Idlewild6th July 2009
The drive from our overnight hotel to Idlewild took a little bit longer than planned, resulting in a frighteningly large number of cars in the park ahead of us. Fortunately the vast majority of these appeared to have decanted into the water park, with only a short queue for the classic wood Rollo Coaster (#1381). A forest has grown around this ride in the eighty years since it was built, resulting in some particularly impressive visuals. Better yet the ride sitll operates with its original fixed lap bar, providing a great sense of freedom that is gradually disappearing in this country thanks to an aggressive legal system.
The other coaster is the only wild mouse ride ever built by Vekoma. The most unique feature of the Wild Mouse (#1382) is the way the cars tilt as they ascend the lift hill thanks to the left rail being higher than the right. From then on the ride is as any other wild mouse, albeit with some particularly sharp turns and stops. The park has signs up throughout advising about the correct riding position which involves placing ones hands over red tape on the grab bars. Anyone tempted to disobey will quickly change their mind after the first corner!
Kennywood Park6th July 2009
There was a significant outcry among the local proletariat last year when the family that had owned Kennywood since its inception sold the park to Parques Reunidos. At first glance the average reader might think this protectionism at work, but in reality it is more of a reflection on how much this park means to the local people. Thankfully the new owners have changed nothing, though there was evidence of cost cutting in the operations, with several of the coasters running only one train.
I wrote about all the coasters in my previous trip report, so rather than duplicate I'll just note that we managed both sides on Racer, a single circuit on Jack Rabbit, Lil Phantom, Thunderbolt, and Exterminator, and both front and back on Phantom's Revenge. The latter was positively stunning in the front, though it would benefit from being a bit longer. The only non-coaster ride that we tried today was Ghostwood Estate, a rather good target shooting dark ride added to the park last year.
My last visit to Kennywood four years ago was a rush visit brought on by trying to squeeze in a park that I really didn't have time for. There were no such problems today, allowing me ample time to explore the place that brands itself as America's Favorite Park. I'd probably have gotten on more rides if any of the coasters had been run to capacity, but it was still a great day.