Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Awesome new kids area wows our daughters....and us!
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
Challenge me at Donkey Kong...I dare ya!
User avatar
 
Posts: 865
Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Location: Natrona Heights, PA
Gender: Male
Age: 39

Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby PhantomNick » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:36 pm

We as a family had an amazing opportunity to represent TPR and cover the media event for the Grand Opening of Kennywood's new addition for 2018 - Thomas Town!! This new kids area welcomes Thomas the Train to the park, along with 4 new kid/family rides, an indoor soft play structure, a new show, and more! We were all in agreement that the new area looks absolutely fantastic! The park did a very nice job incorporating this new area in a space that I never would've guessed would hold as much as it does. Thomas Town is not an expansion of the park's Kiddieland per se, but more like a separate area for kids and families to enjoy together. I realize this may not speak to some of you, but if you have younger kids, this is definitely worth checking out at Kennywood! And that's true if your kids are huge Thomas fans or (like our girls) have only seen an episode or two!

We were all thrilled to be able to attend this event for TPR, and on a personal note I would like to give a HUGE THANKS to Robb for inquiring with Nick (Kennywood's awesome and incredibly friendly PR guy) about having my wife Erin and our two daughters attend as well! Seriously, that was very much appreciated, and you helped give our 3 and a half year old some extra special memories from the moment we told her....and she proceeded to jump up and down saying "Daddy, I'm SO EXCITED!!!" :b =)

Speaking of our lovely daughters, I'd like to introduce our special little riders that were the perfect audience to test out this new area. Our oldest is Morgan, an energetic toddler who loves rides and keeping us on our toes, haha! Our youngest, Molly, is almost 11 months old and seems to be developing the "riding gene" just like her big sister! ;)

KWTT_001.jpg
Morgan was super excited for Thomas Town!

KWTT_002.jpg
Molly was (subtly) excited too!


Backstory Time....
(**Feel free to skip this to get to the pictures!**)

Going to parks has taken on a whole new meaning for us, as we just love watching them light up with that special "magic look" in their eyes when we go to places like Kennywood. Truth be told, this is even more special for us considering their own backstory. Some of you may remember the story I shared years ago about our struggles to even have Morgan (Our Journey), which led to us calling her our "little miracle". Well, as it turned out, Erin got pregnant naturally with Molly (much to our surprise and delight!), but it was her birth that sent us on a whole new type of roller coaster.

Late in the pregnancy, Molly developed a condition known as HIE. Essentially, she was getting starved of blood flow and oxygen....thankfully, due to a weekly appointment, we were rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section on Sept. 7th. Unknown to us at the time, Molly was unresponsive at birth and needed resuscitated "behind the curtain". She was then rushed to the NICU, where the gravity of the situation became all too clear for us. We were told about the HIE, and that she had suffered trauma, the biggest of which being damage to her brain. Our world was rocked to our core. After dealing with seizures that first night, she went through a body cooling process to limit the extent of her brain injuries. After an MRI revealed "moderate brain damage", we started a whirlwind journey of 5 weeks in the NICU! It was exhausting, frightening, and one of the most surreal experiences of our lives. This was where Molly earned her nickname of "Mighty Molly", as she battled and fought through every obstacle and setback! After her 5 week stay, she finally came home. Her massive team of doctors, neurologists, specialists, and therapists were absolutely incredible.....in fact, there's no question to me they saved her life!

Fast forward to now, and Molly continues to amaze us and defy all odds! =) She has a team of therapists that work with her weekly, and her doctors tell us that they are not used to seeing such progress for a baby with an MRI that looked like hers. She did suffer some substantial damage to her hearing as a side effect of the HIE, but thanks to amazing technology, she now has baby hearing aids that are working wonders! Other than that, we just have to wait and see what may lie ahead for Molly medically. In the meantime, we cherish every minute watching her grow and develop! Simple milestones take on a whole new meaning considering how far she's come!! We are incredibly blessed and fortunate! So yeah, as I said above, spending time with the girls and heading off to parks is just a magical experience for Erin and I!! :)

(**Enter here for the pictures!**)

So, without further ado, let's hop aboard for a photo journey to check out Kennywood's Thomas Town!!!

KWTT_003.jpg
Ready for some media event FUN!

KWTT_004.jpg
Eagerly awaiting the ribbon cutting! ;)

KWTT_005.jpg
The main entrance to Thomas Town is so nicely done!

