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Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

P. 157: Kangaroo returning for the 2022 season!

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11172/1155159-56.stm

 

If Kennywood officials decide the price is right for their Pitt Fall drop ride, the experience of plummeting 251 feet toward earth at 65 mph -- and living to tell about it -- could be a memory at the West Mifflin amusement park.

 

International Rides Management, a Wildwood, N.J.-based brokerage company, listed the Pitt Fall for sale on its Facebook page last week. The agency has sold other rides for Kennywood in the past.

 

Kennywood spokesman Jeff Filicko on Monday confirmed the sale. "We are currently exploring our opportunities for selling the Pitt Fall," he said. "But that is in no way an indication as to whether or not the ride will be removed or remain in the park for next season."

 

The black and gold Pitt Fall, which was the tallest free-fall ride in the world when it opened in 1997, has experienced declining ridership, he said. It works on a system of pulleys and magnets, which form a strong magnetic field that smoothly slows the ride about 70 feet above the ground. Sixteen people can ride at a time.

 

IRM Vice President Sam Shurgott said Kennywood has expressed interest in a potential replacement ride for the Pitt Fall if it can be sold. No price was listed.

 

"Kennywood is a tightly packed park, and unfortunately that means some attractions have to be taken out to bring in something new," Mr. Shurgott said. "But what will replace the Pitt Fall will surely pack a punch."

 

Still the Pitt Fall has its fans.

 

"I don't want to see the Pitt Fall leave the park because it's honestly a good thrill," said Andrew Fedor, 28, of Ben Avon. "It keeps Kennywood up to date with other amusement parks and the suspense is fun. It's just a good time."

 

Amusement park message boards were buzzing Monday as ride enthusiasts speculated what might replace the Pitt Fall. Many suggested that a giant swing ride similar to Cedar Point's new WindSeeker attraction is the most likely candidate.

 

But Mr. Shurgott disagreed. "Kennywood looks for new rides that don't exist within neighboring markets," he said. "The ride they're looking for is much better than the WindSeeker."

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^Well I'd better get a ride in on Pitt Fall when I go for my marching band this August. I never rode a drop tower before, mainly because I had no desire to until last year with band. It was right after the parade and some of my friends and I rushed to Pitt Fall to get a night ride, but then it started raining and lightning was flashing across the sky, so we decided against riding.

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http://www.wpxi.com/news/28461193/detail.html

 

Kennywood officials announced on Wednesday that they’ll be holding “Holiday Lights” in December at the park.

 

The park will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on select days, with activities including a light show featuring tens of thousands of lights set to holiday songs.

 

The park is scheduled to be open Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The show will take place around the lagoon several times each night, officials said.

 

"Having a holiday event at Kennywood is something we've been talking about for years. It really wasn't considered a serious idea until this year," said Kennywood spokesman Jeff Filicko.

 

Guests can also enjoy the Carousel, Kangaroo, Paratrooper, a newly holiday themed Olde Kennywood Railroad and several rides in Kiddieland.

 

"With holiday lights, it's great because now we get to visit Kennywood in December and even ride some rides which is kind of cool," said Kennywood visitor Bill Linkenheimer.

Food will also be available, including kettle corn, s’mores, a variety of hot drinks and Potato Patch Fries.

 

Parking will be free and there will be a small admission fee yet to be determined, officials said.

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Thanks Adam! Sounds interesting, but I hope that small entrance fee is really, REALLY small since the activities usually associated with a visit to Kennywood will be severely limited by the cold weather, and I'm sure people will find a way to feel disappointed or even complain about this. It would still be awesome to see the park decked out in Christmas lights.

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  • 2 weeks later...

During my last visit to the park a couple weeks back I rode Pitt Fall, and was reminded why that thing is my favorite drop tower that I've ridden so far. I do understand the reasoning for putting it up for sale, and don't blame the park one bit for doing so. It's just a little sad to me, as that has been one of the most recognizable symbols of Kennywood (along with the Phantom) since 1997. There's nothing like crossing the Rankin Bridge and glancing to the left and seeing Phantom's lift and the towering Pitt Fall. I plan on riding it some more this season, in case this is in fact its last. Whenever it does leave, it will be missed!

