Lakemont Park and Kennywood Weekend 6/29-30/02

Associated parks:
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Monday, July 1, 2002 5:25 PM

The original plan of this trip was to drive out to Pittsburgh and see Iron Cross and the Templars http://www.thetemplars.com/ at the 31st ST Pub. I figured it would be a good time to hit Kennywood and Lakemont since I usually go right thru Altoona.

I left my house around 10:30 11:00 on my way to Lakemont Park. A non eventful ride I had to stop about 20 minutes away from Lakemont to empty my tank.

We arived at Lakemont around 2pm. We didn't bother getting the ride all day pass since we were only meeting some friends, getting food and grabbing a few laps on Leap The Dips.

We made our way to Leap The Dips and noticed it wasn't included in the RAD pass anyway. You could either buy a single ride for $1.50 or a RAD pass for it for $2.50. I spent the $5 and got one for my girlfriend and myself then walked up to the food bard behind the Skydiver. We both decided on the Fish and Chips. Not the greatest but not the worst either. After a 10 minute wait for our food we began eating and noticed our other buddies wandering the park. We finished our food and went to Leap the Dips.

Out of the 5 of us my girlfriend and myself are the only two coaster fiends. But two of my other buddies rode Leap The Dips just because it's the oldest coaster on the planet. In front of the station I noticed a new plaque out front dedicated last month from ACE. I also noticed that they now have an on ride photo as well. The ride itself didn't change from when I last rode it in 2000. It still has the same funny side to side shimmy from the side friction wheels. It's no heartstopper but it's still lots of fun. We stopped at the shop right in the station of LTD and we both picked up two 100th anniversary shirts. We did three quick laps and were on our way to Pittsburgh. Altogether we spent maybe an hour at Lakemont Park.

We arrived in Pittsburgh around 5pm there was alot of construction on rt22 so that slowed us down a little. We were planning on going to a day show there but didn't know exactly where it was, who was playing or how to find out. We eventually got out bearing and made out way to where the show was. About a block from the club we noticed The Templars walking up the street (the band we were gonna see later that night). We talked to them for a minute or two finding out they played the day show we just missed. We all decided to head to the bar with them. At the bar I met up with my one buddy from the area and we took my car back to his place for the night.

The late show was awsome although my one buddy who drove with us the 4+ hours wasn't 21 and couldn't get in and another band we wanted to see cancled. We ended up getting back to my friends house around 3:30 am.

After getting up a little late on Sunday we finally made our way to Kennywood. We still made it there by arond 12:30 so we didn't miss much. We were also planning on meeting up with Kennywood guru and Coasterbuzzes own Gregleg. On the way in someone gave us coupons for $5 off a RAD pass. At the enterance i noticed a signh saying that Phantoms Revenge was not operating. Great the main reason for going to Kennywood and it was closed. It took me about 2 seconds to decide weather or not to go in.

Our first goal was food since neither of us ate since Lakemont the day before. We started off with som fries from the Potato Patch. I was having a big debate with myself for about a year which are better Kennywoods or Knoebels. I came to the conclusion that Knoebels are the greatest. I don't know if its the potatoes, catchup, or vinegar, but I like Knoebels fries more.

After the fries we made our way to the Exterminator. It was 2000 the last time I was at Kennywood and expected a long ride. Walk on. The lift hill was dark I remember a sewer guy on the leftside of the lift but was two dark to see him. Anyway this ride is crazy. I don't know if the darkness or the spinning cars it's just nuts. Even with the brakes biting hard it is still intense. After the car starts to spin you have no clue where your going.

My girlfriend was still a little troubled from last night. And sat out the PittFall while I did it. No line again. I hate drop towers but I always go on them. I got on the side facing lost Kennywood and was looking over my shoulder the whole time to see the layout of Phantoms Revenge. After I got to the top I waited for the drop. Usually the first two seconds are the worst for me but I kept that feeling the entire ride.

After the Pittfall we made our way to PR. We walked around to the old Steel Phantom enterance was and was suprised to see the baked corn stand, so we walked around the the first drop and the new enterance. I loved the Logo at the enterance but didn't care for the one at the station. The wait was out of the station and past the enterance to Lost Kennywood. After we got closer they shut down and added the second train. After about a half hour wait we were finally on our first ride in the back seat.

I really liked these trains. The ones on Steel Force are just too big they make you feel like a little kid sitting in the front seat of a car not being able to see much of the oncoming road. The Phantoms trains are lower and you can really see everything great. I love the first drop watching the entire train zipping down the hill. For some reason it made me feel a bit uneasy I don't know if it was since I was used to the horse collars of the old Phantom or what. The second drop was just as crazy. I was out of my seat all the way down. Did the put the Thunderbolt supports closer? The climb up the next hill was incredible very powerful followed by a powerful turn and next drop. I love climbing back thru the Thunderbolt I love the pop of air half way up the hill a real suprise. The air over the bunny hops is violent it throws you out of the seat each and every time. I couldn't believe how fast we were still going when we hit the brakes. Wow! Kennywood has one solid ride. No way this will be gone in 10 years.