KWTT_006.jpg
Thomas Town blends in great and is bigger than I envisioned

KWTT_007.jpg
The new buildings look very nice

KWTT_008.jpg
They have little Thomas themed signs on them too


After scoping out the area from the outside, it was time to head over to the stage to officially kick off the day's festivities! There were some opening remarks from Nick, the aforementioned Kennywood PR director (and a couple other dignitaries), then we went back over to the entrance to "cut the ribbon" and OPEN Thomas Town!! They had a family there from New Hampshire that won a contest and their kiddos got to cut the ribbon officially.

KWTT_009.jpg
Nick's opening comments.....such a nice guy!

KWTT_010.jpg
Welcome to Thomas Town!!

KWTT_011.jpg
Molly wasn't so sure about Sir Topham Hatt, haha!

KWTT_012.jpg
While Morgan chose to go with the "awkward hug", haha!


With Thomas Town now officially open, we headed in to take a look....which for Morgan meant time to excitedly check out the RIDES!! Along with the re-imagined Kennywood Railroad that has now become Journey with Thomas, there are 4 new rides that kids and families can ride together! They are:

  • Flynn's Fire Training - This ride is adorable, and Morgan's favorite! As the ride circles, people in the ladder bucket move up and down and can shoot water to put out the "flames" in the middle building!
  • Diesel Drivers - Hop aboard a Driver for a relaxing couple trips around an oval course. Simple, but effective!
  • Harold's Helicopter Tour - Another really cute ride, this one looks great and is plenty roomy for parents to ride with their kids! They can control their helicopter and raise it up and drop it down.
  • Cranky's Drop Tower - This is the tallest ride in Thomas Town, and is the only one with a slightly higher height requirement at 42". I gotta say, this ride was SO MUCH FUN!!! It feels taller when you're on it, and it runs a nice long program with plenty of bouncy drops!!


Let's check them out, shall we? ;)

KWTT_013.jpg

KWTT_014.jpg

KWTT_015.jpg
On Flynn's, you can ride in the fire truck down below.....

KWTT_016.jpg
But the more FUN ride is up top, where you can fight the fire!

KWTT_017.jpg
So, Morgan made it through her first "ride breakdown", haha! Our ladder/cart got stuck at the top.....here, she is sharing a lovely story with the crew about how she "can't ride the big rides just yet, but I want to ride them! So I eat my vitamins now, and sometimes vegetables....but they're not always my favorite! Then I can ride THAT ONE!! (Points to Thunderbolt)" Hahahaha!!!

KWTT_018.jpg

KWTT_019.jpg
Diesel Drivers overview (thanks to being stuck on Flynn's)

KWTT_020.jpg
Taking it for a spin! You may notice some coaster track in the middle, along with some old Log Jammer parts....a pretty cool touch!

KWTT_021.jpg
I liked the landscaping around this one

KWTT_022.jpg

KWTT_023.jpg

KWTT_024.jpg
Ready to take our flight!

KWTT_025.jpg
My adorable pilot :)

KWTT_026.jpg

KWTT_027.jpg
I like the "Cranky" details at the top of the tower!

KWTT_028.jpg
Going up!

KWTT_029.jpg
Morgan was a little bummed she couldn't ride this one, but she wanted to cheer me on! "You can do it Daddy, I know you can!!" ;)

KWTT_030.jpg
Two BIG thumbs up for Cranky's Drop Tower!!


Obviously though, the big star here is Thomas himself! The Kennywood Railroad was altered slightly to account for Thomas, including a new shell over the engine, some new/replaced track, and a rerouted queue where you now enter on the other side of the station after going over a new railroad crossing. This "infield" area is also where Cranky's Drop Tower resides, along with Tidmouth Sheds, which also has a show that plays a few times each day (we sadly did not catch the show this trip, but I've heard it's really cute!) After some morning hiccups getting going, Journey with Thomas opened up in the late morning/early afternoon, so we headed back to take a ride. Incidentally, the line for Thomas that day was consistently spilling out of the new (and much bigger) queue....if that's any indication, then mission accomplished, Kennywood!! ;)

KWTT_031.jpg
The updated Kennywood Station

KWTT_032.jpg
The big star - Thomas!

KWTT_033.jpg
The girls checking out Thomas

KWTT_034.jpg
I love how this one of Morgan and I turned out! <3

KWTT_035.jpg

KWTT_036.jpg
Heading out on his inaugural journey

KWTT_037.jpg
Hello there, Mr. Conductor!!

