A former college roommate of mine was in town for the long weekend with his girlfriend. She wanted to check out "the little park she'd heard so much about", so they were off to Kennywood (Don grew up in Pittsburgh, but now resides in the DC area). They invited me, and needless to say I couldn't pass, especially since it would be a freebie day for me. I would finally make use of my Quaker Oats ticket. (Earlier in the summer there was a promotion where if you sent in a receipt showing purchase of two selected Quaker Oats products, they'd send you a ticket to your choice of Kennywood, Idlewild, or Sandcastle.)
We got to the park around 10:40am. I'm used to seeing a reasonable number of people gathering at the park already, but the park was DESERTED so far. We were amazed -- we strolled right up and into the park, and over to Phantom. This was Kimberly's first visit to Kennywood, and Don's first in a few years, AND there was no line yet, so we opted for the front seat. While waiting, the Kennywood Boulevard webmasters strolled on by, and we chatted briefly. After a rather short wait, they were off. They were, needless to say, very impressed. Then I hopped on for my 37th Phantom lap.
We quickly strolled back around and to the back, for their 2nd and my 38th :)
After that, it was off to the rest of the park. Crowds gradually built up all day, but we hit (in order of first ride) Pittfall, Exterminator, the Whip, Wave Swinger, Roundup, Thunderbolt (2x), the Small Fry ;) , Swing Around, Racer (2x), Jackrabbit, Kangaroo, The Old Mill, Bayern Curve, the Pirate, Aero 360, and Bumper Cars over the course of the afternoon. Kimberly was quite impressed, commenting several times about how pretty the park was, and how much she liked it. This made me feel good :)
We also spotted the Kennywood Boulevard crew several times, and Lynch was so kind as to take a picture of the three of us in front of the windmill. By this point, we were sufficiently hungry again to think about dinner.
For dinner they opted to head on out, so I joined them for a meal at Spaghetti Warehouse. After an yummy dinner (although it wasn't Kennywood food ;) ), I decided to try to swing back by the park for another lap on Phantom. I arrived at the park at 9pm. I got to the Phantom by 9:10, with the sign saying an hour and 15 minutes. 55 minutes later, I'd gotten my 39th ride. Now, Kennywood had announced they'd be closing at 11:15, and it was already after 10, so I figured the Phantom line would be cut off. I decided to walk by the entrance anyway, on the off chance it hadn't been cut off yet.
This was what they call a Good Decision (TM).
The line not only hadn't been cut off, but had disappeared. In fact the line was closed almost immediately after me -- the coaster gods were smiling on me this evening.
On and up into the station, where I spotted the KB crew one final time waiting for the front seat for THEIR last ride. I strolled on to the back. When they announced that there were enough people in the station for 3 more trains, so would everyone please spread out, I knew I was golden. Like the title says, last train of the evening, back row, 40th lap. :)
What a ride, and what a season at Kennywood. (The park closes to the public on Monday, but I have other plans for the rest of the weekend)
*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 9/2/2001. ***
My riding bud Joe logged 300+ rides on the Phantom in 2000, and I managed to get 230+ laps. This year? 36! :)
Ah, for 2 train operation...
Musician, snowboarder, member of ACE and the ECC
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