After being blown away on the Phantom we made our way to the Kangaroo. We love this ride some company needs to start making these again.

Next up was the Racer. I thought it was running very well. We got the first seat and had a few pops of air nothing ground breaking but they were there. We one that race by about a foot. A full queue wait still only about 20 minutes though.

We then made our way to the Old Mill.Same as last time just a calm dark boat ride.

By this time we were both getting hungry again abd decided to go to the Parkside Cafe. My girlfriend got the turkey and I got the barbcue pork sandwhich. We both like what we got but I would have sooner had the Potato Patch fries over the ones I got there.

After dinner we rode the Thunderbolt. 1 train wait. We grabbed next to back. TBolt was running out of control. The turnarounds were very fast and the double helix was very powerful. It felt like a different ride since my last time there. After we got off we went back around and got another quick ride.

I wanted to do a mini marathon but my other half had enough for now. We decided on Noha's Ark. We always hit it at least once when were there. I'm still amazed at how many walkways there are in that little area. For some reason neithe of us really remembered the spinning room but I'm sure it was there before. While in line we overheard someone talking about fireworks that night so we decided to stay till they closed.

For some reason they took the second train of durring the day and were only running one again. Once again while we were in line they added the second train. We finally met up with gregleg in line for the Phantom. He told us that with the two trains the line was only in the station. Unfortunately it was around 5 and he was leaving in about a half hour. He was there the entire time we were too. After we got off we talked for about a half hour then walked with him to the parking lot where I threw on a different shirt and sneakers. On they way out Greg grabbed an ear of corn by the old Phantom enterance. We told him we'd grab one later on.

We walked around for a bit the decided to go on the Log Jammer. I really like the spillway. Not may flumes have the uphill water like this one. After the spillway this flume flies. We didn't get soaked which was a good thing although it was super hot that day. I just hate walking around a park in wet shoues and pants and I didn't feel like going back out to the cars to change.

By this time the line for the Racer was shorter and we grabbed another ride. Barely won again.

I wanted to wait for the Jack Rabbit sine we didn't ride it yet. My girlfriend didn't so I gave her some change and she sat and played the tic tac toe game nearby. The JR had two trains earlier but durring the day I noticed one stop on the lift with people. I don't know if thats why they were back to one. It was a good half hour wait I was a little worried if I'd get on only being myself since you need a partner on the Tbolt. Luckily I had no problem and found myself in the back seat. I was a bit on edge after I realized how much slack there was in the seat belt with one person. But I'm here writing this TR so I'm still alive. All I have to say is Double Dip!

I picked up my other half still playing the game she only won once in about a half an hour. She had enough tickets for a plastic whistle.

We each grabbed a taco from the place next to the Racer and ate them at the tables next to the enterance to the Skycoaster. We were watching the ducks with there babies in the water.

Next up was the Gold Rusher? the mine themed dark ride near the Tbolt. Not very scary but still fun.

We made our way to the Tbolt but was already closed. So we decided to try our luck on the Exterminator thinking it would be the last ride of the night. The queue where the rames are was completely filled so it was about a half hour wait. This ride was crazier than our first. As Woody always says "there should be a wild mose in every park." I agree.

We grabbed some of that baked corn where Greg got his earlier as the fireworks were starting. Greg was right this is good corn. I was more worried about a night ride on PR than the fireworks. I downed my corn and went for the enterance. I asked the gril how long the line would be open and she told me a few more minutes. I checked back with Shelly but she was still eating and was enjoying the fireworks.

I got back to the line just in time. the girl was closing but she motioned for me to come in. the line was out of the station and once again back to one train. The station eventually emptied out then then I heard the announcement if there are more than four people infron of you more to another seat. I was waiting for the back seat but opted for next to back. It was finally my ride. What a crazy night ridethat second drop just drops into a dark pit. We arived back in the station and there were still a few people in the line up at the front of the train. I got another ride in next to back.

I really like Kennywood. The only thing I really didn't understand was why they kept removing the second second train. I'd think it would be easier to keep the two running but only load one until the line builds up like they do at Hershey on the Lightning Racer. Still we had a good day a bit warmer than I like it but still a good day. We ended up leaving the Park around 11:00pm drove about an hour and crashed at a rest stop on the turnpike until morning.

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Knoebels visits in 2002. 4

*** This post was edited by coasterpunk on 7/1/2002. ***

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Monday, July 1, 2002 5:49 PM

Hey! Were you talking about little ol' me? ; ) CPunk, yet another great trip report. Sometimes when I read your TRs, I get that ole fashioned nostalgia going, like I want to pile in the car and head somewhere that serves vinegar with their fries (ie: CP, KW or Knoeble's and I will meet you there for that in the future, I assure you!) Thanks for including me in the TR...that's a first! Glad you had a great time.

Too bad about the train operations on the coasters, but I have yet to be at Kennywood (4 times) and left disappointed

Ask Shelly if she could have ate a "greasy pork sandwich, served in a dirty ashtray?" after your night of shame. Now, name the movie.

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