Rainy Day at Kennywood (8/20)

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OK, so, I've been visiting this site for like 2 yrs and I have never posted anything, so please forgive me if I ramble (I have a strong tendancy to do that...oh and I can't spell lol).

I haven't been to KW for about 8yrs. I grew up not far from Pittsburgh, so this was my park during my childhood and it's really all I knew, Amusement-wise, for many years. In fact, I spent 3 summers home from college working in the refreshment stand across from the Jack Rabbit (I even use a photo of that stand from coasterimage.com as my desktop background...hope u don't mind dude!).

Initially, this was supposed to be a trip to Cedar Point, but due to various factors (money, boyfriend complications, ect) I wouldn't be venturing out to Ohio this year, so me and my gal-pal Kelly decided to give ol' Kennywood a whirl...seeing as how I was already in the area visiting some family this past weekend.

First off, the weather--grey and rainy. This is both a bad and good thing. There were intermittent ride shut-downs due to some rumbles of thunder and the occasional downpour, (its always odd to bewearing a hoodie in August, in PA)...however, there were also NO lines whatsoever, so when the rides were up and running, wait times were non-existant--always a plus.

We didn't get to the park until after noon (thanks in no small part to the all-day hangover we were suffering all day sunday) and the parking lot was deserted. In fact, it wasn't until reaching the front gate that we saw any of the rides actually operating.

Emerging from the tunnel, we opted to head down the midway towards my old stand (they have replaced the god-awful hot pink for a more subdued, but oddly less-appealing lavenderish-grey or something) and our first ride of the day:

I was sad to see they had replaced the leather strap with a more snug seat belt (I knew they had done this of course, but I was still kinda bummed nonetheless). You are all no doubt familiar with this (and all the other) rides at KW, so I'll forgo any discriptions and just focus on my personal expereinces. It's a short, simple coaster, classic wood but not terribly rough. I had told Kel about the double-dip (really the ride's major feature) and even with the new, tighter belt, we still got a fun lil pop of air in the front seat and it was a nice, gentle but fun way to start our day. Since we were at this area of the park, where else to head but...

This was my first coaster ever (when I was like 8) so it's got a special place in my heart. Its hardly the biggest or fastest and, aside from the fact that you start at one side of the station and end on the opposing side, there's nothing "stand-out" about it, I really like RACER. It's a tad longer than the JR and the proximity of the trains is always a lil thrill. We rode this twice each taking a different side for each race, each winning by just a hair. It's a unquie coaster where you and a friend can ride in sperate trains but still enjoy the same coaster...don't you think?

Anyway, with the smaller coasters outta the way it was off to...

Now this was my favorite a long time ago (in fact, it was the last ride I rode at KW 8 yrs ago...just a side-note!). I had ridden Steel Phantom when it was, you know, the Steel Phantom, with its loops and whatnot, and it was all well and good, but I always prefered TUNDERBOLT over anything else in the park. We would only get on this once but it was just as much fun (if slightly less-intense) as i remembered from almost a decade ago. Oh, and naturally I was the one that got squished after the lift hill (I am the guy of the 2 of us...its only fair lol).

So, 3 coasters down, naturally tmie to head to...

I have been dying to try this out since they reconfigured the old Phantom. I've heard nothing but good things about this coaster for years now and it was FINALLY time for me to try it out and it did NOT disappoint in the least. We made a point to ride this one 3 times; once wherever just get on the thing in case the weather didnt stay at bay (it wound up being in the forth row), once in the front (naturally) and once in the back. All 3 rides were flat-out FUN. The first 2 rides were great--hanging over the lift hill for just that one second before you start curving around the first drop--and the last (in the back) was simply the fastest thing i have been on (i know..i havent ridden the fastest of coasters...yet). Head-chopping effect, air-time craziness (Kel didn't believe me that the 2nd drop was longer than the first..until that first ride!). Neither of us spent a single second on PR without smiles plastered all over our faces! New favorite at KW (no offese T-Bolt!)

That only leaves....

We picked the perfect time to ride this, no sooner did we enter the queue inside the building, that we got our first nasty spurt of rain for the day...everyone in line behind us (the only place there was a line..of course, an indoor ride) was totally drenched. It may just be a really well-themed WIld Mouse, but EXTERMINATOR was a real blast. Obviously, having just come from our first ride off of PR it was pretty tame, but the sharp turns and little hills were fast and furious. And the section where you start spinning like mad illicted some of the biggest laughs from the 2 of us all day. Good times. Plus as soon as we exited, the rain had ceased.

With all the coasters offically under our belts, we decided to hit up all the flat rides we could. We didn't get on them all (again, mostly due to weather issues) we did our best to at least get on all the ones unqie to KW:

Garfield's Nightmare
--I much prefer the Old Mill, cuz i mean what was the point of redesinging it? It's not anymore intense than it was before (it pretty much is a "make-out ride" anyway...as my mom always says) and does anyone ever CARE about Garfield anymore??? And of all the rides in the park, THIS gets a photo op.? Admittedly we have a hilarious pic of the 2 of us in our 3D glasses plastered on the fride right now, but still...

--Probably the longest ride of the Flats. A classic from my childhood and we had a great time (and if i'm not mistaken the ONLY ride like this left in the world...please correct me if i'm wrong..i can take the heat heehee)

Noah's Ark
--Kennywood Staple. I love those bouncing floors and trying to walk once you first enter the rocking boat. Perfect ride just after eating.

