Kennywood Amusement Park

West Mifflin Travel Blog

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Kennywood is approximately 8 miles (13 km) from downtown Pittsburgh, in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Kennywood Park is at 40°23'15" North, 79°51'51" West. Kennywood is an amusement park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the borough of West Mifflin. It ranked second to Cedar Point in the category of "Favorite Park" in Theme Park Magazine's 2004 Reader's Choice Awards. The park is along Pennsylvania Route 837, known as Kennywood Boulevard as it passes through the borough. The closest interstate connection is Interchange No. 7 (Swissvale) on Interstate 376. Despite the park's relatively obscure location (it was once the terminus of a streetcar line), it is easy to find for two reasons. First, it is on the "Green Belt", part of the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System. Second, management over the years has blanketed the county with yellow "Kennywood" arrows (formerly an extended arm with pointing finger), to the point where the yellow arrow has become the park's logo. Several Port Authority bus lines run to or near the park. One line, the 61C, stops at a park bus shelter, while the 55B, 55E and 59A stop at a nearby strip mall less than a quarter mile from the park. The 58C, 58P and 58V express lines (running only during rush hour) stop at a Route 837 intersection about 100 yards (91 m) from the park entrance. Kennywood now uses the slogan "America's Finest Traditional Amusement Park" as well as "Make a New Memory," although from the 1960s through the early 1990s the slogan was "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World." The property features three old wooden coasters still in working order, along with a newer steel coaster, the Phantom's Revenge (2001), and one indoor coaster, the Exterminator (added in 1999). The park features a variety of other family-type rides, with a total of 32 general-admission attractions, plus 14 more child-only rides in "Kiddieland".  Kennywood is also famous for its Fresh Cut French Fries at the "Potato Patch" stand. The fries are cut fresh and served in a basket with an option of up to eight toppings. The Potato Patch Fries have become so well known that Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle grocery stores began selling frozen Potato Patch Fries in 2001. One of only two amusement parks listed in the National Register of Historic Places (the other being Rye Playland Park), Kennywood also is one of the few amusement parks that still allow guests to bring their own picnic lunch, and is alcohol-free. For decades, smoking was tolerated anywhere in the park, but is now restricted to designated areas. Kennywood is owned by Kennywood Entertainment, which until December 2007 was a closely held family business owned by the Henninger and McSwigan families. Kennywood Entertainment is now a subsidiary of Parques Reunidos, an international amusement park company based in Madrid, Spain.  Before developing the park, the Kenny family owned a grove of trees overlooking the river. People began picnicking at the site, and eventually a trolley line was added. Kennywood Park began in 1898 as a trolley park that catered to local industrial workers and their families. Originally built at the end of a trolley line to encourage ridership, the park began to generate more revenue than the trolley business itself. However, the Pittsburgh Street Railway Company wanted out of the amusement park business and sold it to A.S. McSwigan and Frederick W. Henninger in 1906. The two would work to expand the park into the Kennywood known today with a large and loyal customer base. From its origin as a working-class picnic entertainment destination, the park grew in the first half of the twentieth century into a popular attraction that combined thrill rides with recreation venues such as swimming pools and dance halls. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the park remained successful by adding rides such as the Log Jammer, the Raging Rapids, the Steel Phantom (later turned into the Phantom's Revenge) and the Pitt Fall. Kennywood is also known for its scenery and mascot Kenny Kangaroo.  Kennywood Park has its own armed Public Safety Department. While not an actual police force, the organization enforces laws, investigates crimes, and responds to incidents within the park.  Today, the park features a nostalgic atmosphere and is supported by a loyal fan base. As of December 2007, Kennywood Entertainment also ran Sandcastle Waterpark, which opened in 1989; Idlewild Park near Ligonier; Story Land, a children's theme park in Glen, New Hampshire; and Lake Compounce,  New England's family theme park in Bristol, Connecticut, which is the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in North America.  After the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL in 2006, Steelers safety Mike Logan, a native of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, near Kennywood, made a humorous riff on the "I'm Going to Disney World!" advertising campaign usually associated with the Super Bowl, saying, "Forget Disney World, I want them to open up Kennywood!"  The phrase "Kennywood's open!" is often used in the Pittsburgh region to alert another person that the zipper on his/her pants is open.  On December 12, 2007, Kennywood Entertainment announced that it would be selling Kennywood Park, along with four other amusement parks in the Northeastern United States, to Parques Reunidos, a company based in Madrid, Spain.  In July 2005, Kennywood management was in negotiations to buy adjoining land, which would increase the size of the park from 92 to 140 acres and carry it into the neighboring city of Duquesne. Kennywood officials, however, insist that the proposal is contingent on the completion of the long-delayed Mon-Fayette Expressway, which is planned to pass within yards of the park.  