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Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

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The whole beer thing is really bizarre - is the Pittsburg area really that conservative when it comes to issues like that? Most major parks sell beer without any issues so I am surprised that they are making it seem like such a big one there!


Pittsburgh isn't, but unfortunately most of the rest of the state is, and the state sets the regulations, not the city. Pittsburgh is really an anomaly in a mostly -very- conservative state.




As someone that grew up in PA, this quote from a book I read recently pretty much sums it up: Pennsylvania - Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburg on the other, and Kentucky in between.



I love PA's natural beauty, it has some truly wonderful areas, and Pittsburgh is by far my favorite city I've ever been to, but I recently heard the center of the state just referred to as Pennsyltuckey and I can't stop using that term now. I vacation there every summer (a couple days at Knoebels, a couple days for other parks, then on to Pittsburgh for a convention), and this year a part of my group of friends stopped for lunch at a McDonalds just outside of Altoona. The place looked like a bad parody of the deep south, and one of my friends was harangued while she waited at the counter by a three-toothed woman for carrying "one'a dem Obumma spy-phone tings!" around (her cell phone). Could not get out of that area quickly enough.

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^I have quite the amazing McDonald's story from when I was driving to Knoebel's a few years ago, but I only tell it at parties and speaking engagements.


That part of PA is terrifying. I'm sure most of the people there do believe that cell phones are the devil's tool or something equally bizarre.


Pittsburg is cool, though. I do need to get back to Kennywood some time. It's been a few years.



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Not that I've ever lived anywhere else, but I have no problems with Pittsburgh. While some of the suburbs may be a little questionable, the city itself is quite nice, at least in my opinion. I have no strong desire to leave or anything like that (and I'm in a suburb). Besides, I'm not sure I could live with Kennywood not being my home park any more. On another note, if you haven't been to Kennywood lately, you should definitely pay the park a visit. If nothing else, a ride or two on Black Widow would likely make it well worth the visit. Just expect up to a two hour wait, depending on the day (or get a VIP Thrill Tour pass for Black Widow).

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting post from Screamscape this morning.

2014/2015 - New Coaster - Rumor - (12/21/12) The latest rumor from Kennywood spies claims that the park may opt to remove the Raging Rapids ride along with the Kennywood Railroad to make room for a new roller coaster in the years to come. The combined plots of land, that start off right next to each other near Thunderbolt, would open up a nice narrow pathway all along the back of the back over to where the Rainroad turns around behind the Log flume, which would be just perfect for an out and back style coaster layout.

Speaking of the coaster layout… the early rumor is that Kennywood may be looking into adding their own Wood/Steel Hybrid coaster project from Rocky Mountain, complete with inversions that could arrive in 2014 or 2015. Stay tuned!


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:roll: This is nothing more than a rumor that's been spreading around for weeks now. I asked Kennywood's P.R. director about it, and he said that to his knowledge there is no truth to this.


But if it is true, do you really think he would've said, "Oh, dang it, someone found out? Well, yep, I guess the cat's out of the bag. There goes that."?

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Went to Kennywood on a slower-than-usual Saturday during mid-July, and both water rides had longer lines then any other ride(Yes, Even Phantom with 1train). Both had lines through the queues and out onto the midways. I'm not "in the know", but I know Raging Rapids & Log Jammer are still quite popular.


Funny though:Not to long ago, I was thinking of how Kennywood could build an Invert towards the back of the park.

Overall idea, nothing fancy just a "quick" sketch of a possibility. A terrain hugging invert would be great.


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  • 3 weeks later...



Carl Hughes wrote the slogan for Kennywood's Kiddieland -- the one that reads "The most beautiful music in the world is the sound of children laughing."


In the five-plus decades that he worked at Kennywood -- rising from part-time publicity assistant to president and chairman of the board -- Mr. Hughes worked tirelessly to make his words come true.


"He was the man who truly created Kennywood," said Harry Henninger, who retired as Kennywood's chief executive officer when the park was sold in 2008. "He made it his mission to make it a much greater place, and he achieved it."


Mr. Hughes died Saturday of heart failure in his Mount Washington home. He was 91.


He was born in Johnstown and graduated from Geneva College. He started working as a sportswriter for The Pittsburgh Press in 1943, covering the makeshift wartime "Card-Pitts" football team that was the amalgamation of the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers.


The team -- which badly lost all 10 games it played -- was nicknamed the Carpets by Mr. Hughes and other sportswriters, recalled Mr. Hughes' close friend and fellow sportswriter Roy McHugh.


Mr. Hughes broke the story of the University of Pittsburgh football coach Clark Shaughnessy moonlighting as a coach of the Washington Redskins -- a story that got him both kicked out of the Pitt locker room and a $5 raise from his editor, recalled Mr. McHugh in a written remembrance.


He also covered boxing for the Press, befriending Art Rooney Sr., who owned a Downtown boxing club as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Mr. Rooney nicknamed him "The Mighty Atom" -- a nod to his short stature, according to a 1999 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profile.


In addition to sportswriting, Mr. Hughes sometimes would help a friend who was in charge of publicity for Kennywood with writing news releases.


