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Ghostwood Estate
Website: Kennywood Homepage
Ride Type: Track Guided Ride
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 0.0000
TPC Overall Rank: Rides need more than 25 reviews to be ranked.
Reviews: 2
Last Review: 6/19/2008 11:12:00 PM
In User Top 10: 0 times.
User Tracker Count: 8 times.

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4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up tauren_man on 6/19/2008 11:12:00 PM
Good darkrides are hard to come across nowadays. The retheming of the Old Mill to Garfield"s Nightmare was unfortunate, not only because it was somewhat garish and obnoxious, but also because it took something that was creative and inspired and turned it into an advertisement that would only attract attention from the youngest of children.

Why do I bring this up in my review of Ghostwood estate? Well, that is simple enough. When I heard not only that one of my favorite rides in the park, the Gold Rusher, was being removed, but also that it was to be replaced by a dark ride from the same company who was responsible for Garfield's Nightmare, I was in tears. Images of a new dark ride in which the riders shot at cardboard cut-outs and giant television screens that reacted with pre-programmed computer animation filled my mind.

I asked myself whether or not dark ride designers would ever be wise enough to return to simplicity. However, when I first rode Kennywood"s latest spook house, I was pleasantly surprised; they did just that.

In my eyes, this takes many ambitious steps forward as far as ride technology, while remaining true to the original formula that made dark rides so damned fun as a kid and beyond. Everything's there: falling bookcases, dropping spiders, skeletal monsters that extend toward you, and other such stunts. Even small things, such as rotating pictures and books that slide across tables added to the overall charm of this back-to-basics masterpiece. The music that plays is charming and humorous in style, but is more ambience, as opposed to GN"s hideously overdone music that constantly loops throughout all parts of the ride.

Now for the big question: Is it better than Gold Rusher? In some respects, well, yes! It"s in better shape, you can see everything (though it still remains pleasantly dark in theme), the sound effects are better, and the exterior is more interesting. However, in many ways, it falls short of the Gold Rusher. First of all, you can often see the car in front of you during your ride. This is not too much of a problem, but I feel it subtracts from the "spooky mansion" mood. My other main concern is that to see the stunts, you have to shoot the targets. This one"s a "give me", I know, but most of the charm comes from entering a room and seeing everything moving, jumping around, etc. This is what happens if you have a car full of experienced shooters, but if not, be prepared for a dull ride. Furthermore, many of the targets do not even animate when shot. You never know if shooting something will actually result in an object moving, a noise, or the object simply lighting up. This means you have to ride it multiple times so that you know which targets to shoot so that your ride is most enjoyable. Because of this, I think the ride would have been better off without the interactivity; i.e. the stunts are triggered exclusively by the passing car.

But overall, this is a intruiging dark ride, and I highly reccomend it. It modernizes the dark ride experience while holding on to traditional values that both young and old riders alike while smile at. Though the term &quot;interactive&quot; may turn off some dark ride fans who just like a straight-forward ride, ginzo is very acurate in relating it to an old-fashioned shooting gallery, which should be a silver lining for such critics. Though I will miss the Gold Rusher with all my heart, I shall continue to ride Ghostwood Estate with a passion, noting it as not just any dark ride, but Kennywood&quot;s nod to the golden age of fun houses and dark rides.</sc

5 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up ginzo on 6/2/2008 9:34:00 PM
I know this will probably turn out to be a minority opinion, but after only one cycle this is now my favorite shooting dark ride. Yes, I like it more than Men In Black and even Den of Lost Thieves, which was my former favorite.
Since this is a newer ride, the queue on a Sunday was fairly long. It wasnt an hour wait or anything, but it was certainly longer than Im used to waiting for a dark ride.
Before you climb the stairs to the actual ride you have to watch a pre-show. For some reason I kept thinking of the Haunted Mansion at this point, but Im not sure why this was. The pre-show for Ghostwood Estate is just some lame CGI thing and is pretty much as boring as every other preshow out there.
Since we were smart enough to watch the preshow by the exit door, our group of 4 quickly climbed the stairs and were second in line to board the ride. The cars hold 4 passengers and are not guided by a track. However, I did notice a little groove in the floor that the cars probably use for navigational purposes. Sorry kids, were not riding on the $100 million Tokyo Disneyland Pooh ride system here.
The ride itself was great. The guns have visible laser lights so you can see exactly where youre shooting at. The reason I loved this ride so much is because of the gags. There are countless gags that get triggered when you hit the targets, kind of like being inside a classic shooting gallery. Skeletons coming out of coffins, spiders falling on your head, its all here. I laughed non-stop through this ride and exited with a gigantic smile. I have a policy not to say too much about dark rides in general, so I wont say much more. Just be sure to ride this thing next time you visit Kennywood no matter no long the line is. I could see a lot of the gags quickly breaking and not being repaired. So, in a few years this ride might not be as amazing at it is now. The other members of my group did not share my adoration for this ride. I think this might have something to do with the fact that I got way more points (~3,500, I think) than they did and therefore saw more gags go off.

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