TR: Lakemont Park & Kennywood (7/10/14)
I left the hotel in Grantville, PA (near Hershey) in the morning, and arrived at Lakemont nice and early, a lil' before eleven, it's opening time. I had to be very cognizant that Lakemont doesn't open on Mondays and Tuesdays, and schedule around that quirky park calendar. The park was very sparsely populated early, and I was the first to ride the rides that day. The crowds begin to pick up a lil' as the day went on. On to the rides.
Octopus: An Everly Octopus. It's a very fun unpredictable ride. The combo of rising and falling, with the unpredictable spinning cars made this one very fun. I have to give this one an edge over Troika and Monster flatrides. Good old school fun.
Twister: A Chance Twister. The cars unpredictably rotate around a rotating center pivot. It kinda had a hybrid Tilt-A-Whirl feel to it. I noticed that the metal guide rail below the cars is polygonal, opposed to being circle. I guess that gives the ride it's unpredictable feel.
Toboggan: I finally got a *Chance* to check out Mike G's all time favorite coaster! Kidding Mike. :) It was pretty much what I expected. I made sure to ride kinda defensively. I got a pretty good ride on it, nothing overly rough. The big dip wasn't too bad. Is the Chance Toboggans' the first vertical lift hill coasters? I'll be surprised if they aren't.
Ferris Wheel: I haven't been on a ferris wheel in a while, so I decided to get a lil relaxing ride in.
Skyliner: This one isn't visible from the midway area. It's nearby the minor league baseball stadium, home of the Altoona Curve. That coaster near baseball setup is reminiscent of Coney Island with the Brooklyn Cyclones. I rode this one twice (front & back). It's a lil' rough it the troughs, and could use a lil' TLC. Nevertheless, it does have a nice first drop, and some good air spots throughout.
Leap the Dips: The Granddaddy of them all. I rode it twice, front and back. It was everything that I hoped for. It's amazing that a coaster that length and that age doesn't have any brakes throughout the course. Just all natural gravity, and side friction. When you ride this one, you MUST ride in the back seat. A ride op had to ride in the front when I rode in the back. I felt the rear wheels leave the track! The was unlike anything that I felt on any coaster. There was one drop at the end that the ride op told me to stand up a lil' because the drop is a tad rough (when I was in the back seat). This classic is awesome, I got my $5 worth and some more!
Sadly I couldn't get anyone to ride the infamous Skydiver with me. The entire time I was there, a father and son rode it, and the son wanted to get off a couple of revolutions in, and a young sister and brother rode it. I put the word out there that I was willing to pay (starting at $20 LOL) to ride with me, but no one had taken the offer, oh well. :( I did spend a lil' time at the arcade, and there was this old rotating basketball hoop game, something I never saw before. I only hit one shot. :( I left about 1:00ish to head to Kennywood.
I arrived at the Kennywood ticket both approx 2:56. The entrance setup is pretty neat, with the yellow subway-esque tunnel going underneath the roadway. This park was packed, and the ride lines were pretty long. I didn't spend anytime waiting on special seats (being a tad travel weary) so I rode in the middle train of most coasters. On to the rides.
Bayern Kurve: A K-Wood classic. It's made by Schwarzkopf. A very fun flatride. It has some fun lateral forces. My favorite part is when it goes as fast as it can, and the horn sounds off, I love it!
Racer: I love the station restoration with the latticework in the entrance, they did an awesome job. Both sides ran very smooth, esp for a coaster that age. It have some good racing interactions, esp towards the finish. I only lil' nitpick is that the green train (I believe) whatever side it's on seemingly always win. Poor blue train. :( It was built in 1927, so I'm not complaining too much. :) We lost the first go on the right side Racer (queue view) and won on the second go on the left side Racer. Since both sides come in at the wrong side of the station, I'm counting them as one credit; Otherwise, I would've counted two. :)
Sky Rocket: I noticed while waiting in the queue that a whole buncha bees were in the queue-side flowers; Seems like they didn't bother anyone though. The ankle/leg restraints felt kinda uncomfy (not so much during the ride, but waiting on the brake run. It has a good launch, pretty good 1st drop, nice inversions, and a pretty good drop after the MCBR. It kinda petered out a lil' with the attempted S curves towards the station run. The coaster offers a nice changeup being the only looper. My best way to describe is like a launched Eurofighter.
