Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Abbreviation: KW)
Park News - (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.
(12/1/17) Ewww... just... ewww... this story is going to gross you out, but here goes. According to local news reports a man has filed a lawsuit against the Kennywood amusement park, claiming that he was infected by an "eye-eating parasite" after riding the park's Raging Rapids ride on July 2nd.
He has suffered through a surgery to try and remove the parasite and repair the damage, but the parasite "could not be removed entirely", and now he is left with blury vision and painful symptoms. After the visit he thought he had gotten a case of pinkeye, and was treated unsuccessfully with antibiotics before he was diagnosed as being infected by microsporidia keratitis, which "eats away at the cornea of the eye."
So... yeah... Ewww!
In all seriousness however, this is the first time I've heard of this particular parasite, and I've never heard of a claim like this being filed against a theme park before either, especially with all the water rides out there. While I don't doubt the poor fellow has suffered from the parasite, without being able to prove that the water in the ride is infected, who is to say that Kennywood was the real source of the parasite when thousands of guests are splashed by the same water each day and seem to be unaffected.
(9/15/17) As rumored back in July, Kennywood has made the announcement confirming that the park’s Log Jammer flume ride will be retired. To celebrate the Log Jammer’s 42 years, come down for one last ride on Sept. 17th, after which the ride will be closed and removed to allow for future expansion in that corner of the park. Kennywood says that no final decision has been made on what will replace it, if the rest of our rumors hold true, a station for a new proposed coaster will be build just behind where the Log Jammer sat, whcih will run into the new property next door purchased by Kennywood a couple of years ago.
For those unable to make it down in time for one last ride, enjoy the POV video below showing off the Log Jammer which opened in 1975.
2018 - Thomas Town - Confirmed - (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?? - New Coaster - Rumor - (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.