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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013

Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013

GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile

Posted:
5/23/13 at
10:16:02 PM

This was my first trip to Kennywood. Once I realized that I’d be passing it on my way to Cedar Point it was a no-brainer. I left my house at 5:40 am and arrived around 11:15 am. Would have been faster if it wasn’t for the horrible fog in the early morning and the construction in spots but I still made good time. I met Ken (frontrow) and his daughter Hailey at the fountain. He was able to get me in for $11 – it was posted online as a bring a buddy for $10 day but apparently that was a typo and it was supposed to be for the 19th. Ken successfully argued that since it’s posted, they have to honor it. How awesome is he?! :-)

I had my knee scooter (no way could I walk two parks in two days with my ankle) so we proceeded to guest relations to get a handicapped pass. It is similar to other parks except return times are only for the popular rides and it completely depends on the ride-ops if they check the pass for other rides or decide to make you come back. Most didn’t. I may have messed up the order on a few of these but this is to my best recollection:

First up was Phantom’s Revenge. We got right on and Hailey and I took the back row with Ken in front of us. That sure was a lot of airtime! I really liked it – Ken explained how it’s an Arrow-Morgan hybrid. I really enjoyed it.

Next we went to Black Widow – which looked spectacular!

We were given a time to return on this one so we went on Exterminator (spinning wild mouse) in the mean time. I thought it would be similar to Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts but it was nothing like it. First half is like a regular wild mouse then second half you spin out of control (in the dark and themed decently). Very unique. I liked it but I may have squished poor Hailey a bit!

Next we went on the Swing Shot - my first Screaming Swing! I never rode Sky Rocket at CP for some reason and it’s a good thing I rode this one since Sky Rocket was down when I went to CP the next day. It was a fun ride but the cycle is way too short.

Still had a wait for Black Widow so I was taking some pics and it went down. This is apparently a common thing. If you pull down on the harness it screws up the mechanics and needs to be reset. Everyone has to get off (they actually have a holding pen for this). It was up and running in a few so we went over and down again it went.

Luckily we only waited about 5 minutes and it was up again. The ride itself is a good one but I prefer the Huss Frisbees at CP and KI. The height on it is AMAZING but it is bumpy due to the motor constantly running. The Huss ones allow you to free fall a bit before the motor picks it up. We need someone to design one of these with the height of the Black Widow and the smoothness/free fall feeling of the Huss and that would be one AWESOME Frisbee! I actually felt more positive G’s than negative on this but the positive ones were powerful.

We went to Thunderbolt next. While I found it very unique, especially starting with a hill and the lift later, it didn’t do anything for me. Ken said they had recently done track work on it and it was still a bit rough. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. It was OK.

We then passed Chaos, a Disc-O ride. I have never been on one of these so we took a spin. It was fun and I called it the “Poor man’s Frisbee” LOL! I really liked it.

Sky Rocket was next and Hailey and I got in the front while Ken was in the row behind us and I really do not understand all of the people that use this ride as a “sign” that Premier has created the next evolution in launch coasters. The launch is weak, it stops you on top of the very small top hat, causing you to lose momentum (perhaps they were going for a “dive” coaster feel = FAIL) and the cushions on the sides of the seats don’t extend out far enough causing a bit of side slamming on the plastic. Did nothing for me and I usually LOVE launch coasters. Not this one. Not even a little. Don’t understand the hype. Moving on….


stopping on the top hat

We passed the Kangaroo and since it’s a last of its kind we took a spin. It’s a fun little ride that has a ramp as you go around giving you a pop of air. They ride cycle is VERY long and after a few laps I was done but kept prisoner a bit longer, LOL. We were talking about how when this ride was built it was probably one of the craziest things you could ride. Boy, how times have changed!

Then we went over to the Jack Rabbit. This is another woodie that has the lift in the middle. We were in the back row and oh my God – what an AWESOME coaster! The air time is ridiculous! Hands down my favorite in the park (and not just because the name “rabbit” is in it but that doesn’t hurt!). The double dip is awesome. That is one fun coaster!

Racer was next in line. Ken and I were on the blue train last row and Hailey took the Green train last row. She beat us but they cheated – they were released before we were! I still do not understand how a racing coaster can only have one track. It makes no sense to me. I was very confused (still am). It was a decent coaster. Liked it more than Thunderbolt but less than Jack Rabbit.

We took a spin on the Log Flume – it was hot and sunny so I figured getting a little wet wouldn’t hurt but I got it pretty bad in the front! Once we got in the boat I realized I had the compression stocking on my leg and trying to get that off before we were released was a bit comical – getting stockings wet is worse than wet socks! Got it off in time and good thing since I got wetter than I anticipated. It was a decent flume ride.

