Tuesday, August 7, 2001 5:39 PM
(sorry for the corny and now mispelled title. Ugh.)
In my four years of being on the Net, I've never wrote a TR for KW mostly because there has been nothing interesting to report (except the T-Bolt crash in 99) Now I do have an excuse and that is a little coaster called The Phantoms' Revenge. Monday was the second day of a predicted five or six day heat wave of temp's in the 90's. Somehow I didn't find it that hot. It was like I wasn't uncomfortable, but wasn't comfortable either. I guess eight days in muggy Florida helped :)
We got a late jump on the day arriving at the park around 1:30. In the parking lot there was the usual sights including PR. Its weird since you can't really see the new part of the ride from certain parts of the parking lot. One member of my party proclaimed, "Hey, it still it sounds like the Phantom." They were talking about the glorious Arrow lift hill sound, that unmistakable clickity-clak that can be heard within earshot of the coaster that employs this lift. I was hoping for a walk on or something a bit longer since the park didn't seem that crowded towards the Phantom.
Surprisingly the line seemed short for a major coaster running one train. I'm thinking if two trains were in use on this day we would have waited a measly half an hour for it. Oh well at least you have the shaded queue with misters and something playing other than B94 music. Oh sorry, day dreaming there. "You're in line for the Phantom's Revenge with B94." Yes, I know I'm line for PR and I certainty know you are B94! You don't need it repeated every three minutes. There's sponsorship for ya. Regarding the non-shaded queues, if they would have been implemented the ride wouldn't have opened until June ;) Standing still for ten minutes or so before people are released onto the ramp is kind of anxious since most coasters have a continuous line. Once again, another problem solved with two train operation.
I decided on 7-2 (or the very back) partly on that informative sign in the queue line describing that various sections of the coaster train. I can tell you that returning rider's reactions coming back are a complete 360 from the SP years, not surprising. The new car setup is very creative using lapbars on the side and retractable seatbelts, thank you! They were pretty roomy too leaving me some ample room for some air. I enjoyed looking around on the lift (I'm saying that like its a luxury) The first drop, IMO, was terrible in the old OTSR's because you were pressed down and to the side getting you ready for some major handbanging later in the ride. Thankfully with the new restraints it feels more freeform.
I was expecting some more air than I thought cresting the second hill, but still going through the T-bolt's guts was great as ever. As we went on the pullout I felt as if something was missing. Let's see...headbanging! The pullout was intense and the turnaround was fast and mildly intense. Then it was a fast snake through under the T-bolt again and up around a turn around over the Turtle. I felt in the back like I was being thrown forward and my lower back hurt for just a second. Odd. Now the fun begins. You go over a bunny hop sneaking between two supports for the second hill. I can't remember, but was there a support there on the SP? After you fly back down in your seat you fly under the brake run and up and down another bunny hill. But this has a mini-doble down in it! A very nice and violent air surprise! Then its along the ground on the helix and up and down another hop and then up for a bit more airtime and into the brake run. You fly into the station since the brake run doesn't stop you enough and thus the one train operation. I walked off very satisfied. I'm glad to have my top three coasters within 30 minutes and three hours of me.
Afterwards I walked by the Pittfall to look more closely at the emerging trims. They will be on top of the hop after the helix and on the ascent up to the brake run. I really wish this issue was addressed before the ride opened if they knew about it. Then again they might have know the magnetic trims would be an ongoing issue and would made the ride not open until summer instead of spring. So I guess they decided to open with one train and work on the brake issue for next season. We then hit the usual KW signature rides including normal waits on T-bolt, Racer and Jack Rabbit. In other words, nice and short. A number of attractions were down as I knew Aero and Flying Carpet have been and will be down for a while. Kangaroo and the Swing Around wasn't opened initially, but opened later in the day. I thought Racer was running great as I sat in the back there as well (see a pattern) and got surprisingly good air. The lap bar came to my stomach and on the air hills I would get pushed out of my seat enough to send the lap bar flying up with me. A related question: Do you think if you rode JR without the Seattle and went over the dip, would you fly off? I'm guessing yes as no one as tried it I assumed..
Our last ride of the day was a PR ride at night on its glow in the dark track (or what seems like it) This time I opted for a front and prepared for a long wait just for that seat because of one train. One incident arose when two idiotic young men who were waiting for 1-2 stepped in front of two girls who were next for the front seat got in. Everyone around me complained and thankful the PR op's noticed them essentially line jumping and made them moved back. The men look pissed as they left the station and looked the same way when they came back into the station. Have to play by the rules guys. Props to PR crew. At this point I split with my party as they wanted another seat and I wanted the front, so I was a single rider.
There was a single rider for seat 1-2 and he got to move up to sit with me. Holy cow, he was way over excited about getting the front, he even thanked the op's for letting him sit there. On the lift and talking with him I learned it was his second ever time at KW and second time on PR. He then asked if I put my hands up and I responding with a resounding "yes." He then said he didn't on the first drop because it twists. We then off on a fast and furious wind tunnel ride on PR. Making it dark seems like you are going to hit the T-bolt, awesome effect. (Will add reverse is true on the T-bolt near the support with red padding on PR. I kept my hands up at that part and it seemed awfully close, but maybe it wasn't. I'm 5'11 BTW) Wherever you are kid, hope you had a great ride. It was around 9:45 and was announced that park would close at 10:15. Boy KW, not leaving much time for rides in the complete dark ;) Seriously it seemed like a low capacity day since food stands lines were even non-exsistant at some points (works for me at the Patch)
This trip was all about PR and it didn't disappoint. My first ride on PR and MF left me getting off feeling satisfied, but not blown away like I read. All you have to do is give things a chance because on my second rides on both those coasters I was blown away and they earned a spot on my top list. A real winner that appeals to tons more people than SP ever hoped for. I'm glad for the park. You could say the ride is short, but when it comes down to it, aren't all coasters? I mean MF is only 59 seconds after the lift hill.
After a nerve-wracking decision, Magnum is now bumped from the #1 spot. It had been there for sentimental reasons ever since last summer when I rode MF for the first time. Now that I have rode PR (and maybe Apollo's Chariot on some occasions) that are superior to Magnum in their own ways, Magnum is bumped to #4. MF has moved to #1 and PR at #2. The summer of 2001 were go down in my books as the largest shifting of coaster spots ever by me. Maybe next year I will stop doing this silly list, but its fun to compare. My revised and final 2001 Top 5 Steel and June lists respectively:
4. Incredible Hulk
Maybe its me but I can remember a couple years ago getting major air on Magnum. I don't know if its a combo of a bigger and smoother coaster opening at the same park, the ride's age, myself getting bigger, or getting a new respect for different kinds of airtime. Who knows.
Kennywood Park Unlimited www.kpunlimited.com
*** This post was edited by Beeman65 on 8/7/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by Beeman65 on 8/7/2001. ***
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:56 PM
Thankfully, someone else agrees that the B94 thing has got to go.
Thursday, August 9, 2001 9:21 AM
They were ripping on CP when I was there!
Friday, August 10, 2001 5:04 PM
janfrederick and Intamin Fan are both correct.
***The Phantom will have it's Revenge at Kennywood park.***
Craig the Coaster Freak
Saturday, August 11, 2001 4:54 PM
Same thing happened to me on PR with my lower back. I didn't like the seat belts, but the ride still rocks.