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About PhantomNick

  • Birthday 04/22/1979

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  1. We have visited Kennywood twice thus far this season, and I have to say I was extremely impressed with the park and everything they’ve done to help keep their guests and staff safe. They did a wonderful job implementing the measures in ways that make sense. And aside from the occasional random folks here and there that feel they’re “above” needing to follow simple rules, guests I’ve seen for the most part were very good with the social distancing and mask wearing. It’s been a unique summer there for sure, but I’m just thrilled (as was my oldest daughter who at last hit 42”!! ) they were able to open for a little while! In other Kennywood news, the park is hosting one of the limited 4 Coasting For Kids events tomorrow, benefiting the fantastic Give Kids The World!! I am thrilled to be participating for the 6th year overall, and 2nd straight at KW! It really is a tremendous cause that this event supports! I’m hopeful next year the event will expand back to more parks, and maybe we can bring back Team TPR, as TPR has always been a great supporter/partner of GKTW. I’m trying my best to finish my fundraising strong and possibly hit 4 digits raised! If anyone might be interested in supporting the cause and making a donation, I’d truly appreciate it!! There’s also more info about GKTW and their mission on my personal fundraising page: Nick’s 2020 Coasting for Kids Page Thanks so much!!
  2. Jack Rabbit at Kennywood! More coaster rides are in the future tomorrow as well, at Coasting For Kids!!
  3. Done! Robb, good sir, you rock!! Thanks for spreading the word out on the socials! Well folks, with about 8 hours left until the fundraising deadline, Team TPR is continuing to set the bar as the Top Fundraising Team!! Outstanding effort by all of my great teammates! Our total raised for GKTW now sits at an AMAZING $4,166!!! I am truly SO proud of our group of riders! Incidentally, that gives us a $599 lead (actually, technically a $704 lead, as I have $105 of "offline" donations being turned in at check-in tomorrow!) over the equally impressive total from ACE's team. Fingers crossed we hold them off to clinch Top Fundraising Team at Kennywood! I also noticed that Taylor has jumped up into the #3 spot for Top Individual Fundraiser!! That's awesome! If those tallies hold, TPR will end up with Top Team, #2 Top Fundraiser, and #3 Top Fundraiser!!! Pretty cool! I'll also toss out there that with my offline donations, I'm sitting at $1,331 raised, which is not too far off from my revised second goal of $1,500! If anyone would be feeling generous and want to support this great cause by sending a donation to inch me closer to that, I'd certainly welcome and appreciate it! My fundraising page is here - http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1282888&pg=personal&fr_id=1886 And the rest of Team TPR's participants (in case anyone would like to donate to them) are here: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?pg=team&fr_id=1886&team_id=6872 Later this morning, we finish this off and go Coasting for Kids!!
  4. Awesome!! Thank you so much, Dustin! Okay, so what a day yesterday was!! BIG pushes all around in donations....Kennywood has now raised over $40,000 for GKTW, making it the BIGGEST single Coasting for Kids event EVER!! Simply incredible stuff by all parties involved supporting this cause! As for us and Team TPR, we have surged into the lead as the Top Fundraising Team, and have now raised $3,626!! WOW!! Well done, team!! Today's the "last push".....can we hit $4,000?? Let's go for it! Please keep reaching out to your fundraising circles and keep those last minute donations coming in! ACE's Team seems to be trying to make a push to catch us.....let's hold 'em off and stay in the Top Team spot! Robb and Elissa, do you think we could send an update out via TPR's socials today? Couldn't hurt to try and drum up a few extra donations, maybe....just a thought, totally up to you guys. Here is the link again to Team TPR at Kennywood: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?team_id=6872&pg=team&fr_id=1886 Also, one last item.....in regards to the Individual Top Fundraisers, I have slid into the #2 spot, and Taylor is only about $100 away from #3!! I'd love it if we took both of those spots for Team TPR!! THANK YOU ALL for the support!!! Let's bring it home today!