Then we went back to the Jack Rabbit because I needed another ride! If you would have told me that my favorite coaster in the park would be a 100 year old woodie I would have said no way, but it was true – I LOVE this coaster!!


Jack Rabbit wins the coaster of the day award!

Next up was Ghostwood Estates – a fun dark shooting ride. The problem is you’re so focused on hitting the targets you really miss out on most of themed elements and there are a lot in there. quite entertaining.

We headed back over to Phantom but this time they gave us a return time so we tried to see if they would let us on the Black Widow again but this time they checked the pass and said we had to ride Phantom first. We went over and rode the whip in the mean time. Next time anyone rides listen carefully – the motor sounds like playing a record backwards with satanic messages being spoken! (For those of you who actually remember records!).

Once it was time we went on the Phantom and took the front row this time. I think the front row is actually better on this one and I don’t say that about many steel coasters. Had a blast! Went back to BW and they just let us on now (different ride-ops) but someone went to pull down on their harness and we were led to the pen while they reset the ride. What a pain in the ass. Zamperla should be ashamed of themselves for creating such an obvious flaw. Unless you are aware of this it’s your first instinct – to pull down your harness. Stupid. The second ride was better than the first IMO. Again, LOVED the height and it was a little smoother this time around.

Headed over to the Turtle since it one of the last ones standing and boy is that one boring ride. The highlight was seeing a wild bunny running around while I was on it. Good for families/children I suppose.

As we were leaving the park Ken was debating if my ankle could handle Noah’s Ark. I decided to give it a shot – one of the ride-ops said for us to stay in the back so if I needed to exit they could get me out. It was an interesting fun house type ride to say the least. It was different, that’s for sure. Ken said there used to be a water room that’s been closed for a while now – that would have been cool. I made it through the shaking floors and we called it a day. It was around 6:15 and I wanted to get to my hotel and try and get some rest before heading to CP the next day.

I had a great time at Kennywood with some great company. Ken and Hailey are awesome people! His daughter is seriously the coolest 9 year old on the planet. As for my overall thoughts on Kennywood: It’s a nice park but not a destination park (unless you're a history buff as there are a lot of historic and last of its kind/only 2 or 3 left in the world rides). If I had driven a long distance for that park alone I would not have been happy but if it’s on your way to another destination or you live within driving distance to return home that same night then it’s definitely worth a stop.

Many thanks to Ken and Hailey for an awesome day!

Jen

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/23/13 10:30:43 PM
Great TR and fantastic photos. It was a pleasure spending the day with you at our home park. Glad you liked Jack Rabbit so much, it's my favorite coaster at the park also. Glad you had fun and made it home safely. Looking forward to meeting you guys at Hershey in June.
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 5/25/13 7:35:49 PM
Well, at least you GOT to Noah's Ark! I never even SAW the damn thing last September!! Thanks again, Ken!!! J/K, buddy!

Jen, PLEASE tell tell me you didn't skip the Bayern Kurve, and that you simply forgot to include it here. I had more fun on that my last two visits than anything else in that great park!

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/25/13 7:46:46 PM
beastmaster said:

Well, at least you GOT to Noah's Ark! I never even SAW the damn thing last September!! Thanks again, Ken!!! J/K, buddy!


Jen, PLEASE tell tell me you didn't skip the Bayern Kurve, and that you simply forgot to include it here. I had more fun on that my last two visits than anything else in that great park!

Mike

It was closed


right click view image and you can see the closed sign

So I guess we're even - I got Noah's Ark instead!

Jen

* This post was modified at 5/25/13 7:47:30 PM *

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 5/25/13 8:07:23 PM
Well, sorta. I went on Noah's when it had the water room Ken told you about. Bummer the Kurve wa closed for you.
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/25/13 9:48:09 PM
beastmaster said:

Well, sorta. I went on Noah's when it had the water room Ken told you about. Bummer the Kurve wa closed for you.

That's OK - I got 2 parks, 9 new coasters (hey, according to coaster count that Turtle ride at Kennywood is a coaster!), awesome weather and great company. I'll take that over a bobsled ride any day! :-)

Jen

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/3/13 4:03:32 PM
GoYanks34 said:

beastmaster said:

Well, sorta. I went on Noah's when it had the water room Ken told you about. Bummer the Kurve wa closed for you.

