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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood

Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood

oreo95

Posted:
10/7/07 at
8:22:01 PM

I realize that the Pippin at Kennywood changed to Thunderbolt in 1967. I have seen pictures of Thunderbolt as Pippin and it looked more fun than it is today. How much do you like Thunderbolt at Kennywood?

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 10/7/07 8:32:21 PM

Where did you find the Pippen photos? I've been looking for some good ones. I never rode the Pippen, but he Thunderbolt is rated as my #1 coaster, so that's where I stand on the matter. Of course, Kennywood is my home park and I spent 4 summers working there ... not that I'm biased or anything. The T-bolt is best when they are running it around and around with no brakes other than a brief slowdown to pass through the station. You gotta be an employee to get a ride like that, though. Otherwise, it seems to fly fastest late at night.

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 10/7/07 8:42:52 PM

How did pippin look better than thunderbolt when everything PIPPIN WAS IS STILL THERE? They added a lift where the end of the ride used to be and added a helix to make it Thunderbolt.

As for Thunderbolt, I always thought it was a good coaster but only after last years Phantom Fright night did I actually GET IT and moved it into my FAVORITE wood catagory. Maybe it was just running better.

Chuck

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by Maverick_Fan Maverick_Fan Profile at 10/7/07 8:44:37 PM

I think he saw it in his Kennywood book. I go to the same school as him, and we took a feild trip to Kennywood, and he got a book, and it talks about the Pippen.

Maverick_Fan's Profile Page

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by oreo95 at 10/7/07 8:50:08 PM

Yes, I got the photos from my Images of America: Kennywood book. To reply to Coaster Fanatic: You're wrong!! All that was kept of Pippin was the ravine section according to five other books that I've read. Everything else was changed.

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 10/7/07 9:31:15 PM

DUH

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Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by MarathonRunner MarathonRunner Profile at 10/7/07 10:32:58 PM

The Thunderbolt is great. However, I think that the Jackrabbit is the true treasure there. Imagine a coaster so old that there isn't even a "locking bar." The drops into the ravine is what makes those Kennywood coasters so unique and fun. I wasn't quite as fond of the Racer, which didn't utilize the ravine as effectively.

MarathonRunner

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by KPBook04 KPBook04 Profile at 10/7/07 10:38:49 PM

I'm glad you enjoyed my book. But, I'm also puzzled by your statement that the Pippin was 'better' than the Thunderbolt. Everything that was good about the Pippin, minus it's Jack Rabbit like double-dip, was retained. They just extended the lift hill and created the wonderful helix that is there today, doubling the length of the ride. The large drops into the ravine were retained, which were built by John Miller in 1924. The rest of the structure that became the Thunderbolt opened in 1968. I'm sure that the Pippin was a fine coaster, given all the positive remarks that I've heard from people who have ridden it. But, most seem to agree who have ridden both that the Thunderbolt was a great makeover of the old Pippin. The only thing really missing from the Pippin on the Thunderbolt is the 'double-dip', which, like the Jack Rabbit, was located on the ride's third drop. Everything else is there except the tunnel on the first turn after the first drop. That was removed in 1991 when they opened the Steel Phantom. Like the Jack Rabbit, the Pippin was very similar in design to it and only had four drops also. It was just built in a little deeper ravine so it had deeper, longer drops than the Jack Rabbit. But, all of those drops still exist on the Thunderbolt today, so, in essence, the Pippin is still at Kennywood, just part of the Thunderbolt now!

As for the pictures of the Pippin in my book, they were from Kennywood's photo archives, used by permission from the park.

Dave Hahner
Author of "Images of America: Kennywood"

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Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 10/7/07 11:00:14 PM

Dave, Thats what I said and he called me a idiot. The lifhill used to be the end of the ride as PIPPIN.

I love new posters but asking what we think then telling us were wrong is beyond me.

Thanks for the book, Love it.
chuck

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Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by KPBook04 KPBook04 Profile at 10/7/07 11:04:43 PM

Thanks, Chuck!

:)

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by oreo95 at 10/7/07 11:19:07 PM

The book was amazingly informative and pictorial!

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by KPBook04 KPBook04 Profile at 10/7/07 11:23:40 PM

Thank you, Oreo95! I'm very glad you liked it!

Ride the Thunderbolt, I really think you will enjoy it! And remember, when you're plummeting down into those ravine drops, you're actually riding the Pippin!

:)

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Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by oreo95 at 10/7/07 11:35:47 PM

Your Welcome and I will ride the Thunderbolt!

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by joebailey at 1/2/13 9:47:57 PM
I am 68 and rode the Pippin many times. It's greaatness was from the anticipation of it's double dip- not the airtime so much as the speed going over into the deeper and steeper part of the drop into the ravine. It was that hill in combination with the last which made the ride so memorable. As much as I love the Tbolt,would really love to experience that type of a hill again. Also would love to see Kwood tweek the Tbolt buy taking off the trim brake, banking the turn into the ravine after the helix and radically banking the final turn before the last drop.
Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 1/3/13 8:01:47 PM
Are the wooden coasters at Kennywood getting much love anymore? Most park fans weren't thrilled when the park was sold to Parques Reunidos/Palace Entertainment and feared for the park's future.
Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 1/3/13 9:56:39 PM
The wooden coasters were running a little rough the year they put in Sky Rocket. However, this past summer, they seemed to be back to their old selves, but sure could use a new coat of paint! Thunderbolt is still an amazing ride after dark, especially with the right partner ... and you MUST have a partner!

It was fun for me to read what I posted above. 200 coasters ago, the T-Bolt WAS my favorite. Nowadays, there is this thing called El Toro in NJ that has claimed my #1 spot, but the T-Bolt will always hold a special place in my heart.

Re: Pippin to Thunderbolt Conversion at Kennywood by frontrow frontrow Profile at 1/4/13 8:17:36 PM
MarathonRunner said:

The Thunderbolt is great. However, I think that the Jackrabbit is the true treasure there. Imagine a coaster so old that there isn't even a "locking bar." The drops into the ravine is what makes those Kennywood coasters so unique and fun. I wasn't quite as fond of the Racer, which didn't utilize the ravine as effectively.

MarathonRunner

I agree. The Jack Rabbit is my favorite coaster at Kennywood.