Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Abbreviation: KW)
Park News - (2/27/14) I’m told that Vocano has returned to being listed on the Kennywood website, but is now listed under the Classic attractions section. I’m also told that Kennywood’s Thunderbolt coaster has now been granted ACE Roller Coaster Landmark status and the group will present the award to the park on Sunday, July 27th, during the annual ACE KennyKon event.
(12/17/13) According to one source, Volcano may have been accidentally left off the list of rides on the newest revision of the park website. Hopefully this error will be corrected soon, if not… maybe the ride is on the way out.
(12/16/13) Kennywood Holiday Lights are now ready to go and you can catch a sneak preview from this past weekend over at the CoasterTalkNoBSZone website as well as see details about the launch of their new book, “Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip”.
“We have created a book that outlines historical Pennsylvania amusement parks called Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Roadtrip. We very successfully debuted it on Saturday at the GOCC Party at Kennywood. The project is the culmination of years of taking photos, lots of writing, researching along with interviewing over twenty different important folks from ride manufacturers/designers such as GCI, Gravity Group, PTC, Mike Boodley, Steve Okamoto, Charlie Dinn and others, along with amusement park legends such as Dick Knoebel, Paul Nelson of Waldameer, Murl Clark of Dutch Wonderland, Andy Quinn of Kennywood and others such as Rick Sebak of WQED. The 152 page book with hundreds of photos provides a great insight into the history of Pennsylvania amusement parks and a practical blueprint towards visiting the parks of the state with the most wooden roller coasters.”
In other Kennywood news, a reader reported in that the Volcano (Enterprise) ride is no longer listed on the park’s list of rides on the website, though it is still currently on the park map. Could Volcano be joining the King Kahuna in the Volcano Valley ride graveyard?
(11/22/13) There are some happy Kennywood employees out in the world today. It seems a group of eight of the park’s carpenters pitched in to buy Powerball lottery tickets and won! According to this article each person won approximately $1 million (before the government takes away their 25% share…).
2014 - Johnny Rockets - (2/7/14) Kennywood is adding a new sit-down restaurant for the 2014 season… a Johnny Rockets location that will be placed inside the structure that formerly held the Carousel Food Court. The building will remain, but the interior will be completely revamp and fully enclosed to allow for both heating and air-conditioning so it may be used for both the Winter and Summer seasons.
???? - New Coaster - Rumor - (3/5/13) Kennywood told those in attendance at the ACE Coasterbash event this past weekend that the train ride and rapids are safe and not going anywhere.
(12/31/12) It appears that the entire rumor about the location of the park’s next coaster may not have been true at all. Previously I was informed that the Rapids ride was likely safe and now it was also mentioned that the Olde Kennywood Railroad ride has actually become one of the anchor attractions of the Holiday Lights events were it is rethemed as the Gingerbread Express and has lots of lighted scenes added along the route. It is also believed that the railroad ride may have some kind of “historic landmark” status and is unlikely to be totally removed from the park. This would not prevent a new route from being built for the railroad, or a modification of the existing route, but a complete removal would not happen.
So unfortunately this brings the entire rumor about the 2014/2015 hybrid coaster under scrutiny as well, though given Kennywood’s long history of featuring great wooden coasters, a new hybrid wooden coaster design does still seem like a perfect fit for the park, so we’ll wait and see. For now, files this one under the wild rumor category.
(12/26/12) According to an anonymous source, the Rapids ride at Kennywood may be safe from removal. Nothing was said about saving the railroad however... so take that for what you will.
(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!
???? - Turnpike - Rumor - (3/10/10) I’m told that Kennywood is looking into possibilities to bring back the Turnpike in a new location sometime in the next few years.
???? - Old Mill / Garfield’s Nightmare Renovation - Planned - (6/28/11) According to an insider, there has been really no talk at all lately about rethemeing Garfield’s Nightmare into a new attraction for 2012. The project was said to be all but approved at one point for the 2011 season, but was suddenly put on hold with no real explanation as to why.