As of March 2006, Kennywood had bought 15 acres and is in the process of acquiring another 28 acres of the Union Railroad yard. Its $60 million expansion plan, all contingent on taxes and the Mon-Fayette Expressway, includes a hotel, an indoor water park, and a new signature thrill ride. The new water park will be separate from the much larger Sandcastle Waterpark and would be built at the site of the former Kmart. West-to-West Coalition, a collection of 22 municipal governments, has announced that it is working with Kennywood on its expansion plan. Some sources cite hearing rumors about Kennywood Entertainment adding a new steel coaster and a new wooden coaster.  Through the years, Kennywood has made use of the hilly Pittsburgh terrain to create coasters that wouldn't be feasible anywhere else. The Thunderbolt and the Jack Rabbit, both wooden coasters, place the lift chain in the middle of the ride, not at the beginning. In both cases, the car leaves the station and drops into a valley for its first hill. Phantom's Revenge uses the same valley as the Thunderbolt, where the Phantom's second drop passes through the supports of the Thunderbolt's first drop, making the second drop the longest and steepest drop in the ride. Many coasters sit in the footprint of former coasters. The Phantom's Revenge may seem familiar to the record-setting Steel Phantom, because in fact the length of track from the station brake run all the way to about 15' down the second drop is original track from the Steel Phantom. Also, the Steel Phantom was built on the former site of the Laser Loop. Older visitors will recall that the Thunderbolt is an improvement of the Pippin. Racer - A John A. Miller wooden roller coaster with a track that is looped over on itself to create the appearance of two separate, parallel tracks. The ride, in fact, consists of one track referred to as a moebius track. Riders choose from one of two trains, one on each side of the loading platform, that then race against each other as they traverse the course. The winning side is chosen by the conductors of the ride and typically alternated each time. A famous Kennywood tradition is to reach over and touch hands of the other car during the ride. There is a blue train, a red train, and a green train, however, only two race at a time with the third being used for maintenance rotation. The original Racer was built in 1924 on the current Kiddieland site. It was torn down after the 1926 season and the following season saw the opening of the new (and current) Racer constructed next to the Jack Rabbit.  Jack Rabbit - A John A. Miller wooden roller coaster, known especially for its double dip. Coming down off of its second hill, the track levels out briefly half of the way down, then continues downward a double-dip drop. The speed of the train as it enters this second part of the drop is so high that the riders are given the impression that they will be thrown free of the train. The Jack Rabbit is one of the oldest running roller coasters in the world. Thunderbolt - A wooden roller coaster. Originally there was a John A. Miller wooden coaster known as the Pippin on this site, built in 1924. A new design, by Andy Vettel, Sr., was used in the 1967 reconstruction of the Pippin, reusing several of its elements, but resulting in a larger, faster coaster to be known as the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt regularly places at or near the top of lists concerning the world's top coasters and is distinguished by an immediate drop out of the starting gate, rather than the standard long climb. The Thunderbolt has a top speed of about 55 mph. Exterminator - An indoor Reverchon spinning mouse roller coaster. This coaster has heavily themed scenery even in the line. Phantom's Revenge - A steel coaster built by Arrow Dynamics, opened in 1991, originally named the "Steel Phantom." The coaster briefly held several records such as the largest drop on a roller coaster (228 ft) and the fastest roller coaster (82mph). After the 2000 season, the coaster was heavily modified by Chance-Morgan, including the removal of all of the inversions due to complaints of pain given during the ride (head and neck aches, bloody noses, etc.) and was then named the "Phantom's Revenge." The ride is also unique because the second drop is longer than the first. Although the first hill is only 160 feet tall, it is still considered a hyper-coaster because its maximum drop vertically exceeds 200 feet.  In 2009, the first half of the ride, which still contained the old track from the original Steel Phantom was rebuilt with new track to match the rest of the ride. Aero 360 is an unbelievably "flip-tacular" experience that was manufactured by Zamperla. Riders sit literally within the namesake Kennywood arrows and flip. Legs hanging in the air, and held in only by a shoulder harness, guests swing back and forth - higher and higher with each pendulum motion. As momentum builds, the ride culminates by spinning riders the full 360 degrees as they "Go over the top."  Bayern Kurve returned in 1994 after a seven-year absence only to disappear after the 2004 season. After another absence, this time for four years, this rare and beloved classic is reappearing once again in 2009. Riders sit in one of the sixteen bobsled-themed cars that travel at a high-speed around a circular single-hilled track with mountain scenery behind them, complete with spectators. Riders start in an upright position and as the cars pick up speed, they tilt inward toward the center of the ride. This ride is also known for it's loud horn which is similar to that of a diesel train engine.  Cosmic Chaos is a Mega Disk'O ride manufactured by Zamperla Inc. that made its debut in 2007. The ride seats 24 people on a giant disk, upon motorcycle-like pedestal seats with back restraints. Arms and legs are free from restraint and the passenger looks outward. From a top height of 50' the space ship begins its untamed flight along the 120' concave track while its passengers spin around in circle. Cosmic Chaos has a UFO theme, complete with UFO sounds, aliens, and even sounds from real aliens! Gran Prix was built in 1977. It is a bumper car ride that has 31 two-passenger cars, a few of which are painted black and gold and have numbers on them in honor of a few players on the Pittsburgh Steelers football team and it is one of the three rides with a brass ride started/stopped bell. Riders steer their cars in any direction across the metal rectangular floor bumping other cars out of their way.
