Theme Parks and Travels goes to Kennywood (7/2/15)

On Thursday, July 2nd, the TP&T team woke up nice and early, got in the car, and began our four and a half hour drive to West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, the town where Kennywood is located. Kennywood is a park with a long history. It opened in 1898, survived through the Great Depression, and currently is home to several thrilling coasters and fantastic thrill rides. Three standing coasters are ACE Historic landmarks and there is history tied into every corner of the park. From John Miller to Premier Rides, this park has it all! So sit back, relax, and enjoy our trip to Kennywood!

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Here we are, we’re at Kennywood!
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Here’s Kennywood’s Skycoaster, which is one of the prominent modern thrill rides that tower over Kennywood.
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Another towering thrill ride was the Phantom’s Revenge! I was VERY excited for this ride!
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Kennywood’s parking lot is across the street from the actual park, you go under the road to enter the main park.
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Right as you enter, you are greeted by a view of Sky Rocket, Kennywood’s Premier Rides launched coaster.
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First, we rode Garfield’s Nightmare. Garfield’s Nightmare is a nice family boat ride with good comic theming. Afterwards, we ventured back in the park towards Kennywood’s Racer.
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Racer has been dueling since 1927. The roller coaster still runs very well!
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The first riders of the day were ready to go!
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Green Won this time, but red would tie it the next time!
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Quick operations allowed us to ride the historic coaster with very little wait. It provided a smooth and fun ride, it was one of the best coasters of the day!
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While some of the TP&T team got ready to ride Kennywood’s Skycoaster, I got some shots of Jack Rabbit, which is an ACE Landmark.
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Jack Rabbit may look small, but it dips down into the canyon below it!
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Jack Rabbit is 95 this year! I can’t wait to see how Kennywood celebrates its 100th birthday!
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Kennywood has classical building facades around Racer and Jack Rabbit. These facades are pretty!
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Next, one member of TP&T got her first ride on a Skycoaster! You could here her screaming from the other side of the lake!
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Nearby, the Log Jammer was entertaining guests!
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Aero 360 is one of Kennywood’s modern thrill rides.
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The thrill ride flips you upside-down and loops all around. It also stalls upside-down mid-flight!
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Aero 360 is a unique addition to Kennywood that you won’t see at many other parks. This was the first time I’d seen one of these rides at any park.
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Next on our list was Thunderbolt. It was definitely a fun wooden coaster which used its surrounding terrain very well.
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Phantom’s Revenge runs right next to the Thunderbolt station, it’s a fantastic photo-op!
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Phantom’s Revenge travels by the station very quickly!
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There they go, into the course of a classic woodie!
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Right out of the station, they drop straight into a valley.
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I love the interaction of Thunderbolt and the terrain!
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Phantom’s Revenge travels VERY fast as it enters the same valley!
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After we got some fries at the Potato Patch (left side of the picture), ate them with our main lunch, we started to walk over towards Phantom’s Revenge. Here’s another shot of Thunderbolt that I took on my way over to it!
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We travelled right under the Phantom’s Revenge lift hill. It is a very tall ride!
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The car shoots through the airtime hills of Phantom’s Revenge.
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Before we rode Phantom’s Revenge, we took a ride on another flat ride, the Black Widow.
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Black Widow is a Zamperla “Giant Discovery.”
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These thrill rides take you partially upside-down and feature fun drops! It’s definitely a must do while at Kennywood!
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Next, we rode the park’s S&S Screamin’ Swing! This, along with the Black Widow and Aero 360 rides, was another first for me. It’s another name on Kennywood’s impressive list of flat rides!
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Finally, it was time for Phantom’s Revenge!
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I love the logo for Phantom’s Revenge!