Thunderbolt: Being a single rider, I had to pair up with a boy in a family, with the double riders rule and all. I love everything about this coaster. In NASCAR you make left turns, but on T-Bolt, you turn right most of the time, expect once. The first and second deep terrain drops outta the station are awesome. Everything else is nice lateral dips and turns. My favorite of the 3 old school K-wood woodies.
Jack Rabbit: Alot like T-Bolt, the terrain drops on . It has a nice tunnel between them. The first drop double dip had mad airtime, my favorite part of the ride. I thought that Jack Rabbit's signage inside the station looked rather new school for such an old school coaster; It looked like a jackrabbit and a bomb-like weapon or something.
Phantom's Revenge: Everyone knows about the kinda teaser first drop, then the big second drop; It seems like the train barely crests over for the second drop, which I thought was pretty good. Then the rising and descending curves down to the walled curve that screams 'put a tunnel here' then easily my favorite part is the insane ejector air station run. Those bunny hills that felt very Skyrush-esque. I'm not sure where I rank it with the other Arrow/Morgan hypers. It's up here somewhere, thanks to the station run. :)
Exterminator: My last ride of the day. I loved it! It was so intense, way more than I thought it was gonna be. It threw me around pretty good in all of that darkness. I didn't really visualize much of the on-ride factory theme in the dark, but twisting and turning unpredictably in the dark was alot of fun.
I missed some notables, the Turtle which had a long line, and I thought was too family ridish IMO, but the one that I'm kicking myself with is Black Widow sigh. I tried to find it prior to me leaving, but I got lost a little, and I was tired thinking about that long trip to Florida, so I went on and called it a day. The Zamperla Giant Discovery Black Widow seems very comparable to the Huss Giant Frisbees like maXair/Delirium, Black Widow is a tad taller, oh well. Hope that yall enjoyed, one more July TR to go. :)
* This post was modified at 8/5/14 5:00:55 AM *
I wanted to ride the Sky Diver when I was at Lakemont with Judy P in '09, but I couldn't fit.
I really wanna ride Leap The Dips Again.
When I rode the Twister you mentioned, the attendant never checked my belt, and I forgot about it, so I rode un-restrained.
Glad you enjoyed Kennywood. I hear they have a dark walk-through called Noah's Ark, but I didn't see it on my last visit, right, Ken? ;)
* This post was modified at 8/4/14 7:06:37 AM *
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Kennywood is our home park. We live about 20 miles from the park, up the Mon River. We actually live about 45-60 minutes from Pittsburgh. Sorry you missed Black Widow. I've been on about 15 of the frisbee/ claw type rides, and Black Widow is my favorite. The problem with Kennywood is its almost always crowded, except when rain is in the forecast. There are a lot of days that we will go to Kennywood for opening, but leave at 4:00 once the crowds get too bad. At least you got to ride Bayren Kurve, its my favorite flat at the park. I believe the only other one is at California's Great America. I've never been to California, so I could be wrong. Phantoms Revenge and Thunderbolt are running extremely well this year. As far as The Jack Rabbit, you have to ride the back seat in order to get the best ride on it. I do have a few questions. What was the date you visited Kennywood? I think you did your trip the same time we did ours. Just curious. What was your overall opinion of the park? I grew up visiting Kennywood every year, multiple times a year. Just curious on what your opinion was, being this was your first ever visit. One last thing, Mike the next time you come to Kennywood, we will do Noah's Ark first. They have the elevator part working again, and have added some special effects to on of the rooms near the end. That final section of the water main break is still closed. It's safe to say after 3 years now, its not going to reopen.
One last thing, Mike the next time you come to Kennywood, we will do Noah's Ark first.
Sure, that's what you say NOW. ;)
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...