Before I start this post, I want to express my sadness for the terrible events that took place at Kennywood, the night after Henry and I were there. Honestly, nothing related to gun violence is shocking or surprising anymore, but it’s still very much sad and maddening. It’s very fortunate that no one sustained life-threatening injuries, but the fact that a gun was even able to make it into Kennywood at all is a huge problem. The part that made me angry-laugh was that I actually thought, “Well, it sounds like it was at least just a regular gun and not an assault rifle” Because that’s where we are right now in America, I guess. “Thank god it was a least-bad type of gun.” “Oh, thank god it was just a dispute between people who knew each other and not a random mass shooting.” “Thank god that person was ‘just shot in the leg’ and nowhere worse.” I could go on and on but it’s the same effing story every damn time. Come the fuck on, America.
I hope everyone involved have speedy recoveries and no PTSD, though that’s one hell of a hope. :/
I haven’t been to Kennywood’s Fright Fest, or whatever they’re calling it now, since 2006. And as much as my appreciation for Kennywood has grown over the years, I gotta be real here: I am REALLY glad we didn’t pay for this. Since it was the Pass Holder preview or whatever, the crowds were fairly light and but the lines for the haunts were pretty long. I would have been a lot angrier about that if we had paid to get in.
I’ll save the haunt reviews for my WRITTEN JOURNAL that no one cares about, but I’ll just say here that we only did two – Villa of the Vampire and Malice in Wonderland – and the cemetery walk-thru.
The best part of Villa was standing in line (we did this right when we got there, well, ok, after Henry peed, so the line wasn’t too outrageous yet, maybe 25-30 minutes) was watching this little boy get totally pwned (do the kids still use this word? and by kids, I mean people who are now probably 35?) by the clowns at the entrance to one of the scare zones. He was acting so tough until one of them chased him and then he let loose the mots high-pitched shriek YA’LL EVER DID HEARD. He was super entertaining, especially when he asked some old man if he could borrow his cane to beat the clown!
Highlight of the Villa: Luca, the vampire in the beginning that I immediately imprinted on, and the old ass Vamp King who descended from his throne in order to get in my face and ask me to be his Queen.
“Sure, I’m single,” I shrugged.
Everything else was dumb and by “everything else” I mean the absolute nothingness that happened.
The sign was cool though.
Honestly though the best part was getting to ride the coasters, boiiii. Here we are in line for Jack Rabbit which was almost a walk-on.
Also – Chooch didn’t go with us because he was SO TIRED. And also, HIS PARENTS ARE LAME.
After this, we waited in line for the Alice in Wonderland thing for AN HOUR. Maybe longer. Apparently, it’s an upcharge on normal operating nights? I mean, there was a ticket booth, so I dunno. The line was pretty uneventful except for:
- annoying teenagers who bitched about their Pepsi tasting like Not Pepsi, Maybe Poison but still drinking it, taking pictures of each other for a solid minutes using the .5x option.
- little kid crying because he lost his spider ring and I totally knew where it was in line because I remember staring at it and willing it to come to life and infecting me with venom while Henry was talking about something dumbz0rz, but then his mom walked back through the line until she found it so I didn’t get to be a hero :(
- seeing one of the scare actors and realizing he used to work at Castle Blood.
- two skunks scuttling around the Steel Curtain area, looking for a food. An old man security guard kept watch.
- Old Man Security Guard asked the line attendant, “Is that group going in next?” she said yes. “Can I go with them?” she said yes. Now annoying teens with their annoying selfies and Poison Pepsi were going through a haunted house with a POPO lololol. They looked very not happy about this but the hilarious thing is that my takeaway from his exchange with the line attendant was that he was on his break and just genuinely wanted to check out a haunt. See what all these civilians were lining up for.
All I’ll say about this one is that immediately I was S T O K E D. The actors were very made-up, super into character, the room designs were immersive and creepy-whimsical, there were genuinely good jump scares, the Tea Party room was chaotic as it should be, there was a really great mirror illusion involving a banquet table, the Queen was scary….all of this happened in the first 5 minutes, so much to pack in! And then after the Queen, the exit to the Steelers County courtyard.
An hour in line for 5 minutes inside.
NOPE, KENNYWOOD. That’s not how this shit works are you new???
I would have been PISSED if I paid to get in, first of all, and then paid extra on top of that.
Man, so much potential with this one!
Then we had pizza and I was served some old-ass corner piece that was about 3/4 crust and Henry was like, “Do you want me to ask them for another piece?” and I said, “no” in my pouty tone, but then Henry asked anyway and the 12-year-old kid working was like, “I just put in a new cheese pizza, if you don’t mind waiting” and you know what? I did mind waiting, so I took my dumb crust piece and sulked off. Henry picked the pepperoni off of his slice and gave me half because he didn’t want the night to take a turn.
While we were eating, Old Man Security Guard strode by, shoveling the last quarter of a pizza slice into his bent back head and then stuff the paper plate into one of the clown trash cans in Kiddie Land.
“Wow, he is literally having the best night ever,” I said, watching him meander off toward another haunt. Love that for him.
Terrible haunts aside, it’s always nice to be at an amusement park on a chilly fall night, fog in the air, creepy lighting illuminating the paths. The scare zones were pretty fun, I will say.
This is actually where the shooting took place the next night. :(
Everyone knows by now that the real reason we went that night was to ride our One True Love, Phantom’s Revenge. <3
There were two young girls in the row next to us and the older one was seamlessly roping me into their conversation. She was telling me ALL KINDS OF STORIES like how Black Window broke down recently and everyone got stuck upside for an hour. I went along with it but Black Widow doesn’t go upside down and I’m pretty sure she’s confusing it with Aero360 which got stuck for 5 minutes earlier in the season.
I also told her I liked her shoelaces and Chooch would have been melting into the ground from the sheer force of the secondhand cringe.
But OH BABY Phantom in the pitch darkness on a chilly night, plummeting into darkness…this is the best part of Kennywood. This is why enthusiasts ALL OVER THE WORLD have Kennywood on their bucket list.
So damn good, it’s almost disgusting.
And it was FLYING that night. So smooth!! No back-crunching!
After that, we did Exterminator – lights out! I love this ride so much but the last couple of times I rode it, I started to not love it as much. Well, my love rebloomed last Friday because this was hands down the best ride I’ve ever had on it. I was scream-laughing SO HARD, ask Henry. Go on, ask him!
What else – we rode SWINGSHOT which has replaced Aero360 as my favorite flat ride. I love that stupid ride so much and I can’t believe that it was actually the LAST TIME I was at Fright Fest in 2006 that I ride it for the very first time with Kara and then quickly vowed to never ever ever ride that fucker again. I’m so glad I let Chooch talk me back on it when he was younger because wow, a trip to K-wood is not complete without at least one ride on this thing. My only complaint is that I am CERTAIN the cycles are shorter now and that makes me sad.
Also, I thought my ex-boyfriend Jeff was riding this with us but my eyes are bad and it probably wasn’t him. I mean, I haven’t seen him since the year we broke up (2001!!) so I wouldn’t really know what he looks like aside from what I see on Insta.
One more ride on Phantom and it was 10:30 already. Park closed at 11 but I was SHIVERING and Needy Chooch was texting us for food, god it’s always something with him!! J/k we love that pest.
Henry thought I was getting in line to go through the Vampire thing again and then we had a big laugh about that, lol.
The facade was so nice though! Maybe they just did a half-staff thing for pass holder preview but if that’s the case, that’s pretty rude.
P.S. I forgot about the cemetery. It was very very very tame but I enjoyed this ghost bitch wading in the green-lit fountain.