  5. ^ Thanks, Elissa!! You guys rock!! That puts Team TPR at Kennywood up over $3,000!! Awesome stuff! Plus it still looks like the #2 and #3 individual fundraising spots are within reach of a couple Team TPR members! GO TEAM TPR!!
  6. My apologies for the double post (though I feel this thread is worthy of bending that rule a bit! ), but I wanted to post a quick update that Team TPR at Kennywood has now opened up a bit of a lead in the race for Top Fundraising Team!!! GREAT JOB, everyone!! Let's keep the foot on the gas and finish strong! Also, our team is now only $77 away from hitting an amazing $3,000 raised for GKTW!!! Who wants to help us get there? You can donate to a Team TPR member from here: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?team_id=6872&pg=team&fr_id=1886 Thanks for the support, everyone!
  7. ^ Wahoo!! Welcome aboard! That's also a nice bump to the Team TPR total!! Thank you! GO TEAM GO!!! Also, for anyone else doing some last minute fundraising for those tail end donations (there's always a bunch of those), consider using the following video from GKTW.....I've always felt like it's a good snapshot of what they do and some stories of who they've helped, along with the founder's story of how this magical place came to be!! It has usually worked well for me, so please feel free to post it to your socials, email it to friends/family, etc.
  8. Greetings, Team TPR!! First and foremost, I want to apologize, as my initial intention was to be way more active in this thread about the awesome revival of this FANTASTIC event!! Alas, life very much got in the way of that, but I'm here now to hopefully post frequently and drum up support for the final event of the bunch - Coasting for Kids at Kennywood!! I want to give a huge THANK YOU first to Robb and Elissa for again partnering up with this tremendous charity! GKTW is truly phenomenal! Also, a BIG thanks as well to those who already participated at some of the other parks while waving the Team TPR Banner! In particular, I'm referring to: Andrew at Legoland Florida ($101 raised!) Bert and Jake, who ROCKED SFFT! (An amazing combined $2,202 raised!!) Emily and Michael at Story Land (with a healthy $408 raised combined!) You riders are all FANTASTIC!! THANK YOU!! And now, we've reached the final event on this year's schedule, where Team TPR has its BIGGEST representation! As Taylor pointed out above, Team TPR is now within $70 of the TOP TEAM!!! Absolutely AWESOME!! Thus far, Team TPR has already raised $2,327 for GKTW!! That means Team TPR as a whole has raised over $5,000 during Coasting for Kids! Folks, that's enough to fund a wish!! Also impressive is the response that has poured out in general for Kennywood's event! With a staggering $27,126 raised (and still climbing!), the support has been remarkable! In addition, although the Top Fundraiser has pulled away with an insane total, I think it would be amazing for TPR if members from our team took spots #2 and #3! And right now, that's TOTALLY possible!! Taylor currently has a super impressive total of $724, good for #3, just behind the #2 fundraiser! My own fundraising has also been productive thus far, showing a respectable $577, currently good enough for 5th on the top fundraiser list! Adding in my offline donations of $65, that jumps my total to $642, which puts me right in the mix with Taylor to get those two spots! Can we do it?? Well, that's where you fine folks at TPR come in! Let's grab those #2 and #3 positions, along with being the Top Fundraising Team at the event that is raising a ton for GKTW!! And shoot, let's go for it, and try to hit $6,000 raised in total across the parks TPR has participated in while we're at it!! I know that personally I would greatly appreciate any support any of you may want to throw to my fundraising page here: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1282888&pg=personal&fr_id=1886 Here's Taylor's page as well: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1017239&pg=personal&fr_id=1886 You can also support any of the Kennywood Team TPR members here: http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?pg=team&fr_id=1886&team_id=6872 I'll try to keep this topic updated as we enter the final stretch run! GO TEAM TPR!!
