Thursday, September 3, 2009

'Making A New Memory' - Part 2

This is Part 2 of our review of Kennywood park from NPN's recent visit. If you happened to miss the first part be sure to check it out here.

Ready for more of our trip to Kennywood? I am! Let's dig in...

Being a big fan of dark rides added another layer of excitement to our trip to Kennywood. The park is home to two classic and one modern dark rides, which is a fantastic line-up for a park in this day and age.

Above we see Ghostwood Estate, which was added to the park in 2008 and replaced The Gold Rusher. Just as Ed accidentally named Bigfoot's Mudslide at Idlewild, our host Jeff did the same for Ghostwood Estate at Kennywood! It's a dark ride with a modern twist, as riders are loaded with guns that allow them to shoot at targets that activate props along the track.

The theming in here is really top notch, and according to Jeff the ride “got a very good reaction from guests because it’s literally two rides in one. If you don’t want to do the interactive part, visually there’s just so much to look at ... but then if you do the whole blaster aspect it’s also great. If mom and dad go with the kids, they can go nuts with the blasters and [the parents] can sit back and relax."

Halloween Productions had a lot to do with the attractions, along with the park's own Director of Ride Operations, Marie Ruby. Between the two creative forces I'd say the park has a winner on their hands, and it even has a great pre-show as well!

It's probably no surprise that Phantom's Revenge was another highly anticipated coaster for me, and the ride really lived up to those expectations.

They all look so happy... can't imagine why!

Kennywood made a wonderful decision when they had Morgan redo the coaster for the 2001 season, removing the loops and creating an intense, twisted hyper coaster of sorts.

We were able to take one night ride on the Phantom that really knocked my socks off, maybe not literally but I wouldn't have been surprised if it did. This thing does not let up and the airtime on it is really just incredible.

Hands-up airtime!

Since this was my first visit to the park I obviously was never on the ride when it was the Steel Phantom, but it's pretty safe to say that I'm not too concerned about having missed out on its former life. The ride's first drop was retracked this past off-season and there's a bit of an awkward section at the top of the second hill as a result - but rumors are already swirling that the park plans to take care of that this winter.

Have I mentioned that the views the park has are AMAZING?

Above is a great shot of how the park integrates the old and the new so well, we have the towering Phantom standing over another of the park's dark rides, Noah's Ark.

If the boat's a rockin'... you'll get sea sick!

I had read all about the Ark prior to visiting, and still was surprised by all the twists and turns that were found inside. By far one of the most 'classic' fun houses I've ever been in, the old time gags that are still in there were most enjoyable.

The attraction dates back to the 1930s, but in another smart move (Kennywood has made a lot of those!) they totally rebuilt the attraction in 1996. The new version of the Ark features a nice mix of newer, technology-oriented tricks right alongside the old ones.

Kennywood's Kiddieland is one of the oldest in the country, and is home to a wide variety of interesting rides for the little ones. The park's commitment to these rides runs deep - Jeff made mention that the park has actually had to create replacement parts for many of the rides to keep them in service. Many parks just remove and replace when a ride gets that old - but not Kennywood!

Kiddieland is also a National Historic District, not something you'll find in other parks.

The Whippersnapper is an excellent example of the park's commitment to having pint sized versions of their larger thrill rides. The park has a large Whip ride in the Lost Kennywood section as well.

A more recent addition to the area is the S.S. Kenny, added in 2007. Guests were all smiles while the boat spun and rocked!

A park with such great roller coasters can't leave the kids out of the fun, and with that in mind they offer the Lil' Phantom. While we didn't take a spin on the coaster it did look like it packed a bit of a punch.

This takes 'big mouth' to the extreme.

I've included this photo of the fun trash cans that can be found throughout Kiddieland to appease Sabrina's love of fun/slightly frightening garbage cans. Hehe.

We'll wrap up our tour of Kiddieland with this photo of Garfield atop the Pounce Bounce ride - though he may not be there for all that much longer as the park is starting to phase out the use of the characters.

Time for another Traver ride! This trip was especially awesome because Sabrina and I were able to ride both of the currently operating Traver Tumble Bugs in the world in the same day!

The ride is a lot of fun, and it's a cryin' shame that only two of them are left. Here's to Kennywood preserving this one for a long, long time to come!

From an old ride to a new old ride. Yes, the park's new for 2009 attraction is the Bayern Kurve, which operated at the park until 2005 when it was removed for the Wipeout. The park worked on restoring the ride during its absence and has now added it back to the park in the same spot it sat before.

These older Anton Schwarzkopf flat rides are a huge hit with park goers, and this one has been well received since being brought back to Kennywood's ride line-up.

Whew, this park is so full of amazing things to write about I've got to take another breather - Part 3 coming soon!