Sunday, April 28, 2019

Kennywood Trip Report April 2019 & Steel Curtain Construction Update

The 2019 season is officially underway at Kennywood Park. This was the Season Passholder Preview weekend, in which most of the park's staple rides were open. Aside from the construction of Steel Curtain, there were not too many surprises. 
A view of the 160 foot first hill of Phantom's Revenge, with the height differential of Steel Curtain's 220 foot elevation visible in the background. 
The view of Steel Curtain from the main midway.
The little puddle in the drained lagoon gives us a preview of what this section of the midway will look like once Steel Curtain is completed and the lagoon is filled again. The construction workers were not doing aerial work on the coaster like we have shown in some of our previous construction updates, most of the work appeared to be working on the last tower area that will support the Drachen Fire Dive Drop . There has not been much visible track work done since our update from a week and a half ago. Both extremes of the turnarounds of the coaster look to be complete. 
I think that the coaster fits quite well within the park. It is tucked away enough in the corner that it does not intrude upon the majesty of Racer and maintains the classic feel of the park. 
The bridge, with one direction hosting an airtime hill, and the other direction having an inversion directly over the midway, will be extremely dramatic to see from the midway.

Jack Rabbit is entering its 99th season. It is incredible to think that this coaster has entertained generations of Pittsburgh for 99 summers. I wonder how many millions of riders have enjoyed this fantastic coaster, which still offers one of the finest moments of airtime of any coaster in the world.
The elegant Racer is entering its 92nd season. The station area of this coaster is truly a work of art and is possibly the prettiest station of any coaster ever made. The ride operators throughout the park were slowly, but diligently, working to learn the ropes of the job. I am excited to see them get into midseason form.
 This is about the only view of Steel Curtain that you can get through the station.
 Construction workers hard at work on Steel Curtain.
 Steel Curtain is absolutely giant. We are eagerly anticipating completion of the ride, which looks like it will take until at least mid-summer.

 My guess is that this clear of a view of the far turnaround of Jack Rabbit will not be visible within a week, once the leaves fully grow in.
 A view of Steel Curtain through Jack Rabbit
 Jack Rabbit is such a joy to ride. 
 Double-down drop time!
 First drop again!
 Kennywood impeccably maintains their wooden classics. As per usual, large sections of all three of the park's wooden roller coasters were systematically redone. 
 It will be so much fun gawking at Steel Curtain from Jack Rabbit's queue line once it is completed.
 I noticed that the roof of the station at Jack Rabbit no longer has its cool neon lighting. 
Hopefully the neon comes back later in the season

 A view of the entire footprint of Steel Curtain.

 Phantom's Revenge zipping by Traver's classic Turtle
There is nothing like watching the sheer joy of riders on Thunderbolt. This section of the midway at Kennywood epitomizes what is great about amusement parks. It is wonderful hearing the screams of the riders, the sound of a train rushing by, enjoying some yummy and greasy Potato Patch fries, and the overall serenity and relaxation that classic amusement parks offer. 

 With the central location of Steel Curtain, 
  This spot is going to be an epic observation point.
 I can't wait to ride this eccentric coaster. It is difficult to gauge the feel of how this coaster will ride. It is so radically different from anything out there.
 I wonder what is happening at this point. If they are refabricating track or doing some redesign work.
This photo from two weeks ago shows this section prior to the track being removed.
The bridge should offer some wild airtime.
 We had to get our obligatory ride on the park's stunning Dentzel Carousel. The Wurlitzer Organ sounded especially great.
 Dogwoods and Kennywood's carousel, two of my favorite things.
 The park's classic Huss Enterprise is so great.
 Phantom beginning to descend down the finest second drop in the history of roller coasters.
 Another view of Phantom's train getting ready to descend its cliff drop. Happy Spring!
 More fresh track work, this time on Thunderbolt.
Overall, we had a great visit to Kennywood. We eagerly await the completion of construction on Steel Curtain.