  9. Some awesome new shots of Steel Curtain's construction progress were just posted on the park's Facebook page!! Looks like they took advantage of the great (and random) almost 60-degree January weather day, and are now onto the coaster's corkscrew! The more I see of this ride, the more I really dig it!! Courtesy of the park's Facebook post: Corkscrew time! The colors (to me anyway) seem perfect
  10. There was a great update (and also a Facebook live video) posted today by Kennywood's PR guy Nick, showing off that Steel Curtain's vertical construction has now also begun in the lagoon area!! I am getting more and more excited for my home park's new addition with each new update and picture I see! We were at Holiday Lights on Sunday, and when we rode Thomas with our girls, you can get a great look at the construction area. Things look big already, so I can only imagine what it will be like when they top this thing off at a full 40 feet taller than their Skycoaster! Kennywood's Facebook Live Video - Steel Curtain Construction https://twitter.com/Kennywood_PR/status/1075448056391159808 Photo courtesy of Nick's above Tweet Photo courtesy of Nick's above Tweet Photo courtesy of Nick's above Tweet Photo courtesy of Nick's above Tweet
  11. We as a family had an amazing opportunity to represent TPR and cover the media event for the Grand Opening of Kennywood's new addition for 2018 - Thomas Town!! This new kids area welcomes Thomas the Train to the park, along with 4 new kid/family rides, an indoor soft play structure, a new show, and more! We were all in agreement that the new area looks absolutely fantastic! The park did a very nice job incorporating this new area in a space that I never would've guessed would hold as much as it does. Thomas Town is not an expansion of the park's Kiddieland per se, but more like a separate area for kids and families to enjoy together. I realize this may not speak to some of you, but if you have younger kids, this is definitely worth checking out at Kennywood! And that's true if your kids are huge Thomas fans or (like our girls) have only seen an episode or two! We were all thrilled to be able to attend this event for TPR, and on a personal note I would like to give a HUGE THANKS to Robb for inquiring with Nick (Kennywood's awesome and incredibly friendly PR guy) about having my wife Erin and our two daughters attend as well! Seriously, that was very much appreciated, and you helped give our 3 and a half year old some extra special memories from the moment we told her....and she proceeded to jump up and down saying "Daddy, I'm SO EXCITED!!!" Speaking of our lovely daughters, I'd like to introduce our special little riders that were the perfect audience to test out this new area. Our oldest is Morgan, an energetic toddler who loves rides and keeping us on our toes, haha! Our youngest, Molly, is almost 11 months old and seems to be developing the "riding gene" just like her big sister! Morgan was super excited for Thomas Town! Molly was (subtly) excited too! Backstory Time.... (**Feel free to skip this to get to the pictures!**) Going to parks has taken on a whole new meaning for us, as we just love watching them light up with that special "magic look" in their eyes when we go to places like Kennywood. Truth be told, this is even more special for us considering their own backstory. Some of you may remember the story I shared years ago about our struggles to even have Morgan (Our Journey), which led to us calling her our "little miracle". Well, as it turned out, Erin got pregnant naturally with Molly (much to our surprise and delight!), but it was her birth that sent us on a whole new type of roller coaster. Late in the pregnancy, Molly developed a condition known as HIE. Essentially, she was getting starved of blood flow and oxygen....thankfully, due to a weekly appointment, we were rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section on Sept. 7th. Unknown to us at the time, Molly was unresponsive at birth and needed resuscitated "behind the curtain". She was then rushed to the NICU, where the gravity of the situation became all too clear for us. We were told about the HIE, and that she had suffered trauma, the biggest of which being damage to her brain. Our world was rocked to our core. After dealing with seizures that first night, she went through a body cooling process to limit the extent of her brain injuries. After an MRI revealed "moderate brain damage", we started a whirlwind journey of 5 weeks in the NICU! It was exhausting, frightening, and one of the most surreal experiences of our lives. This was where Molly earned her nickname of "Mighty Molly", as she battled and fought through every obstacle and setback! After her 5 week stay, she finally came home. Her massive team of doctors, neurologists, specialists, and therapists were absolutely incredible.....in fact, there's no question to me they saved her life! Fast forward to now, and Molly continues to amaze us and defy all odds! She has a team of therapists that work with her weekly, and her doctors tell us that they are not used to seeing such progress for a baby with an MRI that looked like hers. She did suffer some substantial damage to her hearing as a side effect of the HIE, but thanks to amazing technology, she now has baby hearing aids that are working wonders! Other than that, we just have to wait and see what may lie ahead for Molly medically. In the meantime, we cherish every minute watching her grow and develop! Simple milestones take on a whole new meaning considering how far she's come!! We are incredibly blessed and fortunate! So yeah, as I said above, spending time with the girls and heading off to parks is just a magical experience for Erin and I!! (**Enter here for the pictures!