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Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

P. 157: Kangaroo returning for the 2022 season!

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Hey guys and gals! My friend and I will be making our first visit to Kennywood on July 14 and 15th! We were just wondering if any of you local enthusiasts wanted to show us around your home park! We're really hoping to get the full experience while we're there! Either way if interested PM me!

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  • 4 weeks later...

No, they did not. They actually posted this caption with a photo about 2 hours ago: "We're open and NOT flooded! The guests that are here seem to be enjoying themselves!"

 

However, there are strong storms approaching right now, with a tornado already sighted. KW has already stated they will close today at 5:30pm due to this.

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Went to Kennywood yesterday. It was the second time I'd been there. Last time was July 2008. I wish I could say it was as good this time as it was last time. I was mildly disappointed by a few things, but other than that, it's still a great park. I didn't like that so many rides were closed over an hour before the park closed. And these weren't just rides next to the lagoon that were closed for the laser show. No, this included The Whip and Noah's Ark. I suppose Noah's Ark is understandable though, as a safety precaution. Of course, Volcano and Pirate never opened, as had been the case most of this summer. I also found the employees to be some of the most lackluster on last week's trip (out of Conneaut, Waldameer, Ki, CP, and Kennywood). I don't think I saw a smile once by a worker, and ride operators frequently had to be told by restraint checkers to start the ride. Had to wave their arms in the air and then call the operator's name to get them to pay attention. This happened mainly on Thunderbolt throughout the day, but operations for the most part were going at a snail pace, especially on Black Widow and Noah's Ark. Also, the TVs in the queue lines no longer play. They were off all day.

 

Is the park having staffing and money problems or something? I mean, my day was enjoyable, but operations were SO slow and the workforce seemed positively lethargic.

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I didn't like that so many rides were closed over an hour before the park closed. And these weren't just rides next to the lagoon that were closed for the laser show. No, this included The Whip and Noah's Ark. I suppose Noah's Ark is understandable though, as a safety precaution.

 

When I was there almost 2 weeks ago I noticed the same thing. I paid attention to the signs at the rides that said they closed early and was sure to ride those first but I went to the Whip after 9:00 and found it closed. It wasn't that big of a deal since one of my local parks (Dorney) also has a Whip but I was lucky to go to Noah's Ark when I did since around 15 minutes later it was closed for the night. Neither of those rides had signs saying they close early.

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Went to Kennywood today for the first time in about 5 years. Sky Rocket definitely exceeded my expectations. I guess I don't really know what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it. Plus the wait time was only 5 minutes! Phantom was only running one train so the wait was about 45 minutes. While I was in the station they finally put out the 2nd train. I rode in the back for the first time and it had much more air time than I ever remember, but then again it has been 5 years. Thunderbolt was only running one train as well but still is one of my all time favorite woodies! They closed everything down as the thunderstorms rolled in around 4 so I didn't get to ride the new Black Widow or many of the other flat rides.

 

I have always enjoyed Kennywood but just as megametal mentioned a few days ago, none of the stay seemed like they wanted to be there. They never smiled and did a very lackluster job of their restraint checks. I still enjoyed my time there today, off to Kings Island tomorrow!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looks like a lift stop on Phantoms Revenge due to sensor malfunction no injuries but another news story making parks look bad in the publics eyes ugh. http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/07/30/riders-stuck-on-kennywood-coaster-after-malfunction/ EDIT Pretty funny that it wrongly detected a train in the station given that kennywood NEVER seems to run two trains not speaking from personal experience just from others trip reports.

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Pretty funny that it wrongly detected a train in the station given that kennywood NEVER seems to run two trains not speaking from personal experience just from others trip reports.

 

PR will frequently run two trains. It just never opens with both trains

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I may be going out to PA for a wedding in late September (and to move the rest of my Mom's stuff out there) and was thinking of doing the Halloween event. Not really for the Halloween stuff per-se' but for the park. Is it possible to see most of the park during the Halloween event? How is the Halloween event?

