Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Abbreviation: KW)
Park News - (8/8/18) While I'm not sure what happened, the local media filed a report about Kennywood confirming that the Thomas train ride is still closed due to the previous issues and that new "stoppages" took place on the Phantom's Revenge and Thunderbolt this week. I heard the Phantom one was just a train stopping on the lift hill, which isn't a big deal and just the ride's safety system working normally as it should, but I've no idea what happened on Thunderbolt.
According to the report, the issues with the Thomas train ride have the park making some adjustments to the rails on the track in locations where the train has been having issues navigating tight turns. Once the adjustments are complete, tested and re-inspected, the attraction will be able to reopen.
(8/6/18) This has just been a very bad week for Kennywood it seems. On top of the Pirate swing ship braking system failing and then two derailed reported on the new Thomas railroad ride, now it seems a much more serious incident took place on the Lil' Phantom kiddie coaster, where a section of the train apparently broke off and somehow "impaled the front of the train!" Wow... not good at all.
(8/4/18) Thomas is having some issues at Kennywood it seems, as the kids train ride is closed again while park teams investigate yet another derailment of the train that took place on Thursday. I'm not the most familiar with all of Kennywood smaller attractions, but I kind of thought that the train ride itself existed before this year and was simply incorporated into the new Thomas themed area, possibly with simply the addition of a new themed engine car. Anyone know for sure if this was the case, or is this an entirely brand new train ride? Either way, something is is need of adjustment here, as Thomas keeps running off the rails.
(8/2/18) Bad times for Kennywood as of late. According to the local news Kennywood's Pirate ship ride suffered a malfunction on Wednesday when the ride operators were unable to stop the ride from swinging for about 10 minutes when the brake system failed. (Personally, I know a few people who would be more than grateful for that kind of ride experience, but I digress...) Thankfully no riders were hurt, but several reported feeling nauseous and for the moment, the ride is closed until further notice.
Meanwhile it seems this incident came just one day after another incident we had not heard about when the new Thomas Town train ride "went off the tracks". The train ride has since reopened.
(6/2/18) I think we have an answer as to why Sky Rocket at Kennywood is closed. A reader pointed out a a photo posted to Facebook on May 20th where it looked like something in the "engine room" for the coaster may have caught fire. Oops....
(6/1/18) Anyone know what is going on with Kennywood's Sky Rocket coaster? According to the status report at the top of the official ride page, it now says that Sky Rocket "will be closed for repairs under further notice."
(5/31/18) Congrats goes out to Kennywood this week, as the park celebrates the 50th anniversary of their Thunderbolt coaster from now through June 3rd. Admission to park guests age 50 or older will only be $19.68 during this time, bought at the gate or online. If you haven’t ridden it, you should, it’s one of the most unique wooden coasters on the planet that is a lot of fun.
(3/8/18) A quick warning to those planning to visit Kennywood this season. According to this article a couple PennDOT project may make traffic issues to and from the park a bit difficult this season. This includes a planned $7 million upgrade of Route 837 near the park that will likely see multi-lane roads restricted to single-lane access for a time along with some other bridge refurbishment projects. Follow the link for complete details.
2018 - Thomas Town - (6/29/18) According to the local news the new Thomas Town attraction coming to Kennywood will not be ready to open until July 27th.
(6/21/18) A new video showing off some construction progress inside Kennywood's new Thomas Town area can be found below.
(6/20/18) The local news posted a video from the hard-hat construction tour of the new Thomas Town area finishing up construction at Kennywood. Check it out.
(3/1/18) An article along with about 15 pictures showing off concept artwork as well as photos from Kennywood, have been posted to USAToday showing off where the new Thomas Town will be and how it will look. According to the article the park managed to create about an acre of free space next to the existing Auto Race ride for Thomas Town. As expected, the Olde Kennywood RR will be repurposed and given a Thomas theme.
(2/7/18) Kennywood has confirmed the news just a couple hours ago... Thomas Town is coming to the park for 2018. You can see the official website here.
(2/6/18) Apparently a little something leaked out of Kennywood over the weekend... and was then quickly removed or locked away, but the gist of it was that the new kiddie area that Parque Reunidos mentioned was on the way for 2018 will be a Thomas Town, themed after Thomas the Tank Engine. Fortunately Google remembers all and a cache-memory version was captured, which you can see, lists the rides featured here as: Olde Kennywood Railroad, Cranky's Drop Tower, Harold's Helicopters, Fireflighting Flynn and The Convoy, along with a Discover Thomas show, Sodor Play Zone & Gift Shop and a Thomas Town Party Pavilion.
They list this as an $8.5 million expansion that guests will enter near the Pagoda Restaurant and centered around the "park's 85-year-old train area."
(12/31/17) A few pictures on Facebook from Kennywood show off a few trees marked with ribbons. Not sure if they are marked for possible removal or some other issues, or if this could be a sign of the possible location for whatever new "kids area" addition is being planned for 2018.
(12/8/17) According to this news article, Kennywood is adding a new $7 million kids area to the park for the 2018 season. The figure was listed as a breakdown of a 55 million Euro capital spending plan chain-wide from owner, Parque Reunidos. No further details about the Kennywood project were given however.
2019 - Steelers Country / The Steel Curtain - (8/3/18) Track for Kennywood's new Steel Curtain caoster has been spotted at the park.
(7/20/18) Kennywood made their 2019 announcement a few hours ago and it was safe to say that I think it was pretty much a surprise to everyone. Taking the place of the former log flume ride will be an entire new themed area called Steelers Country, themed after the local NFL Football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The football tailgate party themed area will feature a number new additions including the End Zone Cafe & Tailgate Patio, a Steelers Experience indoor training facility that will put you on the field for some drills, plus a Terrible Tower interactive exhibit. There will also be a number of football themed midway games... but at the heart of it all, looming high over everything, will be The Steel Curtain!
The Steel Curtain is the name of a massive new 220 foot coaster from S&S Worldwide that will feature 4000 feet of track and a North American record-breaking 9 inversions. The 24 passenger trains will climb the 50º lift hill 220 feet into the air and roll right into the first inversion (which looks similar to how Drachen Fire started at Busch Gardens Williamsburg) before taking a dive to the ground at 75mph. The Steel Curtain features a truly unique layout unlike anything I've seen before as well as two more records: Tallest Roller Coaster in the PA and the Tallest Inversion in the world at 197 feet.
(7/19/18) Keep an eye on the Kennywood website today, as the park is expected to finally announce their 2019 plans at noon on Sept. 19th. Stay tuned!
(7/5/18) Kennywood has updated their Project 412 website with an entirely new game. Now that the scratch-off game is over, they've posted a new Word Search game that is full of a number of possible words to find, but you then have to select which of the 9 different numbers from the scratch-off game match with the right word found in the Word Search.
The first twelve people to correctly match all 9 numbers to the correct words will win "the ULTIMATE New Ride Experience, including being among the first riders when the attraction opens in 2019!" We wont have to wait much longer apparently, as I'm hearing that the announcement will be made before the end of July.
(7/4/18) All but one of the hints on the Kennywood Project 412 scratch-off have been revealed. We've got 220, 24, 50, 9, 197, 120, 3 and 75... but what to all these mean? Oh... the last number was just reveled to be 4000. Look for some kind of announcement from the park today... if not a new teaser for the ride, then maybe the start of a new set of clues.
(6/21/18) Coaster Nation has posted a new video showing off what's been done at Kennywood so far for Project 412. Check it out below.
(6/15/18) The second number on the Kennywood scratch-off teaser for the 2019 project was revealed as... "3". So we've got a 197 and a 3... but what do they mean? 197mph launch in 3 seconds? Naaa... they would turn their guests into puddles. 3 Launches? 3 Inversions/ 197 Feet Tall? We'll have to wait and see.
(6/13/18) Kennywood is now teasing whatever their 2019 project is online, calling it Project 412. They are playing a sort of lottery / scratch-off game with this one, and claim each week over the summer they will uncover a number of the faux-scratcher that will reveal detail about the ride. So far we have the number "197".