Cosmic Chaos
--First Disc-O for me and really enjoyable. The 2nd longest of the Flats (it seemed--we got several swings back and forth at full speed). Those seat LOOK uncomfortable, what with the automated seat-back thing (never saw THAT before!) but they were surprisingly ergomonic (or whatever).

Music Express
--Nothing special, execpt for the short run-time, due to, i believe, someone in another car misbehaving. But we had both been on duplicates of this ride everywhere so we didnt care too much.

--I REALY liked this (Kelly..not so much). One thing I didn't like was the short ride time. We no sooner got to full swing that they slowed us down and it was done. I woulda loved a couple more full-force swings outta that one. By the time we were at the peak everyone was screaming thier guts out (me included..it was GREAT!) Oh, and those seats hurt in all the WRONG places lol

FLATS we didnt get to:
Areo360 -- Been on Meteor at Dorney, looks pretty much the same.
Paratrooper -- a time and weather thing unfortantely. Another childhood fave.
Pirat -- Was down off and on throught the afternoon.
Volcano/Wipeout/Wave Swinger/GranPrix -- Simply didn't have time (we had a 4-hr drive to complete at the end of the day) and had been on all those before here or at other parks.
King Kahuna -- Closed all day.
AutoRace and Gold Rusher -- Always closed when we walked by.
Raging Rapids/Log Jammer/Pittsburgh PLunge -- We were wet enough with the rain
Turpike--Zzzzzzzzzz (sorry...i have been annoyed by that one since the took out the cars with the accelators)

Hmmmm i think thats it. Oh, i beat like 4 kids to win a stuffed frog at one of those water-gun games (heehee...sorry, but my aunt loved the frog!), got some skee ball in, and bought some fudge, but alas missed out on the Potato Patch fries, a corn dog and funnel cake.

Thnx for reading.....Til next time :) *** Edited 8/29/2007 11:01:26 PM UTC by Tsunami78***

I went the very next day, still pretty rainy, King Kahuna was still closed, not that I cared. I was debating gointg on SwingShot, but that Wipeout made me sick. So, I watched PR for a while, then I was better. But, After I got sick on Wipeout, SwingShot might've been too much.
eightdotthree's avatar
Sounds like a fun day, I love those drizzly days at out of town parks.

alfundo's avatar
I had scheduled to visit KW that monday but postponed it until wednesday due to the forecasts. Since it was my first visit i didn't want to deal with the expected 2 inches of rain.
KENNYWOOD 10 -- Well there is certainly less spinning (read: none) on Swingshot. I did feel the force of the ride in my gut but it wasn't TOO bad (like i said above, my friend disagreed with me on that one) But it was probably a good idea to wait if you were already feeling a bit ill. I would strongly recommend trying it next time though :)

8.3 -- Yeah, i mean it was strange being all bundled up that late in August and i would have liked to have had clear skies and smooth sailing...but the rain did totally help with crowd sizes. I guess when you live that close to a park, you'll just go another, warmer day. WE had no choice cuz it was the only day we could go. It all worked out in the end though!

ALFUNDO -- DId you have a good time on your trip? or have you posted already and i just missed it? heehee

alfundo's avatar
The wife and I arrived at the park shortly after opening and were immediately charmed coming out of the tunnel with the Turnpike greeting us. It reminded me of a scene from my childhood when my father would set up the HO set. Then rounding the corner I really liked the facade on Racer and how it blended in with the old town feel. Pretty much Kennywood was exactly like i expected it to be...kinda like Knoebels would be if Knoebels had the population base that Kennywood draws from and like Dorney before Dorney lost its charm. So yeh, I expected Kennywood to have that Pennsyltucky feel like I find at Knoebels.

Another sensation I got was on the ride into the park from the Turnpike. At one point I passed a spot which surely must have been the inspiration for the neighborhood from Mr Rogers Neighborhood. It may have been the town depicted because I believe Fred Rogers was a Pittsburgh native.

A friend highly recommended the Turtle so that was my first ride and I think the Turtle delivered plenty of that Pennsyltucky feel. What a strange ride to have made it all these years and I was surprised how popular it was with the regulars. 8/10 for uniqueness and surviving all these years.

Next we rode the Olde Kennywood RR, we really dug the narration informing us of the local history...and the view. Among park train rides I'd say this was the most enjoyable time i had going 3 m.p.h.

Onto the Carousel the wife loved it, I was looking for the rings... I must say that it's a well taken care of carousel.

Then we came upon Noahs Ark, we were giggling like school girls, a very fun time.

Next we found the Kangaroo, wow, this sent our Pennsyltucky meters thru the roof...ride ride ride wheeeee ride ride ride wheeeee, too bad its the last of it's kind.

Since we got a tip that the Gold Rusher was closing for good in 3 days we headed there. eh, nothing too special but I hate to see rides like these get replaced...I didn't even bother with the Garfield ride. Glad we at least got to ride this one.

Having covered the smaller rides that were on our list it was time for some coasters...good thing we waited too, once they added the second train for PR the line shrank to a 10 minute wait. I loved PR, I'm glad Kennywood took the time to listen to the guests and rework the track.

Thunderbird was a pretty good ride utilizing the existing slopes of the park. I wasn't too thrilled with Jack Rabbit or Racer

All in all we really liked our visit and wouldn't hesitate to stop in again on our way thru the area. My only let down was that I thought they had a set of flying scooters in the park. Oh yeh, the bumper cars suck almost as much as Dorneys...I guess I've been spoiled by Knoebels. We were really glad we went on Wednesday instead of Monday and we had nice weather.

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