Noah’s Ark opened in 1936, and is the last remaining attraction of its kind in the world. Despite winning the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Award for “Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction” for the sixth year in a row in 2015, many long-time fans of the ride haven’t been completely happy with the state of the Ark since it was renovated back in 1996. In the ’96 renovation, the classic funhouse feel to the attraction seemed to be lost with the addition of newer, higher-tech props.
Fortunately, Kennywood has heard the concerns of the Ark’s diehard fans and is undertaking a major refurb project for the 2016 season and the Ark’s 80th birthday! One of the most missed features of the classic Ark was the whale’s mouth entrance to the ride, and you’ll be happy to know that it will in fact be returning!
The whale’s mouth as seen on the Ark before the 1996 renovation
The whale’s mouth had been replaced by the “Elevator of Doom” where riders felt as if they were in an elevator which fell to the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft. The elevator has already been removed to make way for the whale mouth (as seen below).
View as of 12/20/2015 with the Elevator of Doom removed
The park is still developing final plans for the whale mouth entrance. “We are trying to be as faithful as possible to the original entrance, while also meeting the ADA accessibility requirements that have changed greatly since the whale was first installed in 1969,” says Nick Paradise, Director of Public Relations & Social Media for Kennywood. The original whale had a squishy tongue entrance floor.
The former “skeleton pit” room has already undergone a good deal of work. Photo courtesy of Nick Paradise.
Various other elements from the classic Ark such as surprise air blasts will also be making a return; however, the details of what all that will entail have not yet been released. The park hopes to have Noah’s Ark ready for 2016 Opening Day! Check back here and join the discussion on our forums to keep up to date on the 2016 Noah’s Ark refurb project!
If you love horror movies, you’ll want to check out the new Friday the 13th 4D feature film playing at Kennywood’s 4D Theater during Phantom Fright Nights this year! The film features 13 gory kill scenes and provides “9 Minutes of Terror”!
On September 30th, we were graciously invited to a media preview for Friday the 13th 4D as well as the 2015 Phantom Fright Nights season! Upon entering the park, we were greeted by various ghouls and creatures who will be seen throughout Phantom Fright Nights this year.
In the 4D Theater preshow room, the scene was quite different from the regular season.
There’s some trouble happening here!
We also got to see a demonstration of how the actors’ makeup is done each and every night. This can be a time consuming process, but Kennywood’s talented makeup artists get the job done!
Pedro’s was serving us boiling blood. It was tasty! 😉
Some other Phantom Fright Nights notes:
Kennywood is open for Phantom Fright Nights every Friday and Saturday in October from 6:00 p.m. to Midnight, plus Sunday October 11th from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.
“Ark In the Dark” returns this year for its first full season! For an extra fee, guests can enter a pitch-black Noah’s Ark two at a time and try to find their way out alive!
Lords of Salem Rob Zombie Tribute band will be performing at the Kennyville Stage on Saturday, October 10th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $32.99 at the gate, but they’re slightly cheaper online at $29.99 and cheaper yet at Giant Eagle for $27.99.
A Phantom Fright Nights pass is available for $49.99 and gets you unlimited PFN admission plus one “RIP haunt tour”. A 2016 Premium Season Pass will also get you unlimited PFN visits in 2015.
Kennywood is currently offering some pretty nice discounts for ticket purchases online. Seniors (age 55+) can purchase weekday All-Day admission for just $9.99 and Night-Rider admission for $4.99! There are also combo deals for a regular Fun Day ticket and either Phantom Fright Nights or Holiday Lights combo. Date restrictions do apply. See the link below for details or to purchase!
This morning, Kennywood Park premiered their brand new 4-D Theater attraction. The feature film at the theater is “ICE AGE 4-D: No Time for Nuts”. “Coming Soon” signs posted on the front of the building also reveal seasonal films for Phantom Fright Nights and Holiday Lights. Those films will be “Friday the 13th 4-D” and “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” respectively.
The theater will hold up to 88 guests at a time, and the “No Time for Nuts” film has a runtime of nine minutes. The queue line for the theater is lined with benches, allowing guests to stay comfortable while waiting.
Upon entering the theater, guests gather in a pre-show room where they will view a short film of the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat’s desperate attempt to get his hands on an elusive acorn. For guests who may have not seen the Ice Age films in the past, this funny short introduces them to the character.
After viewing the short introduction film, guests will proceed through the main theater doors. The theater has six rows of seating, and guests are asked to proceed to the furthest seat in their row so that no seats remain empty. With stadium-style seating, every seat in the theater provides a great view of the screen. After viewing the film, guests will exit through a gift shop with various Kennywood and Ice Age items.
As far as the film itself goes, we don’t want to reveal too much and spoil the fun but there are definitely some surprise elements which make it a truly immersive experience. Make sure to pay the park a visit soon and experience the theater and the extremely entertaining and funny film for yourself! This is a great addition for Kennywood, and something the entire family can enjoy together!