That's OK - I got 2 parks, 9 new coasters (hey, according to coaster count that Turtle ride at Kennywood is a coaster!), awesome weather and great company. I'll take that over a bobsled ride any day! :-)

Jen

The turtle is awesome if you have a gal on each side of you and sit on the inside for max waves :)

Charles Nungester 323 coasters and holding for two years now LOL Last coaster ride. HWN 2011
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/3/13 4:19:35 PM
CoasterFanatic said:

GoYanks34 said:

beastmaster said:

Well, sorta. I went on Noah's when it had the water room Ken told you about. Bummer the Kurve wa closed for you.

That's OK - I got 2 parks, 9 new coasters (hey, according to coaster count that Turtle ride at Kennywood is a coaster!), awesome weather and great company. I'll take that over a bobsled ride any day! :-)

Jen

The turtle is awesome if you have a gal on each side of you and sit on the inside for max waves :)

LOL! :-)

Jen

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 6/5/13 6:01:35 PM
GoYanks34 said:

This was my first trip to Kennywood. Once I realized that I’d be passing it on my way to Cedar Point it was a no-brainer. I left my house at 5:40 am and arrived around 11:15 am. Would have been faster if it wasn’t for the horrible fog in the early morning and the construction in spots but I still made good time. I met Ken (frontrow) and his daughter Hailey at the fountain. He was able to get me in for $11 – it was posted online as a bring a buddy for $10 day but apparently that was a typo and it was supposed to be for the 19th. Ken successfully argued that since it’s posted, they have to honor it. How awesome is he?! :-)


I had my knee scooter (no way could I walk two parks in two days with my ankle) so we proceeded to guest relations to get a handicapped pass. It is similar to other parks except return times are only for the popular rides and it completely depends on the ride-ops if they check the pass for other rides or decide to make you come back. Most didn’t. I may have messed up the order on a few of these but this is to my best recollection:

First up was Phantom’s Revenge. We got right on and Hailey and I took the back row with Ken in front of us. That sure was a lot of airtime! I really liked it – Ken explained how it’s an Arrow-Morgan hybrid. I really enjoyed it.

Next we went to Black Widow – which looked spectacular!

We were given a time to return on this one so we went on Exterminator (spinning wild mouse) in the mean time. I thought it would be similar to Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts but it was nothing like it. First half is like a regular wild mouse then second half you spin out of control (in the dark and themed decently). Very unique. I liked it but I may have squished poor Hailey a bit!

Next we went on the Swing Shot - my first Screaming Swing! I never rode Sky Rocket at CP for some reason and it’s a good thing I rode this one since Sky Rocket was down when I went to CP the next day. It was a fun ride but the cycle is way too short.

Still had a wait for Black Widow so I was taking some pics and it went down. This is apparently a common thing. If you pull down on the harness it screws up the mechanics and needs to be reset. Everyone has to get off (they actually have a holding pen for this). It was up and running in a few so we went over and down again it went.

Luckily we only waited about 5 minutes and it was up again. The ride itself is a good one but I prefer the Huss Frisbees at CP and KI. The height on it is AMAZING but it is bumpy due to the motor constantly running. The Huss ones allow you to free fall a bit before the motor picks it up. We need someone to design one of these with the height of the Black Widow and the smoothness/free fall feeling of the Huss and that would be one AWESOME Frisbee! I actually felt more positive G’s than negative on this but the positive ones were powerful.

We went to Thunderbolt next. While I found it very unique, especially starting with a hill and the lift later, it didn’t do anything for me. Ken said they had recently done track work on it and it was still a bit rough. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. It was OK.

We then passed Chaos, a Disc-O ride. I have never been on one of these so we took a spin. It was fun and I called it the “Poor man’s Frisbee” LOL! I really liked it.

Sky Rocket was next and Hailey and I got in the front while Ken was in the row behind us and I really do not understand all of the people that use this ride as a “sign” that Premier has created the next evolution in launch coasters. The launch is weak, it stops you on top of the very small top hat, causing you to lose momentum (perhaps they were going for a “dive” coaster feel = FAIL) and the cushions on the sides of the seats don’t extend out far enough causing a bit of side slamming on the plastic. Did nothing for me and I usually LOVE launch coasters. Not this one. Not even a little. Don’t understand the hype. Moving on….


stopping on the top hat

We passed the Kangaroo and since it’s a last of its kind we took a spin. It’s a fun little ride that has a ramp as you go around giving you a pop of air. They ride cycle is VERY long and after a few laps I was done but kept prisoner a bit longer, LOL. We were talking about how when this ride was built it was probably one of the craziest things you could ride. Boy, how times have changed!

