Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Kennywood TR 8/12/17

Kennywood TR 8/12/17

frontrow frontrow Profile

Posted:
8/17/17 at
8:24:57 AM

As many of you may know, Kennywood is my home park. We sometimes get season passes, but we chose not to spend the money on them this year, being we had season passes last year and made 10 visits last year, and we have been trying to save for our Florida trip. We had no intentions of visiting this year, being there haven't added a new coaster since 2010, Skyrocket, or a new major ride since 2012, Black Widow. Every year around this time period, Kennywood has what they call Fall Fantasy Parades. Every evening they have a parade that consists of area high school bands. I joined the high school band my senior year of high school, in 1994, and got to march in that parade my senior year. My daughter tried out for the majorette squad earlier this spring and made the team. Her school was invited to march at The Fall Fantasy Parade this past Saturday, and she would March in the same parade as I once did. So this was something I was not going to miss.

Being it was a Saturday and the crowds are usually very high for this time of year, I approached this visit a little different. Our main objective was to see our daughter marching in the parade, and any riding we would get in, would be a bonus. My daughter had to go down to the park on a bus with the band. My wife, my youngest son, and I drove down and arrived about 30 minutes after opening. I had coupons, but it was still like $113 for the 3 of us to get in. I was actually surprised that the park was not busy at all when we first arrived, but it would get much more crowded as the day went on.

Probably the worst thing about not having a season pass is that I don't get to ride Bayrne Kurve. Not only is it my favorite flat ride at Kennywood, but one of my all time favorite flat rides. So of course we went there first, and as always, it was an awesome ride. After Bayrne Kurve we went to the 4D theater. Last year they had a version of Ice Age playing. This year it was The Lego Movie. It was actually pretty good, but I think Ice Age was a little better. I'm glad that they are changing movies every year. Gives me a reason to check it out each year.

Next we headed to Phantoms Revenge, and being it was before 1:00, they were only running 1 train. Kennywood will not put a second train on Phantom Revenge until 1:00, no matter how long the line is. It's just standard practice, for some insane reason. We waited about 30 minutes and sat somewhere near the back. Last year Kennywood put heavier trains on Phantoms Revenge, to prevent early morning valleying they were having trouble with the year before. Well at the beginning of last year, Phantoms Revenge was running the best I ever experienced, because it was going too fast. It was hitting the station brakes so fast, they were having a difficult time stopping it. Because of this they were having trouble running 2 trains last year. So towards the end of the season they corrected the problem by adding hard trim brakes right before the double down. Now the double down has zero air time and the last hop is pathetic as well. I've never been a huge fan of Phantoms Revenge, but now the ride is even slower at the end. We did get a front seat ride on Phantoms Revenge later in the day, after they put the second train on.

After Phantoms Revenge my son wanted ice cream. One of my fellow coaster enthusiast friends was at the park for the first time, who lives out near Hershey. I was with my family, so I couldn't hang out all day with him, but we did meet for a ride on The Thunderbolt, being it was getting close to 2:00. Once again Thunderbolt will run train early in the day, faithfully. For whatever reason, 2:00 is the time they upon the second train. Just like clockwork, 1:00 they put the second train on Phantom, and 2:00 they put the second train on Thunderbolt. We had to wait about 20 minutes for Thunderbolt, but it was fun to stand in line and talk about coasters. We took the back seat and Thunderbolt felt a little slow and bumpy this year. Once again, I don't hold this coaster in the high regards that most enthusiasts do. It's a fun classic ride, but nowhere near my top 25 favorite wooden coasters.

After Thunderbolt, we met my wife's friend and her daughter. They came to the park to watch my daughter March as well. We headed over to Skyrocket and waited about 30 minutes and took front seat. Skyrocket is another coaster that I find extremely underwhelming. To me it's a stepping stone coaster. It's more thrilling than a family ride, but not thrilling enough to be considered a thrill ride.

Next we headed to Jack Rabbit and waited about 20 minutes. On Jack Rabbit it's luck of the draw. You can't wait for a specific row. Luckily for us, we got our choice of seats, in that luck of draw. My son took front seat and I took the back. Now this classic wooden coaster does have a mid coarse double down that is the best moment of air time on any coaster at Kennywood. If you haven't ridden the back seat of Jack Rabbit, you're probably missing out on the best air time moment at Kennywood. While riding Jack Rabbit, I was looking into the ravine for construction. Rumor has it, due to the blueprints Kennywood presented to the city of West Mifflin for approval last fall at a City council meeting, that a new coaster will eventually be built behind the Jack Rabbit and Racer. No construction going on yet. No clearing of land. They don't even have a road built to get equipment in and out of yet. So this coaster project will most likely be in 2019 at the soonest.

After that we did ride some of Kennywood's flats. We rode Black Widow, Swing Shot, Wave Swinger, The Whip, and had to take our mandatory walk through Noah's Ark. At 7:45 we got a spot to watch the parade. My daughter's school was the very first band out, as they led the parade. I was pretty much like a mad man running up and down the midways, trying to shoot photos and videos of her. Not only was this an amusement park moment, but this was a family moment. I have very fond and vivid memories of marching in that parade, and to see my daughter do it, was one of those things, that I know I'll remember for the rest of my life, and I know my daughter will remember for the rest of hers.

After the parade, we met my daughter at the bus, and she came home with us. We talked about the park and the the entire experience on the way home. Kennywood is the only Park that I know of that does these parades every year. Not only are the enjoyed by the visitors, but the give life lasting memories to the kids who are fortunate enough to march in them and their families. I hope Kennywood keeps this tradition, and I hope to someday see my future grandchildren March in those same parades.

Thanks for reading,
Ken

Re: Kennywood TR 8/12/17 by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 9/13/17 2:30:08 PM
Very nice TR and really detailed. Do you have an awesome memory or do you take notes?! haha.

Also it seems this site is in need of some love. I'll be posting a TR of my first ever Knoebels visit soon.

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Kennywood TR 8/12/17 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/14/17 7:07:17 PM
mugen828 said:

Very nice TR and really detailed. Do you have an awesome memory or do you take notes?! haha.


Also it seems this site is in need of some love. I'll be posting a TR of my first ever Knoebels visit soon.

Thanks Kyle. By the it was just announced today that Kennywood will be removing The Log Jammer. While this is a little disturbing because of the memories I have riding it since childhood, I'm praying it's being removed to make room for a new coaster. Kennywood is long overdue for a new coaster, and they need one good enough to inspire to purchase season passes again.