KWTT_038.jpg
My lovely ladies are ready....all aboard!! :)

KWTT_039.jpg
The ride route is essentially the same as Kennywood Railroad.....

KWTT_040.jpg
....but the signs heading to the turnaround have been updated accordingly!

KWTT_041.jpg

KWTT_042.jpg
I was happy to see they kept the old clock and landscaping in place at the turnaround

KWTT_043.jpg

KWTT_044.jpg
Greetings from Pittsburgh!

KWTT_045.jpg
Molly was a big fan of Thomas, one of the few rides she can enjoy....for now! ;)

KWTT_046.jpg

KWTT_047.jpg
A look at Tidmouth Sheds

KWTT_048.jpg

KWTT_049.jpg
The new railroad crossing

KWTT_050.jpg
Thomas Town has plenty of places to sit and relax....and the benches are "Morgan approved"! Haha


Taking a cue from Morgan, let's take a little breather and wrap up this first portion of our media event report! The second part (coming up soon!) will cover some other Thomas Town offerings, a little sprinkling of other Kennywood fun, and perhaps.......perhaps a little peek at a certain construction area in the back of the park! ;) Hope you all enjoy this first installment! Part two is coming your way soon....stay tuned!!
I would rather be off riding coasters!

Steel Top 5 - (1) Steel Vengeance (2) Skyrush (3) Fury 325 (4) Millennium Force (5-tie) Phantom's Revenge (5-tie) Maverick
Wood Top 5 - (1) El Toro (2) Phoenix (3) Voyage (4) Ravine Flyer II (5) Shivering Timbers

Image

I own the website www.donkey.com
User avatar
 
Posts: 828
Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Location: Livingston, AL
Gender: Male
Age: 28

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby ThemeParkJunkie51290 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:12 pm

Fantastic!!! =) =) =) Such a cute area! Love the pictures and can't wait for Part 2!
ROLLER COASTERS FEAR ME BECAUSE I SHOW NO MERCY!

“Fear can make a donkey attack a lion”
User avatar
 
Posts: 328
Joined: 24 Jan 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Gender: Male
Age: 49

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby SoCalJasonland » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:48 pm

The addition looks really nice. Kids should love it. Thanks for the nice report and photos.
Only blank more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Wish I knew some HTML code to update the date on this sig. Silver Shamrock.

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 6186
Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Location: These Ozarks Hills
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:24 am

Looks really great! It's really special to see how kids react to theme parks. Once I went off to college, I really didn't go to theme parks much until my oldest was about 3 1/2. We took her to Silver Dollar City and she loved it, and that's what got me back into the hobby. You really get to appreciate all the little things parks do that have nothing to do with adrenaline rush. Visiting a park with little kids can actually be quite relaxing since most of the park is not for them, and no one waits an hour for the things they can ride.

Congratulations on Molly's progress. I've got a kid with special needs too, so I totally get celebrating all those little things that you don't appreciate unless they're achieved with a lot of work.
Image

What would donkeys be like on the moon?
 
Posts: 228
Joined: 05 Jun 2016
Location: Manhattan, NYC
Gender: Female

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby ObeyTheShihTzu! » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:26 pm

Thanks so much for not only sharing Kennywood's Thomas Town opening, but also allowing us to remember the magic of theme parks from the eyes of a child. Morgan and Molly's smiles are a beautiful beginning to all the fun adventures that life has in store for them - and for your beautiful family! =) =)

Alice

BAYSIDE STATION!!!
User avatar
 
Posts: 23097
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 65

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby Nrthwnd » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:33 pm

:lol: Molly knows where her camera marks are, LOL! She's a natural model!

Great TR on your Thomas Town visit. I have been thru at least two of these, around
the world (Fuji-Q and Drayton Manor, I remember) and they seemed to work
really well with families having small children.

Your TR was great, glad that the girls enjoyed their TT visit, and you all enjoyed yourself, too.
Talk is Cheap :idea: Action is Pricele$$

Image

Online
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 4618
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Age: 25

Re: Photo TR: Thomas Town Media Event at Kennywood!

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:30 pm

Great report! Thomas Town looks really good. In terms of theming, it looks somewhere in between the old ones at Six Flags and Fuji-Q's (with the latter being the gold standard).
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Boulder Dash, Phoenix, Wildfire, Outlaw Run
Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Expedition GeForce, Twisted Colossus, Iron Rattler, Fury 325
Image
Most Recent Trip Reports- Stricker's Grove & Camden Park


Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron