Opening Day at Kennywood, 05/01/04

Associated parks:

Sunday, May 2, 2004 7:21 PM
Yesterday, a friend and I decided to take a break from the stress of final exams at PSU and head over to Kennywood. The weather was fairly nice all day and the crowds were moderate. I was looking forward to riding some of the older rides as well as the coasters. Noah's Ark was good as usual, but I was shocked to notice that "the old mill" had gotten an extreme makeover! When I say extreme, I mean it folks. Apparently, Garfield has taken over the old mill. The new themed ride "Garfield's Nightmare" is a new colorful, wierd attraction with 3-D glasses to spice things up. The local news was also, what would have ordinarily been a normal ride on the old mill turned into me giving the thumb's up on Pittsburgh's channel 11 news :-).

The coasters:

-Unfortunately, EXTERMINATOR was down for most of the day. Of the 4 times I have been to this park, I have only gotten to ride it once. I would have loved to take a re-spin on this fella, but i guess nothing is perfect on opening day.

-RACER: I still cannot get over how modern this ride looks and feels. The layout of the hills and the amount of tricks this bad boy pulls off are something that I would expect out of a modern day woodie. Plus, this one-track racer (yes, it is actually one track. The trains wind up on different sides when they return) is the smoothest wooden coaster in the park. Good ride. Line was about 15 minutes, and operation was capacity. 7/10

-JACK RABBIT: Since the line for this was so short, I could not help but take a couple spins on this guy. The ride is not as smooth as it has been for me in the past, but I still love it. I know no other coasters that still have the double dip element. If you have never experienced the wild, out of your seat airtime, absolute danger of the double dip, it is worth a trip to the park! I wish the park would try to smooth this baby up, but just the fact that it is still running is good enough for me! 7/10

-THUNDERBOLT: Line was 15 minutes long. Still the best woodie in the park. However, I did not feel the drops as much as I have in the past. The ride seemed a bit rougher to me this year, which is confusing because it seemes as though they painted up a few spots to make it prettier. I think maintenance on this coaster should be stepped up. As for the ride itself, I like it a lot but it doesnt really hit my sweet spot. Yet, simply because of its legacy, I can give it no lower than 8/10.

-PIT FALL: I am a man, 6 feet 3 inches in height, and 235 lbs. I ride this thing every you can imagine that upon sitting down and not having enough seatbelt to make it click was very embarrasing. The ride operator insisted that I was too big, and I insisted that the belt was too short. In a rage, I stood up and sat in another random seat, having the belt click in just fine...........I guess someone got told ;-). Between this experience, the crappy design of the ride, the poor loading and usage of only half of the drop tower, I give this junker a 5/10.

-PHANTOM'S REVENGE: Line was fairly long; 20-40 minutes every time I rode it. However, with one train in operation (I would think Kennywood would know better than do work this inefficiently), this would be expected. Every wait was worth it though. I love this ride, from start to finish. No other coaster I know can have a 160 foot drop followed by a 230 foot drop, be only a little over 3,000 feet long and STILL feel complete. 9/10.

NOTE: So, now that I've gotten the Kennywood bug out of my jitters, it is soon time for my first time at PKI. I will be there this Saturday and Sunday, May 8 and 9. I will be alone on Saturday, so if any of you fellow coaster junkies are in the area, feel free to let me know so we can 'beast it up!'. Hopefully DROP ZONE will take the current bad image of drop towers (thanks to S*IT FALL) im my mind and make it into a wonderful excitement. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 3, 2004 10:49 AM
eightdotthree's avatar I had a similar experience yesterday. I too noticed the roughness of thunderbolt, I have felt worse, but expect more from the bolt.

I have a trip report here.

Monday, May 3, 2004 4:29 PM
I was there on opening day as well. I was surprised to see one train operation on PR, yet there was a total of 11 ops. Seems like overkill for a ride with one train op.

I actually did squeeze in a ride on Exterminator. I had never been on a spinning mouse, so I didn't want to leave without riding it. Unfortunately we ended up spending way too much time walking back and forth waiting for it to open, then getting in line and having it close again. Finally we just decided to wait in line until it did open and we could get in.'s a shame that only two sides could run. Considering how low capacity that made it, it was too long of a line at the times that I tried.


No further explanation needed. I'm hopelessly lost.
Monday, May 3, 2004 4:59 PM
eightdotthree's avatar I was annoyed with the amount of operators on Phantom and only one train running. They didnt start to move until it was the line was closed and they could go home.

I would have liked to see someone controlling the traffic onto the platform, it turns into chaos up there until you are two trains away.