Kangaroo, also known as a Flying Coaster, is the last ride of its kind. Purchased in 1962, it is a good in-between ride for kids graduating from Kiddieland. During the ride, eight cars travel a circular track with a single steep hill. After "bouncing" off the top of the hill, the cars then make a slow ascent in midair back down to the track, giving each guest the sensation of flying. Its resemblance of a Kangaroo's leap is what inspired its name. King Kahuna was added to the park in 2003. It originally stood at Kennywood's sister park, Lake Compounce in Connecticut. The ride consists of a gondola attached to two arms. The arms rotate in a circle while the platform flips riders upside down. The ride is built with jets of water that originally sprayed the riders as it spins, but after guest complaints and mold problems resulting in the replacement of the seat padding, they discontinued the use of the spraying effect so that the fountain is now just ornamental. Merry-Go-Round, built by William H. Dentzel in 1926, and completely refurbished for 2005, is a National Historic Landmark. Kennywood encourages large groups to use it as a meeting-spot considering it is centrally located--a custom to most smaller and older parks. It is Kennywood's third and largest carousel. The music on the Merry-Go-Round is provided by a 1916 Wurlitzer band organ, the ride travels in a counter-clockwise direction, over 1500 lights decorate this ride, and it is one of the three rides with a brass ride started/stopped bell. The two notable non-horse animals featured on the ride are the tiger and the lion. Musik Express was built in 1987. It is a quick circular ride, which travels clockwise around an undulating track. Loud music is played while the ride is in motion and it has flashing lights. It has a white/red loading/running lighting theme, respectively. During Phantom Fright Nights, mostly Halloween related music is played. Paratrooper has been at Kennywood since the 1950s and was originally called the SkyDiver. The ride has ten umbrella-covered cars which rotate counter-clockwise on a long arm. During the ride, the arm the cars are mounted to raises to a 45 degree angle. Pirate was built in 1982. It is a large pirate-themed boat suspended from a giant "A" frame structure mounted to a trailer. The boat swings back and forth until it achieves a height of 60 feet and is at a 75-degree angle with its initial resting position, giving riders the sensation of weightlessness. Swing Shot is one of the first larger models of the S&S Screamin' Swing to debut. Added to Lost Kennywood in 2006, the name was chosen from a long list of names that were entered in the "Name the New Ride" contest Kennywood held over the summer of 2005. It is basically a giant swing that swings riders back and forth, reaching a height of 90 feet at a 120 degree angle and reaching speeds of 50 mph. This ride stands where the WipeOut once stood (the WipeOut was moved to the former site of the Bayern Kurve, which was removed from the park in 2005 and placed in storage through 2008).  Turtle is a bumpy-track or undulating ride. It has been a Kennywood tradition since 1927 and has six cars that travel counter-clockwise on a circular track over a series of three hills and dips. The name is inspired by the turtle's curved shell. Originally the ride was called the Tumble Bug and featured bug-themed cars until the ride received new turtle-like exteriors. In fact, for the entire first year the ride was given a new turtle theme, it was still named the Tumble Bug. It is one of the first rides that most children graduating from Kiddieland ride, but it is also very popular with teenagers because operators usually let them ride several times in a row when lines are very short. It is also a unique ride, because the Turtle is the only one of the three standing that is currently operating and a historical landmark.  Volcano was new in 1978 and was called the Enterprise until the addition of the Volcano Valley themed area. It has 20 swinging gondolas, which travel in a circular clockwise motion on a large wheel. Once it achieves a fast enough speed, the wheel raises riders to a 90-degree angle and spins the riders upside down. This ride sometimes features a volcano eruption-themed fog and lighting effect, most commonly during Phantom Fright Nights.  Wave Swinger is a German-made trailer-mounted wicker swing ride also known as the Bavarian Wave Swinger. It was built in the park in 1984 and was relocated to its current location in Lost Kennywood in 1995. It has a white/red loading/running lighting theme, respectively, and features a different painting in the center of a decorative molding on each exterior panel.  Whip is the oldest flat ride in the park opening in 1918. The ride has 16 cars which travel along an oblong track and "whip" as they go around the bend at either end. The Whip was relocated from the Log Jammer Pavilion to Lost Kennywood in 1995 and is one of the three rides with a brass ride started/stopped bell. In 2002, a park guest was killed when the ride's pavilion collapsed during a macroburst. The pavilion has not been put back up.  