New rides await at Kennywood, Idlewild

By Rebecca Sloan

A spooky ride and a mudslide are what’s in store for visitors.

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Get ready to scream. A host of goblins and ghouls are coming to Kennywood to scare the daylights out of you this summer.

Kennywood’s newest ride, Ghostwood Estate, is an eight-room haunted mansion that will open its doors in May to all who dare enter.

During a visit to Ghostwood Estate, parkgoers will ride in trackless cars programmed and monitored by a computer. During their terrifying trek, they’ll use laser blasters to take aim at more than 200 interactive targets and ghostly computer generated images.

Each trackless vehicle has four individual scoreboards to tally annihilated spooks.

Kennywood General Manager Jerome Gibas said Ghostwood Estate boasts the latest technology and affirms the park’s commitment to “dark rides.”

Members of Darkride And Funhouse Enthusiasts have voted Kennywood their favorite Dark Attraction Park for the past six years.

Ghostwood Estate replaces Kennywood’s 25-year-old Gold Rusher, which was retired last August.

If you’re searching for something lighter and more family-friendly, slip over to one of Kennywood’s sister parks – Idlewild in Ligonier, Pa. – and enjoy a brand-new ride called Bigfoot’s Mudslide.

Bigfoot’s Mudslide is Idlewild’s fifth new family attraction in five years.

Brandon Leonatti, Idlewild’s general manager, said the new slide will allow parents and children to experience something fun together.

“When we did a little research and found that Westmoreland County has the highest number of alleged Bigfoot sightings in Pennsylvania, we thought we’d play into the legend while, at the same time, offer great family fun,” he said.

When riding Bigfoot’s Mudslide, visitors will sit on mats and swish down one of three 90-foot-long lanes that speed over a series of dips and humps.

Double riders will be permitted – something that will allow kids and parents to go down the big hill together.

One important note that might relieve parents: Bigfoot’s Mudslide contains no actual mud.

“The positioning of the slide and some theming will make it appear that riders are sliding down the slope of an actual hill,” Leonatti said.

Amusement Today magazine has rated Idlewild the second-best kids’ park in the world, and the National Amusement Park Society has voted it the fourth best park in the world for families.

Founded in 1878 as a picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, Idlewild is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and the third-oldest in America.

Kennywood also has a rich history. It opened in 1898 as a small trolley park near Pittsburgh and is a National Historic Landmark.

Kennywood, Idlewild and Sand Castles in West Homestead, Pa., were sold in December 2007 to Parqus Reunidos of Madrid, Spain, an international operator that manages 61 amusement, animal and water parks in the United States.

XFor more information on Kennywood visit or call (412) 461-0500. For more information on Idlewild, visit or call (724) 238-3666.

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