I went with my wife, a friend, and his 6 year old son.
So after several false starts (Speeding ticket in Portage County, Penna Turnpike shut down for 12 hours, wrong turn in downtown Pittsburgh, 6-year-old carsickness) we finally arrive at the park at around 1PM, 2 hours later than planned.
I get a friendly razzing at the gate by the employees for wearing a GL shirt. We get in the gate, get our bearings and head straight towards Jack Rabbit, stopping only for Corn Dogs and Fries (very tasty, less than $13 for two Corn Dogs, an order of Fries, and the Souvenir Cup). On several people's recommendations, this is my and my friend's son's first "full-size" coaster.
Jack Rabbit: The queue was short, 20-25 minutes. The ride could use a bit of paint and the station ceiling is sagging a bit (most people wouldn't notice). But I'm sure that Thunderbolt got the paint budget for this year, being an anniversary year and all.
So for a first coaster, I am very glad I hunted down a Miller. The ride was smooth, not a ton of shuffling, and great laterals and positive G's at the bottom of dips through the top of the next rise with a nice pop at the top of each. However, I have found out that negative G's really, really, really don't agree with me.
This is me normally:
This is me experiencing Neg-G's:
Yes, that is a 6-year-old sitting next to me and being calmer than I.
So future visits to parks will be primarily me using smaller coasters like the Jack Rabbit to desensitize me to neg-G's to the point that I'm no longer shaking for an hour afterwards from adrenaline.
Paratrooper: Great flat with some fun, once I get over my acrophobia. (One really has to wonder why I like amusement parks so much...)
Kangaroo: Holy cow someone needs to make more of these. A great rush of pos-G's, a pop of air, repeat. Just great fun in general.
Bayern Kurve: Again, more of these need to be in public. A little too much shuffle for my tastes at first, but once it gets up to speed and tilts in, it's a great ride. The horn really adds that little something to the ride. Now this is why I like amusement parks.
After taking in the Bayern Kurve, it was my turn to watch The Boy™ while the Wife and my friend tried out the Cosmic Chaos. I've been informed this is definitely something I would enjoy, and hope to take in the Mega Vortex on a trip to Waldameer later this year.
Turnpike: While they waited for Cosmic Chaos, The Boy™ and I took in the Turnpike. Nice for an Antique Cars ride, and I was suprised at how well they managed to work in the advertising without it sticking out like a sore thumb.
Garfield's Nightmare: Okay, that whole advertising sticking out like a sore thumb? Ruined this completely. A cool concept, and the 3D glasses were a cool idea, but not very spooky for anyone over 4, and anyone under 4 would likely not know Garfield well enough to get some of the jokes. I could just be missing the point, though.
Olde Kennywood Railroad: Was expecting just a quiet ride above the river and through some woods, but instead got a neat tour on the history of the park.
Log Jammer: It's a Log Flume, I'm acrophobic, and we've already discussed Neg-G's and I. Let's just say I closed my eyes and got wet, and other than a brief bit of panic at the top of the two hills, it was fun.
Racer: Here we go... Coaster #2.... and the seats are too narrow for my wife. No way in &*%$ I'm riding alone, so we go get some lemon-water posing as lemonade, while my friend and The Boy™ have a lot of fun. They said it was slightly rougher than the Jack Rabbit, but with less Neg-G's and more lateral/Pos-G's. I will have to attempt this solo on my next trip.
Parkside Cafe: $13 for two HUGE sandwiches (these were no footlongs from Subway, but they were stuffed well and made of good meat & cheese) with potato/pasta salad sides and a refill on the pop. While it's definitely not food I'd drive for by itself, it's definitely where I'm having dinner next time I'm there.
At this point we go and let The Boy™ run around KiddieLand for a bit and sit down while the lights come on. Everyone commented on what a beautiful park it is with the trees during the day and the lights at night. Absolutely gorgeous.
Turtle: I'm not sure if rocking it back and forth to get it over the first hill is normal or not, but once this gets going it's a lot more oomph than the name "Turtle" suggests. I'm so happy that we have not one, but two and possibly eventually three of these within a reasonable distance. Like the Bayern Kurve, someone needs to make a modern version of these and bring them back into vogue.
The Whip: Again, this is why I love amusement parks. It definitely packs a bigger punch than it looks!
Musik Express: Everything I remember the GL one to be and more. Perfect way to end the night, though the cycles were a little bit short.
Didn't get on a lot today, but everything I did get on was quality. Heard rumors of a restraint failure on Phantom that brought in upper management, and the Huss Top Spin, King Kahuna, was not only not running, but I saw no maintenance or anyone near it whenever I walked past.
Next trip I'm definitely working in time for the Ghostwood Estate, the Carousel, and some power riding on the Bayern Kurve. Also, as much as Phantom sticks out, it's obvious that in that corner of the park, Thunderbolt is the star of the show. I can't wait to work my way up to it.