Kennywood opening day 2021

eightdotthree's avatar

Walked in. Walked around. Walked out.

They clearly have staffing problems. The only thing my wife and I wanted to do was have some fries and ride a coaster. We had really low expectations for the afternoon, we’ve been disappointed too many times and it’s opening day. The Potato Patch line(s) spilled out beyond where the mini golf course used be - two cashiers - so that was that.

I’m trying hard to give Kennywood a break but man the place looks terrible.

I hope they get it together. I want to love Kennywood again.

Last edited by eightdotthree,

Were ride lines crazy long? Or were rides closed?

eightdotthree's avatar

The coasters except for Steel Curtain were open and the ones that are able to were running one train. Phantom’s line was long than I am willing to wait for when there’s one train running but the rest seemed reasonable. Black Widow and Noah’s Ark are still closed. The 4d theatre still has the poster for Rudolph so I doubt that was going.

It's disappointing to see the direction Kennywood has been going since Parques Reunidos took over. What once seemed to be a park that could do no wrong has really taken a lot of rightful criticism in the last several years.

eightdotthree's avatar

I think the decline began before Parques took over. I remember thinking it could end up being a good thing but it’s been rough.

I remember visiting the park in the late 90s and early 2000s and then again in 2018. The difference in everything from ride operations to landscaping was jarring.

Not to mention the four gaping holes where awesome or historic flat rides used to be.
(I’m assuming.)

eightdotthree's avatar

Paratrooper and Kangaroo are empty spots now. They even left the gates. Bayern Kurve has a wooden fence that connects the bumper cars to the theatre. Volcano is the fourth? It’s still a volcano shaped object.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Wow, that's awful.

Attempted to go there in summer 2019 and Steel Curtain was running single train and the Fast Lane passes were completely sold out.

To the park's credit, guest services was completely willing to refund us our ticket prices after showing them the receipt that was only 10 minutes old.

If they add Cornhole next year we know things aren't going to end well.

In all seriousness, that really is a bad look for the park and I hope this isn't the long term solution for these areas. It looks very Geauga Lake 2007. All that's missing is some funky green abandoned water park water and an A-frame sign reminding everyone what rides were removed for the season.

eightdotthree's avatar

The good news is the land isn't worth very much. :)

I don't disagree that Parques has had its problems and missteps over the years, but staffing is going to be a major issue at all parks this summer. During a Knoebels presentation a few weeks ago, Rick Knoebel talked about how they couldn't open all their rides this year due to staffing and how desperate they are to find help.

While it might be the most obvious to us at parks due to our hobby, this is a crisis that isn't limited to amusement parks. There have been numerous stories in the news recently about places like fast food restaurants and dollar stores closing down because their workers quit over lack of a living wage.

Edit: I went over to Screamscape after posting this (I know, I know) and saw this little timely nugget: "A small bit of bad news for Carowinds fans, especially if you were dying to get into the waterpark to try out that brand new waterslide for the past year. According to local news reports, Carowinds is being forced to delay the intended May 29th opening of the Carolina Harbor waterpark due to a “worker shortage”. Instead, they now hope to be able to open the waterpark by June 12."

Last edited by PhantomTails,
Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

eightdotthree said:

The coasters except for Steel Curtain were open

So just to verify, the 3 coasters that are 100 years old (or nearly) were open, but the one that is less than 2 years old was not.

Coasterbuzz - Coaster enthusiasts, but so much more. We're the good ones.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Do we know for sure the fate of these rides? Rumors were that Knoebels had bought a different Bayern Kurve for parts and might pick this one up to install.

And while it's cliché as heck to say, there's no better place to resurrect the Knagaroo. (That was a typo, but I decided to leave it because it just looked so appropriate!)

Pagoda Gift Shop said:

So just to verify, the 3 coasters that are 100 years old (or nearly) were open, but the one that is less than 2 years old was not.

Yep. And it did not open at all in 2020.

Your first sentence covered all of our amusement park visits this season so far. It's just been too crowded in general that I didn't want to deal with the crowds of people or wait in the long lines.

So far we've been to Hersheypark, BGW, and SFA. Six Flags America was the best as far as we beat the crowds in the park to get to ride everything before the wait was too long. When we were leaving the line still stretched from the temperature check point the whole way back to the overflow parking lot.

I have been back to Hersheypark since opening day. Typically go in the afternoon between 4 and 5 when I see short wait times on the app. Last Sunday I got to the park at 6:15pm(closed at 7pm,) and sat on Skyrush for 8 laps. Just had to change rows if someone was waiting for mine.

I hope things improve at Kennywood. Our last visit(year before covid,) it was really crowded. We had to pay to skip the lines, or we wouldn't have gotten to ride everything.

I haven't loved Kennywood for a long time and I haven't been there in at least 15 years, probably more.

The last time I was there lines were very, very long, the park was crowded and what really pissed me off, is that the Jack Rabit line was very, very long with 2 trains and when we went to get in line, they actually took one train OFF the track.

This was about an hour before closing and I know they did this back then (maybe they still do).

My overall impression was, Kennywood, being landlocked, is drawing way to may people than that small park can handle. A good problem to have if you're a business though, if you know how to manage it.

I haven't been back to the park since. Wayyy too many other places to visit that I've never been to and coasters to ride that I've never ridden.

I was there on a pretty quiet weekday in 2018 and my issues were similar. Slow moving one train ops on Phantom and Thunderbolt made for unnecessary 30 minute waits. Flat ride dispatch times were 10+ minutes at times. The landscaping and overall park appearance was just shabby and unkempt. Granted I was in high school in my prior visits in 2003 and 2004, but just from looking at photos from those trips I can see how much the general park appearance had declined.

eightdotthree's avatar

I haven't confirmed this yet but I am pretty sure Thunderbolt is down to a 1 train operation for the entire season due to a new control system so that's fun.

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