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Location: West Mifflin, Pa (Pittsburgh, Pa Suburb)
Website: http://www.kennywood.com
Would I visit again?: Possibly
Why I went: One of the last “big” parks in Pennsylvania I needed to visit.
Staff Operations: So-so. The Phantom’s Revenge ride crew were some of the worst ride ops ever. 9 workers working the ride, while half were actually doing their jobs, dispatch times were slow of each train, and these ride ops were rude and just didn’t seem to care. Other staff at Kennywood seemed a bit better, but I’m still not ready to say all ride ops and staff were good.

After my weekend at Cedar Point, my friend and I decided to stop at Kennywood on the way home as there were a couple new roller coasters he needed to ride, and I had never been to the park. I had always heard that Kennywood was a fabulous park, so I had higher than normal expectations going into a “new for me” park.

I’m sure my opinion of the park is a bit sullied by the fact that it seemed like and looked like by the amount of school buses there that every school within a few hours of Kennywood decided to go to the park that day. I’m fine with crowds, but a few thousand tweens/teens who think they are entitled spoils the day for me.  I also would have expected that I think Kennywood knew that all those schools were going to be there. Schools don’t just randomly up and take a bus full of kids to a park. If the website would have mentioned something like that had for other events at the park maybe we would have planned to not go or planned to go later in the day when the schools would have been leaving or something.

We didn’t get to go on any of the flat rides as our main focus for the trip was riding all the roller coasters and some of the lines and staffing made it hard to get a lot done in a “short” amount of time. (I say short but we were there at least 5 hours and should have had more rides done than we did for the size park Kennywood is).  Maybe someday I’ll get back to the park and ride some flat rides.

First up was:

Sky Rocket (RCDB link)

Sky Rocket is Kennywood’s newest coaster and it opened in 2010. Check out the RCDB link to learn more about the roller coaster.  My opinion is that it’s a pretty good coaster for a park like Kennywood. It’s thrilling but not too over the top extreme.

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Phantom’s Revenge (RCDB Link)

Besides horrible ride operations, I’m still unsure if I loved the ride or not. It was enjoyable, it was possibly re-rideable if the lines and ops were a bit better, but I still don’t think it lived up to the hype that it’s had over the years.

But the drop down the mountain was awesome and breathtaking.

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The Exterminator (RCDB Link)

The Exterminator is an indoor spinning wild mouse roller coaster.  I can’t say I enjoyed the ride, because spinning rides and myself don’t get along so well. But it’s a roller coaster, and I have to ride it at least once just to get the credit.

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Thunderbolt (RCDB Link)

A classic wooden coaster. Yes, it’s rickety, but that’s what makes a classic so much fun. To see that they had the smarts to build something like this in the 1920’s and it’s still standing and being used to entertain thousands today is just pretty darn cool. I think my favorite aspect of the ride is how they incorporated the terrain into the ride. They used it to their advantage when making the hills and drops throughout the ride.

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Lil’ Phantom (RCDB Link)

Now this is what I call the “credit whore” ride. (It’s where adults ride kiddie coasters to gain the roller coaster credit). The Lil’ Phantom. It’s a totally adorable kids ride, and I think it’s a great little coaster to get kids into riding coasters. It may be nothing special to adults, and to some enthusiasts, but it’s a cute little ride for those who do care to get the kiddie coasters travelling around the world riding rides.

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Racer (RCDB Link)

Another classic wooden coaster. Love this ride. It is a coaster that is a continuous track, you start on one side but end on the other. There are two trains, and you “race”. It’s a fun ride where you can high five people on the other train during certain parts of the ride.

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Last but not least is the Jack Rabbit (RCDB Link)

Another classic wooden coaster, with some really interesting seats. It was a tight squeeze for me, and I’m not really that big. But it was a good short fun ride.

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So all in all it wasn’t a horrible day at the park, but it was by no means an amazing day. The park didn’t live up to the expectations I had, and I was slightly disappointed with that considering all the good things I had heard.

Eventually I’ll give it another chance, but it may take a new roller coaster or something really really awesome to get me to go back.

Here is the rest of my Kennywood pictures up on Flickr.

Also you may have noticed the RCDB links I’ve included. This is a website called the Roller Coaster Data Base. It pretty much has every roller coaster ever built anywhere in the world.

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