Kennywood Construction Update (3-12)

Wednesday, March 12, 2003 4:45 PM
Mind you the last time I was at Kennywood, it was under not so great terms with the famed picnic park. So you can imagine that when I was offered to go back to the park, I was a little weary. But that was then and this is now, time to move on. I should also remind you this is a long TR so don't be surprised. :o)

It was a beautiful day at KP. Lots of sun and warm weather. The park was very busy. Many of the rides were coming out of hibernation and a new ride was going in. I'll start just where everyone else starts out in KP... the tunnel.

Just off to the right, the Turnpike was still dormat. No cars were insight and the track was still covered. A section of the railing was missing, leading me to believe that the cars will show up sometime soon. The Old Mill was busy getting some tough work done as well as the boats were receiving some rehab. The Fudge Shop was empty and had yet to be attended too.

Moving towards the Grand Prix, many of the cars sat just as they have been for months. Pieces of other rides lay on the floor waiting to go back to their respective rides. The Flying Carpet is starting to get back together. Only one of the towers were in place and the others were missing. The gardens and fountains in the area around these two rides were getting some much needed tidy N'uping.

Walking towards the NEW Volcano Valley, I saw that the Kurve was getting put back together. The cars remained idle over in the pavilion on the other side of the park. The basketball hoops were being put back together and the games building was coming alive. Straight ahead the Musik Express was nothing but frame work and the cars were still under the picnic pavilions.

The bulk of the work at KP was going on in the brand new Volcano Valley. The Pirate's frame work was complete as well as the boat itself. Much of the trees and other theming remained in place leading me to believe it was never removed. Many of you may remember that last year the boat was removed for some much needed renovation. The old Enterprise was in the process of being transformed into the newly named Volcano. The pavement around the ride was being torn up in preparation for its new home, inside a volcano. The framework that will be the mountain itself was being welded and formed just off to the right of the ride in the grassy area where the Monkey House is. The side of the building located next to the Enter... err... Volcano, was covered in plastic and being prepared for the transformation. Moving left, the King Kahuna was finding its new home in Kennywood. As of today, the ride's two towers were still folded down but the ride itself is in place. The ride vehicle was no where in sight and no theming has been installed.

Moving into Lost Kennywood, the only visible work going on ride wise was to Wipeout and the Rollo Planes. The Wipeout was recieving its main motor and much of the facade and floors have been installed. Rollo Planes is all but gone now. The only thing that remains is the braces that keep it steady on the ground. Some other work was going on the in shops and stalls. They were receiving and sorting new merchandise. The lights that hung from the Pittfall during the Christmas season are still hanging. The Phantom's trains are not on the track yet. The Swing Around was no where near getting put back together. Nothing was assembled but it usually doesn't take long to put this ride up. The Whip still has no roof and will not get one.

Walking out of Lost KP towards the Kennyville Stage, the new Ham on Rye attraction was no where to be found but the entire mini-golf course is gone! All that remains are trees and mulch. The cascading waterfall and Dip-N-Dots stand also remain intact. The removal of the golf course is something I thought that should've been done a long time ago. For those of you who enjoy landmark rides like KP's Turtles will be happy to know that they have receieved a fresh coat of paint and rehab. The new bathrooms that will replace the ones where King Kahuna is now located, are going up where the Le Cachot(SP?) was located. Much of the stone work is done and work is now going on inside. Across from its infield, the Thunderbolt's trains are on their sides receiveing some work on the undercarriages is being done. I didn't see any retracking going on.

Continuing my journey through the games midway, the only work going on was in the merchandise shops. Moving towards K-Land, I could see work being done on the Swing Around but the only thing in place was the motor. The Olde KP Railroad was having work done on the engines and the Auto Race's cars are siting in the station, waiting for the season to begin. Many of the rides in K-Land are starting to be put back together.

Heading deeper into KP, I was incredibly surprised to see that the Aero 360's seats actually had covers on them much unlike last season where they sat in the open all winter long. Moving along, the Jammer was recieving some station work. The Racer's trains were all on their sides getting some work done on the undercarriages and the blue train sat on the back brakes while the other two sat in the station. Some retracking was going on in the brake run and on the third dip before the trains run above the station. I should also point out that the station has some new support beams. So now those beams that swayed so much before, sadly won't do it as much. The Jack Rabbit got a fresh coat of paint and is now incredibly white. So much so, it looks like a totally new ride. One of the trains sat on their side also receiving work like the T-Bolt and Racer.

Coming back to where I started, the horses on the carousal sat idle. I saw that the Kangaroo also received a fresh coat of paint and the cars where already on the track. The shops and stalls along the midway were coming alive and getting cleaned up for the coming season.

If you've read this far, congradulations. I hope you've enjoyed reading this just as much as i've enjoyed visiting the park during it's off-season. Thanks for sticking with me. See you at the park!

Coasterman Mike - FYI: Kennywood opens April 26!

My 2002 Coaster Season Video Review is now available here:

Wednesday, March 12, 2003 5:28 PM
Thanks for all the info, I was there on March 8th to re-apply and only saw a portion of what was going on, and when I went the arms were still in the parking lot, nice to know they are now in place.
The Jokes on You!! Ha Ha
Wednesday, March 12, 2003 7:23 PM
Sounds good. I'll be there in May, and I cannot wait. I haven't been since 2001 (not too bad for a Left Coaster). :)

I just have to wonder how Volcano Valley will end up looking. It just seems strange to me to have a themed area- much less a tropical themed area at Kennywood. But we'll see.. I know I always appreciate good theming.

Xcelerator- Put the Pedal to the Metal!

Thursday, March 13, 2003 4:29 AM
Matt - LA is not tropical, either...look a the area Goliath sits in and the Jungle Cruise!

Mike - thanks for the update. Wish I was making it to Kennywood this year ;)


Happy Birthday DawnMarie!!

Thursday, March 13, 2003 10:49 AM
Thanks for the update. I hope I can see the park during off season. I'm going to apply to work when I'm up their visiting my father next week.
Thursday, March 13, 2003 11:40 AM
Its always nice to hear what Kennywood is up to in the offseason. The theming on Volcano sounds like it will be really neat. I will hopefully be making the 500 mile trip to Kennywood in early July, im allready looking foward to the day.

Kennywood Park, America's finest traditional amusement park.

Thursday, March 13, 2003 3:40 PM
I guess someone didn't see the signs that said "construction zone: do not stray from path"...

If you could just see the beauty... these things I could never describe. Pleasures and wayward distraction; is this my wonderful prize? --Joy Division

Friday, March 14, 2003 12:05 PM
Thanks for the update on Kennywood. I will be going this year
You had better scream now, because at 420 feet no one will hear you.

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