Gold Rush over at Kennywood

Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 9:11 AM | Contributed by Agent Johnson

Tomorrow will be a dark day for a dark ride: Kennywood is closing The Gold Rusher. Presenting a fantasy trip into a haunted mine, The Gold Rusher, which opened in 1981, is considered a classic by dark ride enthusiasts. Hollywood special effects designer Maurice Ayers, who won an Oscar in 1949 for developing a lightweight plaster process for set construction, designed the interior scenes.

Read more from The Post-Gazette.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 9:31 AM
From the article:

"The park likes to have two dark rides because they are high-capacity, family-oriented rides," general manager Harry Henninger said when the ride opened 26 years ago.

"Family oriented rides." I know some parks that could use some of those.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:07 AM
They certainly seem to be going away faster than they are returning. And, the ones that are built---the sally rides---generate long waits with relatively low capacity.

I wonder how much longer before someone other than Disney installs an omnimover-style darkride...those things literally eat people, capacity-wise. The original patents have to have expired---Mansion opened in the late 60s.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:12 AM
^ Wasn't Phantom Theater at Kings Island an Omnimover-like system?

Ray P.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:14 AM
I was about to say the same thing. I think Phantom Theatre was an Ominmover-style ride.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:23 AM
I wonder if they'll preserve any of the sets. Those coyotes were hilarious.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:34 PM
I've only have ridden 1/2 Gold Rush. On my first trip it stopped and we were escorted out.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:38 PM
I have it on video. Good times.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:45 PM
I never did get a chance to ride it because the lines were always long. I've only been to Kennywood perhaps four times, and unfortunately it was usually in the busy season. I guess I'll never get a chance.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:46 PM
I contributed this too. I don't know what they have in store there, my only thought is that they are replacing that games area cause it can't possibly be that much money to maintain and run and still seems to have good lines when its busy. I have never "walked on" this ride.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:06 PM
I'm a huge darkride fan and I've haven't yet gotten the pleasure to visit Kennywood. I'm regretting that quite a bit now, very sad.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:44 PM
Wow, when I suggested that we add on Kennywood to our midwest trip back in June, it was initially met with some resistance. I'm really glad we went. I must have lucky as well, because Gold Rusher was almost always a walk-on on my four trips. In fact, on the last trip, it was a little bit busy during the early afternoon, but the mid-day storm took care of that.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:55 PM
^^ Kennywood is a good place for darkrides, but the park really lacks a good 'ol traditional darkride (Gold Rusher was fairly modern, Exterminator is really a themed coaster and Old Mill is pathetic). If you want the best collection of darkrides, head to Rye Playland... but better do it soon.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:06 PM
I went on a fairly busy Saturday the weekend of Coaster Mania and only had to wait about 10-15 minutes for the Gold Rusher. It's a cute ride.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:35 PM
Rob, if you are riding the Old Mill for the scenery then you are missing the point of the attraction COMPLETELY. If Geauga Lake or Cedar Point had an Old Mill type of ride I would have spent countless days there every summer....though never alone. :-)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:48 PM
Well now that the Olde Mill is themed to Garfield and has tons of flourescent scenery--with the 3D-glasses to go along with it--it may attract a different kind of crowd:) Just remember, they do have video cameras along the rides course.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:54 PM
Uh-oh...I guess I'm showing my age. I didn't realize it was a Garfield ride now. That is enough to know it isn't something I'd be interested in.

Cameras? What the problem with that?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 3:21 PM
I rememeber many yarns back coming to Kennywood in 1981, and looking for the Gold Rusher. Everyone that I spoke with thought it was a coaster, bigger than the Racers, smaller than the Thunderbolt.

I remember riding the lift of the Racer looking back, my cousin and me. No coaster to be found. About 2 hours later, we stumbled upon the big line, and the Gold Rusher. It was worth the wait. Going up and down the hill was an added feature. I have the original park brochure, which described very little.

Also, I have a brochure the next season which says the Gold Rusher 'gets a new look', which was the new second floor bridge network, which I thought was a great ues of space.

If you really think about it, Kennywood created a little bit of a western themed area, with the Hootin Hollar Railroad, Raging Rapids Rafting Co., and the Gold Rusher. You just have the love the tie in's. Having an outdoor bbq and an old Taylor shooting gallery, and you have an instant western town. Just my opinion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 5:30 PM
Figures the ride would close tomorrow. I am making the drive from Detroit to Kennywood Tomorrow night. I will not be able to enter the park until Friday.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:21 PM
Does anyone know why they are closing it so suddenly? The article doesn't say. We rode on this on August 12th and there weren't any issues that I noted - although it had been many years since my last ride so I would not have necessarily noticed if there were stunts not working.



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