Day Off: Kennywood

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jun 19, 2014

Filed under: Personal 34 comments

I won’t be around tomorrow. I’ll be at Kennywood park. I think of it as someplace I’ve visited “a lot”, but as we were planning the trip I realized I’ve done 20 laps around the sun since my last visit. I don’t know where the time goes. It just goes.

Last time I was there was for a company picnic of that one job I lost. Heather and I were still dating. No kids. The only C source code I’d even seen was stuff I wrote myself. Which is really stange to think about. Does anyone ever find themselves in that position these days? I can’t imagine.

Anyway. No content for you. Have a good weekend.


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34 thoughts on “Day Off: Kennywood

  1. Damn you Shamus, for a split second there I thought the guys at South Park had made a Kenny themepark…

  2. Amarsir says:

    Of all the signs you’re getting old, that’s gotta be the biggest one. “Oh I was just there … um … 20 years ago.”

    1. Blockenstein says:

      This. A thousand times this. And it hurts me a little bit, on the inside, every time. Every time.

      1. MrGuy says:

        The worst is having a moment like this and realizing it was also FULLY HALF YOUR LIFETIME ago.

      2. Bryan says:

        …still makes me sad, 3 years later. Jurassic Park is now 21. :-/

        1. syal says:

          …I wonder how much alcohol a T-Rex can handle.

        2. Mersadeon says:

          For me the weird thing is: I know all of those “oh god I’m getting old” movies from my childhood, even though I’m way younger, because they had so many reruns on TV. Hell, I know the movies of the generation before me better than the ones from my generation. I wasn’t much of a cinema-goer so the ones I saw on TV are stuck in my mind. Jurassic Park is almost as old as I am.

          1. Pop culture was just beginning to fragment at the time, so even the less-than-awesome movies of the 80’s-2000’s probably cast a larger pop culture shadow than Avatar (the film) or JJ Abrams’ Star Trek.

            Kind of like how decades later, we’re still doing Mario jokes in webcomics. Even the “Will it run Crysis” running gag has fallen by the wayside while Zero Wing, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Zelda memes still make appearances.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “No content for you. ”

    Oh come on.At least bring a camera so you can film your rollercoaster going off rails and smashing around humans waiting in line.

    1. Mintskittle says:

      Is that where the Bowlercoaster ended up? I should really spend some of my vacation time, take a trip back east, see what’s what.

  4. evileeyore says:

    Yeah, it happens to me all the time these days. I think that’s the biggest sign you’ve hit your 40’s *, you start talking about stuff that seems like yesterday and then someone (or yourself) mentions it was twenty years ago.

    * Not that 40 is old, nope, still young like a spring chicken… just one of them spring chickens that’s like 20 years older than all the other spring chickens… so, umm, a well seasoned spring chicken.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Aye: the way I think of it is that … if we lived on Saturn, we’d still all be toddlers.

      Toddlers mashed into a bloody pulp due to pressure & gravity, yes. Granted. But we’d be young bloody pulps, and I think that’s the main thing.

  5. arron says:

    Have a great time reliving the world 0x14 sidereal periods hence!

  6. KMJX says:

    High quality non-content from Shamus.
    How unusual.

  7. Chris says:

    I worked at Kennywood in the game booths for four summers a decade ago. I haven’t been back since, though that’s mostly because I don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore.

    Many games (Pong Pool, U-Can) have a trick that makes them pretty easy to win with a little bit of practice. Throwing games (Bottle Game) tend to be pure skill, though. We’d have regulars that would show up at the park several times over the the summer to win a car-full of giant prizes because they knew these tricks. If it’s not busy, you could ask anyone experienced working at the game (i.e. blue badge) to demonstrate it for you. Once I learned it, I liked showing off the trick to guests when they asked.

    Maybe it’s changed since back then, but if you want more value out of your skeeball tickets at the Penny Arcade, get them a little wet (think water rides). They’ll weigh them instead of running them through the ticket counting machine and the water increases the weight.

    The Raging Rapids water is absolutely disgusting, especially towards the end of the season. I recommend staying away from that one.

    If you want to cool off, go to the fudge shop. During my time at Kennywood this was the only AC available to guests. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to buy fudge if you plan on getting some. Everyone does this, so it gets really busy.

    1. Do Ski-Ball games use tickets anymore? I thought they were going to printed tickets with barcodes on them these days.

      And those suck because they’re on thermal paper. Keep ’em out of the sun if you want them to work next time.

  8. Jokerman says:

    Not spending to much time around my PC lately anyway… to hot. Have fun Shamus.

  9. J Greely says:

    Only 20 years? The last time I went to an amusement park, they were filming an episode of The Brady Bunch.


  10. Steve C says:

    I realized that my younger cousin’s kids are now older than he was when he had them. Which means he’s old enough to be a grandfather… which means I’m old enough to be a grandfather. I haven’t been in contact with him since then so for all I know he IS a grandfather. I’m still thinking “I’d like to have kids, one day, maybe… if I find someone.”

    Plus I think back to things that happened in school and then I realize I’ve been out of school for longer than I was in it. I think back to one girl in school I liked who had a kid. Then I realize that kid will now be older than the girl was at the time. Sobering thoughts.

