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Photo TR: Chuck (cfc) Crashes the Midwest Tour at Kennywood


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Evenin' all,


I hit the road on Friday, Aug. 10; spent "a night, not a fortune" at an Econo Lodge in Greencastle, PA; and used $5.75 worth of the PA Turnpike to meet the Midwest tour at Kennywood on Aug. 11. I've heard a lot about this park over the years, but this was my first visit, and I have to say that Kennywood exceeded my expectations. What an awesome, eccentric traditional park! Rides you don't see anywhere else, great coasters with truly bizarre layouts, and good food at fairly reasonable prices. All that, plus lots of of folks I haven't seen since the UK trip last year, along with you wacky Midwest trippers--good times, indeed! My thanks to Robb and Elissa for the opportunity to hang out with the group for a day.


As usual, here are my coaster rankings, not from "good to bad," but from "awesome to pretty damn good."


The Phantom's Revenge--What do you get when Morgan reprofiles an Arrow multi-inverter and fits it with new restraints? You get an awesome, insane airtime machine! I understand that the original "Steel Phantom" was a real head-and-jaw breaker that nobody liked, but kudos to Kennywood for making something great out of something bad. Once you get to the top of its slow lifthill, the Phantom doesn't let up until you're back at the station.


The Exterminator-- Best spinning mouse ever, thanks to it also being a cool, cheesy dark ride. The themeing is unique (you're the rat being chased by a team of exterminators through the city sewer), and the spinning portions are wonderfully disorienting. Plus, I didn't feel like I wanted to hurl afterward, which is always a bonus.


Thunderbolt--A great woodie with one weird layout; hell, it tosses you from your seat before you even reach the lifthill. I also love the cool-looking trains.


Jack Rabbit--If you want to know what true ejector air is, sit in the back row of this little sucker. With only a seatbelt to hold you in, this wascally wabbit shoots you straight up then slams you back in your seat (again, before you even reach the lifthill). Kennywood uses its terrain beautifully.


Racer--This mobius racing coaster might better be named "The Ambler," because it really doesn't pick up much speed. But the racing is a plus, and you're close enough to slap hands with riders in the other train. Lots of fun.


Lil Phantom--Yeah, I whored the kiddie coaster. What's it to ya, punk?


The park also has a cool, old-school dark ride (Gold Rusher); an "old mill" (Garfield's Nightmare); and a number of one-of-a-kind flats (such as the Kangaroo and the electric Auto Race).


When I left the place at 6:00 that night, I thought, "Why haven't I been coming here for years?"


Here are the pics.


. . . two of whom are named "Chuck."


. . . and, of course, crazed coaster dorks, . . .


. . . historic artifacts from the past, . . .


Well, there are statues of Great Patriots, . . .


OK, here's Kennywood. And what does one find here, you might ask?

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Oops! Hit "submit" instead of "preview." Moving right along . . .


"This is a message from Devo Inc. All mutants will be prepared to 'whip it.' Whip it good.'" More to come.


"Rats! Thousands of rats! Millions of rats!"


"Aghh! The button does nothing!"


"Wow! Who knew a city sewer had such purty blinking lights! I wanna be a sewer worker!"


Remember kids--flailing about like a spastic in a blender is a very bad idea.


A bunch of us decided to leave the Phantom to his evil plans and ride Exterminator instead--the ride where you're the rat.


"And the burning sun will force desperate women to marry tall coaster dorks just for the extra shade!"


"Yes, the pounding techno and rock and roll from the nearby Musik Express will cause the young to experience violent seizures!"


"My vengeance begins when I force you to stand in the blazing sun, wondering if the ride will ever open! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"


"Yes, I, the Phantom, will exact my horrible vengeance upon you--just as I have done to this sad-and-pathetic fool!"


"Lost Kennywood"? But it's right here, isn't it?


But you saw them here first! (Well, unless somebody has already posted while I'm typing this caption. One does what little one can.)


I'm willing to bet that you'll be seeing a lot of similar photos over the next week or two.


I love the chrome-covered trains. It's like riding in a diner from the 1940s.


I'd actually read a bit about this coaster when I was 13 and have wanted to ride it ever since.


And so am I.


Ryan is ready to race.


You see, when you board the train in one station, you actually exit in the station on the opposite side at the end of the ride. To contemplate this is to invite madness!


First up was the Racer, the park's mobius coaster.

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Meanwhile, back at the Phantom's Revenge . . .


Just viewing this photo has caused your "bad" cholesterol to shoot up by 20 points! Call your physician immediately! Then come back and check out more of this TR!


Our intrepid band, thoroughly disoriented after our passage through Noah's Ark, awaits the attraction's bizarre, completely random climax (which I will not reveal here).


I shall go mad! Stark raving mad!


But what's this? Do I detect the Phantom's fiendish machinations again?


You know, after taking the Phantom's horrible vengeance, a nice walk through Noah's Ark might be just the ticket.


"All this and more I promise you, fools! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"


. . . only to face my Plummet of Peril!"


. . . to the feel the power of the heavens . . .


"But you will be vomited back up by my Tree of Despair . . .