 

I'm definitely curious what replacement the park has in mind if/when it does sell.

 

Also curious what some TPR opinions will be of Sky Rocket when the Road to Cedar Point trip rolls through Kennywood.

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I was there the same day the Christmas event was mentioned on the news and they had a couple of over-sized presents wrapped with a sign mentioning the new event over by the merry-go-round. Should be great for the park!

 

I was surprised to see Pitt-Fall running when we were there, but stupid me by-passed it the first time and then we never made it back over to ride it before the park closed (we were only there a couple of hours for the star-lite). I really hate to see that go though, as the Intamin's make some great drop towers and that one is in a prime location.

 

Sky Rocket was a great ride and a wonderful addition for the park. While not quite as exciting as I thought it was originally going to be, it's still a fun, compact, original coaster which I'm sure will be well received on the TPR tour. It's a great compliment to the park's coaster line-up!

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I am surprised that they don't have exterminator and the dark rides open in december as well.

 

Exterminator, Ghostwood Estate, and Noah's Ark are all a little further back in the park. From what I understand and from the map we received at the media announcement, guests will not be permitted back that far into the park during the event. The area is not set in stone yet, but don't count on venturing back much further than the Parkside Cafe and Kiddieland. Garfield's Nightmare of course would be a bad idea with potentially freezing temperatures...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey sorry to change the subject rather abruptly, but has anyone heard about the new expansion plans for Kennywood announced back in 2005; and does anyone know the status of the Mon-Valley expressway?

 

One of the reasons I have been thinking about this is attributed to the statements Kennywood has been making, such as, when Kennywood said that plans were "in the works" to bring back the Turnpike. First thing I wondered: Where the heck are they going to put it if not in the new land? Also they made another statement about the Pitt Fall replacement, "The ride we are searching for is better than the WindSeeker (@ CP)"

 

This got my ears to perk up. It's probably just be PR, but you have to wonder if they have some master-plan behind all this. They definitely have the money, having been acquired by Parques Reunidos, and it was stated back in 2005 that Bruce D. Robinson design group was hired to design the expansion/ look at possibilities. Yet we heard of nothing since.

 

I decided to venture down the new bike trail, to take a tour of Kennywood's new property, and imagine the possibilities of what they could include. I took some pictures along the way...

 

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I have been in the valley that Kennywood was looking at. I'm not sure if the sale was ever completed, but the warehouses and other buildings used to be a maintenance facility for a local railroad servicing the steel industry. While it still runs, the warehouses have been abandoned for decades. It is a pretty creepy place to be, but you never know what Kennywood might be able to do with it. The main issue would likely be getting guests into and out of the valley, as there is an elevation difference of over 100 feet.

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The main issue would likely be getting guests into and out of the valley, as there is an elevation difference of over 100 feet.

 

I'd be happy with a coaster similar to Kings Island's The Beast being built on the hill and into the valley there. No need to expand the midway. haha

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The main issue would likely be getting guests into and out of the valley, as there is an elevation difference of over 100 feet.

 

Sky Ride, Escalator, Elevator, Funicular Railway. There are options.

Although I'd vote for a one way drop tower, now that would be unique.

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I'm not sure if the sale was ever completed...

I got a personalized tour of the park back in winter of 06. I do not remember the specifics of the conversation, but he made it sound as if the deal was either final, or going to be final. Either way, even if this ravine is just used to drop roller coasters into, I think this would be a foolish mistake to pass up this opportunity on their doorstep. Besides, if Kennywood has been buying property in the neighborhood directly behind the Exterminator, why wouldn't they buy this property? It seems like a much better investment, considering how they're not guaranteed that everyone in the neighborhood will move out right away.

 

Now the following may be indicators of who owns what property. The same type of fence that was constructed at the base of the Phantom ravine, was also present along the ravine of this new property. It could be just installed as part of the Steel-Valley heritage trail, but maybe not. Also, there was PVC drainage piping on the abandoned structures installed. As far as I know, PVC was not used back when these structures were built, and the piping looks recent. This indicates that whoever owns the property, is looking to maintain those structures. This was directly in line with Kennywood's interests.

