10. "Crazy" is about the only word I can use to describe The Steel Curtain, Kennywood Park's new, record-breaking roller coaster. I got a ride as part of the park's "First Ride" day on Friday (the coaster officially opens to the public Saturday). On the descent up the steel thrill's hill from the lift station, I looked out over the Mon Valley to see nothing but the ravine and Mon River below.
The Steelers-themed train offers no enclosure, so riders are left feeling vulnerable — which is part of the thrill. Only a seat belt and lap bar hold passengers in. When I looked to my left, I saw what had to have been the steepest set of stairs I've ever seen. The faint sounds of that Steelers amp-up song "Renegade" by the Styx only added to the excitement up the lifthill.
After that, the entire ride was as heart-pumping as the final seconds of a Steelers-Ravens clash, with twists, turns and inversions only fit for the toughest football fans in the nation. The zero-G inversion was thrilling, but there wasn't much time to enjoy it as we roared into a set of corkscrews. Near the end of the ride is a bump akin to the bunny hops near the end of Phantom's Revenge.
I need a few more runs (preferably in the front and back seats) to better understand this coaster. But this ride, without a doubt, is stunning.
Some current and former Steelers players took a ride today, including Cam Heyward, Craig Wolfley, Matt Feiler and John Banaszak. At 6-feet, 6-inches tall and 330 pounds, ride staffers had to configure Feiler's seat to get him through. The self-described roller coaster enthusiast told me he enjoyed the ride.
I cannot wait for the rest of Steelers Nation to experience this thrill. Check out more of my takes, photos and videos from the experience on Twitter at @GoBobbo.
If you're heading to the park soon, let me know what you think of The Steel Curtain. And if you need a ride partner, reply — I've got a Kennywood season pass and plan to be there Saturday and Monday evening.