Pitt Fall stands at 251 feet on the Kennywood skyline and was manufactured by Intamin. Four riders, on each of four open air cars, are pulled to the top with only the bars on their shoulder harnesses to hold onto, and then, after seeing a breathtaking view for miles around, the car drops back to the ground, giving riders a feeling of weightlessness, until the magnetic braking system kicks in. When Pitt Fall opened it was the world's tallest drop tower.  Skycoaster is not really a ride; it is a flight. One, two, or three fliers are suited in a nylon harness and then attached to a cable that pulls them (Superman-style) to the top of the launch tower. From 180 feet above ground, riders release themselves with a parachute-like ripcord... then free-fall at approximately 75 mph. Upon opening, it was the world's tallest. This ride is not included in the admission price due to a high demand.  Dark rides: Garfield's Nightmare is a dark ride in bright 3D fluorescent colors under black light. It features the characters from Garfield comic strip and cartoons. This ride is the oldest ride at Kennywood, though it has gone through numerous major theme and structural changes throughout its existence. Since it debuted in 1901, it has been variously known as the Old Mill, the Panama Canal, Fairyland Floats, and Hard Headed Harold's Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway. The scenes inside this vintage dark attraction have featured "gorgeous grottos" from around the world including Hawaii and Australia. More recently this attraction featured scenery from a mine haunted by ghosts, ghouls, and skeletons. It even featured three outdoor scenes. In 1991 the name was changed back to the Old Mill and received some minor scenery upgrades. In 2004, the ride received a major scenery overhaul at Garfield theme and all scenes became enclosed to insure a continuous 3D blacklight effect. The boats were slightly modified as well and the number of boats was increased to from nine to twelve. Ghostwood Estate is a ride that replaced the dark ride The Gold Rusher which was created in 1981. In 2008, Kennywood announced that a new interactive dark ride would replace the historic Gold Rusher. The facade is designed to look like a dilapidated mansion. Riders begin by standing in a "library/study" type room when, all of a sudden, Lord Kenneth (the owner of the estate), literally forces himself out of a picture frame. He informs of the ghosts and how you will be able to drive them from his home so that he may live in peace. Each rider then walks up a flight of stairs and approaches the trackless "Ghost Buggies". Each guest is provided with a "Ghost Blaster" to help them eliminate the ghosts. The ride features realistic animatronics, props, and scenery with a healthy mix of computer-generated animation.
Noah's Ark is a classic walk-through "dark" attraction. The ride's opening year, 1936, began auspiciously as the City of Pittsburgh suffered its St. Patrick's Day flood that year. Patrons walk through an ark recreating Noah's attempt at bringing animals aboard. This classic ride, one of two in the world (the other being at Blackpool Pleasure Beach), was remodeled in 1996. During the remodeling, the Ark was entirely rebuilt due to structural problems with the original "boat". Instead of entering through a whale's mouth, patrons now board a freight elevator that provides the effect of rising, then crashing to the ground, part of the re-theming of the ride includes props meant to appear like ancient artifacts that were found below the Ark. Over the years, different parts were removed, including a fan that would shoot air up from the ground. One popular part, the shaker boards, still remains. Water rides: Log Jammer is a fiberglass log flume water ride. It is a water roller coaster, which runs through the wooded area in the back of the park. It was the park's first multimillion-dollar project. It was built in 1975 by Arrow Dynamics and consists of two lifts, a spillway that is 27 feet high, and a 53-foot high chute.  Pittsburg Plunge is the centerpiece attraction in Lost Kennywood. It is a Shoot-the-Chute ride named for the brief period in the 1890s when Pittsburgh dropped the "h" from its name. It runs with two 20-passenger boats at a time that are designed to look like the shoot-the-chutes boats of old amusement parks. This ride can soak both the passengers and the onlookers in water.  Raging Rapids was opened in 1985 and simulates a white-water rafting trip through canyons and beneath waterfalls. Three pumps are constantly filling the cement trough with 93,000 gallons of water each minute, ensuring a soaking experience.  Auto Race, also known by several veterans as the Auto Ride, is also the last of its kind and was designed by Harry Traver of the Traver Engineering Company. Electric cars run quite quickly through a trough-like wooden track that twists and turns, almost like a maze. When the ride opened in 1930, it had several small hills placed in the track, but these were soon removed due to rear-end collisions caused when cars couldn't get up and over them on rainy days.  Kenny's Parkway is the only ride located outside of he park gates. It is a chairlift style ride meant to carry passengers down to the park from the uppermost parking lot, while providing a spectacular aerial view of the park below.
