ShareThis Page
More A and E

Kennywood's Noah's Ark to go old school

| Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, 9:04 p.m.
The additions to Noah’s Ark at Kennywood will include the return of the giant whale’s mouth (show in a photo from the 1970s), which guests walked through atop a springy, squishy tongue structure.
Kennywood
The additions to Noah’s Ark at Kennywood will include the return of the giant whale’s mouth (show in a photo from the 1970s), which guests walked through atop a springy, squishy tongue structure.
The Elevator of Doom has been removed from Noah's Ark at Kennywood
Kennywood
The Elevator of Doom has been removed from Noah's Ark at Kennywood

Starting in the 2016 season, longtime Kennywood Park visitors can enjoy a Noah's Ark attraction more like the funhouse-flavored one they cherished during their younger years.

The West Mifflin park is renovating the classic walk-through ride, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2016. Since the ark opened in 1936, it has undergone two other renovations: one in the late 1960s and one in 1996. The most popular version of Noah's Ark seems to be the one between the '60s and '90s renovation, when it had more of a funhouse-feel-sans-clowns and less of the higher-tech stuff like the elevator and mist-spraying Bathy Sphere, which are being removed, says park spokesman Nick Paradise.

Though details are scarce now, the additions to Noah's Ark will include the return of the beloved giant whale's mouth, which guests walked through atop a springy, squishy tongue structure. And favorite features, like vibrating floors and the animal theme, are remaining on the ark, he says.

Kennywood workers have started dismantling parts of Noah's Ark's interior and clearing out space. They plan to complete the renovation before the park's spring opening, Paradise says.

“We're looking at doing a pretty extensive renovation to the attraction, to kind of take it back to the classic funhouse style — a little bit of what had been taken away in the renovation in 1996,” he says. “We are trying to get it back to what a lot of people remember from their childhood.”

The most recent version of Noah's Ark seemed to disappoint people because it wasn't as playful, Paradise says.

“I think the public reaction and sentiment ... was that it wasn't what people wanted from the attraction,” he says. “They wanted a very classic feel ... the classic, almost-hokey stunts ... that the ride pulled.”

But, despite customer disappointment, in 2015, for the sixth consecutive year, Noah's Ark was named the Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction at the Golden Ticket Awards Ceremonies, run by the industry publication Amusement Today.

Kennywood currently is offering its Holiday Lights event on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December, except for Christmas Day. The park then closes for the winter, and re-opens for the season May 7.

Details: 412-461-0500 or kennywood.com

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me