I was surprised by the roller coasters at Kennywood – these were some of the best we have ever ridden, and all for different reasons. With three classic wooden coasters and three modern steel coasters, it was a microcosm of coaster history, which added to the overall experience.
Sky Rocket – This launched coaster is the newest in the park. It goes from 0 to 50mph in 4 seconds – not fast after Top Thrill Dragster yesterday, but with three inversions (with only a lap bar to keep you in place) and a great layout, we thought it was an A+ coaster. When it ended, Joel smiled and said, “Smoooooth!”
Phantom’s Revenge – This steel monster kicked off our day, and we rode it again before we left. Topping out at 85 mph, it was the fastest coaster in the world at the time it was built and is still one of the 10 fastest coasters in the US. It also takes you through a lot of greenery, which we don’t see in SoCal parks. I need to find some good synonyms for “thrilling”, but this ride was exactly that.
Racer – This coaster from 1927 blew my mind. Two cars race side by side, much like Gemini at Cedar Point, but this one is much more fun. What makes this ride particularly unusual is that even though it’s a racing coaster, it’s on one continuous track – when you finish, you find yourself on the other side of the boarding station. The cars criss-cross at the beginning, making for this unique and surprising design. A true highlight.
Thunderbolt – A great classic wooden coaster, originally built in 1924 and rebuilt and expanded in 1968. It’s extremely well padded – knees, side, back armrest – and not very bumpy. Loved it.
Jackrabbit – The oldest coaster in the park, built in 1920. It’s bumpier than the other two woodies, but still a good time.
Exterminator – An oddly themed indoor spinning wild mouse ride – you’re a rat (or perhaps a wild mouse?) trying to escape exterminators. It was a little like Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom, but rougher. Joel thought it was fine – I did not like it at all, and it was the only one of the day that hurt.
Kennywood Roller Coasters ridden: 6
Total for the tour after two parks: 21