**) So, without further ado, let's hop aboard for a photo journey to check out Kennywood's Thomas Town!!! Ready for some media event FUN! Eagerly awaiting the ribbon cutting! The main entrance to Thomas Town is so nicely done! Thomas Town blends in great and is bigger than I envisioned The new buildings look very nice They have little Thomas themed signs on them too After scoping out the area from the outside, it was time to head over to the stage to officially kick off the day's festivities! There were some opening remarks from Nick, the aforementioned Kennywood PR director (and a couple other dignitaries), then we went back over to the entrance to "cut the ribbon" and OPEN Thomas Town!! They had a family there from New Hampshire that won a contest and their kiddos got to cut the ribbon officially. Nick's opening comments.....such a nice guy! Welcome to Thomas Town!! Molly wasn't so sure about Sir Topham Hatt, haha! While Morgan chose to go with the "awkward hug", haha! With Thomas Town now officially open, we headed in to take a look....which for Morgan meant time to excitedly check out the RIDES!! Along with the re-imagined Kennywood Railroad that has now become Journey with Thomas, there are 4 new rides that kids and families can ride together! They are: Flynn's Fire Training - This ride is adorable, and Morgan's favorite! As the ride circles, people in the ladder bucket move up and down and can shoot water to put out the "flames" in the middle building! Diesel Drivers - Hop aboard a Driver for a relaxing couple trips around an oval course. Simple, but effective! Harold's Helicopter Tour - Another really cute ride, this one looks great and is plenty roomy for parents to ride with their kids! They can control their helicopter and raise it up and drop it down. Cranky's Drop Tower - This is the tallest ride in Thomas Town, and is the only one with a slightly higher height requirement at 42". I gotta say, this ride was SO MUCH FUN!!! It feels taller when you're on it, and it runs a nice long program with plenty of bouncy drops!! Let's check them out, shall we? On Flynn's, you can ride in the fire truck down below..... But the more FUN ride is up top, where you can fight the fire! So, Morgan made it through her first "ride breakdown", haha! Our ladder/cart got stuck at the top.....here, she is sharing a lovely story with the crew about how she "can't ride the big rides just yet, but I want to ride them! So I eat my vitamins now, and sometimes vegetables....but they're not always my favorite! Then I can ride THAT ONE!! (Points to Thunderbolt)" Hahahaha!!! Diesel Drivers overview (thanks to being stuck on Flynn's) Taking it for a spin! You may notice some coaster track in the middle, along with some old Log Jammer parts....a pretty cool touch! I liked the landscaping around this one Ready to take our flight! My adorable pilot I like the "Cranky" details at the top of the tower! Going up! Morgan was a little bummed she couldn't ride this one, but she wanted to cheer me on! "You can do it Daddy, I know you can!!" Two BIG thumbs up for Cranky's Drop Tower!! Obviously though, the big star here is Thomas himself! The Kennywood Railroad was altered slightly to account for Thomas, including a new shell over the engine, some new/replaced track, and a rerouted queue where you now enter on the other side of the station after going over a new railroad crossing. This "infield" area is also where Cranky's Drop Tower resides, along with Tidmouth Sheds, which also has a show that plays a few times each day (we sadly did not catch the show this trip, but I've heard it's really cute!) After some morning hiccups getting going, Journey with Thomas opened up in the late morning/early afternoon, so we headed back to take a ride. Incidentally, the line for Thomas that day was consistently spilling out of the new (and much bigger) queue....if that's any indication, then mission accomplished, Kennywood!! The updated Kennywood Station The big star - Thomas! The girls checking out Thomas I love how this one of Morgan and I turned out! <3 Heading out on his inaugural journey Hello there, Mr. Conductor!! My lovely ladies are ready....all aboard!! The ride route is essentially the same as Kennywood Railroad..... ....but the signs heading to the turnaround have been updated accordingly! I was happy to see they kept the old clock and landscaping in place at the turnaround Greetings from Pittsburgh! Molly was a big fan of Thomas, one of the few rides she can enjoy....for now! A look at Tidmouth Sheds The new railroad crossing Thomas Town has plenty of places to sit and relax....and the benches are "Morgan approved"! Haha Taking a cue from Morgan, let's take a little breather and wrap up this first portion of our media event report! The second part (coming up soon!) will cover some other Thomas Town offerings, a little sprinkling of other Kennywood fun, and perhaps.......perhaps a little peek at a certain construction area in the back of the park! Hope you all enjoy this first installment! Part two is coming your way soon....stay tuned!!
