Kennywood first timer, any tips?

Saturday, July 6, 2013 6:44 PM

I may be going to kennywood for the first time either July 22 or 23rd. Is there any tips anybody has as to when to ride certain rides, what smaller rides I shouldn't miss, and good food in the park ect. Also is there any cheap hotels in the area anybody knows about? Thanks for the help.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013 8:50 PM

In addition to its Coasters you'll want to ride the following:

Kangaroo - one of the last (if not the last) "Flying Coaster" rides on this planet.

Car Ride - The Last Harry-Traver Car Ride in existence

Noah's Ark - One of two walk-throughs of this kind (Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England has the other).

Turtle - one of the few remaining Harry Traver "Tumble Bugs" in existence.

You'll also want to ride their Whip.

As for hotels, log on to a travel site such as expedia.com

Last edited by Regulus, Saturday, July 6, 2013 8:51 PM
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Saturday, July 6, 2013 10:45 PM

Kennywood is a small place, you're not likely to miss anything and it's quite possible to do it all twice in one day. They stay open late for a great nighttime experience.

I hope you're not alone on this trip, as Thunderbolt has a no single rider policy. You can wait for another single rider out of a group of three but those can be few and far between, everyone knows not to get in line unless they have a partner. Plus, it depends how close you like to get to a total stranger.

The pay lot is closest to the gate and cheap compared to the fee at other parks. Do it. Follow the signs.

Give yourself about a half hour to ride the chairlift to the upper parking lot and back (if it's open). However, don't make the mistake I did and do it early in the day while the crowd is still parking up there. It makes for a long wait to come back down. That was truly a DUH moment for me. But the view of the valley and the park from up there is great and you can take pictures.

Last I heard the Kangaroo/Flying Coaster was in pieces, but that's been a while. Hopefully all is well with it, as it really is the last one now.

They have an original, working Laffing Sal who stands in a window near the train station. Be sure to visit her if you're not the type that gets creeped out. (I've seen grown men cut a wide berth around Sal due to lingering childhood trauma)

Have the fries. Pay attention to the architecture and the amusement park art. Some of it is quite old.

Have fun.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013 10:54 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Kangaroo is back up I believe.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013 11:27 PM

That's good to know. Technically, Kennywood has the last ride in existence designed by Norman Bartlett, and I believe Waldameer, not far way, had the second to the last one. Other versions of a similar ride, known commonly as Ski Jump are prolific in the U.K. in traveling shows.

In the 70's Schwartzkopf, I believe, offered an updated version called Sprung Schantz, it looked like a Bayern Kurve with a large flying coaster ride in place of the bobs. Currently there's an updated model called Catch-n-Air, made by Majestic rides and there are a few out there. I rode Bates Brothers' ride at the Fairfield County Fair here in Ohio, but it didn't do much for me.

That's more than anyone asked for, I know, and sorry to go all T-R on you all here. Just wanted to clarify the "last of its kind" notion.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 12:04 AM
LostKause's avatar

Noah's Ark, Potato Patch fries, Byron Curve, Ghostwood Estates, Exterminator... The list of things not to miss goes on and on.

If the park is busy, I believe they might still be offering a pay-to-cut pass which allows you to cut to the front of the line once for most of the popular attraction. Just keep that in mind.

Go early and stay late. The park stays open as late as they darned-well want to. They don't have a set closing time, and that is okay. The park is small, but there is something amazing about the atmosphere there that makes me not want to leave, even though I am too pooped to poop by the time they close.

Oh, when they want to close, you will hear the Nighty Night song. It's hilarious, and just a little creepy.

Kennywood is kind of small, size-wise, but is very big as far as fun goes. It's just so much fun!

EDIT - Bayern Curve, rather. lol I had to look it up to spell it correctly, even.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, July 7, 2013 12:15 PM
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Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:11 AM

Byron Curve? Oh yeah... I think I went to high school with him.

I was at Kennywood last year when a really bad storm came through. Lightning, high winds, electricity out, limbs down everywhere, the whole thing. Once it passed they closed the park early and we got to hear Nighty Night at 3 in the afternoon. I was sad we had to go, but that cracked me up.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:18 AM
Vater's avatar

RCMAC said:

I hope you're not alone on this trip, as Thunderbolt has a no single rider policy. You can wait for another single rider out of a group of three but those can be few and far between, everyone knows not to get in line unless they have a partner.

You might luck out if the park is dead. I spent a couple hours at Kennywood the Wednesday before last, and nearly everything was a walk-on. I headed up the ramp to Thunderbolt's station and asked the girl there if there were any single riders needing a partner (kind of a stupid question since the station was nearly empty), and she told me to go ahead and wait for the seat I wanted and if there were no single riders by the time I boarded she would get one of the ride ops to ride with me. As it turned out, she found someone waiting for the front car (the only row with more than a one train wait) who agreed to ride with me in the back.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:53 AM

Nice. One time I got to ride with Kenny. It was tight, but he was so soft and fuzzy.

I know, I know. That's what she said...

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:56 AM

Never been there, but I read all the time of these rides that are a last of their kind. Does the park have its own in-house machine shop to make parts for these rides as I am assuming they aren't produced anymore?

Glad the park holds onto these rides as alot of parks would just give up and remove them.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 7:00 AM

RCMAC said:

sorry to go all T-R on you all here.

