Part one. Kennywood/SFgadv TR

Associated parks:

Saturday, August 4, 2007 2:26 PM
This TR is part one of my two day trip. The first day was at Kennywood and the second was at Six Flags Great Adventure. I’ll have the TR for the second day soon. I was part of a group of four on this trip. One of my friends Dickson had already been to gadv before so I was not at all worried about him. The other two Tom and Chris had never really been to any big parks other than our home park SFNE, therefore I wasn’t totally confident that they would ride everything like KK.

Kennywood Day One Tuesday July 31st.

We arrived at the park around one in the afternoon. For all four of us this was our first time at the park. We spent the day with two other people who were locals and friends with Chris. I guess you could say they were our tour guides. At a quick glance the park looked small in space. With that first look it seemed as if it would not take more than 4 hours to ride every ride in the park.

The following are the noteworthy rides in order from which they were ridden.

Jack Rabbit 5/10

This was the first ride in the park that we went on. I would define it as a product of the terrain. This whole park was filled with hills that reshaped all the rides. While the ride was in motion it was awesome with a lot of surprises, but it was too short for a higher ranking.

Racer 6/10

The ride itself is a 5, but the racing quality gives it one more point. My train lost, but it was still fun. As good as it was I was say that Gemini at CP is the better racing coaster.

Thunderbolt 7.5/10

There was no ride in the park that I was more interested in than the Thunderbolt. Coming into this day I had been on 52 coasters not to bad for a 19 year old. But I had never been on a top notch wooden before. Going into that day the Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park in NH was the best wooden I had ever been on. That woodie was better than any at CP, SFNE, SFgadv( I was last there in 2005), or any Busch park.
I remember the Thunderbolt being in top ten lists and even the number one woodie before, but whenever I looked at it, it looked overatted. When I first got into the trains I was not impressed b/c the restraints were loose. That gave the idea of little airtime. The ride started with a few drops before the lift. The best part of the ride was just after the first drop. The lateral forces were the most I have ever experienced before. This ride had little sensation of speed and had almost no airtime, in fact at the end I noticed my lap bar had come loose! So was it a fun ride YES, but I don’t know what it is doing in top ten lists. Maybe a top ten lists for dating coasters but that’s it. The Yankee Cannonball survived another day as my number one wooden coaster or at least till the next day! “El Toro”

Phantom’s Revenge 9/10

The ride had a very short wait and I as usual went straight for the back. The cars actually looked very old. My lap bar had duck tap on it. This ride was awesome. The first and especially the second drop were amazing. The only problem was that the ride was a bit short. The terrain helps the second drop, but it equally makes the coaster lose momentum before the finale. Regardless the finale does produce some nice and especially sudden pops of air. This ride knocked off Raptor and is my new number 10 on my steel list. While in line for the ride I was interested in the original layout for the Steel Phantom and where the loops were placed. If anyone has any links to that rides layout I would like to see it.

Exterminator 7/10

No trip to Kennywood should be made without a trip on this ride! It’s an indoor crazy mouse coaster. Oh my Gosh was it cool. You had absolutely no idea what was happening to you a must ride.

Pit Fall 7/10

While it sure was fun and exciting. I did not find it to be any where near as tall as I thought when at the top. I was actually surprised to see it open after the recent accident.

Rest of the park

I was very impressed with the park as a whole. There were a lot of “good” rides in the park and one great ride in Phantoms Revenge. There were a lot of rides that I did not list above that are all worth riding. I was wrong when I was in the parking lot and thought that all the rides worth going on here would be done in a few hours. It took us the whole day and the lines were very small. There were just so many flats that I can’t remember them all. I think this park is a good model for other parks that just keep on adding record breaking rides. It’s amazing what this park can do with such little space. Next day off to SFGadv and El Toro! *** Edited 8/4/2007 6:31:30 PM UTC by GIGAFORCE01*** *** Edited 8/4/2007 6:32:13 PM UTC by GIGAFORCE01***

Saturday, August 4, 2007 4:57 PM
Great TR. I love Kennywood as well. Did you ride the new Disk-O? I have to agree with you about PR to it really is a gem as well as Exterminator and Jack Rabbit. As for Thunderbolt though it blew us away in 2002. Maybe it has changed since then but my God that was out of control.
Saturday, August 4, 2007 11:56 PM
I did ride the Disk-O and all the spinning rides the only problem was that the group of people that I was with got sick afterwards. Personally I really enjoyed the spinning rides. Kennywood has one of the best collections of them out there.

