to Kennywood next Thursday, and if it's really busy I will buy the pass. And if I remember, I can't buy an individual pass for Sky Rocket, correct?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:09 PM

The stand is right on the corner of Garfield's Nightmare, across the midway from the entrance to Sky Rocket.

And I'm not sure about the individual passes for Sky Rocket. You couldn't when I attended on the 4th of July, but I think I read in April's recent trip report that she was able to purchase one, so they may have changed that now.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:38 PM

Thank you :)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 3:03 PM

Are you deserving of this Pay to Skip access?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:34 PM

I like how, after 24 hours, the passes develop those pink diagonal lines that show they're no longer valid. Is this new technology?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:33 PM

I've been good lately, too good. But actually, it's due to my great sense of entitlement. (Just kidding, Travis)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:52 PM

^Well, you do deserve it...but only if you pay for it. ;)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:59 PM

I never pay for "it." Oh, you meant the pass. Haha, almost missed that part.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:39 PM

LOL, I really was referring to the pass - wasn't even thinking about going all Charlie Sheen or anything. :)

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 1:13 AM

I went to the park Thursday and will have my first-time-cherry-popping write up soon, but I want to throw in my additional 2 quids here on VIP Coaster Tour thingy.

I don't care if you pay $15 to have a reserved time to ride a ride during the day. I do complain when you pop up through the exit and jump into the back/front, pissing off 10-14 people in the process. When you're running one train operations on some rides, it isn't cool.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 1:17 AM

Well, if you can't "pop up through the exit", there's not much point in paying the 15 bucks, now is there?

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:07 AM

Ensign Smith said:
I like how, after 24 hours, the passes develop those pink diagonal lines that show they're no longer valid. Is this new technology?

Yes. We have something like this at the hospital. I've had to set it up before. When a vendor comes in, they need a temporary badge to show that they're legit, and after 12 hours, a giant red stop sign appears. No idea how it works, but it's pretty awesome.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 4:50 PM

kpjb said:
Well, if you can't "pop up through the exit", there's not much point in paying the 15 bucks, now is there?

I'm just saying don't take the first row or back row, where people wait even longer to get on those. Hell, have a special row or two just for the VIP Tour so people getting in those lines know that they might have to wait longer.

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