Kennywood Park 8/20/09

Friday, August 21, 2009 12:58 PM

So even though Kennywood is my home park, this is the first time this year I have made it out there. Ive been anxious to go as usually I am out there at least 2-3 times a year, plus I wanted to check out the Phantom's retrack.

We arrived a little late at around 1430 due to a minor personal emergency. Still, this would be plenty of time. The weather was hot and muggy during the afternoon which made it a little more challenging to wait in line and navigate around, but thankfully the lines were short and the park was only mildly crowded. I will go ride by ride and then add some other park remarks at the end...

Phantom's Revenge: Great as always but the apex of the second hill was messed up in the retrack. I dont understand how hard it is to copy the arrow track that was already there. At the apex, the track severely banks right as if the small turn up there is taken at high speeds. It takes away the airtime and throws you to your right side before throwing you back straight again prior to the 2nd plunge. Also, I dont think the first drop is an exact replica of the Arrow first drop as some of the supports had to be moified and the spine of the Morgan track did not line up directly with the body of many of the existing supports. Overall the ride was still very good, but I am a little ticked Morgan defaced what was an Arrow masterpiece.

Jack Rabbit: Cool new train paint schemes. Other than that nothing much changed except the on-ride photo section near the double dip. The ride ran very well and gave great airtime as always.

Racer: The queue was filled but still only a 15 minute wait. Red vs. Blue today. Ride was extremely fun and smoother than I remembered. Not much changed on this one either. I rode this twice, losing both times, but still had a great time on this fine piece of history.

Thunderbolt: Two rides. Red train both times. Ride was alot smoother this year, especially in the valley of the 2 final drops. Not much vibration there. Looks to be some new wood down there and on the final turnaround. The ride ran great and was fun as always. Only a 3-5 minute wait.

Exterminator: Longest wait of the day at 20 minutes. Had a great deal of fun on this one. Extreme spinning on the 2nd half! Darker than usual also. Maybe it is just because I havent been to the park in over a year. Great time and a surprisingly small wait time.

We hit all of the water rides which were minimal waits. Rapids and Log Jammer remain as my favorite rides in the respecive genres. Pittsburg Plunge is nothing special but gets the job done at soaking you completely. This ride was a walk-on. Aero 360 was up and running great with a 15 minute wait. Pitt Fall was only sending 8 riders at a time which sucked. I was very glad to see Bayern Kurve back in the lineup and it gave a great ride after its several year absence. Glad to see Wipeout gone and the Kurve back! We hit several other minor rides like the Train which is always nice.

The food was excellent as always and very reasonably priced. Best food for the best price of any amusement park in the country in my opinion.

The scenery and atmosphere were excellent as if it would be anything other than exellent at Kennywood. The gardens were beautiful and the park was clean and well taken care of. This is the best park to walk around out of all of the ones I have been to. I can have a great time just walking around the shaded pathways lined with colorful flowers, unique fountains, historic plaques, and green grass with the smell of food surrounding me.

The night ended with lightning around 2130 but thankfully we didnt get wet. The day was a success despite our late start and a lot of fun was had by all. Great to see a new coaster coming in next year. Looking forward to Fright Nights as well...just a couple of weeks away really!

-JR

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