We know the park was wanting to shed the Garfield theme in order to stop paying costly licensing fees, as well as retheme the former Old Mill ride back into something popular once again, so it does worry some that there has been no progress on this, as we would hate to see the ride simply closed down at some point in the future, to avoid the licensing fee, but with no money put into it to reopen it as something new.
(2/28/11) Any plans to redo the ride for 2011 have been dropped, so maybe we’re looking at 2012 now. Anyone know for sure?
(10/2/10) While nothing firm has come from the park yet, we’ve heard once again that Garfield may need to find a new home this winter and The Old Mill may take on a new theme for 2011.
(7/26/10) From what I’ve been told so far, Kennywood is paying a fee every year they keep Garfield’s Nightmare in place, and they’re ready to rethemed the ride to ditch this unnecessary payment sooner than later, so look for a new version of The Old Mill to return next season most likely. One possible new theme I’ve heard is that they may go with some kind of “old steel mill” theme as a way to get back to using The Old Mill name once again. I’ve also heard a rumor that Noah’s Ark could get some kind of upgrade next season as well.
(9/8/09) According to an update at NewsPlusNotes, Kennywood has confirmed that within the next two years we will see the former Old Mill ride, currently known as Garfield’s Nightmare, rethemed into yet another new experience, likely returning it to something more in tune with it’s roots and history as the Old Mill, which incidently is about 108 years old at this point. Not too many rides can say that!
Kennywood Land Purchase / Park Expansion - (3/5/13) Lots of feedback has come in regarding the Kennywood land purchase story from yesterday. Several readers confirmed that at the ACE Western PA Coasterbash event on Saturday, the park did confirm to those in attendance that the park has finalized the land purchase of the large valley behind the Jack Rabbit and Racer from the Union Railroad. The large building seen in the image posted yesterday is left over from the former owners as a building used to repair and maintain locomotives.
erty is to restore this building and use it as a large storage facility for the park where they can keep their large Fright Night haunt props and Holiday Lights displays. From what I’m told the land they now own includes the valley property that extends under the bridge. Based on the property lines, this goes almost all the way to the now empty site of a former KMart store which was purchased by Kennywood years ago, before the park was sold. (There appears to be a separate piece of property in the way (labeled as Unknown in my new map), but depending on who you talk to, some claim this is owned by Kennywood as well. The former Kmart plaza was bought back in 2006 (link) back when the original intention was for Kennywood to build their very own hotel and indoor waterpark resort on the property. Sadly, those plans never materialized. According to this other article, they mention the 22 acre purchase of the Kmart plaza, but then mention a 19 acre purchase from Union Railroad also took place shortly afterwards, which involves property in that valley as well.
Kennywood’s stated immediate use for the prop
A lot of this property has been talked about in various deals with Kennywood for years, going back to when a new expressway was planned to come close to the park and they were hoping for a big jump in attendance along with it. The expressway never happened, so a long of proposed land-deals were put into limbo for a number of years, but looks like the last piece was just finalized back in November 2012 (link). Meanwhile the former Kmart building (which was used for park storage) was demolished a few years ago, due to some kind of zoning dispute, thus the need for a new storage facility.
(3/4/13) I’m not sure how true this is, but I did receive a rumor claiming that Kennywood has acquired the land directly behind Racer and Jackrabbit for future park use. If true, I highlighted the possible property in question, marked off by Google Map’s property lines, so show what area may be involved. From what I can tell, this area is mostly part of valley that contains what looks like an old defunct factory/warehouse structure, but also includes property that extends down alongside the nearby railway. What I also find interesting was how this lines up with the previous rumors indicating that Kennywood’s next possible big coaster might be an out & back style ride that was to run from the area near the Rapids and kiddie train area, down along the backside of the park and into an area described as being behind the flume ride, which is exactly where this new property would be.
So is this another bogus rumor, or is Kennywood looking to expand their property line to include this new valley? Can anyone else confirm this possible land purchase?