Olde Kennywood Railroad is a train ride along the top of the cliff next to the river with various displays and a recording that tells about park history and Western Pennsylvania history. The locomotives are from the 1939 World's Fair, have a gasoline-powered engine, and were installed in the park in 1945.  Paddle Boats are the park's only human-powered ride. Riders paddle through the park's lagoon in any path they choose. This ride requires an extra fee.  The Turnpike is a vintage car ride located right at the front if the park. Originally replacing the Laff in the Dark in 1966, this attraction originally debuted with gasoline powered cars and sponsored by Gulf Oil. However, in 1987 these cars were removed and replaced with electric cars manufactured by Chance. The direction the cars traveled on the track was also switched to prevent the cars from drifting through the station. It requires two riders. When it was created, it was a major investment for the park because the tracks could not be removed. It is now themed with a CO-GO's convenience store and a BP gas station, but originally had an old-fashioned Gulf Oil station. The price of gas at the Turnpike's gas station is read as "FUN", no matter what grade of fuel.  Kennywood's Kiddieland is the first children's ride area in the world, featuring all the rides in the park's diverse array of young child-specific rides in a compact area between the Auto Race and the Aero360. It is located next to the edge of the cliff on the river-view side of the park. Rides include miniature versions of the Turtle, Wave Swinger, Phantom's Revenge, Cosmic Chaos, Pitt Fall, Whip, and Merry-Go-Round. It was originally located next to the Jack Rabbit.  Potato Patch is famous for its Fresh Cut French Fries. At the stand's location in front of the Thunderbolt's helix turns, fries are cut fresh and served in a basket with an option of up to eight toppings. The Potato Patch Fries have become so well known that Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle grocery stores began selling frozen Potato Patch Fries in 2001. Lines for these popular french fries can have a longer wait than those for some of the park's rides.  The Lucky Stand is one of the oldest food stands in Kennywood and is known for its age and fun-looking appearance. It is located in the center of the Kennyville midway between the Potato Patch and Noah's Ark and features a variety of carnival food. It has a pastel color scheme of pink, yellow, and green.  The Pagoda is another famous carnival food stand in kennywood located between the Parkside Cafe and the Olde Kennywood Railroad. It is noted for it's Chinese pagoda-style of architecture. It also features a collection of wooden, hand-carved gargoyle heads that were once located on the front of a former fleet of boats that traveled through the Old Mill.  Kandy Kaleidoscope is a candy store that sells homemade fudge, and other candies, and is located near the entrance of the park. It was formerly the home of the Rotor and is a popular spot to stop at before exiting the park.  Parkside Cafe is a cafeteria located in one of the Park's oldest structures, a historic landmark formerly known as the casino. Themed areas: Lost Kennywood, which was added to the park in 1995, was built on the old sunlite pool/pay parking lot area. The area evokes memories of Kennywood's long history, including its short-lived rival Luna Park (1905-1909), and also the illusion of yesteryear's dangerous rides, with modern safety features. The area includes the Pittsburg Plunge, the Whip, the Bavarian Wave Swinger, the Exterminator, the Pitt Fall 251-foot drop tower ride, and the Swing Shot. Older rides which have been removed from Lost Kennywood since its opening include the Phantom Phlyers, Roll-O-Plane, and WipeOut. The gateway to Lost Kennywood is a one-third scale replica of Luna Park's main entrance.  Volcano Valley was created in the park in 2003 for the addition of the new ride that year, King Kahuna. Also, the park's Enterprise was re-themed as the Volcano during the transformation of this section of the park, which includes the Volcano, Pirate, and King Kahuna and features cement volcanoes that are capable of spewing smoke. Entertainment: Entertainment is a focal point of Kennywood. Strolling musicians, live shows, and costume characters truly evoke Kennywood's rich history. For the park's 100th anniversary in 1998, the park had side shows, magicians, and other events in their "anniversary midway." During the 2008 season, the Kennyville Stage offered an act by Jason Pipatone - Master Entertainer as well as all day viewing of "Kenny TV", a closed circuit TV network displaying various videos and trivia. "Kenny TV" can also be viewed at various other locations throughout the park. The Scheer's Lumberjack Show had a one year run in 2008 replacing the "Pirates of Kenny Cove" high-dive show. The park also has strolling musicians and roaming mascots including Kenny Kangaroo-an original character, and Garfield and Odie from Garfield cartoons. Nationality Days:  Nationality Days are several annual events, each spotlighting a different local culture. These include, but are not limited to, Irish Day, Greek Day, Juggalo Day, Serbian Day, Croatian Day, Slovak Day, and Italian Day. On these days some of the park's many picnic pavilions will be in use for entertainers of the particular day's nationality, including ethnic dancers.  Landscape/Landmarks:  The Lagoon is a stunning water feature in the heart of the park featuring the paddle boats and the Sky Coaster. Several carnival games and food huts are adjacent to the Lagoon, as well as the Log Jammer, Aero 360, and Racer.
