Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
We woke up Monday morning to head, not to Idlewild, as originally planned, but to Kennywood. And I wasn’t a bit mad. I wish I’d been able to go to Idlewild, and Kennywood is magical at nite, but any time spent at Kennywood is a definite win. We headed to the Giant Eagle near our hotel to get discount tickets, and drove the 2 more miles to the park, parked near the escalator, and headed to the entrance. I was EXTREMELY excited as I LOVE me some Kennywood. And even though we wouldn’t be there at nite, I was going a little nuts inside.
I don’t really remember what the entrance looked like on my first visit (which, i believe, was just before they re-did the entire thing), but what they have now is really nice. And I’m glad they painted the concrete walls that take you down to the tunnel. It’s much better looking.
Once in the park we got a locker near the front and headed back to a fairly empty Kennywood, where we quickly ran into the first stop, a newly renovated Noah’s Ark. I was glad that I got to ride last year and this year in order to compare. First, the whale (and it’s tongue) were great to see. The ride was a lot of fun, the animatronics very well done, and the whole thing was just classic and a nice return to form. I’m glad the current owners are putting money in to areas of the park that need it.
This trip to Kennywood was more about getting to do the things I didn’t get to cram in to last year, and enjoying the park for a day. So there was one thing that I didn’t do last year at either Kennywood or Conneaut, and that was the Turtle. I’d seen it, heard it was fun, but never done it, so that was our next ride.
Next up was my former #1 coaster and one that is still high up on my list, Phantom’s Revenge. I absolutely LOVE Phantom. And it was running very well. We rode a couple times, front, back (mostly in the back). It has that amazing aggressive airtime that you don’t get in many places.
I think next we hit up Thunderbolt. Man, does Kennywood have amazing wooden coasters. It was great as usual. Aggressive, but fun with airtime and laterals. Then we walked across the park to Exterminator. Its the only wild mouse that doesn’t scare me, and we got a really fun skinny ride on it.
While over that way we hit up the Whip. I wish they’d put the roof back on as being in direct sun in the hot summer is a bit uncomfortable, but the Whip is a true classic ride that would still fit in any park, new or old, in this country and be popular. And it eats people up. Too bad most ‘new’ versions have been relegated to slightly themed kids rides in kids sections.
After having a great time on MaxAir (and Delirium at Kings Dominion earlier in the season), we hit the line for Black Widow next. What should have been a 2 cycle wait turned in to about a 40 minute wait. Some kid vomited red slush all over himself and the 2 female ride ops responsible for cleaning it up dragged it out for over 30 minutes. They spent a good 15 minutes standing and looking at it and arguing about having it clean it up. People in line (Myself included) got rather vocal because they just stood there. Then they took another 15 minutes to clean it up (It wasn’t more than a 10 minute job total), before standing around another few minutes complaining until a ride op came over and whipped them in to shape and made them hustle. It was ridiculous. I get not wanting to clean it up, but c’mon. It would have been a 10 minute job that they spent more than a half an hour complaining about when they could easily have been done with it.
Having said that, Black Widow is the best spinning pendulum ride I’ve ever been on! It slowly spins clockwise and counterclockwise, has a large and high arch, and gives a long ride cycle. If my local park were to get one of these types of rides, I’d want this model from Zamperla. It was seriously amazing.
Next up was a jaunt over to Log Jammer for my first ride on that ever. It is a fun flume ride, and while it thankfully didn’t drench us, it cooled us off in the hot, hot sun. Then we went to Racer. We only rode one side because of the queue being largely in the sun and it being the hottest part of the day. Next was Jack Rabbit, one of the best old coasters with that amazing Double Down that still throws you out of your seat.
It had been over 10 years since I’d ridden the Auto Race, and so we did that next as well, but again, some shade over the queue would be real nice. Hand slapping ensued, and Auto Race, while not only a classic ride, is a lot of fun. Too bad theres only, what, 2 left? Oh well.
I’d wanted to ride the the newest dark ride, Ghostwood Estates, for some time. I’d ridden ridden Gold Rusher on a previous visit. Ghostwood Estates was really well done. I hadn’t realized it was trackless. It had a fun preshow, and it seemed that all of the attractions’s theming and everything worked. I really enjoyed it. I wish more parks would make trackless dark rides, as there is a lot more you can do with them.
We hit up the Bayern Kurve, which is a must for me now any time I’m at the park before heading back to Phantom for a few more rides, and then heading to our last ride of the day, Sky Rocket. I love it. I wish more parks would build medium to larger sized coasters from Premier. Isaac didn’t enjoy it because his restraint was in a bad spot and he wasn’t able to be comfortable, but I really like Sky Rocket.
So our day was over. We headed over to the car and back to NC by way of WV. I love Kennywood, and even though this wasn’t the way we’d planned it, I’m glad we had a decent amount of time at the park during the day.
Some kid vomited red slush all over himself
At least it wasn't green and all over your feet. ;)
You omitted one very crucial thing from this TR... You said you rode the Turtle, but what did you think of the Turtle? I've made my love for this ride, and Conneauts, very clear.
Other than that... great TR. (I'm going to assume you rode the Kangaroo and forgot to mention it, or what kind of Enthusiast would you be?)
No Ice Age 4D? I thought it was really good and it was a nice way to cool down in the AC.
The Auto Race is the only one left in existence. I don't know how many were ever built but I am glad Kennywood has invested money over the years to keep it running. It was renovated in (I think) 2014 that slowed the ride down a bit but it's still a fun ride.
I LOVE Noah's Ark. I have always loved the ark but this year it has become my favorite ride/attraction at the park. Every time I go through it, I notice something I didn't notice the first time. Pittsburghers have been raving about the ark too--the park hit it out of the ballpark with this one. Now they just need to evict Garfield from the Old Mill and we'll all be happy. :)
Also curious as to what you thought of the Turtle. It was just overhauled this past winter, along with the Kangaroo. I love that Kennywood is putting time and money into attractions that are not found elsewhere.Last edited by jml142, Sunday, July 10, 2016 1:14 PM
A page from the Knoebels play book, or vice-versa.
I prefer the Bug at Conneaut which is fast and still has shiny, slippery seats for plenty of sliding around. Kennywood's Turtle is a little slower and has sandpaper on the benches so not so much. They're both worth a spin, though. The Turtle runs on KI's/Coney's track so it's even a little more nostalgic to me.
I need to go to KW and review the new Ark. I've always loved it, but the previous rebuild wasn't great. It's funny how just that squishy whale tongue has made so many fans happy again.
And I whole-heartedly agree about that horrible Garfield ride. I love old mill rides and have been on 3 of the 5 remaining. Just something about em, I don't know. But when I rode the aptly named Nightmare I was heartsick. KW's Old Mill was awesome with its length, the occasional glimpse of the outdoors, (cleverly designed to unadjust your eyesight), and the way the boats passed each other in the dark. Maybe it will be next, here's hoping.
The last time I was at the park Black Widow was brand new but down for the day. Then a wind shear or tornado or something came through tearing up the place and the park closed.
I'm not that far, I should go back. I say that every summer.
Kennywood's Turtle... has sandpaper on the benches...
Not any more. That was short-lived.
Turtle was a lot of fun. Now I really hate that I missed the one at Conneaut...but not enough to make the trip for now.
I did have to skip Kangaroo this trip. The line was Long and the day was short sadly.
Besides kw opening phantom with 2 trains the ark was the highlight of my trip as well as ice age 4D. It's my favorite park and a must visit every year for me.
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