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Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

P. 157: Kangaroo returning for the 2022 season!

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Hi guys/girls:

 

I went to Kennywood last Wednesday to check everything out. I posted this video in my trip report, but it has long since disappeared from the main page and I don't feel like bumping it, so I thought it'd be cool for people to see The Black Widow in action in this topic. The video is a music video of the entire park by the way.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Kennywood1_tezc[/coastertube]

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I was there last Thursday. Would post a full trip report but I have almost no photos so it would be rather boring.

 

Short version though is that the park was amazing as always, however, operations this year are incredible disappointing. I've never seen that issue there in five years of going there annually now, but this year, the operators on the vast majority of the rides seemed far more interested in chatting about high school drama nonsense (It's really hard to listen to "OMG! Would you date Dave!? But...would you date him if he was like...taller?" while we sit in the ride waiting for them to bother checking harnesses and starting it...) Some of the rides were taking ages to load and dispatch, and the operators just didn't seem to care, or care about things like line jumping. That's not how it's ever been when I've visited Kennywood before.

 

At the risk of sounding too negative, I'm only bringing it up because it's so unusual for an amazing park. Everything else was spectacular. The rides and coasters were running great, the weather was beautiful, the food was quite good and very reasonably priced, Black Widow is fantastic - maybe my favorite flat ride yet, and Phantom's Revenge is still one of my favorite coasters on the planet.

 

...and apparently it likes me too, because it wouldn't let me go. After I rode (front seat, right side) and we pulled back into the stations, the restraints came up...except for mine and the person directly behind me. The ride operators couldn't get it open, and regretfully told me they'd have to send me around another time so they could clear the other train out of the way, then work on it, and they hoped that was okay with me. So, I suffered through a second front-seat ride >.> before the mechanics had to pretty much dissect the car around me to get the restraints open. Couldn't have been too horrible an issue though, since they had both trains running again shortly thereafter, so it was mostly an amusing incident and a free ride. The ride ops and maintenance also assured me that the park would do anything to make up for it, and if I went to guest relations, they'd give me free food for the day, or a free ticket, or pretty much anything else I asked for. I passed on that - I wasn't about to demand the park -pay me- to have to take an extra ride on what might be my favorite steel coaster.

 

Back to Black Widow though...wow. I was a bit intimidated walking up to it, but it ended up not actually being a particularly -scary- ride for me at all. Maybe it's just because it's -so- high and fast that I never even really had the chance to mentally process the height? I underestimated the speed of its swing though; you really get moving at the bottom of that arc, and while I didn't actually try to count out the air time, my brother was riding with me and says he timed nearly 4 1/2 seconds out of the seat, and that sounds about right...

 

Loved it so much. I wish I could have gotten on a second ride, but the line was getting long at the end of the day when we went back, and we had somewhere else we needed to be, so we couldn't risk staying any longer. Next year, though!

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^I was there this past Wednesday and I have to agree with some of the employees. Many looked sooo thrilled to be working that day. I realize temps were in the 90's but very little to no enthusiasm to get you excited to ride.

 

I know it's part of how they operate and it bugs me to no end but really one train on Phantom and Thunderbolt all day while Jack Rabbit and Sky Rocket ran two? It wasn't really crowded (Phantom's line would only be as far as just beyond the overpass to Lost Kennywood and T-bolt's would stretch to the midway but withouit the need for extra queues to be open) but for being your two most popular rides there should always be two trains. They had the staff for it.

 

I agree with Black Widow. Definitely a great addition to their lineup. I don't recall the air time but the overall ride experience is better than the Huss models. Pretty cool that it spins in both directions.

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I know it's part of how they operate and it bugs me to no end but really one train on Phantom and Thunderbolt all day while Jack Rabbit and Sky Rocket ran two? It wasn't really crowded (Phantom's line would only be as far as just beyond the overpass to Lost Kennywood and T-bolt's would stretch to the midway but withouit the need for extra queues to be open) but for being your two most popular rides there should always be two trains. They had the staff for it.

 

Hmm. They were running two trains each on Phantom and Thunderbolt all day Thursday, and it wasn't all that crowded then either.

