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 www.parkworld-online.com


The addition


     


Ride History


First opened: 1901 Current version built: 1926


RIDE NAMES: Old Mill:


1901-1905, ca. 1921- 1973, 1992-2003, 2020 (approx. 67 years) Fairyland Floats: 1906-1910, 1917- ca. 1920


Panama Canal: 1911-1914


Rapids Gorge: 1915-1916


Hard Headed Harold’s Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway: 1974-1991  2004-2019


of positive coverage and response, even with COVID- 19 negatively impacting our ability to promote and celebrate the ride’s return. “The biggest challenge,” she adds, “was the


shut down due to the coronavirus. We were in the middle of the re-theme when we had to stop. In a way, even the delay had its silver linings in that we weren’t rushed to finish in time for opening day. The Scarehouse team did a great job with all the curveballs the shutdown threw at all of us.”


 “We asked (ScareHouse) to produce a ride that payed homage to the version of the Old Mill ride Scott Simmons and I both grew up with,” Ruby admits. “I had come up with the idea of the new Old Mill being the story of Harold, a reference to the ride’s onetime name Hard Headed Harold’s Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway, along with some drawings that were done by Bryan Bartley, a longtime ride mechanic at Kennywood. They definitely delivered. They stayed within all of our parameters while adding great creative insights of their own.” “One of the first things we did,” Simmons reveals, “was to contact local archivists and fellow dark ride fans and review scores of photos and videos from previous versions of the Old Mill, as well as other beloved dark rides from Kennywood’s past, so that we could identify and then recreate some of the most memorable gags that so many local fans wanted to


32


see again. So, it’s a fun case not of first-time effects but old-time effects brought back to life, albeit with fun new details.” It differs significantly from earlier versions of the


ride. According to Simmons, “The addition of a story- line and hero character appearing in each scene is a significant change, and we’ve also utilised a brighter color palette and more significant use of UV lighting and paint than what was featured in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We wanted the ride to be colourful but still have a sense of contrast and spooky atmosphere. Our new version pays tribute to some of the classic Old Mill scenes albeit it with some new gags and characters thrown into the mix. And there are now dozens of easter eggs, puns, and references to Kennywood and/ or Pittsburgh that will require multiple rides to catch.” Here is one final surprise - Kennywood’s Old Mill


is the world’s oldest operating version of a “tunnel of love”-style chute ride. Although it’s long been popular for couples seeking a “private getaway,” the Old Mill was never actually called the “Tunnel of Love.”


Inside the Old Mill Old Mill’s renovation features: 18 skeletons, 7 skunks, 3 orange cats, 1 opossum ... plus at least 30 “Easter egg” references to Pittsburgh and Kennywood. Longtime park fans will also be delighted by the return of a classic train gag last seen in Kennywood’s Gold Rusher, and back in operation for the first time in 13 years.


SUMMER PART 2 2020


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