Nah. Your posts are fun to read. And informative. And funny. And true. And not all about you. And not about Michigans Adventure.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Sunday, July 7, 2013 10:47 AM

Chitown said:

Never been there, but I read all the time of these rides that are a last of their kind. Does the park have its own in-house machine shop to make parts for these rides as I am assuming they aren't produced anymore?

Glad the park holds onto these rides as alot of parks would just give up and remove them.

They dont have a in-house machine shop but have a very good shop near by.Its my understanding though that some shops don't like making parts for amusement rides because of potential lawsuits if their part fails.Something I just heard recently.

Years ago when I worked the Thunderbolt the crew was required to ride with any single riders.

Last edited by Ex_Westview and KW_worker, Sunday, July 7, 2013 10:47 AM
Racing whippet 76-77
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Monday, July 8, 2013 12:55 AM

I was at Kennywood last Monday and it was my first trip to the park. Besides the coasters I really liked Ghostwood Estate, Auto Race (I had no idea the cars moved that fast), Turtle and Log Jammer. I was also surprised at how smooth the wooden coasters were. It almost makes me never want to ride Rolling Thunder again even in a non wheel seat. The only ride I was really disappointed with was Garfield's Nightmare. I knew that was the ride had a reputation of being bad but I wasn't expecting the ride to be a lot of glowing signs and hardly any props that moved.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Monday, July 8, 2013 12:59 AM
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Monday, July 8, 2013 5:21 AM

LostKause said:

EDIT - Bayern Curve, rather. lol I had to look it up to spell it correctly, even.

Still spelled it incorrectly...Bayern Kurve. :)

Kennywood is awesome. I've been there 8 times these season and it hasn't been busy at all--you'll be able to do everything. Skip the shows--they aren't that great this year (I was embarrassed watching them).

Get in line for Black Widow as soon as the park opens, otherwise you'll be waiting a very long time for the ride. Be sure to try Potato Patch fries and a hand-dipped ice cream cone (at the Golden Nugget, located next to Kiddieland).

I'm going to go against what RCMAC says and suggest not paying for parking. It's only $6 but save that for the ice cream. There is plenty of free parking that is close and some spots end up being closer to the entrance than pay parking. The ski lift is rarely open as that parking lot is only used on very busy days (and often if it is, they just use shuttles to transport).

Lastly, be sure to get a spot standing on the lagoon bridge for the laser show (happens usually about 1/2 hour before the park closes)--you'll be able to see the screen and have a great view of the fire and laser effects.

Be sure to post a trip report!!

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Monday, July 8, 2013 8:57 AM
matt.'s avatar

Everyone has hit the good stuff in previous posts. I usually ride the Kangaroo like 3 or 4 times every visit. Love that thing.

Re: Garfield, I ride it every visit and usually enjoy it in the same way I like watching car crashes on YouTube. I never rode the ride in any of it's previous forms, so I don't feel nostalgic for its old days, and it's just so....weird currently.

I'd love to see it converted back to something more traditional but it's right now certainly unlike anything else I've been on before.

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Monday, July 8, 2013 9:40 AM
birdhombre's avatar

In addition to the Potato Patch fries, I'd highly recommend the corndogs (located in a kiosk nearby). They're the only corndogs I've found that surpass Cedar Point's hot-dog-on-a-stick.

If there are any appreciable lines, the VIP Coaster Tour is a steal at $15. Each hour, you're given a 40-minute window to jump the line of a specific coaster (usually by going up the exit), and the schedule is printed on a small card with a lanyard. Rather than worrying about getting on all the coasters and planning around that, instead we'd ride a coaster at the top of each hour, then look for flat rides or food nearby. The timing worked perfectly and our day went at a more relaxed pace.

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Monday, July 8, 2013 9:45 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

jml142 said:
Lastly, be sure to get a spot standing on the lagoon bridge for the laser show (happens usually about 1/2 hour before the park closes)--you'll be able to see the screen and have a great view of the fire and laser effects.

I would be sure to skip the laser show myself.


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Monday, July 8, 2013 10:01 AM

http://ulocal.wtae.com/_The-Lucky/photo/9974518/62962.html

Those good corn dogs come from a stand known as The Lucky, and I believe it's one of the oldest, if not the oldest, structures in the park. It's the oldest food stand, anyway. I love it's amusement park architecture, and it's beautifully back lit at night.

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Monday, July 8, 2013 11:41 AM

^Several other buildings rank older than the Lucky (which I think came in the 40s--I could be/probably am wrong). The oldest food stand would be the Parkside Cafe followed by the Carousel Food Court (home of the park's first merry-go-round which then became a refreshment stand).

The Log Jammer is also a not-to-miss ride. You don't get too wet on this but if you want to get wet, the Raging Rapids is a lot of fun.

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Monday, July 8, 2013 12:18 PM

All three of their woodies; The Jackrabbit, Racer, Thunderbolt; were very smooth (ie. easily re-rideable) a few years ago. Kennywood had the best collection of smooth woodies. Hopefully this is still the case.

Don't pass on The Jackrabbit, a small woodie from the turn-of-the-century. Great airtime is found on the rare double down drop. I don't understand why more coasters don't feature this element. Jackrabbit also has the rare fixed lap bars and some other quirky features.

The Racer is one of the few mobius racing coasters. It races, but it's one continous track, not two. The coaster's station is probably the best station ever. The ride is well paced and smooth.

Auto Race, despite a 'kid's ride' is awesome! It's an electric/ gravity ride. The cars feature a narrow seat for adults to ride.


Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

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