View Full Version : Kennywood Building Haunted Mansion Dark Ride

10-20-2007, 11:18 AM
I'm happy to announce that Kennywood Amusement Park is replacing the Gold Rusher dark ride with a TOTAL renovation by Halloween Productions.

This will be a 2 million dollar project for Kennywood, located in Pittsburgh. The outside will be a HUGE four sided haunted mansion facade, while inside a scary interactive targeting haunted mansion dark ride.

The ride system will be a trackless system provided by ETF systems.

The inside will have CGI effects, 8 elaborate haunted mansion rooms, and over 200 animations.

This ride will open in April 08.


10-21-2007, 09:11 PM
i have to say that the former haunted house (that mine thing) was horrible and should be burned down and i'm thankful to hear it's going, but is this going to be another shoot the ghosts style rides, or is it going to be a really cool old style dark ride like the one at knobles?

10-23-2007, 02:19 AM

I'm very happy to hear that the park is advancing it's Haunted House project, and I'm tickled pink that Larry is behind the project. I can only imagine. I'll be one of the first folks that hits the gate the day of opening, that's a given.

As far as the gold rush, I disagree that the ride was horrible.

Just like LeCachot, it was a ride that was behind the times, but not miserable.

The ride had it's advantages, for example.

If you were looking for a semi romantic ride, this one was the type of thing to ride. Just like back in the day when rides like the Old Mill were considered to be "Tunnel Of Love" rides.

I was sad to see the Gold Rush go, but recall reading an article indicating that much of the old system was being salvaged and will be re-used for another application.

When Kennywood removed the LeCachot ride, I was very disappointed. At age 36 I fondly recall riding my first dark ride at age 7 located in Rye New York, called "Laugh In The Dark". I was a lucky dude, because I went to school with one of the son's of the owner, Phillip Trahanas. I was able to hop on the ride for free when visting the park.

I remember being age 7 and deathly afraid to get on the ride, but after some coaxing my mother got me on, and that was my FIRST visit, each time I hit the park.

Some of these rides become a piece of history for some of us, and bring us back in time.

The other thing about rides like the Gold Rush is that it catered to some of the older folks that wanted something simple and didn't provide so much stimuli that they didn't have the chance to enjoy it.

My grandmother was one of those folks, she would say "there's just too much going on". She forgot 98% of what happened on the ride.

I am excited though and anxiously await the opening of the new Haunted Mansion ride. Kennywood park is an awesome little park, the folks in the Burgh are awesome as well.

10-23-2007, 01:46 PM
Well color me excited. By chance are they using ETF's Mystic Mover?

The park needs a lot. Having grown up here in Pittsburgh, you can only go to Kennywood so many times before it gets boring, especially when we spend 10 days @ Disney and usually a weekend or two at Cedar Point.

Kennywood just simply isn't exciting anymore. The problem (IMO) is they've tried to keep up with the times and the big dollar parks, but haven't quite made it. On top of that, since they've tried doing this, they lost the "old time" feel that parks like Idlewild have, putting them by themselves.

The park is maybe 15 minutes from my house and I haven't been in a year or two. They still have some good old coasters though. Thunderbolt and Jack Rabbit are quite good, albeit rough. I can't figure out why they "removed" the Steel Phantom and modified it into the "Phantom's Revenge". The coaster lost all of it's appeal.

Anyhow, Larry you have an incoming PM in a moment.

10-24-2007, 12:03 AM
Brandon_K have to tell you something, speaking of Hundred Acres, which I see you're affiliated with.

I appreciate the things you guys have done for me in the past whether you know it or not.

I had the occasion to talk to an entire family of "critical" folks regarding Hundred Acres Manor, and they advised that it was THE BEST MONEY EVER SPENT.

I asked them to compare it to the Fright Farm in UnionTown and they said it KILLED it.

That's one heck of a compliment, very proud to hear that.

They said it was a LONG vested mission through the attraction and the interior, exterior left them with more than enough thrills and chills. In fact, a couple of skeptical folks JUMPED on more than one occasion. I asked them about the acting, I asked them about the set and there was nothing but compliments.

Speaking of Kennywood, the park is a memorable one to visit, but they suffer the problem of "confined space". They can't grow, they can only replace certain rides, because of a lack of expansion ability.

If any park had the expansion capability it would be Idlewild, as you know they own a lot of property, but try to keep the park as "young" family friend as possible, which I respect.

