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A popular attraction since 1899, Pittsburgh, PA's Kennywood holds National Historic Landmark status being the 17th oldest amusement park in the US. Privately owned and operated by the Kenny family, the land started out as a trolley park that was leased to the Monongahela Street Railway in the attempt to get some patronage for their business. This successful endeavor quickly expanded to include outdoor recreation facilities such as athletic fields, a bandstand, a dance pavilion, a picnic grove, a playground, landscaped gardens, and even a casino. In 1902, the first rollercoaster was added. By 1924, there was an entire "Kiddieland", with regular thrill rides being added for adults as well.

In its more than one century of operation, Kennywood has been home to many ground breaking achievements in the amusement park business. At one time, it was dubbed the roller coaster capital of the world. The Jack Rabbit is the 5th oldest functioning roller coaster in the world, and was one of the first to utilize wheels both above and below the track to keep the train safely on course. The Steel Phantom (revamped and renamed to the Phantom's Revenge for the 2001 season) was, at one time, the fastest roller coaster in the world with a maximum speed of 80mph, and attracted coaster enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Today the park covers over 40 acres plus parking (free!), and overlooks the Monongahela River. It is one of the few remaining urban amusement parks left in the US. Over one million people visit each season. It typically opens in early May and closes in early September, though weather conditions may cause earlier or later scheduling. The park opens its gates a 10:30am, rides start at 11:00am, and closing time is set by weather and crowd conditions. To enter the park, visitors can choose to pay a small entrance fee and then buy tickets to ride individual rides, or purchase an all-day wristband pass that allows unlimited access to nearly all of the rides.

Kennywood is home to numerous rides, some of the most notable being:

Roller Coasters Vertical Rides Transport Rides Flat Rides Water Rides

... and many more including Noah's Ark, the rides in Kiddieland, paddle boats, games, arcades, miniature golf, live stage shows, fireworks, etc.

Sister Parks


References:

  • Personal Experience (I go every season)
  • http://www.kennywood.com
  • http://home.nyc.rr.com/johnmiller/kenny.html
  • http://www.wqed.org/erc/pghist/units/fun/fun5.html
  • http://www.pathrills.com/history/history_index.shtml
  • http://www.phlf.org/pdf/Kennywood%20FACT%20SHEETS.pdf
  • http://www.geocities.com/le_cachot/kennywoodpark/kennywoodhome.html
The other great thing about Kennywood is the food. Between the Thunderbolt and Phantom's Revenge is a great corndog booth, where you can get your corndog dipped in melted cheese. Just across from that is the famous Potato Patch, where they make essentially the world's best fries, on par with the O. They cut the potatoes with a press and leave the skins on. Also, don't put ketchup on them. They have vinegar, cheese sauce (probably the same as from the corndog booth, tangy and cheddary), beef gravy, and a special shake on seasoning. I usually get a combination of any or all of the above. As to be found in any amusement park, cotton candy abounds, if you're into that. Also those red white and blue paper bags of popcorn. Both are made in and sold out of little carts. Also standard is the candied apple, accessible at the the food stand that looks like a merry go round near the merry go round. You can get a good funnel cake here, known in the midwest as an elephant ear, but I don't call it that. It's a funnel cake. There's an ice cream parlour outside Kiddieland that makes this awesome ice cream cone with a bathtub shaped cup at the top of the cone part, to facilitate the containment of a chocolate dipped and nut rolled rectangular block of vanilla ice cream, topped with a cherry. Those are GOOD. Over towards the Log Jammer there is a lemonade stand that makes real fresh squeezed lemonade.

I guess a recurring theme here is that so much of the food is fresh and real, and made the old fashioned way. Even though Kennywood keeps up with the technology, with their more recent additions of modern thrill rides, there is a historical element to the park which they work hard to preserve.

There's lots of generic food, stands and cafes where you can get a burger, some mexican type food or pizza or a salad or whatever, but you shouldn't eat salad, you should pig out here because even if you're a local you probably don't come more than once a year, and if this is your pilgrimage to Kennywood then you shouldn't eat anything you can get outside kennywood, except for the corndogs, and fries. Though you can get them elsewhere, there's something about a corndog with potato patch fries... agghhh(gargle gargle)

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