The one thing that I do regret with the Thunderbolt is that I only rode it once and that was towards the beginning of the day. Everyone else wasn't too enthused to ride it again and it wasn't one of those trips were I would go off on my own just to see if it got better at night. I too thought the Thunderbolt was out of control and a lot of fun, I just don't see it being a top ten ride.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 1:04 PM
Thunderbolt didn't live up to the hype for me either. It was on one of those top-10 shows circa 2002, but as far as I'm concerned it doesn't beat Phoenix, which wasn't ranked, even though it has a more interesting layout. Maybe I was in the wrong seats (front and middle, I would've tried the back but I was there on a rainy day and there wasn't time because I needed more Phantom rides), maybe it was too hot (ridiculously so), I don't know, but it just wasn't spectacular like I was led to believe it would be. It was better in the rain than with a dry track.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 2:12 PM

Jim S. said:
Thunderbolt didn't live up to the hype for me either. It was on one of those top-10 shows circa 2002 quote]

I remember that. It was also ranked number one in the world a few years earlier on a NAPHA top ten list show on discovery channel. That show made the Thunderbolt seem as if it was the greatest ride ever built. I remember watching that show with a non roller coaster friend and he said, " They do a really good job at making a boring coaster look so good" It was really funny.

It will probably be several more days before I get part two up of my trip at SFgadv im just so busy now!

*** Edited 8/5/2007 6:13:25 PM UTC by GIGAFORCE01***

Sunday, August 5, 2007 5:25 PM
Great tr. I think alot of folks wonder why the Thunderbolt is top 10 (along with CI cyclone and some others) is because so many of us have been spoiled by the surge of 90's CCI coasters. Many of which have been tamed, or not taken care of since they opened.

The Thunderbolt is always there, it always runs well - much better at night (like most any coaster). The lap bars don't hurt or pin you in your seat, it's not rough and no silly seat dividers or headrests.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 7:01 PM
I've always gotten really good air in the backseat. The front has a pretty strong pop right before the lift. I'm almost at 200 coasters and it's still in my top 10, but then again, I love classics.
Sunday, August 5, 2007 9:41 PM
The Thunderbolt is great for its own reasons. Just watch the faces of the people coming down the hill. Thats what that ride is all about. I always come off the ride with a smile.
Monday, August 6, 2007 12:23 AM
Remember, too, the T-Bolt was rated #1 somewhere around 1973-1974. That thing was considered a monster back then (90 foot drop, is it, into the ravine into the woods at the end?)

It's competiton for the title were probably coasters that had a 50-something foot high main drop at the time. The T-Bolt was considered a pretty long ride back in the day, too. The whole layout was rather unique for the period.

I am probably biased, being from the 'burgh, of course.. I still love it, and I think it has aged really well. :)

Speaking of the Thunderbolt... does anyone here know what the original layout of the Pippin (which the T Bolt was derived from) was like?

Monday, August 6, 2007 12:35 AM
In discovery channel's show in 2002 I think this ride was described the best. Someone said that "The best thing about it is that it's a different coaster." I think this ride has a unique layout for any time period Chooch249, but just b/c its such a great classic and it's different from most other wooden coasters doesn't mean it's a top ten to me. If I had that same lap bar on me during El Toro I would be dead right now!
Monday, August 6, 2007 12:58 AM

Chooch249 said:

Speaking of the Thunderbolt... does anyone here know what the original layout of the Pippin (which the T Bolt was derived from) was like?

I'm pretty sure there are pics of it in the Kennywood book by Charles Jaques, Jr. if it's still available.

ahhh here it is... wish my scanner wasn't broken :(
The station was basically where the drop off the lift was - about at a 90 degree angle from the lift. Leaving the station, makes about a 140 degree rh turn, leading to about a 45 degree turn and dropping down into the gully - same as it does now right out of the station.

Down the second drop and up the lift - not as high - then 180 degree rh turn after the lift leading into a double down into the valley (the same drop is there now, after the post speghetti bowl trim).

Same last drop and up into the brakes.

I know it's crazy to try to follow that, can someone scan a picture?

Monday, August 6, 2007 12:30 PM
The T-Bolt is just awesome after dark. It plunges into that dark ravine four times and the view of the park as you go up the lift is wonderful as well.

The Pippin had the four drops into the ravine. After the chain lift it immediately went into the final two drops, the helix not being part of the ride back then.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 11:01 PM
I always have to ask, did you do Noahs Ark? If you didnt you should have, its a really unique walk through attraction, one of only 2 left in the world.
Thursday, August 9, 2007 12:44 AM
It's one of only two left in the world really? If only I knew that before I probably would have enjoyed it even more. So yes I did do it. I enjoyed it, but my group didn't b/c half of them were already sick before we got on the ride/ exhibit or whatever you want to call it. *** Edited 8/9/2007 4:45:50 AM UTC by GIGAFORCE01***

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