 

Another rumor I heard, from a local resident of West Miffilin, stated that Kennywood was looking to relocate Sandcastle into this ravine. As a coaster enthusiast, I this is a poor decision if it's true (but I doubt it is). Granted, guests may be able to have access to two parks at once, but this limits any hopes of expansion for the park itself. Plus, they would have to spend mounds of dollars disassembling, transporting, and reassembling all of those water rides, and they are not getting anything new out of this! Additionally, what will they do with that leftover property????

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  • 3 weeks later...

I stopped by the park yesterday and for once in my life I actually saw what many people have been saying about Kennywood in action. I noticed more people at the park NOT having fun then those who actually WERE. I was disappointed at how many people I saw on the Racer sitting there and merely tolerating it. Not what I like to think of Kennywood as... But what really put me over the top was when my group was accused of line jumping by some older couple on the Exterminator. We had seen people further ahead of us in line that we were messing with. So we decided to wait for maybe a few minutes at the doorway in the queue for them to exit the ride, letting maybe 20 people pass us in line so we could carry out our joke and have some fun, we never exited the line, we knew this, no line jumping occurred. It was disheartening to say the least. Especially since the couple went ahead of us in line and it didn't affect their position in line anyways. We explained our story and after much to do we were finally allowed on the ride, I thanked the ride operators and we were on our way. A little ridiculous.. I'm glad the operators at least had some sense. (I was prepared to give a passionate coaster enthusiasts speech if things got out of hand!)

 

Overall though, I had one of the best days in recent memory there. I got there at around 5:30 but still had tons of fun. Even if our group was the only one to have any.. The lines were surprisingly long for the last weekend in August. Operations were scattered from ride to ride, Phantom wait was into the first set of turnstyles, yet the wait was only around 20 or 30 minutes tops.

 

But I was disappointed that so many people were clearly not enjoying themselves. Kennywood's charm really is going down the drain, which is now noticeable the second you walk in the park. I'd take general improvements over a new ride next year if it means Kennywood gains back some of its atmosphere. I can honestly say it wouldn't bother me if they replaced the Pitt Fall with the old Phantom Phlyers, or something similar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry if im being a bit off topic here but I have a question-

 

I know that Kennywood has the ride Noah's Ark and was a common ride back in the day. But does anyone know of any other operating examples out there? I know Blackpool's Noah's ark is still there, but its being used as a park entrance, but thats all I know.

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Holiday lights look pretty cool. I would love to ride Kangaroo in December! I mean, I've been on coasters and flat rides at the park during October in the snow and I couldn't imagine how cold it would be in December! Operating big coasters and flat rides don't seem like much of an option, but a few flats and kiddie rides make it a solid family event.

 

On another note, I will be sad if Pitt Fall leaves. I've only ridden it a few times, but I have great memories of the first time I rode it. It was about 2 A.M. during Phantom Fright Nights, and having no idea how tall it was the drop surprised the heck out of me. A great night cap to a great night at the park. It's still one of my favorite Intamin towers and has a great name!

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The removal has just been confirmed by the Tribune-Review: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailynewsmckeesport/s_756913.html

 

The end of Kennywood's regular summer season this year also will mark the end of one of its most visible rides.

 

The West Mifflin amusement park's Pitt Fall drop tower, at 251 feet high, will see its last day of operation Sunday, the same day the park closes out its regular summer season.

 

The Pitt Fall was installed in the park in 1997. Kennywood put the tower on the market back in June.

 

Kennywood spokesman Jeff Filicko would not disclose who is purchasing the drop tower but confirmed it is not being retained by any of the amusement parks owned by Kennywood's parent company, Palace Entertainment.

 

A new attraction will take the place of the Pitt Fall, according to Filicko.

 

Park-goers who purchase a full-price admission at the main gate Sunday will receive a complimentary barbecue dinner from the park for dining in the picnic grove.

 

The following week, Kennywood opens its 10th annual Phantom Fright Nights. The Halloween-themed series runs Friday and Saturday nights, beginning Sept. 30, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., with an additional night Sunday, Oct. 9, from 7 to 11 p.m.

 

In December, the park is expected to kick off its first ever Kennywood Holiday Lights festival.

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