Monday, May 3, 2004 11:05 PM
I'm not a big fan of the chaos in the PR station either, but sometimes if you sneak past that chaos, you'll find very short lines for the back seats (which happen to be my favorite). :)
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 12:18 PM
How is the new Garfield themed HHHHHH? Does it work or is it as bas as I am expecting? I will miss really miss HHHHHH.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 2:15 PM
I'm 6'3" and 270# and don't have trouble with PF seats. Which seat was it so I won't sit in it. How was the new Garfield? Is it worth any wait? I can't believe that they only had one train on PR. What did they do all winter? I have been there during the week with one train operation in the morning while they do their routine maintenance on the other, but they are usually both up and running before long. I almost went Sunday. I thought that because the park openned Saturday May 1, it would also be open May 2. I never thought that I would be thankfull for rain. ;)

#1 Steel: Sky Rush
#1 Wood: Voyage
#1Park: Holiday World

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 2:10 AM
Saturday was the first day for many team members to work rides with guests in them. I know the last two weekends before opening day is devoted to new member training, but there is a difference of working PR with two trains going nice and slow with no guests, and keeping the line moving with guests on an operating day.

KW Team Member

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 9:05 AM
Considering I never rode HHHHH or Old Mill, Garfield was my only experience on that ride. It was actually done pretty well. They don't really advertise this, but it is a 3-D Garfield theme, so there is food flying in your face and other neat effects. All in all, it was entertaining, but nothing spectacular.


No further explanation needed. I'm hopelessly lost.
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 10:57 AM
I really don't understand the motivation for this change. The Old Mill has always been a very popular ride in the park. There was almost always a line to get on. And I don't think Garfield is this hugely successful brand that will draw people to the park, so I can't even see that as the reason. Plus, I see a Garfield theme as very contradicting to the rest of the park which really has an old time charm. I am hoping this isn't the beginning of a style change for the park.

Anyone else notice that the Kennywood owned water park, Sandcastle, as well as Idlewild Park are offering season passes this year. Perhaps if this goes well they will offer them for Kennywood in the future.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 11:03 AM
I for one am glad they updated the ride, Old Mill was hokey and didnt seem nostalgic, just old.

Ryan, many rides have tried to duplicate the double dip (Viper is the only one that pops into my head at the moment but I know there are more) and while most of the time they are the best elements on their respective coasters they pale in comparision to the allmighty Jack Rabbit. *** Edited 5/5/2004 3:03:57 PM UTC by Touchdown***

2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 12:12 PM
How is Pittfall badly designed? I think the smaller cars give it a much better dropping feeling than Drop Zone or any of the S&S rides.

Also, I still don't understand what everyone sees in Thunderbolt. I think it's quite boring, even compared to Jackrabbit and Racer.

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 1:39 PM
As far as Garfield is concerned, they have a contract with Jim Davis & company to use the charecters for a while, not to mention the release this summer of "Garfield,The Movie". Usually a sound merchandising tie in.
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 2:37 PM
Another comment regarding Garfields Nightmare is the is a little misleading. Based on the name, some people were thinking that it would be a scary ride and didn't want to take their smaller children on the ride. However, what is a nightmare to Garfield is not a nightmare to the rest of us. There were a few scenes that a child may find a little scary, but all in all it was not a scary ride. I am willing to bet that HHHHH was scarier than this ride is.

I must say that I did find it odd that this was the only ride in the park with a Garfield theme. I wish it wasn't because the most enjoyable aspect of the park for me was it's history/tradition. See this classic ride themed to a cartoon took a little away from the ride for me. I really wish I could have seen it when it was themed as the Old Mill or HHHHH. Oh well, things change.


No further explanation needed. I'm hopelessly lost.
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 6:18 PM

freakylick said:'s a shame that only two sides could run. Considering how low capacity that made it, it was too long of a line at the times that I tried.


The other two sides were unfortunaly broke.

They never run two trains on the Phantom's Revenge on opening day. For at least for reason...

It IS a big difference running two trains on the Phantom's Revenge (just what Beeman65 stated above.) I'm sure the employee's weren't ready to run the 2nd train on opening day.

Garfield's Nightmare is not the only "Garfield themed ride." The Pounce Bounce in Kiddieland is themed with Garfield. *** Edited 5/5/2004 10:20:12 PM UTC by KpExpress*** *** Edited 5/5/2004 10:20:48 PM UTC by KpExpress***

The legend continues
Thursday, May 6, 2004 3:53 AM
The Old Mill hasn't been that in about thirty years. I remember the scenes were depictions of life around the world. Then in about 1975 Heni Pohl's company Amusements for America rethemed it. Henri and his crew were former Cedar Point employees that had gone out on there own. They also did the carousel that year, changing the frame from it's original factory paint scheme, to the one it has now. That was based upon the Kiddeland machine at CP.IMHO that was a major mistake. It originally was nearly identical to the Frontiertown Dentzel (now at Dorney Park).That was originally restored by then sign shop manager Tom Layton and his crew to as close to factory as the budget would permit.
Friday, May 7, 2004 3:01 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar Anyone know if single train op is standard fare for PR this early in the season?

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Friday, May 7, 2004 12:32 PM

ApolloAndy said:
Anyone know if single train op is standard fare for PR this early in the season?

I believe it is until Kennywood opens daily which is May 14th. The weekends before the park opens daily is still considered training weekends. So I wouldn't exspect a 2nd train to start running until the park opens daily.

The legend continues
Friday, May 7, 2004 4:56 PM
kpjb's avatar The second train was ready today.


Friday, May 7, 2004 5:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar So it will be running this...let's say...Sunday? :)

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