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For a 6 month period in 2003 I picked up a new home park. But alas, due to work and cash restraints I wasn’t able to visit during the regular season. That is why I’m glad Kennywood had Phantom Fright Nights as an option in October or I wouldn’t have had a chance to go to the park for the first time, and have a final coaster trip for 2003. I’d had a rough day. Prior to Kennywood, I had spent a few days with my parents, but got a late start from their house to where I was living, a 3 hour trip. Then I got stuck in traffic because of Bridge Day, a large festival in WV. It took an extra hour to get home, so I was really late picking my roommate Jon up.
I had to get directions to Kennywood from their web site, because I hadn’t been to Pittsburgh in over 20 years and don’t remember a thing about it as I was a toddler. But the trip from Fairmont, WV to Kennywood was an easy and fairly quick drive . Though we got a bit lost between Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, we stopped for directions, and easily found the park once we were pointed in the right direction.
After parking we paid for our ticket and headed in. The park (what I could see of it in such darkness) looked really nice. I do wish it had been light up a bit more, though, as I didn’t know my way around. The first thing we headed to was Phantom’s Revenge.
Phantom’s Revenge-This was Jon’s first Hyper coaster, and my third, though I had never ridden either an Arrow Hyper or Morgan Hyper. Now I’ve technically done both at the same time. We waited 40 min. for the ride, and since we were only going to be in the park for 3 hours, decided we didn’t care where we sat, but I wanted to be closer to the back. The ride was rather dark, and since it was already dark, I decided to ride without my glasses since I didn’t want to lose them. We got on about 2 seats from the back, and off we were. I didn’t know what to expect. Couldn’t see much of the layout because it was dark, and even darker around Phantom since Old Kennywood was closed off. This ride easily became my favorite coaster. It was so much fun, and my roommate like it as well. I’ll be so happy to get back again to get more rides on Phantom’s Revenge soon.
After riding Phantom we went over to Thunderbolt as it was close. The line moved quickly, and soon enough we were in the station getting on the ride.
Thunderbolt-I’d never been on a woodie like this. I love wooden coasters, and the drop out of the station into the ravine was so cool. I kept my glasses on this time, and it was so cool to see what was happening as we flew through the bottom of the ravine over the drops. We had a back row seat, and got some good airtime. I can say that, although I liked all the coasters I rode at Kennywood, I think this was the best overall suprise in the park.
Jon and I were hungry and a friend had suggested the Potato Patch, so we went for some Fright Fries (with cheese!), and he had a grilled frank. After getting our grub on we walked around a bit. Both of us had wanted to hit some haunted houses, but for our first trip, I was concerned more with coasters, and the lines for the haunted houses were way too long.
We walked over by Aero 360 and Jon got more food as I first tried to wait in line for a Haunted House, but then decided to go for a ride by myself on Racer.
Racer-Racer was a cool little coaster (my first Mobeious) and I got the blue side (we lost). It was a different kind of racing coaster, with smaller drops and tight turns. The station was cool, and while the coaster was nice, it was my least favorite of the trip, though it had the fastest line. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but it ended up being a case of anticipointment. An overall good coaster, but not great.
After I found Jon at the end of Racer, we walked around a bit more, tried to find some haunted houses, but the lines for them were closing as they were so long and the night was wearing on. Fearing that I wouldn’t get any more coasters in we went to Jackrabbit (which I had been told was great) to see if the line was still accepting people. Thankfully it was…
Jackrabbit-This was a great little coaster. Another cool first drop into a valley, and then a great double down. Going into the tunnel they had some flashing lights below the track that looked super cool shining up thru the track. Then we went up the lift hill. This thing had some great ejector airtime on it. Fast and furious, Jackrabbit was a surprise as I thought it was going to be more of a family coaster. Boy was I wrong. I can’t wait to get back and get more rides on it.
After Jackrabbit we went by Racer. Since Jon hadn’t been on it we decided to end the night on it.
Racer (redux)-We got on the blue train, and on the opposite side from where I had ridden the first time. Again, Racer is fun and the racing aspect is cool, but to me it wasn’t anything to wright home about. Another credit with some fun drops, but thats about it.
We walked around the park a bit more, but couldn’t find Exterminator. I found out later that that section of the park wasn’t open for Fright Nights. Then we finally headed out of the park to the car and home. Kennywood is a nice park and I can’t wait to get back when the park is open during the regular season.