Speaking of the Phantomb, I had the chance to ride both rides of course and unfortunately, a few folks griped about the twists and turns. When speaking of civil liability, its probably a given that a few folks caused the ride to be downsized to ensure ride comfortability.

This is sad, because the ride was very nice at one point, but speaking of liability, sometimes things downscale for fear or suits.

This is the reason why the ride was changed.

Most parks base a lot of things on tickets, price and sales.

The park is a still an affordable park for the money and provides a day of fun.

With Disney, there is no comparison, there never will be. That park can dump as much money in to their attractions as they want to, it's just that big.

Again, cheers for H.A.M doing a great job there, hope to visit this year before the season ends.

10-24-2007, 03:45 PM
Wow, we appreciate the compliments!

Many of us put our heart and soul into our house. We're 100% volunteer based and you really have to have a solid crew that loves what they do to put on an event like this. We're not a huge 60k/month haunt, but we feel that we put on the best show that we can.

Myself.. Eh, it might sound sacrilegious, but I'm really not into the blood and guts stuff. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE seeing people jump, especially if it's in a fully automated room (since I'm the one that does all of that jazz ;) ), but I really love programming shows. Hopefully one day this will get my foot in the door at Disney or the like. I would really love to make a career out of this.

As far as comparing us to Rich's (Fright Farm), we're two different attractions. They do unbelievable set work. The detail is outstanding. They also have massive property in which they can run a hay ride, something I wish we had the space to do (Deep down, I'm a farmer and love tractors...), but we simply don't. We're a very high intensity, very in your face type of place. The guys over at Rich's put on a terrific show too though. Unfortunately, it looks like I won't be able to make it out to see them this year :( I just have to much going on at our own place. Rich's seem to have excellent throughput, something we need to work on greatly. Over 2000 people on a night and it gets very congested, very quickly. It's something we're looking at in detail next year to get resolved.

As far as Kennywood goes, I agree, very confined. I believe they have just a tad bit more property that hasn't been developed yet, but nothing the size that you could put in a mega attraction.

Kennywood has lost it's appeal to me over the last 5 years or so. Maybe it's because they've removed some really great rides and attractions, maybe it's because I would go there a half dozen times throughout my younger years and I'm burned out on it. I don't know.

Visually, they've done some nice things with the park. The area that they turned into a Hawaiian volcano landscape type of thing is pretty cool.

I really want to see what they do for Phantom Fright Nights. Since they're only open on Friday and Saturday's, I've never been able to make it out there. It goes back to having to much to do at our own house.

10-26-2007, 01:34 AM
Excellent reply, I sent you a message.

I think you guys are on the right track from what I hear from your patrons.

Hopefully I'll get out there before the season ends to see it for myself.

10-26-2007, 05:22 AM
Yes they're using ETF mystic movers...it will be a trackless ride system with targeting guns.


11-15-2007, 02:23 PM
That will be excellent. First applicaitin of the Mystic Movers in the USA?

12-08-2007, 07:43 PM
The name has sliped out, "Ghostwood Estate."

Any updates?

Jim Warfield
12-11-2007, 01:38 AM
My Wife hates it when I have "Ghost-Wood".

Greg Chrise
12-16-2007, 01:00 PM
No, that's phantom limb syndrome.

Greg Chrise
12-16-2007, 01:09 PM
I saw a video of Ghost Ship burning down, was this a different building?

Jim Warfield
12-19-2007, 10:32 PM
Dum Ghosts, they probably were stoking the boiler , caught the sails on fire, but there was no boiler below deck.

01-10-2008, 08:12 PM
I saw a video of Ghost Ship burning down, was this a different building?

Ghost Ship was in the old dance hall that was built in 1899. It burnt down in the 1970s.

Ghostwood Estate will be replacing the gold rusher. It was built in the 1980's

01-12-2008, 12:20 AM
Yes the name of the attraction will be called 'Ghostwood Estates'.

There will be a CGI Ghost named by the same name. Actually there will be SEVERAL CGI effects. Mostly the attraction will be Disney like in nature with a lot of animations. The ride will feature a wireless ride system as well. The attraction will be interactive targeting game inside a haunted mansion. First of its kind in the WORLD! It should be very nice. Kennywood staff is building the facade, and I think but I'm not sure a gift store.

It will be a cool attraction and stand out at Kennywood.


03-03-2008, 01:30 AM
Here are updated images from the dark ride. Let me know what you think.


