Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kennywood's Open!

I am SO excited this weekend to go see Adventureland. Not only is Ryan Renyolds is a total hottie, BUT the movie was filmed at….KENNYWOOD.

Reader Brian has heard me gush over Kennywood for years. Brady has even heard my numerous stories about Kennywood food, matching outfits and making out on the rides ; )

So what is Kennywood? (Yeah, this post is gonna bore you Pittsburghers).

Kennywood is an amusement park located just outside of Pittsburgh that opened in 1989. This old school park keeps kicking today with high-flying rides for all ages.

Before you see Adventureland, here are some things you just MUST know about the movie's backdrop - Kennywood…

• Picnicking is an important park of Kennywood’s heritage. Before the park was developed, people came to the Kenny family’s property to picnic at the area because it overlooked the river.

• Throw your diet out the door when you visit the park. The Potato Patch fresh cut fries are unbelievable. There is also a candy store located right by the park's exit. They make the best fudge. Oh and Kennywood is alcohol free, but that hasn't stopped Sue Bonkowski from sneaking in some vodka in water bottles.

• Kennywood is one of only two amusement parks on the National Register of Historic Places.
• During the early 1900’s the park became popular for combining thrill rides with recreation venues like swimming pools and dance halls.


• If you are from the Pittsburgh area, people will often tell you that “Kennywood’s Open” if your fly is down. Oh and if you are wearing the same outfit as another person, a Pittsburgh person may ask, "Are you going to Kennywood?" That's because back in the 70's and 80's, it was tradition to wear the same outfit as your riding partner. Going shopping for Kennywood outfits was a big deal!

• If you go to Kennywood today, you will notices the nostalgic atmosphere with contemporary rides and roller coasters.

• Some of Kennywood’s most popular rides include…
o Three wooden coasters – The Racer, Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt - all built in the 1920’s.
o Exterminator: An indoor roller coaster build in the last 1990’s.
o Phantom’s Revenge: A super-fast roller coaster that once held the record for the fastest in the world and the largest drop. This ride typically has the longest line.
o Three “wet” rides: The Log Jammer, Pittsburgh Plunge and Raging Rapids. True story – I was once on the Rapids when the ride “broke down.” Thankfully our raft was about to pull in, so we were able to quickly get out.

• For the little kids, there is “Kiddieland” which is full of rides for those under 8ish.

• Each of the schools in the Pittsburgh area have a “school picnic” where the whole community goes to Kennywood on that day. My school’s day typically fell on the second week of June – right after graduation.

• Adventureland won’t be Kennywood’s first time in the spotlight. Kennywood was featured in an episode of CSI and in the pilot of Disney’s Even Stevens.

I’ve read that the names of the rides and games are changed for the movie, but you Pittsburghers will be able to spot the changes.

I could go on and on about Kennywood Memories for hours, but I think these are some good highlights. If you ever meet someone from Pittsburgh, tell them you’ve heard Kennywood is a good time. You will have a friend for life.

(sources: wikipedia, kennywood.com, Photos: empirepictures.com, geocities.com)

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