Then we went over to the Jack Rabbit. This is another woodie that has the lift in the middle. We were in the back row and oh my God – what an AWESOME coaster! The air time is ridiculous! Hands down my favorite in the park (and not just because the name “rabbit” is in it but that doesn’t hurt!). The double dip is awesome. That is one fun coaster!

Racer was next in line. Ken and I were on the blue train last row and Hailey took the Green train last row. She beat us but they cheated – they were released before we were! I still do not understand how a racing coaster can only have one track. It makes no sense to me. I was very confused (still am). It was a decent coaster. Liked it more than Thunderbolt but less than Jack Rabbit.

We took a spin on the Log Flume – it was hot and sunny so I figured getting a little wet wouldn’t hurt but I got it pretty bad in the front! Once we got in the boat I realized I had the compression stocking on my leg and trying to get that off before we were released was a bit comical – getting stockings wet is worse than wet socks! Got it off in time and good thing since I got wetter than I anticipated. It was a decent flume ride.

Then we went back to the Jack Rabbit because I needed another ride! If you would have told me that my favorite coaster in the park would be a 100 year old woodie I would have said no way, but it was true – I LOVE this coaster!!


Jack Rabbit wins the coaster of the day award!

Next up was Ghostwood Estates – a fun dark shooting ride. The problem is you’re so focused on hitting the targets you really miss out on most of themed elements and there are a lot in there. quite entertaining.

We headed back over to Phantom but this time they gave us a return time so we tried to see if they would let us on the Black Widow again but this time they checked the pass and said we had to ride Phantom first. We went over and rode the whip in the mean time. Next time anyone rides listen carefully – the motor sounds like playing a record backwards with satanic messages being spoken! (For those of you who actually remember records!).

Once it was time we went on the Phantom and took the front row this time. I think the front row is actually better on this one and I don’t say that about many steel coasters. Had a blast! Went back to BW and they just let us on now (different ride-ops) but someone went to pull down on their harness and we were led to the pen while they reset the ride. What a pain in the ass. Zamperla should be ashamed of themselves for creating such an obvious flaw. Unless you are aware of this it’s your first instinct – to pull down your harness. Stupid. The second ride was better than the first IMO. Again, LOVED the height and it was a little smoother this time around.

Headed over to the Turtle since it one of the last ones standing and boy is that one boring ride. The highlight was seeing a wild bunny running around while I was on it. Good for families/children I suppose.

As we were leaving the park Ken was debating if my ankle could handle Noah’s Ark. I decided to give it a shot – one of the ride-ops said for us to stay in the back so if I needed to exit they could get me out. It was an interesting fun house type ride to say the least. It was different, that’s for sure. Ken said there used to be a water room that’s been closed for a while now – that would have been cool. I made it through the shaking floors and we called it a day. It was around 6:15 and I wanted to get to my hotel and try and get some rest before heading to CP the next day.

I had a great time at Kennywood with some great company. Ken and Hailey are awesome people! His daughter is seriously the coolest 9 year old on the planet. As for my overall thoughts on Kennywood: It’s a nice park but not a destination park (unless you're a history buff as there are a lot of historic and last of its kind/only 2 or 3 left in the world rides). If I had driven a long distance for that park alone I would not have been happy but if it’s on your way to another destination or you live within driving distance to return home that same night then it’s definitely worth a stop.

Many thanks to Ken and Hailey for an awesome day!

Jen

Hey Jen! As always, great pictures accompanying a great TR. Never been to Kennywood, but it's on my list next year.

Few comments and questions...

Tell me more about Phantom. I'd like to hear more from a first time rider. To me it looks fun but very short. Plus, I am an out-of-the-closet Arrow looper fan, and I hate to see so many Mega-loopers go. So give me some details!

Jack rabbit - glad you loved it! I first saw Jack Rabbit on "America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills 2" and when I was young it didn't look all that great. Guess the double dip is waaaay cool!

You said Black Widow is a Zamperla. Is it not a Huss Giant Frisbee?

Sorry to hear you didn't like Sky Rush. I love Premier's launched coasters (Poltergeist and the Mr. Freezes). Even after the top hat was the ride not impressive? What sucked about it?

Kangaroo looked fun! What a classic!

Thanks for the TR Jen!

- Pat-O

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 6/5/13 6:36:15 PM
Think you meant Sky ROCKET, Pat-O. Then again, she hated Sky RUSH, too, so I guess if the choe fits...

Maybe she just doesn't like coasters with "Sky" in their names...:)

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/5/13 7:02:24 PM
LoneStar said:

Hey Jen! As always, great pictures accompanying a great TR. Never been to Kennywood, but it's on my list next year.