03-03-2008, 07:58 PM
who is sculpting your characters?

i'm sure i speak for many of us but i'm looking forward to seeing more pictures in the near future! looks great..as always. lol

03-04-2008, 08:27 PM
Wow i can't wait to see more pics. This ride looks like it's going to be very good.

03-08-2008, 02:58 AM
The big tombstone you're looking at will have a really cool CGI effect inside that door. These tombstones where coated with a concrete finish. We hand sculpted over 50 tombstones some big and some small.

I hope I'm not giving too much away but you must come to Kennywood in May to see the attraction.

We'll have over 20 people from the haunted house industry helping us install the rest of the attraction in April. Right after the Halloween show...we'll be knee deep in a big giant haunted mansion!!!


03-08-2008, 08:17 PM
So will this attraction open on May 3rd or will it be a delayed opening?

03-08-2008, 08:29 PM
I'm originally from Pittsburgh and have plenty of family still living there. I guess we make it sort of a yearly traditon to go Kennywood. I'm looking forward to the trip more than ever this year. And I think this ride will be a great addition to the park.

Greg Chrise
03-10-2008, 10:38 PM
I'm originally from Pittsburgh and have plenty of family still living there. I haven't made it to Kennywood since about 1970. Maybe you could have your family unannounced, go beat the crap out of my family and not offer any explainations?

03-22-2008, 01:43 PM
I do not know if it will open on time or not. I know they're not done with the facade and there is still a TON of work to do. Our crew just came back from Kennywood. We pretty much have the ENTIRE attraction roughed in and some of it painted. On or around April 2nd we're going up with a big crew to install animations, props, and lighting. While we're there the ride system will be installed but that actually might be delayed one week I'm not sure.

I know their plan is the ride will open on opening day. If it doesn't it would probably open the following week but I don't know anything. All I know is this... if we don't get our part done we'll be in trouble! LOL


03-23-2008, 08:34 AM
I live about four hours away in Buffalo so hopefully it opens on the third-because I am definately going!. I am excited for this ride-it sounds real cool.

03-24-2008, 01:43 PM
I work at Kennywood, and Im happy to say that I will be running Ghostwood Estate. From what I've seen and heard so far, it's going to be a great ride. I'll be going in for training next month so I'll finally get to see all of the meticulous detail that went into it.:o

03-31-2008, 04:28 PM
so those pics are for the ghostwood estate ride? wow i cant wait till may

04-05-2008, 02:35 AM
Here is a picture I took on Friday. I just left after spending an entire week at Kennywood. The attraction will be top notch... The Kennywood crew is building the facade, and let me tell you they have a top notch crew without a doubt!

I think you will love the ride.

I hope it makes DAFE list!


04-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Hey Larry

Hows the progress comng on Ghostwood Manor?? Looking forward to seeing it on Media day (May2).

04-22-2008, 04:14 PM
I was at Kennywood for a private tour yesterday and they allowed me to take a few pictures of the facade of Ghostwood Estate, so here they are.

04-23-2008, 08:55 PM
Very nice pics! Thanks for the sneak peak!

I am very excited about riding this next Friday!!

04-26-2008, 11:02 AM
this looks AMAZNG!!!!!! Larry you are verry good i cant waite to hire you to build on my pro haunt! :)


04-29-2008, 04:11 AM
Hey Larry,
Will you be at Kennywood this Friday for Media Day for Ghostwood Manor?

Can't wait to see the it!!

05-03-2008, 08:14 PM
Well, I am sure everyone has seen this, but...for you who have not-Here ya go http://youtube.com/watch?v=9cUBX28txJk
The ride looks awesome. Can't wait to ride.

05-13-2008, 01:55 PM
I somehow doubt this is legit - but it's kind of an interesting approach to highlighting the new ride:


05-15-2008, 04:03 PM
Yeah ,the guy in this video acted pretty stupid. I can see now why radio is in a sad state of affairs!!

05-20-2008, 08:34 AM
wow what an oscar winning performance

05-22-2008, 05:17 PM
In case you're interested if you go to www.halloweenproductions.com (http://www.halloweenproductions.com) you can read our blog which has some photos of the ride up.

Right on the front page.

Lastly, if you want to see the best video that will be made on this ride you will have to wait a month or so... its coming though, complete with showing off the CGI effects everything.

Again it' coming!


07-03-2008, 04:54 PM
For what its worth I just found the Gold Rusher on Ebay its going for 5k.