Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Thomas Town Heading to Kennywood in Major 2018 Expansion

© Kennywood
Kennywood has announced a large, $8.5 million expansion for the park's 2018 season, a brand new family themed area named Thomas Town.

The famous Thomas the Tank Engine, along with his friends and favorite locations from the Island of Sodor, will welcome visitors at the park starting this summer.  The expansion will not replace the park's current Kiddieland, instead be an addition to the park located near it.  Thomas Town will feature five rides including the park's famous train ride, which now will feature Thomas himself.  There will also be a new stage show along with "themed play and entertainment areas, merchandise opportunities and more." According to the park, Thomas Town will be the "second-largest permanent Thomas & Friends attraction in North America."

"We're so excited to welcome Thomas & Friends to Kennywood," says Kennywood General Manager Jerome Gibas. "Thomas Town presents a huge addition that expands our family offerings while introducing the park to Thomas & Friends fans from around the globe. We couldn't ask for a better gift for Kennywood and our guests to help celebrate our 120th anniversary season in 2018."

© Google Maps
According to a Facebook live video that the park's did, this will be the general location of Thomas Town.  The park will not be removing the famous Auto Race ride, but Laughing Sal will be relocated within the park.  The train station will be rethemed for Thomas Town, and two of the new rides will replace the fountain and floral display seen above.  A third will go where the Raging Rapids queue currently is, and a fourth in the in-field of the train ride.  In all, it's a great use of space at the park to add new attractions!

The rides that will be built include:

Journey with Thomas - Climb aboard for an unforgettable journey with the Number 1 Blue Engine! Guests of all ages can hop aboard a Thomas-themed train ride that takes you along the back side of Kennywood, with wondrous views of the Monongahela River and the Edgar Thomson Works, the oldest steel mill in the Steel City. It’s a beautiful setting that looks like what you might see on the island of Sodor!

Cranky’s Drop Tower - Strap in tight for a truly Cranky experience! Sodor’s strongest crane will lift you high above Thomas Town, and then drop you down!

Harold’s Helicopter Tour - All set and ready for action! Kids can take control of their own Harold Helicopter and pilot him up and down as they spin round and round.

Flynn’s Fire Training - Junior firefighters shoot water to extinguish flames on this unique, interactive ride.

Diesel Drivers - Don’t forget the Diesels! Climb aboard Diesel, Iron Bert and other Diesel engines for a fun ride.

Kennywood also reports that Thomas Town will feature a plethora of characters "such as Thomas, Diesel, Salty, Iron Bert, Rusty, Cranky the Crane, Harold the Helicopter and more."  Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor, will be featured in the expansion as well, and will be available for photos with visitors.