  11. Paul Spooner says:

    Enjoy your weekend vacation!

    Company picnic huh? That takes me back. Haven’t been on a company picnic in… years now.
    Considering it for a moment, it seems that my enjoyment of the work environment is inversely correlated to frequency of company picnics… Maybe I just enjoy keeping work and leisure isolated?
    Anyone else have similar experiences?

  12. Morgan says:

    It’s changed a lot since you last went. By the way, the phantom doesn’t give you whiplash anymore, so you know, its actually safe to ride.

    1. Funny. I rode the Steel Phantom back when it was till super dangerous. This new “not the steel phantom” phantom (“Phantom’s Revenge”) is meh. I usually judge how enjoyable a roller coaster is by how many people getting off of it seem happy/excited (thank you Roller Coaster Tycoon). That one? MOST of the people getting off are very unhappy or trying not to puke.

      For me it would have been more enjoyable if I hadn’t been working the day before and been doing a lot of lifting- it is super hard on the neck, especially if you are small like me. Funny story about it: There was a grandmother and 9 yr old granddaughter behind us. As were climbing, climbing, climbing the first hill the grandmother was chanting, “This is high. This is high. THIS is high. This is HIGH.” The whole rest of the ride the little girl was shouting, “Grandma! I’m not in my seat! Grandma! NOT in my SEAT!!!” And I totally get that. I spent 2/3 of the ride flying out of my seat. Meanwhile Es, who is 5’7″ had no such problem. Apparently it is only an issue if you are short.

      1. Dan Efran says:

        The old Steel Phantom was the most painful, un-fun rollercoaster ride I’ve ever experienced. The new Phantom’s Revenge is butter-smooth by comparison, but overall a pretty generic coaster. Kennywood’s vintage wooden coasters are much more worthwhile.

        Also, their “Exterminator” isn’t super awesome, but it’s a very unusual type of ride, probably worth checking out if you’re interested in novel ride technologies.

  13. Strangeite says:

    I am a Disney nerd and mastered the art of theme park touring. There are certain basic principals that work at any park.

    1) Arrive before rope drop. Getting there before the park opens and being one of the first through the gates will drastically reduce the amount of time you will wait in line. It is a compounding effect throughtout the day. I did a study of the Magic Kingdom wherein two different groups followed the same touring plan, the only difference is group A showed up early and was at the front of the pack when the park opened. So, group B arrived at the first ride 10 minutes behind Group A. The result was that Group B waited almost 2 hours more in line by the end of the day.

    2) It is more important to hit low capacity attractions early than popular attractions. When the park opens, everyone might be running to SuperPopularCoaster2000 but if it has an hourly capacity of 1800 and KiddieBoatRide has an hourly capacity of only 750, you will want to scratch KiddieBoatRide off the list first.

    3) Zig when others are zagging. Crowds are heaviest usually after lunch, because people sleep in and arrive late. So while everyone else is waiting in huge lines in the heat of the day, find something else to do. Take a break, get out of the sun, take a nap under a shade tree.

    4) Have a plan. Particularly for the first couple of hours. Don’t be that family that walks in, looks at the map and says “So what do you want to do?”

    I know nothing about this theme park but hopefully the above will help you have an enjoyable time.

    EDIT: It looks like the rides at Kennywood are listed in the Roller Coaster Database, so you can find the hourly capacities there.

    1. Akri says:

      Those are some awesome tips. Wish I’d known those back when my family went to Busch Gardens every year!

      One thing I did learn: the slightest bit of rain makes makes park goers vanish. It started lightly drizzling once, and suddenly I could get on just about any ride I wanted without standing in line.

  14. SyrusRayne says:

    “… as we were planning the trip I realized I've done 20 laps around the sun since my last visit. ”

    And now you’re even older.

    1. Powergrout says:

      Don’t let’s start!

  15. Patrick the terribly offended says:

    I took you and Heather there for MY company picnic when you still owned the Ccavalier, were making objects for Circle of Fire, Heather was still at SRU and I was dating Emotionally Crippled girl #14. I remember this well because we had to leave early because ECG14 had..err…uhh…female issues?

    I am offended you do not remember this gesture of goodwill and brotherhood I bestowed upon you. As penance, I will now tell your blog readers that you slept with a stuffed rabbit until you were 12, at one point of bachelorhood ate nothing but Chex mix for 6 months and once dated a girl that thought Paris was a foreign COUNTRY.

    1. Sougo says:

      Shamus, why ISN’T there a like button on your blog!?

  16. Hope you’re having fun!

    One of these days I’ll go back to the theme parks of my youth (Six Flags and White Water), but going to the new Diagon is higher on the list (even though it’s 8+ hours away and the other two are maybe 30 min). Just be careful, your head bouncing around can trigger a migraine (found that one out the hard way on the first coaster of the day at Universal).

  17. MichaelG says:

    Shamus must be gone by now. Let’s fill up the comments with cat pictures again.

  18. Don’t forget to take care of the sniper on the Roller Coaster, but not until you get your bonnet and the incinerator from the Powder Gangers in the hotel.

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