Wooden, Metal or I’d Rather Not Ride?

Roller Coaster connoisseurs have a preference I’m sure.  Some prefer solid ground and wait for family and friends while they ride.

I know our friends Rob and his son Bradley were touring the country, riding roller coasters in many states.  I even have a friend who told me tonight that she sat in the first car on the Phantom’s Revenge and I was in awe of her bravery.

That’s not for me but I’m fascinated by the lines of people waiting to get on and ride.  Summertime is the time for thrill rides at Amusement Parks and  if you live in Pittsburgh the place to go is Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, along the Monongahela River.

Thunderbolt is the big wooden roller coaster but there are two other wooden coasters- The Jackrabbit (built in 1920) and Racer, which is a double track wooden coaster.

One of the newer coasters is the Phantom’s Revenge.  You watch it go up, up, up to the peak and then drop.  Even though I’m not on it, I imagine what it is like, just before that steep drop and the rapid drop itself. You hear the screams.

Here’s a photo of the wooden Thunderbolt and the metal Phantom’s Revenge, photographed as my family waited to board the Turtle.

Both coasters make different sounds.

I rode The Jackrabbit last week and still can’t believe I actually went on it-

and yes, you do lift out of your seat, YIKES!

I’ve ridden the Thunderbolt and the Racer but that was when the kids were younger.

Here are a few photos of the Phantom’s Revenge

And the RACER.  You have to wonder why they have that big yellow sign- DON’T STAND UP!

And the kids loved the Pittsburgh Plunge, getting wet on a hot day didn’t seem to bother them.  It goes up slowly slowly and when it comes down…………….

16 thoughts on “Wooden, Metal or I’d Rather Not Ride?

  1. Dear Ruth,

    I have to say reading your Blog made me Smile, Laugh, Cry and made me full of Joy! Indeed my dad and I have seem many Amusement Parks and rode many Coasters. Im a member of the “American Coaster Enthusiasts” (ACE for short) ACE actually held an event @ KennyWood and in celebration they lit the neon on the Jack-Rabbit to read “ACE” .

  2. As a child I went on those old wooden coasters many times. We used to get free tickets from my uncle who designed and was the first to ride the Thunderbolt. They don’t make coasters like they used to.

  3. I love the old wooden roller coasters; the new metal ones make me feel like I’ve survived a car wreck. Here, at 6 Flags Great America, we’ve got the American Eagle. If you’re seated in the last car, it will actually lift off the tracks just beyond the top of the first big climb and begins its plunge downward. Fun stuff!

  4. I used to love the roller coasters: Thunderbolt, Jack Rabbit and The Racer. But you would not catch me on one now, especially Phatom’s Revenge. But it is what all the kids talk about when we go back to school. Thanks for the memories, Ruth!!

  5. All of these images are wonderful! I grew up somewhat close to Sandusky, Ohio – and spent some time nearly every summer at Cedar Point. I was afraid of the coasters until I was a freshman in high school – then rode one (despite my protests), but at that moment fell in love with them. I love it when I lift out of my seat – it feels like flying.,, Fond memories. Thank you for stirring them in me.

  6. There is no place like Kennywood Park. My grandchildren love it and we go there about three times a summer. Love how you captured the fun and excitement.


  7. As a kid our school picnic was at West View Park. I loved it! Kennywood was unknown to me until high school. Love every inch of Kennywood too.

  8. Love the nighttime photo with the paddleboats out front. I used to enjoy roller coaster rides, but not as much anymore. Loved this collection of photos, though!

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