 

It wasn't even that hot when I was there though; maybe 82, if I remember right. Pretty much a perfect day. The ride ops still seemed entirely uninterested in actually doing their jobs. Not -all- of them; there were a few bright spots, but overall, just not up to KW's standards.

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I was there Tuesday, hot as the surface of the sun, but operations were pretty smooth. Black Widow was fantastic, frisbee's have always been my favorite flats, and this one was particularly intimidating and forceful. I was surprised how at the top of each swing, you were pressed into your restraint pretty forcefully. Intense, but not mindnumbing, or vomit inducing with the spinning.

 

Back to operations... It was really weird actually, one second, a line would be empty, the next, it would be completely filled to 20 minutes or so. It went like that for a lot of the day. I got pretty lucky and didn't get stuck in a ton of long lines. Refreshment lines were much the same, long and then non-existent. Glad you can still get a free cup of water upon request. A lot better than $3 for a bottle. Prices seemed higher this year than I remember.. but it's probably just me. I noticed lots of little upkeep things, though I'm disappointed at the removal of the overlook for Raging Rapids.

 

Also, anybody know how long it's gonna be to fix up Auto Race? Or what they're even doing to it?

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I noticed the low enthusiasm from the ride staff too, it was surprising to see at Kennywood after visiting Hersheypark which is supposed to be the worst for this but didn't seem bad at all in comparison. It's got to be an issue of under staffing, lack of rotation and general management issues. For example I saw one member of staff on the front entrance of phantom just sitting there all day, she must have been very bored indeed.

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That's because Kennywood likes to work their team members 14+ hours in one day. I'm not going to lie, it's hard sometimes to keep a positive attitude when you work 28 hours in 2 days. This happens quite often.

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  • 3 weeks later...

^ Yes, Auto Race opened on July 5th. Volcano has been closed since mid-way through opening day. They seem to have problems with it every year. There is speculation that this may be the last season for it at the park, but we don't really know anything for sure.

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^Meh, Volcano was never one of those rides that interested me enough to ride it, nor does any enterprise. Still, it would be a bit of a shame to see Volcano leave the park. It is always a shame to see a ride leave the park, especially some of the rides that are a bit older, like Volcano which is over 30 years old.

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LOL, they had problems with the enterprise since I worked there in 1988! Would not be sad to see it go, I think these things have seen their prime. Would love to see something like...

But we'll never see that at KW!

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Im planning on hitting up Kennywood this upcoming Saturday. Our company will leave on a bus at 6am and we will arrive at the park around opening. And we will be their until 6pm. Any trip advice, I'm a first-timer here.

 

The three rides I want to ride are

-Phantoms Revenge

-SkyRocket

-Black Widow

-Jack Rabbit

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Im planning on hitting up Kennywood this upcoming Saturday. Our company will leave on a bus at 6am and we will arrive at the park around opening. And we will be their until 6pm. Any trip advice, I'm a first-timer here.

 

The three rides I want to ride are

-Phantoms Revenge

-SkyRocket

-Black Widow

-Jack Rabbit

 

^That is four rides...

 

This is my personal wisdom, but ALWAYS ride the Jack Rabbit in the back. The airtime you will get on the double dip is absolutely INSANE. As far as I know, this ride always garners a line, but isn't that much of line, as the longest I've experienced is 10 minutes, but that could change because you are going on a weekend. Sky Rocket is an absolutely amazing launched coaster. It may not be the fastest, tallest, or do the most inversions, but this ride packs a punch. It is a Top 5 steel for me because the launch is just pure fun and the inversions are just awesome. The Phantom's Revenge is a pretty awesome hyper. Not the longest, but the ride is just awesome. Can't say anymore. I didn't ride Black Widow, but that thing looks pretty darn big!

 

You, also, need to drastically expand your list. First off, let's start off with adding the rest of the coasters (excluding Lil Phantom). You definitely should ride Thunderbolt and the Racer. The Exterminator is also a good ride, but it isn't a must ride like Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is easily one of the best wooden coasters I have ever ridden. You get some awesome G's on that ride. The Racer isn't much of a ride, and I'd recommend riding it in the back, as the front isn't very exciting. The Exterminator is a pretty cool indoor spinning wild mouse. It has some pretty nice theming and sometimes you cannot even see what is going on!