(5/18/18) I've mentioned this on social media, but what appear to be footers for a new ride have appeared near the former log flume ride in the lagoon which was drained. A reader sent in a photo taken last week showing off some of it. Looks like the 2019 project may be even bigger than we expected.
(4/14/18) Happy day for Kennywood fans, as the park posted a mystery photo on their Instagram account a couple of days ago showing off a huge pile of dirt that looks to have been piled up by earthmovers. While we don't know exactly "What's happening behind the dirt?" as the post asks... the far more interesting thing is the location of this dirt pile.
In the background on the right we can see the top of the lift hill for The Racer coaster, which means that the location of this photo is the former site of the old Log Jammer ride, which means that construction for the 2019 project appears to have begun.
(12/1/17) While I haven't heard much of anything about this project in quite some time, we did get one rumor sent in claiming that RMC was no longer in the running for the park's next big coaster, which was now looking to possibly be a new impressive steel coaster project instead. If this latest info is legit, look for the new coaster to possibly open for the 2019 season.
(10/30/17) While I had not heard this latest rumor myself, Screamscape was contacted by the local KDKA CBS News team in Pittsburgh to chat briefly about what kind of new coaster could be added to Kennywood. We chatted mostly about the news you reader have seen here since 2016 showing off a potential layout that was shared with the local government offices at the time, but then they asked me about a new rumor for this new coaster project, likely now for 2019. Could it be big enough to grab a record for being the biggest wooden coaster in the US?
An interesting idea for sure... but as I mentioned to them, it depends on just what statistic they are shooting for. Biggest... as is Longest would be it would have to be longer than The Beast at Kings Island, and no one has been willing to try and tackle that record since The Beast opened in 1979. Height is possible if they try to go taller than El Toro's 181 feet.
Anyway, you can read what the local news had to say and watch the video which includes a brief mention of Screamscape and some audio clips from me.
(7/14/17) What Kennywood may be up to for the 2018 season is still undecided at this point, as I'm hearing they are still waiting on some permit permissions to come in before they can build that long rumored coaster on the new land they bought. It could still happen for 2018, but nothing is set in stone yet apparently. That said, I'm hearing that we should keep an eye on park's Log Jammer ride and the surrounding area. If the rumors are right, the park may have already begin removing the "pavilions" behind the Log Jammer which is where they planned on having the station for the new coaster project.
While they don't need to remove Log Jammer to put in the new coaster, I'm told there is a chance that Log Jammer may be retired before too long as well as the old ride is simply showing extreme signs of age and is in need of a major overhaul if they want to keep it running for much longer.
(5/2/17) It's been awhile since I've heard anything about Kennywood's rumored new coaster project, but apparently they are still finishing up the deisngs. If all goes well, you could see the first signs of construction begin somewhere behind The Racer later this year.
(10/1/16) What is said to be plans showing off the location of a proposed 2018 new roller coaster for Kennywood are said to have been shown off at a local council meeting the other night. A quick photo snapped of the plans, as well as a couple of images showing the plans overlayed over photos of the park sent my way have been posted. (Sorry for no credit given, as I wasn't made aware of who created some of these images, but if you would like credit, please let me know.)
As rumored, the images show the coaster layout running down the hillside into Kennywood new unused property that lies down the hillside in the area behind the Racer and Jack Rabbit.
(8/15/16) I'm not sure how good this rumor is, but according to one reader Kennywood is seeking planning permission to run a coaster down the hill and into the new land they purchased a couple of years ago, where it might run through an existing structure. The existing structure would likely be the old train repair station building that is down the hill behind the Log Jammer and Racer. I wouldn’t expect this for 2017, this could be pre-planning for a year or two later.
(1/8/16) Screamscape sources tell us that Kennywood plan have begun long term planning for the park's next coaster. We don't know what kind of coaster it may be, but the location they are said to be looking at will be behind the pavilions next to the Log Jammer flume. This lines up with an older rumor I had posted a year or more ago that said the next coaster might end up replacing the railroad, which runs along this very path and turns around behind the log flume.