Review of Kennywood's Coasters

Sunday, June 10, 2001 11:40 AM
Kennywood has 5 major roller coasters, 3 of them which are great wooden coasters which have been maintained since the early to mid 1900s.
Rating System: I'll rate their coasters on a scale from 0-5, 5 being the best, and 0 being the worst.

Racer - 3
The Racer, which was built by John Miller back in the mid 1900s, still provides great thrills to riders today. The Racer, which is a continuous track-racing coaster, is one of the most popular rides at the park and it is probably the tamest of their 5 major roller coasters. However, the Racer provides good airtime and many of the spiraling drops still provide a deal of uncertainty and excitement. With a highest drop of 40 feet, the Racer is usually the first coaster "future thrill seekers" ride.

Jack Rabbit - 3.5
The Jack Rabbit, which is the oldest coaster at Kennywood, was also built by John Miller and uses the natural ravine to provide thrills and excitement. The Jack Rabbit's 70 foot double dip, provides some of the best airtime on a coaster, and the only restraint on the Jack Rabbit is a very loose, safety belt. Many times riders say they feel like their "falling out of their seats", which also adds to the fear and excitement of the Jack Rabbit. If the Jack Rabbit were longer in length, the rating would probably be higher but all in all, it's a great ride which produces monster airtime on the double-dip. No other amusement park can duplicate its awesome, and scary double dip.

Exterminator - 4
The Exterminator is an "in the dark" wild mouse roller coaster. Being in the dark, riders aren't able to brace for upcoming drops and turns, which adds to the fun of the ride. Being so popular with guests, the wait to ride the Exterminator is often very long, but it's well worth the wait. Some camelbacks near the end of the ride produce some airtime which many wouldn't expect on a wild-mouse type coaster. When it was added in 1999, Kennywood just got another great ride to add to their collection of great rides.

Thunderbolt - 4.5
The Thunderbolt combines speed with twists and turns to create one of the best ride experiences out there. It's the best wooden coaster at Kennywood (arguably in the U.S.) and even though it might not be the tallest or fastest wooden coaster, it sure is one of the greatest wooden coasters ever built. The Thunderbolt starts strong with an immediate drop out of the station, which often adds to the fear since most people expect to go up a chain-lift first. With the use of a valley, the Thunderbolt saves it's largest drop (95 feet) for the last drop, and for thrill seekers everywhere, it never lets up and is thrilling through the entire ride.

Phantom's Revenge - 5
Phantom's Revenge, which is new for 2001, combines parts of the old Steel Phantom, which was originally built by Arrow Dynamics in 1991. The newly redesigned Phantom's Revenge was created by D.H. Morgan Manufacturing, and all the loops of the Steel Phantom were removed and after the first drop, the entire ride was redesigned. The Phantom's 2nd drop was lengthened to 230 feet and another drop into the valley was added, providing more thrills. A series of camelbacks were also added, which produce monster airtime. Also, the horsecollar restraints were removed and new "lapbar and safety belt" only trains were created, making for a much more comfortable ride experience. The Phantom's Revenge is one of the best hyper coasters in the world, and it combines, speed, smoothness, monster airtime, and great drops into one great coaster. It's the best ride at Kennywood, and the airtime on PR is like no other coaster out there...words can't describe how great this coaster really is.

Sunday, June 10, 2001 11:43 AM
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