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Attraction of the Month


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No where on earth is there a park more deserving than Idlewild to host such a wonderful ride.  Apparently, Fred Rogers himself didn't think so either.  Mister Rogers' visited the park as a child and was impressed with the changes the that Kennywood Park Corporation had made to the park since its purchase in 1983.  He then approached the company about developing a Mister Rogers attraction at Idlewild.  After many concepts, it was decided to remake a trolley ride through the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with animated figures.  Located in the thick woods on the south side of Loyalhanna Creek, the 1 million dollar, 1,600 feet long trolley ride paved the way for an all-new kiddieland dubed 'Raccoon Lagoon' the following season.  Guests on the trolleys are able to interact with each character, usually giving King Friday XIII important message: Come along, come along, to the castle Hug n' Song'.   Fred Rogers wrote the script and provided the voices for this treasured attraction. 
Visitors are carried through the 'neighborhood' by beautiful wood and brass replicas of the trolley on the hit PBS show.  However, the trolleys were not created especially for the park, but were purchased from the Indianapolis Zoo, where they had been built as horse-drawn trolleys.  Their weight made them unsuitable for the job so they were sold.  In a happy coincidence, they nearly matched the trolley on the show.  The only modification needed was the addition of electric motors.  Although the storyline has never change, it is doubtful young children remember year to year.  In the 1990s a new queue was built.  Unlike the average line, this one featured benches for exhausted parents to sit on, and roofs to protect from the sun and rain.  Along the way, riddles are posted such as: What is King Friday the XIII's favorite day?  Answer: Friday the 13th. 
The most unique attraction at the park (and most popular), Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe is a memorable experience for any child (or adult) who cherishes the show.  This attraction is worth the visit to Idlewild alone.
             Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania, Jim Futrell, 2002

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