Mr. Hughes' work with both the Press and Kennywood was put on hold when he was drafted into the Army at the end of World War II and sent to the Philippines.


He returned in 1947, staying employed at the Press and taking on the publicity work for Kennywood as a part-time job. In 1956, concerned about supporting his wife and two daughters on a newspaper salary, Mr. Hughes joined Kennywood full time.


His initial job of coordinating park sales and publicity changed dramatically three years later, when Mr. Hughes' boss, Carl Henninger, died of a heart attack, and Mr. Hughes was made manager of the park.


Around that time, said Harry Henninger, who starting working at the park in 1963, Kennywood was considered just an average amusement park with average facilities. Mr. Hughes aspired to turn it into something more.


A natural historian, he campaigned -- successfully -- for its inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places, making it in 1987 the first amusement park to receive that distinction.


He also had a "constant drive for perfection" and a vision for "keeping the park beautiful," Mr. Henninger said. "It wasn't just a roller coaster, it was a feeling that you wanted to have throughout the park for family entertainment."


Mr. Hughes often worked six or seven days a week.


He never left the park for the day without complimenting at least one employee on a job well done, said his daughter, Mary Lou Rosemeyer, even if that meant wandering the park at night looking for a ride attendant treating a guest particularly well.


He considered himself just one of Kennywood's many team members and on busy days when employees had to use satellite parking offsite, he would, too. "He did that even when he was 80," said Ms. Rosemeyer, who worked at Kennywood for 23 years. "He would park his Corvette and walk down. If the folks that worked the front lines had to do it, he had to do it, too."


He used creative tactics in public relations and marketing, employing one lesson he learned from Art Rooney Sr.'s father, Dan Rooney, who owned the General Braddock Brewery in Braddock. As recalled in the 1999 Post-Gazette profile, Mr. Hughes had read a beer labeled "premium" and asked Dan Rooney, "How do you become a premium beer?"


"Young man, the first thing you do is tell your printer," Rooney replied.


And so, Mr. Hughes quickly dubbed Kennywood "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World."


Kennywood expanded greatly under Mr. Hughes' tenure, adding rides such as the Log Jammer and The Laser Loop and buying and opening other parks such as Idlewild in 1983 and Sandcastle in 1989.


Putting a Neighborhood of Make-Believe attraction into Idlewild, he befriended Fred Rogers of the "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" television show. The two would exchange humorous gifts -- Rogers custom-ordered him a 4-foot replica of a blue Flair pen that both men used reliably.


Whenever a Friday the 13th came about, Mr. Hughes would send Rogers a birthday card for King Friday. Rogers returned the favor, sending Mr. Hughes a birthday card every year from Lady Elaine Fairchilde in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.


Mr. Hughes struggled with heart trouble in his later life, having two heart attacks and undergoing four triple bypass surgeries, his daughter said. Taking the inaugural ride of the Steel Phantom roller coaster in 1991 -- ignoring posted warnings that those with heart conditions shouldn't ride -- he joked to onlookers, "Get your cameras so when we come back dead, people can see what happens when you disobey signs," according to the 1999 Post-Gazette profile.


Mr. Hughes never really retired from Kennywood, Mr. Henninger said.


"He really took Kennywood from just a little -- kind of dirty -- park into one that was envied by park owners around the world," Ms. Rosemeyer said. "That was his goal, to make it the finest traditional amusement park anywhere."


In addition to Ms. Rosemeyer, Mr. Hughes is survived by his wife, Anny Hughes; another daughter, Lynn Cauley of Pittsburgh; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.


The family will hold a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Smithfield United Church of Christ, 620 Smithfield St., Downtown. The family asks donations be sent to Geneva College or Smithfield United Church of Christ.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This isn't necessarily directly related to Kennywood, but I thought this was intriguing to think about with regards to the possible future of Kennywood's season passes. I noticed on Idlewild's website that they now have 3 different levels to their season passes - Basic, Premium, and VIP. I attached a screen shot of the chart from their site below. Considering that Kennywood is owned by the same parent company, it's interesting to think about a similar system coming to Kennywood in the near future.



Coming soon to Kennywood?? Time will tell!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

From Kennywood Connection's facebook page, they have a few great close up photos of the new land. This photo (by them) shows about 1/3 of the land. We're talking A LOT of potential. (Currently, they will be using this warehouse as storage.)


Photo Credit: Kennywood Connection Facebook page

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Kennywood isn't big by any means and even if they were to at least expand the midway past the Playdium and wrap it around the back end of the Jackrabbit it would make it appear bigger than it is, but I don't think they'll do that. Not really worth the cost for a small midway expansion. However, I would totally dig an Intamin megalite or some other high capacity ride in that ravine.

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So question about Kennywood: Is it weird to anybody else that only operate on Saturday during their opening weekend?


Has anybody gone during opening day before? If so, how were the crowds?


Also, doesn't Kennywood have some of ghetto express pass option? I know I have read about it in trip reports, but I can't find any info on Kennywood's website. Does anybody know how it works, how much it costs, how to go about purchasing it, etc?


Any help would be appreciated!

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