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Here’s a nerd shot of Phantom’s Revenge’s lift chain!
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Although we didn’t end up riding it, this is another flat ride I’ve never seen in a park. Kennywood has an impressive list of flat rides!
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Phantom’s Revenge not only interacts with the hills and valleys, but it also interacts with Thunderbolt as they dive between each other in the valley.
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For those of you who don’t know, Phantom’s Revenge used to be Steel Phantom. When Steel Phantom opened in 1991, it was the first inverting hypercoaster. The inversions were rough, so after the year 2000, Kennywood had Morgan remove the inversions and redo portions of the roller coaster. The Phantom struck back with Phantom’s Revenge!
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There goes a train of happy Thunderbolt riders in the distance!
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Phantom’s Revenge has so much airtime that it hurts. The first hill is good, but afterwards you are constantly shot out of your seat. Be prepared for ejector airtime, especially during the double dip!
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I love this shot, it just turned out surprisingly well!
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On the front cars of Phantom’s Revenge, it appears that there are mounts for the GoPro, this looks exactly like a mount that comes with the camera, the adhesive mount. If I had known about this I would’ve asked for permission to use it!
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Yet another shot of Thunderbolt, it’s just a pretty coaster!
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Next, we began to make our way over to Sky Rocket. We passed by Kennywood’s Enterprise ride, which is known as Volcano. At the time, I had never been on an Enterprise (that changed yesterday at the time of this writing), and I was disappointed that it was closed.
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At 2:00, we started Kennywood’s roller coaster VIP tour. The roller coaster VIP tour is a pass that gives you a 40 minute window to ride each ride once. For Sky Rocket it was 2:00-2:40 and for The Exterminator it was 3:00-3:40. Unfortunately, since we didn’t know that to finish the tour you would have to stay until late at night (it didn’t say online that there were specific windows for each ride), we were rushing throughout the morning to ride the rides we wouldn’t be able to do, since we were leaving at 4:00 (as I said earlier, we live 4+ hours away). It was annoying, but we did it!
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Sky Rocket was fantastic! It was the best coaster of the day.
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It was smooth, fast, and fun. Exactly what you expect for a Premier Rides launch coaster.
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The inversions were fun, and my only complaint about the ride is that the stretch of banked curves could instead be a slow barrel roll, similar to the one on Tempesto. Overall, Sky Rocket was a fantastic roller coaster!
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This is the banked turn I was talking about. It was slow enough that a barrel roll in its place would be a long and unique inversion.
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The ride even got a little bit of airtime!
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Next, we decided to ride Jack Rabbit, which had the 4:00-4:40 time slot on the tour. Riding it allowed us to leave a few minutes earlier (although I wish we could’ve stayed) and start the long drive home.
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Jack Rabbit was a great ride, but the restraints (to me) were a bit too loose for my comfort zone (like a foot above me). I flew out of my seat and hit my legs on the lap bar.
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Although the line stretched to the back of the queue, the wait was a mere 10 minutes or so. The operations were very good on Jack Rabbit!
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Here’s one last shot of Jack Rabbit!
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Next, we did the only coaster on the VIP tour left to do (by the way, the VIP tour is $15 on the Kennywood website), The Exterminator. Here’s one last shot of Thunderbolt that I took on the way over!
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And another of Phantom’s Revenge too!
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And the final shot of Black Widow.
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Also, we stopped in the gift shop. I bought a couple books about Kennywood’s history and the Kennywood sign as seen in the picture!
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Finally, we rode The Exterminator. The theming was very good, but it’s just your average Reverchon spinning coaster in terms of ride quality.
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After The Exterminator and a quick ride on the Screamin’ Swing, it was time to leave Kennywood. They even had a heart saying goodnight!

We had a fantastic trip to Kennywood! The history and thrills of the park tie into one amazing experience! I would gladly go back to the park anytime! Do you want to see even more updates from the parks? Check us out on InstagramFacebook and Twitter! You can also find us on YouTubeGoogle+, and Tumblr! Thank you for visiting Theme Parks and Travels! Be sure to follow us here on WordPress and share with the buttons below!

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