The Windmill is a large decorative scaled-down windmill structure that stands in the front of the park. At night, the four spinning blades are illuminated by hundreds of lights. The windmill is a wooden structure built on a stone foundation and is one of the oldest structures in the park, formerly located in the middle of the lagoon.  Dancing Waters is the water fountain located between the Grand Prix and the Windmill, in what is probably the most beautiful and serene part of the park. Formerly located in front of the Wonder Wheel at the location of the Aero 360, It was originally created as a scaled down replica of the fountain at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and was choreographed to lights and music.  The Lost Kennywood Fountain is a spectacular fountain located in front of the Pittsburg Plunge that features a light show in the evenings.  The Mushroom Fountain is a vintage drinking fountain shaped like a giant mushroom featuring four spigots, each at different heights for guests of all sizes.
The Clown-Headed Garbage Cans are a collection garbage cans usually located within Kiddieland that are topped with a colorfully-costumed fiberglass clown head cap. Each clown has a hole in its wide open mouth through which, guests deposit their garbage. Also, each clown has it's own unique name painted on a tag on its hat such as Bobo.  Laffin' Sal is a mechanical laughing woman who greets guests with her cheerful gap-toothed smile and haunting laugh through a window in the Olde Kennywood Railroad train station window. She has been a Kennywood tradition since the opening of Laff in the Dark. Before she moved to the train station, she was located at the entrance of the park's old Le Cachot dark ride. While her location and outfits change occasionally, she herself has retained the same looks as well as her original cackling laughter soundtrack. During Phantom Fright Nights, she is dressed as a witch and an even creepier and evil-sounding laugh soundtrack is played. Many people believe her to be the scariest attraction at Kennywood.  Cowboy Joe is a famous Kennywood "visitor" who has been occupying his special bench in the park for decades. There is a sign behind him that reads "Swappin' yarns with Cowboy Joe at Kennywood." and park goers have been getting a picture taken with him since he first stepped foot in the park. In reality, this classic icon is but a fiberglass statue of a cowboy with glass eyes, mounted to a wooden bench. he used to hold a cigarette in his right hand, but quit smoking cold turkey after being stripped of his paint, patched, and repainted during 2008. His costume consists of a brown hat, boots, and vest; red button down shirt; and blue jeans. Also, he has gray hair and brown eyes. While his location within the park has changed, he himself remains very much the same. Phantom Fright Nights: Phantom Fright Nights is a Halloween event held at Kennywood on Friday and Saturday nights during the month of October. The park typically opens at seven in the evening and closes at one in the morning. The event began in 2002, though the concept of theming an amusement park for Halloween is not new. "Phantom Fright Nights" received third place in the Golden Ticket Awards for best Halloween event in 2007.  Labor Day traditionally marked the end of the season and the park would shut down until the spring. In 2002, Kennywood decided to break the long-standing tradition and turn almost half of the park into a giant Halloween extravaganza. The park's initial trial of Phantom Fright Nights in 2002 consisted of four traditional haunted houses, with only a few rides and roller coasters in operation. Despite the relatively limited scope of the opening year, the experiment proved to be a success, and new areas of the park and rides are opened for the festivities every year. In 2004 Kennywood debuted Gory Park, a haunted zone in Lost Kennywood. The following year, 2005, the park managed to have 3/4 of the rides and attractions operable due to high demand and record-breaking crowds. The park has reported attendance greater for one Fright Night than they have on a good normal operating day.  In the spirit of Halloween season, the park itself is given a complete make-over, with costumed actors roaming the paths, spooky music filling the air, and fog blanketing the park and every light bulb in the park is changed to a different color--even the restroom windows are covered in colored films. The merry-go-round horse normally found in the fountain by the entrance is replaced by a giant Phantom-like figure with glowing red eyes hovering over bubbling red blood (dyed water). In some places sheets are hung up and classic horror movies are played, such as the original "House on Haunted Hill". Several areas of the park, including Kiddieland and Lost Kennywood, are turned into open-air haunted attractions. Other buildings, such as the Penny Arcade and the Parkside Terrace Cafe, are converted into more traditional haunted houses. Some rides are given entirely new lighting and fog effects including strobes and blacklights, or in the Exterminator's case, an absolute absence of light. In the case of the Musik Express, Halloween-themed music is all that is played. Even the entrance tunnel is affected; massive amounts of fog are pumped into the passageway and chainsaw wielding characters stalk unsuspecting guests as they enter. These ghouls are also found throughout the park when least expected.  Kennywood discourages children under the age of thirteen from attending the park during Phantom Fright Nights as the atmosphere may be too intense for some younger children, but letting children attend is solely at the discretion of parents or guardians. Many children go to Fright Nights anyway, even with the suggestion since Kennywood will admit attendees of any age. Haunted attractions: Indoor Haunts include Villa of the Vampires in the Penny Arcade, Mortem Manor in the Parkside Cafe, The Haunted Ark in Noah's Ark and Captain Skully's Curse in 3-D in the Log Jammer Pavilion.  Outdoor Haunts include
the Kennyville Cemetery in the grassy Dancing Waters/Gazebo area, Dark Shadows in the back of Kiddieland and  Voodoo Bayou in the Raging Rapids. Haunted Midways include  the Gory Park in Lost Kennywood, Death Valley Haunted Ghost Town in front of and leading up to Ghostwood Estate and Fear Festival surrounding the area usually occupied by the George Washington statue.