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Fright Nights is very well done since they transform the whole park. If the weather is nice expect the park to be very crowded Friday and Saturday. A few years ago Friday nights were the best time to go since it was never crowded, but that has changed. You should be able to ride everything you want if you skip the haunted houses. Sept 27th is the first day Fright Nights start, so I'd imagine it shouldn't be too crowded that first weekend.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just had to vent and I knew I could do this here.

I recently moved to PA, and Kennywood is very close to where I live; about 25 minutes. Every time I come here all I witness is lazy, bored looking, unenergetic, unfriendly, rude employees. Lines for roller coasters that are way to long due to the absolutely terrible load times. I timed loading for black widow and Phantoms Revenge one day. Phantom had one train running. It took them 3 minutes per train to load and dispatch, which I personally think is ridiculous. And it took them 7 minutes to load black widow. That's not even anywhere close to appropriate for a busy day in the summer anywhere. The line gets so long because of the load times. I've come to kennywood a few times and can't help but compare it to other parks as I've only ever been to big chain parks, but this is the absolutely most terribly operated park I've ever seen. I think they get away with it because people here kind of walk around, mind their own business, they don't observe their surroundings, and I'm sure a lot don't have anything else to compare it to. I definitely hope they get this little act together cause right now it's a disgusting mess.

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Park operations are always going to be a tough thing to critique since they vary so much from year to year, day to day, ride to ride, sometimes even hour to hour. I went two years ago and found a friendly, efficiently run park, and had a great time. I'm sorry to hear it's apparently gotten worse and hope it isn't a long-term trend, they have some great rides. Who knows, maybe the day I had was the exception.

 

Oh, and every pendulum ride I've been on like Black Widow has been a loading nightmare, Hershey, Dorney, even at Cedar Point. So that may not be their fault.

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I just had to vent and I knew I could do this here.

I recently moved to PA, and Kennywood is very close to where I live; about 25 minutes. Every time I come here all I witness is lazy, bored looking, unenergetic, unfriendly, rude employees. Lines for roller coasters that are way to long due to the absolutely terrible load times. I timed loading for black widow and Phantoms Revenge one day. Phantom had one train running. It took them 3 minutes per train to load and dispatch, which I personally think is ridiculous. And it took them 7 minutes to load black widow. That's not even anywhere close to appropriate for a busy day in the summer anywhere. The line gets so long because of the load times. I've come to kennywood a few times and can't help but compare it to other parks as I've only ever been to big chain parks, but this is the absolutely most terribly operated park I've ever seen. I think they get away with it because people here kind of walk around, mind their own business, they don't observe their surroundings, and I'm sure a lot don't have anything else to compare it to. I definitely hope they get this little act together cause right now it's a disgusting mess.

 

I wish I didn't have to agree with you, but I do. I love Kennywood, but the last few times I've been there, over the last 2 1/2 years or so, the operations have been just terrible; I've seen everything you mentioned. Operators making no effort at all to load and run rides quickly or efficiently, staff watching while guests jump the line or bully other guests right in front of them, staff refusing to talk to or engage with patrons in any way. I know it's a tough job, especially if you're not "into" parks the way a lot of us are, and there are going to be bad days when it's hot and crowded and miserable, so I always try to cut staff some slack, but it's been really, consistently bad there, every time lately. I still enjoy the park, but it's a big black spot on an otherwise amazing park, and one that's starting to drag it down.

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^^^Sadly, I have to agree with you. I've never come away with a stellar impression of Kennywood. I'm grateful that we still have this larger traditional park, and the ride collection is exceptional. But I've never been impressed with the operations, and I've always found something "off" about the atmosphere, despite the charm the park still retains. It's a shame, because in the past, I've seen passionate, neck-and-neck debates over whether Kennywood or Knoebels was the better park. Now, this doesn't even come up. I know the terrible operations on Black Widow are partly a ride design issue, but is that really an excuse? Why didn't the park make efficiency a higher priority when selecting the ride?

 

While it's better than a chain park that feels like one through and through, it seems like the mix of corporate and traditional at Kennywood doesn't meld well.

