The "Andy’s Whirlwind Tour of Western, PA" Awards

Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:57 PM

Kennywood – Mon 6/11

Waldameer – Thurs 6/14

Hershey – Fri 6/15

"Still best steel coasters" award: Tie – Phantom’s Revenge, Storm Runner

"Surprisingly still best wood coasters" award: All three of KW’s woodies were flying, but Thunderbolt gets the slight nod.

Best steel coaster that’s still kicking butt, in spite of the trim on the double down marginally taming the once ridiculous air award (also known as the "Of course I found something to complain about on a fantastic in all other respects ride award"): Phantom’s Revenge

The “Woo! Meh.” award for new coaster that has the biggest difference in fun factor between the first half and second half: Sky Rocket.

Biggest “Really?” coaster: Ravine Flyer II. I just couldn’t find too much to be impressed by it other than the view. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

Best bad steel coaster: Skyrush. Absolutely could be top 5 on lift, drop, insane air hills, awesome trains but restraints make it semi-unridable. Such a shame.

I am a super nerd and figured out which car ends up on the ramp at the end of the cycle and then sat in that car award: Kangaroo

Worst policy evar award: No glasses without strap on the Intamins at Hershey

The “Really? 12 people per cycle?” award for bad capacity: Fahrenheit. When the ride right across the midway does double station with 66% larger trains, you really couldn’t add another station block for this thing, Cheetah Hunt style?

The Viking inversion that’s actually pretty cool award: Fahrenheit’s Norwegian loop

Worst thrown together cutting program: Hershey’s whatever pass in which they just block off rows of the train and let people straight up cut. At least they don’t let seats go out empty, though.

Biggest waste of money award: Wildcat’s MF trains. I really didn’t notice a significant difference in smoothness, but I did notice a drop in intensity.

The “Holy crap, that coaster is a long way away and the lines are short because everyone is too lazy to walk to it” award: Lightning Racer

The “My God, I’m out of shape” award: That hill from the carousel down to the Hollow at Hershey.

The “still a really fun ride, even if spelled improperly” award: Sooper Dooper Looper

The "Did you really just boast on the mic about being the 6th best wooden coaster in the world?” award: The op on Ravine Flyer 2.

The “Please, for the love of God, don’t take me through the back woods of PA anymore” Award: Garmin GPS

The "I need a GPS to get from the entrance of the parking lot to an actual space" award: Hershey's parking lot

The "I need a GPS to get from my car to the entrance of the park" award: Kennywood

The "Most overrated fries at both Kennywood and Waldameer (somehow)": Potato Patch Fries

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:20 PM
Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:36 PM

The LR comment and Comet Hollow hill comments cracked me up while I nodded in agreement.

I gotta get to Kennywood soon. I can't believe I've never been there with half my family living out that way.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:47 PM

ApolloAndy said:

Biggest “Really?” coaster: Ravine Flyer II. I just couldn’t find too much to be impressed by it other than the view. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

Agreed. Put RF2 in the 'coasters I don't get the extreme love for' column.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:56 PM

They trimmed Phantom's double down? When did that happen?

Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:57 PM

I'm surprised about RFII. I always heard such good things about it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:30 PM

I have lots of love for RFII.

If they trimmed the double down on Phantom, that would be OK with me. My most recent ride on it was 2009. It gave me some whip action (and not the good kind).

Last edited by James Whitmore, Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:31 PM
Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:51 PM

The "Did you really just boast on the mic about being the 6th best wooden coaster in the world?” award: The op on Ravine Flyer 2.

Sorry, my fault! Seriously, I was asked to liven up the operations on RFII, so I created a guide to fun for the operators which included the ranking as #6 Wooden Coaster as one of the several fun facts listed. My goal is to get the operators to be more personable and interactive with our guests with saying more than just the typical scripted spiels. Also, I want people from Erie to give Ravine Flyer II the credit it deserves. Everyone from here thinks that despite the ride being tons of fun, it can't be as good as roller coasters at large parks because it is at a small park like Waldameer. However it is worth noting that Cedar Point loves to boast their coaster rankings over the microphones, and their model for guest interaction on coasters is the approach I'm using with RFII.

It's unfortunate that you were not wowed by the ride, but I respect your opinion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:17 PM

I liked the banter in general, but that particular fact seemed to be a bit strange. I'm also sure I would have liked RF2 better if I had gotten night rides on it, (i.e. Boulder Dash is "meh" during the day and top 3 at night) but that's the price of riding on weekdays in June.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:26 PM

Hey, I like the style of this TR ;-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:39 PM

I like this style trip report too. Great Job Andy. It was entertaining, quick to read, and changed topics often enough to keep my attention.

Monday, June 18, 2012 11:28 AM

I stole the idea from a TR I saw on here. I assume it was Tsunami's.

Monday, June 18, 2012 1:36 PM

Out of curiosity - what are some of your favorite woodies? I'm a diehard Kennywood fan and will defend Thunderbolt and Jackrabbit as truly great coasters any day of the week...

...but both of them are shadows compared to RFII (in my opinion of course). Since RFII opened, I've been to Waldameer as many times as Kennywood, and KW is 20 minutes from my house (vs. ~2 hours for Waldameer), mostly because of that ride.

Sounds like you had fun though, and I'll add a +1 to the "I find this trip report format to be quite enjoyable" camp.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Monday, June 18, 2012 1:37 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012 2:08 PM

El Toro and Phoenix tied for #1, Boulder Dash #2, Voyage #3. After that, in no particular order: CI Cyclone, Raven, Legend, Ghostrider (of 10 years ago), Viper (GAm), Comet (GE), PNE's Coaster, Cornball. The Kennywoodies all fall in around here - mid-to-low teens and they were all kicking butt last week.

I probably rank Thunderhead, Lightning Racer, and Rampage pretty low compared to others and RF2 makes that group for me (somewhere in the high teens to low 20's).

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Monday, June 18, 2012 2:12 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012 2:23 PM

Huh, that's pretty surprising considering your top 10. To me, RF2 is like half (or maybe a third) of a Voyage -- my primary complaint being that it's too short! Nonetheless, I rank it fairly high, along with Thunderhead.

Just goes to show how we all have different tastes even when we sometimes overlap on the things we like.

Monday, June 18, 2012 2:38 PM

PNE...someone enlighten this poor lost soul. I should probably know, but I'm drawing a blank (about the only thing I CAN draw.)

And it's been 3 years since my only rides on RFII and I still rank it my #2 overall, behind Toro and ahead of Voyage.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Monday, June 18, 2012 2:40 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012 2:44 PM

Pacific Northwest Expo - Vancouver, Canada

Interestingly, of the coasters on that list, the vast majority are coasters I rode at night or rank based on night rides. (excepting El Toro, CI Cyclone) The ones that I rank surprisingly low are ones that I only have daytime rides on.

Monday, June 18, 2012 3:35 PM

I will second the "there's a trim brake on Phantom?"

Monday, June 18, 2012 5:54 PM

I'm pretty sure there's a magnetic trim right at the top of the double down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:12 AM


Tuesday, June 19, 2012 9:57 AM

Never noticed it.


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