Debut years or removal years for attractions.

2009: Bayern Kurve, WipeOut removed, original Phantom drop and second hill retracked
2008: Ghostwood Estate, new Kiddieland games building.
2007: Cosmic Chaos, SS Kenny, roofing over the escalators to lot 2, Gold Rusher removed.
2006: Swing Shot
2005: New front gate structures built, Bayern Kurve and Swing Around removed
2004: Garfield's Nightmare (theme change from Old Mill)
2003: King Kahuna (formerly Top Spin from Lake Compounce), Ham-on-Rye (removed in 2005), Volcano Valley themed area, Volcano (theme      change from Enterprise), Roll-O-Plane removed, Miniature Golf removed
2002: Garfield's Pounce Bounce, Phantom Fright Nights debut
2001: Phantom's Revenge (rebuilt from Steel Phantom), Crazy Trolley
2000: Aero 360, Dancing Waters relocated across from Grand Prix, Garfield and Odie added to park mascots
1999: Exterminator, Wonder Wheel removed.
1998: Kennywood celebrates its 100th anniversary, Centennial Midway (one season), Le Cachot removed
1997: Pitt Fall
1996: Lil Phantom (Kiddieland), Kenny's Parkway, Noah's Ark remodeled, Phantom Phlyer removed
1995: LOST KENNYWOOD expansion in former location of Sunlite Swimming Pool - Pittsburg Plunge, Phantom Phlyer (Removed in 1996), moved to Lake Compounce), Roll-O-Plane (removed in 2003), Whip and Wave Swinger moved to Lost Kennywood, Great Balloon Race removed
1994: SkyCoaster, Bayern Kurve (Removed in 2005)
1993: WipeOut (removed 2009)
1992: Tri-Star (lasts only one season, moved to Idlewild), Old Mill (Haunted Hideaway renamed)
1991: Steel Phantom (quickly tops top 10 list, rebuilt as Phantom's Revenge in 2001)
1990: Great Balloon Race (removed in 1995, moved to Idlewild), Laser Loop removed, original facade on Racer loading platform restored
1989: Swing Around (removed in 2005)
1988: Flying Carpet (removed in 2006), Rotor (removed in 1994, eventually moved to Lake Compounce), Tilt-A-Whirl removed, Monster removed
1987: Musik Express, electric cars added to Turnpike and directions cars face on track reversed, Kennywood designated National Historic Landmark
1986: Wonder Wheel (removed in 1999), Bayern Kurve removed, geysers and waterfall added to Raging Rapids
1985: Raging Rapids, Super Round-Up removed
1984: Wave Swinger, Swing Around (removed at end of season, but returns five years later), Bayern Kurve (original replaced), Dipper removed
1983: Ranger (lasts only one season)
1982: Pirate, Wonder Bread trains on Racer replaced by new PTC models
1981: Gold Rusher (removed in 2007), Paddle Boats
1980: Laser Loop.(Removed in 1990)
1979: Monster, renamed Monongahela Monster (removed 1991), Garden Stage (removed in 2006)
1978: Enterprise (renamed Volcano in 2003), Rockets removed
1977: Monster; Nearby West View Park closes
1976: Tilt-A-Whirl (removed in 1988, moved to Idlewild), (Super) Round-Up (moved to Idlewild 1985), SkyDiver replaced with new model and renamed Paratrooper
1975: Log Jammer (first multi-million dollar ride in the park's history)
1974: Hardheaded Harold's Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway (theme change of park's Old Mill), Kenny Kangaroo makes his debut as park mascot
1973: Gran Prix, Sunlite Swimming Pool removed
1972: Bayern Kurve, Le Cachot Name means "The Dungeon" in French, replaced Safari dark ride. (removed 1998), Monster (removed 1974)
1971: Roll-O-Plane (removed 1985)
1969: Noah's Ark remodeled, Loop-O-Plane (removed 1983)
1968: Thunderbolt, rebuilt from Pippin. The four drops in the ravine and the lift hill remain intact from the original coaster. The new Thunderbolt track had a small hill in the inner helix that was removed in 1969.
