Kennywood at Night - August 23, 2006

Associated parks:

Since there have been so many trip reports on KW lately, I have decided to make this one relatively brief.

I arrived at the park at 6 PM and stayed until closing at 10:30. The rides ridden were as follows: Phantoms Revenge, Enterprise, Whip, Aero 360, Log Jammer, Racer, Thunderbolt (after dark), Pitt Fall (after dark), Jack Rabbit (after dark), Phantoms Revenge again (after dark), Music Express (after dark).

Phantom and Thunderbolt were awesome in the dark, as expected. Phantom always has that great air and Thunderbolt is amazing in how it dives into that dark ravine where you can't see where you are going. You haven't truly experienced KW if you haven't ridden these coasters after the sun goes down.

The lighting is beautiful as always. Why is it that so many parks don't stay open long enough on most nights for us to appreciate this?

Overall it was a good evening at this park. The weather was just a bit cool. The Fall Fantasy parade took place as usual during this time of the year. I noticed that the Santa Claus on the last float this year was a bit more active in waving at the people that has been the case in the past.

One more comment on Phantom -- two train opeartion does make a big difference. When two trains are running, waits seldom exceed 10 or 15 minutes. With one train waits are often 45 minutes or longer. Oddly, they swiched fron two trains to one and then back to two again this night. The other coasters operated with two trains throughout the time that I was there.

I also noticed that Thunderbolt's crew was very efficient and kept the line moving quickly. I wish that the Racer's crew could be this efficient.

Once again, it was a great night at this great park.

Arthur Bahl

When I was younger, I used to DESPISE that Fall Fantasy parade crap...because they always closed all the rides during my favorite time frame (Night, of course!) while the parade was in session.

Do they still do that? Or do they continue to operate during the parade now?

The only ride that closes, to my knowledge, is the Turnpike. Arthur, the majority of the people under the costumes are rides, games, and refreshment employees who managed to get an hour away from their area. Given how short staffed the park is, most of the time supervisors are grabbing employees left and right to fill vacant spots; hell, I had to play Noah one night after I finished my shift in rides. The enthusiasm of the character depends on who is playing him for the night as well as how tired said employee is. :)
I wonder how hot you felt with that beard on. I understand what many of the characters go through especially the mascots such as Kenny Kangaroo and Garfield.

I did a number of Santa Claus appearances during the summer in North Carolina back in the 1990s and it certainly gets hot wearing something that is more appropriate for Arctic regions. It even gets hot in that suit with normal indoor temperatures such as are found in the malls. Its just a matter of whether you enjoy doing simething like this in spite of the problems with the heat.

This also goes for the various football mascots early in the season. Things get better, of course, once real "football weather" arrives.

Arthur Bahl

kpjb's avatar
The only ride that closes is the Turnpike.

If it's particularly busy, the Aero 360 and the Racer will run half loads so that there aren't as many people dumping on to the midway at once.


Thanks for the update (special thanks to kpjb for making me thirsty for a nice cold Iron now....) ... I never really gave it a thought as to the ride employees being the ones in costume...hence probably one of the reasons they used to close rides. Hmmm.....

Now, why does my Iron City always taste better in the new Aluminum bottle?

Maybe this will fuel a new thread...who has made the poor error in judgement of riding an amusement ride while sloshed? (Wildwood NJ, first time I saw a Boomerang coaster... the ride started long before I boarded....) ... (hangs head in shame).......

Arthur Bahl said:I also noticed that Thunderbolt's crew was very efficient and kept the line moving quickly. I wish that the Racer's crew could be this efficient.

Once again, it was a great night at this great park.

the only reason why we, the racer crew take for ever in sending the trains out is because of those stupid seatbelts. Thunder bolt doesnt have 48 seat belts to check. we have to make sure everyone has their seatbelt on before we put the bars down. that takes some time when you have bigger people that cant adjust the belt to fit them and we have to do it. OR if we have to go back and get a seatbelt extender. That takes up so much time. i remember 2 years ago when the racer didnt have seatbelts and once everyone was seated we put the bars down and sent them on their way. that went so much quicker. Thats why it takes us for ever there. It's not us, its the guests cause they take for ever to put their seat belts on. if they didnt have to wear them, our line would go so much quicker. *** Edited 8/31/2006 6:17:08 PM UTC by PGH_Steeler***

Why did the Racer add those seatbelts? The cars have seat dividers and the ride has a 46" minimum height so I don't understand why they are necessary.

I remember when Racer had the same kind of cars as Jack Rabbit and the old West View coasters. Had they been able to keep them, this ride would be an ACE classic.

I do understand the reason for the belts on Jack Rabbit with its stationary bar, lack of seat dividers, and 36" minimum height.

Arthur Bahl

they are new trains, and the company that made the trains requires everyone to wear a seatbelt. I dont think they realize how mild the racer is. The thunderbolt is worse and they dont have seatbelts. I hate having to check everyones seatbelts. Some guests tak 2-3 minutes alone just to adjust their own seat belt. then u have the over protective parents that wont let us do our job and try to make their childs seatbelt skin tight. The racer doesnt need seatbelts. *** Edited 9/8/2006 3:09:05 PM UTC by PGH_Steeler***
PTC's liabilty underwriter requires that the trains leave the factory with seatbelts. If the buyer removes the seatbelts, as I understand it, it essentially voids any warrenty and absolves the manufacturer of ANY liabilty involved with those trains.
I also wish PTC continued to make the old single-notch lapbar style trains. From what I've heard, Knoebels wanted these for Twister, but PTC wouldn't give it to them.

Fortunately for us coaster geeks, Knoebels tucked the seatbelts down into the seats, so we don't have to use them :)

Voyage would be even more amazing with those lap bars.

On a side note, didn't Raven originally open with single-notch lapbars, and if so, why did they change them?

coastin' since 1985

KW should do the same thing. How is a 46" tall child going to fall out of Racer with the seat divider restraining their sideways movement? Those operations on the Racer really do need to improve.

Arthur Bahl

If a manufacturer says "Do X or we void the warranty", most people will do X. I think most parks are no different in that regard.

"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

rablat5 said:

On a side note, didn't Raven originally open with single-notch lapbars, and if so, why did they change them?

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