  12. As a resident Kennywood local, after digesting this huge announcement I thought I'd offer up some thoughts. I think this coaster looks absolutely fantastic!! What an awesome thing to have a design and layout that is about as far from "cookie cutter" as we could get. I really dig the flow between elements, and the inversions seem to be placed just right. Watching the stream yesterday, I was initially skeptical of the notion of going with a U.S. record 9 inversions, but I love that the first several are all towering elements that really look majestic! Props to Kennywood, as this was not at all what I was expecting!! It's outside the box, which kind of fits perfectly with what the park has done with many of its coasters. That first drop, as others have mentioned, has a slight nod to Drachen Fire as well (which I sadly never got to ride), and I think that is great to see. It's so messed up and bonkers.....but in the BEST possible way!! It looks to have an excellent blend of some airtime, copious hangtime, and unique inversions/elements. Also, hearing Robb say that Ride Centerline is involved in the design makes me even more excited! I'm honestly still trying to wrap my head around this thing being 40 FEET TALLER than Skycoaster back there!!! When you sit back and think about it, I love how this rounds out the park's steel coaster collection - kiddie, spinning mouse, launcher (yeah, some people love to hate on Sky Rocket, but I think it is fantastic!), an airtime machine of a hyper, and now a hyper mega-looper! I'm also thrilled to see a much more optimistic/less complaining environment here on the TPR boards (which doesn't surprise me at all, since this is the BEST theme park/coaster site on the web!)......my goodness, some of the comments in various places after the announcement were ridiculous with the overreactions and complaining!! I mean, I get that S&S might not have been some folks' "manufacturer of choice", but I'm cool with Kennywood taking a chance with them here and giving them a shot at something big and unique. Perhaps they are looking to really focus in on a marquee signature coaster here in the U.S., and this could be what puts them back on the map as a bigger player. If so, all the better for Kennywood! To some of the more seasoned TPR riders, how are their coasters in China? I'm curious, because those look to be pretty fantastic. As for the Steelers theme? Yep, it's cheesy, I won't deny that......but I absolutely LOVE IT anyway!! It is so "yinzer" that it is perfect, and it ties in to some of the things that help define our city. The gold support structure reminds me a lot of the copious bridges that can be found throughout the city. The whole new themed area and Steelers partnership absolutely blew me away, as I was not expecting that AT ALL! I was merely focused on the announcing of a new coaster. If this comes together the way I truly think it will, it could be spectacular for the park! Also, one last note about potential smoothness and the trains. I saw a blurb that certainly sounds exciting, claiming the trains were not announced/revealed because they will be debuting at the 2018 IAAPA trade show. The rumbling is that there will be no over-the-shoulder restraints. My goodness, if they pull off this insane layout with lap bar only trains??? Then my already amped up excitement will probably go off the charts! Out of curiosity, were there any winners of the contest from here? Turns out I got 8 of the 9 numbers.....that dang 9 did me in, as I was between airtime and inversions, and obviously chose wrong, haha! This will be fun to watch this coaster develop over the remainder of the summer/fall/winter....definitely looking forward to 2019 and the debut of The Steel Curtain!!!