1967: Road Runner (Cuddle Up), Ghost Ship (Replaced Tornado, Both rides destroyed in fire on June 19, 1975)
1966: Turnpike (Electric cars added in 1987)
1965: Rotor (removal date unknown), Popover (removed in 1976), Laff in the Dark removed
1964: Tornado dark ride (from defunct Freedomland, removed 1966), Round-Up (replacing original Round-Up; damaged by the June 19, 1975 fire and replaced with Super Round-Up)
1962: Kangaroo (only Flying Coaster flat ride in existence)
1961: Bandshell destroyed in fire, Calypso (removed 1987), Old Mill gets new boats
1960: Wild Mouse removed, facade on Racer loading platform redesigned
1959: SkyDiver
1958: Wild Mouse (removed 1960), Little Dipper remodeled and renamed Dipper
1957: Round-Up (replaced with new model in 1964)
1955: Rotor (removed 1958), Sunlite Pool reopens after rehab, Kiddie Cadillacs
1953: Sunlite Pool closes to swimming due to maintenance problems and turned into U-Drivem boat concession
1952: Octopus (removed 1965), Tickler removed
1950: Roll-O-Plane (removed 1969)
1949: Tilt-A-Whirl (removed 1963), Tumble Bug renamed Turtle
1948: Little Dipper (remodeled in 1958, removed in 1984), hills removed from Auto Race and car bodies replaced with current style bodies, Tumble Bug cars replaced with turtle-looking versions
1947: Teddy Bear removed
1946: Original facade on Racer loading platform replaced
1945: Olde Kennywood Railroad
1940: Rockets (Traver circle swing added to island in lagoon, removed 1978)
1938: Ridee-O (removed 1959)
1937: 13 Spook Street funhouse (later renamed Daffy Klub), Kiddie Old Mill (Swan Boats, removed mid-70's)
1936: Noah's Ark (re-built in 1996), Loop-O-Plane (removed 1950)
1935: Teddy Bear (roller coaster, removed in 1947), Skooter (removed 1979)
1931: Tickler (roller coaster, removed 1952)
1930: Auto Race, Laff in the Dark (removed 1965)
1928: Brownie Coaster (removed 1953 or later), Tilt-A-Whirl (removed 1934)
1927: Merry-Go-Round(T.M. Harton carousel replaced by current William H. Dentzel model), current Racer, Tumble Bug, larger 16 car Whip, Kiddieland (moved from near Jack Rabbit coaster to former location of original Racer coaster)
1926: 1910 Racer removed
1925: Sunlite Swimming Pool (removed 1973)
1924: Pippin (converted to Thunderbolt in 1968), Kiddieland* (originally located near Jack Rabbit coaster, relocated to current location in 1927)
1923: Speed-O-Plane removed
1922: Kennywood's first Kiddieland added next to Jack Rabbit
1921: Jack Rabbit, Gee Whizz Dip the Dips removed
1918: Whip (replaced in 1927)
1914: Old Mill (re-themed Panama Canal)
1913: Merry-Go-Round (original G.A. Dentzel carousel replaced by T.M. Harton model)
1911: Speed-O-Plane (removed 1923), Panama Canal (re-themed Old Mill)
1910: 1910 Racer (original version, removed 1926), Dip-the-Dips Scenic Railway removed
1906: Fairyland Floats (re-themed Old Mill), Figure Eight Toboggan renamed to Gee Whizz Dip the Dips
1905: Dip-the-Dips Scenic Railway (removed 1910)
1904: Steeplechase removed
1903: Steeplechase (removed 1904)
1902: Figure Eight Toboggan (park's first coaster, removed 1921)
1901: Old Mill (converted to Garfield's Nightmare in 2004, also formerly named/themed as Hard Headed Harrold's Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway and Panama Canal)
1899: Merry-Go-Round (G.A. Dentzel carousel), Casino restaurant (now Parkside Cafe), Dancehall
1898: Kennywood opened by Monongahela Street Railways

canuck_downunder05 says:
Wow Geo! That is ALOT of info for an amusement park! Well done!
Posted on: Dec 10, 2009
bkretzer says:
Encyclopedic!
Posted on: Dec 09, 2009
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photo by: diisha392