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Hello all! My partner and I are going to be driving up to Kennywood for the first time, from Atlanta. I heard from a recent Pittsburgh transplant, that the drive up through West Virginia is quite nice, so we're very excited. We're planning on going up on Friday or Saturday of Labor Day weekend. I've searched through the forums history, and found one comment from 2009, that the crowds really aren't that terrible this weekend. Although, that was a full 4 years ago, so I am curious to see if anyone went last labor day weekend, so I could estimate if we'll need one day, or two days at the park. Everyone has their favorite attractions to hit up first, to maximize their time, so anyone have any suggestions on a plan of attack? Also, would it be worth it to make a day trip to Idlewild?

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I dont know how much time you may have, but if you are going thru WV on 77, make a quick detour to Huntington and check out Camden Park. Its not a big park by any means, but if it rains, the coaster there will give you one heck of a ride. Its a very old and classic park that most people have never been to, but worth a few hours of your time on the way to kennywood. I did it on a trip from Fla several years ago to Kennywood, CP and Kings Island and found it to be a fun little diversion from the drive up.

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When someone asks me what I think of Kennywood, my response is usually somewhere along the lines of "Kennywood has some amazing rides, but they way they run them makes you want to pull your hair out." It's not so much the coaster operations that annoy me, but the flat rides are atrocious. Swingshot, Black Widow, and Aero 360 are the absolute worst probably because their popularity draws more people causing longer waits. The slow walk on these rides has been mastered to the highest degree. The smaller flats are nothing to be impressed with in terms of operations, but waiting only a cycle or two isn't the most painful. As a person who is well rehearsed in operating rides with minimal staffing (in many cases only one operator), I understand it is hard to keep speedy all day long. However, when almost every non-kiddie ride at Kennywood has at least two operators to help the loading and unloading process, the slowness seems very unjustified.

 

Another thing that I notice about Kennywood is that rarely anything seems new or different in terms of general updates to existing attractions or infrastructure. Things like warped queue line fencing on many of their rides give the park a increasing feeling of "rough around the edges." For example, you would never guess Sky Rocket was only constructed in 2010 based on the crooked railings and cracked cement patchwork on asphalt installation of the queue area.

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We went today. I was impressed with the operations, but the park was SLLOOWWWW... So that doesn't say much. I do have to say, there was some employee complaining while she was checking restraints on Phantom about how she was quitting tomorrow and it was her bosses problem because she wasn't getting any time off. I get that conversation; when you're on break away from the guests! I guess that's what you get when you have mostly teenagers working your park attractions. She was talking so loud I could hear her clearly over all the station noise and the guests in front of me. I've never heard that from an employee at a theme park ever before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone, I may as well make this my first post. Last few times I've been to Kennywood this month, the Volcano has been running.

I have a video of it running on my phone, so when I have a chance I'll upload it so you can tell I'm not saying this for fun.

Just thought I'd let everyone know since I did not see a post about it in this thread and I felt it was relevant. I've been keeping an eye here before I registered for about 3 years now.

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Are there any rumors cooking for Kennywood this year? It seems like the park's management hasn't been putting a lot into the park recently which is a shame. I grew up going to kennywood and on my last visit earlier this summer a lot of the buildings had peeling paint or hadn't been improved despite the fact that they really stood out as needing some tlc. I'm hoping my favorite park starts to get some attention again. Kennywood really has a special niche market, it combines quirky old-fashioned charm with modern thrill rides. Honestly, I think they could be much more competitive if they worked more with their history and personality and started putting more unique, quirky rides in and advertising the unique character of the park as opposed to trying to fit in with larger parks like Hershey and Cedar Point. In a way it seems to be a lot like BPPB in England... struggling to maintain an identity by adding modern thrill rides but not really working with their history to create something unique. They both peaked in the 90's, but since then it seems like they kind of just stopped trying. I'd love to see kennywood reallllly focus on its history, atmosphere, and quirky personality and use that to market to a broader audience. Also- it wouldn't hurt to hire a designer to update their classic logo just a bit. Not a lot... but just a bit.

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