"But then comes the Drop of Doom!"


"My Lifthill of Lethargy will torture you slo-o-o-wly, ever so slo-o-o-o-wly!"


"This looking glass will give you a glimpse of your sorry fate!"


"Yes, I have toyed with you long enough! Come to papa, losers!"

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It's cheap, coaster-whoring time, folks!


Here, Professors Casey, Ted, and Paul show us the result--all in the name of science! There's still more to come.


Our question: "What level of wetness would result from stuffing four good-sized men in one log?" Here we see our "control" group.


Yes, science was very much on our minds at Kennywood, as TPR is very much interested in all facets of "wetness."


. . . then do it all over again! While bouncing people out of their seats, of course.


. . . leap to the top of another hill, . . .


Why, it allows said rodent to leap deep gullies at a single bound, . . .


This coaster answers a question that has plagued scientists for ages: "What happens when you strap a Lockheed jet engine to a rabbit's butt?"


Yes, we all feel very cheap and used after riding this one.


Casey is considering a second career as a coaster support.


That's the kind of sugar Casey likes!


The Lil Phantom's vengeance isn't as intense as his old man's.

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The TR that just keeps on giving and giving and giving . . .


I see you up there, Garfield! You keep your goodies to yourself! Thanks for reading.


This is Kennywood's "old mill" boat ride, which has been here for ages. But Garfield took it over some time back.


And, of course, the chance that Garfield might show us his "goodies." Surely the vet snipped those off long ago.


You know, the scariest thing about this ride was the wait.


"Hello! I'm Angus McNasty, and I approve of the following attraction. I now return you to our regularly scheduled TR, which is already in progress."


Now what awaits us in here? Oh, skeletons, giant spiders, oncoming trains--the usual stuff you find in any old mine.


I'm glad they pumped out the mine first.


Alright, it's cheesy, old-school dark-ride time! Excellent!


. . . to get into one of these little cars. And with that, Ted and Catrina roared off into the sunset. Thanks for showing me around your home park!


Believe it or not, Casey managed . . .


You know, I'm not that into car rides, but Kennywood's electric version really hauls.


As are Paul, Ted, and Catrina.


Just imagine a Scrambler as designed by Evel Kneivel. (The guy in the middle car is just so into it.)


Next up was the Kangaroo, which gives new definition to the term "extreme hairtime."

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^ Awesome avatar - I'm old enough to have actually had an Apple ][ when I was little.


Chuck .. you are so awesome! Thanks for posting the pictures .. I don't even remember taking the one with Jahan - but I won't complain, even though I look like a total dork (my natural state).


It was great seeing you again - sorry the day was over so quickly!



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I thought we were going to sink that boat on Log Jammer.


Not sure how we fit the four of us in there.


That Noahs Ark totally knocked me on my ass. One second I was about to take a picture of that gorilla. Then it felt like the world was turned upside down. Went to brace myself against the wall only to find nothing but air.

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Thanks, everybody. I might post some pictures from my stopover at Kings Dominion on the way home, but compared to Kennywood, it wasn't a particularly inspiring afternoon.

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And, of course, the chance that Garfield might show us his "goodies." Surely the vet snipped those off long ago.


This was the funniest caption I have ever read, you actually made me laugh out loud! Great TR Chuck, Kennywood looks like a great traditional park.

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Ah...memories- it's only been 4 years but I'm starting to feel the pinch!


I remember well being obliged to ride Thunderbolt on the 'large person' side and it being absolutely brilliant. The Revenge was truly fantastic and the park itself has a bit of a BPB (or I should now say PBB!) feel to it. In fact I think if you combine Kennywood with Indiana Beach you do in fact have Blackpool.


Only the Jack Rabbit left me feeling slightly Meh, but it may have been

a) I did not ride in the back

b) I suffered from over anticipation having heard so much about it in advance.


Still - great to read your take on things Chuck - and see you in a couple of weeks






PS - and yeah - The Racer is no Grand National but then I'm biased and I trust you are too in that respect

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a) I did not ride in the back


That'll do it.


Sorted then Ted - should be there June 08 and back seat is my destination.


Actually it usually is- it just didn't work out queue line wise on the first visit - too much to do, too many dudes in the park! (the usual story...)

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"Aghh! The button does nothing!"


Actually it worked sometimes when we were there in June, but I think they had turned off the alarm. Only the red lights would come on.


The end of Noah's Ark, Michael Jackson comes out and tries to pull you into his bed!


Noah's Ark was a very nice surprise. I really loved it, Phantom and Thunderbolt.


Too bad the place was packed, I needed Phantom Jr in order to make Phantom my #150. I wasn't going to stand in line an hour for Phantom Jr. Oh well, Griffon got that spot.


Cool report hummel boy.


Two words though describe the best thing at Kennywood.... PATCH FRIES!!!

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That's funny, rumors on another site have the Log Jammer coming down. I wonder if somebody's mixing up the names or what. I can't see them getting rid of a flume with the number of riders it has. On the other hand, while Gold Rusher was nothing special, I hope they don't turn it into another Garfield ride like the Old Mill.

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