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Kennywood Amusement Park: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We drove to Kennywood Amusement Park, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the oldest ones in the US.  We had been taking about going to it for many years, ever since we saw it on TV about ten years ago.  The park opened in 1901 with the Old Mill, a boat ride through a building.  Over the years the theme of the ride has change.  Today it is called Garfield’s Nightmare, a 3-D cartoon about all the things that Garfield loves turns to haunt him.  But the original boats and mill are still there.  Next came the Kennywood Train, a ten-minute ride through the history of the area.  Then came the rollercoasters.  The Jack Rabbit was built in 1923.  It starts off low to the ground and then ascends about halfway through the ride.  There are a couple of very good drops with great airtime.  The final historic coaster is the Racer.  Two cars start off side by side and run on one continuos track so that when they return to the station, the are on the opposite side.  There are only two others like it in the world: one in Mexico City and one in England.  All of these rides are on the Historic Places Register.  

Of course there are other great coasters.  The Phantom’s Revenge is a metal coaster.  Every hill has airtime.  In other words, you spend more time out of your seat than on it.  Another woody is the Thunderbolt. This was pretty good too.  What can one say about the Exterminator?  You sit four abreast in a car and ride in an enclosed building.  The ride starts off simple enough with cute displays of exterminators and the usual hills and tight turns.  Then the room becomes totally dark and the car begins spinning, continuing with the hills and turns.  It is quite an experience.

The shows were fun too.  They had three of them: the Kenyan Acrobats, whom we had seen at Wild Adventures, a dog act and a magic show.  They were pretty good.

If you go to Kennywood, you have to have their fries.  They are some of the best we ever had.  Better than Great America in Gurnee, IL and just as good, if not better than the ones in Newfoundland.


About the Author:
John Pelley is a Geriatric Gypsy.  He is retired from the rat race of working.  He is a  full-time RVer, who ran away from home.  He began our travels on the East Coast and, like the migrating birds, seek the warmth of the seasons  He has discovered volunteering with the National Park System.  He has a CD he has recorded of Native American flute music., A Day with Kokopelli. For pictures, links, and more information visit http://www.jmpelley.org.
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