|Dan Swatrz (left) of Clairton and Adam Carlini of Coraopolis become some |
of the first people to experience the new Black Widow at Kennywood Park.
Park’s newest thrill ride, Black Widow, opened its shoulder restraints
to the public on Friday, June 8, to manic enthusiasm. Within minutes, a
queuing line had formed and was stretching along the park’s midway,
underneath the Pittsburgh Plunge water ride, nearly reaching the
entrance to the Exterminator roller coaster.
Widow] is an awesome combination of spinning, air-time, speed and
height,” said the park’s manager of public relations, Jeff Filicko.
“We’re very excited to debut it.”
Widow was designed by by the Italy-based ride manufacturer, Zamperla,
who is also responsible for the installation of other rides in the park
including Cosmic Chaos, Aero 360 as well as several rides in Kiddieland.
The first of its kind in North America, Black Widow resembles a giant
pendulum with a spinning disk of 40 outward-facing seats on the end of
its arm. At the peak of its highest swing, the ride reaches 146 feet
tall and reaches a top speed reaches 68 miles-per-hour at its base.
|Kennywood's newest thrill ride, Black Widow, opened to the public on|
Friday, June 8, 2012.
of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, a national organization dedicated
to the enjoyment and preservation of roller coasters and amusement
parks, were chosen to be some of the first people to ride Black Widow
and were on hand to discuss their experiences.
on which side [of the disk of seats] you sit on you might get a lot of
airtime on one side or a very good view of everything below you from the
other side of the ride,” said Aaron Maricic, of Clairton, upon
disembarking from the ride for his first time.
was like flying,” said Val Lucas of Bridgeville. “I’ve been on Max-Air
at Cedar Point (a ride similar to Black Widow) and I like this one much
better since you can see your surroundings better.
|Greg Legowski of Pittsburgh soars above Kennywood's|
midways on the new Black Widow which opened to the
public Friday Afternoon.
addition of Black Widow, however, does not come without a cost. The
formerly record-breaking Pitt Fall drop tower was removed to make way
for the new ride due to a combination of low ridership and high
maintenance costs. Nevertheless, riders are still finding a silver
lining in the gain of the new ride.
“I do miss [the Pitt Fall] a little bit but I think that this is a very fun ride and a great placement for it,” Maricic said.
is a good replacement for it and I think that if I enjoy it this much
then so will other people,” said David Hahner III of Ross Township.
knew, taking out the Pitt Fall, we had to find something that was an
equally thrilling ride experience,” Filicko said. Not only does Black
Widow serve that purpose to be an awesome experience for our guests,
it’s a perfect fit for Lost Kennywood where it sits right now. The area
around the ride is beautiful... and you can be right up close next to
the ride so it’s even an awesome experience for people watching the ride
from the midway.”
|David Hahner III, 14, of Ross Township savors the|
sensation of the wind in his hair as he takes his first ride
on Black Widow at Kennywood Park, Friday afternoon.
area around the ride is another new addition. Red brick pavers have
replaced the asphalt walkways surrounding the ride while trees and
planters adorn the queuing lines. The hedges that once surrounded Pitt
Fall have also been removed giving guests on the midway a newly
unobstructed view of the final turn and hills of the Phantom’s Revenge.
“I think Kennywood is keeping their promise of keeping the park thrilling, yet beautiful,” Hahner said.
Widow is now open daily to the public at Kennywood. A regular FunDay
pass can be purchased online or at the park for $37.99.
Black Widow opening day, Kennywood Park - 6/8/2012
from Joel Brewton