Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby Satans Hockey » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:24 pm

PennStater wrote:August 21st is the last day of daily operation, and then we go to weekends-only. I am fairly certain the calendar hasn't changed from the beginning of the season. Sorry your trip got messed up... :(

https://www.kennywood.com/calendar


Looking back on it I booked the hotel in March so I don't think the calender was completely out yet. Not a big deal, I'll never complain about an extra day at Cedar Point! Lol I may just try to squeeze in a stop on my way home if possible.

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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby Samuel » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:33 pm

I was at the park both Thursday and Sunday and here are some quick thoughts:

*Sorry for having just one pic! These were relaxed days with friends and family; I didn't intend a trip report or do a whole lot of riding.

Good:

- Lots of families were having fun in Thomas Town, with Flynn's Fire Training and photo ops by the character trains drawing big crowds.

- Two train operations on all of the major coasters on Thursday.

- The wooden coasters are running phenomenally well, and while Thunderbolt will still throw you around, this is the smoothest I can remember it ever being. The former "King of Coasters" might even be a bit underrated now, and it was a heavy favorite with my friends/family.

- Park landscaping is still looking very nice in the middle of the park. I always love the fresh flower beds.

- I was reminded that Phantom's Revenge is just so much fun! Awesome ejector airtime everywhere, glass smooth, and it shreds. Being a little bit short is the only thing you can knock the coaster for, but even still, it's a relentless layout that does more with 3,200 feet than most hypers do with 5K+. Phantom's Revenge, Skyrush, Phoenix, Ravine Flyer II...wow, some of the best in the world right in PA.

- Hooray for no pictures, but I drove right past the Steel Curtain track, which looks large and impressive in person. It really is being plopped in an empty lot just above the fast food joints outside the park.

- Potato Patch fries are still fantastic -- at least the ones I ordered! A friend of mine did get what seemed to be an undercooked batch that were limp and soggy (which I know some people here don't like), but mine were crisp, hot, and very good (see below).

Bad:

- One train operations on T-Bolt and Phantom on Sunday. Blah! What should have been 15 minute waits quickly crept over an hour...

- ...which led to my first time doing the VIP coaster tour. While the concept is absolutely fine, there was no choice of seating on the Phantom -- a car of four in the middle of the train was simply chained off from the regular line and made available for anyone who came up the exit ramp, whether they're handicapped or doing the VIP tour. The airtime is still great no matter where you sit, but I vastly prefer having a choice of row (which is done for the other coasters). Combine one train ops with a closed-off reserved car, and the Phantom line becomes a serious nuisance.

- Ghostwood Estate down both days, Raging Rapids down on a roasting hot day, Sky Rocket MIA, the train & Pirate Ship still recovering from boo-boos, etc.

=============
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Potato Patch. I got a crispy batch & they were terrific.

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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:33 am

Samuel wrote:While the concept is absolutely fine, there was no choice of seating on the Phantom -- a car of four in the middle of the train was simply chained off from the regular line and made available for anyone who came up the exit ramp, whether they're handicapped or doing the VIP tour. The airtime is still great no matter where you sit, but I vastly prefer having a choice of row (which is done for the other coasters). Combine one train ops with a closed-off reserved car, and the Phantom line becomes a serious nuisance.

Wait, were they leaving that particular car empty instead of filling it with normal guests in the absence of tour participants? It drives me nuts when parks do that sort of thing.
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby PKI Jizzman » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:39 am

A.J. wrote:
Samuel wrote:While the concept is absolutely fine, there was no choice of seating on the Phantom -- a car of four in the middle of the train was simply chained off from the regular line and made available for anyone who came up the exit ramp, whether they're handicapped or doing the VIP tour. The airtime is still great no matter where you sit, but I vastly prefer having a choice of row (which is done for the other coasters). Combine one train ops with a closed-off reserved car, and the Phantom line becomes a serious nuisance.

Wait, were they leaving that particular car empty instead of filling it with normal guests in the absence of tour participants? It drives me nuts when parks do that sort of thing.


Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Hersheypark were doing the same and it's so disappointing to see. Someone needs to make a change. It's frustrating for anyone in line, working the ride, or paying extra for the skip the line opportunity. I hope all parks make a change soon.
Last edited by PKI Jizzman on Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:48 pm.
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby PennStater » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:47 pm

I wanted to reply regarding the "reserved" car on Phantom's Revenge. We started experimenting with that during Phantom Fright Nights in 2016 (I believe it was) and for the most part it worked out well, so it was implemented full-time for 2017 forward. Prior to that, we did not have a reserved car and any time we had passes we would need to ask the guests in row x, y, z to wait an extra train. This worked okay most of the time, other than your occasional guest angry that they were getting bumped and why did it have to be their row. No air gates at Phantom, so all reserved rows have to be manually held by ride ops.

However, with the exponentially growing number of ADA and VIP passes, it was decided to try using a reserved car. This way, we didn't have to ask guests on the other side of the platform to wait for what seemed like almost every train, and we could direct people coming up the exit straight to a seat.

It really does work well when you have a team member manning the ADA/VIP passes who is good at the job (*cough*me*cough*). Ideally, they check their restraints and go directly to the next people waiting with passes, check them off, and as soon as the train parks in the station lead them to the reserved rows so that they end up seated at about the same time the riders from the regular line are. If there are no passes, the pass checker immediately notifies the team members on the other side of the platform to fill the seats with riders from the regular line.

If there's a line of ADA/VIP passes, it certainly keeps the person in that position very busy between checking passes, leading guests to the proper seats, and checking restraints. It takes a properly motivated team member, most of which I'm sad to say are not. Ideally, there would be a position strictly to deal with passes and not worry about restraint checking too, but we're lucky if we have enough staff to open all of our rides and get two trains on coasters, let alone fill "luxury" positions like a pass-checker. :| I have found that how the passes are handled has a direct and very large impact on the dispatch time between trains, and I'm not sure what the answer is (other than building a dedicated VIP entrance that merges into the load side of the station, which would be freakin' fantastic).
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby aueft » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:28 pm

I don't think I saw an answer to this question on this thread, but I had a general question about the posted hours on their website which seem kind of wishy-washy. The website says that the park "may close earlier or later based on factors including weather conditions." Given that we are basically reaching the off season now, do they use this to mean that they can usually close the park early depending on crowd levels or daylight, or the park actually going to close this weekend at 10:00pm excepting inclement weather?

Also, given that the rides and stalls open a half hour after the park officially opens is there much to do in the first half hour that the park opens, or should I plan around the 11:00am ride openings instead?

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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:33 pm

Yeah, opening and closing at this park is weird. At opening, there is virtually nothing to do but sunscreen and queue to rope drop your favourite ride. Then at some point in the afternoon/early evening, they'll announce over the PA what the closing time will be. You won't have any other notifications for it, so you have to keep an ear out for it.
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby JJLehto » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:04 am

Well, I am glad y'all warned me ahead of time Kennywood doesn't really open till 11. I was able to sleep an extra bit and casually make my way in the park opposed to 1030. Indeed nothing is running so that would've been a shock to me if i didn't know. Sadly it seems Skyrocket is closed today. Sucks to lose the cred and actually it looks cooler than I imagined, but guess there's next year. Though I understand that tends to have big lines so hope that doesn't mean other rides will be more crowded. I wasn't gunna return to this park till I saw the 19 coaster sooo I already know I'll be back. Phantoms Revenge looks awesome as hell can't wait
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:49 am

Haha, I did almost exactly the same thing. Apparently Skyrocket's been down for a while. Phantom's Revenge is awesome. Enjoy!
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Re: Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

Postby JJLehto » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:38 am

Yeah a local told me it's barely run this season. Apparently had a motor issue and needs to be shipped from Germany idk. Shame it looked cool though I know it's prob not anything special. I'm coming next year I know so all good. Looking ad where the new coaster will be, gunna be nuts. Yeah Phantoms lived up to the hype. Idk about top 10 but likely 15, those hills were vicious. Whole ride was pretty good too
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