Phantom's Revenge began its life as the infamous "Steel Phantom", the world's
first inverting coaster feature a 200+ foot drop. Riders were hurled down the side of
a cliff at 80 mph before being sent through a series of brutal inversions.
With a first drop of 160-feet and a second of 225-feet, the ride achieved amazing speeds
before the final set of inversions, which proved to be a problem. The high speed and
rough track made the inversions too much for many riders to handle.
The ride consistently received bad press, being regarded as one of the roughest and least
enjoyable coasters in the world. While some still thought that Phantom was a great
ride, the negative opinions finally won over. In May of 2000, it was announced that
Steel Phantom would be removed, much to the shock of the coaster enthusiast community.
Kennywood kept everyone in the dark as to Steel Phantom's replacement until later that
season, when it was announced that it would be "Phantom's Revenge".
At the end of the 2000 season, Steel Phantom was transformed into its current state.
While Steel Phantom was originally designed and manufactured by Arrow Dynamics, Morgan
Manufacturing took over the task of re-profiling the ride into Phantom's Revenge.
The inversions were removed and replaced with terrain hugging bunny hops and turns. The
famous first and second drops were retained; track length increased from 3000 to
The trains were also modified; the uncomfortable over the shoulder restraints were ripped out
and replaced by lap bars and seatbelts. Although the same bodies are used, the trains
were highly modified with a sleeker and lower profile design. The ride still runs 2
trains, with 7 cars holding 4 passenger each for a total of 28 riders per train.
The ride begins by climbing the 160-foot tall lift-hill. From there riders make a sharp
dive to the right all the way back down to ground level. The track levels off and
travels down a straight away before climbing back above the station, 130-feet in the air.
At this point, the train makes a slight curve to the right before dropping 228-feet down a
The track passes right through the Thunderbolt, Kennywood's #1 rated wooden coaster,
providing some excellent visuals. Now traveling at over 80 miles per hour, riders
ascend up only to turn and plummet back down into the canyon. The train once again
passes right under the Thunderbolt, and then climbs out of the canyon through a tunnel dug
into the hillside.
Once the train pulls out of the tunnel, the ride levels off and makes a sharp curve around
the classic Turtle ride. Riders receive a sudden pop of airtime while negotiating the
pull out of the tunnel, and then are quickly shoved into their seats by the turn's heavy
positive g's. Next, the train navigates a small "speed bump" where
riders are again treated to an abrupt pop of air.
The ride then dives below the station and up into a double down, one of the most disorienting
elements on any ride. In this element, riders are popped out of their seats, slammed
down, only to pop up and then slam down all over again. Other variations of the
double down can be found on other coasters, but none are this extreme.
After negotiating the double down, the train swoops below grade for a ground-hugging turn
around that sends the train back towards the station. Riders are treated to a final
bunny hop, which gives another quick pop of airtime, before the ride concludes.
The new and improved Phantom's Revenge is widely regarded as a success. It combines
the older elements that made the original Steel Phantom great, while adding many
airtime-filled hills and ground-hugging turns that thrill seekers love.
Phantom's Revenge offers a wide array of elements that offer tons of airtime, amazing
speed, and intense forces. The ride is definitely among the elite when it comes to
world class coasters, combining all of the best attributes of other "larger" hyper
coasters with Kennywood's beautiful mountainous terrain.
Compared to other hyper coasters, Phantom's Revenge is fairly short, but the ride still
packs a punch that is hard to bear. Whether or not you enjoyed the former Steel
Phantom, you will most definitely enjoy Phantom's Revenge.
Intense drops and amazing speed
Many pops of airtime
Very good use of terrain
Short for a hyper coaster