  13. Yeah, no problem leaving that to you guys, cause your announcement posts are awesome and polished with tons of info in one spot!! Incidentally, I hope I did not step on any toes here when I posted about this announcement a couple days ago! I do apologize if that was out of line or if you were already planning on a more official post about today's announcement. I was so excited I hadn't thought that they might have sent info to TPR directly! I am so freaking excited about this announcement!! So much mystery, so much kept under wraps......and now we're just 10 minutes from finding everything out!! I have a gut feeling that (regardless of what this coaster is) this will be HUGE for Kennywood.....as in, an investment unlike any other in park history (cost-wise anyway). As for a final prediction?? Might be a long shot.....might be me dreaming.....but what the heck, I'm going with the world's first RMC T-Rex!!!
  14. Exciting news!! Kennywood is set to announce their new 2019 attraction this Thursday, July 19th! Kennywood 2019 Announcement this Thursday!!! In a live stream with one of the local news stations, Kennywood's PR guy revealed there will be a news conference at Noon to reveal details for Project 412! They claim the ride designer will also be in attendance for an "official groundbreaking ceremony" to take place after the news conference. Home park or not, I'm really stoked for this big announcement!! They've done a great job with the teaser campaign and kept everything very secret, which is pretty rare nowadays!
  15. ^ First off, I hope you and your wife have a wonderful visit to Kennywood!! As a "Kennywood local" who's been going there my entire life, I always enjoy seeing someone's first impressions of our cool mid-sized park. I will always rank Kennywood pretty highly, but I totally realize that's probably a bit biased. I will say though that, in my opinion, Phantom's Revenge is absolutely legit!! If anything, I feel it is often forgotten in the discussion of top steel coasters. I will be curious to hear your take on it, as the second half is overflowing with loads of ejector airtime, which may or may not be your cup o' joe. That 2nd big drop through the Thunderbolt though?? Sensational! The classic woodies are all pretty great in their own right, and it is amazing how well the park maintains them. I'm always impressed that you are in some cases riding an 80-90 year old coaster that is smoother than some that are only 5-10 years old. Exterminator is quirky fun for a spinning coaster, and you won't have the typical line concerns since you did it up right with the VIP Unlimited passes! I will add that (although it's closed) Sky Rocket is actually a pretty impressive offering for a smaller launched coaster, in particular the first half. But with that being down for repairs and the new coaster coming in 2019, you'll just have a reason to return! Patch fries are certainly worth a try, and your mileage may vary on how much you enjoy them. I happen to love them, but I admit occasionally some batches aren't "as good" as others. It makes me chuckle when I see some people say things like "you don't know good fries if you like them" or whatever. To me that's the equivalent of saying someone "doesn't know good coasters" because they enjoy ride X. Different strokes and whatnot. I did actually notice today that they've introduced (via their Facebook page) 5 new flavor offerings for them at one of their stands. I go Bacon & Cheddar myself when I splurge on some. Besides the coasters, there are some definite unique flats to check out while you're there (depending on what you like in flats of course). With having the passes, you should be able to enjoy a leisurely pace and check out some of the more unique offerings: Noah's Ark (only walkthrough of its type in the US), Kangaroo (a must, as it's the only one left in existence), Turtle (one of only 2 in the world I believe), Ghostwood Estate, Bayern Kurve, and Black Widow (outstanding ride that typically takes forever to load, but I believe it's also on your passes) to name several. Looking forward to hearing about the visit, as your trip reports are favorites of mine to check out! Your tastes in rides.....and sarcastic humor.....are incredibly entertaining!! Speaking of that new Project 412 coaster that's starting to materialize (I'm pretty pumped about this one, not gonna lie!), it looks like the fun is ramping up, as construction is kicking into gear on the old Log Jammer site!! Footers have popped up there now, with lots of rebar stacked by Racer for more to come! (Photos courtesy of Kennywood Connection) More coaster footers popping up! Ready to ramp up construction it appears!
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