 

Also, it would be good to ride two of Kennywood's water rides: Log Jammer and Raging Rapids. The Log Jammer is an older log flume that doesn't get you super wet, but the drops are pretty fun. Raging Rapids is an amazing rapids ride that gets you very wet. It is also really fun when someone, jokingly, flips out about getting super wet (AKA my dad). You could also do the Pittsburg Plunge (Shoot-the-Chutes), but if you are only going to do one of those soaking water rides, do Raging Rapids.

 

Kennywood also features many other attractions that are just pure fun. If you've never ridden a Whip or just love Whip rides, the Whip is located near the entrance of the Exterminator and is fun every time. SwingShot (S&S Screamin' Swing) is located near the Pittsburg Plunge and Wave Swinger. If you never have ridden a Bayern Kurve, the park also has a Bayern Kurve that, to me, seems like it is broken down a lot. The park also features two older flats very close to each other, the Kangaroo and Paratrooper. The Kangaroo is an amazing flat ride and I believe it is the only one of its kind operating in the world, so this is a unique experience. Since Auto Race reopened, you could possibly take a spin on that, but I wouldn't recommend it till you ride some of the other rides, like the very well done shooting ride, Ghostwood Estate. This ride features a pretty cool pre-show, but the downside is that it slows down the line. Another great ride is Noah's Ark. Noah's Ark is an award winning walkthrough dark ride. It is the 2011 winner of the Golden Ticket Award for Walkthrough/Fun House attractions.

 

These are just my recommendations for Kennywood, but I hope you have a great time at Kennywood. It is one heck of a park!

Edited by molemaster43
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LOL, they had problems with the enterprise since I worked there in 1988! Would not be sad to see it go, I think these things have seen their prime. Would love to see something like...

But we'll never see that at KW!

 

That'd be fun to WATCH running in person. No way in hell I get on it. Not enough money in the 'verse.

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^Worth it? Probably. But it's far from the most convenient, since you have to plan around specific timeframes. Plus, as far as I know, there is no unlimited option, so each lanyard will only get you one lap per available ride.

 

I can't give a fair judgment since I paid indirectly through TPR and also had ERT to get me on rides, but because of all that, I only bothered using mine on Jack Rabbit, where I skipped a lengthy wait and was easily able to snag the back row. Apart from that, I just breezed right on past my other times without bothering to take advantage.

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Plus, as far as I know, there is no unlimited option, so each lanyard will only get you one lap per available ride.

 

Correct, there is no unlimited option. However, just compare the prices to say the Cedar Fair Fast Lane passes. On my recent visit to Canada's Wonderland, I paid about an additional $59 on top of the $65 for admission to get Fast Lane. Kennywood's "VIP Tour" options are a lot more affordable, and they've actually added some additional options this year such as "Thrill" and "Water" tours.

 

Day Coaster Tour: $15 for all adult coasters (Sky Rocket, Exterminator, Jack Rabbit, Phantom’s Revenge, Racer, & Thunderbolt)

 

Evening Coaster Tour: $10 for Sky Rocket, Exterminator, Phantom’s Revenge, & Thunderbolt

 

If you must have the front seat, there is the Front Seat Gold Tour for $18 which gets you front seat rides on Sky Rocket, Exterminator, Jack Rabbit, Phantom’s Revenge, Racer, & Thunderbolt

 

You can also purchase $5 passes for rides individually including all adult coasters and Black Widow

 

(Prices and options subject to change )

 

^I'd say that the best ride to use the VIP Coaster Tour on is probably the Exterminator. The ride garners a pretty long wait that is 20-30 minutes, at least.

 

Yes, I'd agree with that... it can be a lot longer than that too on busier days. I'd also suggest at least paying $5 for the Black Widow pass if you have limited time to spare.

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^Interesting info. The individual passes sound like a great option so you can pick and choose cheaply.

 

I must say, I don't think there's a single coaster at Kennywood where I'd be particularly interested in the front, except Sky Rocket, but even that's mainly for the views (usually not my highest priority) rather than a drastically better experience. But it definitely seems fair to offer that in a line-skipping option, rather than the opposite extreme of never allowing any user of such a system to choose the front, or otherwise restricting seat choices.

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