Few comments and questions...

Tell me more about Phantom. I'd like to hear more from a first time rider. To me it looks fun but very short. Plus, I am an out-of-the-closet Arrow looper fan, and I hate to see so many Mega-loopers go. So give me some details!

I thought it was fun. It was a bit short (I don't know how long it was before renovations) but it is definitely a way to save the old Arrow loopers that have run their course. The second hill was better than the first and then they added a bunch of bunny hills that have ridiculous air time. It's still a bit rough in spots but not at all painful (no OSTRs) so it still has an Arrow feel to it minus the loops and pain. I think others should go that route - you can modify the existing coaster by exchanging the loops for bunny hills, get a "new" coaster to attract people and still keep Arrow alive!

Jack rabbit - glad you loved it! I first saw Jack Rabbit on "America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills 2" and when I was young it didn't look all that great. Guess the double dip is waaaay cool!

It doesn't look all that great but when you ride it it's AWESOME! It's not just the double dip either - has a few other air time spots, a tunnel and runs very nice for a coaster it's age. It's just very unique and so much fun!

You said Black Widow is a Zamperla. Is it not a Huss Giant Frisbee?

Nope - which is why they are probably having so many problems with it. It's height is spectacular but it gets bumpy when going up/down and has a bunch of mechanical flaws that any of us could have foreseen.

Sorry to hear you didn't like Sky Rocket. I love Premier's launched coasters (Poltergeist and the Mr. Freezes). Even after the top hat was the ride not impressive? What sucked about it?

I've never been on Poltergeist (loved the movie though, LOL) or Mr Freeze so I can't compare them but I thought the launch was weak and then it stops you on the top hat and you lose momentum. The rest is a bunch of twisted metal, which as you know does nothing for me. Just not my thing. If it had a great launch then I'd deal with the rest but it doesn't. It's pretty short as well.

Kangaroo looked fun! What a classic!

It was fun but the novelty wears off after a few laps and that ride goes on FOREVER, LOL! Wasn't horrible to be on it so long, just got bored, but it is a classic and I'm glad I got to ride it. The kids really seemed to love it.

Jen

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/5/13 7:04:10 PM
beastmaster said:

Think you meant Sky ROCKET, Pat-O. Then again, she hated Sky RUSH, too, so I guess if the choe fits...


Maybe she just doesn't like coasters with "Sky" in their names...:)

LOL - Maybe that's it! I was trying to think of other "Sky" coasters and I can't come up with any. NO more coasters with Sky in the name please....

Jen

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 6/5/13 8:15:08 PM
Well, there's Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland. If I recall, it's a Togo Standup. You wouldn't like that either.

I think there's a junior woodie at Dutch Wonderland called Sky Princess, but that either had its name changed TO or FROM Kingdom Coaster.

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/5/13 8:20:52 PM
beastmaster said:

Well, there's Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland. If I recall, it's a Togo Standup. You wouldn't like that either.


I think there's a junior woodie at Dutch Wonderland called Sky Princess, but that either had its name changed TO or FROM Kingdom Coaster.

Shockwave at Gadv was a Togo standup and I liked it very much. I was also around 20 at the time so may change now, LOL!

And I wouldn't have to worry about Sky Princess since I don't ride kiddie coasters! :-P

Jen

Edit: Wikipedia has Shockwave as an Intamin - I was always thought it was a Togo. Oh well - perhaps I wouldn't have liked it then after all. Where is there another Togo standup? I know I've ridden one.

* This post was modified at 6/5/13 8:57:42 PM *

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/5/13 9:41:30 PM
beastmaster said:

Well, there's Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland. If I recall, it's a Togo Standup. You wouldn't like that either.


I think there's a junior woodie at Dutch Wonderland called Sky Princess, but that either had its name changed TO or FROM Kingdom Coaster.

We rode Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland a week and a half ago. It was actually a decent coaster. We really enjoyed it.

Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by BigShotRoz BigShotRoz Profile at 6/5/13 10:18:26 PM
King Cobra at King's Island was almost identical to Skyrider at Canada's Wonderland but no longer exists. The only other Togo standup in N. America is Shockwave at King's Dominion, with a different layout.
Re: Kennywood Trip Report May 20, 2013 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/5/13 10:28:48 PM
BigShotRoz said:

King Cobra at King's Island was almost identical to Skyrider at Canada's Wonderland but no longer exists. The only other Togo standup in N. America is Shockwave at King's Dominion, with a different layout.

That's it! I knew I rode a Togo standup!

Thanks Roz! :-)

Jen